After a highly successful third annual ‘Friendship Walk’ in honour of Roscrea’s patron Saint, the organising committee recently launched a special logo depicting images associated with St. Cronan.
This will be used in association with all future activities organized by the committee. The logo was designed by Sarah Kennedy from Dunkerrin and sponsored by Roscrea Credit Union.
While various landmarks around the town are named after St. Cronan, for many years nothing was done to mark his feast day which falls on April 28th. In 2010, a committee was formed which is now comprised of Joan Murray, Chairperson, Adrian Hewson, Deputy Chairperson, Peg Caverley, Margaret Ryan and Andrew Walsh, and it was initially decided to undertake an ecumenical friendship walk around town and to stop at local landmarks for short prayer services. This year’s occasion had many significant highlights including the presence of the Eucharistic Congress Bell which was flanned by local Scouts and the Civil Defence, while welcome visitors included choir members from St. Cronan’s Parish, Brackenstown (near Swords), Dublin with their Parish Priest and the entire walk was filmed by R.T.E. Nationwide to be shown on Friday, 8th June.
This year’s theme was ‘Roscrea People’, remembering individuals who contributed to the life of the community in the tradition of St. Cronan. Beginning at the recently restored Sacred Heart Convent Cemetery where the role of the Sisters in the life of the community was recognized, the walk then proceeded to the Dean Maxwell Community Nursing Unit to acknowledge the contribution of those who have the experience of age to community life. At Roscrea Castle Garden, the birthplace of Irish-French literary scholar Anthony Hamilton the cultural life of the town was recognized. As Junior Comhaltas played under the shadow of the castle walls, in the garden specially designed souvenir bookmarks were blessed and images of the Book of Dimma were presented to representatives of the local denominations within the town. Histories of the three local churches were presented to the Parish Priest of Brackenstown and in turn he organized for the presentation of the history of his St. Cronan’s Church. The final stop was St. Cronan’s Church, Church St., the site of St. Cronan’s last monastery and possible burial place. There a rowan tree was planted in the grounds by the local church leaders to mark the bicentenary of the present church building. History was then made as the Eucharistic bell was welcomed into St. Cronan’s Church (of Ireland) for a short Service with a local flavour. Following an address of welcome by the Rev. Lesley Robinson, Dom Laurence Walsh ocso read his specially composed poem ‘Cronan, Roscrea’s Best’, while Adrian Hewson read a collect which he had written for St. Cronan’s Day, and then all joined in singing a hymn, with a verse appropriate to St. Cronan written by Rev. Robinson, while Joan Murray was the organist. Following the service refreshments were served in the Methodist Church Hall.
In keeping with the call of the bell, the bells of both St. Cronan’s Church Abbey St. and Church St. rang out as the walk passed through its grounds, while on arrival in Church Street, the bells of St. Cronan’s Church there rang out their welcome. For those interested in local culture and history, and for those who foster good community and inter-church relations, Sunday, 6th May, 2012 was a memorable and historical day in Roscrea.