What a fall it had, that house built on sand. On summer holidays as a child, the challenge was always choosing the right place on the beach to build your sandcastles. Too far up the beach and the sand was too dry to stick together. Too close to the water and the whole thing could be swept away with one big wave. It’s how I imagine the house in today’s Gospel, with its flimsy foundations, would fall.
There are times when we are called to reflect on the foundations on which we build our lives. We have recently enough had to come to terms with just how shaky the foundations of our ‘Celtic Tiger’ were, how easily economic and political forces could pull asunder the security we thought we had. But what about our faith?
I have always liked the quote commonly attributed to St Francis of Assisi (though it did not actually appear in his writings): ‘Preach the Gospel; if necessary use words.’ I don’t think it is an argument for foregoing the proclamation of the Gospel in favour of good deeds and social action. Jesus is clear in today’s Gospel that he wants people to listen to his words and to act on them. We are to proclaim Christ not only with our lips but with our actions; that is the rock solid foundation.
Questions People Ask
Q. What do you think of people who are always praying or reading holy books but never lift a hand to help somebody?
A. These people are said to be so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good. It is a false piety which is used as an escape from the harsh demands of practical charity.
In today’s Gospel Jesus touches on the point: ‘It is not those who say to me “Lord, Lord”, who will enter the kingdom of heaven but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven.’
Talk is cheap and actions speak more loudly than words. St John asked, how can you say you love God whom you’ve never seen if you don’t love the person whom you do see?
Fr Silvester O’Flynn OFM Cap
Pray For Our Deceased Friends
Recently Deceased: Helen Cornally, 22 St. Fiacre’s Place. Kathleen Dwyer, Greensbridge. Anne Lydon, Vancouver Canada. Fr. Joe Feely, Salford, Manchester.
Months Mind: Dympna O’Byrne (Sat 6.15), Ann Nolan (Sun 9.30), Tommy Hickey (Sun 10.00).
Anniversaries: Pat Adams (Sat 7.00), Eileen Hickey & Kieran Hickey (Sun 10.00), Margaret McGrath (Sun 10.30), Evelyn Herlihy & Christian Maher (Sun 11.00), Michael Brophy (Sun12.00), Lulu Lynch (Sun 12.30), TP McKenna (Mon 10.30), Bobby Brannigan (Fri 9.30), John Barry (Fri 10.30), Olive Malone (Fri 6.15), John & Kitty Cleere, Margaret Nyhan, Patrick Leahy, Noel Glynn, John Hodge, Dolly Blanch, Tom Manogue, Sr. Teresa Landy, Michael & Mary Tyrrell, Denis Gorey, Bishop Peter Birch.
Intentions for Next Weekend: Eamon O’Toole (Sat 6.15), Vincent Morrissey (Sat 7.00), Ciss Leahy (Sun 9.30), Margaret McGrath (Sun 10.00), Kathleen Maher (Months Mind Sun 10.30), Mary & Michael Brannigan (Sun 11.00), John Dooley (Sun 12.00), Lizzy Ryan (Sun 12.30).
Novena to St. Joseph
The annual Mill Hill Missionaries Novena to St. Joseph begins on Friday, 11th of March and finishes on Saturday, 19th March – the Feast of St. Joseph. Novena Mass and Prayers each evening at 8.00pm in the Mill Hill Missionaries Chapel, St. Joseph’s, Waterford Road, Kilkenny. Fr. Maurice McGill, MHM Regional Superior, will be celebrate the closing Mass on the Feast of St. Joseph -Saturday, 19th of March - at 8pm.
The monthly Mass to pray for intercession of Blessed Edmund Rice and for his canonisation will be celebrated in Westcourt, Callan on Monday, 7th March at 7.30pm.
Church Gate Collection
The recent collection for the Senior Citizens of our Parish amounted to €1,025.07. Thanks
Next Wednesday is Ash Wednesday and is the beginning of the Season of Lent. At our morning Masses we will bless ashes and begin our Lenten observance.
On Ash Wednesday (and for all the weekdays of Lent), there will be an evening Mass at St. Fiacre’s Church at 6.15pm.
There will be an extra Mass at Foulkstown at 7.00pm on Ash Wednesday which RTE will broadcast on LW 252. This is the first Ash Wednesday religious broadcast by RTE and all are welcome.
Extra Lenten Mass
As mentioned above, there will be an evening Mass on each weekday evening of Lent starting at 6.15pm. This is a very popular celebration for people wishing to make Mass a part of their Lenten observance. All are welcome to join us. Our morning Masses remain at the usual times: St. Patrick’s Church at 9.30am and St. Fiacre’s Church at 10.30am.
Evening of Prayer and Reflection
The sisters and staff at Peace in Christ Retreat House invite the people of St. Patrick’s Parish to an evening of Prayer and Reflection at Peace in Christ, Sion Road on Monday, 14th March. The sisters look forward to welcoming the people of our parish and to exploring the gospel in a creative, prayerful atmosphere. The evening starts at 8.00pm and concludes at about 10.30pm. All are welcome.
Sr. De Lourdes Sheridan will hold a bible study in the Parish Centre starting on Tuesday 15th March and continuing for 6 weeks. The theme will be “Women in the Scriptures”. Time: 10.00am to 12.15pm including a cup of tea. Cost: €5.00. All are welcome.
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, 11th March in the Parish Centre immediately after the 10.30am Mass. All are welcome.
Through Lent to Easter
The Adult Faith Development Group in our diocese has organised a short course during Lent for all involved in the liturgical, prayer and music ministries in the parishes of Ossory. It is a chance for us to come together to reflect on how we celebrate Lent as a personal journey and community experience.
These evenings are particularly aimed at Eucharistic ministers; lectors; baptismal teams; choirs; sacristans and indeed anyone who has an interest in the celebration of Lent as a time of preparation for Easter.
Fortunately for our parishioners the venue is St Patrick's Parish Centre, from 7.30 - 8.30pm on the following evenings:- Tuesday, 8th March: The liturgical history of Lent; Tuesday, 15th March: Celebrating Lent as a Parish Community; Tuesday, 22nd March: The Music of Lent; Tuesday, 29th March: Experiencing Reconciliation in Lent.
The course is presented by Fr Willie Purcell and we encourage all, especially those involved in parish liturgical ministry, to attend.
St. Patrick’s Church
During the week, engineers will begin work on the heating system in St. Patrick’s Church. This is to allow essential maintenance and we hope to keep disruption to a minimum. However, it may mean the church will be without heat on certain days and we hope this won’t inconvenience people.
This work is part of the ongoing maintenance carried out on all our churches. Recently the lighting system was upgraded at St. Joseph’s Church and a security system installed in St. Patrick’s Church.
Cake Sale and Coffee Morning
There will be a Cake Sale at the Parish Centre after all Masses at St. Fiacre’s Church this weekend. Coffees/Teas will also be served after the Sunday morning Masses. This is to help raise funds to enable young people with special needs to travel to Lourdes at Easter. The event is organised by Group 174 of the Irish Pilgrimage Trust. www.ihcpt.com
Building Resilience in Families
The Shane and Jim O’Neill Spring School presents an education programme focusing on building resilience in families. The presentation on Tuesday, 8th March at 8pm is “Understanding Mental Health” How to Understand and Protect your Families Mental Health. Presenter: Dr. Fergus Heffernan Psychologist. Venue: Village Business Centre (over McDonalds), Patricks Street. Kilkenny. Booking (essential) 087 927 7479. Cost €10. See poster in church for details.
The Year of the Hiker
Dawn Players present John B Kean’s The Year of the Hiker at the Watergate Theatre on this Saturday evening. Tickets at €12 are available at the door. This event is to raise money for Group 191 of the Irish Pilgrimage Trust.
Weekly Envelope Collection
Last week’s envelop collection: €1,060. The new envelope contribution packs are prepared for distribution. Please contact the parish office if you didn’t receive envelopes last year and would like to contribute to the parish in this way. Thank you for your support.
St. John of God
We celebrate St. John of God’s feast day on Tuesday. As we do we wish the sisters in our parish a very happy feast day.
Monthly rosary at the statue of Our Lady of Kilkenny on Sunday 6th March at 3pm.
Church Gate Collection
The Annual Church Gate Collection for the School of the Holy Spirit will take place next weekend. Please support.
This Irish traditional music fundraiser will take place in the St. Patrick’s Parish Centre on St. Patrick’s Day after the 10.30am Mass. Adults: €5, Students/Children: €3.00. All welcome.
Journey to Freedom
John Pridmore’s new book, Journey to Freedom, is out now. John speaks bluntly about the deceptions of the world he was in and openly about the foundation of his new life. Price €12.50 on www.johnpridmore.com or any good bookshop.