18th May, 8pm: Solid Joys, Lasting treasure. A Tribute to Canon Liz McElhinney in Roscommon.
A very special celebratory evening is being organised in recognition of the life and ministry of Canon Liz McElhinney. Very many of our lives were touched by Liz during her life and so the evening is for the whole Diocese and friends.
The evening has been planned for Friday May 18that 8 pm. It will be held in the Kilbride Community Centre, Fourmile House, Roscommon (3 miles from Roscommon on the Boyle Road).
The event will feature readings from a selection of Liz’s inspirational poems by the internationally acclaimed actor Ian McElhinney. In addition there will be musical contributions from the All-Ireland award winning Mercy Convent School Choir, Roscommon, the local cross-community CórComáin, soloist Nicola Brown and traditional music group led by Revd. Sean Hanily, a Roscommon man now serving in Dublin. Our former Bishop, Ken Clarke, and a close friend of the McElhinneys, will compere the evening. Accompanist for event will be Carl McCambley, Musical Director of Shankill Parish, Lurgan.
Liz was widely known and greatly loved across the Diocese having grown up in it and ministered in three different parishes in the Diocese. Many of the older members of our Diocese remember Liz’s father, Canon Maguire who also was Rector of Roscommon and of Edgeworthstown. Liz’s first parish was Calry Parish in Sligo and while Rector there she was also Chaplain and RE teacher in Sligo Grammar School. Following retirement Liz spent three years ministering fortnightly in the Kildrumferton Group in Cavan before returning to Roscommon as Priest -in-charge.
It was while Liz was in Roscommon that she was diagnosed in May 2015 with MND (Motor Neurone Disease). Following her return to Lurgan she chose to focus her creative abilities on writing reflective and inspirational poems over a period of 15 months. These poems are a testimony to Liz’s ever deepening faith and attest to her love of God, of people and of nature. They form a core part of the concert. Twenty of them have been gathered together as a printed collection entitled Solid Joys Lasting Treasure complemented by beautiful illustrations by Liz’s artist son, David. The booklet will be included in the admission charge of €10 for those attending the evening.
The proceeds from the evening will support the work of the Irish Motor Neurone Association in the Republic. At a similar, memorable, evening held in Lurgan in the late autumn £17,000 was raised for the MND Association of Northern Ireland. Extra copies of the booklet anda CD of the collection of the poems, read by Ian McElhinney, will also be on sale on the evening at a reduced rate.
In his preface to the collection, another of Liz’s sons, Revd Stephen McElhinney said: “My mother’s special ability was to notice; she had a unique ability to connect with people but also to notice the world in which she lived, which left her invigorated physically, mentally and spiritually”. The collection title is taken from the well-known 18th century hymn John Newton, “Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken”.
This special legacy evening of a truly remarkable woman is being organised largely by members of the Roscommon Group, incorporating Lanesborough and Ballinloughand under the guidance of Liz’s husband Cyril McElhinney.
This celebratory evening is definitely one not to be missed!