Letter from Bishop Seamus Freeman S.A.C.
to Mark Catholic Schools Week 2012
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This year the theme for Catholic Schools Week is: Catholic Schools: Christ’s living body active in our world. It is a theme that immediately draws us to the Eucharist which is very appropriate as we prepare for the Eucharistic Congress in June. The Congress will be an occasion to reflect on the centrality of the Eucharist in our lives as Catholics and who it calls us to be as individuals and community. At the heart of every parish and indeed every Catholic School is the celebration of the Eucharist, a living memorial of Christ’s saving love. It is at the altar that we encounter the crucified and risen Lord; it is there we offer our lives as Christ does, so that we too can become the Body and Blood of Christ for others. The resources provided for Catholic Schools Week in Secondary Schools have as their backdrop St Luke’s account of the encounter with the risen Lord on the road to Emmaus. This much loved post resurrection story has always fascinated believers through the centuries and provided consolation and hope for all who identify with the two disciples. Moreover it contains within it the elements of the Mass and in particular the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
In the liturgy of the Word the Lord not only speaks to us but walks with us. His story helps us to find meaning as we walk our own road with its twists and turns. In the liturgy of the Eucharist the Lord responds to our prayer that he ‘stay with us’. He feeds us, with the gift of himself so that we can have the strength to return to our own Jerusalem, that place where we live, work, teach, minister to others, learn, play and pray, where we experience suffering and joy, and live as witnesses to the resurrection. Those of you called to be teachers and catechists in our Catholic schools draw strength in a special way from the Eucharist. When you teach you do so in the knowledge that Christ is with you, as you fulfill your mission, to “bring the flame of Jesus' love, even if it is a small one, to the hearts of children, and through the children to their parents, thus reopening the places of faith of our time” (Pope Benedict XVI: Meeting with Priests 6th August 2008).
As we begin Catholic Schools Week in the Diocese of Ossory it is my prayer that all of you will avail of this opportunity to consider how the Eucharist enables you to become Christ’s living Body in every aspect of school life. The resources which have been sent to each school and all our priests offer occasions for payer and reflection that will help you to appreciate all the more the invaluable service you provide to children, parents and indeed the whole parish community. In Parishes and Primary Schools that observe Grandparent’s day, it has proved to be a unique occasion, celebrating the contribution of so many people who continue to give generous witness to their faith especially by handing this gift on to their grandchildren. In secondary schools young people will find in the thought for each day and other initiatives opportunities for reflection on how our Catholic faith can be a gift to them in helping them achieve their full potential at school and in society.
Finally it is my hope that during the coming week all of you in your schools or parish churches will have an opportunity to participate in the Eucharist and give thanks that you are Christ’s living Body active in our world.
Praying God’s blessing on all of you in your schools and parishes.
+ Bishop Seamus Freeman SAC
Catholic Schools Week
This Sunday, 29th January, marks the beginning of Catholic Schools Week 2012. The purpose of the week is to highlight and celebrate the enormous contribution that Catholic Schools make to our local communities and society in general. This year’s theme is Catholic Schools: Christ’s Living Body Active in our World.
To mark Catholic Schools Week the St. Patrick’s De La Salle Boys’ School Choir will sing the sacred music at the 10.30am Mass at St. Fiacre’s Church on this Sunday.
A Word of Thanks
To our teachers who share their faith with their students, who encourage their students to excel in academics, and who teach their students by their words and example to serve others.
To our parents who make the choice to entrust their children to the teachers in our Catholic schools. Thank you for recognising the wonderful education that is offered in our schools.
To our students who work hard to make their parents and teachers proud - as they grow in their faith, knowledge and their service to others.
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 next Monday, 6th February. Good food and a great night’s entertainment is guaranteed. Tickets €10 are available only from the Parish Office. Tickets are selling well and we advise early purchase to avoid disappointment and to help with catering arrangements. A great night is promised.
St. Brigid’s Day Service
The Kilkenny Gospel Choir will host the annual Service associated with St. Brigid at St. Fiacre’s Church at 7.30pm on Wednesday. The service will pray in particular for those who are experiencing difficulties in life. Red flannel and blessed water from St. Brigid’s Well in Kildare will be available during the service.
Pray for Our Deceased Friends
Recently Deceased: Davy Campion, Troyswood. Funeral prayers at his home on Sunday followed by removal to St. Canice’s Church for 2.00pm Requiem Mass. Burial at St. Kieran’s Cemetery. Frank McEvoy, Hebron Road. Christina Dunne, Old Callan Road.
Months Mind: Sr. Marie Joseph Fleming (Sat 7.00), Micheál Walsh (Sun 9.30).
Anniversaries: Kitty Hickey (Sat 6.15), Pat Kearney (Sun 10.00), Fr. Joe O’Shea (Sun 10.30), Maureen Barry (Sun 11.00), Michael Phelan (Sun 12.00), Jim Loughlin (Sun 12.30), Con Noonan (Tue 10.30), Daniel Lanigan (Wed 10.30), Lil, Billy & Eamon Costelloe (Fri 9.30), Patrick O’Keeffe (Fri 10.30), Elizabeth Kavanagh, Patrick Walsh, Fintan Phelan, Annie Delaney, Richie Grace, Pauline English, Seamus Holohan, Eamonn, Frances , Padraig & Seamus Costello, William Culleton, Ann Kenny, Margaret Fanning, Con Noonan, Billy Culleton, Breda Butler, May Morris Allen & Paddy Morris.
Intentions next weekend: Golden Wedding Anniversary (Sat 6.15), Ann Nolan (Sat 7.00), Shane Holland (Sun 9.30), Noeleen Flood (Sun 10.00), Ann & John Waldron (Sun 10.30), Jimmy McGrath (Sun 11.00), Michael Kennedy (Sun 12.00), Michael Moore (Sun 12.30).
Last weekend’s Parish Envelope collection amounted to €1,317.00. Many thanks.
Young at Heart
This Club re-opens in the Parish Centre on Wednesday, 1st February; 2.30pm - 4.30pm.
St John’s Parish Solemn Novena
St John's Annual Parish Solemn Novena commences next Friday, 3rd February and continues until Saturday, 11th February. It will be conducted by the Redemptorists. Daily Sessions (excluding Sunday) are at 7.30 & 10.30am and 7.30pm. Special Sessions include: Saturday 4th, 10.30 am - Anointing of the Sick; Sunday 5th, 3.30 pm - Blessing of Babies & Small Children; Friday 10th, 7.30pm - Special Session for Youth.
Prayer for Healing
There will be a time of Prayer for Healing at St. Fiacre’s Church between 7.30 and 10.00pm on next Thursday evening.
Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes
The Ossory Pilgrimage to Lourdes, led by Bishop Seamus Freeman S.A.C., will take place from 22nd to 27th May 2012.
Bookings may be made by contacting Eleanor at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 051 880 414 on weekdays except Wednesday. It is important to book as early as possible as places are limited.
First Saturday Devotion
This devotion will take place in St. Fiacre’s Church on Saturday 4th February after 6.15pm Mass. Prayers and adoration will end at 9.00pm. All are welcome.
DVD of Carol Service
Last year’s very successful carol service at St. Joseph’s Church in Foulkstown has been recorded for posterity. Copies of the DVD are available at the Parish Shop. Cost: €15.
The Carers’ Association
The Carers’ Association would like to convey our gratitude to all parishioners who collected for and donated to our recent Church Gate Collections. Funds raised go towards the local Carers’ Association Centre to provide services to Kilkenny Family Carers. It was a great success and we would like to remind Family Carers of our availability to provide support to them in their role. FETAC Training will take place in March. For further information please contact the Centre on 056 772 1424.
Used Goods Collection
Irish Charity Warehouse Killeshin Road, Carlow in partnership with The Holy Angels Day-care Centre are having a Used Goods Collection. Wanted: furniture, building materials, tools, clothes, shoes, toys, books or any saleable items large or small. Please call 059 914 0622 or text 086 400 4680 and we will collect. Your generosity is appreciated.
Websites of Interest
St. Patrick’s Parish: www.patricksparish.net
Ossory Diocese: www.ossory.ie
Morning art class for adults will resume on Fridays shortly. Beginners are especially welcome. Classes are small, friendly and all materials are supplied on the first class. The classes run in Bishop Birch Institute, Waterford Road, Kilkenny from 10:30 am to 12:00. For more information call Sonja at 083 3941220 or email email@example.com.
Jesus the teacher
Have you ever had a teacher who had that something you just couldn’t quite put your finger on – that air of authority that made you instantly respect them; that charisma and enthusiasm that inspired you to listen and to think? Maybe you were lucky enough to have a teacher who left a lasting impression or even propelled you towards your chosen career or way of life? Remember how you felt in their presence? What kind of teacher was Jesus? When Jesus taught for the first time in the synagogue, he took the people by surprise. They were ‘astonished’. What stands out from the description, and what marks Jesus’ teaching apart from everyone else, is that he taught with authority: ‘Here is a teaching that is new and with authority behind it.’ His audience had surely been to the synagogue before. Travelling teachers would often preach in the synagogue. Yet, whatever the people were used to hearing, they had encountered no one life Jesus before. Mark points put that ‘unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority.
We meet Jesus here at the beginning of his ministry; earlier in the Gospel of Mark he has been proclaiming the good news: ‘The kingdom of God has come near; repent and believe in the good news’. Jesus is not simply teaching the Scriptures as the scribes did. He is proclaiming the coming of God’s kingdom.
Questions people ask
Do you believe in the devil or is it just a notion from the times before modern psychiatry and understanding of the psyche?
Don’t underestimate the wisdom of olden times as shown in sophisticated mythology. I certainly do believe in the reality and power of evil spirits who would lead people astray into a quagmire of badness. The evidence of evil is all around us. Jesus said that the devil is a murderer from the beginning and the father of lies (John 8:44). Lies, especially when masquerading as half-truths confuse the mind. He called the devil the prince of this world but added that he was about to cast him out (John 12:31). The last petition of the Lord’s Prayer is for deliverance from the evil one. If Jesus took the evil influence of the devil seriously, we should do likewise.