Parish News 20th December 2015 Fourth Sunday of Advent

 

Once upon a time in Clerys

Many years ago, a few days before Christmas, a young priest was in the toy shop of Clerys buying a present for his nephew when he became aware of a woman and a boy standing beside him. The little boy was excited; he was tugging at the woman’s sleeve and pointing to a plastic horse on a stand.  The horse, composed of different parts that could be dismantled, was known as Buckaroo, a popular toy at the time because when the legs, tail, and head had been assembled, one touch on the saddle was enough to make the horse buck and rear and the sections to fall asunder again.

Quite clearly the woman was under pressure from the little boy’s urging that she buy the toy. She fumbled in her handbag, whispered to the assistant and offered a fistful of coins to him. He looked at the coins and said: ‘Sorry, Missus, but I can’t sell it for less.’

Slowly the woman put the coins back in her purse; she and the boy shuffled away. The priest walked out and headed for the Kylemore where he sat staring out at the busy shoppers. ‘It shouldn’t be like this’ he was telling himself over and over.

But it is. The strong in every society move to the centre; the weak to the margins. Thank God there are men and women inspired by the words of Christ: men and women of organisations like the St Vincent de Paul Society whose annual appeal took place last Sunday. If you weren’t prepared for the special collection, you can still put your contribution in an envelope and address it to the St Vincent de Paul. Your help great or small will go to a good cause. Fr William

Many thanks for your generous support of the annual collection for the St Vincent de Paul Society last weekend which amounted to € 8,070.

The Parish Office will be closed over the Christmas period from Tues 22nd December at 12noon reopening Mon 4th January 2016 at 10am.

The Eco congregation Candle will be lit at all Masses this weekend. It will travel to parishes throughout Ireland and it symbolises the need for change in our policies and habits if we are to save our planet for future generations. It can also remind us of the Holy Spirit in all of Creation and the interconnection and interdependence of all humanity.

CHRISTMAS MASS TIMES

Christmas Eve (Thurs 24th)

10am, Children’s Family Mass 6pm, Christmas Eve Vigil Mass 9pm, preceded by Christmas Carols at 8.30pm with Cantairi Oga Atha Cliath. 

Christmas Day

9am, 11am and 12.30pm (Folk Mass).  There will be no evening Mass on Christmas Day.

St Stephen’s Day (Sat 26th) 10am

Sun 27th December (Feast of the Holy Family) Vigil Sat 7pm, 9am, 11am, 6pm Folk

Confessions will be heard on Christmas Eve from 10.30am to 11.30am. 

A GOAL MILE event will take place on Christmas morning in Eamonn Ceannt Park, Sundrive Road to raise funds for the 3rd world charity GOAL. Races will be staged between 10.30am and 12 noon. This is a family friendly event to give you an appetite for the turkey & ham!

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.

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.

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).

Children and families are invited to visit the crib in the prayer room of the church from Christmas Eve onwards.  Donations at the crib this year will be given to both Trust Ireland, founded by Alice Leahy and the Capuchin Day Centre, run by Bro. Kevin Crowley Ofm cap in Bowe Street, Dublin 7.

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.

The Christmas card, timetable and Dues Envelope are 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 Packs will be handed out at the end of each Mass this weekend and Year of Mercy cards will be 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.

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.  oblateparishinchicore.ie

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 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. 

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: 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. 

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.