Friday, January 23, 2015

2nd Sunday of Christmas. 4th January 2015

Happy New Year
All at St. Patrick’s Parish join in wishing everybody in the parish a very happy, holy and prosperous 2015.  We use the words of Pope Francis as he greeted people on New Year’s Eve: At the end of a year, like at the end of life, the Pope said, the church teaches its members to make an examination of conscience, “remembering all that happened, thanking the Lord for all the good we received and were able to do and, at the same time, remembering where we were lacking and our sins. Give thanks and ask forgiveness.  The end of one calendar year and the beginning of another is the perfect occasion to reflect on how well people have used the time and gifts God has given them - especially how well people have helped the poor, Pope Francis said
 
The Epiphany of the Lord
Tuesday is the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord.  In Irish tradition, it is also called Little Christmas or Women’s Christmas. The Wise Men came from the East to adore the Son of God. The Saviour was made known to the Gentiles in the persons of the Wise Men who were led to Bethlehem by a star. They knew that a King was born. They bowed to the ground in adoration and offered Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  These indicated that he had human nature, and that he was God and King.
This feast concludes the season of Christmas. Let us thank God for all the graces bestowed on us during this holy time.  Praise be to God. Be with us Lord during the month of January. Amen.

Arrangements for Mass
Tuesday is a holy day of obligation.  Mass for the feastday will be celebrated at St. Fiacre’s Church at 6.15pm on Monday and 10.30am and 12.00 noon on Tuesday.  Mass in St. Patrick’s Church will be at 7.00pm on Monday and 9.30am, 11.00am and 12.30pm on Tuesday.  Mass at Foulkstown will be at 10.00am on Tuesday morning.
On other days this week our public Masses will be at the usual times.

What Do We Learn from this Feast?
The Epiphany tells the story of the wise ones, astrologers and stargazers. The Western Christian Church has assigned them the names Melchior (Babylonian scholar), Caspar (Persian scholar) and Balthazar (an Arab scholar). Their gifts gold, frankincense and myrrh have symbolic significance in light of the identity of the baby to whom they are given. These Epiphany gifts may speak to us at the beginning of this New Year.
Gold: has great value and is a symbol of kingship on earth. Our gold may need refining before its true worth can be appreciated. We may overlook the gold in others because we do not look with care or because we assume none is present.
Frankincense: is the resin from a tree; part of its life force. Incense is the symbol of prayer. The gift of incense calls us to prayer to bring fragrance to the world through our movement and through savouring.
Myrrh: is also a gift of the earth. As a perfume it was common anointing oil associated with death and burial. The gift of myrrh reminds us that life is fragile, that our death whenever it comes is a transformation. “...life is changed, not taken away,” as Paul reminds us.
“...We saw the rising of the star- we have come searching...”  To see the rising of the star means to be watchful. When did we last look up at a starry sky?  It is like a great prayer book that is always open, revealing night after night the glory of God.

Back to Normal
The Parish Office is open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9.00am until 4.00pm. Baptismal certificates, wedding bookings and anniversary bookings can be made though the Office.
The Parish Centre is open from Monday.  Bookings and enquiries to Mr Ted Byrne on 056 776 4400.


Monthly Rosary
The monthly rosary at the Statue of Our Lady of Kilkenny, James Green continues on this Sunday at 3.00pm.


Pray For Our Deceased Friends
Recently Deceased: Loretta Barr, Baunlusk. Henry Murray, Assumption Place. Liam Jennings, McDonagh Street.  Liam Shortall, Fatima Place.  Funeral Mass Monday, at 10.30 in St. John’s Church.  Interment afterwards in St. Kieran’s  Cemetery.
Months Mind: Sr. Joanne Holohan (Sat 7.00). Henry Spain (Sun 10.30).
Anniversaries: Maura Molloy (Sat 6.15). Fred Lee (Sun 9.30). Josephine & Paddy McGrath (Sun 10.00).  Sean Devane (Sun 11.00). Michael Kennedy (Sun 12.00). Henrietta Hyland (Sun 12.30).  Anne Wright & Annie Treacy (Mon 7.00pm). Tommy, Mary & Thomas Drohan. (Tues 9.30).  Peg Larkin (Tues 10.30). Geraldine Cody (Tues 12.00). Jim & Rose Magner (Thurs 10.30). Teresa Walsh (Fri 10.30).  Denis O’Shea. James & Annie O’Grady.  John Walsh.
Intentions for Next Weekend: Anastatia & Billy Hickey (Sat 6.15). Teresa Holden (Sat 7.00). Mary Reynolds (Sun 9.30). Beattie O’Connell (Sun 10.00). Seamus  Loughman (Months Mind Sun 10.30). Sean O’Dwyer (Sun 11.00). Michael Phelan & Bridget Lannon (Sun 12.00). Bridget & Christopher Lawlor (Sun 12.30).


First Friday Visits
Frs. Dan and Liam will be making their calls on the this Friday, 9th January.  Fr. Roderick will attend as arranged with those he visits regularly.


Blessed Edmund Rice
The monthly Mass to pray for the blessing of Blessed Edmund Rice and for his canonisation will take place in Westcourt on Monday, 12th January at 7.30pm. All are welcome.  Note the change of date.


Adoration in St. Patrick’s Church
Due to a shortage of committed adorers it has been decided to discontinue the Friday Adoration in St. Patrick’s Church and to concentrate on the Monday Adoration in St. Fiacre’s Church instead.
We would like to say thank you very much to all who came to adore Jesus in the Eucharist whether you were a regular adorer or you came when you could.  We would appreciate if you could continue adoration from now on in St. Fiacre’s Church on Mondays at a time that is convenient between 11.00am and 9.00pm.  All are welcome.

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
We invite those families who had a child baptised in our parish during 2014 to bring their child to 10.30am Mass on next Sunday, 11th January 2015.  As a community we will praise God for the gift of those 142 children and give thanks to Him for the gift of our baptismal faith.
Many of us dipped the fingers of our right hands into the holy water font and blessed ourselves as we came to church today.  Some of us did something similar as we left home. Why? This blessing with holy water reminds us of our Baptism.  And so when I bless myself with holy water, I should be thinking of the fact that I am a child of God; that I have been redeemed by the Cross of Christ; that I have been made a member of God’s family and that I have been washed, forgiven, cleansed in the waters of Baptism.  Speaking in Rome on New Year’s Day Pope Francis said: “Through baptism we were introduced into communion with God, and we are no longer at the mercy of evil and sin; rather, we receive the love, tenderness and mercy of the heavenly Father.”  He then asked: “Who among you remembers the day he was baptized?  Raise your hands.  There are many, but not so, so many.  For those who don’t remember the date of their baptism, I am giving you a homework assignment: look for the date and keep it in your heart!”  The date we were baptized is a day of celebration!  Remember or discover the date of your Baptism; it will be very good to have, in order to thank God for the gift of Baptism.

Parish News on Social Media
This Parish Newsletter is available on our Web and Facebook pages.  Let those away from home know.

Vocations!
There’s no denying that the clergy in Ossory are getting older by the year with the result there are very few spring chickens left!  If I’m not mistaken, there are just five Ossory priests under the age of 50 with the rest varying in age right into their 80s.  What this leaves us with is a crisis soon to happen as many priests retire and vacancies in parishes unable to be filled.  So, at the current rate, what the future holds for many parishes is amalgamations and closure of churches. This slide can only be averted by people here on the ground. There is little use looking to overseas  for priests or religious, and doctrine isn’t going to change anytime soon, therefore vocations must happen from among your family and friends.
We encourage all our faithful to pray for and promote the life of a priest or religious as a worthy and valid vocation for any young person to consider.  There are people out there who, right now feel this calling and a positive word from you can make all the difference.  Perhaps the person needing encouragement and prayer is your son or daughter? Maybe it’s a sibling or a friend? 
Those who wish to discuss a vocation to priesthood or religious life, can contact any of the priests of the parish or our Diocesan Director of Vocations, Fr. Willie Purcell.  Details  of contact are on our Ossory website.
   
Tax Rebate Scheme
As we come to the end of the year we are looking again at the tax rebate scheme from which St. Patrick’s Parish has benefited enormously, thanks to the co-operation and generosity of so many of our parishioners and families.
Throughout the scheme, our parish has benefited greatly, at no extra cost to you, from the tax you have already paid. Tax paid by you can remain with the Revenue Commissioners or it can be reclaimed by way of refund to any eligible charity including St. Patrick’s Parish. This scheme has made a huge difference to our parish finances and repayments.
If you are not part of it you might contact the Parish Office in the days ahead: 056 776 4400.  Thank you.



The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary & Joseph. 28th December 2014





The Feast of the Holy Family
The feast of the Most Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is celebrated on this Sunday.  The Holy Family is seen as the model for the human family, the religious community and the Church itself.


Every Family A Holy Family
The good news about Pope Francis is that he loves people, especially people who find life difficult. We all have seen him on television, reaching out to the little ones and to older people, who have an illness or a disability of some kind. In recent months, he has shown a special concern for married people and, noting that while marriage is a noble vocation, it is not always an easy one. 
Every month of the year, the Holy Father gives us two intentions for which he asks our prayers. One of these intentions would refer to the church in some country, where Christians may be suffering persecution perhaps, and the other might be more general. This month of December 2014 we are asked to pray for married couples, as follows “That parents be true evangelisers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith”. 
Pope Francs is strong on the importance of prayer in the home. Morning prayer and evening prayer, including the Rosary, are all important. Remember Fr. Patrick Peyton’s call to prayer in the family: “The family that prays together stays together”. Sunday Eucharist is important. How inspiring it is to see father and mother and children coming to church on Sunday morning or on Saturday evening. We are often told that the family is the church in miniature, where prayers are offered and where prayer and forgiveness are part of everyday life.
Our Holy Father speaks of “protecting people, showing loving concerns for each and every person, especially the children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about”. He emphasises the importance of the family: “husbands and wives first protect one another, and then, as parents, they care for their children and children themselves, in time, protect their parents”.  Pope Francis also explains the importance of caring for society by “building sincere friendships in which we protect one another in trust, respect and goodness”.
The Coming Week in Our Parish
For the coming week, Monday to Saturday, the daily public Mass in our parish will be at 11.00am in St. Patrick’s Church: we will NOT have a 9.30am or 10.30am Mass. Please also note that, on account of many being away, there will be NO exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Monday in St. Fiacre’s Church or on Friday in St. Patrick’s Church.  If there is not enough people to maintain a constant vigil we cannot risk leaving the Blessed Sacrament exposed.


Pray For Our Deceased Friends
Recently Deceased: Mary Cantwell, Sion Road. Requiem Mass in St. Mary’s Cathedral at 11.00am on Sunday.  Mai Loftus, Archersrath Nursing Home and formerly Dalkey, Co. Dublin.  Requiem Mass at Dunmore Church at 12.00 noon on Monday. Josephine Foley, Leggettsrath Farm.  Michael Fahey, Fr. Albert Place. Shane Drennan, St. Teresa’s Terrace.
Anniversaries: Michael Kenny & John Condon (Sat 6.15). Jimmy King (Sat 7.00). Martin McCorry (Sun 9.30). Vera Phelan (Sun 10.00). Ed Crowley (Sun 10.30). Roseanna Smyth (Sun 12.00). Eddie Taylor (Sun 12.30).  Josephine & Paddy McGrath. Bill Esmonde. Nora Bartholomew. Ned & Kitty Everard. Ted Carroll. Kevin & Evelyn Hughes. May Campbell. Jimmy Coyne. Jack, Peg & Breda Molloy. Martin & Peg Browne. Martin, Mary & Brendan Doheny. Fr. Martin Cleere.  Mgr. Paul Fitzgerald. Sean & Michael Bolger. Kitty Coogan. Nancy Ronan,  Tommy Drohan, Mary (Goosey) Drohan, Thomas Drohan. Paddy Doyle. Kathleen & Martin Cawley. Dianne, Kathleen &Winnie Keenan
Intentions for Next Weekend: Maura Molloy (Sat 6.15).  Sr. Joanne Holohan (Months Mind 7.00). Fred Lee (Sun 9.30). Josephine & Paddy McGrath (Sun 10.00). Henry Spain (Months Mind 10.30). Sean Devane (Sun 11.00). Michael Kennedy (Sun 12.00).  Henrietta Hyland (Sun 12.30).


Parish Calendar
The St. Patrick’s Parish calendar for 2015 is available in our churches.  It contains many important details about our parish as well as upcoming important dates.  Feel free to take a copy or two!


First Friday Visits
Next Friday, 2nd January, is the First Friday of the month and we ask people to take careful note: Frs. Dan and Liam will be making their calls on the following Friday, 9th January.  Fr. Roderick will attend as arranged with those he visits regularly.

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
We invite those families who had a child baptised in our parish churches during 2014 to bring their child to 10.30am Mass on Sunday, 11th January 2015.  As a community we will praise God for the gift of our children and give him thanks for the gift of baptismal faith.

A Busy Year in Our Parish
On the one hand, when we look back at 2014, we feel like saying,  ‘Where did the year go?’ It seems to have flown by and now we are about to step into 2015, probably before any of us are ready for it!  And in other ways, 2014 was a busy year that saw a lot of things happen in our parish and a lot of work done.  First off, we were delighted to welcome 142 children into our faith and parish community through the Sacrament of Baptism.  Fifty couples celebrated the Sacrament of Marriage during 2014.  And we were sad to lose 61 parishioners, family and friends who died during 2014.
During the year a lot of maintenance was carried out.  In Foulkstown Cemetery the next section for burials was developed.  The church interior was painted and the wall between the Kilkenny Rugby Club and the Cemetery was rebuilt (The cost  of this rebuild was borne entirely by the parish). The main driveway into the cemetery was resurfaced and the trees were pruned.  Added to this was the remapping of the cemetery and an index of all graves was compiled to make it easier to locate graves in the cemetery. The addition of a new votive candle shrine was also a welcome addition to the church.
Other work such as upgrading of footpaths and maintenance of the cemetery was carried out by the ever-faithful Foulkstown Cemetery Committee and we’re grateful to these hardworking men!
In St. Fiacre’s Church, the interior was re-painted and a new carpet fitted.  Security was upgraded as was the votive candle shrine.
In St. Patrick’s Church, two windows were repaired with their lead and rotting frames replaced.  Also a engineer’s survey was carried out on the condition of the building.
All in all, a busy year, but a lot done and we’re grateful to all whose generosity made this possible.

There is More to Do
As mentioned above a survey was carried out on St. Patrick’s Church in 2014 to identify sources of leaks and damp spots arising on walls in the church.  It was discovered that the roof slates are in pretty bad shape with some loose or missing altogether.  Further problems were identified in two internal roof trusses which have developed cracks and are in need of immediate repair.  The lead flashing is also in need of repair and was identified as being the source of at least one major leak!  After careful study of this survey, it was decided the best course of action is to re-slate St. Patrick’s Church and, please God, when we get to stripping off the old slates, we will find minimal damage underneath.  When we are re-slating the roof, we hope to be able to avail of some insulation grants to help defray some of the costs.  While we don’t have a full costing to hand just yet we’re confident that, given current contribution levels from parishioners, we shouldn’t have to borrow too heavily for this work.  Once complete, St. Patrick’s will be good for another 120 years of worship: assuming we have priests that is!

Vocations!
We encourage all our faithful to pray for and promote the life of a priest or religious as a worthy and valid way of life for any young person to consider.  There are people out there who feel this calling, perhaps it’s your son our daughter? Those who wish to discuss a vocation to priesthood or religious life, can contact any of the priests of the parish or our Diocesan Director of Vocations, Fr. Willie Purcell.  Details on our Ossory website.
There’s no denying that the clergy in Ossory are getting older by the year with very few spring chickens left! If I’m not mistaken, there are just 5 Ossory priests under the age of 50 with the rest varying in age right into their 80s.  What this leaves us with is a crisis ready to happen as many retire and parishes lose their resident priest.  This slide can only be averted by people here on the ground. There is little use looking to overseas  for priests or religious, and doctrine isn’t going to change anytime soon, therefore vocations must happen from among your family and friends.

Tax Rebate Scheme
As we come to the end of the year we are looking again at the tax rebate scheme from which St. Patrick’s Parish has benefited enormously, thanks to the co-operation and generosity of so many of our parishioners and families.
Throughout the scheme, our parish has benefited greatly, at no extra cost to you, from the tax you have already paid. Tax paid by you can remain with the Revenue Commissioners or it can be reclaimed by way of refund to any eligible charity including St. Patrick’s Parish. This scheme has made a huge difference to our parish finances and repayments.
If you are not part of it you might contact the Parish Office in the days ahead: 056 776 4400.  Thank you.





4th Sunday of Advent, 21st December 2014



Fourth Sunday of Advent
Today is the fourth Sunday of Advent; Christmas Day will be celebrated the world over on next Thursday.  The Christmas cards have been sent, gifts purchased and the houses decorated.  Let us now prepare spiritually. We can reflect on the first Christmas and its true meaning.  The Saviour was promised and was born in a stable in Bethlehem more than two thousand years ago.  A light shone in the darkness. The Angels sang to the shepherds on the first Christmas night. “Fear not, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, for unto us this day is born a Saviour.” (Luke 2:10) A lighted candle is placed in the window to welcome Mary, Joseph and the Infant Jesus not only in our homes but also in our hearts.  Guímid beannachtaí na Nollag ar chách.

Christmas Masses in Our Parish
Christmas Eve:
St. Fiacre’s Church: 9.00pm.
St. Patrick’s Church: 9.30pm (in Latin).
St. Patrick’s Church: Midnight (the only midnight Mass in Kilkenny City).
Christmas Day:
St. Patrick’s Church: 8.00am (Latin).
St. Patrick’s Church: 9.30am, 11.00am and 12.30pm.
St. Fiacre’s Church at 10.30am and 12.00noon.
St. Joseph’s Church, Foulkstown: 10.00am.
St. Stephen’s Day and Following:
St. Patrick’s Church at 11.00am each day.

Parish Centre Christmas Times
The Parish Centre and Shop will close for the holidays on Tuesday, 23rd  December and will reopen on Monday, 5th January 2015.  The Parish Office closed to the public on Friday and will reopen on Monday, 5th January.
While the Parish Centre and Office may be closed to the public the priests will be available during the Christmas Season.  Our automated telephone system will enable you to reach the priest on duty, discover Mass times or leave messages.  Call 056 776 4400.
Masses for your Intentions
In the lead up to Christmas many people purchased Christmas Mass cards at the Parish Centre.  All weekday Masses in our parish (with the exception of wedding and funeral Masses) between 26th December and 4th January inclusive will be offered for these specific intentions.  Those who purchased these cards are invited to make a special effort to join in at least some of these Masses.

Visitation of the City Cribs
The annual visitation of the Kilkenny City cribs will take place on Saturday, 27th December at 11.00am beginning at the Parade. The idea is to gather on the Parade and walk to a number of the City churches to view and pray at the cribs.  Fr. Willie Purcell will lead a short reflection at each crib. All welcome.

Pray For Our Deceased Friends
Recently Deceased: Maude Dwyer, Fr. Albert Place. Requiem Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral at 11.00am on Sunday followed by burial in Foulkstown Cemetery.  Sarah Russell, Naas and late of Parkview Drive.  Joe Farrell, Castlecomer.  Dick Holohan, Castlecomer.
Anniversaries: Elizabeth Comerford (Sat 6.15). Molsie & Michael Drennan (Sat 7.00). Rena Brett (Sun 9.30). Jane & Jeff Power (Sun 10.00).  Rose Harris (Sun 10.30). George Byrne (Sun 11.00). Colm McCarthy (Sun 12.00). Mary Blanchfield (12.30). Mary & Christopher Coogan (Thurs 10.30). Michael Walsh (Sun 12.00). Deceased members of the Powell Family. Margaret & Paddy Cantwell. Jim Dollard. Milo & Ann Fry.  Seamus Fry.  Richard Gaule.  Mick Kenny. James & Margaret Dunlop. Ann Holohan. Christy Bateman. John & Mary Rhatigan. John & Mamie Brett. Terry Brett. Hughie Shiels. Mary & Ramie Hughes. Peter, Julie & William Carroll. Matt, Josie & Noel Wallace. Jim & Rose McGuire.  Tommy & Kitty Clooney & Margaret Fox. Roseanna Smyth.
Intentions for Next Weekend: Michael Kenny & John Condon (Sat 6.15). Jimmy King (Sat 7.00). Martin McCorry (Sun 9.30). Vera Phelan (Sun 10.00). Ed Crowley (Sun 10.30). Roseanna Smyth (Sun 12.00). Eddie Taylor (Sun 12.30).

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
There will be no adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Fiacre’s Church on Monday, 22nd December in order to enable the sacristans get the church ready for Christmas.
There will be no exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Patrick’s Church on Friday, 26th December. 

The Village Festive Fun Run
5k and 10k Walk or Run in aid of St. Patrick’s De La Salle ASD unit on 26th December at 11.30am beginning at The Village Club. Child €5. Adult €10 and family €25.  Contact the Village Club for further details.

Kilkenny Suicide Awareness
Former Armagh footballer Oisin McConville will be the guest speaker at a Kilkenny Suicide Awareness Gathering at St. John’s Church at 7.30pm on Friday, 2nd January.  All welcome.

Ossory Pilgrimage to Lourdes
The 2015 Ossory Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes will take place between 22nd and 27th May.  Cost is €755 pps.  It is possible to purchase vouchers for whole or part fares. Please contact 051 880 414.

Celtic Tenors
A concert by the Celtic Tenors will take place in St. Canice’s Cathedral on Monday, 22nd December at 8.00pm. Tickets available at the Cathedral.

Cake Sale
A Cake Sale fundraiser will take place in the Rugby Club on Sunday, 21st December from 10.30am - 12.00 noon.  All proceeds to the U12 Junior team.

Do This In Memory
We welcome to our Masses this weekend those preparing for First Eucharist and their families. These young people continue the important preparation steps at home, in church and at school.  Please pray for and with them as they prepare to receive the Eucharist for the first time next spring.

Diocese of Ossory Quarterly Magazine
Ossory Times is published by our diocese every quarter and the Christmas edition, which costs €2, is available now in all our churches.  The magazine shares information and stories from around the diocese. The current edition has, among others, articles on the papacy of Pope Francis, the recent restoration of Muckalee Parish Church, the proposed work on St. Mary’s Cathedral and Fr. Ollie Maher tells of a pilgrimage on the Camino.
Copies available at our parish churches today.


Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
We invite those families who had a child baptised in our parish churches during 2014 to bring their child to 10.30am Mass on Sunday, 11th January 2015.  As a community we will praise God for the gift of our children and give him thanks for the gift of faith which we hand on at baptism.

Society of St. Vincent De Paul
Members of the St. Patrick’s Parish Conference wish to thank all who contributed to the society in the lead up to Christmas.  Your contributions is prudently distributed among those in most need in our community.  Thanks.
In an emergency the society can be contacted on their dedicated number: 087 681 0589.

Tax Rebate Scheme
As we come to the end of the year we are looking again at the tax rebate scheme from which St. Patrick’s Parish has benefited enormously, thanks to the co-operation and generosity of so many of our parishioners and families.
Throughout the scheme, our parish has benefited greatly, at no extra cost to you, from the tax you have already paid. Tax paid by you can remain with the Revenue Commissioners or it can be reclaimed by way of refund to any eligible charity including St. Patrick’s Parish. This scheme has made a huge difference to our parish finances and repayments.
If you are not part of it you might contact the Parish Office in the days ahead: 056 776 4400.  Thank you.


Mindfulness 
A 9 week course will commence in St. Patrick’s Parish Centre on Thursday 8th January from 6.45 - 9pm.  Contact Dympna on 086 894 6633.












Monday, December 15, 2014

3rd Sunday of Advent, 14th December 2014



Rejoice: it’s Gaudete Sunday
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. (Phil 4: 4-5). Today is Gaudete or Rejoicing Sunday; the Third Sunday of Advent when rose coloured vestments are worn by the priest and the rose coloured candle is lit on the Advent Wreath.
Our ancestors erected the Christmas crib after 8th December. We can say the following prayer in preparation for the great Feast:
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born, of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold.  I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my petition through the intercession of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary His Mother.  Amen.

Annual Christmas Carol Service
The annual and very popular St. Patrick’s Parish Christmas Carol Service takes place on this Sunday, 14th December at 3.30pm in St. Joseph’s Church, Foulkstown.   For many this has become a must-attend event in the lead up to Christmas and all are welcome.  Seasonal refreshments will be served in the Parish Centre after the service.  Please note the time change!

Prepare the Way of the Lord
All welcome to our Parish Penitential Service at St. Fiacre’s Church at 7.30pm on Thursday, 18th December.  This is an excellent opportunity to prepare for the celebration of the birth of Christ at Christmas.

The Gospel of St. Luke
An Introduction to the Gospel of St. Luke with Fr. Michael Mullins, on Thursday, 18th December at 7.30pm at Integritas, a Domestic Centre of Christian Spirituality, Ennisnag, Stoneyford.  056 772 8902.
As Christmas approaches, this presentation will introduce the major themes of St. Luke’s Gospel, with particular emphasis upon the narrative in the first two chapters of this Gospel concerning the birth of Jesus.  Fr. Mullins has been teaching scripture throughout his life and has written on scripture, including an guide to the Gospel of St. Luke.

St. Vincent De Paul Collection
The annual Christmas collection for the St. Patrick’s Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul will be taken up outside all Masses this weekend.  Please note there will be not be a collection for the Society within the churches this weekend. Please support.

Parish Shop
Our Parish Shop, located in St. Patrick’s Parish Centre, has a rich selection of Advent and Christmas items: calendars, cribs, candles and cards…  Come and have a look.

Christmas Mass Cards
Christmas Mass Cards, offering the recipient a share in the Christmas Masses celebrated by the priests of our parish, are available at the Parish Centre.  The cost is €3 per card.

Brass and Reed Christmas Concert
St. Patrick’s Brass and Reed Band will hold their annual Christmas concert in St. Patrick’s Church on 17th December at 8.00pm.   All welcome to a wonderful evening.

Plan Your Christmas Masses
Christmas Masses in our parish will be as follows:
Christmas Eve: St. Fiacre’s Church at 9.00pm;
St. Patrick’s Church, Latin Mass at 9.30pm.
St. Patrick’s Church at midnight (the only midnight Mass in Kilkenny City).
Christmas Day: St. Patrick’s Church at 8.00am (Latin Mass), 9.30am, 11.00am and 12.30pm.
St. Fiacre’s Church at 10.30am and 12.00noon.
St. Joseph’s Church, Foulkstown: 10.00am.
St. Stephen’s Day and Following: St. Patrick’s Church at 11.00am each day.

PPC Meeting
A meeting of St. Patrick’s Parish Pastoral Council will take place on Monday 15th December at 8.00pm in the Parish Centre. Members to attend.

The Village Festive Fun Run
5k and 10k Walk or Run in aid of St. Patrick’s De La Salle ASD unit on 26th December at 11.30am beginning at The Village Club. Child €5. Adult €10 and family €25.  Contact the Village Club for further details.
Pray For Our Deceased Friends
Recently Deceased: Michael (Mixie) Bartholomew, Fr. Hayden Road. Rosary on Sunday at 7.00pm in Johnston’s Funeral Home.  Funeral prayers at 11.15am on Monday followed by removal to St. Joseph’s Church, Foulkstown for Mass at 12 noon. Interment in the adjoining cemetery.  Maureen O’Brien, Kennyswell.  Funeral Mass at 1.00pm on Sunday followed by interment in St. Kieran’s Cemetery.
Months Mind: Kay O’Reilly (Sat 9.30).
Anniversaries: Hughie Shiels (Sat 6.15). The O’Neill & Brett Families (Sat 7.00). James Rafter (Sun 9.30). Kathleen Redpath (Sun 10.00). Joe & Nan Mulhall (Sun 10.30). Christine Comerford (Sun 11.00). Padraig “Podge” Butler (Sun 12.00). Dick Lynch (Sun 12.30). Florrie Cleere (Tues 9.30). Peggy Quinlan (Wed 10.30). Tommy & Kitty Clooney & Margaret Fox (Fri 9.30). Thomas Saunders (Fri 10.30). Mary O’Neill. Christy Galvin. William & Ellen Bergin. Mary Maher.  Eileen Baker. Jimmy Bergin. James Murray. Mary Delaney.  Maura, Margaret & Helen Maher. Patrick, Catherine & Nora Bambrick. Christy, Kitty & Eileen Grace. Sean & Mary Fitzpatrick. Martin Strapp. John Carroll. Thomas, Barbara, Eileen, John & Brian Gunn. Mary & amie Hughes. Della Maher. Margaret Larkin. John Hayes.
Intentions for Next Weekend: Elizabeth Comerford (Sat 6.15). Molsie & Michael Drennan (Sat 7.00). Rena Brett (Sun 9.30). Jane & Jeff Power (Sun 10.00).  Rose Harris (Sun 10.30). George Byrne (Sun 11.00). Colm McCarthy (Sun 12.00). Mary Blanchfield (12.30).

Parish Liturgy Group
We are delighted to have the Parish Liturgy Group in action again.  The members have prepared short introductions to our Advent Sunday Masses and a reflection after the Communion Rite.

Speech and Drama
Starburst School of Speech and Drama has added a new class in St. Patrick’s Parish Centre at 4.45pm on Tuesdays. Beginners welcome. Classes starting January 2015. Contact Kate 085 114 2686.

Tax Rebate Scheme
As we come to the end of the year we are looking again at the tax rebate scheme from which St. Patrick’s Parish has benefited enormously, thanks to the co-operation and generosity of so many of our parishioners and families.
Throughout the scheme, our parish has benefited greatly, at no extra cost to you, from the tax you have already paid. Tax paid by you can remain with the Revenue Commissioners or it can be reclaimed by way of refund to any eligible charity including St. Patrick’s Parish. This scheme has made a huge difference to our parish finances and repayments.
If you are not part of it you might contact the Parish Office in the days ahead: 056 776 4400.  Thank you.

Lullabies for the Christ Child
On 21st December, the day of the winter solstice, the Kilkenny Choir will present a selection of early carols and plainchant, wishing  light into this darkest day. This year they will be accompanied by Kilkenny Youth Orchestra.  Venue: St. John’s Church, Kilkenny. Sunday 21st December, 4.30pm.  Philip Edmondson; conductor.  Tickets €8/€5 at the door.

Cake Sale
A Cake Sale fundraiser will take place in the Rugby Club on Sunday, 21st December from 10.30am - 12.00 noon.  All proceeds to the U12 Junior team.

Mindfulness 
A 9 week course will commence in St. Patrick’s Parish Centre on Thursday 8th January from 6.45 - 9pm.  Contact Dympna on 086 894 6633.

South Kilkenny Historical Society
Winter Solstice Sunset at Knockroe Passage Tomb.  Meeting point and time: 2.30pm at Owning Church.

Design and Dine
One day course in interior styling with tapas lunch in Lautrecs. €75 which includes course, materials and lunch. Phone Elaine 087 410 5500 or call to Kieran Street Design Studio.

Ossory Pilgrimage to Lourdes
The 2015 Ossory Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes will take place between 22nd and 27th May.  Cost is €755 pps.  It is possible to purchase vouchers for whole or part fares. Please contact 051 880 414.

Free Advent Text Messages
During Advent why not avail of a special Text Message (a thought or line of scripture) which will be sent daily to your telephone, at no cost to you. Text your number to 085 831 3100 or email afd@ossory.ie or if you prefer telephone 056 775 3624 and leave your details.