Five Offaly priests to "take leap of faith"Sunday, May 20th, 2012
Five priests from County Offaly are to take a “leap of faith” with parachutes out of a plane this weekend in aid of County Offaly Hospice.
Speaking this week to CiNews, event organiser and Banagher curate Fr Pierre Pepper said, “I’m afraid of flying let alone parachute jumping, but I'm determined to do it. The other priests, they're not nervous because all of them have gone parachute jumping, some of them bungee jumping, some have even gone paragliding so they're all adrenaline junkies. I'll have to practice flying first before I go jumping,” he joked.
Fr Pierre said that the initial idea for the jump came from one of his parishioners, Matt Woods who is heavily involved in parachute jumping.
Fr Pepper confirmed that he will be accompanied on the jump by Fr Shane Crombie who is currently a curate in Tullamore, Fr Pat Gilbert who is a chaplain in Saint Brendan's Community college in Birr, Fr Kevin Heary who is a curate in Navan in County Meath and Fr Charlie Healy who is a curate in Athlone in County Westmeath.
He added that all the priests are looking forward to the day and will all be involved in Sunday Mass before they take part in the event which they have called the “leap of faith.”
Fr Pierre also confirmed that the priests hoped to raise €5,000 in the venture but this amount could go much higher when all the monies are counted next week because more people than expected have pledged money to the cause.
He also added that because many people in his own area have been touched by cancer and the fact that the Hospice in County Offaly, “does such great work and has such great calls on their resources,” was the main reason why the priests chose the Hospice as their chosen charity.
The jump takes place at Birr Airfield in County Offaly today, Sunday May 20h at 2 o’clock.
by Sean Ryan