Clerics pulling a festive fast one for charity

By Maria Pepper

Fr Aodhan Marken and Rev Arthur Minion on last year's fast.TOP RIGHT: The going can get mighty tough, as fasters Fr. Jim Fegan and Rev Maria Jansson discovered in the blizzards of 2010.
Fr Aodhan Marken and Rev Arthur Minion on last year's fast.TOP RIGHT: The going can get mighty tough, as fasters Fr. Jim Fegan and Rev Maria Jansson discovered in the blizzards of 2010.
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Wexford clerics Reverend Arthur Minion and Fr. Aodhan Marken are undertaking their annual four-day fundraising fast for charity again this year and will be collecting money outside St. Iberius Church on the Main Street from Wednesday morning, December 21.

The clerical duo will have their last solid meal on Tuesday, December 20 before 6 pm and won't eat again until 6 pm on Christmas Eve other than to consume liquids such as tea or coffee without water, a beaker of soup delivered each day by Westgate Design restaurant and sips of Bovril or Lucozade to maintain their salt and sugar levels.

The fundraising fast started in 1991 by the late Canon Reverend Norman Ruddock has collected thousands upon thousands of Euro for mostly local charities with Reverend Minion and Fr. Aodhan, then on his first fast, raising an astounding €49,200 last year. The annual collection has surpassed €40,000 each year for a number of years.

This year, the beneficiaries will be the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Wexford Women's Refuge, Ozanam House hostel for homeless men and the South East Radiotherapy Trust (SERT).

'We would also like to make a donation to help Syrian refugees,' said Reverend Minion who has been hugely impressed by the generosity of Wexford people since he started doing the fast five years ago with Fr. Jim Fegan who started in 1996. Reverend Minion followed in the footsteps of Reverend Maria Janssen and Reverend Ruddock.

'It's absolutely amazing how much money has been raised. People are extremely generous. Seeing the generosity on the street is probably the most motivating factor. You go home in the evening and you are staggered by the generosity of people. It's what keeps you going. Your heart and mind are in it. You feel a huge responsibility to do it to the best of your ability. It's tough. You do feel the hunger pangs. But it's entirely do-able.'

Wexford People

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