Before we bid farewell to last year, let us recall the significant year it was for our parish church. For the first time since its construction in the late 1840s it underwent major renovation, especially on the outside. The documentary record can be followed by clicking on 'St Mary's Renovation' on the menu-bar above. The pictorial record, or rather one person's such record (Donal McMahon's), can be viewed here: Photographic Record.
We saw a new initiative being introduced in the diocese to fund this renovation. 'Living the Joy of the Gospel' was a fund-raising venture designed to provide finance for major capital undertakings such as ours, as well as current expenditure requirements such as salaries for parish pastoral workers. Parishioners donated what they could afford to this fund. More information will no doubt be provided in due course on 'Living the Joy of the Gospel' but in the meantime these photos will bring home to parishioners the great work their generous contributions have made possible.
There are controls for back/pause/forward at the bottom left-hand side of the screen. The slides proceed automatically at a 5-second interval. If you want to change slide yourself at your own pace, press pause (the double lines become an arrow) and then press the right-hand forward arrow (not the middle one). You can then stay as long as you want on any slide.
A kind of premiere in its own small way, this first-ever slide show of our parish church allows us to ponder on each scene, focusing on whatever detail catches our attention. In a way, we are paying an imaginary visit to this familiar 'house of prayer', free to explore each scene as we wish and let our mind wander at will . . . the workmen busy at their work ('laborare est orare') . . . the parishioners coming out from Mass on St Patrick's Day . . . this old village we live in or near, Saggart . . . our lives here and now, those gone before us whom we remember, at rest across the road . . . God there, somehow, in all this . . .