Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Second Sunday of Advent, 6th December 2009

On the Margins
Drunk and wobbling, he stood in the middle of O’Connell Street, Dublin. Ignoring the rictus of the Floosie in the Jacuzzi statue behind him, he berated passers-by for walking around in a dream and not knowing it. He had a point. But no impact. ‘Ye’r all livin’ in a dream!’ was his shouted message. But for his spectral hearers the medium was the message: a noonday drunk couldn’t have anything worthwhile to say. Yet what about another down-and-out: the poet Francis Thompson. He had much to say, and all of it worthwhile. As God’s word came to John the Baptist in the wilderness of sand so too it came to an opium addict in his wilderness of streets. When it came his eyes opened and he penned these luminous lines:
The angels keep their ancient places
Turn but a stone and start a wing!
‘Tis ye, ‘tis your estranged faces,
That miss the many-splendored thing.
John the Baptist couldn’t have put it better! Truly what Advent announces is a ‘many-splendored thing’: God’s splendour shining through simplicity, God’s power bursting through weakness. Conceived out of wedlock, born out of home, rejected by society, killed by the ‘law’, Jesus became a man on the margins. Do we want to cheer at the birth of a marginalised man? Do we want to listen to what he says? Do we not prefer the hollow chant of ‘Ho! Ho! Ho!’ and the glint of tacky tinsel? Could that be why we’ve handed Christmas over to kids?
Fr Tom Cahill SVD

St. Patrick’s Parish Centre
We are now well established in our new Parish Centre. Thanks to Ted Byrne and his team we have established routines and procedures which serve the parish well.
We feel it is now time for the official opening of the new centre and homes for the elderly which, please God, will be held on the afternoon of Sunday, 17th January 2010. We plan this to be a great parish celebration and we invite you to keep the afternoon free. All are invited to attend.
We will keep you informed of the details as they emerge. Make sure to mark the day in your diary.

The Immaculate Conception
Tuesday is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. We keep it as a holyday in the Catholic Calendar. Masses in our parish follow the usual weekend schedule.

Pray for the Deceased
Recently Deceased: Maureen Nolan, Fr. Murphy Square. Johanna Maher, Maudlin Street. Elsie Ryan, Canada, (Fri 9.30). Paddy Forrestal, England.
Months Mind: Bernadette Delaney (Sun 12.30), Margaret Hutchinson (Mon 7.00).
Anniversaries: Tom O’Dowd (Sat 6.15), Mary Millea (Sat 7.00), Laurence Healy (Sun 9.30), Kathleen Brown (Sun 10.00), Elaine Kelly (Sun 10.30), Michael Hickey (Sun 11.00), Michael Dwyer (Sun 12.00), Michael Fitzmaurice (Mon 6.15), Myra Treacy (Tue 10.00), Eugene Curley (Tue 12.00), Hughie Tiernan (Tue 12.30), Deceased Members of the Larchfield Community (Wed 10.30), Joseph Kelly (Thurs 9.30), Anne Fogarty (Fri 10.30), Syl Gaffney, Bess & Mick Delaney, Annie Wall, Catherine Bambrick, Thomas & Mary Toomey, Angela Murphy, Margaret Doyle, John Egan.
Intentions for Next Weekend: Marie Holohan (Sat 6.15), John Carroll (Sat 7.00), Michael Hynes (Sun 9.30), Joe, Nan & Aoife Mulhall (Sun 10.00), Kathleen Redpath (Sun 10.30), Eddie Slattery (Sun 11.00), Podge Butler (Sun 12.00), Patricia Fitzpatrick (Sun 12.30).

A Word of Thanks
The members of St. Fiacre’s Folk Choir would like to thank everyone who contributed in any way to the successful launch of their recent CD, Joy & Inspiration. Copies of the CD are on sale in St. Patrick’s Parish Centre or from any member of St. Fiacre’s Folk Choir at a cost of €10. Proceeds to Parish Centre.

Rosary Procession
The annual Candlelight Rosary Procession will leave the Parade at 8pm on Tuesday, 8th December and proceed to the Black Abbey for Benediction.

Family Liturgy
All young people and their parents are invited to St. Fiacre’s Church at 6.30pm on Wednesday for a practice for the 10.30am Sunday family liturgy.

St. Westcourt News
The monthly Mass to pray for the blessings of Edmund Rice on our lives and for his canonisation will be held at Westcourt on Monday, 14th December at 7.30pm. (Note date).

St. Canice’s Cathedral Carols
The local Church of Ireland community invites you to the annual Service of Nine Lessons and Carols at St. Canice’s Cathedral at 7.00pm on Sunday, 13th December.

Pat’s Cabaret
The annual ‘Pat’s Cabaret’ will he held in Delaney’s Bar, Patrick Street on Thursday 10th December. Proceeds to charity. Music by John Hillman & Sean Shortis plus guest artists. Door Prizes. Admission €2.00.

Craft Fair and Coffee Afternoon
The S.O.S. Craft Fair and Coffee Afternoon takes place at Seville Lodge, Callan Road on Sunday, 6th December from 2.00pm to 5.00pm. Come and buy you Christmas cakes, Christmas puddings, plants, window boxers and festive items.

Kilkenny Lions Club
Christmas Hamper and Charity Appeal
Kilkenny Schools’ Concert featuring the CBS Boys’ Choir, Kilkenny College Jazz Band, Junior Choir and Chamber Choir, St. John’s Senior School Choir and Chamber Ensemble, St Canice’s Co-Ed School Recorder Ensemble and Jazz Band, Gaelscoil Osrai Choir, Castlecomer Community School Choir at St. Canice’s Cathedral on Thursday, 10th December at 8pm. Admission - Payable at door: Adults €10/€4.

L’Arche Christmas Fair
Fair will be held on Sunday, 6th December in L’Arche workshop, Callan from 11.30am - 5pm. Handcrafted cards, candles, weaving, garden produce and much more.

Society of St. Vincent De Paul
The annual collection for the local conference of the St. Vincent De Paul Society will be taken up outside all Masses next weekend. Please give as generously as possible.
The members of the local conference may be contacted at the Parish Centre at 8.00pm on Mondays or by telephoning 087 681 0589. All calls are dealt with in complete confidence.

Capuchin Friary Advent Retreat
The Capuchin Friary hosts an Advent Retreat from Tuesday, 8th to Thursday, 10th December. Mass and talk at 10.30am each day. Healing Mass at 7.00pm on Tuesday, Reconciliation Mass at 7.00pm on Wednesday and Mass of Thanksgiving at 7.00pm on Thursday. Preacher: Fr. Dermot Lynch OFM Cap. There will be adoration of the Blessed Sacrament each day. Please note there will be no 7.30am Masses on these three days.

Parish Christmas Programme
Christmas Day falls on a Friday this year. The following parish Mass schedule will apply.
St. Fiacre’s Church: Vigil Mass at 9.00pm
Mass of Midnight (Latin)
10.30am, 12.00 noon
St. Patrick’s Church: Midnight Mass
9.30am,11.00am, 12.30pm
St. Joseph’s Church: 10.00am
Mass will be celebrated at St. Patrick’s Church at 11.00am on Saturday, 26th December. That evening the usual weekend Mass schedule returns. During the week after Christmas the only public Mass in our parish will be at St. Patrick’s Church at 11.00am each day.
You are invited to celebrate the Birth of Christ with the people of St. Patrick’s Parish.

Blessing of Christmas Crib
Bishop Séamus Freeman SAC will bless the crib at Workhouse Square, MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre at 5.45pm on Tuesday, 8th December. Christmas Carols will be provided by the Kilkenny Gospel Choir from 5.30pm until 6.30pm.
Adults Activity Festival in the Watershed
Kilkenny Recreation and Sports Partnership (KRSP) is hosting an activity day in the Watershed on Wednesday, 9th December with a range of activities for adults to try out and it’s all free of charge. Activities include Nordic Walking, Kurling and Boccia games, badminton, pilates, swimming and aqua aerobics. A light lunch will be provided in St. Patrick’s Parish Centre at 1.30pm and Eoin Hogan from Trail Kilkenny will give a brief presentation on the walking and cycling trials available in Kilkenny. For further information, contact the sports partnership on 056 772 0870.

Christmas Concert
The Kilkenny Choir will give a Christmas Concert in St. John’s Church, Dublin Road on Sunday, 13th December at 4.30pm. The choir will perform a programme of music by Victoria and Lassus with brass ensemble and guests - Kilkenny Consort. Conducted by Philip Edmondson. Tickets available at the door €10/€8. The Choir will also sing a Victoria Mass as part of the Liturgy at 12.00 noon Mass in St. John’s Church on Sunday, 20th December.

Free Public Lecture in Carlow College
Professor Patricia Casey, (UCD/Mater Hospital), will give a public lecture on the topic: ‘Psycho-social benefits of religion - the scientific evidence’, in Cobden Hall, Carlow College, on Thursday, 10th December at 7.30pm. Admission free. The lecture will be followed by a question and answer session.

Rosary at James’ Green
The monthly rosary on the first Sunday in James Green at the statue of Our Lady of Kilkenny continues this Sunday 6th December at 3pm. All are welcome.

St. Joseph’s Young Priests Society
The monthly meeting of the Society will take place on Friday, 11th December in the Parish Centre immediately after the 10.30am Mass in St. Fiacre’s Church.

Christmas Demonstration
Kilkenny Flower Club will have a Christmas Demonstration by Maura Hanrahan on next Thursday, 10th December in Butler House, Kilkenny at 8.00pm. Maura is a demonstrator in the club and will have some very interesting ideas. Non-Members will be welcome.

Village Crafts
Christmas Exhibition and Sale at Ormonde College Sunday, 6th December. Wood turners Mick Morrissey, Canice Ryan and Ciarán Walsh; Painting Pat Holland; Carving Frank Collins.

Music with Johnny Barry
At Drakelands House Nursing Home. Fundraising event on Tuesday, 8th December from 11.00am to 4.00pm. Coffee, best cakes in town, music and craic. The management, residents and staff are raising much needed funds for the Simon Community, St. Vincent de Paul and the Flood Disaster Victims. If you cannot join us please drop a donation to Mary O’Carroll 056 777 0925.
Thank you, from all in need.

Old Kilkenny Review
The Old Kilkenny Review 2009 is now available. To keep postage costs down it would be much appreciated if you could collect your copy at Rothe House. Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 10.30am-4.30pm, Saturday 10.30-1pm 2pm-4.30pm. Closed Sundays. Many thanks.

Questions People Ask
Q. On a television programme it was claimed the Christmas was a development of the pagan cult of Mithra, a pagan god associated with worship of sunlight. Is there any reason to doubt the traditional belief that the Son of God was born at Bethlehem?
A. Pagan myths lack all foundation in historical fact whereas Christianity is rooted in facts about real, historical people and geographical places. Read St. Luke’s list of real people and places in today’s Gospel. The incarnation, that is the coming of God in human flesh and blood, is no imaginary myth but historical fact.
Fr Silvester O’Flynn OFM Cap