Blessing of the Stations of the Cross
Wednesday 9th August, 2015
Many thanks to Kevin McDonald
(Buncrana) for providing the photographs
As we pray the Way of the Cross we know that we are not alone.
Christ, whose passion we recall in these steps walks with us.
Our prayer unites us with those from each townland who have gone before us.
The ‘Way of the Cross’, erected in St. Patrick’s cemetery this year were a gift to us from the Sisters of Loreto and once graced their former Retreat Centre at Linsfort, Co. Donegal.
The Sisters, who resided in Omagh from 1855 served us and many local communities in the education of our young women and this evening we express our gratitude to them for this ministry too.
The stones they are mounted on came from Clarke’s quarry near Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh and the additional memorials were prepared by Adrian McGovern of Dromore.
Our Parish Buildings and Maintenance committee along with many generous parishioners worked in different ways to make this possible.
Background to the Stations of the Cross
Sr. Eveleen Hallahan (IBVM)
In 1994 Sr. Anne McDaid opened Loreto House Linsfort Co. Donegal as a Centre for Peace and Reconciliation where adults and children could come on Retreat. Through the years she tried to make various improvements to the house and grounds to make it a place of peace for people to visit. She introduced the Labyrinth and helped people to walk it and pray it.
She became ill with Cancer but had one more project which she wanted to achieve and that was to set up a Way of the Cross outdoors in the grounds. To that end she set up a committee to fundraise and begin the project. Cassidy Quarries donated the stones which were delivered to Loreto house but lay on the path awaiting the inscriptions which Colm McLaughlin a local Monument Sculptor made. Unfortunately Sr. Anne died before she could finish the project. William James McLaughlin took on the responsibility of over seeing the completion of the project.
In August, 2006 Sr. Eveleen Hallahan came to take over the running of the Centre and in January, 2007 the finished project of outdoor stations was complete. Bishop Edward Daly came and blessed the Stations on a cold wet and windy January afternoon.
Five years later Loreto House Linsfort closed its doors for the last time and the property was put up for sale. The new owners were not interested in having a Way of the Cross in the grounds and we had to remove the inscriptions from the stones.
At this time Fr. Hasson was beginning a project in the cemetery in Greencastle, Co. Tyrone and asked if he could have the inscripted plaques from Linsfort for the cemetery in Greencastle. We were delighted to give them to him knowing that they would be an inspiration to the many who visited the cemetery just as they had inspired the many who visited Linsfort.