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St Mary’s Altar Society
In the early 1920s ladies of some local Parish families formed the habit of bringing flowers from their gardens to decorate the Altar. In addition, these ladies organised the laundering of the Altar linens. Then in 1937 a more formal arrangement was put in place and what has become the Altar Society was founded. This year there are Forty Five Members of The Altar Society.

These members work in teams throughout the year and take care of the Altar and Sacristy on weekly basis. The work involved is vacuuming, dusting, and keeping fresh flowers on the Altar, also the decorating of the Altar for the special occasions throughout the year e.g. Christmas, Easter, Confirmation, First Holy Communions and the big Feast Days. The Altar linens are still taken care of by one specified member of the Society, and St Anthony’s shrine is taken care of by another two members.

All the work is voluntary and takes about one to one and a half hours each week. There are 3 – 4 persons on a team and each team does one month a year. For the big occasions – as mentioned above  – the teams are usually 4 – 5 persons, and those ladies with special arranging talents and skills are on these teams.

Like all of the other Parish workers we would be delighted to have more members. ALL ARE WELCOME!!

We take this opportunity to say “THANK YOU” to all who contributed to our collection during the summer, The  relative funds are used to buy flowers for the Altar.

To get in contact with the Altar Society please call Fionnuala McManus (President)  Tel: 01-6285126.

From the records we are able to establish that the ladies of the Parish have been caring for the Altar for a very long time. The first formal Altar Society was headed by Ms Weafer at the request of the then Parish Priest Fr. Joseph Killeen in the mid 30s.

At that time Ms Weafer lived beside the Church and had a number of ladies assist her in looking after the Altar, laundering the Altar linen, cleaning and hovering the Sanctuary and arranging the garden flowers donated by the parishioners.  She continued this work for over forty years until her retirement in 1977 and was the first parishioner to receive the Papal Benemerenti Medal in grateful appreciation of her outstanding commitment to St. Mary’s Parish and the Altar society in particular.

Ms Weafer noted in the minute book of the Society, that work is voluntary and that members give very willingly of the most precious thing they possess – their time. Ms Weafer then handed over this responsibility to Betty Murphy (for 14 years). After her, others like Georgina Muleady, Imelda Desmond, Olive Guest and Anne Quigley continued this invaluable work down to the present. Nowadays the Presidency alternates every 3 years.

The main purpose and task of the Altar Society is to ensure that the Altar is suitably prepared at all times for the celebration of Mass. Other work undertaken entails hovering and dusting of the Altar area. Flowers are attend to also, although during Lent there are generally no flowers on the Altar. The Sacristy and the adjoining rooms are also kept clean and hovered. In this regard Agnes Boyd deserves special mention for her meticulous attention to the cleaning and polishing of all the sacred vessels.

Each month a rota of helpers is scheduled who are responsible for the maintenance and appearance of the Altar. Floral decorations are also the responsibility of the society. Some Society members are highly proficient at flower arranging and so that particular task falls to them. Flowers are sometimes donated by Parishioners and these are very much appreciated. Many of the beautiful Wedding arrangements are also donated to the Church following the ceremony.

While our needs may be few, our resources can be stretched at times as there may be only two volunteers on a particular monthly rota. In order to relieve pressure more volunteers are required. Nowadays men are equally welcome as members.

Understandably, Christmas and Easter are two very important occasions in the Church’s year when extra preparation and decoration are undertaken. If anyone would be interested in helping at either of these times, please do not hesitate in putting your name forward. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated and I believe you would find you Church involvement very rewarding.

President: Fionnula McManus,  Tel: 01-6285126

List of Members

Ailish Coughlan Elisabeth (Liz) McEvoy Mary Doyle
Ann Delaney Elisabeth O’Rourke Mary Drennan
Ann Gartland Fionnuala McManus Mary King
Anne Gallagher Gaye Hoare Mary Molloy
Anne Quigley Georgina Mulready Mary Oliver
Anne Nevin Janet McCann May Daly
Audrey O’Mahoney Juliette Sweeney Maureen Fagan
Breege McDonnell Kathleen Moane Mercedes O’Rourke
Betty Phelan Lise O’Farrell Moire Baxter
Brid Flynn Mairead Kearney Patricia Cusker
Carmel Buckley Margaret Loane Patricia Nolan
Caroline O’Hurley Margaret O’Neill Patsy Dunne
Catherine Mulready Maria Harney Pauline Oxley
Eilis Cushen Marie Sheehan Ronnie Cassidy
Elisabeth Byrne Mary Cahill Teresa Corcoran

Altar Rota

                                     Altar Society Roster  2016

January Elisabeth Byrne   February Patricia Cusker
  Brid Flynn     Marie Harney
  Kathleen Moane     Marie Sheehan
        Elisabeth O’Rouke
March Carmel Buckley   April Betty Phelan
  Caroline O’Hurley     Margaret O’Neill
  Mary Oliver     Martha O’Rourke
   Ann Nevin    
May   June Fionnuala McManus
  Georgina Mulready     Mary King
  Patsy Dunne     Mary Molly
  Catherine Mulready      Claire O’Rourke
July Ann Delaney   August Gaye Hoare
  Ann Gallagher     Mary Cahill
  Eilis Cushen     Mercedes O’Rourke
September Breege McDonnell   October Audrey Reid
  Mary Drennan     Juliette Sweeney
  Anne Quigley    
November Mairead Kearney   December Lise Farrell
  Teresa Corcoran     Moira Baxter
  Pauline Oxley     Janet McCann
        Maureen Fagan
St Anthony’s Shrine Carmel Cummane & Annie Simon
QUERIES — Fionnuala McManus. 087 9807710