Saturday, October 18, 2014

Message of the Synod Assembly on the Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization

"We offer you the words of Christ: 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter his house and dine
Vatican City, October 18, 2014 (

Here below is the message of the Synod Assembly on the pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelization, released Saturday afternoon by the Vatican:
“We, Synod Fathers, gathered in Rome together with Pope Francis in the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, greet all families of the different continents and in particular all who follow Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We admire and are grateful for the daily witness which you offer us and the world with your fidelity, faith, hope, and love.
Each of us, pastors of the Church, grew up in a family, and we come from a great variety of backgrounds and experiences. As priests and bishops we have lived alongside families who have spoken to us and shown us the saga of their joys and their difficulties.
The preparation for this synod assembly, beginning with the questionnaire sent to the Churches around the world, has given us the opportunity to listen to the experience of many families. Our dialogue during the Synod has been mutually enriching, helping us to look at the complex situations which face families today.
We offer you the words of Christ: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me”. On his journeys along the roads of the Holy Land, Jesus would enter village houses. He continues to pass even today along the streets of our cities. In your homes there are light and shadow. Challenges often present themselves and at times even great trials. The darkness can grow deep to the point of becoming a dense shadow when evil and sin work into the heart of the family.
We recognise the great challenge to remain faithful in conjugal love. Enfeebled faith and indifference to true values, individualism, impoverishment of relationships, and stress that excludes reflection leave their mark on family life. There are often crises in marriage, often confronted in haste and without the courage to have patience and reflect, to make sacrifices and to forgive one another. Failures give rise to new relationships, new couples, new civil unions, and new marriages, creating family situations which are complex and problematic, where the Christian choice is not obvious.
We think also of the burden imposed by life in the suffering that can arise with a child with special needs, with grave illness, in deterioration of old age, or in the death of a loved one. We admire the fidelity of so many families who endure these trials with courage, faith, and love. They see them not as a burden inflicted on them, but as something in which they themselves give, seeing the suffering Christ in the weakness of the flesh.
We recall the difficulties caused by economic systems, by the “the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose” which weakens the dignity of people. We remember unemployed parents who are powerless to provide basic needs for their families, and youth who see before them days of empty expectation, who are prey to drugs and crime.
We think of so many poor families, of those who cling to boats in order to reach a shore of survival, of refugees wandering without hope in the desert, of those persecuted because of their faith and the human and spiritual values which they hold. These are stricken by the brutality of war and oppression. We remember the women who suffer violence and exploitation, victims of human trafficking, children abused by those who ought to have protected them and fostered their development, and the members of so many families who have been degraded and burdened with difficulties. “The culture of prosperity deadens us…. all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us”. We call on governments and international organizations to promote the rights of the family for the common good.
Christ wanted his Church to be a house with doors always open to welcome everyone. We warmly thank our pastors, lay faithful, and communities who accompany couples and families and care for their wounds.
There is also the evening light behind the windowpanes in the houses of the cities, in modest residences of suburbs and villages, and even in mere shacks, which shines out brightly, warming bodies and souls. This light—the light of a wedding story—shines from the encounter between spouses: it is a gift, a grace expressed, as the Book of Genesis says, when the two are “face to face” as equal and mutual helpers. The love of man and woman teaches us that each needs the other in order to be truly self. Each remains different from the other that opens self and is revealed in the reciprocal gift. It is this that the bride of the Song of Songs sings in her canticle: “My beloved is mine and I am his… I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine”.
This authentic encounter begins with courtship, a time of waiting and preparation. It is realized in the sacrament where God sets his seal, his presence, and grace. This path also includes sexual relationship, tenderness, intimacy, and beauty capable of lasting longer than the vigour and freshness of youth. Such love, of its nature, strives to be forever to the point of laying down one’s life for the beloved. In this light conjugal love, which is unique and indissoluble, endures despite many difficulties. It is one of the most beautiful of all miracles and the most common.
This love spreads through fertility and generativity, which involves not only the procreation of children but also the gift of divine life in baptism, their catechesis, and their education. It includes the capacity to offer life, affection, and values—an experience possible even for those who have not been able to bear children. Families who live this light-filled adventure become a sign for all, especially for young people.
This journey is sometimes a mountainous trek with hardships and falls. God is always there to accompany us. The family experiences his presence in affection and dialogue between husband and wife, parents and children, sisters and brothers. They embrace him in family prayer and listening to the Word of God—a small, daily oasis of the spirit. They discover him every day as they educate their children in the faith and in the beauty of a life lived according to the Gospel, a life of holiness. Grandparents also share in this task with great affection and dedication. The family is thus an authentic domestic Church that expands to become the family of families which is the ecclesial community. Christian spouses are called to become teachers of faith and of love for young couples as well.
Another expression of fraternal communion is charity, giving, nearness to those who are last, marginalized, poor, lonely, sick, strangers, and families in crisis, aware of the Lord’s word, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”. It is a gift of goods, of fellowship, of love and mercy, and also a witness to the truth, to light, and to the meaning of life.
The high point which sums up all the threads of communion with God and neighbor is theSunday Eucharist when the family and the whole Church sits at table with the Lord. He gives himself to all of us, pilgrims through history towards the goal of the final encounter when “Christ is all and in all”. In the first stage of our Synod itinerary, therefore, we have reflected on how to accompany those who have been divorced and remarried and on their participation in the sacraments.
We Synod Fathers ask you walk with us towards the next Synod. The presence of the family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in their modest home hovers over you. United to the Family of Nazareth, we raise to the Father of all our petition for the families of the world:
Father, grant to all families the presence of strong and wise spouses who may be the source of a free and united family.
Father, grant that parents may have a home in which to live in peace with their families.
Father, grant that children may be a sign of trust and hope and that young people may have the courage to forge life-long, faithful commitments.
Father, grant to all that they may be able to earn bread with their hands, that they may enjoy serenity of spirit and that they may keep aflame the torch of faith even in periods of darkness.
Father, grant that we may all see flourish a Church that is ever more faithful and credible, a just and humane city, a world that loves truth, justice and mercy”.
[Original Text: Italian]
[Translation by the Vatican]

Saturday, October 4, 2014

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A 5th October 2014

Synod of Bishops on the Family

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, will represent the Irish Catholic Bishops at the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of Bishops which will take place at the Vatican from 5th to 19th October, to discuss the topic: The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelisation.
Pope Francis has determined that the work of Synod is to take place in two stages, forming an single organic unity. In the Third Extraordinary General Assembly in October 2014, those present will thoroughly examine and analyze the information, testimonies and recommendations received from the particular Churches in order to respond to the new challenges of the family. The Ordinary General Assembly in 2015, representing a great part of the episcopate and continuing the work of the previous synod, will reflect further on the points discussed so as to formulate appropriate pastoral guidelines.
Those interested in finding out more about the Synod and its deliberations will find up to date and accurate information on and

Prayer for the Synod
Pope Francis has asked us to pray for the success of the Synod in the following words...
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, in you we contemplate the splendour of true love, to you we turn with trust.
Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that our families too may be places of communion and prayer, authentic schools of the Gospel  and small domestic Churches.
Holy Family of Nazareth, may families never again experience violence, rejection and division; may all who have been hurt or scandalized find ready comfort and healing.
Holy Family of Nazareth, may the Synod of Bishops make us once more mindful of the sacredness and inviolability of the family and its beauty in God’s plan.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, graciously hear us. Amen.

Day for Life
Today we celebrate Day for Life, the day that is dedicated by the Catholic Church in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales to celebrate the dignity of life from its beginning to natural death.  The special theme for this year is: Protect and Cherish Life. When we hear of wars and loss of life we realise the importance of this day. We are asked to reflect on the importance and sacredness of life. Each life has a function and grace. We believe that life has a value which cannot be measured. It is a gift from God. He did not create us for death because when we encounter the mystery of death in prayer, in meditation and in experience, we are taken into the vast everlasting life of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Rosary Sunday
Rosary Sunday will be celebrated on this Sunday, 5th October 2014.  It is the Sunday closest to the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and it coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Rosary Rally of Father Peyton, as well as the Marian Year of 1954.  Rosary Sunday is an invitation to people in parishes, in homes, in religious orders to pray the Rosary for the intention of the Family, linking in with those gathered in Rome for the Synod on the Family. The once-common tradition of the family Rosary links very well with the theme of the Synod on the Family in Rome which takes place from 5th to 19th October.  Encouraging the faithful to participate in this initiative, Archbishop Eamon Martin said, “this prayerful initiative has been scheduled to take place during October, the month in which the recitation of the Rosary is especially promoted”.

Do this in Memory
We welcome the boys and girls of our local national schools, their parents and family members who join with us at 10.30am and 11.00am Mass this Sunday.  On this occasion the young people will enrol as candidates in the Parish First Holy Communion Programme and begin their preparation for the happy event next year.

Harvest Thanksgiving Mass
St. Patrick’s Parish will host a Harvest Thanksgiving Mass at St. Joseph’s Church, Foulkstown at 10.00am on Sunday 19th October.  The Mass will give thanks to God for his goodness to us and especially for the produce of the harvest. Parishioners are invited to bring produce to decorate the church and present at the altar between 6.00 and 7.00pm on Saturday, 18th October.  More information next week.

Pray For Our Deceased Friends
Recently Deceased:  Martin Bolger, late of Grovine.  Requiem Mass at St. Joseph’s Church, Foulkstown at 12.00 noon on Saturday, 11th October followed by interment of ashes at Foulkstown Cemetery. Statia Cantwell, Danville.  Des Cody, William Street. Sean Doran, Askamore. Ian Colclough, Bennettsbridge. Celia Nelan, Meadow Way. Pat Woods, Pearse Street.
Anniversaries: Kathleen Roche (Sat 6.15). Mick O’Leary (Sat 7.00). Breda Phelan (Sun 9.30). Dan Gorey (Sun 10.00). Tom O’Neill (Sun 10.30). Ann Roche (Sun 11.00). Evelyn Coppinger (Sun 12.00). John Cullen (Tues 10.30). Mary O’Brien (Wed 10.30). Mary Doyle. Bridget McKenna. Brian O’Reilly. Fr. Jim Forristal.
Intentions for Next Weekend:  Eddie Dean (Sat 6.15). Judy O’Brien (Sat 7.00). Lillie Coyne (Months Mind Sun 9.30). David & Ita O’Rourke (Sun 10.00). William & Margaret Howe & Mary Mullally (Sun 10.30). Joanie Waters (Sun 11.00). Paddy Heffernan (Months Mind Sun 12.00). Nicola Conway (Sun 12.30).

October Stations
We invite parishioners to contribute to the clergy and bishop through the October Stations.  Special envelopes can be found in the contribution packs or use any envelope marked “Stations”.  The priests and bishop acknowledge with gratitude your contributions towards their upkeep.

Eucharistic Ministers
The new Eucharistic Ministers Rota is now available in all sacristies.  Please collect your rota now.

Foulkstown Cemetery
We are in the process of recording every grave in Foulkstown Cemetery, the names of people, their addresses and their dates of death. The project is coming along well and we are now at the next stage of identifying unmarked and unnamed graves. We are conscious that there are a number of graves where there is no record of the people buried there and we feel there may be people who can help us identify such graves.
To assist us in this task people from the parish will be at the graveyard between 10.00am and 12.00 noon on next Saturday. We ask you to join us at Foulkstown during these hours if you think you would be able to help suggest names and addresses for unmarked graves. It is our hope at the end of this process to have as many people as possible recorded and remembered in our Cemetery.

St. Joseph’s Young Priests Society
The monthly meeting of St. Joseph’s Young Priests’ Society will take place in St. Patrick’s Parish Centre after 10.30am Mass on next Friday.

Westcourt News
The monthly Mass to pray for the intercession of Blessed Edmund Rice in our lives and for his canonisation will take place in Westcourt on Monday, 6th October at 7.30pm.

Coeliac Support Group
The next meeting of the Kilkenny/Carlow Coeliac Support Group is on Monday 6th October at 8.00pm in St. Patrick's Parish Centre.

The monthly rosary on the First Sunday in James Green at the statue of Our Lady of Kilkenny continues this Sunday 5th October at 3pm.  All welcome.

Tea/Coffee Morning
The Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind will hold a Tea and Coffee morning in the Parish Centre on Thursday 9th October from 11.00am to 1.00pm. All are welcome.

See many more notices on and

Prayer and Adoration
The usual first Saturday prayer and adoration will take place at St. Fiacre’s Church on this Saturday, 4th October between 7.00 and 9.00pm.

Rosary Vigil & Blessing of the Roses
Venue: Dominican Black Abbey, Kilkenny
Date: This Rosary Sunday 5/10/14
Time: 4pm and concluding with 6pm Mass and Blessing of the Roses.

The Magenta Ball
This event for Lifeline Kilkenny takes place on 11th October in Hotel Kilkenny.  Lifeline is Kilkenny’s suicide prevention forum.  The forum consists of state and voluntary bodies in Kilkenny that deal on a daily basis with people effected by depression, bereavement and suicide.  It is tasked with the implementation of the county plan 'Our Community: Our Conversation'.  The plan has over 60 actions encompassing all communities and all ages countywide. Our challenge is the implementation.  The forum is made up of committed individuals and organisations, the will is there, the funds are not.  To raise funds The Magenta Ball will take place in Hotel Kilkenny on 11th October.  A fabulous night out with pre-dinner cocktails at 7.00pm, followed by dinner with wine and the night will finish to the sound of Thank Funk a seven piece swing band.  Tickets are 50 each and can be purchased from Trish @ 087 756 5376.  Suicide has touched every community in Kilkenny, help Lifeline make a difference.  More information about Lifeline can be got at

Altar Servers - New Members Needed
The new altar servers rota is being compiled at the moment. Please contact the Parish Office to confirm your willingness to continue on as an altar server or enrol as a new server in our parish churches. Please note that existing servers will need to submit a new form. Forms are available at the sacristies. 

Parish Volunteer Appreciation Evening
Following our very successful and enjoyable evening for parish volunteers last year the Parish Pastoral Council has decided to do the same again this year.  Precise details will be announced later; in the meantime our parish volunteers are invited to keep the evening of Saturday, 1st November free.

Alzheimers/ Stroke related/Dementia
Alzheimers/Challenging Behaviour in Older Adults talk by Mia Mc Loughlin, Consultant Psychiatrist for Later Life. Are you providing extra support for a loved one? Could you do with additional support? If so, come along to our talk on Monday, 13th October at 3.00pm at The Carers Association Centre, Springhill Clinic, Waterford Road, Kilkenny.

Barnstorm's play Monday's Child, on Saturday 11th & 18th October at 2.30pm & 4.00pm at The Barn Theatre.  This sensitive, imaginative and funny play tells a simple poetic story of the unique bond between and old woman and a young girl.  For children aged 4+ and their families. Tickets €6; Family of 4: €20. Bookings 056 7751266. More info:

Stress Management Skills Course
This 8 week course will take place in St. Patrick’s Parish Centre, Loughboy beginning on   Thursday, 9th October 2014 (7.00pm – 9.00pm). Course costs €90 – Phone: 087 680 9428 for further information.

Family Table Quiz
St John of God parents council invite you to our  Family Table Quiz on Friday Oct 17th at  7pm in the Parish Centre , 10 for team of 4 which must include 1 child . Doors open at 6.30pm.  Cash prize,  so come along and test your general knowledge. Family friendly questions.