The St Brendan Heritage Group had its first Zoom meeting on 23 March, and it was well attended by existing and new members. It had been such a long time since the group had come together that we decided to re-start our group by doing a mental and physical stocktake. We are all going to see what material, books, brochures, photographs, newspaper clippings and notes we have in order to get a better picture of what we have and also, to identify gaps. It was decided that we will keep in touch via Zoom until we can organise in-person meetings again. We discussed signage and are delighted with the achievements of the Signage group, in particular the erection of the new stone sign at the village entrance which coincided with St Brendan’s feast day on 16th May. As a group, we would like to thank and congratulate everyone involved.
Three events by St Brendan Heritage Group members took place in May to mark St Brendan’s feast day: a webinar for primary school children and two talks in St Brendan’s church, Curraheen.
The webinar on St Brendan the Navigator took place on the 12th May 2021. It was organised by the Education Centre Tralee and facilitated by Claudia Kohler. We are delighted to report that 66 schools, 102 classes and a total of 2063 children participated in the webinar and learnt about St Brendan. Of the 66 schools, 48 were from Kerry and 18 schools were from counties Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Dublin, Kilkenny, Limerick, Mayo, Meath, Tipperary and Waterford. The feedback from teachers was overwhelmingly positive. We were particularly delighted that some of the teachers sent on artwork and short stories which were drawn and written by pupils during and after the webinar.
The other events marking St Brendan’s feast day were short talks by group members Mary O’Brien Browne and Claudia Kohler. In the fortnight leading up to St Brendan’s feast day Paddy Daly, the Parish Pastoral Worker in St. John’s Parish Tralee, got in touch with the group. Paddy was hosting a short Novena to honour St. Brendan in Curraheen Church and as part of the programme he organised a series of short talks on four different themes in relation to St. Brendan. Mary O’Brien Browne spoke on the evening of Wednesday 12th May about St Brendan and what he means to the local community. Claudia Kohler spoke on the evening of Friday 14th May on the life and travels of St Brendan and his connection to Fenit and Kerry.
As a group, we have a long way to go but we all are delighted that Fenit Town Hall provided the much-needed impetus to re-start our work as a group. It has had an energising effect on all of us. We are also delighted to have marked St Brendan’s feast day with three events this year and are hoping to liaise with the Events group looking forward. If anyone would like to get involved in the St Brendan group please contact Claudia at firstname.lastname@example.org. All are welcome to join.
Picture by pupils of Sacred Heart Primary School, Tralee