Are you a Hoarder?

Are you a hoarder, do you throw away or do you sell on Ebay for someone else to throw away!!
Mary recently decided to put a small advert into our local, Lucan Newsletter looking for wool, thread and any type of needles so that she could bring them to Mzuzu.
Where she works in the Special School in the St John of God Centre, mothers and Grannies bring the Special Ones in the morning and sometimes wait for school to end.
Last year she noticed that they had begun to knit, one teaching the other, often using wool from a worn out woollen garment. As soon as they had knit something they ripped it out and began again; what a waste.
They did it because they had no wool. Caitriona brought a load of wool in June last, thinking she could get knitting needles out there, but no needles to be found.
Knitting has taken off though; hence Mary’s appeal.
Thank God for hoarders. Wool, thread, knitting needles, crochet hooks, buttons, ribbons and other unbelievable ancillary equipment has come from all directions.
And you could write a book about the individual stories (if you could write), the generational transfers, the recalled tearful memories, the joy of knowing that someone else would love the items as much, and they will ten thousand kilometres away.
This is a very real way to help our less well off sisters. It is so much more meaningful than our guilty conscience, sporadic, stab at charity, when the tele shows us some crying child.
You can’t even begin to know the joy of one of these women, when she gets needles and thread of her own. It has the possibility of opening up a whole new world.
Probably a Communion of Saints?


DIT to Malawi, Having a Ball.

One of our DIT students (DIT STudents in Malawi)who heads out for a two week adventure to Wells for Zoe projects in Malawi on March 17, is organising a dinner in Elm Park Golf Club on Friday night next February 22.
If you are free and looking to have an enjoyable night, mail us at and we will put you in contact.
If you would like to make a donation, you can do so at and they will use all of it on a village project.
The DIT adventure now has a Website:
Visit them

Can history repeat itself?

President Bingu wa Mutharika met Catholic Bishops at the New State House to plead with them not to highlight his government’s shortfalls in their Lenten Letter, Nyasa Times has established.

A source at State House said Mutharika met the Bishops on January 28th from 8pm until the wee hours of the morning on January 29th.

“The discussion centered on the Lenten Letter. The President persuaded the Bishops not to tackle issues of poor governance, Section 65 and prolongation of Parliament in their pastoral letter,” said the source.

“Mutharika fears that these issues would seriously damage his credibility if the church voiced its criticism,” he said.

Catholic Secretariat and Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) sources have corroborated that the meeting of Bishops with the Head of State did indeed take place.

During the meeting, which included the head of the Catholic Church in Malawi, His Grace Archbishop Tarscious Ziyaye, Mutharika appealed to them to openly support his arrest crusade against opposition leaders, especially Moslems.

The Malawi Catholic clerics will release their annual Pastoral Letter at the end of the season of Lent, currently underway.

The release is called a Lenten Letter. Catholics were last Wednesday marked with ashes on their foreheads to draw them into forty days of intense spiritual work, as they prepare for the great Feast of Easter.

Mutharika was tipped that the Catholic Bishops had drafted a strongly worded letter reminiscent of the one, which challenged the prevailing culture of silence during the one-party dictatorship of Dr. Kamuzu Banda.

In the historical “Living Our Faith,” pastoral letter of 1992, the bishops reproached the Banda regime for its authoritarianism and lack of representative democracy; not as biased proponents of specific political groups but rather as champions of accountability, respect for human rights and human dignity.

“After a tip-off, Mutharika contacted his long-time pal, Bishop Felix Mkhori, to arrange an audience with all Catholic Bishops,” said a government official who helped in arranging the meeting.

The Presidential loose committee, which approached the Catholic Bishops, included Catholic ministers Henry Phoya of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, and Clement Khembo of Persons with Disabilities.

Information Minister Patricia Kaliati, a Catholic, and ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) publicity secretary and aide to President on “national unity”, Nicholas Dausi, who is also a Catholic, were in the committee to strategize on wooing the Bishops to State House.

The Bishops agreed to sweep under the mat the issues that would expose Mutharika’s ills and pledged their support to the President as “a member of the church”.

Mutharika is a Roman Catholic who joined the church in 2003 because of politics in order to gain support from the huge Catholic community in the country.

However, an official at the Catholic secretariat said the Bishops are not supposed to play politics with the Lenten letter.

“The Church is supposed to promote Lent as a way of strengthening personal ties with God and grappling with social problems harming human dignity. Therefore, the Bishops should not be stampeded by political threats or otherwise abdicate

their role of listing social issues for Lantern action,” said an official.

He said the Bishops would do better to pacify the political problems in the country by emphasizing the link between Lent and the sacrament of reconciliation.

Another Catholic priest said President Mutharika, as a Catholic, should have taken advantage of this Lent period to be “nourished with the Body and Blood of Christ”.

“Mutharika as a Catholic should begin renouncing his sins and renewing his profession of faith. Easter is the great feast of the Resurrection,” said the priest who could not be named.

At a meeting in the Capital, Lilongwe in mid-January senior members of the church are reportedly to have resolved to support Mutharika in the 2009 polls because he is a Catholic.

However, a priestly secretary in the office of the Archdiocese of Blantyre said the bishops and some clerics moves, in dragging the church into partisan politics and siding with Mutharika and his ruling DPP, is regrettable.

“We urge our bishops to remain apolitical, neutral and proclaim the truth as was encouraged by the head of the church, Pope Benedict XVI when he met them in 2006.”

The priest said the bishops should give attention to proclaiming social and moral evils afflicting the nation other than taking political sides.

The bishops, on September 29, 2006, met with Pope Benedict when they were making their “ad limina” visits to the Vatican.

During the meeting they were encouraged to “proclaim the truth” about social and moral ills, including the spread of HIV/Aids, human trafficking and agricultural injustice and not backing political agenda.

“Never cease to proclaim the truth, and insist on it, in season and out of season … because the truth will set you free,” the priest quoted what Pope Benedict told the Malawi bishops.

Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) blamed the Catholic bishops for “hypocrisy”.

“When government is breaching the law in this country, the Catholic Bishops never say anything. This smacks of hypocrisy on the part of the church in this country and their ideas are jaundiced,” Ishmael Chafukila, MCP spokesperson for parliamentary affairs, told Daily Times tabloid.

His Grace, Archbishop Ziyaye could not immediately comment on the matter.

Just a little notice I found

McCabes @ The Gables
Wine Tastings, Dinner, Quiz, Raffle….
ALL proceeds to this year’s chosen charity
As McCabes Wines and our Suppliers donate all wines, food etc, ALL monies raised on the night (including Ticket) is donated to our Chosen Charity
FULL DETAILS to follow

Copied from:

Womens Mini Marathon

At the moment 31 brave ladies have offered to venture on this gruelling trip to support Wells for Zoe projects in Malawi.
If you can help you can contact us at You will be supporting some of the poorest but most spirited women on the globe.



Please Note – this Event is strictly for FEMALES ONLY – MALES ARE NOT ALLOWED

Date/Time: Bank Holiday Monday, 2nd June 2008 at 3.00pm.

Distance: 10K.

Start: Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2.

Finish: St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.

First Entry Form: The first Entry Form will be in the Evening Herald on Thursday 28th February 2008.

Closing Date: 22nd April 2008 or when maximum number of entries is reached.

Age Limit: Participants must be at least 14 on Mini Marathon Day.

Entry Process: All participants must enter either on the official Entry Form which will appear in the Evening Herald every Thursday and Saturday from Thursday 28th February 2008 or online at from 29th February 2008.

Lough Ness Challenge: Wells for Zoe

Found this on my travels. What an amazing crew!!
Howdy folks,

Here’s the info so far on the Nessie Challenge. Have a read and if you are feeling crazy, send us a reply swearing an oath to accept the Nessie Challenge come what may!

The bare facts:

We plan to swim Loch Ness on Sat the 12th of July, Flying out on Friday, coming back on Sunday. We aim to raise money for 2 charities, 1/2 for Wells for Zoe ( and 1/2 for something closer to home, suggestions are very welcome.

Basically 100% of the money we raise will go directly to the charities and we will fund the trip ourselves. We are aiming to make the cost of the trip to the swimmers/monster-wrestlers as cheap as possible; hopefully the charity+group element will assist us here. A guestimate now is under €200 travel/accom/Nessie Museum etc.

I’m hoping to get a deal on flights from Aer Arann (currently return is about €90). If you know anybody working there please send me on contact details and any embarrassing secrets of theirs ASAP.

Swim info:

  • Loch Ness is 23 miles long (about the distance of the English Channel) and 1 mile(1.6kms) across. This year we plan to swim across.
  • Water temperature in mid July will be about 10-13 degrees (think the 40 foot in end of May/June) but cooler in the middle of the Loch.
  • Triathalon wetsuits are optional. They will help keep you warm and provide some buoyancy, I will arrange a discount for anyone who wants to buy one. Otherwise, you can brave it in speedos, long distance sea swimmers often rub goose fat on themselves for insulation, again this at your own discretion, it is rumoured Nessie eats Geese.
  • Myself and Simo will put together a training schedule which will involve 3/4 swims a week. Starting in May and building to 2kms in the month prior to the event. Following the programme is the key to success, once you have completed all the swims set out in the programme you are 75% there.
  • Pre-training before May is a big help as you will start the programme strongly and will be less susceptible to injury, again we will provide pre-training suggestions.
  • We will have safety boats accompanying us on the day.
  • There will be Hot Scotch, Haggis and a bagpipe player playing “Scotland The Brave” awaiting us at the far side.

Loch Ness info:

  • There is more water in Loch Ness than all the other lakes in England, Scotland and Wales put together.
  • Untill the 1980s it was believed the loch was 750 feet deep, however depths as low as 812 feet have been stumbled upon and it is suggested there could be caves at these dark unexplored depths.
  • We will be swimming directly over these dark unexplored cavernous depths.
  •  The first symptoms of hypothermia are confusion, sleepiness and lack of coordination.
  • In December 1954 a strange sonar contact was made by the fishing boat *Rival III*. The vessel’s crew observed sonar readings of a large object keeping pace with the boat at a depth of 480 feet (146 m). It was detected travelling for half a mile (800 m) in this manner, before contact was lost.
  • Between 1968 and 1972 there were 8 separate sonar contacts with “something” in the Loch
  • There have been 3,000 reported “Nessie” sightings since 1871.

The distance is achievable by a anybody who puts the training in. The cold will be a factor but again the training will prepare us for this. The
pre-historic monster lurking in the depths? You dont really believe that? Do you???

So, the big question is: *Are You Up 4 the Loch Ness Challenge????* (the oath may be in your own words)

Hopefully we have included everybody who expressed an interest in this mail. If any of your pals are interested and not mailed ask them to e-mail me and I will include them in all future mails.

Play Safe now,

Simon “The Torpedo” Torpay

The 40 Foot Walruses Sea-Swimming Club

DIT student volunteers

DIT in Malawi

To day’s pic comes from Dublin and shows a group of third level students from the Dublin Institute of Technology , who travel to Mzuzu on March 17 for two weeks. They are pictured outside the DIT College on Aungier St.,
I keep repeating myself, young people are wonderful. They will be involved in all the projects and as they say, watch this space, to see what they get up to.
Mary and myself met with them at lunchtime and they have so many ideas and are going with such a positive attitude that Malawi will never be the same again and, of course, neither will they. We are looking forward to working with them, knowing the difference their presence will make to so many lives.

+ve vibes from this group of young people, i will follow their journey with great interest. Lovely image.~ BB

What a lovely group of young people.All the best for Malawi.nice happy blip.~ Jakey

They look like a great bunch. Hope we’ll be seeing more of them.~ G

Good Luck to them all. They look a great group of people. ~ sungsam

DIT Students in Malawi website is: