December-January 2022/23: Editorial

God With Us


  The dreadful tragedy of Creeslough leaves bereaved families facing a lonely Christmas this year and for many Christmases to come. The great light in the darkness of the disaster was the shining goodness that radiated from so many people around the country and across the world as they responded with generosity and empathy to those who suffered trauma and loss in the explosion. Many both within and outside the devastated community were comforted and inspired by the steadfast presence of Fr John Joe Duffy, Bishop Alan McGuckian and President Michael D. Higgins. Day by day they stood by the wounded families and community and joined them in painful journeys to the church and cemetery. There were few words that could comfort but they were with them. There is a power in presence that helps us beyond and without words.

     When an angel of the Lord visited a troubled Joseph pondering Mary’s news of her pregnancy (Mt 1:18-23) the angel reminded Joseph of how at another time a confused and fearful man, a king, had been promised a sign – the birth of a child named Immanuel – God with us. For the Creeslough families and community and for all who have suffered loss and bereavement the promise remains the same. In our confusions and fears – and there is much to make us confused and fearful in our times – God is with us. May we too be there for one another this Christmas.


Paul Clayton-Lea 

Note from Editor: At the time of going to print we were notified of the death of Dom Placid Murray OSB, Glenstal Abbey, on 31 October 2022. We will feature an obituary in the February 2023 issue. May he rest in peace.