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.