Sunday, January 1, 2012

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, 1st January 2012

Happy New Year
The priests in the parish and the Parish Pastoral Committee join in wishing all a very happy and peaceful New Year.  We hope the Lord will bless you throughout 2012.

Bank Holiday Arrangements
As Monday is a bank holiday the only public Mass in our parish will be at St. Patrick’s Church at 11.00am.  We revert to the usual weekday programme on Tuesday.

Parish Centre Reopens
The St. Patrick’s Parish Centre and the Parish Office will reopen for business at 9.00am on Tuesday, 3rd January.

First Friday Home Visits
The first Friday of January occurs this week.  Fr. Roderick will visit those on his list on Thursday.  Frs. Dan and Liam will visit on Friday.
If you cannot get out to Mass on a weekly basis now is the time to get your name on the priests’ lists.  Likewise if someone known to you is unable to get to church regularly the priests would be happy to make home visits.  Contact the Parish Office (056 776 4400).

Feast of the Epiphany
Next Friday, 6th January, is the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord.  It is a holyday of obligation and Masses will be celebrated at the usual weekend times.
The Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ is one of the oldest Christian feasts, though, throughout the centuries, it has celebrated a variety of things. Epiphany comes from a Greek verb meaning “to reveal,” and all of the various events celebrated by the Feast of the Epiphany are revelations of Christ to man.
Like many of the most ancient Christian feasts, Epiphany was first celebrated in the East, where it has been held from the beginning almost universally on 6th January. Today, among both Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, the feast is known as Theophany - the revelation of God to man.
Congress Bell in our Diocese
The Eucharistic Congress Bell began its pilgrimage through the Dioceses of Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day in 2011.  Like St. Patrick’s Bell, the Congress Bell is being rung across the land calling God’s people together, to hear anew the good news that God is present among us and calls us to communion. 
On next Sunday, 8th January at 2.00pm Bishop Freeman will receive the Congress Bell from the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore at Rice Bridge in Waterford.  There will be a short roadside prayer service on the bridge before the bell is brought by boat to Mooncoin Parish.  We encourage as many as possible from our parish to join in this reception service.  During the following week the bell will be brought to various parishes throughout the diocese arriving in Kilkenny City at 11.00am on Friday, 13th January.  The bell will visit various secondary and primary schools, hospitals and convents in the City during the day before arriving at St. Fiacre’s Church for a youth Mass at 7.00pm at which Bishop Freeman will be principal celebrant.
The bell will overnight at St. Fiacre’s Church before transferring to St. Patrick’s Church for 9.30am Mass on Saturday morning.  From there the bell will be brought into the City where it will be rung by the Mayor and members of the Borough Council.
We invite as many as possible to get involved in the Masses and Prayer Services associated with the bell’s visit.  Full details of the bell’s itinerary are available on

Eucharistic Congress Volunteers
The organisers are still recruiting volunteers to help next June.  While the Congress will take place from 10th - 17th June volunteers will be needed for a few days on either side of the main event.  Over 700 volunteers have already registered.  Volunteers have an integral role to play and many more volunteers are needed.  To register, please contact

Pray for Our Deceased Friends
Recently Deceased: Fr. Martin Cleere PP, Windgap and late of Foulkstown.  Requiem Mass in Windgap at 1.30pm on Sunday followed by interment at St. Kieran’s Cemetery. Bridie Meaney, Clifden. John Walsh, Rioch Court. Micheal Walsh, Sycamore Drive.  Seamus Fahey, Francis Terrace.  Michael Manley, McDonagh Street. Declan Lanigan, Cuffesgrange.
Anniversaries:  Attracta Bradley (Month’s Mind) & John Bradley (Sat 6.15), Denis O’Shea (Sat 7.00),  Mary Costello (Sun 10.00), Thomas Drohan (Sun 10.30), Geraldine Cody (Sun12.00), Eddie Taylor  (Sun 12.30),  Christina & Rose Leahy (Thurs 6.15), Philomena Brennan (Thurs 7.00), Jack, Peg & Breda Molloy (Fri 10.30),  Sean Devane (Fri 11.00), Anna Reynolds, Bill Esmonde, William Kavanagh, Agnes Brannigan, Joseph Ayres, Anastasia Ayres, William Ayres, Mary Burke, Eamonn O’Farrell.
Intentions for next weekend: Billy & Anastasia Hickey Sat 6.15), Teresa Nolan (Sat 7.00), Dick O’Hara (Sun 9.30), Tommy Hickey (Sun 10.00), Michael Kenny & John Condon (Sun 10.30), Sean O’Dwyer (Sun 11.00), Teresa Walsh (Sun 12.00).

Men’s Shed
What is Men’s Shed?  A Men’s Shed is a workshop where skilled and unskilled men meet and share their experiences with each other, swap stories and work together on community/personal/group projects.  All men are welcome from age 18 and above.  Membership is free.  Meetings are every Tuesday from 2.00pm to 4.30pm.  Activities include restoring old furniture, gardening, personal projects, learn new skills and hone old ones plus many more.  Contact Ann 056 772 2566 or email

Foulkstown School Reunion
The Foulkstown National School Past Pupils’ Reunion will take place on Saturday, 19th May 2012.  There will be a special Mass in Foulkstown Church  at 7.30pm and a dinner dance in Springhill Court Hotel immediately afterwards.  Please tell any friends and relatives who may be home for the holiday season.

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 financially 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 Michelle at the Parish Office (056 776 4400) if you feel your family is not registered and we will put matters right for you without delay.  Thanks.

Parish Events during 2011
St. Patrick’s Parish is a busy place.  We believe we are the largest parish in the diocese and currently the only one with three full time priests.  During 2011 we received 127 new members into our Church through the Sacrament of Baptism.  197 people received the Sacrament of Confirmation during the year.  38 happy couples were married in our parish churches during the past 12 months and perhaps as many more of our men folk were married in the brides’ home parish.  Finally, and sadly, we celebrated 47 funerals in our parish churches during the year.

Tridentine Mass
Please note the Latin Mass on Friday, 6th January at St. Patrick’s Church will be celebrated at 6.00pm and not at the usual time.

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.

Thanksgiving Dinner Dance
Christmas Thanksgiving Dinner Dance in aid of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul will take place in Langton’s Hotel, John Street Kilkenny on Friday, 6th January at 8.00pm.   Sit down dinner, music by 'The Uptown Band' with special guest Don Mescal and the Kilkenny Gospel Choir.  All for only €5.  Tickets and information from Langton’s Hotel, John Street.

Parish Website
Please see our parish website for up to the minute information and local  news. Updated regularly:
Questions People Ask
Q.  While I do have devotion to Mary, I hesitate at calling her the Mother of God.  How could any human being be the Mother of God who existed long before her?
A. A little history lesson might help.  Nestorians claimed that Jesus was only human, not divine, when born of Mary and that divine powers were somehow bestowed on him later in life.  The Council of Ephesus, 431, rejected this teaching and declared that Jesus, born of Mary, was not only human but truly divine at all times.  As a consequence, Mary can be called Mother of God, not from all eternity but as his human body was formed in her womb.  It is said that when the people of Ephesus heard the Council’s declaration they danced around chanting ‘Holy Mary, Mother of God’ and this was the beginning of the second half of the Hail Mary.              
Fr. Silvester O’Flynn OFM Cap

Mary our Model
The words of today’s First Reading are familiar to us as the blessing often used at the end of Mass: ‘May the Lord bless you and keep you.  May the Lord let his face shine on you and be gracious to you.  May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace.’
The image of God ‘uncovering his face’ is often used as a way of describing how God reveals himself to us.  As Archbishop Diarmuid Martin puts it: ‘God uncovers his face in Jesus Christ who becomes God with us and does so in such a remarkable manner, in the humility and obscurity of his birth, far away from all signs and trappings of earthly power and wealth.’
Today, the first day of a new year, we reflect on Mary.  Mary was the first one to whom God ‘uncovered his face’ and revealed the coming of Jesus.  In today’s Gospel we see her continue to accept God’s will and to face the future.
I love the image of Mary ‘treasuring’ and ‘pondering’.  Like any pregnant woman, Mary marvelled at the new life growing inside her, all the while pondering God’s mysterious plan.  And now that her son has arrived, strangers are hurrying to see him and telling her great things about him.
Let’s make a new start.  Let us take time to listen, to treasure and to ponder.  May the Lord bless you and keep you, as you enter a new year.