THIS IS A STORY ABOUT YOU, THE PEOPLE OF RAHENY.
In 1981 a group of people got together and spoke about doing something for the 3rd World. They approached the then P.P., Fr. Joseph O’Hare, who showed great interest and gave them the ‘go ahead’. Having the Capuchins in Raheny, it was decided to help Zambia – one of their missionary areas. Thus commenced the Raheny Missionary Project. With the help of the G.A.A. and later the Cedar Lounge we started twice monthly coffee mornings with homemade cakes, all baked by the Committee, and all for 50p. Due to the rise in the cost of living this is now €3. After a while we added Bring and Buy sales, Christmas cards, Bumper Raffles at Christmas and Easter and a yearly Church Gate Collection.
The local hospital in Zambi a had dreams of having an incubator and so, wi th this first venture you saved lives of many babies who would otherwise have died.
In the beginning you sent out vestments and altar vessels ~ You also sent out farm implements and seeds.
You put beds into the local hospitals and hospice ~ You built several small churches.
Buildings went on fire – you rebuilt them.
Bridges collapsed and rivers could not be crossed – you rebuilt them too.
You paid salaries to employ extra nurses ~ You supplied tents for missionaries.
You helped the leper colony in many ways ~ You supplied a caravan and many land rovers and diesel for them.
You built a home for a Catechist so that his fami ly could come and join him.
You took abandoned children off the streets.
Further information can be seen on the R.M.P. notice board at the back of the Parish Church and in the Capuchin Friary. One of the friars who travelled to Zambia for the first time, was being shown around some of the outstations. A friar could be alone in the bush for up to 6 weeks. Feeling thirsty this particular friar opened a can of 7 Up, drank it and threw away the can. The Land Rover suddenly stopped and he was asked to retrieve the can because this could be used to make jewellery.
You also helped our missionaries in Angola and Namibia and, when disaster struck Liberia, Venezuela, New Orleans, Ethiopia, West Indies, Haiti, Pakistan and Somalia.
On average you raised a total of €13,000 each year for the last 31 years, an amazing total of over
€400,000. Every single euro you have donated has gone to help your less fortunate brothers and sisters
and for this a sincere thank you and I know that the dear Lord and His Blessed Mother when you meet
them will thank you personally.
Finally, a short story. About 15 years ago, there was a knock on my front door. There, stood a lady
whom I did not know and had never seen before, nor have I seen her since. She said, “I have just been to
Zambia and travelled extensively and everywhere I went, everyone hugged and thanked me and asked me
to convey their appreciation to the people of Raheny for all they have done to improve their lives”.
God bless you all.