TWO Irish citizens who died tragically in Queensland this year will be among the holy souls remembered by Irish Catholics in the state next month.
The Irish Australian Support Association of Queensland lends a helping hand to Irish expats in distress.
Oftentimes the Brisbane-based charity steps forward to assist families who hear the tragic news that their loved ones have died in Queensland.
IASAQ secretary Joe Thompson said the charity has often assisted in organising funerals on the family’s behalf and taking the deceased body back to Ireland.
“Sometimes it’s too often,” Mr Thompson said.
This year alone the association has supported the grieving family of two Irish citizens, including a young man who died in an accident travelling back home to Brisbane from New South Wales.
During November, the month dedicated to the Holy Souls in the Church, the charity looks to the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist for extra support.
Three Irish Remembrance Masses will be held across Brisbane and the Gold Coast to pray for the “peaceful report of deceased relatives and friends”.
“Everywhere I suppose in the Church it’s an important month but it was very much so in Ireland as well,” Mr Thompson said.
“It was an important month for people to remember their deceased relatives and friends.
“We have been organising this remembrance Mass now for Irish Australian people to come along and pray for their deceased relatives and friends.”
Mr Thompson said the Masses, which will be held at St James’ Church, Coorparoo on November 6, and Guardian Angels Church, Southport, on November 13, were open to all people.
In 2018 the Irish charity will celebrate 10 years of service to Irish and Irish-Australians.
“Our purpose is to be there for any Irish people, Irish Australian people in any time of need or distress and that could be young irish people, recently arrived backpackers, or people who are going to home residence, elderly people,” Mr Thompson said.
Earlier this year the charity was enlisted by the Irish Embassy to find the grave of an Irishman who fought in the famous Easter Rising in 1916.
Their mission led them to an unmarked grave at Nudgee cemetery.
The charity is now “a few dollars short” of purchasing a headstone and a monument to honour Mr William Ryan for risking his life for his country.
By Emilie Ng