Thought for the Week
A Lost Tribe
Once upon a time in Ireland, on ‘apple-ripe September mornings’, many young men of eighteen put on white shirts, black suits and ties and headed for the nearest railway station. They were upbeat, despite lugging suitcases that included a soutane, a surplice and biretta (ecclesiastical robes). Filled with the spirit of the Lord’s words: give and not count the cost’ they were bound for St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. Some survived the rigours of seminary life; others decided the priesthood was not for them – later, some of these distinguished themselves in universities, in public life and in the market place. Among them were people like John Hume, Brian Friel and Michael O’Kennedy who became a government minister.
Those who ‘persevered’ returned the morning after ordination to their native place to celebrate their First Mass. The newly ordained were ‘trailing clouds of glory.’ People knelt at the altar rails to receive a first blessing and then kissed the recently anointed hands. The sun shone; a soft breeze carried summer perfume in from the hills. The hero was doing a lap of honour. God was in his heaven, all was right with the world.
Today, for the priest all is changed and, to paraphrase W.B. Yeats, all is changed utterly, but no terrible beauty is to be spotted on the horizon.
The biggest and smallest diocese in the country – Dublin and Killala – share a common experience: both have only one priest under forty. This I learned at the annual conference of the Association of Catholic Priests. Priests today, according to that remarkably brave priest from Sligo, Fr Brendan Hoban are ‘the lost tribe’. They are reviled, insulted and ignored. Brendan himself admits some exaggeration, but he is speaking truths that have been swept beneath the carpet. Well worth your while to read what he has to say (The Irish Times, 21 Nov) and indeed, if you have a spare moment, look up the ACP website. Happy reading! Fr. William
We are keen to enrol and train a new group of altar servers over the next few weeks. Those who have recently celebrated their First Communion are particularly welcome. Training for new altar servers will be provided by Josephine Bennett, who has participated in Diocesan child safeguarding training. Parents of children, who would like to become altar servers, are invited to pick up a parental authorisation form from the parish office or the sacristy.
We urgently need volunteers for church cleaning, Youth Initiative Group and drivers for meals on wheels.
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|Sun:||09.00am, 11.00am (Family Mass except July/August), 6.00pm (Folk Mass)|
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Mon - Fri: 10.00am - 12noon
52 Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin 6
Phone: 497 1531