Page 23 - Support Magazine Summer 2017
P. 23

Mass at Knock Shrine






              here was a congregation of over  Matthew McNeive                  donors and their families, not just
              2000 at a special Mass at Knock                                   those who gave my son the chance of
              Shrine held on Sunday April 2nd                                   a wonderful life, but all families whose
              to mark Organ Donor                                               generous, selfless and compassionate
        TAwareness Week 2017. The                                               decisions have given the ‘gift of life’ to
        inaugural Service was a celebration for                                 people – people that they will never
        organ donors and transplant                                             know.
        recipients. The Mass, celebrated by Fr.                                   “I also applaud and express sincere
        Richard Gibbons, Parish Priest of the                                   appreciation to all living organ donors
        Marion Shrine Knock, was held in the  Championships in Vantaa, Finland last  and their families for their selflessness
        newly refurbished Basilica.         summer. He was recently             in donating to family and friends,
           The moving ceremony garnered a   acknowledged as one of 20 finalists at  when their health required an organ
        mixture of sadness and joy as well as  the Pramerica Spirit of the Community  transplant.
        gratitude and hope. It included a   Awards at a ceremony in Dublin for his  Today we pray for them, we pray
        symbolic offertory procession with  commitment to organ donor           with them and we pray to them and
        transplant recipients and members of  awareness. As part of the offertory  for as long as we live, we will
        deceased organ donor families, as well  procession at the Mass, Matthew  remember their goodness, generosity
        as personal testimony and distribution  brought the silverware award he  and compassion to us. And every day
        of purple ribbons in memory of all  received, as Connacht Telegraph Male  we live, we will thank God and Our
        deceased donors.                    Sportsperson of the Year 2016, to the  Lady of Knock for the opportunity that
           The chief organiser of this event  altar.                            all donors – living and deceased – give
        was Monica Morley from the Family     At the Mass, Bernadette McNeive   to help strangers to live full and
        Life Centre in Knock and the concept  gave a moving account of how life for  satisfying lives.
        came from local woman, Bernadette   her family had been affected, initially  “I came that you may have life and
        McNeive, whose son Matthew          by Matthew’s kidney failure and how  have it to the full” Jesus said. That’s
        underwent a kidney transplant at the  that improved following his kidney  what Matthew and several other
        young age of eleven. Matthew (18) is  transplant and their profound     recipients can now aspire to doing.”
        now an accomplished sportsman and   gratitude to the family of Matthew’s  The organisers of the Mass at Knock
        member of Transplant Team Ireland as  deceased donor.                   Shrine hope that it will become an
        he enjoyed success in the European    Bernadette said, “today at this   annual event as part of Organ Donor
        Transplant & Dialysis Sports        Mass, I want to remember all deceased  Awareness Week.
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