Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fourth Sunday of Advent, 18th December 2011

Parish Christmas Programme
Next Sunday is Christmas Day.  We look forward to welcoming many people to our Masses and services.  The following parish Mass schedule will apply:

St. Fiacre’s Church:       
                            9.00pm Vigil Mass on Christmas Eve.
                           10.30am and 12.00noon Mass on Christmas Day.

St. Patrick’s Church:   
                   9.30pm in St. Patrick's (Latin) on Christmas eve
                   Midnight Mass in St. Patrick's (English)
                   9.30am, 11.00am and 12.30pm Mass on Christmas Day

St. Joseph’s Church: 10.00am on Christmas Day.

During the week after Christmas the only public Mass in our parish will be at St. Patrick’s Church at 11.00am each day.   
Come and celebrate the birth of our Saviour with us.

Do This In Memory
We welcome the Frist Holy Communion candidates and their families  from Gaelscoil Osrai and Kilkenny School Project to the 10.30am Mass at St. Fiacre’s Church this weekend.  We welcome those from St. John of God Girls’ School and St. Patrick’s De La Salle Boys’ School to our 11.00am Mass at St. Patrick’s Church. 
This is part of the Do This In Memory programme which enables families and members of our Mass-going communities help prepare our young people for their First Holy Communion.

Characters of Advent
Fr. Willie Purcell will conclude his series of talks on the Characters of Advent - Isaiah, John the Baptist, Mary and Joseph at the Parish Centre on this Tuesday morning at 11.30am.  All are welcome.

Envelope Collection
The total collected in last weekend’s envelopes amounted to €1902.09  Many thanks.

Pray for Our Deceased Friends
Recently Deceased: Martin  McCorry, England & late of Garden Villas (Sun 9.30am).  Michael Lacey, Dublin. Mary Reynolds, Parliament Street. Eamon Hennessy, Threecastles.  Requiem Mass in Tulla Church at 11.30am on Monday.  Andy Heffernan, Michael Street. Requiem Mass in St. John’s Church at 11.30am on Monday.
Anniversaries: Elizabeth Comerford (Sat 6.15), Julia O’Carroll (Sat 7.00), Joe & Nan Mulhall (Sun 10.00), John Carroll, Thomas, Barbara & Eileen Gunn, Brian & John Gavin (Sun 10.30),George Byrne (Sun 11.00), Podge Butler Jnr (Sun 12.00),  Dick Lynch (Sun 12.30)., Thomas Saunders (Tues 10.30), Tommy & Kitty Clooney & Margaret Fox (Thurs 9.30), Kathleen Redpath, Della Shanny, Jim Dollard, Edward McCormack, John Mamie  & Terry Brett, Jimmy Bergin., May Campbell, Edward Taylor, Patrick, & Rose Wixted, Mary Dowling, Richard & Maureen Free, Seamus Fry, Patrick Burke, Peggy Blanchfield, Mary O’Neill, Maurice & Margaret Maher, Sean & Mary Fitzpatrick.
Intentions for Next Weekend: Betty Furniss (Sun 9.30), Mary & Christopher Coogan (Sun 12.00).

Christmas Penitential Service
Our parish Penitential Service in preparation for Christmas will be held at St. Patrick’s Church at 7.30pm on Tuesday evening.  St. John the Baptist urges us to make straight the way for Christ to come into our lives.  Confessing our sins and receiving absolution is an excellent ways of preparing our souls for Christmas.  All are welcome.

Parish Centre and Parish Office
The Parish Centre and the Parish Office will close from Wednesday, 21st December for the Christmas Holidays and will reopen on Tuesday, 3rd January 2012.  Our automated telephone system will enable you to reach the priest on duty, discover Mass times, leave messages or contact any of the priest’s personal lines during the holidays. 
All in the Centre join in wishing you a Very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Parish Fundraising Bag Pack
Thanks to the many people who helped with our fundraising bag pack at Caulfield’s Supervalu over the past few days.  We appreciate your time given to the parish.    Thanks also to the management at Caulfield’s Supervalu and to the generous shoppers who contributed to the collection.  Well done to Rita Byrne and Mary Parsons for mobilising such a willing team.  Money raised will help defray our parish debt. The total raised came to €3,871.45  Well done!

Eucharistic Adoration
There will be no Eucharistic Adoration in St. Patrick’s Church on Friday, 23rd December 2011.  Adoration will resume on Friday, 30th December 2011.

Seasonal Items at the Parish Shop
Christmas Cribs are available to buy in the Parish Centre.  Among other items available are free-standing crosses, religious calendars Advent Calendars and other seasonal items.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul
The members of the local conference of the Society of St. Vincent De Paul would like to sincerely thank those who supported last weekend’s annual Christmas collection.  Your generosity was phenomenal and the proceeds are being used locally.  Also a sincere ‘thank you’ to all those who left donations at the Parish Centre.  Your generosity will help a lot of families who are struggling this Christmas.

Loughboy Library
Seasons Greetings - we wish all our customers a very happy Christmas and New Year.  We look forward to serving the community in 2012.  The library closes on Friday, 23rd December and re-opens on Tuesday, 3rd January.
Christmas Storyline with crafts for your children takes place  on next Thursday at 11.30am

Church Gate Collection
The church gate collection this weekend is for the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Parish Penitential Service
Our Christmas Penitential Service will take place this coming Tuesday at 7.30 in St. Patrick’s Church.  All are welcome to attend this time of confession  to cleanse our souls and welcome the birth of Jesus among us.  Why not bring a friend?

Annual Christmas Concert
St. Patrick’s Brass & Reed Band’s annual Christmas Concert will take place in St. Patrick’s Church on Monday, 19th December at 8.00pm.  Guest Artists: Audrey Larkin, Eugene Dewberry, MC Noel Power. 
The band will also play at 9.30am Mass at St. Patrick’s Church on Christmas morning.

Advent Scripture Booklet and CD
Ossory Adult Faith Development offers a booklet and CD to facilitate prayerful scripture-based reflection as we approach Christmas.  These are suitable for personal or group use and are available at the Parish Centre. Booklets cost €3 while the CDs cost €5.

Eucharistic Congress Bell 2012
The Eucharistic Congress Bell will travel through the Diocese of Ossory from 8th to 19th January 2012. The purpose of the Bell travelling around the diocese and around the other Irish dioceses is to call people to prayer and bring them to a greater awareness of the forthcoming International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin next June. 
Our diocese will receive the Bell on Sunday 8th January from the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore and will pass it to the Diocese of Ferns on Thursday, 19th January. 
The Bell will be in our parish on Friday, 13th and Saturday, 14th January.  Among the events in our parish will be a Diocesan Youth Mass celebrated by Bishop Seamus at St. Fiacre’s Church on Friday, 13th January.

Let it be!
Today’s Gospel focuses on Mary’s vocation.  It is her ‘Yes’, her ‘Let it be’, that brings light into this world.  We can take the opportunity today to look at our own life situations and ask to what it is that we are being called.  Mary may have had other plans for her life before the Angel Gabriel dropped in unannounced.  God is so full of surprises for each one of us.  Mary’s choice was no easy one under any human circumstance.  It was very much like passing a death sentence. 
Can our attitude be like Mary’s: to search for God, to hear ourselves being called by name, to remember that nothing is impossible with him, and to accept his will?
If I, a little, stumbling faithful soul say ‘yes’, and others in so many other places do the same, then once again, all Heaven will stand on tiptoe, and all creation hold its breath, as in our day the way is opened up for God to come.  I wonder, will God begin again with us this Christmas?   Ruth Patterson       (Jane Mellett)

Parish Website - please visit.

Questions People Ask
Q. The religious meaning of Christmas seems to mean less to me every passing year.  Any suggestions on how I can rediscover the religious excitement of my younger years?
A. Do you have a crib at home?  Read the Christmas story in the Gospel of Luke and like Mary ponder on these things in your heart.  Take time to reflect on the Angelus, or at least the Hail Mary, this week. Attend a Carol service.  Bring Christmas cheer to somebody who needs it.  Be moderate in spending and do not overindulge in eating and drinking.  Each day welcome Jesus into your life and your home.  Bring Christ back into Christmas.
Fr. Silvester O’Flynn OFM Cap

Proper Decorum in Church
There is some concern of late about a growing lack of respect in our churches - people talk and laugh and show little respect for the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and for those who like to prepare for Mass and reflect afterwards. 
We appeal to all to maintain a dignified respect and a quiet atmosphere in our churches.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

3rd Sunday of Advent, 11th December 2011

Annual Christmas Carol Service
The annual St. Patrick’s Parish Carol Service takes place on this Sunday, 11th December at 4.00pm in St. Joseph’s Church, Foulkstown.   For many this has become a must-attend event in the lead up to Christmas and all are welcome.  Seasonal refreshments will be served in the St. Patrick’s Parish Centre after the service.

Fundraising Bag Pack
A fundraising bag pack for the parish will take place in Supervalu, Loughboy on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week.  Some of our parishioners will pack your shopping to raise money towards the cost of our new Parish Centre.  If you have a couple of hours to spare on any of the days and would like to help out, please contact the Parish Office on 056 776 4400.  Many hands make light work!

Parish Christmas Programme
Christmas Day falls on a Sunday this year.  The following parish Mass schedule will apply.
St. Fiacre’s Church: Vigil Mass at 9.00pm
10.30am, 12.00 noon
St. Patrick’s Church: Midnight Mass
9.30am, 11.00am, 12.30pm
St. Joseph’s Church: 10.00am
During the week after Christmas the only public Mass in our parish will be at St. Patrick’s Church at 11.00am each day. 
Come and celebrate the birth of our Saviour.

Advent Scripture Booklet and CD
Ossory Adult Faith Development offers a booklet and CD to facilitate prayerful scripture-based reflection as we approach Christmas.  These are suitable at the Parish Centre for personal or group use. Booklets cost €3 while the CDs cost €5.

Characters of Advent
Fr. Willie Purcell is currently presenting a series of talks on the Characters of Advent - Isaiah, John the Baptist, Mary and Joseph.  This week’s talk takes place on Monday 12th December at 11.30am in the Parish Centre.

Pray For Our Deceased Friends
Recently Deceased: Sr. Marie Joseph Fleming, St. John of God (in her 103rd year).  Requiem Mass at 11.00am on Sunday followed by burial in Foulkstown Cemetery.  Bridget Carroll, Killenaule (Mother of Mairead McLoughlin, ex St. John of God School).  Reposing at Carroll’s Funeral Home, Killenaule from 4.00pm on Sunday.  Removal at 6.30pm to St. Mary’s Church Killenaule.  Requiem  Mass at 11.30am on Monday with interment in St. Crohane Churchyard.  Mary Coyne, Assumption Place. Helen West, Dean Cavanagh Place.
Dina Walsh (nee Drennan) late of Ballinalina, Kells Road, who died in England.  Jim Long, Connolly Street. Kathleen Johnston, Meath.
Anniversaries: Thomas O’Dowd (Sat 6.15), Pat Kearney (Sat 7.00), Michael Hynes (Sun 9.30), Jane & Geoff Power (Sun 10.00),  Eddie Slattery (Sun 11.00), Michael Dwyer (Sun 12.00), Mary Blanchfield (Sun 12.30), Kathy & Francie McKenna (Tue 9.30),  Margaret (Peggy) Quinlan (Wed 10.30), Patrick & Eleanor Murray (Thurs 9.30), Florrie Cleere (Thur 10.30), Bart Keaney, Christina & Thomas Walsh, Eric & Mary McGrath, Annie Wall,  Mary Maher, John Egan, James Murray, John Hayes, Margaret Larkin, Christy Galvin, John & Ann Fogarty,  James Hogan, William & Ellen Bergin, Mary Delaney, Christopher & Mary Ryan.
Intentions for next weekend: Elizabeth Comerford (Sat 6.15), Julia O’Carroll (Sat 7.00), Joe & Nan Mulhall (Sun 10.00), John Carroll, Thomas, Barbara & Eileen Gunn, Brian & John Gavin (Sun 10.30),George Byrne (Sun 11.00), Podge Butler Jnr (Sun 12.00),  Dick Lynch (Sun 12.30).

Notices for Newsletter
We strive for accuracy in compiling our weekly newsletter.  However, being human, we sometimes make mistakes.  It is advisable to deliver items for the newsletter directly to the Parish Office rather than leaving them in church or handing them to priests after Mass.  Messages may also be delivered by telephone (776 4400) or email (

Pope’s Wishes for Christmas
Before lighting Christmas Tree lights during the week Pope Benedict expressed three wishes for Christmas.  “My first wish is that our gaze, that of our minds and our hearts, not rest only on the horizon of this world, on its material things, but that in some way, like this tree that tends upward, it be directed toward God. God never forgets us but He also asks that we don't forget Him.”
The Holy Father's second and third wishes relate to light.  “The Gospel,” he said, “recounts that, on the holy night of Christ's birth, a light enveloped the shepherds, announcing a great joy to them: the birth of Jesus, the one who brings us light, or better, the One who is the true light that illuminates all. This great tree will illuminate the darkness of the night with its light.  My second wish is that we recall that we also need a light to illumine the path of our lives and to give us hope, especially in this time in which we feel so greatly the weight of difficulties, of problems, of suffering, and it seems that we are enshrouded in a veil of darkness.  But what light can truly illuminate our hearts and give us a firm and sure hope?  It is the Child whom we contemplate at Christmas, in a poor and humble manger, because He is the Lord who draws near to each of us and asks that we receive Him anew in our lives, asks us to want Him, to trust in Him, to feel His presence, that He is accompanying us, sustaining us, and helping us.”
The Pontiff presented his third wish. “This great tree is formed of many lights.  My final wish is that each of us contributes something of that light to the spheres in which we live: our families, our jobs, our neighbourhoods, towns, and cities.  That each of us be a light for those who are at our sides; that we leave aside the selfishness that, so often, closes our hearts and leads us to think only of ourselves; that we may pay greater attention to others, that we may love them more,” the Pope wished.  “Any small gesture of goodness is like one of the lights of this great tree: together with other lights it illuminates the darkness of the night, even of the darkest night.” 

St. Vincent De Paul Collection
The St. Patrick’s Parish Conference of the Society of St. Vincent De Paul will hold their annual Christmas Collection on this Sunday 11th December.  The collection will take place outside the church and not as part of the 2nd collection.  Please give generously.

Divine Mercy
An hour of adoration and prayer for Divine Mercy  will take place in the Friary Church on Sunday, 11th December from 3.00 - 4.00pm.  All are welcome.

Craft Exhibition
The S.O.S. Craft Exhibition and Coffee afternoon takes place on Sunday, 11th December from 2.00 - 5.00pm.  Come and buy your Christmas cakes, Christmas puddings, and many festive products. 

Annual Christmas Concert
St. Patrick’s Brass & Reed Band’s annual Christmas Concert will take place in St. Patrick’s Church on Monday, 19th December at 8.00pm.  Guest Artists: Audrey Larkin, Eugene Dewberry, MC Noel Power.  The band will also play at 9.30am Mass at St. Patrick’s Church on Christmas morning.

Cribs For Sale
In the Parish Shop, located in the foyer of the Parish Centre, there are a number of beautiful Christmas cribs for sale.  Christmas isn’t the same without  remembering and casting a prayerful eye upon the scene of the Holy Nativity.  Many families use the traditional crib as a way of teaching and involving younger children in the nativity scene. Some even put the three wise men on display, some distance away from the crib and move them closer each day to signify the journey they make to worship Jesus.  Why not start your own journey?

Parish Pastoral Council Members
We are delighted to welcome the newest member of our Parish Pastoral Council who will help shape the future direction of our parish.

Liam Lawton - 20th Anniversary Tour
Tickets are still available for the Liam Lawton Concert at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Castlecomer on Tuesday 13th December.  Tickets €20 available at Castlecomer Parish Centre (444 1262) and The Book Centre, High Street and at the door.

Questions People Ask
Q. Why did they have to put big words like ‘consubstantial’ into the new translation of the Creed?  A priest friend of mine told me the word isn’t even in his dictionary!
A.  There is no simple English word to express the deep theology of the unity of Jesus Christ with God the Father.  The old translation was ‘of one Being with the Father’.  Being is a shorter word than consubstantial but it is a philosophical term not easy to understand.  The former translation was just as difficult as the new.  As for your priest friend, get him a decent dictionary for Christmas!         (Fr. Silvester)

Weekly Envelope Collection
Thank you for your contribution of €2,360.00 last weekend.  We appreciate your  generosity.

Loughboy Library
Scrabble Games - for over 50s take place on Wednesdays at 2.00pm. 
Exhibition by local artist Caroline Sloane continues until 31st December.
Computer Classes for Beginners are ongoing on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Re: Alzheimers and Dementia
The new location of the Day Care Centre for People Living with Alzheimers or Dementia is 39a Hebron Business Park, Kilkenny.  Meals provided and plenty of entertainment.  Open: Monday - Friday from 9.30am to 4.00pm. Contact Ruth or Margaret 777 1230.

Human Rights Day
“Those who oppress the poor show contempt for their Maker but whoever is kind to the needy honours God.” (Proverbs 14:31). As we mark International Human Rights Day (10th December) Trocaire asks us to help the poor people in Pakistan who are living under wealthy landowners as modern day slaves. The Global Gift of Freedom will help stop this abuse. or call 1850 408 408.

From Another Newsletter
To our Christian friends, ‘Merry Christmas.’ To our Jewish friends, ‘Happy Hanukkah’.  And to our atheist friends, ‘Good luck!’

Think Pink
Today is GAUDATE Sunday which means ‘Rejoice’.  We light the pink Advent candle and perhaps we should THINK PINK or even wear pink as St. Paul says to us: ‘Brothers and Sisters: Rejoice always!’  These final days of preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ birth are sacred. 
There is much darkness around us in society, in our church community and Advent expresses the complexity of the world, the yearning for the Light.  We could easily become cynical but today we are asked to REJOICE (think pink!), to be thankful for those who come as witnesses for Christ (think pink!) whether they be the Mother Teresas of this world or in the words of Margaret Silf: ‘The teacher who helps a child solve a problem; the teenager who stops to share a word and a sandwich with a  homeless person; the activist who insists on justice for the asylum seeker – they are all reflecting the glory of the Lord.’
Today, THINK PINK, remember we are all called by the Lord.  Remember the great things he has done and continues to do for you.  Remember how your goodness and compassion can bring the Light of Christ to others.  And of course, remember to THINK PINK.     Jane Mellett