Parish News 6th December 2015 Second Sunday of Advent

 

A Cosy Church?

On one of those grey-sky mornings we are having of late, I was on my way into the parish church to celebrate the 10 o’clock Mass when I was stopped in my tracks by the sight of a bulk lying in the shelter of the front door. No sign of a sleeping head. Or a foot jutting out. Just a mound. I stood to take a closer look and sure enough the duvet rose and fell in a breathing motion. A human being was beneath the mound. Nothing between him and the cold concrete except cardboard.

I knelt for a moment at the back of the church: the image was disturbing. People were gathering for Mass: priest and people would celebrate the Eucharist while a poor unfortunate man would lie just a few yards from us.  ‘There’s something absurd about this’ was revolving in my head. This is not the way the Lord intended it to be: a group of us reciting prayers and singing hymns – prayers of intercession for world peace, prayers for vocations; being fed at the Lord’s table – a cosy church, a cosy liturgy.  God’s in His heaven; all’s right with the world.

But it isn’t. At the other side of the front door is a Christ-figure without a proper place to lay his head. I appealed to reason: he must have been offered accommodation; there will always be, you know .... The image refused to budge. 

After Mass he had disappeared: duvet, cardboard, rucksack – the lot. Later on I learnt that Simon – that great organisation – comes in the night with soup. And kind parishioners bring him food. Some consolation, at least.

A cosy Church for a comfortable religion? Never. There is no comfortable way of being a Christ follower. ‘You are neither hot nor cold,’ said Jesus, ‘so I spew you out of my mouth.’    Fr William

As this Jubilee Year of Mercy begins, I am asking you to once again help those most in need in our Diocese by assisting in the collection of vital foodstuffs for the Crosscare Food Banks.  These Food Banks give food directly to individuals and families in need through local community food banks and also to over 70 other charities in Dublin who are working with those most in need. Throughout 2015 demand on the Food Banks remained high, with more and more families turning to Crosscare for support with basic food items.  I am asking parishes to repeat last year’s Food Appeal and for parishioners to bring non-perishable food items to Masses in their local parish Church on the weekends of 5th/6th and 12th/13th of December.  As Pope Francis encourages us, “Think through once again the works of mercy, they are the work of the Father.”

With prayerful good wishes,

+Diarmuid Martin

Archbishop of Dublin

 

Pope Francis will inaugurate the Jubilee of Mercy on Tuesday 8th December, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and a Holy Day.  Mass times are Mon 7th at 5.45pm (Vigil) and 10am and 1.10pm on Tues 8th December.

The monthly Do this in Memory Mass takes place next Sunday 13th December at 11am.

The annual SVP collection takes place at all Masses next weekend 12th/13th December and will replace the Share collection. Please give generously.

The Ministers of the Word are meeting on Monday 7th December at 7.30pm in No. 52.  All readers are asked to attend.

The Finance Committee will meet on Tuesday 8th December at 7.30pm in No. 52.

The Parish Pastoral Council will meet next Tuesday 8th December at 8.30pm in No. 52.

You are invited to visit the Advent Prayer Space, situated in the Baptistery.  Advent Home Retreat – Reflective material is available for this at the back of the church.  You are welcome to take some home with you.

 

There will be a short Nativity Play during the Family Christmas Eve mass at 6m on 24 December. Children who are interested in taking part should come along to a short meeting in the Parish House after 11am mass on Sunday 20 December, when roles will be allocated. The rehearsal will take place in the church on Christmas Eve at 5pm.

The collection held during the Walk of Light 2015 on Sunday 22 November last raised a total of €730 which will be donated this year to Rathmines Women’s Refuge.  A very big thank you to all who so generously donated.

The next Patrician Meeting with Discussion Title ‘True Devotion to the Nation’ will take place on Thursday 10th December next at 8pm in St Joseph’s, 191 Rathgar Rd, Dublin 6 (opposite Esso Service Station).

As part of my parish involvement for the John Paul II Awards I became a Eucharistic Minister. Over the years I had seen other girls who had done the training and was excited when it was my turn to sign up for the training.  We were officially blessed as ministers at a mass to celebrate the start of our new school year. I was really excited to administer the Eucharist as I finally felt that I was an active member of the Church. I gave out the Body of Christ at many masses throughout the year. It meant a lot to me.  I also took part in the You Shall Be My Witness Programme which involves preparing primary school children for their Confirmation. Every week before the class I would meet with the other leaders and we would discuss our plan for the class. I have always loved working with children so I was excited and eager to get started. The programme was very rewarding. I loved how much the children enjoyed the classes. We spoke about belonging, baptism, prophets and so much more. I felt like being a part of the programme not only helped the children to get well prepared and informed for the sacrament of Confirmation but that they helped me connect with and appreciate God.  I would encourage other people to get involved in their parish and the John Paul II Awards. It is a very rewarding and enjoyable experience.  Ciara Geraghty 5th year St. Louis High School, Rathmines.

 

ECUMENICAL SERVICE OF REMEMBERANCE to mark the Months Mind for the victims of the terrorists’ atrocities in Paris will take place in Donnybrook Church on Sunday 13th December at 3pm.  The French Ambassador to Ireland and the Papal Nuncio will be in attendance and the   Address will be given by Archbishop Michael Jackson.  Music by the Choir of Sacred Heart Church, Donnybrook, directed by Catherine Killoran, organist Michael Quinn, The Garda Male Voice Choir and soprano Pauline Graham.

An adaptation of Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol” will be read at Our Lady of Dolours Church, Dolphins Barn on Sunday 20th December at 3pm.  The reading will feature professional actors who have performed at the Abbey and Gate Theatres and on National Television.  All are freely donating their time and talents.  A reception will be held afterwards in Our Lady of Dolours Church with finger food and light refreshments sponsored by Dublin City Council.  Admission is free.  A voluntary collection will be taken up with all proceeds going to the Peter McVerry Trust.

Rathmines Women’s Refuge Christmas Toy Appeal When doing your Christmas shopping, why not pick up a new toy for a child who may not get anything this Christmas? The Women’s Refuge will distribute any toys to children who have previously been residents or are from the local area.  Toys can be left into the Women’s Refuge, Lower Rathmines Rd (directly opposite the church) Tel 01 496 1002.

 

CHRISTMAS FAIR St. Louis High School Charleville Road, Rathmines, Dublin 6. Sunday 6th December from 12pm - 3pm.  Admission: €2 (Family), €1 (Individual).  Lots of stalls - Cakes, Preserves, Christmas Wreaths, Christmas Decorations, Candles, Books, Toys, Bric-a-Brac, Café and Wheel of Fortune.  Santy and his Elves will be there too.

A Little Lifetime Foundation  Christmas Service of Remembrance on Sunday 6th December at 7.30pm in St Nicholas of Myra Church, Francis Street, Dublinwith Archbishop Martin.  Blessing of Remembrance and Tree Lighting ceremony on Sunday 13th December at 4.00pm in Glasnevin Cemetery.  This special Service of Remembrance is for all parents, family members and friends who have had the experience of a baby’s death, whether through miscarriage, stillbirth, cot death or a baby who died shortly after birth.  We extend a warm welcome to everyone.

Joy to the World Christmas Candlelight Concert with the Classicus Youth Chamber Choir and Mulled Wine & Pies St Mary’s Haddington Road on Thurs 17 December at 7.30pm.  Tickets: €15, Cons €10, Family €40.

Calling all Cake Decorators for a Good Cause

Senior Help Line, Ireland’s national confidential helpline for older people, is holding a fund-raising Gingerbread House decorating competition for all the family.  Houses will be on display at our Gingerbread Village celebration in the Clayton Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 on December 6 from 2-5pm, and ensures a fun afternoon for all the family.  For further information about the event and how to become involved, visit our website on www.gingerbreadvillageireland.com or contact Ruth or Yvonne at 046-9557766.

St Louis Infant School, located at William’s Park, is the Catholic Parish School for Rathmines.

Applications are now being accepted for places in Junior Infants 2015-16.  Applications will be accepted up to 2.30pm on Friday January 29 2016.  Full details of the application and enrolment procedures may be obtained on www.stlouis.ie or by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Sisters of the Sacred Hearts, 11 Northbrook Road, Ranelagh are opening their oratory every Wednesday between 7pm and 9pm to anyone who wishes to spend some quiet reflective time.  Feel free to spend as much time as you wish.  All are welcome. 

St Paul’s Publishing invites you to the launch of Remembering God’s Mercy Luke’s Virtue of Compassionby Kevin O’ Gorman, SMA. To be launched by Dr Pádraig Corkery, Department of Moral Theology, Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth.  Venue: Renehan Hall, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. Date: Weds 9th December at 7.30pm.

The Three Tenors in Concert Sunday 20th December in Mary Immaculate Church, Inchicore at 7.30pm.  Tickets cost €25 - phone (01) 4534408 or call into the parish office between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm.  Tickets are also available at the door on the night.  oblateparishinchicore.ie

St. Patrick’s University Hospital/TCD study on depression  The research team at St. Patrick’s University Hospital and Trinity College Dublin have contacted the Diocese seeking healthy volunteers for a study to investigate the biology of depression.  The study compares proteins in the blood called ‘biomarkers’ between people who have severe depression and people who are healthy, in order to explore a potential treatment for depression.  If you think you would be interested in being a part of new and exciting research, please contact by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone: (01) 249 3385.  For more information about this and other studies please visit: https://medicine.tcd.ie/psychiatry/research/projects/depression-neurobiology.php

The Carers Association are providing the QQI (FETAC) Level 5 Healthcare Support Award training in your area in January 2016.  For more info contact the training unit on 0579370221. 

Advent Pack – Year of Mercy The Jubilee of Mercy will be inaugurated by Pope Francis on Tuesday 8th December 2015 in Rome when he will open the Holy Door of Mercy in St. Peter’s Basilica.  As presented at the Autumn Liturgy Seminar, an Advent Pack has been prepared to encourage people to cross the threshold of mercy and promote the Jubilee of Mercy.  The pack will comprise an illustrated envelope which will include a letter from Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, a bookmark which explores the theme of mercy and the specially designed official logo.  Two copies of the logo in different sizes which are printed on a PVC base with adhesive backing are also supplied.  People are invited to place the larger one on a door/window to show that their home is a place where all who enter will meet the face of mercy and compassion and the smaller one on a car to let people know that a Jubilee of Mercy is being celebrated and that they are making this journey.  Booking form attached.

Down Syndrome Ireland are asking if  you could please drop any copper coins that you may have at home in jars,  into our collection drum in  Bank of Ireland branches at Ballyfermot, St Stephens Green, beside the Shelbourne Hotel or Drumcondra at the corner of Clonliffe Rd.  We also have a unit in both our charity shops in GPO arcade and 52 Sundrive Rd, Kimmage.  Down Syndorme Ireland would really appreciate your support in collecting as much copper as possible. Please e mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you need more details or phone 01 426 6515 and we can arrange to collect large amounts of copper.

 

The Dublin Lourdes Choir, with director Damian Gallagher and soloist Sharon Lyons, has recorded a new CD of settings of Ave Maria.  It is hoped that this music will give people a sense of the grace-filled comfort, peace and prayer of Lourdes.  The CD is available from the Lourdes Pilgrimage Office – tel. 01 837 6820 or 01 808 7555.  The cost is €10, and proceeds will go towards financially supporting sick children and adults who otherwise could not make a pilgrimage to Lourdes.

The Archdiocese of Dublin is offering the opportunity for young people aged between 16 -30 to come to the World Youth Day (WYD) in Krakow in July 2016. The diocese is bringing two groups to WYD, teenager (16-18years of age) and Young Adults (over 18s). Places are limited.  The World Youth Day offers fun, reflection, music and prayer as well as the opportunity to celebrate your faith with people from all over the World.  Young Adults (over 18s only) are invited to sign up for a leadership course called “Anchor”.  If you need more information, have any questions or like to book your place please go to www.evangelisation.ie

Volunteers for Sage Support and Advocacy Service  Sage Support and Advocacy Service for Older People needs volunteers to help speak up for older people across all care settings.  Sage will provide appropriate training and support.  For more information call 086 183 1428, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or see www.sage.thirdageireland.ie

Venerable Matt Talbot 90th AnniversaryThe Salesians of St John Bosco have been entrusted with the pastoral care of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Sean McDermott Street in inner city Dublin for over twenty years. The large beautiful Church hosts also the mortal remains of Venerable Matt Talbot, a Dubliner who died in 1925, and was renowned for his holiness, having overcome a crippling alcohol addiction, through prayer and penance. He has been a heroic inspiration to many people in Ireland and abroad battling addiction. His shrine attracts quite a number of pilgrims who come seeking spiritual strength to be able to overcome their addiction. A number of special activities to mark the 90th Anniversary of Matt Talbot’s death, and a Matt Talbot year will take place. 

B.E. (Beginning Experience) is a support group for those coping with the pain of loss of their life partner, through Death, Separation or Divorce. Few people are able to cope alone with the pain of loss. Do you find that you need more support than family and friends can provide? Seeking help is a sign of strength and self-knowledge – not weakness. This is a healing ministry, which helps to resolve the grief that goes with the end of a marriage or relationship. Coping effectively with bereavement is a skill we can all learn. A team, who are themselves widowed, separated or divorced share their experiences with you.   For further information please contact 01 679 0556 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Irish Cancer Society’s Volunteer Driver Service is available to patients attending the Dublin hospitals (excluding Beaumont) forchemotherapy treatment. This service is completely free to the patient – a driver will pick you up at the door of your home and bring you to the hospital & then, after treatment, bring you home. So if you are having trouble getting to and from your chemotherapytreatments then please speak to your oncology team or call the Irish Cancer Society on 01 2310 566 / 01 2316 642.

Want to make a difference?  Give a child the gift of reading Barnardos is looking for adults aged 55 years and older with time on their hands, lots of life experience and an enjoyment of reading, for a volunteer reading programme in 5 primary schools in Dublin. Volunteers will provide one-to-one reading sessions to children in 1st and 2nd class who need some extra help with their reading.  The sessions occur 2 to 3 times a week for 30 minutes each and the volunteer will be asked to read with 2 children on each visit which happen during primary school hours. Some of the volunteers who have worked with us have said: "It’s enjoyable and very easy”, “It is like reading with your grandchildren”, “It’s not as difficult as you might imagine!”, “Children love it and feel special and you bond with the child”. For more information or to register please contact Suzanne Connolly, Barnardos Volunteer Service, on 01 7080431 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Weekly envelopes for Planned Giving (Family Offering) for 2015/2016 are available for collection at the back of the church. The Family Offering is the only collection that directly supports the pastoral services and maintenance costs of the parish. Those who have used a box in previous years will find a box with your name on it. For parishioners or regular visitors, who do not yet contribute regularly to the Planned Giving, this is an ideal opportunity to start. You can take a box of 52 weekly envelopes which has no name on it, but please remember to leave your name and address and the number of the box you are taking on the sheet provided. The envelopes can be left in the blue safe at the back of the church each Sunday. An alternative way to contribute to the Family Offering is by standing order. A draft letter which you can send to your bank manager, requesting him/her to set up the direct debit from your bank account, is available at the back of the church. Just give the following parish account details to your own local bank and ask them to set it up. The parish bank is AIB Ranelagh, Dublin 6. The sort code is 93-12-92, and the Account No. is: 15890398.

Information posters for each parish group or ministry are on display in the prayer room of the church. All groups would welcome new members, and we urgently need volunteers for church cleaning and drivers for meals on wheels.

The Parish Web Committee is urgently looking for new members. The mission of the Parish Web Committee is to establish and maintain a current vibrant virtual presence for the parish that supports and furthers the mission of Mary Immaculate, Refuge of Sinners parish. Some experience with web design, web support or IT is helpful but not essential.  Anyone interested in helping to support and keep an active and interesting website and social network presence for the parish is very welcome. For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact the parish office on 01 4971531.

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 and Lester Barlow, who have both 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.

If you are interested in ordering a Pew Memorial Plaque in memory of a deceased loved one, please contact the parish office.

Morning prayer is recited every weekday at 9.45am.  You are invited to join in this beautiful prayer.  New participants are especially welcome.  Prayer books are available in the church.

Many parishes have been contacted recently with information regarding a Pre-Marriage DVD course being marketed by Avalon RC Limited. The information and the Avalon website suggest that this course meets the “Bishops’ Guidelines”.  This DVD course and online questionnaire cannot meet the Irish Episcopal Conference Criteria for Courses of Preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage and is not an acceptable course of marriage preparation in the Archdiocese of Dublin.

The Youth Initiative Group is urgently looking for new members who are interested in getting involved in youth work in our parish. We are a group of volunteers in the parish who meet at least once a month to develop, review, run & evaluate initiatives that actively respond to the needs of young people in our parish.  We are always looking for new members who can make a strong commitment, who are creative, reliable, who have an open and flexible attitude, and a keen interest in youth involvement. Please contact the parish office on 01 497 1531 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Crosscare's Care Local service is seeking volunteers as Befriender, to pay a friendly weekly visit to someone's home. Visits usually involve a simple cup of tea and a chat with someone in the volunteer's own area. This simple gift of time makes a huge difference to an older person experiencing loneliness and isolation. Minimum commitment of one hour per week for one year.  To learn more, please call Sheila Desmond, Margaret O’Sullivan or Emma O’Shea on 01 836 0011 ext. 308 or visit the volunteer page on our website for an application form at www.carelocal.ie.

Crosscare's Care Local service is seeking volunteers throughout Dublin as Appointment Companions. Appointment Companions are on call to accompany an older person to hospital visits, providing the security of company. This flexible role is ideal for those who would like to befriend an older person but who cannot commit to a regular, weekly visit. When a referral comes in, the nearest on-call volunteer is called and availability checked before confirming the appointment.  To learn more, please call Emma O’Shea or Sheila Desmond on 01 836 0011, ext. 308 or visit the volunteer page on our website for an application form at www.carelocal.ie.

Crosscare's Care Local service is seeking volunteers as Plate Pals Mealtime Companion in nursing homes in your area with a commitment of 1-3 mealtimes per week. Plate Pals combat malnutrition among the older population by providing valuable one-to-one assistance at mealtimes, providing gentle reminders and words of encouragement for the full hour it can take them to finish a full meal. To learn more, please call Peter Donnelly on 01 836 0011, ext. 135 or visit the volunteer page on our website at www.carelocal.ie.

 

ARC Cancer Support Centre are seeking volunteers to help manage ‘drop-in centres’ in Dublin, 65 Eccles Street, and 559 South Circular Road. They mainly require 'floating' volunteers who can fill in while others are on holidays/sick leave. Volunteers are also needed who might commit to one day a week for a certain period of time. The role involves: answer the door/phone. Greet clients and make them feel welcome. Make tea/coffee. Listen and chat and be supportive. Talk through the services available in ARC Cancer Support Centre. Prepare treatment rooms for classes. Ensure the 'drop-in' area is tidy and stocked with refreshments. Training is provided.  If interested in volunteering, contact Jane Ketterer on 01 7830 7333 or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

The Irish Cancer Society’s ‘Care to Drive’ free transport service is available for patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment in Dublin hospitals. This service is completely free to the patient – a driver will pick you up at the door of your home and bring you to the hospital and then, after treatment, bring you home. So if you are having trouble getting to and from the hospital for your chemotherapy treatment and you are living in Dublin then please speak to your oncology team or call Gail on 01 231 0566.

ALONE is an independent charity that works with older people who are in crisis, at risk of homelessness or socially isolated.  With over 120,000 older people in Ireland living on their own, we are asking people to spend some time this Christmas supporting older people in their community.  You can make a huge difference by simply visiting older people living alone.   For more information, to volunteer or to make a donation please contact ALONE on 01 679 1032 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Are you 60+ years of age? Have you a small repair job which you would like to have done for you? The Care and Repair programme (run by Age Action Ireland) uses a pool of trustworthy volunteers and handypersons to carry out minor repairs for older people. All volunteers are vetted and carry official Care and Repair identification cards. The service is free; you only pay for the materials used. For your bigger jobs, we maintain a register of reliable and honest tradespersons. You can arrange to have a job done for you by phoning the Age Action Care and Repair number which is  01 475 6989. 

Would you consider becoming a volunteer advocate for Third Age and help residents of nursing homes voice their needs and wishes, access their entitlements and assert their rights? If so please contact Mary Cahillane, Third Age National Advocacy Programme, Unit A5, Centrepoint Business Park, Oak Road, Dublin 12  by telephone 087 738 4624 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (full training provided).

‘Do you need someone to talk to?  Senior Help Line is a confidential listening service for older people by older people for the price of a local call anywhere in Ireland, LoCall 1850 440 444. Senior Help Line is open  from 10 am till  10 pm, 365 days a year’. 

ACCORD Relationship Counselling Service. If you cannot talk to each other - talk to us. Marriage and relationships are today experiencing more complex challenges than ever before. ACCORD offers a safe, professional and confidential process helping couples and individuals to explore and resolve difficulties in their marriage and relationship. Clients are only asked to make a donation if they can afford it. Contact ACCORD at 39 Harcourt St. Dublin 2, Phone: 478 0866 or email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Teen-Line Ireland is a registered charity which provides a free-phone help-line for young people who may be feeling alone, worried or distressed.   We provide emotional support through our non-judgmental, secure and confidential listening service. The Free-Phone Help-Line:  1800 833 634 is open from 7pm – 10 pm, 7 days per week, and from 3pm. – 10pm. on Wednesdays.

MEDITATION:  Every Wednesday 8.00-8.30pm at Orlagh, Old Court Road, D. 16. The format of the session is we read a verse of a psalm, hear a short piece of music followed by 20 minutes silent prayer.  We suggest the Centering Prayer method, but how the silence is used is up to each person. No advance booking necessary, and no charge.