'Candle of Hope' initiative aims to offer comfort
A former principal of a Derry school has come up with an idea to bring comfort to people during the coronavirus crisis.
Kathleen O'Hare, a former principal at St Cecilia's College, started the 'Candle of Hope 2020' Facebook page for people to share photos of their holy candles and prayers.
"This group was set up just as we face a real challenge to the world we live in and a threat to all we hold dear," explained Ms O'Hare.
"Every day we are faced with terrible news on a global scale.
"At such a time we need hope and we need to be able to spread hope in a simple way."
The group asks its members to light a candle each night between 7pm and 8pm as a 'symbol of hope'.
"As you blow out our candles each night may you give thanks for the gift of this day," explained Mrs O'Hare, who decided to set up the group after a neighbour suggested she put a candle in her window.
"No one knows what a new day may bring, but we have the hope of tomorrow and the light of hope in our hearts.
"It's the members who make up the group who keep each other going.
"I look out the window and see the candle in my neighbours window. It is a source of strength and well as a symbol of hope, and I think we will need it more and more over the coming weeks."
The group has attracted members from across the globe as far afield as Taiwan, Buenos Aires and Australia
"The site is for people of all faiths and none, although most are Christian," said Mrs O'Hare.
"I never thought it would have so many followers.
"We are just happy to be able to support one another and for people to see our light through the window or online."
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