Parish News 24th January 2016 Third Sunday in Ordinary Time


The Sea of Faith

Was once, too, at the full...

But now I only hear

It’s melancholy long, withdrawing roar.

Towards the end of the 19th century, the English poet, Matthew Arnold, composed these lines for his lyric poem, Dover Beach – while on his honeymoon! (Young women stay away from poets). He could be describing the receding tide of faith in the message of Jesus in the different Christian Churches, but especially in our Church: a movement away from faith that is evident in the huge decline in congregations all over the Western World, especially in Ireland.

A recent report sponsored by the Dublin Council of Priests reveals in a systematic way what we know already: the vast majority of people who make up the Sunday congregation are now in their senior years. The celebrant more often than not is in the same age bracket: 57% of Dublin’s priests today are over 60; it is not unusual for parishes (such as Rathmines) to have just one priest where, 20 years ago, there were 3 or maybe 4.

What do we do?  Tear our hair out? (If there’s any left) Some take consolation in a vain hope – ‘there will be a turning of the tide, you’ll see! God works in strange ways.’ 

A more measured approach is taken by many in the Church who are concerned about major structural faults and deplore the refusal by leaders to address these: they regard issues such as the ordination of married men, the place of women, and the greater role for the baptised as worthy of close examination. Maybe they’re right. The Holy Spirit is always active for those open to divine guidance. 

    Lent will soon be upon us: a time for ‘prayer and fasting’.  Perhaps, we as a people should use that time to reflect on the ebbing tide of faith and how we might make a difference in our parish of Rathmines. ‘All politics is local’ said Speaker Moynihan – surely all Church is local also.

Fr William

The monthly Do this in Memory Mass takes place this Sunday 24th January at 11am.  It will also mark the beginning of Catholic Schools Week 2016.

Catholic Schools Week 2016:  Catholic Schools Week will run from Sunday 31st January to Saturday 6th February.  The theme for 2016 is ‘Catholic Schools: Challenged to Proclaim God’s Mercy’A Mass will also be broadcast by RTÉ on Sunday 31 January to celebrate both Catholic Schools Week and the new Grow in Love religious education programme for primary schools.  Students from Mount Mercy College, Cork, as well as pupils from Saint Pius X primary school in Templeogue, Dublin, will participate in this special liturgy.

The next Mass for the You Shall be My Witness programme of preparation for the sacrament of Confirmation takes place this Sunday 24th January at 6pm.  Please keep them in your prayers.

The Parish 2016 calendar is now available at the back of the church.  Please take one home.

The Liturgy Group are meeting on Monday 25th January at 2.30pm in No. 52.

Many thanks for all donations to our Crib over the Christmas season which this year will be shared between Trust Ireland, founded by Alice Leahy and the Capuchin Day Centre, run by Bro. Kevin Crowley Ofm cap in Bowe Street, Dublin 7.  A total of €646 was raised.

Many thanks to all those parishioners who have already returned Christmas Dues.  Christmas Dues envelopes 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.

St. Louis Infant School & St. Louis Senior Primary School are the Catholic Primary Schools of Rathmines Parish. St. Louis Infant School caters for boys and girls, aged 4 – 8 years. The school is located in William’s Park, just behind the new Rathmines Square development.  Applications for boys and girls for September 2016 should be sent to the school no later than 2.30pm on Friday, January 29th 2016. As places in this school are in high demand, only applications received by January 29th 2016 will be considered.  Further enquiries regarding enrolments for 2016 may be made by phoning Sheila our school secretary on 497 2188. The school has a comprehensive website,

Beechwood Avenue Parish: Join us for a talk on Thomas Merton- Saint & Contradiction given by Fr Bernard Kennedy in Beechwood Avenue Church, Ranelagh Dublin 6 on Monday 8th February at 8pm.  For information click on green line to Beechwood).

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. 


Saint John of God HospitalMindfulness based Stress Reduced (MBSR)Starts Tuesday 26th January from 6pm to 8.30m+ One full day of MindfulnessThe MBSR is an 8 week training course in learning.  How to improve our resilience to stress and improveour well-being through Mindfulness.  Location:  Saint John of God Hospital – StillorganCost: €350Contact Anne O’Farrell on01 277 1472.

Two events at Luisne, Kilcoole worth noting are:

  • Relaxation Techniques and Practice 2-3pm each Friday from 29th January to 18th March; cost: €5 per session
  • Christian Zen Retreat Day with Gerd Neubeck: 10am-6pm on Saturday 30th January:  cost €60 including light lunch/refreshments

 Please pre-book on  or phone 01-201 0001

World Day of the Sick 2016  The annual Conference will take place on Saturday 6th February from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm at the Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan Road, Co. Dublin. Speakers include Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Bishop Donal Murray and Professor J. Bernard Walsh, who will reflect on the Lourdes experience.  For further information please contact Trish Conway on 087 6220349.  The Mass of Healing and Anointing of the Sick is on Sunday 7th February at 3.00 pm in Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, Merrion Road (opposite St. Vincent’s Hospital).  Main Celebrant: Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.  All are welcome to attend.

Do you want to learn more about the possibility of overseas volunteering and/or training in Overseas Development & Mission? Viatores Christi (VC) will hold an Information & Recruitment Session on Saturday 16th January 2016 at 12noon at VC HQ, 8 New Cabra Road, Phibsboro, Dublin 7Tel. 01 868 9986. E  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Liturgy Seminar The next liturgy seminar will take place on Saturday 30 January from 9.30am - 1pm in Clonliffe College.  Input will include further liturgical resources for the Jubilee of Mercy in addition to workshops on two recent publications - one on liturgical music and the other on gathering on a weekday when Eucharist is not celebrated.  Full details in Litmus newsletter.

Consecrated Life - Carmelite Monastery  Celebrate the Day for Consecrated Life at the Carmelite Monastery, Delgany, Co Wicklow on Sunday 31st January at 9.30 am Mass.  Celebrant: Fr Tom Noonan, Carmelite.  All welcome.  Refreshments available after Mass.

A service to conclude the Year for Consecrated Life will take place in the Church of St. Therese, Mount Merrion on Tues 2 February at 7.30pm.  All welcome.

Conference for Artists and Architects in the newly-restored cathedral of St Mel, Longford, taking place on Wednesday 17th February with the National Centre for Liturgy.  The keynote speaker is Fr. Kim en Joong, a renowned liturgical artist who designed stained-glass windows for the restoration. Presentations by Michael Gilroy on the liturgical principles that underpin the design of a place of worship in the Catholic Tradition, and by Colm Redmond, MRIAI RIBA, of Fitzgerald Kavanagh Architects, on the conservation work that took place on this nationally-significant building.  Registration is at 10am and the day will conclude at 4pm. Fee: €35 (lunch included).  Please book in advance.  An application form can be downloaded at

The Irish Hospice Foundation has released their brochure for a series of workshops on Loss and Bereavement for 2016.  The workshops are targeted at professionals and volunteers working with people who have experienced a major loss, and will be held in the Irish Hospice Foundation, Bereavement Education & Resource Centre, Morrison Chambers, 32 Nassau Street, Dublin 2.  Cost: 1-day workshop €100, 2-day workshop €190.

Aware Volunteering Opportunities Aware, the national organisation providing support and information to individuals and families impacted by depression and bipolar disorder, is now recruiting new volunteers to train on a number of services.  Aware was this year awarded the Investing in Volunteering Standard in recognition of the level of training and support it provides for its 400 volunteers.  See for specific info and requirements for all volunteering opportunities including the Aware Support Line (phone); Support Mail (email); Support Groups (face-to-face), and Life Skills (Online) programmes.  Minimum commitment is 18 months.  Help Aware continue to be a supporting light through depression.

Retrouvaille a Lifeline for Marriage.  Have you lost the desire to communicate with each other?  Do you feel disillusioned n your marriage?  The Retrouvaille programme can help you recover your marriage.  Next programme 5 - 7February 2016.  For information contact Tony & Anne: 01 4953536, Mike & Anne: 01 450 0922, text or call 086 413 5440, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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

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 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.

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.