Monday, 22 October 2018

Farewell and Welcome

Farewell, Fr Mchael, and thank you for your twelve years' valuable service to the parishioners here, the more recent ones in a part-time capacity following your appointment to the staff of Maynooth College. Michael has written about his vocation and his work here. An example of his good work among us taken at random from the internet can be found in an article from the Irish Independent (22 July 2008) reporting on a funeral in St Mary's (see here).

Farewell, Fr Aloysius, and thank you too for your six years' valuable service to us here in the united parishes of Saggart/Rathcoole/Brittas and Newcastle. Read Fr Aloysius's very interesting vocation story here.

A Farewell evening will be held in St Mary's GAA Hall, Saggart, Friday 2 November, 8 pm. See newsletters (right sidebar).

Welcome, Fr Colin (Rothery), coming to us from St Peter and Paul's, Balbriggan. Fr Colin and Fr Aloysius were ordained on the same day in 2009. Fr Colin's equally interesting vocation story can be found in the Irish Independent under a photo of the two priests outside the Pro-Cathedral on their ordination day.

We welcome too Rev. Don Devaney, the first deacon to come to our parish.  He was ordained deacon on the 4th June this year (read a report here).

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Feast of St Francis, 4th October

Working in the garden with my trusty helper-supervisor

Tomorrow is the feast-day of St Francis. In thinking of him we all, no doubt, think also of nature, the Creator, and those most humble, serviceable and faithful of creatures, the animals we know -- whether on a farm in the country or in our suburban homes. Why these creatures 'speak' to us so powerfully must be because, unlike us, they do not have language. We speak to them while they can never reply except in their own unique non-verbal way -- which can, of course, express so much, be it bark, miaow . . . and all the other sounds they use to communicate their feelings. Human beings are just higher animals, we say, only to come up against some very complex questions: 'How are we "higher" exactly?  In what way are we different? What use have we made of language? What does our thought arrive at?'  These are the questions that are somewhere in my head as I (in the photo above) stroke the little head of my cat who has very kindly come out to help (and supervise) me in the garden.

The Blessing of Animals takes place on Sunday the 7th of October on the steps of the Presbytery at Holy Redeemer. Fr Dan [Nguyen] will begin the service at 3pm and we welcome all creatures great and small, furred, finned and feathered to join us in a celebration of the life of St. Francis of Assisi and our animal companions.  

This invitation can be found here in the newsletter (30th September) for the parish of the Holy Redeemer, Bray. We don't (yet!) have such a blessing ceremony in our parish. So, instead or in the meantime, let this corner here be where we think of and ask their Creator's blessing on all our animal friends, those wordless companions with us on life's long, sometimes joyful, sometimes weary road.

Readers are welcome to send in their own pet story or photo.
(PS  Photos of the Pets/Animals Blessing in Balbriggan Parish here.)