Season of Lent
The Lenten season is a time for reflection and taking stock as we prepare for Easter. It is also a time when each one of us is invited to recall and renew our baptismal commitment, for at the heart of Lent is the waters of baptism. This emphasis on baptism may at first seem strange and new to those of us who traditionally associate Lent with penance and giving things up but a quick look at the origins of Lent explains why it is so.
Lent as we know it began in the 4th century and is made up of three strands. The first strand is the ancient paschal fast which originally began as an intense two day preparation for Easter and over time became forty days long. The second strand concerned those who were preparing for baptism, known as the catechumens. The third strand involved the Order of Penitents which offered those who had been baptised and then turned away from God an opportunity to do penance and renew their relationship with God. Thus the forty days of Lent was the final stage of the journey for the catechumens preparing for baptism; they were accompanied on this journey by the penitents and the rest of the community who prayed, fasted and prepared to renew their baptismal promises at the Easter Vigil. However, over time the link between Lent and baptism became less obvious and it is only since the Second Vatican Council that the connection has been firmly re-established.
Our challenge this Lent is to see this season as an opportunity to renew the commitment to new life in Christ first made in baptism, affirmed in confirmation and continually strengthened in Eucharist. What we turn away from or give up this Lent may be those things which prevent us from living in the light that only Christ can bring. The call in Lent is to conversion, to a change of heart that enables us to live as a child of the light.
Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, occurs this week. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. Following the example of the Ninevites in the Old Testament, who did penance in sackcloth and ashes, our foreheads are marked with ashes to humble our hearts. Ashes are a symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, and they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice.
On Ash Wednesday we will have an extra Mass in the parish: St. Fiacre’s at 6.15pm.
Masses During Lent
For your convenience we provide an extra parish Mass during Lent: as well as Mass at 9.30am (St. Patrick’s) and 10.30am (St. Fiacre’s) each day we will also have Mass at St. Fiacre’s at 6.15 each weekday evening during Lent.
As a community let’s make attending daily Mass our objective for Lent.
“Come away and rest awhile”
These words of Jesus to his disciples are also addressed as an invitation to each one of us to come and rest for a short time this Lent in the company of Jesus.
Guided Prayer Time - Tuesday morning after cup of tea. Tuesdays, March 3rd, 10th 24th 31st, April 7th. Prayer will be guided by Eileen Ross, who is a spiritual guide and counsellor. She works with individuals and is also involved in retreat work. She facilitates, Spirituality, Personal Development and Bereavement Courses with groups.
We are seeking a few volunteers to offer occasional help in the sacristy in St. Patrick’s Church. To allow our sacristan to have a occasional morning off we need a few people to provide basic help for morning Mass every now and then. Contact Fr. Dan if you think you might be able to help.
Pray for our Deceased Friends
Recently Deceased: Nora O’Reilly, St. Mary’s Crescent. Johanna Power, 5 Dean Cavanagh Place.
Months Mind: Tom Langton (Sun 11.00). Michael Drennan (Sun 12.00). Paddy Delaney (Sat 9.30).
Anniversaries: Mary Lynch (Sat 6.15), Sr. Eucharisti Madden (Sat 7.00), Anastatia Fitzpatrick (Sun 9.30), Mick & Ellen Doyle (Sun 10.00), Anne Mulhall (Mon 9.30), Kathleen (Kitty) Morris (Tues 9.30), Martin Brophy (Tues 10.30), John Millea (Wed 10.30), Ann Somers (Thurs (10.30), Patrick & Teresa Kennedy & Marjorie Foskin (Fri 9.30), Josephine & Jack Ryan, Martin Dermody, Deirdre McGuinness, Patrick Barry, John & Annie Free, Liam Bergin, Stan Landers, Mary T. Kelly, Clare Foley, Mary Cullen.
Intentions for Next Weekend: Michael McKane (Sat 6.15), Pat Adams (Sat 7.00), Kathleen Grace (Sun 9.30), David Maher (Sun 10.00), Brian Griffin (Sun 12.00).
We ask people to note that the advertised computer classes starting in St. Patrick’s Parish Centre are not being run by the parish but by an outside firm.
As with many different groups and services we are only providing the facility and ask people to inform themselves of the cost of courses beforehand.
Application forms (and cost of courses available), may be obtained at the reception desk in the Parish Centre.
Our Tuesday Tea
As per usual, on Tuesday mornings after the 10.30am Mass, we provide a cup of tea in the Parish Centre for anyone who wishes to join us.
As with many aspects of our Parish Centre, this service is run on a voluntary basis. We are grateful to all who volunteer their time and effort to running the centre.
Church Gate Collection
The School of the Holy Spirit, Kilkenny (a special school for children with autism and special needs) is holding a church gate collection on Saturday, 28th February and Sunday, 1st March 2009. Please support this worthy local cause.
Questions People Ask
Q. What would you recommend me to do for Lent?
A. The gospel mentions three areas of life, prayer (God), fasting (self) and almsgiving (others). Make more time for God each day, time for prayer. Mass, reading scripture, availing of a retreat or good lecture. By fasting we discipline our appetites. Lent is a great time to motivate ourselves to cut back on anything harmful to health like smoking or too much drink. Almsgiving is a call to be more responsive to the cries of the hungry and needy. A collection box at home or in a the place of work can be a daily reminder that even to give a little can help a lot.
Fr. Silvester O’Flynn OFM Cap
Trócaire: Lenten Campaign
Trócaire supports local organisations in over 127 programmes across 39 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. “Displacement” is the theme of the 2009 Lenten campaign. Family Fast Boxes are now available in all our parish churches. Please take one home for use in your household or workplace.
Visit www.trocaire.org - the award winning website for vital information on the many countries and projects around the world which Trócaire supports.
The February Parish Draw takes place this coming Tuesday evening at 8.30pm in the Parish Centre. All are welcome to attend and, who knows, if you haven’t been lucky so far, this could be your night.
Of course the biggest winner in the draw is the parish where all the money raised goes toward paying our debt on our new centre.
Along with parish envelopes, the draw remains our main source of income and we’re grateful to all who continue support us even in these tough economic times.
Some items suitable for Confirmation and First Holy Communion gifts are available at the reception in the Parish Centre. We also stock Baptismal candles. We hope to expand this range in the near future.
The current weekly parish contribution envelopes will end soon and new envelopes will be issued shortly. The parish envelopes provide a steady source of income for the parish and, along with general parish maintenance, the money raised goes towards paying off our debt.
If you are new to the parish or don’t receive parish contribution envelopes and would like to in future, then please contact the Parish Office or any of the priests. Alternatively, many people choose to contribute using direct debit and we thank them for that.
Taxpayers should keep in mind that the parish can reclaim the tax on your contributions of €250 per annum (€5 per week) or more. This provides valuable extra income to the parish at no extra cost to you.
We are grateful to all who support us in our efforts to make St. Patrick’s Parish a better place for everyone. Thanks.
Coláiste Eamann Rís
Coláiste Eamann Rís, Callan is holding an assessment morning for incoming first years on Saturday, 28th February. Further details from 056 7725 340.
Ossory Guide 2009
The Diocese of Ossory has published a new guide listing the parishes, priests, church and social organisations in the diocese. It is available at the sacristies and Parish Shop @ €5.