Happy New Year
All at St. Patrick’s Parish join in wishing everybody in the parish a very happy, holy and prosperous 2015. We use the words of Pope Francis as he greeted people on New Year’s Eve: At the end of a year, like at the end of life, the Pope said, the church teaches its members to make an examination of conscience, “remembering all that happened, thanking the Lord for all the good we received and were able to do and, at the same time, remembering where we were lacking and our sins. Give thanks and ask forgiveness. The end of one calendar year and the beginning of another is the perfect occasion to reflect on how well people have used the time and gifts God has given them - especially how well people have helped the poor, Pope Francis said.
The Epiphany of the Lord
Tuesday is the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord. In Irish tradition, it is also called Little Christmas or Women’s Christmas. The Wise Men came from the East to adore the Son of God. The Saviour was made known to the Gentiles in the persons of the Wise Men who were led to Bethlehem by a star. They knew that a King was born. They bowed to the ground in adoration and offered Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. These indicated that he had human nature, and that he was God and King.
This feast concludes the season of Christmas. Let us thank God for all the graces bestowed on us during this holy time. Praise be to God. Be with us Lord during the month of January. Amen.
Arrangements for Mass
Tuesday is a holy day of obligation. Mass for the feastday will be celebrated at St. Fiacre’s Church at 6.15pm on Monday and 10.30am and 12.00 noon on Tuesday. Mass in St. Patrick’s Church will be at 7.00pm on Monday and 9.30am, 11.00am and 12.30pm on Tuesday. Mass at Foulkstown will be at 10.00am on Tuesday morning.
On other days this week our public Masses will be at the usual times.
What Do We Learn from this Feast?
The Epiphany tells the story of the wise ones, astrologers and stargazers. The Western Christian Church has assigned them the names Melchior (Babylonian scholar), Caspar (Persian scholar) and Balthazar (an Arab scholar). Their gifts gold, frankincense and myrrh have symbolic significance in light of the identity of the baby to whom they are given. These Epiphany gifts may speak to us at the beginning of this New Year.
Gold: has great value and is a symbol of kingship on earth. Our gold may need refining before its true worth can be appreciated. We may overlook the gold in others because we do not look with care or because we assume none is present.
Frankincense: is the resin from a tree; part of its life force. Incense is the symbol of prayer. The gift of incense calls us to prayer to bring fragrance to the world through our movement and through savouring.
Myrrh: is also a gift of the earth. As a perfume it was common anointing oil associated with death and burial. The gift of myrrh reminds us that life is fragile, that our death whenever it comes is a transformation. “...life is changed, not taken away,” as Paul reminds us.
“...We saw the rising of the star- we have come searching...” To see the rising of the star means to be watchful. When did we last look up at a starry sky? It is like a great prayer book that is always open, revealing night after night the glory of God.
Back to Normal
The Parish Office is open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9.00am until 4.00pm. Baptismal certificates, wedding bookings and anniversary bookings can be made though the Office.
The Parish Centre is open from Monday. Bookings and enquiries to Mr Ted Byrne on 056 776 4400.
The monthly rosary at the Statue of Our Lady of Kilkenny, James Green continues on this Sunday at 3.00pm.
Pray For Our Deceased Friends
Recently Deceased: Loretta Barr, Baunlusk. Henry Murray, Assumption Place. Liam Jennings, McDonagh Street. Liam Shortall, Fatima Place. Funeral Mass Monday, at 10.30 in St. John’s Church. Interment afterwards in St. Kieran’s Cemetery.
Months Mind: Sr. Joanne Holohan (Sat 7.00). Henry Spain (Sun 10.30).
Anniversaries: Maura Molloy (Sat 6.15). Fred Lee (Sun 9.30). Josephine & Paddy McGrath (Sun 10.00). Sean Devane (Sun 11.00). Michael Kennedy (Sun 12.00). Henrietta Hyland (Sun 12.30). Anne Wright & Annie Treacy (Mon 7.00pm). Tommy, Mary & Thomas Drohan. (Tues 9.30). Peg Larkin (Tues 10.30). Geraldine Cody (Tues 12.00). Jim & Rose Magner (Thurs 10.30). Teresa Walsh (Fri 10.30). Denis O’Shea. James & Annie O’Grady. John Walsh.
Intentions for Next Weekend: Anastatia & Billy Hickey (Sat 6.15). Teresa Holden (Sat 7.00). Mary Reynolds (Sun 9.30). Beattie O’Connell (Sun 10.00). Seamus Loughman (Months Mind Sun 10.30). Sean O’Dwyer (Sun 11.00). Michael Phelan & Bridget Lannon (Sun 12.00). Bridget & Christopher Lawlor (Sun 12.30).
First Friday Visits
Frs. Dan and Liam will be making their calls on the this Friday, 9th January. Fr. Roderick will attend as arranged with those he visits regularly.
Blessed Edmund Rice
The monthly Mass to pray for the blessing of Blessed Edmund Rice and for his canonisation will take place in Westcourt on Monday, 12th January at 7.30pm. All are welcome. Note the change of date.
Adoration in St. Patrick’s Church
Due to a shortage of committed adorers it has been decided to discontinue the Friday Adoration in St. Patrick’s Church and to concentrate on the Monday Adoration in St. Fiacre’s Church instead.
We would like to say thank you very much to all who came to adore Jesus in the Eucharist whether you were a regular adorer or you came when you could. We would appreciate if you could continue adoration from now on in St. Fiacre’s Church on Mondays at a time that is convenient between 11.00am and 9.00pm. All are welcome.
Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
We invite those families who had a child baptised in our parish during 2014 to bring their child to 10.30am Mass on next Sunday, 11th January 2015. As a community we will praise God for the gift of those 142 children and give thanks to Him for the gift of our baptismal faith.
Many of us dipped the fingers of our right hands into the holy water font and blessed ourselves as we came to church today. Some of us did something similar as we left home. Why? This blessing with holy water reminds us of our Baptism. And so when I bless myself with holy water, I should be thinking of the fact that I am a child of God; that I have been redeemed by the Cross of Christ; that I have been made a member of God’s family and that I have been washed, forgiven, cleansed in the waters of Baptism. Speaking in Rome on New Year’s Day Pope Francis said: “Through baptism we were introduced into communion with God, and we are no longer at the mercy of evil and sin; rather, we receive the love, tenderness and mercy of the heavenly Father.” He then asked: “Who among you remembers the day he was baptized? Raise your hands. There are many, but not so, so many. For those who don’t remember the date of their baptism, I am giving you a homework assignment: look for the date and keep it in your heart!” The date we were baptized is a day of celebration! Remember or discover the date of your Baptism; it will be very good to have, in order to thank God for the gift of Baptism.”
Parish News on Social Media
This Parish Newsletter is available on our Web and Facebook pages. Let those away from home know.
There’s no denying that the clergy in Ossory are getting older by the year with the result there are very few spring chickens left! If I’m not mistaken, there are just five Ossory priests under the age of 50 with the rest varying in age right into their 80s. What this leaves us with is a crisis soon to happen as many priests retire and vacancies in parishes unable to be filled. So, at the current rate, what the future holds for many parishes is amalgamations and closure of churches. This slide can only be averted by people here on the ground. There is little use looking to overseas for priests or religious, and doctrine isn’t going to change anytime soon, therefore vocations must happen from among your family and friends.
We encourage all our faithful to pray for and promote the life of a priest or religious as a worthy and valid vocation for any young person to consider. There are people out there who, right now feel this calling and a positive word from you can make all the difference. Perhaps the person needing encouragement and prayer is your son or daughter? Maybe it’s a sibling or a friend?
Those who wish to discuss a vocation to priesthood or religious life, can contact any of the priests of the parish or our Diocesan Director of Vocations, Fr. Willie Purcell. Details of contact are on our Ossory website.
Tax Rebate Scheme
As we come to the end of the year we are looking again at the tax rebate scheme from which St. Patrick’s Parish has benefited enormously, thanks to the co-operation and generosity of so many of our parishioners and families.
Throughout the scheme, our parish has benefited greatly, at no extra cost to you, from the tax you have already paid. Tax paid by you can remain with the Revenue Commissioners or it can be reclaimed by way of refund to any eligible charity including St. Patrick’s Parish. This scheme has made a huge difference to our parish finances and repayments.
If you are not part of it you might contact the Parish Office in the days ahead: 056 776 4400. Thank you.