Monday, November 30, 2015

1st Sunday of Advent, 29th November 2015

Today is the First Sunday of Advent
Advent means ‘the coming of’ Christmas.  The feast of the Birth of Christ is coming and we have to prepare for it. We fuss about presents, lights, cards, food, drink and Santa Claus and it is easy to forget the deeper meaning of Advent. We often neglect the spiritual preparation. Advent looks in two directions. During Advent we remember the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem on the first Christmas and we look ahead towards the coming of Jesus again at death and at the end of the world. Our attention is directed towards the fulfilment of God’s plan when His kingdom will come.
Jesus comes to us in every Mass. Let us welcome Him and recall His great mercy and love for us. We ought to spend some time each day of Advent in prayer to obtain a better understanding of the meaning of the coming of Christ. During Advent we have an opportunity to thank God for unending love by sending His son on earth. “Come to us, Lord Jesus Christ.”
Ossory Faith Development has prepared a prayer leaflet “A Daily Prayer for Advent.”  Please take one from the back of the church and use it for family prayer.

Celebrating Religious Life in our Diocese
The mark the close of the Year For Religious Life and to celebrate the contribution of religious to our diocesan community there will be a special display by religious orders on this Sunday, 29th November at St. Kieran’s College from noon until 5.00pm.  Bishop Freeman will lead a concelebrated Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Mary’s Cathedral at 5.30pm.  Please come and show your appreciation for the work of religious sisters, brothers and priests in our diocese during the past few hundred years., at present and into the future.

St. Mary’s Cathedral Draw Results
1st: Sr. Anthony Barlow, Callan. 2nd: Sr. Hannah Frisby, Callan. 3rd: Brendan Murphy, Muckalee. 4th: Marie Delaney, St. Canice’s. 5th: Trish Campion, Johnstown. 6th: Denis Molloy, St. Mary’s. 7th: Dorothy Kennedy, St. Mary’s. 8th: Michael Hoyne. Thomastown. 9th: Gowran Parish. 10th: Eugene O’Donovan. Callan.  Thanks for your support.

Christmas Mass Cards
Christmas Mass Cards, offering the recipient a share in the Christmas Masses celebrated by the priests of our parish, are available at the Parish Centre.  Cost is €3.00.

Vocations to Priesthood and religious life
Be on the watch!  Allow God to lead you in the ways of truth and justice.  How is God calling you to serve? If you think God is calling you to priesthood, call Fr. Willie Purcell, Ossory Vocations Director on 056 777 0261 or email

Kilkenny Christmas Tree Festival
An event which displays Christmas trees of all kinds - natural or artificial, big or small, baked or crocheted, metal or paper - all of which have been decorated by our participants.  Coffee shop, seasonal stall, events for children, a class in seasonal decorations and a raffle.  St. Canice’s Cathedral from 11th to 13th December.

Talks for Readers of the Word
Ossory Adult Faith Development is holding two talks for  all Ministers of the Word in our parishes. The second talk will take place on Tuesday, 1st December at 7.30pm in St. Fiacre’s Church.  These evenings are intended for those who are already reading at Masses and for those who are starting.  The talks are free, and informative. Readers are encouraged to attend.

Pray for our Deceased Friends
Recently Deceased: Margaret O’Neill, St. Francis’ Terrace. Eamon Walsh, Danesfort.
Months Mind:  Anne Kirwan (Sat 6.15)
Anniversaries: Sr. Joanne Holohan (Sat 7.00). Michael Hickey (Sun 10.00). James Ryan (Sun 10.30). Hugh Tiernan (Sun 11.00). Elaine Kelly (Sun 12.00).  Jeremiah Mullally (Tues 10.30). Patrick Malone (Wed 10.30). John & Brigid Drew (Fri 10.30). Pat Kearney. Tony Bolger. Josephine Randall.  Eileen Barry. Maureen Nolan. Eileen McCormack.
Intentions for Next Weekend:  Michael Dullard (Sat 6.15). James Fox (Sat 7.00). James Rafter (Sun 9.30). Angela Murphy (Sun 10.00). Laurence & Maeve Healy (Sun 10.30). Eddie Slattery (Sun 11.00). Michael O’Dwyer (Sun 12.00). Eileen & Gerard Moynihan (Sun 12.30).

Parish Carol Service
Our parish choirs are busy practicing for our annual Parish Choir Service which will be held at St. Joseph’s Church, Foulkstown on Sunday, 13th December at 4.00pm.  Keep the date free.

Coffee Morning
The School of the Holy Spirit will host its annual coffee morning on this Sunday, 29th November between 11.00am and 1.00pm in their School at Seville Lodge, Callan Road.  Enjoy a cuppa, home bakeries and pick up a few bargains and perhaps win a hamper or two.

Christmas Fair
St. Patrick’s Special School, Kells Road will host a fantastic Christmas Fair on next Sunday, 6th December between 2.00 and 6.00pm.  Books, DVDs, CDs, Jewellery, Toys, Paintings, Prints, Cakes, Sweets, Bric a brac, Santa’s Golden Ticket, Nail Painting and Present Wrapping.  Come along and support us.

Retrouvaille a Lifeline for Marriage
 Is your marriage stressed, unloving or cold? Do you feel alone or distant from your spouse? Have you lost the desire to communicate with each other? Do you feel disillusioned or bored in your marriage? Have you separated, divorced, or are you thinking of doing so, but want to try again? The Retrouvaille programme can help you recover your marriage. Next programme 5th – 7th February. For information contact Tony & Anne 01 495 3536 or visit

Trócaire Christmas Gift Range
Trócaire has launched it’s Christmas gift range that will directly benefit families in some of the world’s poorest countries. From olive trees for farmers in Palestine (€5/£4) to business support for women in Ethiopia (€250/£200) when you buy a Trócaire gift you're not just giving, you're joining the fight for justice.

Handel’s Messiah by Candlelight
50th Anniversary Gala concert. Carlow Choral Society, Niall Kinsella - conductor. Saturday 12th December 2015. 8.00 pm in Carlow Cathedral.  All welcome.

Growing up in Callan
A new book on memories of growing up in Callan 70 years ago by Fr. Jim O’Halloran will be launched at Stonehouse Books, Kieran Street on Saturday 5th of December at 3.00pm.  It is called Giving Life Away: Memories.  It costs €10 and is signed by the author – an ideal Christmas gift for friends abroad.

Book Signing
Fr. Jim O Connell MHM will be in the Cathedral Bookshop to sign copies of his book: A Life to Live – Awakening to God’s Abiding Presence (Columba Press 2015) on the 12th December from 11.00am to 3.00pm.

Go for Life Games
Kilkenny Recreation & Sports Partnership is organising an Inter County Go for Life Games Day for Over 50s on 3rd December from 10.30am to 2.00pm in The Watershed. It is free and lunch shall be provided. Open to all Over 50s. You don’t have to be involved in any club or have any experience of sports.    The emphasis of the games is on participation and fun. To register email Michelle with your name and contact information: or text 087 065 0983.

Gold Star Kilkenny
Gold Star Kilkenny aims to promote the development of universal access at all levels from people with disabilities to our older citizens. We invite you to have your say by attending The Springhill Court Hotel on 30th November from 7.00pm.

Events at Cois Nore
Wednesday, 2nd December: Coping with Holidays and Family Occasions discussion group at 7.00pm in the Cois Nore Centre. Free; booking essential. 
Sunday, 13th December: Carols for Cancer with the Kilkenny Gospel Choir and Trish Carroll in Rothe House at 6.30pm. Tickets are €10.
Monday, 21st December:  Christmas Coffee Morning with Festive Treats, Tea, Coffee and the St John of God School Choir. €5 on the day.  All proceeds will go to Cois Nore.  Details please contact Cois Nore Centre on 056 775 2222 or 085 888 2583.

Knitting Lessons
Interested in learning how to knit?  Warm, friendly, welcoming atmosphere.  Proceeds to Charity. Contact Liz on 086 835 9425 to express an interest.

In liturgy, silence is not meant to be an embarrassed, barren or uncontrolled lack of sound which occurs because things have broken down, or no one knows what to do next, but a purposeful period where people communicate in a way that is deeper than words.  For this reason we try to develop in the celebration of our Mass a calmness that provides silence after the readings, after the homily or during or after Holy Communion, so that the powerfulness of God's presence may be sensed in the unique experience of people gathered and being still in silence together.  (Fr. Turlough Baxter)

Papal Blessings
Papal blessing parchments to mark weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, jubilees and some other occasions are available through the Parish Shop. 
Please enquire at the reception desk in the Parish Centre. There are lots of other items of a religious nature available at reasonable prices in our parish shop which is located in the Parish Center.

Thinking of Getting Married Soon?
Couples wishing to be married in our parish are asked to note the following:  Contact the Parish Office (776 4400) as early as possible to book your preferred date.  Bookings are on a first-come-first-served basis.  Please note that it is a civil requirement to inform the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths of your intention to marry at least three months before the date - see for more information about this aspect of preparations.
Contact the parish where you now reside where pre-marriage papers will be prepared for forwarding to the place of marriage. is a useful source of information for couples as they plan the big day.

Parish Newsletter
All items for inclusion must be submitted by Thursday afternoon before publication.  Parish and diocesan notices take priority. Late notices will appear on our Facebook and web page.  

Afternoon Bridge
Join us on Tuesday afternoons from 2.30pm - 4.30pm in the Parish Centre for an afternoon of bridge.  No partner required.

World Youth Day 2016
World Youth Day 2016 will take place in Poland at the end of July 2016.  Pope Francis will attend the overnight vigil on Saturday and celebrate Mass on Sunday 31st July.  The Diocese of Ossory invites young people to attend.  Young people (over 18) are invited to make contact through or Fr Richard Scriven (087 242 0033) or Derek Dooley (087 938 4242).