This week the community of Multyfarnham shares in the feeling of devastation and desolation caused by the tragic death of ten souls in Donegal. Words fail us to express the depth of feeling experienced as we go beyond the names of those who died to learn of their warm and gifted personalities. Particularly poignant are the deaths last Friday of a father and daughter, as well as a mother and son.

To mark in some small way our solidarity with the people of Creeslough in their pain, the St Anthony Devotions Mass on Tuesday began with a ceremony of lighting candles for each of those precious individuals who have now been taken home to God, their loving Father.

There was a reverential hush in Church as the congregation prayed for each unique individual in the traditional formula: “Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord …”

Prayers of the faithful following the homily centred on the injured, the mourners, the emergency services who risked life and limb to attend to those trapped in the rubble, as well as the local clergy who must support the families of the deceased at the funerals and after. When the news of the world moves on to the next tragedy and Creeslough fades from memory, may the Lord continue to send his spirit of comfort to the heartbroken community, working especially through sympathetic counsellors and compassionate neighbours.

May St Anthony, finder of what is lost, assure us all that no one is lost to God, who rewards all who trust in him with his infinite love.

Kieran ofm