The Creeslough community will carry and support each other through a terrible grief and sadness beyond words, Fr John Joe Duffy told parishioners this Saturday morning.
Friday’s tragic explosion at the Applegreen Service Station has broken the heart of the community, with seven people confirmed dead, eight injured and more unaccounted for.
“As a family, we will help each other through these hours and days and weeks that lie ahead,” Father John Joe Duffy told a special Mass at St. Michael’s Church.
Fr Duffy, offering the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, reminded the congregation Mary was a mother who lost her child, and that Mary and God are with them during this tragedy. “God will support us and God will help up and we will help each other, we will link each with other, we will carry each other God is carrying us and so too Mary.”
On the chapel altar lay prayers donated by young students from Dublin who are on a retreat in nearby Ards.
“We are defined by community,” Fr Duffy said. “Our community has been a great source of support and strength to those who have been directly impacted by the terrible tragedy that took place yesterday.”
Special prayers were offered to the bereaved, to the injured, to the emergency service workers and to those in hospital undergoing procedures today. The congregation prayed for those who are still awaiting news and for those around the world who are connected to Creeslough.
“It is with each other’s support that we will reach out to those who are directly impacted upon, it is with that support that we will chart our way through what is the tsunami of grief that is hitting us at this time,” Fr Duffy said.
He invited people to turn to God to carry them and to help them through these difficult hours and days that lie ahead.
As the Mass concluded, the children of the community were invited to pray the Our Father.
With the search and recovery operation continuing at the scene, counselling and support services are being offered for all in the community. Scoil Mhuire and Dr Stewart’s practice are open for support.
Fr Duffy has urged people who need help to avail of the local services.