The Alpha Programme (online) – An Invitation!

please click here -> to see video – https://fb.watch/axTDY4uArK/

Fr. Paddy is asking you to consider joining him in taking on this course.
It will be good for anyone, but especially for those who – as he says in this video – have found themselves drifting away from the Church, or disillusioned by it or the scandals, or if you simply dont know what faith teaches.

Would you consider spending 11 Tuesday evenings investing your time in exploring how Faith can relate to your life in normal but powerful ways? This can happen online from the comfort of your own home for just 1 hour each night

What is it? The Alpha Course is a friendly, engaging, non-judgemental approach to exploring the ‘big’ questions of life from a Christian standpoint. Why are we here? Does God really guide us? Where does Faith and Prayer fit in? Why is there Evil in the World?

Who is it for? It can be for those who are already heavily involved in their Parish of for those who would like to be involved or more involved. Whatever about involvement, it certainly is for those who are seeking and searching for deeper meaning in life which can easily relate to Life to Faith.

What can I expect? 25 Minutes of a thought provoking DVD followed by group discussion with a facilitator. This Course is not a heavy learning session but about reacting to the clip you’ve seen and sharing your thoughts. 

For the first time, this Alpha is being run on a Nationwide basis with each parish having its own small group of 7 to 8 people.

Course starts Tuesday 18th January @8pm

If you’re interested please check out alphaireland.org/refocus  for more details and online Registration.

Blessings for the New Year

On behalf of the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC), and indeed all involved in our parish community, Fr. Paddy extends prayers for the blessings of health and happiness to all our parishioners, and indeed the whole community. May the New Year be a peaceful and joy-filled time for us all.

Fr. Paddy shared part of this reflection for the first Masses of the New Year.

God of all time, help us enter the New Year quietly,
thoughtful of who we are to ourselves and to others,
mindful that our steps make an impact
and our words carry power.

May we walk gently.
May we speak only after we have listened well.

Creator of all life,
help us enter the New Year reverently,
aware that you have endowed
every creature and plant, every person and habitat
with beauty and purpose.

May we regard the world with tenderness.
May we honor rather than destroy.

Lover of all souls,
help us enter the New Year joyfully,
willing to laugh and dance and dream,
remembering our many gifts with thanks
and looking forward to blessings yet to come.

May we welcome your lavish love.
In this new year, may the grace and peace of Christ bless us now and in the days ahead.

With the help of God, in 2022 we will deepen our faith in God, and come closer together as a community of faith.

There are some exciting projects in the pipeline for this year, so please do continue to connect with us and thank you for your support of our Parish.

Christmas Blessings

Happy Christmas!

Hope you enjoyed this special time of the year – despite the difficulties in the country and the world at this time.

Fr. Paddy used a reflection at his Christmas Masses, and some people have asked for it to be shared;

A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF THE INCARNATION

The Incarnation is no mystery, Jesus. You make it easy to understand.
Because you walked our earth, we are to see the face of the Divine in every person we meet:

the friend who betrayed;
the family gathered for a meal;
the mother on welfare;
the man on death row;
the server in the store;
the teenage thug on the corner;
those society tells me are different from me, and my enemy
and trains me to treat that way.

Every time I love, the mystery of the Incarnation happens.
Every time I love, I birth you on earth, Jesus.

I fall on my knees and beg you, Jesus, deepen my living of the Incarnation.

Slightly adapted from ‘Prayers for A New Millennium’, by Mary L .Kownacki

Fr. Paddy also acknowledged all those who helped in the parish throughout the year;

I think of all those who have helped keep our parish going this year; You, our Parishioners; Our Sacristans; The Parish Pastoral Council; The Parish Finance Committee; The Covid-19 Committee; Stewards; Ministers of the Word & Eucharist; our Secretaries; and all those who helped in any way. I am so grateful for your support.

Happy Christmas

So, on behalf of all, may you and your families experience the many blessings of Christmas and have a joyous and grace-filled new year!

Even the Pope goes to Confession…

Yes, Pope Francis went to Confession, publicly, in St. Peter’s Basilica, after leading a penitential service.

The Holy Father said the Christian way begins with taking a step backward, with removing oneself from the centre to make room for God.

This same criterion, this same outlook, applied to confession, can provoke a revolution in the life of each person: I am no longer at the centre of the sacrament of penance, humiliated with my list of sins — perhaps always the same ones — to be told with difficulty to the priest.

At the centre is the encounter with God who welcomes, embraces, forgives, raises up.

“One does not go to confession,” the Pope explained, “as chastised people who must humble themselves, but as children who run to receive the Father’s embrace.

And the Father lifts us up in every situation, He forgives our every sin. Hear this well: God always forgives! Do you understand? God always forgives!” One is not going to a judge to settle accounts, but “to Jesus who loves me and heals me”.

Confessions for Christmas

Tuesday 21st – 7-8pm, Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure

Thursday 23rd – 7-8pm, Church of our Lady of The Nativity, Fieldstown

Friday 24th – 1-2pm, Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure

St. Buithe’s 1500th Anniversary

In our parish, we had hoped to commemorate him with a Triduum of Prayer, however, in recent weeks, as Covid numbers continued to rise, we felt it wouldn’t be good to be promoting gatherings for extra events. Hopefully we will have an opportunity to do something more significant in the spring/summer.

However, we didn’t want to let the moment pass without some commemoration, therefore we have decided to hold the following;

1. Sunday 5th December – Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 7pm, from the Church of The Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown – commemorating the life of St. Buithe. Available on the ‘Fieldstown’ tab of this website https://www.churchservices.tv/monasterboice

2. Monday 6th December – Online reflection on the life of St. Buithe and the prayer and work of Monasterboice in the 6th Century – at 7pm on Zoom. Meeting ID: 862 9538 8975. Passcode: 730302

3. Tuesday 7th December – Rosary from the Round Tower at Monasterboice – at 7pm, live on the Monasterboice Parish Facebook Page.

We would like to invite you – and anyone you wish to share the information with – to join us for any/all of the events

He was born in 445, and probably met St. Patrick as a youth. Leaving Ireland, he was trained and ordained in Italy, and after a stay in Germany travelled to eastern Scotland, where he encountered King Nectan of the Picts

It is said that Buithe raised Nectan from the dead, and in gratitude the king gave the saint the land for the Church of Buithe (Kirkbuddo).

Returning to Ireland in about 500 AD, Buithe was given land at Monasterboice by the local King Eoin O’Cassidy, and founded a monastery and school at Monasterboice. This was one of the most important sites in ireland for six centuries, becoming known as An Manistair (The Monastery)

This school was known for its sculpture; the Crosses of Monasterboice are world renowned. They incorporate representation of Biblical subjects directly on the Crosses, visual lessons for the faithful and less likely to be destroyed than were books. Two of these crosses, including the Muireadach Cross dating from 923, survive at Monasterboice.

Around 1097, there was a massive fire at the site, and many of its treasures of books and art were destroyed. And in the year 1142, a new Monastery was established at Mellifont.

St. Buithe/Boice died on 7th December 521, & foretold the birth of St. Colmcille, who was born on the day Buithe died.

We have close ties with the people of through the work of Rev. Allan Webster, a Church of Scotland mInister and historian, who worked with Fr. John Hanratty, PP, and along with the local communities they set up a twinning between Monasterboice and Letham (nearest town to Kirkbuddo). Most recently visitors from Letham visited Monasterboice.

You can hear/see Maria Callery (Monasterboice) speaking about St. Buithe here

Our Lady of Fieldstown

Our Lady of Fieldstown

Last year (2020) during Lockdown, it was suggested at a Parish Pastoral Council Meeting, that we should explore erecting a Shrine to Our Lady on the outside of the Church in Fieldstown.

Very quickly the idea took momentum, and through the stalwart work of Enda Fahy, and his son, Gavin, the base and arch of the Shrine were constructed. Margaret Fahy, Clare Murphy and Emily Halpin painted the wall, prepared the flowers and helped by Teresa Mulroy, our Sacristan, prepared the Shrine for the arrival of the new statue.

Eventually, after Mass on Sunday, 31st October, the shrine and statue were blessed and dedicated, and Mary Brennan penned a lovely poem for the occasion, from which we got the name, Our Lady of Fieldstown.

Thanks to everyone whose vision, hard work, and support brought this special project to completion. We now have a lovely shrine which we hope will inspire many to turn to Our Lady for help and protection – especially in these difficult times.

Towards Healing

This weekend (10th October), Fr. Paddy spoke about the terrible news which emerged during the week about the revelations of Clerical abuse in France.

He reminded us of the words from Pope Francis in 2018 condemning these crimes;

“Looking back to the past, no effort to beg pardon and to seek to repair the harm done will ever be sufficient. Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated. The pain of the victims and their families is also our pain, and so it is urgent that we once more reaffirm our commitment to ensure the protection of minors and of vulnerable adults”. (Pope Francis)

He went on;

“With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives. We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them”. 

Finally, the Holy Father said;

“I am conscious of the effort and work being carried out in various parts of the world to come up with the necessary means to ensure the safety and protection of the integrity of children and of vulnerable adults, as well as implementing zero tolerance and ways of making all those who perpetrate or cover up these crimes accountable”…”It is essential that we, as a Church, be able to acknowledge and condemn, with sorrow and shame, the atrocities perpetrated by consecrated persons, clerics, and all those entrusted with the mission of watching over and caring for those most vulnerable. Let us beg forgiveness for our own sins and the sins of others”.

Please read the Holy Father’s full letter here

There is an excellent interview with a senior Cardinal on the report from France here;

If you, or anyone reading this has been affected by the issues raised here, please find help and support in the ‘Towards Healing’ organisation. The Towards Healing Counselling and Support Service reflects the commitment of the Catholic Church in the thirty two counties of Ireland to meet the support needs of survivors of Religious, Institutional and Clerical Abuse and their families. The Towards Healing Counselling and Support Service was established in February 2011.

Cemetery Blessings 2021

All the cemeteries in the parish have now been blessed.

Thanks to Joe Finnegan for recording them; Tomasina McGinnity for her singing; those from the PPC, and Cemetery committees who read and attended the Masses to represent those who could not be present due to Covid-19. 

The links to the videos are below – please share them with family & friends, especially those who are living away from home. 

The dates for the Blessing of the Graves next year will be;

Sunday 24th July, 2022 at 12noon in Mullary;
Sunday 31st July at 12noon in Ballymakenny and
Sunday 7th August at 2pm in Monasterboice – please note the new time!

We thank and acknowledge all those responsible for the upkeep of the cemeteries, always a credit to the local community.

Blessing of the Graves in Mullary, 2021
Blessing of the Graves in Monasterboice 2021
Blessing of the Graves in Ballymakenny 2021

Covid-19 Restrictions Ease

The parish Covid-19 Committee met this week to discuss the recent easing of restrictions (6th September – see here for webpage), and what that means for the parish – especially for the liturgies in the Churches.

50% Capacity (regardless of immunity status of attendees)

The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Tenure can now accommodate up to 150 members of the congregation.

The Church of Our Lady of the Nativity, Fieldstown can now accommodate up to 75 members of the congregation.

Photo by Griffin Wooldridge on Pexels.com

Stewards will be on hand to assist parishioners find a place that is comfortable for them.

Protective Measures

Masks will still be required, as will hand sanitising. Please try and maintain as much social distancing as possible, especially when moving in/out of the Church, and while receiving Holy Communion.

Distribution of Holy Communion

Holy Communion will now be distributed at the traditional time in the Mass – ie, at The Communion Rite, following the Lord’s Prayer, and the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God)

Please follow the direction of the Stewards.

Please allow as much social distancing as possible while preparing to receive and following reception of the Eucharist.

Please only receive Holy Communion in the hand

Please try and sanitise your hands (gels will be freely available throughout the Church) after touching your mask.

After Mass

Please do not linger inside the Church after Mass is concluded.

The Church will be sanitised after each Mass.

All other measures (ie seats cordoned off, collection baskets at the Church doors, one way systems) will remain in place until the 22nd October, at the earliest. A further review will be held by the Parish covid-19 committee at that time.

Thank you to our committee members, our stewards, and indeed to all our parishioners for co-operating with these measures designed to keep the Church as safe a space as possible.