Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Epiphany of the Lord, 6th January 2008

A Great Start to the New Year
To date almost a quarter of a million euro has been donated by parishioners in response to our recent appeal for financial support for our new parish centre. This is a wonderful New Year’s shot in the arm to our fundraising drive and is greatly appreciated by the Parish Finance Committee.
During October and November Fr. Dan wrote to all parishioners appealing for financial help for the development of a parish centre, homes for the elderly and presbytery at Loughboy: your response was very generous. Parishioners sent in what they could afford: some sent €20, others €50 and €100. Those who could afford it gave more – a few very generous parishioners gave €2,000 and €5,000. Every single euro is appreciated. In all the response was excellent and may be summed up as follows:

Donations from parishioners €145,170.00
Loans from parishioners €60,500.00
Donations from companies €27,300.00
Total €232,970.00

This figure is accurate as of 31st December 2007 and donations continue to arrive. Thanks for your generous commitment to our parish project – putting the money up front will greatly reduce the amount to be paid in interest and substantially ease the long term financial burden on the parish. Our financial advisers suggest that every €100 received now will be worth up to €200 in interest saved in the long term. Furthermore, much of the money received comes under the terms of the Tax Refunds to Eligible Charities Scheme and will enable the parish to recover even more money from the Revenue Commissioners at no extra cost to the donor.
Letters of acknowledgement and appreciation have been sent to those who have contributed to date. Needless to say, if you “meant to do something on that appeal” there is still time. The account will be open for some time yet.

Questions People Ask
Q. If it was alright for the Magi to follow a star, why does the Church frown on using astrology as a means of gaining knowledge of our future?
A. Because it’s absolute nonsense! The same Bible which has the story of the Magi clearly forbids any form of divination, that is, seeking divine knowledge or power through reading omens of by means of magic. When the Magi (magicians) bow before Jesus and offer their gifts, it shows that they are giving up their religious systems and adoring Jesus as Lord. Far from supporting astrology, this story announces its termination because Jesus is the light to be followed.
Fr. Silvester O’Flynn OFM Cap

St. Joseph’s Young Priests Society
The monthly meeting of the St. Joseph’s Young Priests Society will take place on Friday, 11th January 2008 in St. Fiacre’s Church, immediately after the 10.30am Mass. All are welcome.

The recitation of the rosary at the Statue of Our Lady of Kilkenny at James’ Green on the First Sunday of each month continues on this Sunday, 6th January at 3pm. All welcome.

Prayer for Healing
The fortnightly prayer for healing continues at St. Fiacre’s Church from this Thursday 7.30pm. All are welcome.

All Kinds of Everything
Someone once described love as the ability to see butterflies in caterpillars. I think that holds true for faith too. The feast we celebrate today, the Epiphany, is a good example of that.
Epiphany, a strange sounding word of Greek origin, simply means seeing something, or someone, more clearly than ever before. It’s sudden, and it takes your breath away. Something we are very familiar with we suddenly discover has more to it than we thought. Someone we thought we knew inside out suddenly gob-smacks us into seeing that we can’t take her, or him, or anyone else for granted ever. Mystery rules, ok! That’s epiphany. We need constant contact with mystery so life’s richness isn’t diluted.
After their vision, the three wise men in today’s gospel reading (Mt 2: 1-12) have their dream. It warns them to avoid Herod. Some people can’t cope with mystery. Their attitude is all wrong, their values are all wrong, they are all wrong. As the wise men avoided Herod, so too must we, with whatever name or in whatever form he may appear. He’s the one who tramples on caterpillars and thinks butterflies are for the birds. Clearly, besides mystery we also need our dreams.
Fr. Tom Cahill

Blood Donation Clinic
The Irish Blood Transfusion Service will be visiting the area with their mobile blood collection team. The IBTS is at present, experiencing difficulty in collecting enough voluntary blood donations in order to meet hospital requirements of 3,000 units of blood a week.
The clinics will be at The Rivercourt Hotel, Kilkenny at the following times:
Sunday, 6th January from 11.30am to 3.30pm.
Monday - Thursday, 7th - 10th January from 4.30pm - 8.30 pm.

Pray for the Deceased
Recently Deceased: Josephine McGrath, Shellumsrath.
Months Mind: Phyllis Doran (Sat 7.00)
Anniversaries: Billy & Anastatia Hickey (Sat 6.15), Philomena Brennan (Sun 9.30), Monica Dooley (Sun 10.30), Sean O’Dwyer (Sun 11.00), Christina & Rose Leahy (Sun 12.00), Sean Devane (Sun 12.30), Gerald Lincoln (Tues 10.30), Teresa Walsh (Wed 10.30), Catherine Brennan (Thurs 10.30), Diane Keenan (Fri 10.30), William & Eileen Bergin, John Reid, Mary O’Grady, Michael Kenny, Lorenzo Mahony, Maura Molloy, John Lanigan, John O’Gara, Mary Kate Hayes, Tom Maher, Denis Nyhan, Ann Smyth, Phyllis, Marie & Tom Dowling, Msgr Paul Fitzgerald, Henrietta Duggan, James & Anne O’Grady.

Intentions Next Weekend: Anna Campion (Sat 6.15),Beattie O’Connell (Sun 10.00), Peg, Jack & Breda Molloy (Sun 10.30), Maureen O’Shea (Sun 11.00), Frank O’Shea (Sun 12.00), Kathleen Redpath - Month’s Mind (Sun 12.30).

English Language Classes
Co Kilkenny Adult Learning Scheme is hosting English Language Classes for non-Irish nationals. Registration in on Monday, 7th January at 5 Colliers Lane, Kilkenny. Time: 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Cost: Beginners and Intermediate - €55 for 1 class per week / 9 weeks and €110 for 2 classes per week / 9 weeks. Advanced - €90 for 1 class per week/ 9 weeks.
All students must register and pay before classes begin on Monday 14th Jan 08. Morning classes also available. All classes are subject to demand. Fetac Accreditation may be offered. Contact Helen Walsh 056 776 3149 or 086 840 0344 for further information. See poster on notice boards.

Adult Education & Careers Evening
Wednesday, 16th January from 6.30 - 9.30pm at the Newpark Hotel. This event is free and open to all adults who have an interest in learning more about their options for education and careers. For information: Co. Kilkenny VEC. Tel: 056 776 4448. See poster on notice boards.

Epiphany Announcement 2008
Dear brothers and sisters,
The glory of the Lord has shone upon us, and shall ever manifest itself among us, until the day of his return. Through the rhythms and changes of time let us call to mind and live the mysteries of salvation.

The centre of the whole liturgical year is the Paschal Triduum of the Lord, crucified, buried, and risen, which will culminate in the solemn Vigil of Easter, during the holy night that will end with the dawn of the twenty-third day of March. Every Sunday, as in a weekly Easter, holy Church makes present that great and saving deed by which Christ has forever conquered sin and death.

From Easter there comes forth and are reckoned all the days we keep holy: Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten spring, the sixth day of February; the Ascension of the Lord, the fourth day of May; and Pentecost, the eleventh day of May; the First Sunday of Advent, the thirtieth day of November.

Likewise in the feasts of the Holy Mother of God, of the apostles and saints, and in the commemoration of the faithful departed, the pilgrim Church on earth proclaims the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.

To Christ who was, who is, and who is to come, the Lord of time and history, be endless praise forever and ever! Amen!

Parish Calendars
Our parish calendar is still available containing details of Baptisms, First Holy Communions, Confirmations, Marriages and other important information about our parish. Please feel free to take copies from the back of the churches.

Thanks to Patrick N Meany and Sons, Undertakers, who sponsored our calendar this year.

Mobile Telephones in Church
We appeal to all who attend services in our churches to turn off mobile telephones. There have been a number of incidents recently where the celebrant and members of the congregation have been greatly disturbed by telephones ringing during Masses. Please, out of courtesy to other worshippers, turn off your telephone while in church. Thanks.