Tuesday, 23 December 2014

          Happy Christmas,  Nollaig Shona

Christmas Lights in Newcastle

Masses, Christmas Eve
Saggart       5 p.m. (Children's Mass), 9 p.m.  
Rathcoole  6 p.m. (Children's Mass), 10.00 p.m.         
Brittas        8 p.m.
Newcastle Lyons   5.30 p.m. (Children's Mass), 8 p.m.  

Masses, Christmas Day  
Saggart         9 a.m., 11.30 a.m.  
Rathcoole   10 a.m.,  12 noon 
Brittas          10.30 a.m. 
Newcastle Lyons  9.30 a.m.,  11.00 a.m.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Saggart          Tuesday 23rd,  after 9.30 a.m. Mass
                           Christmas Eve:  10  -- 11 a.m.
Rathcoole     Tuesday 23rd,  after 9.30 a.m. Mass                       
                           Christmas Eve:  11 a.m. -- 12 noon
Brittas           Christmas Eve:  12.30 -- 1 p.m.
Newcastle     Tu. 23rd,  after 10 a.m. Mass, and 6 -- 7 p.m.                             Christmas Eve:  12 noon -- 1 p.m.

Masses, St Stephen's Day
Saggart                       10  a.m.
Rathcoole                   9.30 a.m.
Newcastle Lyons     10 a.m.
Masses, Saturday 27th Dec.
Rathcoole                   10 a.m.,  6.30 p.m.
Newcastle Lyons      7 p.m.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

  St Mary's Renovation Under Way

As announced in the newsletter of 9th November, work on the renovation began last month and is continuing apace as can be seen. Truly a historic time!  Thanks to the opening of the new St Mary's school next door and the consequent freeing up of the space behind the church previously occupied by the old school's temporary buildings, we now have a fine spacious car park, so badly needed. The whole landscape is indeed changing before our eyes. Last year marked historic anniversaries for the churches in Newcastle and Rathcoole, a bicentenary and a 25th respectively. The launch of the bicentenary book round this time last year crowned what was a momentous year for St Finian's. (By the way, copies can still be bought from Bridget Breen.) This year and next, we hope and pray, will see St Mary's lose its faded look and, all the scaffolding and sheeting finally removed, shine like never before in all its regained neo-Gothic splendour!

Tomorrow night there will be a Carol Service in St Mary's, starting at 7.30 p.m. and next Tuesday 16th, there will be a Festive Night in St Finian's NS, starting at 6.30 p.m. Please see the newsletters for more news: 14.12.14,
7.12.14,    30.11.14,    23.11.14                       

Monday, 10 November 2014

Mass for the Repose of the Souls 

of Those Who Died in 2014

This Mass will take place on Friday 21st at 7.30 p.m. in the Church of the Holy Family, Rathcoole. The following newsletters contain the names of those who died since mid-September: 14th,   21st28th  September;  5th,  19th  October;  2nd  and 9th November.

Below is a photo taken in Rathcoole church on the evening of Tuesday, 12th June 2012, on the occasion of a lecture given by John Bradley (History Department, National University of Ireland, Maynooth) on the subject 'The Early History of the Parishes of Saggart/Rathcoole/Brittas and Newcastle'. The lecture was one of the events organised in our two parishes as part of the Eucharistic Congress of that year. I'm sure that those who heard John speak that evening will be saddened to learn of his death on Friday 7th last, at the age of 59. One of his many writings is an article on the medieval boroughs of County Dublin (1998), including Saggart, Rathcoole and Newcastle Lyons.

May all our deceased parishioners, and friends of the parishes such as John, be rewarded in heaven for all their good work on earth.

Donal McMahon, John Bradley, Fr Michael Shortall

Thursday, 6 November 2014

The New St Mary's National School

BEFORE  :  JUNE  2014


Click on photo to enlarge.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Enjoying a Summer Day Out

The above photo shows the church of St Finian's from a novel angle, i.e. the rear garden of the Glebe house next door.  It was taken during a lovely day out on Sunday 13th July, organised by the group ReNewcastle and the Catholic and Church of Ireland parishes of Newcastle. 'An Hour in the Old Glebe' gave long-time residents of Saggart, Rathcoole and maybe even of Newcastle itself a golden opportunity to visit a house they had for years passed by without ever seeing inside. Thanks to the owner, Mr Frank Kerins, and his wife and family, that dream was finally realised and, as a consequence, everyone's appreciation of the history of Newcastle wonderfully enriched. Among a host of interesting facts learned was this: building on the extension to the Glebe took place in 1813, at the very time, then, of a major building project going on down the road on the new Catholic church.

And on that very subject, a major project is taking place in Saggart right now, the building of the new St Mary's National School. A glance up the lane by the parochial house (or rather 'road' now, it is so busy) tells the passer-by just how rapidly the new school is taking shape, due to open in early September. Not much of a summer holiday, then, for those hard-working builders! This photo from the school website (here, with many thanks to Maria, the photographer) will gives us an idea of the work in progress: 

Finally, with apologies for the very late delivery, here are the Newsletters for June: 8,   15,   22   and the 29.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Fr Seamus McEntee, Ordained 3rd June 2014

Rathcoole Community Centre, Saturday 7 June 2014
Fr Seamus and Fr Enda
The United Parishes of Saggart and Newcastle are justly proud of local man, Seamus McEntee, who was ordained in the Pro-Cathedral on Tuesday, 3rd June, the only ordination for Dublin this year. The event made the news headlines of the following day, with a photo in the Irish Times and a report in the Irish Independent.  Parishioners might like to read Archbishop Martin's homily.

Fr Seamus will celebrate the Colmanstown cemetery Mass at 7.30 p.m., Monday 30th June, in St Finian's,  Newcastle. What a moving occasion that is likely to be, a man saying Mass for those lying in the graveyard near his home, a graveyard dating from medieval times.  [Note Correction here.]

The writer made it to the Mass of Thanksgiving in the Church of the Holy Family, Rathcoole, on Saturday 7th.  Here are some photos from the reception held afterwards in the Community Centre (and many thanks to the organizers, including members of the St Joseph's Young Priests' Society).
The photos can be seen here (youtube).
Finally, Newsletters for 8 June and 15 June

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Cemetery Masses

Newcastle (Ballynakelly)         Sunday 8 June
Mass in cemetery at 2 p.m. followed by blessing of the graves
Brownstown                                   Saturday 14 June
Mass in cemetery at 2 p.m. followed by blessing of the graves
St Finian's                                        Sunday 29 June
Mass in St Finian's Church at 10.30 a.m. followed by blessing of the graves
St Mary's                                           Sunday 29 June
Mass in St Mary's Church at 11.30 a.m. followed by blessing of the graves at 12.30
Colmanstown                                Monday 30 June
Mass in St Finian's, Newcastle at 7.30 p.m. celebrated by Fr Seamus McEntee from Colmanstown, ordained 3 June 2014

Junction 4 Newsletters:    1 June,   25 May,  18 May,
                                                    11 May,   4 May

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Parishioner Seamus McEntee to be Ordained

     Priest for Dublin, Tuesday 3 June 2014

Left, back: Bishop Eamonn Walsh, Seamus McEntee, Fr Aidan Kieran
Front: Seamus's mother, Mary, and his nephew, Stephen Harney
Photo taken in St Finian's Parish Centre, 13 January 2013

On the feast day of St Kevin, Tuesday, the 3rd June, at 11.00 a.m. in the Pro-Cathedral, Seamus McEntee from Rathcoole will be ordained  by Archbishop Martin as a priest for the diocese of Dublin. As well as being a memorable occasion for his family and our parishes, it will be an occasion equally as memorable for the diocese, since Seamus's is the only ordination this year for Dublin. 
Our bicentenary book on St Finian's carries a feature on Seamus, which includes the above photo (p.100). Born in 1965 to Mary and the late James McEntee, he grew up with two brothers and two sisters on the family farm in Colmanstown. He spent five years with the Missionary of Charity Fathers in Mexico. In 2012 he gained a degree in Theology in Maynooth, followed by a Diploma in Pastoral Theology, and was ordained deacon in the Pro-Cathedral on 12 November 2013, feast day of St Laurence O'Toole (see report in the Irish Catholic).
He has been serving as deacon in Clondalkin for the past year, and tells us about himself in a piece he wrote for that parish's newsletter in December 2013 (you can read it here).  He will say his first Mass there in the church of the Immaculate Conception (in the centre of the village) on Wednesday 4th,  7.30 p.m.

Our bicentenary book carries a feature on Fr Andrew Hart, P.P. of the 'United Parishes of Saggart, Rathcoole and Newcastle', who was responsible for the building of St Finian's. He is buried in our parish church of St Mary's, with a life-sized effigy on the south wall marking his grave. Two hundred years later, another Rathcoole man is becoming a priest. We congratulate Seamus, and wish him many happy years among his people.
Fr Seamus will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving on Saturday 7th June at 6.30 p.m. in the Church of the Holy Family, Rathcoole.  A small reception will be held after Mass in the Community Centre. All are welcome to attend.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

               Two New Saints for the Church

This Sunday 27th is indeed a red-letter day in the history of the Church, when two new saints will be proclaimed, Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II.

Read more about this in the Newsletter.

Monday, 14 April 2014

William Blake, Angels Rolling Away the Stone from the Sepulchre; Bible Art: Resurrection
William Blake, The Resurrection (c.1808)
Angel Rolling Away the Stone from the Sepulchre
                Regina cæli, lætare                     Alleluia.
                Quia quem meruisti portare         Alleluia.
                Resurrexit, sicut dixit.                  Alleluia.
                Ora pro nobis Deum.                   Alleluia
                Queen of heaven, rejoice            Alleluia.
For He whom thou wast worthy to bear      Alleluia 
                 Has risen, as he promised.        Alleluia            
                 Pray for us to God.                     Alleluia.

Newsletter for 6th April.  The Newsletter for the 13th gives the times of the ceremonies for Holy Week.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

 A Host of Golden Daffodils

The daffodils shown here are those blooming on the Green in Newcastle, outside St Finian's (CoI), and were photographed last Sunday. They are to be seen in the background of the photo below, growing along the wall. The day before, three pupils from second class in St Finian's National School appeared on the front page of the Irish Times in their 'Daffodil Day' outfits: twins Sophie and Isabella Whyte O'Connor and Roisin Van Son.

Here is the Newsletter for the 23 March.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

                       Newsletter 16 March 2014

As usual, I would urge you to read the newsletter and pick out what you consider relevant. Just a little plug for a book that will be on sale next Sunday in St Mary's (E10 softback, E20 hardback), i.e. the bicentenary book on St Finian's, Newcastle. It's a  truly splendid production and is very good value. An earlier volume published in 1986 and now fast becoming a collector's item will also be on sale: Newcastle Lyons: A Parish of the Pale.

There is an article in the bicentenary book on Fr Andrew Hart P.P. (1785-1815) of the 'United Parishes of Saggart, Rathcoole and Newcastle', as they were known at the time. We all know him from seeing him on the right-hand wall of St Mary's but, in fact, we know next to nothing about his life -- the Latin of the inscription not exactly helping matters, of course. What's more, we are not really aware that he himself actually lies buried beneath the life-sized effigy. Now for the first time, he comes to life in an original, well researched article. Every church is special and has its own unique features. Fr Hart's imposing effigy is without doubt among the most striking features of St Mary's.

A book token for 20E will be offered to the first person writing a review of the bicentenary book, to be published here.  It must be signed, c.250  words in length, and should be emailed to donalmcmahon@eircom.net before the end of March. Book-committee members or contributors, as well as members of the clergy (sorry!) are excluded from entering. Is there an ordinary, 'general' reader out there, I wonder? 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

                        Newsletters 2 and 9 March

Hopefully you will find something of interest and maybe even of comfort to you in the above. I would draw your attention in particular to the item on St Mary's (2nd March). There was some water damage done to the roof above the choir gallery caused by the heavy rain of mid-February. This brings home to us how urgent it is now to repair and renovate this fine building. 'Previous generations, from the original Famine generation itself that built it, have preserved this lovely church as a bequest to us. Surely we have a duty of care to the coming generations to pass it on as best we can.'  Please read the rest of the report by Fr Enda.

Monday, 24 February 2014

                  Newsletters 16 and 23 February

The second Newsletter mentions an awkward subject, i.e. finances. It explains how parish money is collected and disbursed. There are the two collections every Sunday, the first going towards the salaries of priests, both serving and retired, the second towards the diocesan Share fund to be spent on various parishes in the diocese. Outside of these Sunday collections, there is the Family Offering, paid by envelope or standing order; boxes of envelopes are available now for each household.

These are difficult times for families, as we know. But I suppose when it comes to spending money, it is a matter of our priorities as to what we spend it on. We all have one or two charities which we single out for support, depending on our sympathies for a particular cause. That is commendable. But (and I'm preaching to myself as I write) let us not forget the parish community we belong to, and the churches that are central to that community, and try to look upon that as a deserving cause too.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

      The Sod is Turned for the New School

First announced on the feast-day of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 8 September 2013, the new St Mary's school has started to become a reality on the ground. The site is in the field next to the parochial house. Through its ornate (and locked) gate you caught sight on Sunday morning of the open countryside, making you want to walk out into it sometime. That's not to be now!  But let's celebrate new beginnings, as this field is opened up so that a new generation may grow and flourish.


Here is the Newsletter for  9.2.2014.

Driving to Tallaght last Monday the 10th, I tuned in to Joe Duffy's Liveline at around 2.50. A caller was saying that he had worked even longer than the 90-year-old Dublin tailor who had told us on the previous programme that he had worked for seventy years, and was working still!  This man had been farming since his childhood years and was farming still at 85. Farming in Saggart . . .

Pat Quinn it was, and his reminiscenes are here Liveline 10.2

Thursday, 6 February 2014

                       Newsletter   2.2.2014

If 19th/20th-century Saggart was associated with the McDonnell family who built Saggart Paper Mills, then Saggart of the late 20th and early 21st centuries is associated with the Mansfield family who built Citywest Hotel.  Both of these enterprises provided valuable employment for many local people and, at the same time, put the village on the map for people all over the country. In addition, the McDonnell family helped to build the parish church of St Mary's, while the Mansfield family built the small community centre next to it, as well as providing land for the extension of the cemetery. So we mark and mourn the passing of Jim Mansfield who died on Wednesday, 29th January. The funeral was held on Friday in St Mary's and he was buried afterwards in the cemetery across the road. May he rest in peace there.

'He was never motivated by money. He liked building things and employed at his peak 1,300 people from the local area he loved. [. . .] He was heart-broken by the downturn. Like so many people he overextended himself when there was too much credit around.'  (Christy O'Connor Jr, Irish Times, 30 January 2014)

The funeral was conducted by Fr Enda. You can read a report in the Irish Times.

(The church where Jim's funeral Mass was said is the church where his grandfather, Timothy of Redgap, Rathcoole, was baptized in 1878 (see record here), making it likely that Timothy's father, John, was alive at the time of the dedication of St Mary's in 1849, and indeed might well have attended it.)

Thursday, 30 January 2014

                Newsletter  26.1.2014

Note the date for this year's Cemetery Sunday Masses: Sunday 29th June.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

               Newsletter  12.1.2014

Bishop Eamonn Walsh presided at Sunday Mass in St Finian's on the 12th, a Mass marking the end of the bicentenary year.  Though the great year is over, the fine book published in December (terrific value at 10 Euro) will serve as a lasting record of that year. None of us older parishioners will experience such an occasion again in our lifetimes, but our younger parishioners will certainly (D.V. of course) be there in 2049 for the bicentenary of St Mary's. And we have a lasting reminder already in St Mary's of St Finian's bicentenary, since that man on the wall, in white marble, on the right as you face the altar, is the priest who was responsible for the building of St Finian's, Fr Andrew Hart (1785-1815). The bicentenary book  has an interesting chapter on him.