Thursday, January 8, 2009

Second Sunday of Christmas, 4th January 2008

Christmas Cribs
We are fortunate to have wonderful Christmas Cribs in each of the churches in St. Patrick’s Parish. The representation of the scene of the nativity is a tradition that is almost a thousand years old. In the year 1223 St Francis decided to celebrate the feast of Christmas in a new way. His aim was to help people to better call to mind the poor surroundings in which Jesus was born and to make the wondrous event of the incarnation more real to the people of the time. In the town of Greccio, with the help of a local landowner, a nativity scene was set up with a stable, animals and straw. People came at night with candles and torches to attend holy Mass by the crib and, seeing the scene, be reminded of God's love for us in sending his only son to be born in the poverty of a manger. Saint Bonaventure said of the scene, “Many brothers and good people came and during the night the weather also was beautiful. Many lights were kindled, hymns were sung with great solemnity so that the whole wood echoed with the sound, and the man of God stood by the manger, filled with the utmost joy, and shedding tears of devotion and compassion. The manger had been so arranged that Mass was celebrated on it and Francis sang the gospel and preached on the Nativity of Christ our King, and whenever he pronounced His name with infinite tenderness he called Him the ‘little Babe of Bethlehem’”.
The tradition quickly caught on and cribs were erected in churches and Christian homes throughout the world. We invite you to spend a few moments reflecting on the Nativity of Christ by visiting one or more of our parish cribs during the Christmas Season.
“To set up the crib at home can be a simple but effective way of presenting the faith and transmitting it to one’s children. The manger helps us to contemplate the mystery of God’s love who revealed himself in the poverty and simplicity of the Bethlehem cave. It continues to be a sign also for us, men and women of the 21st century. There is no other Christmas.”
(Pope Benedict XVI)

The Feast of the Epiphany
Tuesday next, 6th January, is the Feast of the Epiphany of our Lord. It is a holyday of obligation and Mass times will follow the usual weekend pattern in our parish.

Our Lady of Kilkenny
The monthly rosary on the first Sunday in James’ Green at the Statue of Our Lady of Kilkenny continues this Sunday, 4th January at 3pm. All are welcome.

Knights of St. Columbanus Lunch
The Knights of St. Columbanus annual lunch will be held on Sunday, 11th January at 1pm in the Carlton Ballroom.

Mass at Westcourt, Callan
The monthly Mass for the canonisation of Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice will be celebrated at Westcourt on Monday, 5th January at 7.30pm. The members of the Callan Friendship Group are arranging the liturgy.

St. Joseph’s Young Priests Society
The monthly meeting of the St. Patrick’s Parish Branch of the St. Joseph’s Young Priests Society will take place on Friday, 9th January in St. Patrick’s Parish Centre after the 10.30am Mass at St. Fiacre’s Church.
St. Joseph's Young Priests Society is a society of lay people which is approved by the Irish Episcopal Conference. It was founded in 1895 by Mrs Olivia Taaffe from Co. Galway. The purpose of the society is two fold:
· to foster vocations to the priesthood and religious life and to assist financially in the education of students for the priesthood.
· to promote the vocation of the laity, to foster a greater understanding and love of the Mass and to help members to be Christ’s presence in every aspect of life.
The society works through branches. A group of committed people in a parish form a branch, they elect officers, meet monthly to pray and organize the activities of the Society in their community. New members welcome.

St. Patrick’s Parish Centre
All parishioners are invited to visit the new Parish Centre on Bohernatounish Road next weekend. The centre will be open from 11am to 4.00pm on Saturday, 10th January and on Sunday, 11th January from after 10.30am Mass to 4.00pm.
You are welcome to come in, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and have a look around the centre. Bring your children along and have their faces painted and there might be some goodies still around after Christmas for them.
This centre has been provided by the people of St. Patrick's Parish for the people of the parish and we hope that all parishioners will take ownership of it. It is a tremendous resource to have in the heart of our community and we are confident that it will serve the needs of this and future generations for many years to come.

Evening Mass in Kilkenny City
Mass is celebrated each weekday evening at 6.15pm at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny. However, please note Mass is not celebrated on the eve of holydays or on holydays. Therefore there will be no 6.15pm Mass at the Cathedral on Monday and Tuesday of this week. The vigil Mass for the Feast of the Epiphany will be at the Cathedral at 8.00pm.

Questions People Ask
Q. ‘In the beginning was the word.’ How may I understand the poetic prologue of John’s gospel?
A. The focus of John is on the divine origin of Jesus. He develops the coming of Jesus in five stages. Jesus is identified as the eternal Word, truly divine, before any creation. Then in the act of creation the Word of God calls things into being. The Word was the source of light in the revelation of God through the prophets. When Jesus was born of Mary, the Word was made flesh. In his mission, Jesus is the inviting Word: ‘To all who accepted him he gave the power to become children of God.
Fr. Silvester O’Flynn OFM Cap

Pray for our Deceased Friends
Recently Deceased: Kathleen Doyle, 21 Dominic Street. Requiem Mass at 11am on Sunday in St. Mary’s Cathedral followed by burial in St. Kieran’s Cemetery. Eileen Lynch, O’Loughlin Court. Requiem Mass at 12 noon on Sunday in St. John’s Church followed by burial in Carrick-on-Suir. Sr. Theophane Duggan, St. John of God Community, College Road. Thomas Drohan, 76 Marble Crest. William Fitzpatrick, 44 Fr. Murphy Square. Rosanna Byrne, James’ Green. Eddie O’ Dwyer, California and 16 Corcoran Terrace.
Anniversaries: Billy and Anastatia Hickey (Sat 6.15), Dr. Harry Roche (Sun 12.00), Peg Larkin (Mon 9.30), Christina Leahy & Rose Leahy (Mon 6.15), Joseph & Anna Dunphy (Tue 11.00), Teresa Walsh (Fri 10.30). Bernadette Warde, Edward Taylor, Eamonn O’Farrell, Maura Molloy, Annie & Michael Ruth, Ann Smyth, James & Annie O’Grady, William Kavanagh, Agnes and Robert Brannigan, Lorenzo Mahony, Mick Kelly.
Intentions for next weekend: John Bradley (Sat 6.15), Maura Nolan (Sun 10.00), Sean O’Dwyer (Sun 11.00), Beattie O’Connell (Sun 12.00), Sean Devane (Sun 12.30).

Call for an End to Gaza Hostilities
In a joint statement released on Wednesday, Cardinal Seán Brady, Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, and the Church of Ireland Primate and Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd Alan Harper, OBE, spoke of their visit to the Holy Land in 2008, and their “distress and deepening concern for all innocent victims” which they have experienced following the “unfolding tragedy of Gaza.”
“We call upon the authorities in both Israel and Gaza immediately to disengage and cease all hostilities to enable a permanent ceasefire to be negotiated. Only when violence has ceased will it be possible to begin to negotiate a peace that will last.” The Church leaders called upon all people of faith “to pray for all caught up in the conflict.”

A Chinese proverb tells us that the first step towards wisdom is getting things by their right names. What more important name to get right than ‘God’? So, is our response to that name chilly, wary or warm? In Things Hidden, Richard Rohr points out, ‘Most people do not realise that humanity did not, by and large, expect love from God before the biblical revelation.’ Capricious pagan gods were to be placated. Those who submitted to them, though intelligent, lacked wisdom in naming them ‘gods’ instead of ‘illusions’. Our God is not an illusion, or capricious. God is steadfast in love. Made in God’s image and likeness, so too are we. Any response to God on our part other than love would be unworthy of God. God gives love, wants love; is love. Today’s First Reading calls God ‘the Most High’ . That’s where we set our sights: high. We don’t lower them to near worship of superficial entertainment, or to escapist busyness that blinds us to the past, locks us to the present and numbs us to the future. Instead let’s use right names and call the past ‘teacher’, the present ‘opportunity’, and the future ‘hope’. Then life can bring us wisdom, and fashion us in full. Otherwise, the words of Greek tragedian Aeschylus (525 - 456 BCE) may haunt us by their beauty and their dread: ‘Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.
Fr. Tom Cahill SVD

Good Food for Healthy Living
Copies of our parish cookery book are available in the sacristies at €10 each. The book contains more than 120 easy-to-follow recipes for starters, soups, main courses, desserts, buns and cakes which will get the taste buds watering and the kitchen utensils ringing. The recipes were submitted by various sportspeople from our parish, city and county.

Kieran Goss in Concert
Tickets for the forthcoming Kieran Goss concert at the Watergate Theatre are available at the Parish Office. Revenue from the tickets purchased at the Parish Office goes to help defray parish expenses. Kieran Goss will be in concert at the Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny on Friday, 20th February 2009 and tickets cost €25 each.

Blood Donors Required
The Irish Blood Transfusion Service seeks blood donors for their forthcoming clinics in Kilkenny.
The blood donation clinic will be at The Rivercourt Hotel, Kilkenny on Sunday, 11th January from 11.30am to 3.30pm; Monday, 12th & Tuesday, 13th & Wednesday, 14th & Thursday, 15th January from 4.30pm to 8.30pm each day.
3,000 blood donations are needing in Ireland every week. It’s good to give blood.