This magnificent Cathedral is located in Cove County Cork at the entrance to Cork Harbour. It was from this harbour that the vast majority of our emigrants departed as they began their sad yet hopeful journey to the New World and the USA. The view from their ship as they sailed by this wonderful church must have been a stirring and very emotional experience, and i am sure that many silent prayers were on their way to the heavens from the heartbroken passengers.
Every church in Ireland will be packed to the doors for the Christmas Eve celebrations tonight, as they will once again tomorrow morning for the Christmas day mass. Catholic Ireland remains loyal to what Christmas is to Catholics, a celebration of the birth of the baby Jesus. It does not mean that we do not believe in Santa Claus. I myself am patiently waiting to see what he has for me tomorrow, but the kids will still congregate around the cribs in the churches to see the baby in the manger in the stable in Bethlehem.
No matter who you are, no matter where you are, no matter what form your Christmas may take, i wish you all a Happy and a peaceful Christmas.
And for all of you who know me personally, let me just say that my church visits over the coming days will include prayers for all of you.
Thank you sincerely for being my friends, imy life is richer as a result of that.
Take care and enjoy this special season.