Friday, 3 June 2011

New Shoots in Multyfarnham

President McAleese and Fr Caoimhin at Multyfarnham
 Two weeks ago President McAleese opened the LARCC Centre at the Franciscan Abbey Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath.  Those involved with the Lakelands Area Retreat and Cancer Centre (LARCC) were delighted to relocated to the Abbey and make use of a large section of the old building that once was a boarding school, and later an agricultural college for a period.

The centre will be used to provide support and holistic help for people living with cancer. They and family members can participate in courses, obtain information and experience complementary therapies. Unique to LARCC is its residential Take a Break Week. The five days take the clients on a personal journey of relaxation, reflection and recovery guided by skilled therapists, nurses and counsellors. 

The friars have been in 'Multy' a long, long time - since 1268 in fact. Today four friars form the community, and still serve the local people in a variety of ways. The ancient church has been beautifully restored and the grounds are a peaceful haven.

Down through the centuries the Abbey has witnessed much, including during the times of Persecuti0n, the marytrdom of friars and the sacking and burning of the church three times.

It is wonderful to see another dimension of its long story emerging, something that would not have been thought of in the past - Franciscans sharing their space with others in the grace-filled work of support and healing.

Like an age-0ld oak, Multy is putting out a fresh green shoot!