The people who 65 years ago erected the Holy Year Cross on the mountain overlooking Clonmel were saluted at the annual Mass at the cross on Monday morning.
Canon Brendan Crowley, the Parish Priest of Ss Peter and Paul’s, who celebrated the Mass, paid tribute to the faith and vision of those who had carried the cross from Ss Peter and Paul’s Church through the town and up the mountain on August 20 1950 and placed it on Cnoc a Chomortais, or Scrouthea Hill, overlooking the town.
Canon Crowley also praised the committee who looked after the cross and who every year ensured that the area looked so well for the annual celebration.
The heavy rain on Sunday night, which made underfoot conditions difficult on the final approach, meant that the numbers attending were down slightly on previous years. However a few hundred people, most of whom were suitably attired for the conditions, still made the pilgrimage.
Massgoers had to contend with strong winds and a couple of sharp showers on their way to the cross on what Canon Crowley said was a rough morning, although fortunately the weather remained fine for the duration of the Mass.
Politicians were well represented among the congregation, with District Mayor Pat English (who performed a reading) leading members of Clonmel Borough District Council. Deputies Seamus Healy and Mattie McGrath were also present.
Canon Crowley said that the cross was a great symbol of the Christian faith. We all had our crosses to bear in life and he prayed that God would help us as we bore those crosses. He also reminded the congregation that they should be thankful to the Lord for the beautiful area in which they lived, as he looked down on the town and out towards Slievenamon.
Canon Crowley remembered in his prayers his late colleague in Ss Peter and Paul’s Parish, Fr. Ray Reidy, who had celebrated the Mass in previous years and who died in June.
See this week’s copy of ‘The Nationalist’ for more images of the Pilgrimage to the Comeragh foothills.