Pastor's Desk: Second Sunday of Advent
“Prepare a way for the Lord”
The theme of our readings on this second Sunday of Advent is conversion. “Prepare a way for the Lord” says John the Baptist two thousand years ago and the message is meant for each one of us today; we too are called to prepare a way of the Lord into our own hearts.
As a parish community we will be celebrating that great compassion and forgiveness of God when we gather for our Parish Penitential Service on Tuesday 21st December at 7.30pm. We will be inviting priests from the surrounding parishes to join with us in offering the opportunity to people to come along and experience God’s love.
The Sacrament of Confession or Reconciliation is not as popular as it once was. We all have memories of going to our local churches and finding rows of seats occupied as people patiently waited to enter the box and tell their story to God. People had a quick look at the priest’s name on the box to see who it was! Was it the quick priest; the nice priest or the priest who would eat the head off you!! Many reasons have been given for the decline in numbers attending Confession. Some say there is a loss of the sense of sin; people no longer understand that they are committing sins anymore. Other say why go to a priest to experience God’s forgiveness, we can get that directly through our own prayer life. I have no answer myself as to why there are less people going to Confession today but the truth is, the Sacrament hasn’t changed, we have. The Sacrament is still about examining our lives periodically and acknowledging we have not been the kind of person we could have been in various areas of our life and then committing ourselves to make the changes that are needed to change who we are. It is a golden opportunity to start again.
I invite all parishioners to come along to our celebration of the Penance Service on the 21st December and if you have been away from the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession for many years, why not make the return this year. We promise you a warm welcome as we all try to live the Gospel values given to us through Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.
Church Notices: 5th December 2010
- Next Sunday the annual collection for the St. Vincent de Paul will be taken up at all Masses and will replace the usual SHARE collection.
- Wednesday is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and a Holy Day of Obligation. The vigil Mass for the feast will be on Tuesday evening at 7.30pm. Masses on Wednesday itself will be at 10.00am, 12.30pm and an evening Mass at 7.30pm.
- Many of you like to remember deceased relatives and friends at Mass on Christmas Day. There is a list in the Sacristy so please call in over the next couple of weeks to place family names of the dead on the list for the Mass of your choice. As happened last year, the lists will be placed on the Altar instead of being read out.
- Due to the difficult conditions underfoot at the moment, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is cancelled this coming Monday. Those on the rota please take note.
- Our Parish Christmas Mass Card is also available to send to family and friends with a share in all our Masses offered over the Christmas Season.
- The Irish Catholic and the December/Christmas edition of The Word Magazine and of the Sacred Heart Messenger are available at the Repository.
- Advent calendars are available at the doors of the church for the children. Please take one home with you. Also available are Advent Prayer Cards from the Office of Evangelisation.
- The Clongriffin Christmas Fair takes place (today) Sunday from 12-4pm in the Trinity Sports & Leisure Club. All are welcome.
- Santa will visit Grangemore Residents on the 13th Dec. Please see the committee for more details.
- St. Doulagh’s Church annual service of Carols takes place next Sunday at 4.00pm. All are welcome.
- Finally we would ask all parishioners to please check in with elderly neighbours to see if they have any needs at this time.