Saturday, 19 December 2015

Christmas Mass Times

Background of Crib in St Finian's Church, Newcastle Lyons
See Newsletter for the 20th (right sidebar) giving (p.2) the times of Mass on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as well as times for reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation over the Christmas period.

Click  here  to read a letter to all parishioners from our Parish Priest, Fr Enda. (Use the zoom button top left of the screen to read the letter more comfortably.)

I'm sure you can all fix the first word for me in the nice scene shown above. Unfortunately, the width of the text scroll doesn't coincide with that of the painting, resulting in the omission of the first letter. What is it? You're right. Well done on your Latin!

Saggart Carol Service    Here are some photos of the carol service of Sunday 13th taken by Liam Roche.  (Click on the link. The controls are at the bottom left of the screen.)  Below is one of the photos, that of Sean O'Rourke, about to retire as Parish Pastoral Worker. We thank him for his great work among us over the past three years, carried out in a friendly, enthusiastic spirit that made him popular with parishioners both young and not-so-young.

Sean O'Rourke with his wife Darina and Fr Aidan

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

The Man on the Wall

The life story of Andrew Hart (1785-1815) was told at Mass on Sunday 22nd November as a way of marking the bicentenary of his death on 20 November 1815.  Since that day was a 'Do This in Memory' Sunday, the story had to be pitched to suit the young children in the congregation. But they were all very interested to hear the story of the 'Man on the Wall', as were also -- so the person who told the story, Donal McMahon, earnestly hoped --  the adult members of the congregation.

The effigy of Fr Hart is one of the most striking features of our parish church. Appreciating it better will no doubt increase our appreciation of all its other features and make us take a greater interest in their proper maintenance. After all the fine work done on the exterior, maybe Fr Hart will be able to turn his head round one day to admire the redecorated interior!  At least, as the children were told, he will do so invisibly, the way he will admire and encourage them next May when they make their First Communion.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Bicentenary of Fr Andrew Hart, Died 20 November 1815

Fr Andrew Hart, 1785-1815
    This is the statue we know so well from seeing it every time we go to Mass in St Mary's, Saggart.  Or maybe we don't know it so well as we never really see it. The reason for this is because we know so little about the man whom the statue commemorates. All we have is the inscription underneath the effigy, an inscription written in Latin of a very elaborate kind that is 'all Greek (or Latin)' to us today. Our late P.P. Fr Laurence O'Sullivan had a small framed translation put up beside the memorial in 1999, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of St Mary's. (For the text and a more recent translation of the inscription, see here.)
    The bicentenary of St Finian's in 2013 saw the publication of a book containing a chapter about the parish priest responsible for the building of that church (i.e. Fr Andrew Hart), thanks to which we know more about the man than ever before. In 2013 the parish of Newcastle marked the bicentenary of the church he built; now, in 2015, we in Saggart/Rathcoole/Brittas, have the opportunity to mark the bicentenary of the man himself in the church where he is buried. Now is the moment when the people of Saggart can pay him their own tribute. Let us do so in as fitting a way as we can, beginning Sunday 22nd, at 11.30 Mass in St Mary's.  
Donal McMahon (
and Liam Roche,
Andrew Hart Bicentenary Committee (new members very welcome!).

Mass for All Parishioners who Died during the Year

St Finian's Cemetery, Newcastle Lyons
May he support us all day long, 
till the shades lengthen and the evening comes, 
and the busy world is hushed, 
and the fever of life is over,              
and our work is done.

Then in His mercy may He give us a safe lodging, 
and a holy rest,
and peace at the last.   (John Henry Newman)

In Saggart church on Friday 20th November, at 7.30 p.m., Mass will be offered for the repose of the souls of those who died this year. We will also, of course, remember all our dear departed from previous years

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Fáilte roimh Oireachtas na Gaeilge go Teach Sagard (agus cúrsaí eile)

Please read the Newsletter (October 25th) for notices of some interesting events taking place soon. Radio na Gaeltachta will broadcast Aifreann as Gaeilge at 11.30 in St Mary's next Sunday, 1st November, while on Saturday morning, 7th November, there will be a big gathering of parishioners from the Deaneries in our area in the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel, Newlands Cross. Anyone interested in attending the latter event is asked to contact Martina in the Parish Office.
    The photo below is of Fr Ciaran O'Carroll, P.P. of Saggart/Rathcoole/Brittas from 2006 to 2008. Currently Rector of the Irish College in Rome, he came to City Hall, Dublin, on the 20th October to give a talk about the College, part of a series of four talks on the 'Irish Colleges on the Continent'.  Daniel O'Connell can be seen in the background. In the course of his talk Fr Ciaran told us the story of the death of O'Connell and the safe-keeping of the Liberator's heart in the church of the Irish College then at a different location to its present-day one. The College's website here and -- for the story of the missing heart, the Irish Independent article here -- will inform you further on where our esteemed and beloved former P.P. is continuing his good work.

Fr Ciaran O'Carroll with Mr Donal McMahon, Saggart

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Welcome Back After the Summer -- to a New School!

25 November 2013
Please read the Newsletter for Sunday 13th by clicking on the link in the side-bar on the right. We saw the opening of a new school in Saggart this time last year (officially opened and blessed in June of this year) and now, a year later, we will see the opening and blessing of another new school, this time in Newcastle, on Friday 18th, 11 a.m.  Time, then, to update the opening paragraph of Fr Tadhg McCarthy's chapter on 'Education in Newcastle' (in Newcastle Lyons: A Parish of the Pale, 1986):
23 October 2015
23 October 2015

'A feature of Newcastle is that four schools representing different periods stand on the same grounds: the old school at the Church gate opened on 18 April 1825; a two-roomed school which partly replaced it [. . .]; a third when cloakrooms, central heating and a classroom were added to this by Mr Jim Collins, Rathcoole, in 1965, and the new building constructed by Messrs. Creedon, Newmarket, Dublin, in 1976.'

May the young people there and those looking after them have many happy years together in the new St Finian's.

And, working alongside Sean O'Rourke, may our new Parish Pastoral Worker, Breda Carroll, also enjoy many happy years among us.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Two Ordinations for Dublin

Christopher Derwin and Paul Glennon were ordained priests in the Pro-Cathedral on the feast of St Kevin, 3rd June 2015. Chris is from Dublin and Paul from Galway. Further information is available here (Maynooth College) while here is a photo from the Irish Catholic.

Two parishioners had a hand in their formation in Maynooth: Fr Michael Shortall for their Moral Theology and Donal McMahon for their Latin. Donal took the photos below. At this time too we send our own Fr Seamus McEntee, the only priest ordained last year for Dublin, our best wishes on the occasion of his anniversary.

Frs Chris and Paul (r)

Friday, 26 June 2015

Official Opening of St Mary's NS

  Bishop Eamonn Walsh
Minister Frances Fitzgerald
St Mary's school, built in summer 2014 and in operation from September, was officially opened and blessed on Monday 22nd last. Please click on the photos to get a good view!

Friday, 12 June 2015

Living the Joy of the Gospel : A Diocesan Funding Campaign

Things have been happening very fast in our parishes and in our diocese over recent months. In our parishes: two new national schools, one open in Saggart for a year, the other in Newcastle about to open, then the beginning of a major 'make over' for St Mary's, now complete as regards the outside work. In our diocese: the hard thinking that has gone on over the future, focused on pressing personnel and financial needs.

'Pledge' cards were distributed at Mass last Sunday and will be again this Sunday. This certainly must have woken us all up, no doubt with a bit of a shock, to the hard realities of contemporary parochial life. Yes, we knew in theory all about the shortage of priests, and yes we were aware that Parish Pastoral Workers like our own Sean O'Rourke were helping out and, quite naturally, being paid for it, but now, with the gradual rolling out of the 'diocesan initiative for financial development entitled "Living the Joy of the Gospel - Building our Faith Community"' (words from the diocesan website), it is beginning to come home to us that we are faced, both locally and on a diocesan level, with an unprecedentedly challenging situation that we have to think about and, eventually (and now comes the big Yes or No), get out our wallet in response to.

When giving money, we all have to look very hard at what it is for and how much we can afford to give. We are bombarded with good causes, local, national and even international. It is becoming increasingly hard for families to 'hierarchize' these, to decide what knock on the door to respond to and what, regrettably, to refuse. Mid-range, high up or low down in that hierarchy, 'What does St Mary's or Dublin diocese mean to me in the final analysis?' is a question that arises for each of us and is for each of us to answer, me included.

Donal McMahon,  Web Sec

Example of Pledge Card: Click to Enlarge
Please see 'St Mary's Renovation' on the top menu bar for more information.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Cemetery Masses 2015

Brownstown                                   Saturday 13 June
Mass in cemetery at 2 p.m. followed by blessing of the graves
Newcastle (Ballynakelly)            Sunday 14 June
Mass in cemetery at 2 p.m. followed by blessing of the graves
St Finian's                                       Sunday 28 June
Mass in St Finian's Church at 10.30 a.m. followed by blessing of the graves
St Mary's                                         Sunday 28 June
Mass in St Mary's Church at 11.30 a.m. followed by blessing of the graves
Colmanstown                                 Monday 29 June
Mass in St Finian's, Newcastle at 7.30 p.m.

PS (14.6):   Change of date for Colmanstown:  23rd instead of 29th.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Newsletter 17th May

This week's parish newsletter (here) contains the views of Archbishop Martin on the subject of the referendum talking place this coming Friday 22nd.

"This change is not simply about extending marriage rights to others; it is not just a debate about religious views; it is a fundamental change in the philosophy which underpins cohesion in society and thus affects and concerns every citizen. I remind all of you of your civic responsibility to vote. I urge you before voting to remember that marriage really matters and to reflect carefully and be informed before changing its definition."

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

New NS of St Finian in Newcastle

A New Era Begins in Newcastle

No sooner did a new school open in Saggart in September 2014 than another new one is set to open in our sister parish of Newcastle a year later. In fact the very month that saw the opening of Saggart also saw construction work begin on Newcastle, with work scheduled to be completed in 32 weeks, i.e. the end of May -- less than a year, then. (See the architect's website for Saggart and Newcastle -- the same architect.)
A sign, indeed, of the parallel rapid expansion of both our parishes.

All the great celebrations now at an end, the bicentenary sign outside St Finian's church has been taken down.  We knew that Clonaslee (Co. Laois) and Booterstown celebrated bicentenaries with us in 2013, but St Mary's in Westport did also, something that we did not know at the time.  So here's belated bicentennial greetings to the parishioners of that beautiful town.

Dates for Cemetery Masses  Please see this week's Newsletter (3rd May) here.

St Mary's, Westport

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Saggart Church, St Patrick's Day 2015

As you can see, the renovation of St Mary's is progressing well.  What is happening to the upper part of the church can be seen in the photograph below of the men working away at cleaning the top sections of the tower,  raised sky-high in the basket at the end of the fully extended crane arm.

For more information on how the renovation is going and how the financing of it is being planned, please read the Newsletter for the 15th here. For those who missed the Special Parish Newsletter of mid-February, it can be viewed here.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The Good Work Proceeds

On Sunday 9th November last, Fr Enda announced that the renovation of St Mary's would begin the following week. That Sunday being the feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St John Lateran in Rome, it was a most auspicious day on which to launch the work on our own parish church of St Mary's. Here are some photos of the work carried out so far.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Newsletter J4

Instead of announcing the Newsletter in a separate post as we have been doing up to now, from now on it will be accessible via the link right opposite on this home page. When there are big news items worthy of special attention, they will, of course, be highlighted in a separate notice here as before.