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.