Thursday, 21 July 2011

Summer Outings 2011

Dear Fellow Parishioners,

It doesn't seem like a year since our competition to do with the Irish High Crosses exhibition in the National Museum, Collins Barracks. I recommended people to visit it and offered a small prize to those who could tell me which cross had the two cats on it. Well, the answer was Muiredach's Cross, Monasterboice, and, since there were no entries, I didn't have to award the prize (out of my own pocket, be it said immediately, not out of parish funds). This exhibition ended round May.

So where will you and I go this summer? Glendalough is always an option, though it's going to be crowded from now on. It's a wonderfully inspiring place. I used often go there with a hill-walking group, but we'd walk straight (indeed, drive straight) past the ruins on our way towards the car-park and the start of the hike. Our goal was climbing hills, not visiting the monastic site. It's only years later that I had the idea of going there for its own sake and leaving the boots at home.

But no matter where we go this summer, I'm sure we'll find some interesting historic site to visit. Such places, as I've said before, can remind us of people who lived long ago and can set us thinking of the course of history and of ourselves here in the present for a short time and (we try to believe) for some purpose. Even visiting graveyards can cause us to think like this and, for me, such thinking is a kind of prayer.

Talking of graveyards, we had our Cemetery Sunday Mass on a glorious sunny day, 3rd July. The church was packed for Mass, with the blessing of the graves afterwards. The cemetery looked its best, thanks to the work of a volunteer group who had cleaned it up over the course of the previous few weeks. (No use relying on the Council.) I dropped in one evening to see them all well organised and hardly needing my brush and shovel. Many of them, I learned, had parents and grandparents buried there. That makes all the difference, doesn't it, this kind of rootedness in a place. The only people I know in the cemetery are people I came to know at some stage over the course of the 15 or so years I've been living here.

I live in the new part of the parish on the east side, near Citywest shopping centre. I sent an email to the SERA group (Saggart East Residents Association) to let them know about the Mass, and talking a bit about rootedness being more difficult for new residents in Saggart etc. I also let them know about this website, and how welcome they were to help with it or contribute to it. So if anyone from my neck of the woods is reading this, welcome to the site.

As, indeed, you all are, welcome here and welcome to contribute. There's a Suggestion Box if anyone wants to say something (constructive). There was one suggestion a while back (the only one so far) asking about 'Christian Meditation'. I answered it (look it up by clicking on 'Suggestion Box on the left) but haven't heard anything back. If anyone has a suggestion, please feel free to offer it for consideration.

Fr Michael keeps this site going with his Newsletter and other contributions. (By the way, does anyone know how to put a newsletter in PDF format to be opened by clicking? If you do, please let us know.) And I contribute my bit too, not very often, I have to admit. At times it's hard to believe that anyone is reading this. But, you'd never know, I suppose, maybe even someone from outside the parish.

The Catholic Herald (13 May 2011) had a report on the first meeting in Rome on the subject of blogs, organized by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. What Fr Roderick Vonhogen, a Dutch priest and author of the Katholiek Leven blog, had to say about his blogging experience made me smile: 'If you write a blog post and no one comments, you feel miserable. The comments let the writer and readers experience being part of a community.'

You needn't worry, I don't feel miserable -- well certainly not for reasons like that!

Well, may you have a nice break over the next few weeks. May you enjoy good health and, by your experiences out and about, may you go on pursuing your quiet meditation on how things are, were, and may one day turn out to be.

Agus go dtreorai Dia sinn go leir.

Donal, Websec.