Fermanagh tributes to former Pope Benedict XVI

FORMER Pope Benedict XVI will be remembered in a number of ways this week after his death on New Year’s Eve at the age of 95.
In a Facebook post, Newtownbutler-born priest Fr Gary Donegan recalled meeting Pope Benedict with his parents.
“On the 3rd June, 2007, my parents Christina and Michael, and I, presented the gifts at the Canonisation Mass of St Charles of Mount Argus [in Rome],” Fr Donegan explained.
“Some may remember as my mother attempted to rise from her knees Pope Benedict, breaking from the norm, got up from his seat and assisted her by the hands [in] a spontaneous act of kindness to a mother.
“I watched as the countenance of his face transformed into a wonderful smile. I was taken aback and touched by this gesture.
“May he rest in peace.”
Bishop of Clogher, the Rev Larry Duffy, announced he will lead Evening Prayer from the Office for the Dead for the repose of his soul this evening (Wednesday, January 4) at 7pm in St Joseph’s Church, Park Street, Monaghan.
“This will be a diocesan occasion of prayer for the repose of the Pope Emeritus, with each parish and religious community having a representative in attendance,” a Diocese of Clogher statement read.
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council also noted with sadness his death and opened an online book of condolence.
The Council Chairman Barry McElduff said: “As Chairman of the Council, I have opened a Book of Condolence to facilitate those residents who wish to express their sympathy and thoughts on the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
“His passing will be keenly felt by very many people in our Council District, indeed throughout Ireland and the world over.”
The online book of condolence is open on the Council’s website,, until Monday, January 16.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people are expected to pay their respects to former Pope Benedict XVI at his lying in state in the Vatican this week.
Pope Francis will preside over Thursday’s funeral – the first time a Pope will be buried by his successor and almost a decade after he stood down because of ill health.
Benedict XVI was 85 when in February 2013 he surprised Catholics around the world with his decision to step down, less than eight years after he had been elected Pope as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

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