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.)