Monday, 19 December 2016

Christmas Timetable 2016

St Mary's, Saggart,  Evening of  Carol Service, 18th December
Click on photo to enlarge

For times of Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation over the Christmas period from Christmas Eve to the Feast of the Epiphany (6th January), please click  here.

For a Christmas Message from Fr John,  please click  here.

Christmas Light, Newcastle

May the light of the Star of Bethlehem
that guided the Magi long ago
guide us all

Friday, 16 December 2016

Advent Carol Service Sunday 18th

Carol Service, St Mary's, Sunday 13 December 2015 
(Photo: Liam Roche. Click to enlarge.)
A carol service will take place in St Mary's, Saggart, on Sunday 18th, 7.30 p.m.  Admission is free, and light refreshments will be served afterwards.  (See Newsletter for 11th December.)

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Let Us Pray for the Dead, 2015-16

Saggart Cemetery (New Section)

Paddy Muldowney
Gerard Weldon
Liam Monaghan
Eamon Hollingsworth
John Reilly
Claire Rigley
Nuala Carroll
Molly Grimes
Carmel Owens
Edward Creggy
Bernie Worrell
Elizabeth O’Connor
James McDonagh
Bridget O’Connor
Michael Morton
Teresa Kenna
Angela Mullins
Patrick O’Reilly
James McDowell
Coleman King
Kevin Burns
Agnes Walsh
Bridie Hogan
Sandra Reilly
Anne McKeon
Nancy O’Sullivan
Maura McDermott
Monica Rockett
Kathleen McKenna
Lorraine Somers

New Cemetery, Newcastle

Ruth Keogh
Thomas Lee
Moira Kirk
Bernie O’Reilly
Peter Paul Sweeney
John Carter,  Rose Carter
Vera McGarry
Joshua Coughlan
David Wall
Barry Lenihan
Joan Taylor
Mary Mulhare
James Collins
Phil Kernan
Eamonn Maher
Joe Sharry

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Remembrance Masses 2016

The annual Masses to remember those who died during the past year will take place as follows:

Newcastle Lyons           St Finian's,  Saturday 12th, 7.00 pm  

S't/Rathcoole/Brittas   St Mary's,  Friday 18th, 7.30 pm

Family members of the deceased have received invitations.     All parishioners are also very welcome to attend, to offer our support to those who have been bereaved and to pray both for their deceased loved ones of this year and our own from earlier years.   

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Reception for Fr Enda and Fr John

Shortly after Fr Enda announced his move to Westland Row, a group of parishioners from both parishes came together to organise a farewell reception for and and presentation of some mementoes to Fr Enda. The reception of farewell  -- as well as one of welcome for Fr John -- was held in St Mary's GAA Hall on Thursday, 6th October. Matt O'Sullivan, Chairperson of the Parish Pastoral Council (SRB), expressed the thanks and appreciation of the parishioners of our two parishes for the work done by Fr Enda during his eight years among us (2008-2016). He then went on to welcome Fr John as Moderator for our two parishes. Tribute was also paid to Seán O'Rourke, outgoing Parish Pastoral Worker, for his many years of valuable service. Read more on this subject in this week's Newsletter (see link, this page top right).

The gifts presented included a collage in water colour of the parishes' three churches and Mass Centre by artist Ray Walsh; a wooden chalice and paten hand-turned by Hervé Dergfosse; a celebration cake, cut by Fr Enda and distributed on the night, and, finally, a gift cheque. In addition, parishioners helped out very generously with food and drink on the night, e.g. the wonderfully iced cake (seen below) by Carmel Kenny. Thanks to all who contributed to a memorable evening.

For photographs of the occasion, click here. (As usual, just click on slide to proceed to the next.) If you appear without your name, please send it to me, and I will be very happy to enter it.  Bridget Breen (Newcastle) took almost all the photos while Donal McMahon did the presentation and one or two photos.

Thank you, Carmel, for putting it so well!

Monday, 19 September 2016

Farewell, Fr Enda. Welcome, Fr John

Fr Enda, Parish Priest since 2008, has been appointed to the parish of St Andrew's, Westland Row. There will be a farewell reception in his honour on Thursday, 6th October, in St Mary's GAA Club, Saggart, at 8 pm. Tribute will be paid to him then for all his good work among us. All parishioners are welcome to attend.

Fr John Gilligan, Parish Administrator, St Andrew's, Westland Row, since 2007 (see here) has been appointed Moderator to our two parishes. He will be given a public welcome at the reception above mentioned in St Mary's GAA Club.

For an explanation of the term 'Moderator', see par. 4 of Dublin's Priest Appointments 2008, the same document that announces the appointment of Fr Enda to Saggart (here).

The work of each team [i.e. Team Ministry in a 'Pastoral Area' made up of a group of parishes] will be coordinated by a priest Moderator.  His role will be one of primus inter pares [i.e. first among equalsl], since each of the Team Members has an equal responsibility within the entire pastoral area. Each of the priest members of the team will celebrate Mass in each of the parish Churches and is bound to fulfill the duties and obligations of a Parish Priest referred to in cc. 528-530, 543. In addition, each Priest is also responsible to the Archbishop and to the faithful of the Parishes.    

For more information see the Newsletters for the 11th and 18th September. In the latter there is a very important notice from the Parish Pastoral Council entitled  'Potential Sale of Old School Building, Saggart'.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Tiptop Work! Renovation Complete with Repair of Tower Pinnacle

Back Again in its Place : The Repaired Finial (foreground, right)  5.9.2016
Many parishioners were unaware of it, maybe, while others were, though saying nothing about it. What are we talking about?  A small piece of unfinished business from the great work done on the exterior of St Mary's from late autumn 2014 to Easter 2015. Once you became aware of it, it just would not go away, and remained there to detract somewhat from the magnificent overall effect left by the rest of the work. We have a lovely church tower capped by a fine crenellated parapet with four pinnacles rising high at each corner. On top of each pinnacle there is what is called a 'finial' which, in our case, is in the form of a stone ball (click on above photo to enlarge it). Now one of these finials must not have been attached securely enough into the top of its pinnacle and had to be taken down for repair sometime in April of last year. Months went by, those who had noticed its going waiting patiently for its reappearance. Summer came and went. 2016 came and was going swiftly by.  Still no sign. The knowledgeable Christy Keane assured those who inquired that the matter was being dealt with and to just hold on a bit longer. Every day as one drove through the village, a glance up at the church tower revealed whether there was any news. Was there ever going to be any great news at all, one wondered ever more sceptically.  So then, what great joy it was when yet another weary glance up at the sky on Thursday, 25th August showed that, yes, yes, it had come back! 

Now we can show off the finally completed work with great fanfare. For photos of the entire work of external renovation see here.  For the story of the 'missing' finial, see here.  (To change slide at your own pace, click on the screen for a desktop or touch it for a tablet.)

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Ordinations 2016

When you visit a hotel at this time of year, especially at weekends, you are likely to come on a wedding reception. Or, by a very remote chance, you may come on a celebration of a different, though equally joyful kind, i.e. an evening reception for a priest ordained earlier that day. Ordinations, frequent in the past, are a rare occurrence today, leaving parishioners less and less likely to witness a ceremony that is as solemn, moving and, of course, happy as a wedding. We had the privilege of experiencing what it is to have an ordination in our parishes when Seamus McEntee was ordained on 3 June 2014 in the Pro-Cathedral (see here for a report of the ordination -- the only one for Dublin that year -- and  here for some photos taken after Fr Seamus's Mass of Thanksgiving in Rathcoole, Saturday 7th June).

Nine students who had studied in Maynooth (or done part of their studies there before going to Rome for theology) were ordained for their various dioceses or religious orders during June and July. The photo below shows two of them, Conor McGee (diocese of Meath) and Jaimie Twohig (Pallottine community or SAC, Society of the Catholic Apostolate -- see the website here for Shankill parish which they have charge of). It was taken at a reception in the Clayton Hotel, Cork, following Fr Jaimie's ordination on Saturday 16th July in St Joseph's Church, Little Island. Fr Conor's ordination took place on Sunday 19th June in Tullamore (see here for a report and photo). Also in the photo is Donal McMahon (of this parish), who accompanied Conor and Jaimie for part of their studies in Maynooth.

There were no ordinations to the priesthood for the Dublin diocese this year; there were eight ordinations to the diaconate (on the 4th June -- see Archbishop Martin's homily here). But ordinations to the religious life certainly hit the headlines: on Saturday 9th July in this, the 800th year since the order's foundation, eight Dominicans were ordained priests in St Saviour's Church, Dublin (read a report here).

Feel free to visit Maynooth College over the summer. In the cloisters of St Patrick's House, on the west side of the main quadrangle, you will see photos, ordination year by ordination year, of students going back to the early decades of the 20th century. Though we may not attend many ordinations these days and though very few of us have (as formerly quite a few had) a priest in the family, still we are all very likely, at least, to have a priest in our family tree. Look out for him, then, in his class photo.

Finally, I'm reminded of the poem Gerard Manley Hopkins (buried in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin) wrote after attending (or even officiating at?) a wedding.  He wishes happiness for the married couple and then thinks of his own vocation. Read it here.

PS   We wish Fr Jaimie's SAC confrère Brendan McCarrick every happiness and blessing next Sunday 24th July. He will be ordained in Sligo just a week after Jaimie!  Doesn't match the Dominicans but still . . .

Fr Conor McGee,  Fr Jaimie Twohig,  Mr Donal McMahon

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Church Notices, 19 June 2016

In the unavoidable absence of the weekly Newsletter, here are this week's notices

1. Recently Deceased
Coleman King,  Sandra Reilly (both of Rathcoole)

2. Churchgate Collection for Vincentian Lay Missionaries. Collection by Margaret Anne O’Brien, to build new classrooms for a Kindergarten School in the Town of Ambo, Ethiopia, for children from a local leprosy project. Margaret Anne has helped to develop this school from its inception.  (Saggart, Rathcoole only).
3. Annual Cemetery Mass for St. Finian’s Church Graveyard10.30am Sunday morning 19th June. Outdoor collection for the upkeep of the cemetery.

4. No Mass in Newcastle on Monday morning 20th June.

5. No Mass in Saggart on Tuesday morning 21st June

6. Next Sunday, annual Cemetery Mass for Saggart Cemetery. Saggart Church 11.30 am, followed by the blessing of the graves. A collection will be held outside all Masses in Saggart, Rathcoole and Brittas for the upkeep of the cemetery.

7. Next weekend, June 25/26th, annual Peter’s Pence Collection. Goes to the charities supported by His Holiness Pope Francis. Replaces the usual SHARE Collection.

8. Colmanstown Cemetery Mass will be celebrated in St. Finian’s Church, Newcastle, Tuesday 28th June at 7.30pm. Celebrant Fr. Seamus McEntee

Monday, 23 May 2016

Cemetery Masses 2016

Brownstown                           Saturday 11 June, 2 p.m.
Mass in St Finian's Church followed by blessing of graves
Newcastle (Ballynakelly)    Sunday 12 June, 2 p.m.
Mass in cemetery followed by blessing of graves
St Finian's                               Sunday 19 June, 10.30 a.m.
Mass in St Finian's Church followed by blessing of graves
St Mary's, Saggart                Sunday 26 June, 11.30 a.m.
Mass in St Mary's Church followed by blessing of graves
Colmanstown                         Tuesday 28 June, 7.30 p.m.
Mass in St Finian's Church said by Fr Seamus McEntee

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Remembering 1916 in Our Parishes

An t-Uasal Seán Keane ag seinm píosa cheoil in ómós
Our two parishes held ceremonies of remembrance in honour of all those who took part in their different ways in the events of Easter 1916. They were conducted in the spirit of inclusiveness advocated, among others, by the two archbishops of Ireland.  Below you will find a selection of photo-slides as a souvenir of the ceremonies which took place in Rathcoole on Easter Monday, 28 March 2016, and in Newcastle Lyons on Sunday, 24 April 2016. The photos were taken by Liam Roche (S/R/B) and Bridget Breen (NL) and captions/presentation are by Donal McMahon (WebSec).

Easter Rising Centenary Photos   Note: move from slide to slide by clicking anywhere on the screen. Press 'Escape' to return to this page.
    Centenary Prayer of Remembrance  
(From Dublin diocesan website here)

Lord, Merciful and Kind,
I remember the men, women and children
who died during 1916 and throughout the
troubled journey of our island’s history.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha.
Look kindly I pray, on the people of Ireland
from all traditions, at home and abroad.
To you O God, we long to sing a new song of
compassion, inclusion and engagement in a
spirit of true freedom.

1916 Exhibition, Tallaght Library : Detail from Illustration of Activity in South County Dublin.
Saggart Area:  Paper Mill,  De Selby Quarry,  Church.  Click to enlarge.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Final 'Do This in Memory' Mass and other news items

This weekend sees the final 'Do This in Memory' Mass for the children (with their families) preparing for First Holy Communion next month. We wish them well as they start the countdown to the big day. Read about this and other matters in the Newsletter to be found as usual in the sidebar to the right. Something else well worth reading is the extract from Pope Francis's long awaited document on 'Marriage and the Family', the subject discussed at the Roman synods of 2014 and 2015. It is called 'The Joy of Love' ('Amoris Laetitia').

The Parish Pastoral Councils of Saggart/Rathcoole/Brittas and Newcastle Lyons continue to do their good work. The next meeting of Saggart PPC is next Tuesday 12th, 8 p.m. in the meeting room of the parochial house. If you would like to have something discussed at this meeting, please mention it to any member of the council or one of the priests. The councillors' names and photos are displayed in the church porch.

And while on the subject of suggestions/feedback, remember you are always welcome to comment too on this website itself. Work goes on regularly and quietly like this in so many ways that we tend to take for granted -- councillors meeting, J4 editor editing, website manager 'posting', church collectors collecting, altar-flower people decorating, choir singing, organist wonderfully playing . . .  all people who work away behind the scenes without looking for any merit but who surely deserve a little thank-you now and then from us, their grateful beneficiaries.  (I agree, the choir and organist are exceptions to the rule, receiving a round of applause every Sunday!)

So here from me (The-Man-on-the-Wall Man  -- remember Andrew Hart?) is a Thank You to all those looking after this year's First Communicants-to-be. I see you at Mass and you are an inspiration to us all. You illustrate what the Pope is talking about, the joy of family love.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Easter Ceremonies

Panel from the Monument to St Patrick, Westport, Co. Mayo

Since, this year, the Easter ceremonies come so soon after St Patrick's Day (Holy Thursday being on the 24th, a mere week later), our illustration for Easter has a Patrician theme. One of the panels of the monument in Westport represents St Patrick lighting a fire on Holy Saturday on the hill of Slane, in defiance of the High King whose prerogative it was to light the first fire that evening on the nearby hill of Tara. The words at the top IN DIE ILLA RESURGEMUS are a quotation from the Confession (Par.59):
If I have ever imitated anything good for the sake of my God whom I love, I ask that he grant me to be able to shed my blood with these converts and captives – even were I to lack a grave for burial, or my dead body were to be miserably torn apart limb from limb by dogs or wild beasts, or were the birds of heaven to devour it. I declare with certainty that if this were to happen, I would have gained both my soul and my body. There is no doubt whatever that WE WILL RISE ON THAT DAY in the brightness of the sun, that is, in the glory of Christ Jesus our redeemer. We shall be like children of the living God and co-heirs of Christ and to be fashioned in his image, since it is from him and through him and in him that we are to reign. 

We will be lighting our own Easter fire as usual outside our parish churches and invite you to come and be with us. You will find the times of all the Easter ceremonies in the parish newsletter (p.2) by clicking here.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

'I thought I heard the voice of the Irish' (St Patrick's Confession)

Panel from monument to St Patrick, Westport, Co. Mayo
I thought I heard in my mind the voice of those who were beside the wood of Foclut, near the western sea, calling out “We beg you, holy boy, to come and walk again among us” . This touched my heart deeply. (Confession, Par. 23)

Rogamus te (abbreviated in photo, top left - click on photo to enlarge it) sancte puer ut venias et adhuc ambules inter nos. To read this sentence in the original manuscript now in TCD and dating all the way back to c.807, click here.  Use button top left to get full-screen view, and then use zoom in/out buttons as desired. Our sentence is at lines 23-4, second column.  How wonderful to be able to see this early Irish manuscript up close on your very own desktop, laptop or even smartphone!  (To select another page, press ‘Escape’ on your keyboard to return to the small-screen version with the page-selector on top.)

For a description of the scenes depicted on the other panels, see here.  For the life of Ken Thompson who designed this monument, see here, and here for an article on the Stations of the Cross which he designed for the recently restored cathedral of St Mel's, Longford.

For Mass times and more readings for St Patrick's Day, see the Newsletter (right sidebar).

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Renovation of St Mary's : A Pictorial Record, 2015

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  . . .