Last weekend was a significant one in the life of our parish and in the lives of Tommy and Maureen Duffy.

Maureen, with the help of her husband Tommy, has beenSacristan in St Patrick’s Church, Glann for thirty years.

Recently she spoke to me about her belief that the hour had come for her to retire and, with great reluctance, I found myself unable to disagree in view of the reality that she has given such sterling service to the community.

She took over the role of sacristan when her mother-in-law, Elizabeth, died.Elizabeth had served as sacristan in Glann for almost sixty years having herself taken over the role of yet another “Duffy” woman.

There’s quite a link here and one that the people of Glann are happy to recognise.In a time when it can be all too difficult to get people to volunteer or commit to a role in service of their community, Maureen and Tommy send out a clear signal that service is possible and that there is a lasting joy in that very act of serving.

Though my own involvement with Glann Church has only increased in recent weeks, I quickly came to value Maureen and Tommy.

Apart from fidelity to their task, I was very struck by their good humour and togetherness. With all of you, I wish them an abundance of both.

May they long enjoy togetherness and good humour, knowing that they have made a real difference to a central piece of our Parish story.

We will find a way in the coming weeks to display our gratitude to Maureen and Tommy but, for now, it seems “right and just” (as we say in the Mass) to say “thanks”.

It goes without saying that we do not wish for either of them to become “strangers” since Glann Church is truly another room in their home. Always – ALWAYS, welcome!

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