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A Layman’s Impression of the Reunion of the Priests and Religious – 2000


In mid-August we had a wonderful and spiritual reunion for our Missionary Nuns, Priests and Brothers, which took place in the Church of the Assumption, Athenry on August 13th 2000 with concelebrated Mass at 11.30am.

It was wonderful to see such a large crowd and when the Choir sang “The Fields of Athenry” it must have brought tears to their eyes.

I personally was surprised to see so many Nuns, Priests and Brothers, that had come home for the reunion, 50 in all, which occurs every 2 years.

The first Reunion took place in 1979 after a few years research by Rev. Monsignor Michael Higgins and was attended by 23 Priests, it was then decided to include Sisters and Brothers and to hold the reunion every 2 years which coincides with Lady’s Day Aug 15th.

It is a wonderful occasion for their families and relations and it is a great opportunity for the Missionaries to meet old class-mates and friends and talk about their work in their adopted countries.

I believe we had around 136 Missionaries at one time, and a lot of credit must go to their Parents, Families and Teachers for their help and support. We must not forget Rev. Monsignor Michael Higgins, who has put a huge amount of work in contacting all the Nuns, Priests and Brothers who have left the Parish over the years. Thanks also to Cannon Tony King for his hospitality to the Missionaries whenever they came home. We have about 80 Missionaries at this present time in all parts of the world spreading the Gospel. With the Religious orders in the Western World on a decline hopefully we will see the rewards of their work in Ireland in the future.

We should be very proud to be natives of this religious and historical Parish.

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Written by Gabriel Ryan

Published here 10 May 2023 and originally published November 2000

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