Although it may seem that we have nothing to greet you with apart from Covid-19 restrictions we have lots to say.
Now that the Christmas Season has finally ended we are back to ‘Ordinary Time’ once more. The green vestments, that can be seen by those joining us online, are a reminder of Spring and growth. For the next 6 weeks we will be journeying in ordinary time in the church cycle until Lent creeps up on us once more. It seems that we will be in Level 5 until at least the end of January and even then if we go back to Level 3 our churches will probably remained closed for Mass for some time longer. This brings its own difficulties for so many and we want to thank you for your loyalty and support to the parish in a different way this past year. Little did we think in March 2020 we would have our churches closed for people to gather as a community for so long with a few short months during the summer. The vaccine is coming albeit very slowly to the bulk of parishioners. Even so people are going to have a new way of coming together to pray. The church will remain open as long as possible each day for private prayer and it is heart warming to see many people coming for a few minutes or longer to spend some time before the Blessed Sacrament in prayer. A wide variety of dogs are now part of the community in prayer. I often wonder who is bringing who at times. The sight of a dog sitting in the aisle while its human friend is spending time in prayer is beautiful. Long may it continue!
Christmas Preparations: For those who made the Christmas celebrations possible and prayerful a sincere Thank You. The most obvious work was the crib in front of the altar with the Christmas tree lit in all its glory. The Advent Wreath with the Christmas Light at its centre. The Christmas decorations and flower arrangements added to the decor. The outdoor crib drew attention to what was going on in a difficult time. Readers, singers and musicians, stewards, cleaners, those working behind the scenes in the parish office and sacristy enabling viewers get a good look at the ceremonies and of course the viewers themselves for making it all worthwhile all deserve a special round of applause. Those who collected newsletters and missalettes as well as bottles of Holy Water to bring to those unable to be physically present.
Finance: Thanks to those who continue to collect and return Family Offering envelopes which is the backbone of the parish finances. The shrines are also a wonderful source of revenue for the parish upkeep. As a priest I would like to say a special thanks to those who returned the Christmas Dues envelopes and to those who have taken to the trial credit card donation machine which contributes to the pay of the priests and the lay workers of the diocese via the Common Fund & Share collection. Many are contributing to the ‘normal’ Sunday collections via the envelopes available in the porch. These can be left in to either the church shop post box or via my own letter-box. People are also contributing directly to the parish via the donate button on the parish website. We haven’t always been efficient in acknowledging these donations but rest assured they are being noted and your support is greatly appreciated.
Church Shop: The shop will remain closed but if you are needing cards or anything else that you have seen or would like, please contact the parish office and we can arrange purchase or delivery of items. (Next best thing to click and collect).
Funerals are restricted to 10 mourners and despite the difficulties associated with this restrictions, families are very cooperative in this regard as are neighbours and extended families. This makes our celebrations quite positive under the circumstances. Again as a priest, These celebrations are more personal and families seem to be ‘enjoying’ the ceremony under the horrible circumstances.
New Shoots: As we start a New Year, people are beginning to take a new approach to life in the church. We have had a number of enquiries about baptism and some families are quite happy with just the immediate family being present and no big party afterwards. For them the baptism is becoming more important than the party. This is something to be happy about. (Haven’t had any requests for weddings with just 6 present yet!). Although the obligation for confession has been removed for the moment there are some requesting the sacrament and it is a joy to be able to facilitate this request. Yes the New Year has plenty to be happy about. I take this opportunity to thank you for your support to my colleagues Frs. Harry and Damian and the wider team in the Glasnevin Group of Parishes. Wishing you and yours every blessing as we venture into a new year. May 2021 bring us blessings and hope.
Fr. Joseph Ryan