Monday, February 25, 2008

Third Sunday of Lent, 24th February, 2008

Sophisticated Slavery
In his book Seeking Spirituality Ronald Rolheiser states that the incarnate God is found first and foremost in peoples’ homes. According to him ‘The God of the Incarnation is more domestic than monastic.’ The Israelites, in today’s First Reading didn’t see God that way. For them, he was external: present in a burning bush, in a pillar of cloud, in a pillar of cloud, in a pillar of fire and on a storm tossed mountaintop. So external was he that they doubted his presence at all in time of difficulty. For them, he was a fair-weather god.
When their basic needs were not met, they complained loudly. Forgetful of their recent past of slavery and misery, they bemoaned their perilous present and their uncertain future. They wanted sustenance, security and comfort. Otherwise they would resort to idols for what they wanted.
Are we, modern and sophisticated as we like to think, all that different? Don’t we too have our idols: consumerism, entertainment, fashion, popularity and image? Aren’t we enslaved by the shop-till-you-drop impulse, the must-have craving for the latest fashions and tends, and an insatiable appetite for praise and popularity?
Could we say that our God is not just domestic, but domesticated?
Fr. Tom Cahill SVD

Third Sunday in Lent: Water
Trócaire’s Lenten Campaign this year is focusing on climate change and the issue of water. The water that is around us today is the same water that formed when earth began. No more can be added. We drink the same water that dinosaurs once swam in – the same water that was in Jacob’s Well.
Please help Trócaire’s campaign by remembering to pick up a Trócaire Family Fast Box at the back of the church or go online to to see what else you can do.

Questions People Ask
Q. Why was there such enmity between the Samaritans and the Jews?
A. Samaritans were survivors of the ten northern tribes of Israel who broke away from the tribe of Juda (Jews) in 931 BC over the excessive taxes levied for the building of the temple in Jerusalem. Samaritans claimed Mount Gerism, in their territory, was a holy place long before any temple in Jerusalem. When the Assyrians conquered this northern kingdom they sent in five pagan tribes, each with their own religion. The Jews regarded the Samaritan religion as contaminated by these five streams of paganism. The Samaritan woman represented her race in her five marriages and her present relationship which did not merit the name of marriage.
Fr. Silvester O’Flynn OFM Cap

Extra Mass for Lent
For your convenience we have introduced an extra Mass for the Season of Lent. Masses are now celebrated at 9.30am (St. Patrick’s Church) and 10.30am and 6.15pm (St. Fiacre’s Church).
Well done to those who continue to make the effort to attend daily Mass during Lent. Others are always welcome to join in our parish act of worship.

Peace in Christ Retreat House
The annual Parish Evening for St. Patrick’s Parish will be held at the diocesan retreat house on Monday, 10th March beginning at 8.00pm.
Peace in Christ offers an opportunity to relax and reflect in a prayerful atmosphere. This special evening for our parish community enables us to prepare together as we move towards Easter. See notice boards for further details.

Church Gate Collection
The School of the Holy Spirit will hold their church gate collection at all Masses this weekend. Please support.

Creidim Notice
Exploring the Scriptures, a Creidim course on sacred scripture with Sr. de Lourdes Sheridan, has been brought forward to begin next Tuesday, 26th February at 10.30am.

Pray for the Deceased
Recently Deceased: Paddy Nolan, Rath, Danesfort. Requiem Mass at Danesfort Church at 10.15am on Sunday.

Months Mind: Betty Oakes (Tue 10.30).

Anniversaries: Molly Johnstone (Sat 6.15), Anna Kelly (Sat 7.00), Davie Maher (Sun 10.00), Canice & Micheal Dunphy (Sun 12.00), Kathleen Grace (Sat 9.30), Patrick & Teresa Kennedy, Kathleen Morris, John Millea, Mary Kelly, Clare Kelly, Stan Landers, Tommy Casey, John Barry, Martin Dermody, Ann Mulhall, Michael Drennan, William McGuire, Marjorie Foskin, Paddy Barry, Tom Manogue, Bill O’Connor, John Beehan, Tony Comerford, Rita Hillman.

Parish Draw
The next drawing of prizes will take place at the Presbytery on Tuesday at 8.30pm. All are welcome to come along and join in the fun.
Promoters may return cards and monies to the Presbytery from 6.30pm on Monday and Tuesday. Good luck to all.

Promoting Vocations
The Annual General Meeting for the Diocesan St. Joseph’s Young Priests Society will be held at the Brother Rice Centre, Callan on Thursday evening. Proceedings begin with Mass for vocations to the priesthood and religious life at 7.30pm. Celebrant will be Bishop Séamus Freeman.
“The Church’s vocation crisis is reaching catastrophic levels as new figures show that as many as 160 priests have died in the last year, while only nine men were ordained, and 228 nuns died with only two taking final vows.” (The Irish Catholic).
Please join in the work of promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
Pilgrimage to Lourdes
Reports indicate that flights to Lourdes for the 150th anniversary year are almost completely booked. There are still about 20 places left on our diocesan pilgrimage which will be led by Bishop Séamus Freeman.

Juvenile Coaching Returns
James Stephens GAA Club Juvenile Hurling Squads/Panels are returning to their Coaching Programme for 2008.
Our Under 6/7/8 structure is returning on Sunday, 2nd March in Cootes Lane at 11.30am sharp. Our Under 9/10 structure is returning on Tuesday, 25th March in Nuncio Road (Juvenile Pitch) at 6.45pm. Our Under 11/12 structure is returning on Thursday, 27th March in Nuncio Road (Juvenile Pitch) at 6.45pm.
We would like to encourage any youngsters that would like to start hurling or football to come up on the commencing night of coaching at the grade/age that suits them and sign up for what will be a fantastic year of great fun and enjoyment. Any enquiries please contact Mark Tyrrell (Juvenile Officer) at 056 770 8821.
Our Under 14 A & B Hurling/Football Squads have returned to start their coaching and they would like new players aged 13/14 interested in playing hurling or football to come up to the training and sign up. They train on Friday evenings in Scanlon Park at 6.30pm. Our U-16 Squad is also back into action and they train on Friday evenings at 8.30pm.

Heart Health Information Meeting
When: Monday, 25th February
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel
Refreshments available from 7.00pmEveryone welcome. Admission free.

Family Liturgy
We continue to have our popular family liturgies at St. Fiacre’ Church at 10.30am on Sundays. Practice for young people at St. Fiacre’s Church on Thursday evening after 6.15pm Mass.

Families Celebrating Fatherhood
Pilgrimage to Knock on Friday, 14th March 2008 for the Solemnity of St. Joseph Protector of Families and Guardian of the Church.
1.45pm Assembly in Basilica
2.00pm Reflection on St. Joseph & Father- hood by Fr. John Harris O.P.
2.30pm Stations of the Cross
3.00pm Holy Mass followed by Benedic- tion and General Blessing
All are welcome.

Lap Dancing Club
A group of people opposed to this new development in our historic and beautiful city has organised a peaceful protest each Friday from 8.30pm - 10.30pm. This is a community effort to try and ensure the closure of this club which is demeaning to both men and women. More volunteers are needed to extend this peaceful protest to Saturday night also. If you are interested in helping out, please contact 087 785 3614 or 086 205 2488.

Thank You
Enable Ireland & The O’Neill Centre, would like to express a word of thanks to all who supported their recent church gate collection. The amount raised in our parish was €1,106.40.
Catholic Media
It is important that we take our news about the Church from a reliable, dependable and non-biased source. We continue to provide The Irish Catholic and The Word at the church sacristies each weekend. Why not purchase a copy and see what they have to offer?

All Hallows College
This Dublin College is offering a number of Post Graduate Programmes in 2008-2009
MA in Management: Community & Voluntary Services: A programme for managers, management teams and potential managers.
MA in Leadership & Pastoral Care: An interdisciplinary programme, where pastoral theory is applied to best practice.
MA in Social Justice & Public Policy: A programme designed to develop understanding of and engagement with the theoretical framework that underpins public policy today.
Master and Doctoral Degrees by Research: This research programme provides an opportunity to question, reflect about, build upon and practise the art of research in an interdisciplinary context on a topic of your own choosing, under the guidance of experts.
For further information and application forms: Post Graduate Office, All Hallows College, Grace Park Road, Drumcondra, Dublin 9. Tel: 01 852 0756. Email:

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Second Sunday of Lent, 17th February 2008

Rainy Sundays
British novelist Susan Ertz (1894-1985) once remarked that millions long for eternity who wouldn’t know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Nowadays, the lure of unreality and cyberspace, from television and the Internet, has eased that problem to some degree. Unfortunately, in so doing virtual reality increasingly substitutes for the real thing.
Our faith, however, carries us far beyond the confines of cyberspace. It propels us to the edge of eternity. It blows our mind with the promise of resurrection and a fullness of life beyond imagining. And, it does so while keeping our feet firmly fixed on mother earth.
The invitation to journey beyond cyberspace and unreality was issued a long time ago to Abraham (Genesis 12: 1-4). He was to leave his familiar surroundings and move without knowing his final destination. He would discover that along the way trust and commitment come first. Fulfillment of promise comes later.
Sunday afternoons were not a problem for Abraham. He had a mission in life to carry out, a future to face, a destiny to fulfil – hail, rain, or snow. May we use our Sunday afternoons wisely. This Lent may they be times to abstain from the self-indulgence of feeling bored.
Fr. Tom Cahill SVD

Second Sunday in Lent: Transformation
Trócaire's Lenten Campaign focuses on climate change and we have been reminded many times in recent years that human activity has changed, TRANSFORMED, our world until it is "sick unto death". Can we now, each of us, begin another TRANSFORMATION. To being to undo whatever part we may have played in that ruination, to begin to restore the planet to health and to ease our fears, anxieties and guilt.
Please remember to pick up a Trocaire box at the back of the church or go online to to see what else you can do.

Questions people ask
Why did Jesus tell the three apostles to tell nobody about the transfiguration until after his resurrection?
Surely it would have helped people to believe if they heard about the vision.
Maybe it would have generated excitement about setting Jesus up as a political, revolutionary leader, which would contradict his chosen way of humble service. The glory of the resurrection lay in the future, only after Jesus, the Suffering Servant, had gone through his passion and death. The message for us is that our hope of heavenly glory does not eliminate the struggles and crosses of this life. Yet this hope enables us to keep going.
Fr. Silvester O’Flynn OFM Cap

Friday 25th April 2008, Dublin Pilgrimage of trust on earth.
Evening prayer and vigil in St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Marlborough St, Dublin 1 at 8pm
An evening for young people aged 15-35 together with Br. Alois, prior of the Taize Community, brothers of the community and local church leaders. Song practice in the cathedral from 7pm.
Young people who would like to help prepare the Pro-cathedral please come at 5pm.
For further details,, email: Text or phone 0858233681. Adults over 35 are welcome, but please bring people with you! If you plan to come with a group of young people on April 25th, or need simple overnight accommodation, please contact us at the e-mail/number above.

Parish Website
The parish website is in the process of being updated. Any suggestions or comments are most welcome. You can view our website at:

Pray for the deceased
Recently Deceased: John O’Rourke, 7 Laurel Court, Requiem mass Sunday 12.00 in St. Fiacre’s Church followed by burial in Foulkstown Cemetery.
Months Mind: Sarah Kelly (Sun 10.30)
Anniversaries: Nicholas Healy (Sat 6.15), Michael Walsh & Milo Bourke (Sat 7.00), Mick & Ellen Doyle (Sun 10.00), James & Gerard Leahy (Sun 11.00), Molly Johnstone (Sun 12.00), Ciss Lafferty (Sun 12.30), Patrick Morris (Mon 9.30), James Bolger, Catherine Hayden, Michael O’Grady, Catherine Keane, Patrick & Elizabeth Fry, John Corcoran, Seamus Culleton, Julia Anne Kealy, James Kealy Jnr, John Hanrahan, Richard & Harry Kealy, Elizabeth Kelly, Richard Kinsella, Anthony Francis Clifford, Josie Noonan, Christy Walsh, Kieran Healy, Billy Ayers.
Anniversaries next weekend: Anna Kelly Sat 7.00, Davie Maher Sun 10.00, Canice & Michael Dunphy, 12.00.

Lenten Station Envelope
The Lenten Station for the support of the priests of the parish and the bishop is due around now. This is one of the green envelopes in the parish contribution box many of your received last year. We are grateful for the support we receive from our parishioners. Many thanks.

Parish Envelopes
The parish envelopes for the coming year will soon be ordered and around Easter they will be delivered to those households who contribute to the parish in this manner. Those who contribute by standing order will receive a pack of 5 envelopes for the support of priests and bishop. These special collections are separate from parish contributions.
If you did not receive envelopes this past year then please let us know and we will update the system.

Bishop Freeman extends Diocesan Forum for one year
Bishop Seamus Freeman will address a special meeting of the Ossory Diocesan Forum at St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny on Tuesday night next (February 19) at 8pm.
The new Bishop, who has extended the term of the Forum for one year, will outline his vision for the diocesan organisation which includes representatives from each parish in the diocese.
The Forum was established three years ago to address the pastoral concerns of the diocese and plan for the future, following major consultation with priests, religious and laity of the diocese.

James Stephens GAA Club Juvenile Registration Night 2008
James Stephens Juvenile GAA are holding a Hurling Registration night for all returning and new young hurling enthusiasts in the James Stephens Clubrooms {Upstairs} on Friday 22nd February 2008 at 7.15p.m. Sharp. All New and existing Players are asked to come along to register for the year ahead.
The Various grades that we have in our Club are Under 6 / 7 / 8 : Under 9 /10 : Under 11 /12.
We would strongly encourage any kids that would like to start playing hurling to come to the registration night.

Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life
Bishop Seamus Freeman will say a special mass for Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life in the Brother Rice Centre, at Westcourt, Callan at 7.30pm on Thursday February 28th 08. The National President of the St. Joseph’s Young Priests Society will attend and a cup of tea will be served. Members and non-members are all welcome.

Prayer for Vocations
O Jesus, send labourers into your fields, which are awaiting holy apostles, saintly priests, heroic missionaries and dedicated sisters and brothers.
Enkindle in the hearts of men and women the spark of a vocation.
And grant that Christian families may desire to give your Church, helpers in the work of tomorrow.

Interested in finding out more about priesthood? Our vocations director is Fr. Paddy Carey. His address is: Fr. Paddy Carey, Errill, Co. Laois. Tel 0505 44973.
You can write to Fr. Paddy and request information by post or you can ring him and arrange an appointment. Alternatively you can contact any of the priests of the parish.

St. Vincent de Paul
The monthly St. Vincent de Paul collection is taken up this weekend. You support as always is appreciated.
Those who wish to contact members of the society can do so through the priests house on Ormonde Road. Just leave your name and number and these will be passed on to the members at their Monday night meeting.

St. John’s Novena
In this the centenary year of St John's Church Kilkenny the Parish Novena in honour of Our Lady of Perpetual Help continues concluding on Thursday 21st. There are three sessions each day: 7.30am; 10.30am and 7.30pm. On Monday the three services will be a celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. On Wednesday there is a special celebration for School children. On Sunday afternoon at 3.30pm there will be a service of blessing for babies and young children. All are welcome.

A Thought for Lent
At the close of life, the question is:
Not how much you have got, But how much you have given.
Not how much you have won, But how much you have done.
Not how much you have saved, But how much you have sacrificed.
Not how much you were honoured , But how much you have loved and served.
The best preparation for tomorrow is to do today’s work superbly well.
William Ostler

Thursday, February 14, 2008

First Sunday of Lent 10th February 2008

Oscar Wilde’s quip, that he could resist everything except temptation, contains a grain of wisdom. In a quirky way it is saying: careful how you fight temptation; you may not win. Oscar clearly didn’t. Neither did Adam or Eve.
Temptation trades in lies as today’s first reading shows (Genesis 2: 7-9, 3: 1-7). It is countered by truth, as today’s Gospel shows (Matthew 4: 1-11). When tempted to turn stones into bread Jesus doesn’t ‘engage’ with the temptation. He confronts it with truth: God’s word is the source of life, not bread. When Satan tempts him a second time, Jesus warns him not to tempt God. No fear, or indecision, there. Satan ignores the warning and tempts Jesus again. His offer of all the kingdoms on earth to Jesus if only he would worship him is so preposterous that Jesus summarily dismiss him. And he goes. Satan is not as powerful as he would like to be seen to be. While temptation to evil is a fact of life, so too is the victory of good over evil. Evil’s power has been definitively defeated. The Incarnation has seen to that.
Evil has a past, and a present, but no future. Neither do those who submit to it.
Fr Tom Cahill SVD

Questions people ask
Why do we take ashes at the start of Lent?
Ashes are a grimy reminder that our earthly bodies are destined for death and decomposition. ‘Remember that you are but dust and unto dust you shall return.’ An alternative formula at the imposition of ashes exhorts a person to repentance: ‘Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel.’ Taking the ashes is not a sort of lucky charm but it is meant to express a person’s intention to undertake some extra spiritual exercises during Lent.
Fr. Silvester O’Flynn OFM Cap

Masses for Lent
Well done to those who have made an effort to attend daily Mass for Lent. We encourage you to continue the discipline. Even if you give up for a day or two try to start again.
For your convenience Masses in our parish are at 9.30am (St. Patrick’s Church), 10.30am and 6.15pm (St. Fiacre’s Church). All are welcome.

First Sunday in Lent
This Lent Trócaire’s campaign highlights how the developing world is struggling to cope with changes in the climate. Global warming impacts on every one of us, but the effects are not felt equally and people living in poverty are bearing the brunt. It’s time the world’s poorest people got the support they need to help them cope with global warming. To support Trócaire this Lent please take a Trócaire box home with you.

Family Liturgy
Practice for next Sunday’s 10.30am Family Liturgy will be held on Thursday, 14th February at 6.30pm in St. Fiacre’s Church. All are welcome.

Ossory AGM
The Ossory Diocesan Annual General Meeting of St. Joseph’s Young Priest’s Society takes place on Thursday, 28th February beginning at 7.30pm with Mass celebrated by Bishop Seamus Freeman. The venue is the Brother Rice Centre at Westcourt, Callan. The National President, Marie Hogan will also attend. You are cordially invited to attend this evening.

Solemn Novena
Fr. Scriven at St. John’s Church writes: “Please join us in St. John's for the Solemn Novena which will be given by the Redemptorists from Wednesday, 13th to Thursday, 21st (inclusive) in St John's Church on the Dublin Road. This novena is part of the centenary celebrations of St John's Church.”

Our Lady of Lourdes
On Thursday, 11th February in 1858 - one hundred and fifty years ago this year - Our Lady first appeared to the 14 year old Bernadette Soubirous. Later Bernadette was to learn that the mysterious lady was the Blessed Virgin and to hear from her lips, ‘I am the Immaculate Conception’.

In 1992 Pope John Paul II instituted the World Day of the Sick to be held on the commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes. Don’t forget our special Mass for the sick at St. Fiacre’s Church at 10.30am on Monday. There will be special prayers for the sick and the Sacrament of the Sick will be celebrated with those who wish to receive the sacrament.

Meanwhile, at the Grotto
Fr. Anthony O’Connor - the Director of our Diocesan Pilgrimage - will be in Lourdes on 11th February. He has promised to remember the intentions of our parishioners at Mass at the Lourdes Grotto on the 150th anniversary of the apparitions. Also included will be the intentions of all benefactors who have contributed over the years to the collections in the parish for the support of the pilgrimage. Those who are sick will be specifically remembered and all intentions will be entrusted to God through the prayers and intercession of Mary, Our Mother.

Lourdes Pilgrimage
Each year St. Patrick’s Parish sends a number of people to Lourdes with the diocesan pilgrimage. Those interesting in travelling to Lourdes should contact any member of the St. Patrick’s Parish Lourdes Committee or leave their names at the Presbytery as soon as possible.

Black Abbey Triduum
A triduum in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes continues at the Black Abbey. Sunday: 12 noon and 6.10pm; Monday: 10.30am and 7.30pm. Anointing both sessions on Monday.
Eucharistic Ministers Course
The Eucharistic Ministers’ Course will begin on next Tuesday, 12th of February in Creidim at 8pm. The course will continue every Tuesday night for 4 weeks.

Lectors’ Course
The Diocese of Ossory has arranged a course for new readers and others who would like to brush up on their skills. Course will be run at St. Patrick’s Presbytery on Wednesdays, 27th February and 5th and 12th March. It is essential to book for this course. Contact 776 4400.

Pray for the Deceased
Recently Deceased: Sr. M. de Lourdes Murphy, Presentation Convent, Parnell Street: Requiem Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral at 11am on Sunday followed by burial at St. Kieran’s. Paddy Fitzpatrick, Greensbridge: Funeral prayers at Johnston’s Funeral Home at 6pm on Sunday followed by removal to St. John’s Church. Requiem Mass at 10.30am on Monday followed by burial at St. Kieran's. Bridie Henderson, Strabane. Dr. Tony Crowley, Leixlip.
Month’s Mind: Michael Fitzpatrick (Sat 7.00), Josephine McGrath (Sun 11.00), Maura Nolan (Sun 2.30, St. Fiacre’s).

Anniversaries: Frank Delaney (Sat 6.15), Dr. Richard Purcell (Sun 9.30), Mary Pullan (Sun 10.00), Peter Quinn (Sun 12.00), Michael Moore (Sun 12.30), Anastasia Fitzpatrick (Mon 9.30), Andrew Price (Tues 10.30), Jenny Clancy (Fri 6.15) Eileen Cooper, Bill Carroll, Elizabeth Geoghegan, Edward Geoghegan, Michael Kenneally, Jack Leahy, Catherine Dwyer, Eamon Tallent, Philly Grace, Ellen Egan, Eileen Cummins, Bridie Dunne, Charlie O’Reilly, Michael Dargan, Niall Godwin, Catherine Keane.

Intentions Next Weekend: Nicholas Healy (Sat 6.15), Michael Walsh & Milo Bourke (Sat 7.00), Mick & Ellen Doyle (Sun 10.00), Sarah Kelly (Sun 10.30 Month’s Mind), Jim Gerard Leahy (Sun 11.00), Molly Johnstone (Sun 12.00).

Legion of Mary
Would you like to give two hours a week to the Virgin Mary? The Legion of Mary meets every Thursday from 8.00-9.00pm at St. Joseph’s (Mill Hill Fathers) on the Waterford Road. Visitors are welcome.

Presbytery For Sale
St. Patrick’s Presbytery will be sold by public auction on Thursday, 13th March 2008. Further details later.

Creidim Adult Faith Education
Adult Perspectives in the Afternoon Years… how we can best exercise our role in passing the faith to young people. This session will explore some of the contours, challenges and joys of moving into our senior years.
Conall O’Cuinn SJ will present the course at Creidim. Date: 10am and 1pm on Thursday, 21st February at St Kieran’ s College. Cost €30. Contact Leona Connolly on 777 0261 or see leaflets at the back of the church.

Catholic Papers
Most media publish stories with a particular slant. As Catholics we should be anxious to get a Christian slant on what is happening in our world. At the moment The Irish Catholic and The Word magazines are available at the church doors. We encourage you to purchase a copy for your perusal and information.

Lost and Found
A large set of keys was misplaced at St. Fiacre’s Church one evening last week. Please contact the sacristan if you have knowledge of their whereabouts.
A game card for a Nintendo DS was found in St. Patrick’s Church. Please call to the sacristy with details if you have lost one.

Kilkenny Flower Club
On Thursday next, 14th February, Kilkenny Flower Club with hold it’s A.G.M. at Butler House, Time: 8.00pm. All are welcome. Eva Holmes will give a talk on gardening. We would love to see some new faces.

Thanks to Bag Packers
Thank you to all who gave of their time and energy to take part in the bag pack at SuperValu, Loughboy during the last few days. While all the proceeds have not been counted we estimate that you have helped the parish to the tune of about €5,000.
Thanks, also, to the management and staff at SuperValu for their permission, help and courtesy and, of course, to all who dropped a something into the buckets.

Divine Mercy
There will be an hour of prayer and adoration in honour of Divine Mercy in St. Mary’s Cathedral on Sunday, 10th February between 3-4pm. All are welcome.

Garage Sale
87 Larchfield on Saturday, 16th February from 9am to 9pm. Bargains in clothes, books and household items. 086 102 4592