A sub-committee of the Parish Pastoral Council (a handful of brave volunteers, let it be said) has been planning events to mark the Eucharistic Congress here in the parishes of Saggart/Rathcoole/Brittas and Newcastle. Here is the programme so far:
1. Sunday 27th May : A Pilgrim Walk, under the banner 'Parishioners Together for IEC 2012'
The walk will start from the green in Newcastle at 2.30, proceed to Rathcoole church and end in Saggart church.
All parishioners in the two parishes, both Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland, are invited. The walk will retrace the growth of Christianity in the area, from the oldest church (the Church of Ireland, Newcastle) on to the newest, Rathcoole, ending with the church in Saggart dating from the 19th century but going back to the medieval church whose remains can still be seen in the graveyard opposite. Two of these churches will be celebrating big moments in their history next year, Newcastle's bicentenary and Rathcoole's 25th. A walk through our local area, then, while renewing our sense of a Christian faith dating back centuries, a walk along the roads and by the fields and a walk going back in time. The purpose of the walk is to awaken a more lively sense of the faith we have received from our forebears here in the parishes that we belong to, live in, and will, finally one day, rest in.
Sunday 20th May To underline the social aspect of the Christian faith, Brother Kevin from the Capuchin Centre for Homeless People will be invited to speak in the parish churches on Sunday 20th, when there will be a collection taken up for that good cause.
2. Sunday 10th to Sunday 17th June
This is the week of the Congress. Plans are still ongoing and any ideas will be very gratefully received.
A talk on the history of the parishes will be given by John Bradley of the History Department, NUI Maynooth.
An Art Display will be presented by primary-school children. There will be Mass on certain evenings too.
'Parishioners' Stories'. Wouldn't it be interesting to hear some parishioners tell their story? Parishioners both old and young, both long-standing and newly arrived (i.e. 'blow-ins'), both Irish-born and born abroad? I have in mind a five-minute talk on any aspect of parish life: reminiscences, impressions of parish life today, appreciations of our churches, old photographs etc. etc. It depends on volunteers if this is going to happen. Such stories could maybe be collected afterwards and published in some format as a mark of our common endeavour for IEC 2012. If you would be interested in taking part, please contact me (Donal McMahon) at email@example.com.
A programme/booklet is being prepared entitled Parishioners Together /
Saggart, Rathcoole, Brittas, Newcastle / Celebrate / The 50th Eucharistic Congress, Dublin 2012.