Thursday, 11 July 2019

Adding a Bit of Colour

Outside Rathcoole Church, June 2019

Compliments to those who created this fine display outside the Church of the Holy Family (click to enlarge and see the lovely flowers).

The newsletter for Sunday 14th July will be the last until September. Please note too that the Parish Office in Saggart will only be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays (10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.) until September, when hours of opening will return to normal (Monday to Thursday).

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Ordination of Fr Kevin Connolly

Fr Kevin Connolly (Clogher)
with Mr Donal McMahon (Saggart)

One of the few diocesan ordinations so far this year took place on Sunday 30th June in the cathedral of St Macartan, Monaghan. Kevin Connolly (39) was ordained by Bishop Lawrence Duffy (see a report here). For information on Kevin's life before he entered Maynooth in 2012, see here.  Donal McMahon taught him for part of his studies in first year, Kevin's first and Donal's last year in the college.

Kevin worked as a horticularist for many years. So we may say that his tender care for seedlings and plants will be extended from now on to the equally delicate sphere of helping human lives to flourish.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Cemetery Masses

St Finian's                                Sunday 2nd June
Mass in St Finian's Church at 10.00 a.m. followed by blessing of the graves

Newcastle (Ballynakelly)     Sunday 9th June
Mass in cemetery at 2 p.m. followed by blessing of the graves

St Mary's                                  Sunday 30th June
Mass in St Mary's Church at 11.00 a.m. followed by blessing of the graves

Thursday, 25 April 2019

And rounded off by a cup of tea!
click on poster to enlarge

For more information on the talks, see here  p.1 and p.2.

Monday, 15 April 2019

Timetable for Easter Ceremonies

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




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. (St Patrick, Confession59)

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 here.

Friday, 5 April 2019

Night Prayer

Old Quarter of Krakow, near Cathedral
Prayer in Latin above the Café Door
What could be the link between a fairly dowdy-looking Café and Night Prayer from the Divine Office?  Find out here.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Well Done and Thank You, Fr Michael

Fr Michael McGowan, our esteemed and cherished Parish Chaplain, celebrated a real milestone of a birthday recently, his 90th. We congratulate him and, at the same time, thank him for all he has done in the many parishes he has served in. Here are some glimpses into that long, dedicated life: the early years in Mohill, his training in Maynooth (the photo below is from the Maynooth Calendar 1953-54, A. being for 'acolyte') and his ten years in Ballymore Eustace for which tribute was paid him in 2002.

Fr Michael's elder brother Myles (b.1920) became a priest too. Having trained in St Patrick's College, Carlow, he was ordained in 1945 (ten years before Fr Michael's ordination) and served in the archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis. He died in 2008 at the age of 88. Fr Michael talks about him in this American newspaper tribute.

Friday, 15 March 2019

Lá Fhéile Pádraig / St Patrick's Day

From the 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 to RGMS TE 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!  

In the panel the 'wood of Foclut' is represented by the branch in the top-left corner. Children, what has the child (bottom left) in his hand and who is he stretching it out to?  The panels are the work of Ken Thompson who also did the statue of St Patrick the Pilgrim in Lough Derg.

Friday, 8 March 2019

For Some Lenten Reflection

Sunday next is the first Sunday of Lent. We have entered into the annual 40-day period of preparation leading to the great feast of Easter which falls this year on Sunday 21st April. When the writer was in school long ago, the emphasis was on what one ought not to do during that period, e.g. eat chocolate until the big break-out with the Easter egg on Easter Sunday. The emphasis today is less on denying oneself certain things than on doing things for others, e.g. the Trócaire Lenten campaign which asks us to do what we can for the poor. The purpose of the practices of 'fast and abstinence' of old was, of course, to bring people to reflect on the fundamentals of life, fundamental in the sense of talking about life's great questions -- why we're here, what we should do while we're here, and where we're destined to go in the end. Pausing for thought or reflection like this is in itself a deep and religious thing; it can come about at expected moments and from expected sources or at and from unexpected ones.  The first kind come from, say, the Pope or (Arch)bishop, while the second are those which, shall we say, cross one's path -- you find them rather than they, so to speak, seeking you out.

Two texts in the 'expected' category are Pope Francis's 'Message for Lent 2019' as well as sermon for Ash Wednesday here, and Archbishop Martin's reflection on Lent focusing on the sacrament of Baptism. A text in the 'unexpected' category is a poem by the 17th century Anglican clergyman Robert Herrick which this writer has long known about but not read closely for some considerable time. The subject of Lent has made him look it up again.  'It is a fast to dole / Thy sheaf of wheat / And meat / Unto the hungry soul.'

See, again, this week's newsletter for more good advice from Pope Francis.  He recommends fasting from things like grudges and bitterness and (I like this) : Fast from worries and have trust in God.

Whatever sources it springs from, may the reflection they awaken in you be for your inner enrichment over the season of Lent and beyond. 

Sunday, 10 February 2019

What Do You Think?

Online Survey on Sacramental Preparation and Celebration

An online survey has been launched by the diocesan Sacraments Review Group. The Review Group wishes to evaluate the way in which the sacraments of  Baptism, Reconciliation, Holy Communion and Confirmation are currently prepared for and celebrated, with a view to making recommendations for any changes that appear advisable. Parishioners are invited to communicate their views on this question by filling in the online form, one for 'Parents and Guardians', the other for 'Parishes and Schools'. It is hoped that as many people as possible will do so, especially those in any way involved with the provision of these sacraments in the parish. The closing date for completion of the survey is Monday 25th February.

The survey forms, as well as a letter from Archbishop Martin and video broadcast, are on the diocesan website
The Irish Catholic of the 7th February has an article on the subject here.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Parish Mission Update

Mission Timetable at a Glance HERE

Sr Briege McKenna will conduct a Parish Mission for the Parishes of Saggart, Rathcoole, Brittas and Newcastle between Monday 11th and Thursday 14th February 2019. All focus during the week will be on the Parish Mission. Sr Briege will be present at morning Mass at 10 a.m. (see venues below) and at evening Mass at 7.30 p.m. in St Mary's, Saggart. (Note that on Monday evening there will be Reconciliation instead of Mass.) The Mission will finish with a healing service at the Thursday evening Mass in Saggart. Please note that Sr Briege will not be available for private consultation during the week.

For more details, see the notice below (click to enlarge):

Update 4th February
See the newsletter for Sunday 3rd ( here ) for the arrangements for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament during the Mission. This will take place beginning after the 10 a.m. morning Mass (Monday in Newcastle, Tuesday in Rathcoole, Wednesday and Thursday in Saggart) and continuing until 5 p.m. each day.