The 40th anniversary of the founding of the St Vincent de Paul Conference in Carrickbeg was celebrated at a Mass in the parish church last week.
The Mass was celebrated by Fr Michael Farrell, who played a major role in setting up the Conference during the time he served in the Parish of Carrigbeg and Windgap as curate in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Fr Farrell was also involved in the development of the parish’s Community Hall
He was invited back to the parish last week to celebrate Mass for the deceased members of the VDP Conference and to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its founding.
Current Conference President Maureen Murray welcomed Fr Farrell and congratulated the founding members still active including the first President John Cass, Michael O’Loughlin and Jack Lalor.
Maureen thanked past, present and auxiliary members for their continued contribution over the years and she hoped that the Conference will continue to be a constant support to the needy in the parish especially in these difficult financial times.
In his homily, Fr Farrell thanked the members for the invitation to celebrate the 40th anniversary and he spoke about the great work the St. Vincent de Paul has carried on since its foundation by Frederic Ozanam in Paris in 1833.
He said the Society followed the path of seeking social justice for the deprived at a time when the ‘powers that be’ have allowed themselves to be driven by the greed of property speculators and reckless bankers to a stage where children are denied school books when their parents cannot afford them and cuts in social welfare to those in most need.
Fr Farrell said the occasion brought back many good memories of his time in Carrickbeg and he particularly spoke of the deceased founder members of the VDP.
He also referred to the sad passing last year of Dick Meany, who had been a classmate of his in Mount Melleray Secondary School.