Parish News 13th December 2015 Third Sunday of Advent



And the newness that was in every stale thing ...

the spirit-shocking wonder in a black slanting Ulster hill...

           The poet, Patrick Kavanagh, whose ghost still haunts Pembroke Road, Baggot Street Bridge and Neary’s pub, rightly celebrates the wonder and awe that can be ours when we contemplate the beauty of the world. His poem, Advent, leaps and skips like a child delighting in the coming of Christmas.

    But he regrets the loss of the sense of this ‘spirit-shocking wonder.’ We have ‘tested and tasted too much, through a chink too wide there comes in no wonder.’ In other words, we are un-shockable, we have seen it all!  Familiarity breeds indifference. Nothing is left to the imagination. We have shut out the wonder that surrounds our everyday lives.  

      I’m sure if Kavanagh were alive today he would be growling in Grafton Street at the sight of iphones, mobiles and earmuffs that create a barrier to social interaction. We have chosen – to some extent – a virtual world. We have dulled our senses: ‘we have lost the newness in every stale thing when we looked at it as children.

    ‘Unless you become like little children,’ said Jesus, ‘you shall not enter the kingdom of God.’ That openness to the world is what the wide-eyed small child teaches us. This is not to be confused with naivety.

    The simple story of God taking on our nature and coming into this world in humble circumstances requires imagination to comprehend, and the humility to bend low and enter the shepherd’s cave. Have we grown too sophisticated for that?  Fr William

Diocesan Food Appeal for Crosscare Parishioners are asked to once again this weekend to help those most in need in our Diocese by assisting in the collection of non-perishable food items 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. 


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

The annual SVP collection takes place at all Masses this weekend and will replace the Share collection. Please give generously.

There will be a short Nativity Play during the Family Christmas Eve mass at 6pm 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.

We would like to include the Christingle in our 11am Advent mass on Sunday 20 December. As seen in the picture, it is a candle in a decorated orange, symbolising Christ's light and love in the world. Instructions on how to make one, and more information on its symbolism, can be found by googling the word "Christingle". Anyone who would like to make one can bring it to the mass and place it at the altar rails.

The Advent Service of Reconciliation will take place on Monday 21st December next at 7.30pm and will be led by Fr William King.  A number of priests will be present with an opportunity for individual confessions.  Music will be provided by the Folk Group. “Rediscover the merciful face of the Father” Pope Francis, (Jubilee of Mercy).

The Christmas card, timetable and Dues Envelope are ready for distribution around the parish.  If you are free to deliver to your street or streets around the parish, please call into the sacristy after any Mass and speak with Lester, our sacristan.  The envelopes are also available for collection in the boxes at the back of the church.  All Christmas and Easter Dues are forwarded directly to the Diocese for the remuneration of the priests of the diocese.

Jubilee of Mercy cards are available in the boxes at the back of the church.  Please take one.

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.

St. Joseph's Young Priests Society are meeting next Wednesday 16th November at 4.30pm in St Mary’s Community Centre.  New members welcome.

The Bethany Bereavement Support Group are meeting on Wednesday 16th November at 8pm in St Mary’s Community Centre. A one to one facility is also available.

Taize Prayer around the Cross takes place on Thursday 17th December next at 7.30pm in the Baptistery of the church.  All welcome.

Invitation from Trocaire: Syria: A hope in darkness A discussion of the conflict in Syria, its consequences and the hope for the future.  Thursday 10th December at 7pm in Wood Quay, Venue, Wood Quay, Dublin 8.  Light refreshments.  Please RSVP: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Speakers: Mr Fadi Hallisso, Syrian national & Director of Basmeh & Zeitooneh, NGO and Dr Paola Rivetti, Lecturer in Politics of the Middle East & Intern Relations DCU.

A Little Lifetime Foundation 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.

Ecumenical Service of Remembrance 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 Evening of Carols with the Alba Singers  Tuesday 15th December at All Hallows College.  5.45 pm: Mulled wine reception in Georgian Rooms, Drumcondra House.  6.30 pm: Carol Service in the College Chapel.  8.00 pm: Reception in Woodlock Hall.  RSVP by email to Sinead O’Rourke at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Holy Door of Mercy at the shrine of Venerable Matt Talbot during this Jubilee Year for the greater benefit of pilgrims.  Brother Richard Hendrick OFM Cap will lead a Christmas Carol Service with the participation of Teen Spirit Youth Choir and the Romanian Choir.  During the Service, marking the beginning of the Christmas Novena, Fr Richard will speak on ‘Life Choices, new Beginnings’.  The Door of Mercy will be blessed, and will then be opened at the end of the Novena on Christmas Eve.  The Carol Service will be held at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Sean McDermott Street, on Wednesday 16th December at 7.00 pm.  Supervised parking provided.  All youth are invited to attend.

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.

Handel’s Messiah with the Dublin Bach Singers.  8.00 pm, Thursday 17th December at St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral.  Conducted by Blánaid Murphy.  Marlborough Baroque Orchestra.  Tickets €20 available from the parish office (01) 874 5441.

Carol Service with Nine Lessons and Solemn Benediction at St Kevin's Church, Harrington Street, Dublin 8, on Sunday 20th December at 3.30 pm.  Music by the Lassus Scholars and Piccolo Lasso; director Dr Ite O'Donovan; organist Dr Paul McKeever; all very welcome.

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.

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.

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 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. 

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.

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:

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. 

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

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

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

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

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


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.