In the year 2000, as the parish millennium project, the society of Simon of Cyrene was formed by Fr Michael Loftus PP and a group of dedicated parishioners including Vincent Maher, Bro Donal de Bara, Ethel Fingleton, Sr Carmel and Barbara Bodley, (RIP). For 20 years, volunteers from the parish supported the priests of the parish by visiting the housebound, the sick and those living alone as well as parishioners living in nursing homes and in Leopardstown Hospital. The Society’s mission was to extend a hand of friendship to those we visited, living by the creed ‘ We listen, we share, we hear and we care’. At our height, more than 60 volunteers were active in undertaking visits across the parish. The society also organised parish retreats at advent and lent and arranged an annual Knock holiday pilgrimage for parishioners.
As more people engage the services of professional home carers and helpers, we have been seeing less and less demand for a Simon of Cyrene visitor and so we have reluctantly decided to cease operations. As Ecclesiastes says ‘to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven’. We are blessed that the spirit of community that moved Fr Loftus to establish Simon of Cyrene remains strong in our parish, as we have seen during the current pandemic when so many people reached out to support and help our older parishioners and those living alone.
We would like to thank all our volunteers, past and present, who brought happiness and comfort to the people they visited, forming friendships that lasted many years. We remember in our prayers our Simon friends and volunteers who have gone before us to their eternal reward.
The society’s remaining funds of €4,537.94 have been donated to the parish church.
Simon of Cyrene Committee