Posted 25th April 2015
in Pastor's Desk
Welcome everyone. Today we celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday and World Day of Prayer for Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life. It is an opportunity for us to reflect on our Baptismal Calling from God and how we respond to His call.
The first calling all of us have received is to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Whether we are single, married or ordained, we are to try to live the values of the Gospel in our daily life. We are also called to share our giftedness and talents, which are unique to us, with the Community of Faith in which we find ourselves. Thankfully that generous sharing of time and talent is very evident in this parish community.
The one thing we don’t have many of is priests! I recently saw at a list of the Priests in Dublin lined up according to age; there were 227 priests older than me and only 33 priests younger than me. The challenge facing us as a parish and diocese is providing priests so that the Eucharist can be celebrated in the years to come. If there is no change in the numbers presenting themselves for ordination, reduced number of priests in parishes is going to be the norm for the foreseeable future.
Archbishop Martin’s task of providing priests for all 199 parishes is now very difficult indeed. He has informed me that I will be moving on this summer from Holy Trinity Parish after completing my nine years in the parish. Where I will appointed this summer I do not know yet but the Archbishop has agreed to give me some sabbatical leave beginning the end of July till the 1st January 2016 which will allow me to take a break, do some renewal and prepare myself for my next assignment. I have a few months left before I have to leave this great Parish but the need of the diocese for priests should concentrate all our minds on promoting vocations to the priesthood. Let us pray that the Good Shepherd will continue to tend to His flock.
Posted 18th April 2015
in Pastor's Desk
Welcome everyone. On this Third Sunday of Easter we hear of another appearance of the Risen Lord to His disciples. What always strikes me about these appearances by Jesus is the fact that His first words are always, “Peace be with you”. How reassuring those words must have been to the disciples. Remember, they had let the Lord down so badly. They were happy enough to be his followers and associate with Him when he was popular with the crowds but when the people turned on Jesus, the disciples were quick to abandon Jesus and leave Him to His fate. Even Peter, the first among the apostles, denied Jesus three times when he was taking prisoner. Those words, “Peace be with you”, must have been very welcome indeed to the ears of the apostles. Jesus did not lash out and remind them of their failings but helped them to strengthen their faith and go out to preach the Good News.
Those words of Jesus are meant for each of us today as well. Jesus wants us to start afresh and recommit ourselves to living out our faith. Maybe when you are praying by yourself this week, just gently say those words of Jesus to yourself, “Peace be with you”, and hear Jesus speak them to you. Allow that forgiveness and loving compassion of God into your life.
PS. Archbishop Martin has issued the SHARE Newsletter which gives a breakdown of contributions to SHARE from every parish and how the monies were distributed.
Posted 11th April 2015
in Pastor's Desk
Those hours and days immediately after Christ’s Passion, death and resurrection must have filled the Apostles with a mixture of emotions. In today’s gospel we hear how they had gathered in the closed room. We can only imagine how they must have felt when Jesus appeared and stood among them. The gospel tells us how â€˜they were filled with Joy’ in his presence.
Thomas was missing of course and he wouldn’t believe that Jesus had appeared when the others told them about their encounter with the Risen Lord. He insists that he will only believe when he can see for himself and place his fingers and hands into the wounds. It was another 8 days before they were together again and this time Thomas was present. He now has the proof he wanted and his reply is â€˜My Lord and my God’.
We can all be like Thomas full of doubt and fear from time to time. On this Divine Mercy Sunday we ask the Holy Spirit to dispel any darkness and doubt from our lives so that we may live Spirit filled lives to the full. â€˜Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe’.
Posted 4th April 2015
in Pastor's Desk
Dear Friends, we have solemnly walked with Jesus during the sacred Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday and now we come to the glorious celebration of Easter Sunday. Christ is Risen, Alleluia, Alleluia! Our faith in Jesus Christ is based on the events of that first Easter morning when the women made their way to the tomb. We have to remind ourselves that the women did not get up early that morning in order to find Jesus risen, as though it was all some prearranged plan, but they were making their way there because they didn’t have time to bury Him properly. The first to witness the resurrection were women. When they told the apostles, the men didn’t believe them and Peter and John ran to the tomb to find out for themselves.
Today it is our turn to be the bearer of this Good News to all who we meet. The season of Easter, which begins today, will last for 50 days and is celebrated by the Church as one great Easter Day. Easter will conclude with the Feast of Pentecost when we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit to all of us.
My thanks go to all who have played their part in the Holy Week ceremonies. Without your contribution they would not be the same.
The Blessings of the Easter season to you all from myself and the Parish Team.