Thursday, January 05, 2023

Fr John Dunphy and the volunteers who helped to organise the Christmas lunch in St Fiacc’s Hall
Photos: Thomas Nolan Photography

Victoria Osadchuk, Valeriia Tereshchenko, Irvna Pryimak, Arar and Vlodislav Llanchenko

Nadiia Kostyshyn, Ray Noctor and Maiyra Bea

Viktor Shokhin, Mariia, Suzanna, Emmanael, Elizabeth and Olena Justus

Twins Kateryna and Mariia Dehtialova

Rada, Kamrua, Aldana and Elmira Ilienko, Andzhelika Soldatenko and Rydina Llienko

Taisiia and Sofiia Shckukur

John and Emma Reid

Sofiia Shckukur holds a candle during the prayer for peace by Fr John Dunphy

Andrea Hill, Santa and Isobel Brooker

By Suzanne Pender

A POIGNANT moment of solidarity was experienced on Christmas Eve when Carlovians joined Ukrainians by candlelight to pray for peace in their war-torn country. The special occasion was organised by St Clare’s Hospitality Kitchen, led by Isobel Broker, who decided to organise a Christmas Eve meal in Graiguecullen Parish Hall for Ukrainians living locally.

“Christmas Eve is their special day so we had 100 booked in for a meal, and I know the kitchen worked on having lots of traditional Ukrainian food that they would eat at Christmastime,” explained Fr John Dunphy, PP.

“The food was prepared in the food kitchen and brought over, and we had lots of volunteers, who were a great help,” he said.

Children and families of all ages enjoyed a delicious four-course meal and also welcomed a very special visitor, Santa, who had presents for the children. Each Ukrainian was given a little gift of a candle, which was lit for a short moment of reflection and prayer after the meal.

“I said a prayer for peace in their country and then what I said was translated into their language … it was a bit emotional, but very, very special,” said Fr Dunphy.

Fr Dunphy thanked all the individuals and businesses who donated so generously to their Christmas Eve meal, and the volunteers who helped bring a little bit of joy to people living so far from home at Christmas.


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