Monday, January 31, 2011

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, 30th January 2011

Catholic Schools Week 2011
Catholic Schools Week (30th January – 5th February) gives us the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the tremendous contribution that our Catholic primary and post-primary schools make, not just to Irish society, but to the mission of the Church. In our parish we give thanks for parents and teachers, members of the boards of management and parent’s associations, special needs assistants, people who work as secretaries, all who are involved in cleaning and maintenance, priests and the many others who give their time and energy in ensuring that our children receive the best education possible and are given the ability to realise their full potential as human beings and as children of God. This year’s theme, Catholic Schools - Rooted in Jesus Christ, is inspired by the Letter of Pope Benedict to the Catholics of Ireland.
St. God of God Girls’ School
The St. John of God Girls’ School will celebrate Catholic Schools Week with a Mass at St. Patrick’s Church at 1.15pm on Friday next. Parents and grandparents of the children are especially invited to attend as are all members of our parish community.

Senior Citizens’ Party
The annual dinner and party for the senior citizens of St. Patrick’s Parish will be held at the Parish Centre on Monday week, 7th February. Good food and a great night’s entertainment is guaranteed. Tickets €10 at the Sacristies and Parish Office. Please help the organisers by booking as soon as possible.

World Youth Day 2011
Young people from the Diocese of Ossory are invited to attend World Youth Day in Madrid in August.  Pope Benedict invited the young people of the Church to gather in Spain this year at the end of the WYD celebration in Sydney in 2008.  Ossory will be there!  If you are 18 years or older on the 1st August 2011 and would like to be part of this world wide pilgrimage please contact Fr. Richard Scriven on 087 242 0033 or

Pray for our Deceased FriendsRecently Deceased: Maureen Barry, Maidenhill, Kells Road. Reposing at her nephew’s home at 3 Castleview, Castle Road from 4.00pm on Sunday. Prayers at 7.00pm followed by removal to St. Patrick’s Church. Requiem Mass at 11.00am on Monday followed by burial at Danesfort Cemetery. Mim Keane, Liscarroll, Cork. Sean Kelly 14, St. Francis Terrace. Dick Brennan, 45 Wolf Tone Street; Requiem Mass at 12 noon on Sunday in St. John’s Church. Anne O’Shea, College Gardens. Dympna O’Byrne, 9 St Fiacre’s Gardens. Seamus Holohan, Dunmore. Michael Peters, formerly Callan & London. William McGarry, Gas House Lane & Brownstown.

Anniversaries: Pauline English (Sat 6.15), Kathleen Hickey (Sat 7.00), Paddy Delaney (Sun 9.30), Mary Costello (Sun 10.00), Ann & John Waldron (Sun 10.30), James Loughlin (Sun 11.00), John Hennessy (12.00), Michael Moore (Sun 12.30), Con Noonan (Mon 9.30), Kathleen Codd (Tues 10.30), Daniel ‘Algie’ Lanigan (Wed 10.30), Monica, Gerard, Bridie & Mary Dooley., Elizabeth Kavanagh, Derek De Loughrey, Ann Kenny, Margaret Fanning, Rev. John Nyhan, William Culleton, Moya Bligh, Gretta Phelan, Kit O’Carroll, May & Paddy Morris, Nell Grant.

Intentions for next weekend: John O’Rourke (Sat 6.15), Joseph Kirwan (Sat 7.00), Eamonn & Frances Costello (Sun 9.30), Noeline Flood (Sun 10.00), Pat Kearney, Waterford Road, (Sun 10.30), Dr. Richard Purcell (Sun 11.00), Paddy Burke (Sun 12.00), Rory Quinn (Sun 12.30).

In Church This Week
Monday: St. John Bosco, Priest
Tuesday: Saint Brigid, Secondary Patron of Ireland. She was a woman who gave witness to her faith by her welcome, generosity and care for all with whom she came in contact.
Wednesday: Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas Day). Observes the ritual purification of Mary after the birth of Jesus. Feel free to bring family candles to church for blessing at Masses.
Thursday: St. Blaise, Martyr. Throats will be blessed at all Masses in our parish.
Friday: First Friday. Priests will visit the sick.
Saturday: St. Agatha, Martyr.

Kilkenny Gospel Choir
The choir will sing at the annual Service associated with St. Brigid at St. Fiacre’s Church at 8.00pm on Tuesday. Red flannel and blessed water from St. Brigid’s Well in Kildare will be available during the service. There will be a collection to support Suicide Awareness Campaigns.

Parish Choirs
A meeting of the leaders of all the Parish Choirs will take place in the Parish Centre on Wednesday, 2nd February at 8pm.

First Saturday Devotion
Devotion will take place in St. Fiacre's’ Church on Saturday, 5th February after 6.15pm Mass and will end at 9pm. All are welcome.

Young at Heart Club
The Club will be reopen on Wednesday, 2nd February at 2.30pm in the Parish Centre. New members always welcome.

Ladies’ Friendship Club
The Club will reopen on Wednesday, 2nd February in St. Joseph’s at 8.30pm. All welcome.

Support Group
Support Group for Parents and Carers of Children with Special Needs takes place on the first Wednesday of every month.  Next meeting will take place on Wednesday, 2nd February from 10.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. in St. Patrick’s Parish Centre. All welcome.  Please contact Noreen at 087 958 1315 or 087 904 0208.

The Samaritans are Recruiting
The Samaritans in Carlow/Kilkenny branch are currently recruiting for Listening Volunteers. If you have time to spare weekly and feel you have an empathetic ear we would love to hear from you. Training and ongoing support is provided to all volunteers.
Recruitment begins soon so please get in touch with Bridget our Recruitment Officer on 087 638 1668. Bridget will send you out an application form and we will be in touch!

Family Relationships
A presentation entitled Understanding Family Relationships and how to live peacefully in our Families will be given at Village Business Centre, Patrick Street, Kilkenny on Thursday, 3rd February at 8pm. Dr. Fergus Heffernan. Cost: €10. Booking 087 927 7479 (Essential). This night gives us insight into how the Family is constructed, How to live in harmony in a Family, How to create the Family System and rules, just by understanding the dynamics and relationships in family life.

Kilkenny Medjugorje Youth Group
The Youth Group would like to say thank you to all who supported their recent collection.

Movement/Dance to Music for Over 50s
Thursday mornings at St. Patrick’s Parish Centre 11-12 noon. €30 for 6 lessons RSA/YMCA/Extend/Qualified Teacher. Starting 3rd February (wear loose clothing and trainers). For information: Kate 085 111 4107.

Short Courses for Spring!
Kilkenny Campus at St Kieran’s College has new afternoon and evening courses in Literature, Philosophy and Local Folklore & Song, beginning in early Feb. Courses run for 8 or 10 weeks, 2-4pm or 7-9pm. For more information call 777 5910 or 087 2630999 or see Course fees €120/€150. Closing date for applications Feb 2nd.

Church Gate Collection
The Annual Church Gate Collection for Enable Ireland, O’Neill Centre will take place on the weekend of 12th & 13th  February 2011.

Looking for a career in Elder/Child care?
FETAC Level 5 Courses running in February: Communications Module Feb 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 14th. Safety & Health at work Module Feb 16th, 17th, 18th and 21st . Both modules will be held in Carlow from 10.00am to 4.00pm. Contact 059 91 42208 or visit to book.

Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2011
The annual Ossory diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes takes place from 22nd to 27th May 2011. Telephone Eleanor on 051 880 414 between 10.30am and 2.30pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Croagh Patrick Heritage -
Trail Waking Festival: 18th—20 march 2011. Includes 3 great days of guided moderate to challenging walks. Transport from meeting point and start point each morning. Great value of €15 per day. For further information and registration contact: or Tochar Valley Office 094 9366709

Hungry Hearts
A recent study found that almost 40 per cent of the Irish population is now overweight, with almost a quarter being classed as obese. As we enter a new year, newspapers and magazines are awash with articles about the latest miracle diet, the best way to lose weight and achieve the perfect look. We live in a culture obsessed with body image and dieting. But, unlike many of the world’s poor, the majority of us have never known real hunger. Today’s Gospel speaks of a different type of hunger – ‘Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right’. The Beatitudes are one of the passages in Scripture most familiar to us – so familiar perhaps that they can fail to make an impact. When is the last time we considered what is meant by ‘poor in spirit’, ‘pure in heart’. In this, his first address to a crowd, Jesus describes his vision of life in the kingdom of God. The Beatitudes offer a new way of looking at the world. And as radical as these words of Jesus were in his time, they are even more radical today. They speak of attributes of the heart, perhaps less often celebrated in our culture than physical characteristics and outward beauty. Jesus often favoured the less obvious choice, turning traditional wisdom on its head. Or as St. Paul tells us, ‘It was to shame the wise that God chose what is foolish by human reckoning....those whom the world thinks common and contemptible are the ones that God has chosen – those who are nothing at all to show up those who are everything.’
Triona Doherty.

Questions People Ask
Was it foretold in the Old Testament that the Messiah would live in Nazareth?
It wasn’t foretold. In fact Nazareth is never mentioned in the Old Testament. It was a good place for Joseph to get a job as it was close to the new town of Sephoris which Herod was constructing. The Gospel of Matthew has an outrageous pun on the word nazir which means somebody consecrated to God. People were so gobsmacked at the notion that the Messiah might come from Nazareth that it was remarked, ‘Can anything good come from Nazareth.’
Fr. Silvester O’Flynn OFM Ca

27th January 2011

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As we launch Catholic Schools Week in our diocese we take time once again to reflect on the immense contribution our schools make to the education of children and young people. It is also an opportunity to give thanks for the commitment of all involved in our Catholic Schools in Ossory and to pray that together we will continue to grow in our appreciation of the gift that they are to our diocesan community.

This year the theme of Catholic Schools Week is ‘Catholic Schools – Rooted in Jesus Christ’. We all know that strong roots are important in shaping our identity. Our roots in family, community and the culture in which we live provide the foundation on which to build our lives. The same is true of our schools. Pope Benedict reminds us that a good school provides a rounded education for the whole person. And a good Catholic school, over and above this, should help all its students to become saints (cf. Address to Pupils at Twickenham, England). This might seem a very tall order and yet it is the call of every Christian. It becomes possible only when the ethos of our schools is firmly rooted in Jesus Christ the Teacher par excellence.

When a school is rooted in Jesus Christ the fruits are clearly seen: there is a special relationship between school, home, and parish community particularly in the area of preparation for the Sacraments; liturgical celebrations that begin and end the school year and mark other important milestones are a central part of school life; teachers witness to the teachings of Christ in their own lives and by so doing play their part in nourishing the seeds of faith in the hearts of children and young people, seeds that will grow to develop strong roots and produce a rich harvest; young people grow to understand the value of prayer which in turn moves them to actively respond to the gospel with energy and enthusiasm using the many gifts and talents that God has blessed them with.

However we must never become complacent or neglect the task of continually reflecting on our roots and making every effort to renew and strengthen them. In a message for Catholic Schools Week Fr Michael Drumm, chairperson of the Catholic Schools Partnership reminds us that “plants, trees and flowers that lose their roots are blown hither and thither. We too can be uprooted, lacking any true guidance in our lives, drawn this way and that, unsure how to respond” (cf. Welcome, Resources for Catholic School week, Primary & Post Primary 2011).

During Catholic Schools Week I encourage all of you at home, in the school and the parish community to reflect once again on our roots and to use the resources provided for Catholic Schools Week to create a space where all of us as partners in the task of Catholic education can joyfully celebrate this special gift and ensure that we shall be like ‘a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.’ (cf. Jeremiah 17:8 (NRSV))

Thank you for your continued commitment to our Catholic Schools and may God continue to bless all of us as we look to the future with faith in Christ in whose love we are all rooted.

Yours in Christ
Bishop Seamus Freeman SAC

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, 16th January 2011

Refugee and Migrant Sunday
Today is Refugee and Migrant Sunday when we are reminded to celebrate with thanks the diversity of peoples in Ireland.  Pope Benedict in his message for the World Day for Migrants and Refugees has chosen the theme “one family of brothers and sisters in societies that are becoming ever more multiethnic and intercultural, where also people of various religions are urged to take part in dialogue, so that a serene and fruitful coexistence with respect for legitimate differences may be found”.
“The World Day of Migrants and Refugees offers the whole Church an opportunity to reflect on a theme linked to the growing phenomenon of migration, to pray that hearts may open to Christian welcome and to the effort to increase in the world justice and charity, pillars on which to build an authentic and lasting peace,” wrote the Pontiff. “All,” he continued, “belong to one family, migrants and the local populations that welcome them, and all have the same right to enjoy the goods of the earth whose destination is universal, as the social doctrine of the Church teaches. It is here that solidarity and sharing are founded.”
Check out for more information on this topic.

Questions People Ask
Q. It upsets me that none of my grown-up children go to Mass and have not brought their children for baptism. They say that it is only a matter of time before the Catholic Church in Ireland is extinct. How can I answer them?
A. The Catholic Church is far from extinct. My guess is that we probably have two million people at Mass on any Sunday. The Catholic Church has survived many crises over its 2,000 years. A famous writer said that there were five times in history when the Church had gone to the dogs but it was the dogs who died! Jesus promised: ‘You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of the underworld can never overpower it.’ The words of Jesus contain the answer for your children.
Fr. Silvester O’Flynn OFM Cap

Prayer for Christian Unity
The 2011 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will be held from 18th to 25th January. The theme for this year is taken from Acts 2:42: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” and reflects a call back to the origins of the first church in Jerusalem. It is a call for inspiration and renewal, a return to the essentials of the faith; it is a call to remember the time when the church was still one. Within this theme four elements are presented which were marks of the early Christian community, and which are essential to the life of the Christian Community wherever it exists. Firstly, the Word was passed on by the apostles. Secondly, fellowship (koinonia) was an important mark of the early believers whenever they met together. A third mark of the early Church was the celebration of the Eucharist (the ‘breaking of the bread’), remembering the New Covenant which Jesus has enacted in his suffering, death and resurrection. The fourth aspect is the offering of constant prayer. These four elements are the pillars of the life of the church, and of its unity.
More information on

Ecumenical Greetings
To mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and to encourage prayer for this intention in our community the clergy from the four major Christian churches in Kilkenny will ‘exchange pulpits’ next weekend. In our parish we look forward to welcoming Rt. Rev. Cecil Weekes representing the Church of Ireland to St. Fiacre’s Church for the 6.15pm Mass on next Saturday. Later that evening we will welcome Rev. Dr. Sahr Yambasu of the Kilkenny Methodist Church to our 7.00pm Mass at St. Patrick’s Church. On Sunday morning Fr. Dan will bring our greetings to those who worship at the Kilkenny Presbyterian Church.

Cura Cares
Pregnant and distressed and would like to talk to someone in confidence. Telephone Cura at 1850 622 626 or 772 2739.

Pray for Our Deceased Friends

Recently Deceased: Tom Hickey, Willow Close. Bridget Marchetti, Melville Heights. Mary Reynolds, Springmount & Carrick-on-Shannon. Tess Donnelly, Thomastown. Seamus Hennessy, Newpark Close.
Months Mind: Maeve Healy (Sun 10.30)
Anniversaries: Anna Campion (Sat 6.15), Maureen O’Shea (Sat 7.00), Michael Drennan (Sun 9.30), John Bradley (Sun 10.00), Oliver Mannion (Sun 11.00), Paul Prodromou (Sun 12.00), Beattie O’Connell (Sun 12.30), Maureen & Paddy Dwyer (Wed 10.30), John Phelan (Fri 10.30), Evelyn ‘Bobbi’ Leahy (Sat 9.30), Lorenzo Mahony, Patrick & Sally Mullally, Annie Bourke, Lily Power, William, Tess & Joan Murphy, Mary Leahy, Martin Coyne.
Intentions Next Weekend: Kathleen O’Neill (Sat 7.00), Bridget, Albert & Lily Downes (Sun 9.30), Christy McLoughlin (Sun 10.00), Jack Comerford (Sun 10.30), Nora Foley (Sun 11.00), John Collins (Sun 12.00), Margaret & Harry Roche (Sun 12.30).

‘Flu and the Sniffles
With the HSE announcing record increases in ‘flu cases we have re-introduced the hand cleaning dispensers in our churches. Please avail of this facility.
Likewise, for the foreseeable future the sign of peace will be discontinued at all Masses.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul
The second collection this weekend will include the monthly collection for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Please help.

Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2011
The annual Ossory diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes takes place from 22nd to 27th May 2011. Bookings can be made for ordinary pilgrims and the sick by telephoning Eleanor on 051 880 414 between 10.30am and 2.30pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The cost is €720 per person sharing. The price includes insurance, full board, full pilgrimage programme, travel to and from Cork and Lourdes airport and the services of JWT staff.

Guitar Lessons
Guitar lessons resume at St. Patrick’s Parish Centre on Monday, 17th January at 7.00pm.

Pre-Marriage Courses 2011
ACCORD Pre-Marriage Courses will be held on the following dates in 2011: 28th January, 18th February, 25th March, 15th April, 13th May, 17th June, 1st July, 16th September, 14th October, 11th November. All who get married in a church in the Diocese of Ossory are expected to complete an approved pre-marriage course. To book a place on one of the above courses call 056 772 2674 or email Marriage is a big enough undertaking that only the most naive would think they don’t need some help to prepare for the big day and for the rest of their lives.  Book early.

Your Family’s Mental Health
‘Understanding & Protecting You and Your Families Mental Health’ is the title of a talk to be given in Kilkenny shortly. Presenter: Dr. Fergus Heffernan. Venue: Village Business Centre (Over McDonald’s), Patrick Street. Date: Thursday, 20th January 2011. Cost: €10. Booking (essential): 087 927 7479.

Kilkenny Medjugorje Youth Group
Church gate collection will take place next weekend 22nd & 23rd January outside all Masses. Please support.

Coffee/Tea Morning
Drop-In Coffee/Tea and Chat every morning at St. Canice’s Neighbourhood Centre, Granges Road, Kilkenny. Informal painting group on Wednesday mornings and other craft activities. All welcome! Call Wendy on 775 1988 ext 7.

Want a Career in Elder/Child Care
FETAC Level 5 Courses running in February: Communications Module on 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 14th February. Safety & Health at Work Module on 16th, 17th, 18th and 21st February. Both modules will be held in Carlow from 10.00am to 4.00pm. Book on 059 914 2208 or visit

For Parents of 9 – 17 Year Olds
Family Communications and Self Esteem is an 8 week parenting course for parents of 9 – 17 year olds. The aim of the course is to support parents in building good relationships with their children. The course helps parents explore how they communicate with children and with each other, supports parents in the good job they are already doing, provides parents with an opportunity to talk with other parents. The following topics will be covered: Communication, peer pressure, self esteem, assertive parenting, problem solving and conflict resolution. The course is free and will be held at the following venues: The Drum Youth Centre, McDonagh Junction every Thursday morning 10.15am – 12.45 pm from 27th January and The Boardroom, HSE, Lacken, Dublin Road every Friday morning 10.00am – 12.30pm from 28th January. For further information or to book a place contact: The Health Promotion Dept on 056 776 1400. Closing date: 24th January 2011.

Do This In Memory
This programme for First Holy Communion candidates continues at 10.30am and 11.00am Masses on next Sunday.

Loughboy Library
Exhibitions: The Kilkenny Photographic Society is currently exhibiting a beautiful series of photos. Space still available for 2011 - telephone 779 4176 to book.
Wii Training: for over 55s commences shortly.
Free one-to-one computer lessons available every Tuesday and Wednesday from 10.00am - 1.00pm.
Toddler Hour continues on Thursdays at 11.30am.
Loughboy Library celebrates its 30th birthday this July - were you there from the beginning and would you like to share your recollections with us? Or have you a favourite library memory or event or book to tell us about? All entries will be displayed during our celebratory week in July.

Holiday in Europe
8 day holiday to Strasbourg, Paris and Munich includes flights, 4* accommodation, guided tours. Subsidised cost of €875.00. Travel at end of September. Information session at 11.00am on 26th January at St. Canice’s Neighbourhood Centre, Granges Road. Call Wendy on 775 1988 Ext 7. All welcome.

Some Important Dates in 2011
First Holy Communion will be celebrated in our parish on the following dates:-
St. Patrick N.S.: 11.00am on Saturday, 7th May 2011 at St. Patrick’s Church.
St. John of God N.S.: 11.00am on Saturday, 14th May 2011 at St. Patrick’s Church.
Kilkenny School Project.: 12 noon on Sunday, 15th May 2011 at St. Fiacre’s Church
Gaelscoil Osraí: 11.00am on Saturday, 28th May 2011 at St. Fiacre’s Church.
Bishop Seamus will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation with young people from schools in our parish on the following dates:-
Gaelscoil Osraí: 11am on Saturday, 14th May 2011 at St. Mary’s Cathedral.
Other Schools in the Parish: 11am on Saturday, 9th April 2011 at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

Credible Witness
There are some people who have an instinct for recognising talent, whether it’s recruiting the perfect person for a job or discovering the next big thing in the world of entertainment. There have always been talent shows, but the past few years have seen our TV screens awash with public searches for the next big star, complete with celebrity judges whose endorsement can make or break a career. The right words from the right person can make all the difference. It all depends on the credibility of the witness. The theme of witness is central to the Gospel of John, and one of the most prominent witnesses is John the Baptist. He is the first to publicly reveal who Jesus is. And although he says he did not know Jesus when he preached about his coming, when he sees coming towards him he recognises immediately that there is something special about him; that he is the Chosen One.
John recognises him as the one of whom he himself said ‘A man is coming after me who ranks before me because he existed before me.’ He sees himself in the inferior position of a witness, nothing more and nothing less. His job is to point to Christ. He has laid the groundwork and more ‘made straight the path’, and he is the first credible witness to point to the enormity of the work Jesus has come to carry out.
Triona Doherty.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Baptism of the Lord, 9th January 2010

The Beloved Son
I have always found it strange to celebrate the feast of the baptism of Jesus so soon after Christmas. No sooner have we had time to reflect on the vulnerable little baby figure in the crib, than we are catapulted into the first public appearance of the adult Jesus as he receives the mandate for his mission on earth. Yet this dramatic leap forward reflects the movement of the Gospels. We know very little of Jesus’ life between the story of his birth and this story which marks the beginning of his pubic mission. Much as it would be intriguing to learn more about the young Jesus, the Gospels do not spend time on stories from Jesus’ childhood and young adulthood. Rather, they move very swiftly from the beginning of his life on earth to the beginning of his public ministry. We can sympathise with the hesitation of John the Baptist, who has been preaching about the one who is to come after him and recognises that this is a big moment. He is reluctant to baptize Jesus, saying ‘It is I who need baptism from you, and yet you come to me!’ Yet Jesus knows things are as they should be. He is ready to begin the task he has been sent to do, with the highest possible approval for his mission: the voice from heaven saying ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on him.’
Triona Doherty

Questions People Ask
Q. Can you explain why Jesus who was sinless had to receive baptism from John?
A. This of course wasn’t the Sacrament of Baptism as we know it but a ritual washing which John used to indicate a change of life. Although Jesus did not need this ritual washing, he freely chose to enter into solidarity with all who needed salvation. Thus he anticipated his sacrificial death on Calvary when he died to save us from our sins. His involvement with sinful humanity was total. St. Paul wrote that God made the sinless one to be sin so that we might be justified before God.
Fr. Silvester O’Flynn OFM Cap

Pray for our Deceased Friends

Recently Deceased: Brigid (Babs) Brennan, St. Fiacre’s Place. Rosary at Hehir’s Funeral Home at 9.00pm on Saturday evening. Funeral prayers at Hehir’s Funeral Home on Sunday at 11.00am followed by removal to St. Patrick’s Church for Requiem Mass at 12.30pm. Burial afterwards in Foulkstown Cemetery. Rose Walsh, London & late of Laurel Green. Statia Walsh, Ballinalina. May Morley, Cappaquinn. Sr. Presentation McSweeney, Loreto Convent. Joe Woods, Connolly Street.
Months Mind: Christina Walshe (Sun 10.30), Anniversaries: Maura Molloy (Sat 6.15), Teresa Holden (Sat 7.00), Frank O’Shea (Sun 9.30), Liam Costello (Sun 10.00), Thomas Walshe (Sun 10.30), Sean O’Dwyer (Sun 11.00), Teresa Walsh (Sun 12.00), Sean Devane (Sun 12.30), Johnny Brennan, Denis Guilfoyle, Catherine Brett, Ann Smyth, John Lanigan, John & Mamie Brett, Terry Brett, William, Tess & Joan Murphy, James & Annie O’Grady, Patrick, Delia & Margaret Taylor, Noel Dowling, Nancy Ronan, Mary Kate Hayes, Cornelius Carroll, Rita Bourke, Jimmy Coyne, Denis Nyhan, Christopher & Mary Ryan, Bill Esmonde.
Intentions Next Weekend: Anna Campion (Sat 6.15), Maureen O’Shea (Sat 7.00), John Bradley (Sun 10.00), Maeve Healy (Sun 10.30 Months Mind), Oliver Mannion (Sun 11.00), Paul Prodromou (Sun 12.00), Beattie O’Connell (Sun 12.30).

St. Joseph’s Young Priests Society
The monthly meeting of the St. Patrick’s Branch of the society will take place immediately after the 10.30am Mass in the Parish Centre on Friday, 14th January.

Divine Mercy
There will be an hour of adoration and prayer in honour of Divine Mercy in the Friary Church on Sunday, 9th January from 3- 4pm.

Healing Prayer and Mass
The usual healing prayers service will be held at St. Fiacre’s Church from 7.30pm—10.00pm on Thursday evening. Mass will be celebrated at 8.00pm. All are welcome.

Some Important Dates in 2011
First Holy Communion will be celebrated in our parish on the following dates:-
St. Patrick N.S.: 11.00am on Saturday, 7th May 2011 at St. Patrick’s Church.
St. John of God N.S.: 11.00am on Saturday, 14th May 2011 at St. Patrick’s Church.
Kilkenny School Project.: 12 noon on Sunday, 15th May 2011 at St. Fiacre’s Church
Gaelscoil Osraí: 11.00am on Saturday, 28th May 2011 at St. Fiacre’s Church.
Bishop Seamus will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation with young people from schools in our parish on the following dates:-
Gaelscoil Osraí: 11am on Saturday, 14th May 2011 at St. Mary’s Cathedral.
Other Schools in the Parish: 11am on Saturday, 9th April 2011 at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

Pope Condemns Attacks
‘A despicable act of death’ is what Pope Benedict called the New Year’s Day bomb attack on the Coptic Church of the Saints in Alexandria, Egypt which claimed the lives of twenty-one Mass goers. Speaking during his traditional Angelus address in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, 2nd January the Pope said: “This despicable act of death, like the current trend of setting bombs close to the homes of Christians in Iraq to force them to leave, offends God and the whole of humanity which, only yesterday was praying for peace and began a New Year with hope.” The Pontiff assured his prayers “in the face of this strategy of violence that is targeting Christians with consequences on the entire population.” He also encouraged “church communities to persevere in faith and in the witness of non-violence which comes to us from the Gospel.”
The Pope's reference to Iraq referred to a wave of eleven bomb attacks on 30th December which killed two Christians and wounded sixteen others. That violence added to Iraqi Christian fear, particularly high after the explosion at a Christian church in Baghdad, which claimed more than fifty lives last October.
Please keep our persecuted Christian brothers and sisters in your prayers.

Your Family’s Mental Health
‘Understanding & Protecting you and your families mental health’ is the title of a talk to be given in Kilkenny shortly.
Presenter: Dr. Fergus Heffernan
Venue: Village Business Centre (Over McDonald’s), Patrick Street.
Date: Thursday, 20th January 2011.
Cost: €10
Booking (essential): 087 927 7479

Older Adults Swim Lessons
Kilkenny Recreation and Sports Partnership has limited places available for Swim Lessons for older adults. Lessons take place on Wednesday (starting the 12th January) for beginners and Friday (starting 14th January) for improvers at 11am in the Ormonde Hotel. Lessons will run for 6 weeks and cost €20. For further information, contact the Sports Partnership on 056 772 0870 or

‘Console’ Seminar
“Suicide in Ireland – Supporting Our Students” on Tuesday, 15th February 2011 from 9.30am - 4.00pm. The seminar will be held at the Clarion Hotel, Liffey Valley, Dublin.  
This Seminar is aimed at those tasked with supporting adolescents and children through crisis times. Increasingly, professionals in the education sector are called upon to respond to students who are struggling with self-harming behaviour or suicidal ideation. In addition, students can be traumatised in the aftermath of a suicide in their school or community, and addressing grief and suicide bereavement in an appropriate and timely manner is crucial. This seminar welcomes nationally recognised experts in the fields of child and adolescent mental health. Attendees will gain an understanding of self harming and suicidal behaviour in Irish children and adolescents, and learn about fostering positive and resilient environments for children, during stressful or crisis times.
For further details and booking information, contact Console on 01 610 2638 or email

James Stephens News
James Stephens U-14 panels are returning to commence their season for 2011. A membership registration night will be held in the club lounge on Tuesday, 11th January at 7.00pm. The first training session of 2011 will be on Thursday, 13th January in Nuncio Road at 6.30pm. New players are encouraged to join for what is sure to be a most enjoyable and successful year at U14 level.
The much anticipated U12 Carrigeen tournament cup final v Killeagh is re-fixed for the third time to go ahead this Sunday, 9th January in Carrigeen GAA. This final was postponed twice before the Christmas holidays due to the severe weather conditions. The very best of luck to the U12 players and mentors!

Help for those who Stammer
Do you stammer or stutter? The McGuire Programme can help. There will be an open information day on Saturday, 22nd January 2011 at 1.00pm in Springhill Court Hotel, Waterford Road, Kilkenny. All are welcome. For further information go to Take control of your speech and communicate what you want.

Art Classes
Beginners and advanced welcome. Equipment supplied. Starting Monday, 17th January in St. Patrick’s Parish Centre from 2.30 – 5.00pm. Contact Eamonn on 086 334 5144 for further details.

Evening Mass in Kilkenny City
Mass is celebrated each weekday evening at 6.15pm at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny.

Pope Benedict Speaks to Youth
The Pope recently addressed a particular message to youth, reminding them of World Youth Day to be held in Madrid this August. He invited young people to be drawn in by Christ, “establishing with him a frank and deliberate dialogue and also asking themselves: Will the Lord count on me to be his apostle in the world, to be a messenger of his love?”
“May generosity not be lacking in responding, nor that fearlessness which led the Apostle James to follow the Master without sparing sacrifices,” the Holy Father said.
The Pope’s Letter was to those who accompanied him on his recent pilgrimage to Spain.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Second Sunday of Christmas 2nd January 2011

Heavens’ Embroidered Cloths
In his poem ‘He Wishes for the cloths of Heaven’, WB Yeats describes the skies as ‘the heavens’ embroidered cloths’;
‘Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light.’
How often do we look up to the sky and take account of its stars and clouds its changing colours? From the very beginning of the Old Testament, there are stories of God acting through nature - from the pillars of cloud and fire that guided the Israelites out of Egypt, to the parting of the Red Sea. Through the central events of the history of salvation, God has been there to guide his people to freedom.
In today’s Gospel it is the star that leads the Wise Men to Jesus. ‘We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage,’ they say. When the star halts over where Jesus is, it fills them with delight. They fall to their knees before him, offering up their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
The hero of Yeats’ poem has no such gifts to offer, not ‘the heavens’ embroidered cloths’ nor the elaborate riches of kings; he has only his dreams. ‘But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet. Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.’
Triona Doherty

Questions People Ask
Q. Why is the eagle chosen as a symbol for the Gospel of John?
A. The eagle soars high above the earth and John soars high in reflecting on the incarnation. Furthermore, the eagle is reputed to be the only creature that can look directly into the light of the sun without damaging its eyes. The Gospel of John looks into the inner life of the Blessed Trinity. The blinding light of God’s glory is filtered fro our eyes thought he humanity of Jesus. ‘No one has ever seen God; it it the only Son, who is nearest the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
Fr. Silvester O’Flynn OFM

Bank Holiday Mass Times
There will be no 9.30am Mass at St. Patrick’s Church and no 10.30am Mass at St. Fiacre’s Church on Monday. Morning Mass will be celebrated at St. Patrick’s Church at 11.00am. Schedule returns to usual pattern on Tuesday.

Adoration of Blessed Sacrament
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament continues at St. Fiacre’s Church from 11am to 10.00pm on Monday, 3rd January and in St. Patrick’s Church from 10am to 1pm and 4pm to 9pm Friday, 7th January. All welcome.

St. Patrick’s Parish Centre
The Parish Centre, Parish Shop and the Parish Office reopen for business at 9.00am on Tuesday morning.

The Epiphany
Thursday is the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord. It is a holyday of obligation. Vigil Masses will be celebrated on Wednesday evening and Masses on Thursday will follow the usual Sunday timetable.

First Friday of January
The first Friday of January occurs this week. The priests will visit the sick and housebound as usual.

Thanks for your Help
We would like to say a word of sincere thanks to all who helped with the liturgies during the Christmas Season. Much happened in our parish and we celebrated some wonderful well-attended liturgies. Thanks to all who helped. This is also an appropriate time to say thanks to all who help in our parish in any way during the year. We are always grateful to those who play their part in making this a vibrant and caring parish.

St. Patrick’s Parish Calendars
We are delighted to offer parish calendars again this year. Calendars may be picked up at the back of all our parish churches. Please feel free to take a few and pass them on to friends.

Pray for our Deceased FriendsRecently Deceased: Mary Costello, “The White House”, Wallslough. Funeral prayers at her home at 5.00pm on Sunday followed by removal to St. Patrick’s Church. Requiem Mass at 12.00 noon on Monday followed by burial at Foulkstown Cemetery. Rosary at her home at 9.00pm on Saturday. Patrick Kennedy, Kilmanagh. Angela Davis, Clara.
Anniversaries: Billy & Anastasia Hickey (Sat 6.15), Denis O’Shea (Sat 7.00), Doris Americas (Birthday Remembrance Sun 9.30), Maura Nolan (Sun 10.00), Jack, Peg & Breda Molloy (Sun 10.30), Philomena Brennan (Sun 11.00), Michael Kenny & John Condon (Sun 12.00), Catherine Dunphy (Sun 12.30), Peg Larkin (Wed 10.30), Rose Leahy & Christina Leahy (Wed 6.15), John O’Gara, Agnes & Robert Brannigan, Tom Purcell, Margaret Maher, Maurice Maher, Sean Fitzpatrick, Mary Fitzpatrick, Michael Kelly
Mass Intentions Next Weekend: Maura Molloy (Sat 6.15), Teresa Nolan (Sat 7.00), Liam Costello (Sun 10.00), Christina Walsh (Months Mind Sun 10.30), Sean O’Dwyer (Sun 11.00), Teresa Walsh (Sun 12.00), Sean Devane (Sun 12.30).

Choirs in our Parish
We are blessed to have a number of excellent choirs in our parish - some weekends we can have music and singing at seven of our nine Masses. You may have had your hearts lifted by the music and song at our liturgies over the Christmas Season. The choirs are always looking for new members. If this could be one of your New Year’s resolutions why not speak to a choir member after Mass or call the Parish Office during the week. We would love to hear from you.

Monthly GAA E-Newsletter
James Stephens GAA has recently launched a new monthly e-newsletter which will be sent by e-mail to all players, selectors, members and supporters of the Village in St. Patrick’s Parish and abroad. If you wish to be included on the e-mail circulation list please send your e-mail address to

Pope’s Message for New Year
“At the beginning of the new year I offer good wishes to each and all for serenity and prosperity, but especially for peace. Sadly, the year now ending has again been marked by persecution, discrimination, terrible acts of violence and religious intolerance…”
In his message for World Day for Peace (1st January 2011) Pope Benedict goes on the say that Christians across the world are persecuted more than any other group because of their faith. In a year that saw deadly attacks on Christians across the region the Pope has used his message to plead for tolerance and peace in the Middle East.
Referring to a recent bombing at a Church in Iraq that left dozens of Catholics dead the Pope praised the Catholic communities in Iraq and throughout the Middle East who “continue to offer a courageous witness of faith in those lands”.
Underlining the need for tolerance and religious freedom the Pope said: “It is painful to think that in some areas of the world it is impossible to profess one’s religion freely except at the risk of life and personal liberty”.
The full text of Pope Benedict’s message is on our diocesan website:

Are you Registered in our Parish?
The Parish Team Leader is obliged to keep the parish records as up to date as possible. We need accurate figures for planning and budgeting and we are levied by the diocese according to the numbers of registered parishioners. It is to our benefit to record the numbers as accurately as possible. Please contact the Parish Office if you feel your family is not registered and we will put matters right for you without delay. Thanks.

Monthly Rosary
The monthly rosary on the first Sunday of the month in James Green at the Statue of Our Lady of Kilkenny continues on this Sunday, 2nd January at 3.00pm. All are welcome to come along and implore Our Blessed Mother’s help for the New Year.

Statistics from Our Parish 2010
According to the records for 2010 held in St. Patrick’s Parish:
131 people were baptised in our parish
100 people received the Sacrament of Confirmation
43 couples celebrated the Sacrament of Marriage in our parish churches
41 persons had their funeral rites in our parish churches.
We pray God’s blessing on all of them.

Notices for the Newsletter
Space allowing, we endeavour to publish all notices of interest to parishioners and members of the wider community. Needless to say such notices must respect our Catholic ethos. Please contact the Parish Office on 056 776 4400 or if you would like to have a notice included. Please let us have notices as early as possible but certainly by the Thursday before publication and include a contact number (not necessarily for publication) so that we can contact you for any clarifications.
Requests for inclusion in our parish anniversary lists should also be sent in as early as possible.

Christmas Cribs
The Christmas cribs will be enhanced this week with the arrival of the Three Wise Men. Why not join them in prayer and reflection?
Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first nativity scene in 1223 (a “living” one) intending thereby to cultivate the worship of Christ, having been inspired by his recent visit to the Holy Land where he had been shown Jesus’ traditional birthplace. The scene's popularity inspired communities throughout Christendom to stage similar pantomimes; eventually, the Nativity scene, with its message of birth and hope for the world, became an archetype in Western culture, inspiring an infinite number of works of high and popular art. More and more elaborate static exhibitions were created with wax and ivory figurines garbed in rich fabrics set against intricate landscapes. These elaborate cribs reached their climax in the Kingdom of Naples in the 16th to 18th centuries. Elsewhere, the emphasis was on realism and in a sense of intimacy, beauty and warmth, to draw the viewer into the message of humanity and hope symbolised by the Christmas story.