Local students with Fr. Michael Toomey at the Service of Remembrance held at Saturday's Vigil Mass at Ss Peter and Paul's Church in Clonmel for the victims of the Manchester terrorist attack.
During the Vigil Mass in Ss Peter and Paul’s church, Clonmel last Saturday evening, there was a fitting and poignant moment when the names of all those who were killed in last week's Manchester terrorist attack were called.
The names were read out as students from the local schools lit candles to represent and remember those who died.
During the Mass prayers were also said for those bereaved and injured, and there was a special mention for those who came to the aid of so many on that terrible evening.
Fr. Michael Toomey recalled that during the week he had written to the Catholic Bishop of Salford and the Anglican Bishop of Manchester, expressing profound sorrow and assuring the people affected of the prayers of the people of Clonmel.
Both Bishops replied and thanked the people of Clonmel for their support and good wishes.
Fr. Michael also stated that in light of such a horrific event, we were all so moved by the stories of selfless heroism shown by so many in Manchester, from the homeless man who gave comfort to the injured child and held the dying woman, to the parents who looked after someone else’s child while not knowing where theirs were.
“It is these stories – these are the images of hope, which should inspire us”, he said, as he recalled seeing the Jewish Rabbi who was helped to the memorial by the Muslim Imam; the Mosque for Friday prayers with the slogan ‘I Love Manchester’ on every wall; those who gave blood, food and water or even a cup of tea to the emergency services; those taxi drivers who brought people out of the area; those who gave a bed for the night to people who were stranded – and the so many other acts of kindness.
“This is how we defeat terrorism, by showing the true meaning of the human spirit, which is central to our Gospel and of Christ Himself – that of love”, said Fr. Michael.
After the calling of the names and the lighting of the 22 candles, a minute's silence was observed by the whole congregation in prayer.
Fr. Michael thanked everyone who came to the Mass and Service of Remembrance, as well as the manager of Tesco who donated the display and candles for the event.