From 2011 edition
By Rev. Christopher Pierce
Even if one is new to our area, it is impossible to miss the majestic Muckish mountain, as it stands there for all to see. When people come to see us it is the best landmark by which to give directions. A few weeks before the climb which was to raise funds for the maintenance of the Cross which sits at the peak of the mountain, one of my parishioners asked me if I had any plans to climb. I then got a phone call from Seamus Harkin asking me if I had any desire to take part. When originally asked I had not even heard that there would be a climb, but I didn’t have to ponder long on the matter as I’d been wanting to see the view from the top since our arrival in late May.
The day of the climb was normal for me. The services at 09:15, 10:30, and 12:00 had gone off without a hitch so when I got home I drove to the starting point. It was quite surprising to see so many people making the climb. In my ignorance I’d assumed there would be 50 or so people taking part, but several hundred actually turned up. The weather was phenomenal, not more than a cloud or two was anywhere to be seen. It was so warm that most were in shirtsleeves, one young lady had even taken her puppy on the ascent.
As we made the climb, I was taken by two things. Thinking of the miners who’d made that arduous trip every day for years and the magnificent God given beauty of those unrestricted views. In our familiarity we might take it for granted but the truth of the matter is that we live in one of the most scenic spots in the entire world. The top of the mountain was far different than what I expected. I had no idea that it was so rock strewn.
As I made my way through the rocks to the Millennium Cross I couldn’t think of a finer statement for a Christian community to make than to see the central symbol of our common faith standing on the most prominent peak for all to see. For the better part of 1,500 years the Cross of Christ has been the symbol of the faith of the people in this region. These days the Church has many more branches than the one at the beginning but all hold to the centrality of the Cross. My prayer is that this symbol of our faith will never be superseded by another’s and that the truth of our Christian faith might rekindle the flickering flame of belief in some to a roaring blaze and bring new light to those who have yet to believe.