Parish News Sunday 27 November 2016 First Sunday of Advent

A Lost Tribe

Once upon a time in Ireland, on ‘apple-ripe September mornings’, many young men of eighteen put on white shirts, black suits and ties and headed for the nearest railway station. They were upbeat, despite lugging suitcases that included a soutane, a surplice and biretta (ecclesiastical robes). Filled with the spirit of the Lord’s words: give and not count the cost’ they were bound for St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. Some survived the rigours of seminary life; others decided the priesthood was not for them – later, some of these distinguished themselves in universities, in public life and in the market place. Among them were people like John Hume, Brian Friel and Michael O’Kennedy who became a government minister.

   Those who ‘persevered’ returned the morning after ordination to their native place to celebrate their First Mass. The newly ordained were ‘trailing clouds of glory.’ People knelt at the altar rails to receive a first blessing and then kissed the recently anointed hands. The sun shone; a soft breeze carried summer perfume in from the hills. The hero was doing a lap of honour. God was in his heaven, all was right with the world.   

   Today, for the priest all is changed and, to paraphrase W.B. Yeats, all is changed utterly, but no terrible beauty is to be spotted on the horizon.

   The biggest and smallest diocese in the country – Dublin and Killala – share a common experience: both have only one priest under forty. This I learned at the annual conference of the Association of Catholic Priests. Priests today, according to that remarkably brave priest from Sligo, Fr Brendan Hoban are ‘the lost tribe’. They are reviled, insulted and ignored. Brendan himself admits some exaggeration, but he is speaking truths that have been swept beneath the carpet. Well worth your while to read what he has to say (The Irish Times, 21 Nov) and indeed, if you have a spare moment, look up the ACP website. Happy reading!                             Fr. William

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is asking parishioners throughout the Archdiocese of Dublin to donate food to help stock Crosscare Food Banks in the weeks leading up to Christmas. This is the fourth Annual Diocesan Christmas Food Appeal.  Demand on the Food Banks continues to increase and the situation is once again urgent.  Last year, thanks to the enormous generosity of parishioners, Crosscare distributed more than 10,000 hampers – over 1,200 tonnes of non-perishable food items and hygiene products to those most in need, especially families. As demand for food remains high it is hoped that people will respond in a similar manner on the first weekend in December when collections begin.  Crosscare, is the social care agency of the Archdiocese of Dublin. It operates seven Food Banks around Dublin – the number of people seeking food supplies during these winter months is particularly demanding and staff are struggling to keep ahead.  In a letter to all priests and parishes in the Archdiocese, Archbishop Martin has strongly commended Crosscare’s initiative, He added, ” Throughout the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which has just closed, Pope Francis has called on  the  faithful to continue to practice new  works of mercy, and to find  new  ways to give expression to the  traditional works reminding us: “the door of mercy of our heart continues  to remain wide open.  I am asking you once again to help those in need by assisting in the collection of vital food and essentials for the Crosscare Food Banks.”  Crosscare Food Manager Michael McDonagh said that they are relying on people to support this latest appeal from Archbishop Martin to ensure they can get food and other household items to families in weeks ahead.  Each parish is asked to repeat last year’s generous response by bringing non-perishable food items to their local parish Church when coming to Mass on the weekend of 3rd/4th of December.  Types of food urgently needed include pasta/rice, fruit juice, tea/coffee, soup, sugar, powdered milk, tinned meat/fish, tinned veg/fruit, packaged dessert, biscuits, and hygiene products.

A special collection for flowers and decoration of the church for Christmas will take place next weekend Sat 3rd/Sun 4th December.

The Enrolment Mass for the You Shall be My Witness programme of preparation for the sacrament of Confirmation takes place next Sunday 4th December at 6pm.  Please keep them in your prayers.

The Ministers of the Word are meeting on Monday 28th November at 7.30pm in No. 52.  All readers are asked to attend.

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will take place on Friday 2nd December (First Friday) on St Joseph’s side altar from 10.30am to 5pm.  Please sign the book if available.

Dublin City Council & Swan Leisure are pleased to present Rathmines Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday 29th November at 7pm at the Plaza in front of Swan Leisure.  St Louis Junior School Choir, Kildare Place National School Choir, Rathmines College Singers, Happy Feet Dancing Penguins, Snow Queen & Cuddles the Polar Bear and not forgetting Santa and his sleigh!! All welcome.

St Louis High School Christmas Fair 2016, Charleville Road, Rathmines, Dublin 6

Sunday 4th December from 12 noon - 3pm.  There will be a visit from Santa, a host of stalls, games, Wheel of fortune, books, Christmas Wreaths, Decorations, festive foods and much more!!

Light up a Life – Celebrate your special memories & remember your loved ones.  Sponsor a light this Christmas at Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services, Harold’s Cross on 4 December next at 3.45pm.  wwwlightupalife.ie  Tel 1850 660 606

A vacancy for the post of sacristan in this parish has arisen. Anyone who is interested should submit an application together with work experience and C.V. to Fr William King at the parish office as soon as possible. 

Envelopes and slips for the November Altar List are available in the boxes at the back of the church. You are invited to write the names of your loved ones on the slips of paper provided and place the envelopes with an offering (if desired) in the blue safe at the back of the church.

Seminar for Family Carers Venue: St. Paul's Church, Arran Quay, D7.  Crosscare are hosting a seminar on 29th November 2016 from 10am to 1pm, looking at supports for family carers in Ireland. This seminar will be of interest to anyone who has an older person in their family or is indeed an older person themselves. Topics will include Befriending, Online Supports and Planning for Care in Later Life. The seminar is free to attend and lunch will be included. Transport and respite can be paid for. For more information and to book please contact Rosemary at 086 826 9977 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Society of Missionary Children presents ‘A Christmas Concert with the Celtic Tenors’ in Rathmines Church on Weds 21st December 2016 at 8pm sharp.  Tickets €25.  Unreserved Seating Arrangement.  Ticket sales on www.eventbrite.ie. Also available from 64 Lr Rathmines Road. Tel 01 497 2035.

The A Little Lifetime Foundation Christmas Service of Remembrance will take place in St Nicholas of Myra Church, Francis St. Dublin 8 on Sunday 4h of December at 7pm. Most Rev. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin along with Rev. Bruce Pierce, Church of Ireland and the Garda Male Voice Choir in a celebration of our children’s short lives at Christmas time.  We look forward to seeing parents and families who continue to support ALLF Services and events each year.   We also welcome newly bereaved parents - please come along and feel the unique presence of companionship, support and love.

Bethany Residential Weekend: This weekend led by Fr. Myles O'Reilly S.J. and the Bethany Bereavement Support Group explore the loss of our loved ones and the meaning of death from a Christian perspective through prayer, meditation, discussion, videos and sharing. Held on Fri 25th November from 7.30pm to Sun 27th November at 4.30pm in the Dominican Priory Centre, Tallaght Village, Dublin 24. Cost €190 per person (Deposit €50 Non Refundable).  All Meals included.  Apply to:  Anne on 087 2050514 or Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

1916 Exhibition in the Pro Cathedral:  Reminder to visit the new exhibition Ministry, Advocacy and Compassion which examines the role of the Catholic Church in 1916. Open from 1.30-5.30pm daily at St. Kevin’s Chapel, Pro-Cathedral, 83 Marlborough Street, Dublin.  Admission is free.  To arrange a group booking, please contact the Pro-Cathedral parish office at (01) 874 5441 / Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   See more at: http://www.dublindiocese.ie/1916-exhibition-in-the-pro-cathedral

Life to the Full (Jn 10:10) Book Club: Join other young adults (20's & 30's) each week to meditate, share and discuss life, faith, purpose & how to live life to the full. We read a chosen spiritual book over a few weeks and come to reflect and discuss our thoughts. Every Thursday 7.00-8:30pm, St Paul's Church Arran Quay (Smithfield).

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   www.facebook.com/lifetothefullbookclub

Ewe Thina: We Walk God’s Way. Want to get fit? Embrace God in nature and build true friendships? Join other young adults (20's & 30's) for reflective hikes around Dublin area. monthly event. Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   https://www.facebook.com/wewalkgodsway

Faith for Life – Join us for our adult faith course suitable for anyone seeking a deeper connection between their faith and their daily lives. This year the course will take place in three venues over 4 weekends:

Kilcullen Pastoral Centre, Sat 1st/2nd October, 12th/13th November; 14th/15th January and 25th/26th February.

BENILDUS Pastoral Centre, KILMACUD RD. UPPER Oct 15/16 2016, Nov 26/27 2016, Jan 28/29 2017, Mar 11/12 2017

BALBRIGGAN Parish Centre, 14/15 Jan 2017, 25/26 Feb 2017, 1/2 Apr 2017,20/21 May 2017. The cost is €200. Sponsorship may be available from your parish.  For further information and application forms contact: 01 8373732 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Aware Volunteering Opportunities: Available Now

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 has received the Investing in Volunteering Standard in recognition of the level of training and support it provides for its 400 volunteers. See aware.ie for specific info and requirements for all volunteering opportunities including the Aware Support Line (phone) & Support Groups (face-to-face). Minimum commitment is 18 months. Help Aware continue to be a supporting light through depression. www.aware.ie  

Are you caring for someone with dementia at home? Saint Joseph’s Shankill, Dedicated to Dementia Care presents The Caring for Carers Training Courses covering: Information about dementia, How best to communicate with someone living with dementia, How to manage your worries & stress, Where to access support, services or help.  For more info or to register your interest, contact Teresa on 01 282 3000 E This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. www.saintjosephscentre.ie

Irish Cancer Society’s Volunteer Driver Service is in need of volunteer drivers to drive local patients to and from their chemotherapy treatments in our partner Dublin hospitals (St. James’s; The Mater; Tallaght & St. Vincent’s). Driver expenses are paid. Telephone Rebecca on 01 2316 642 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 a free transport service available to patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment in St. Vincent’s Hospital or Tallaght Hospital. To avail of this service, please talk to your healthcare professional or call Gail in the Irish Cancer Society on 01 2310 566.

Volunteers: Our Lady’s Hospice and Care Services is recruiting for Bereavement Support Volunteers in Harold’s Cross and Blackrock. No experience is necessary as full training will be provided.  The training will commence in September for the duration of the academic year.   If you think you have the personal qualities and are interested in training to provide a support service to bereaved people.  Please contact Ann D’Arcy, Bereavement Co-ordinator on 01-406 8794 for further information OR Email 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. 

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 aware.ie 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.  www.aware.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

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) for chemotherapy 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 chemotherapy treatments then please speak to your oncology team or call the Irish Cancer Society on 01 2310 566 / 01 2316 642.

Weekly envelopes for Planned Giving (Family Offering) for 2016/2017 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.

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.

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.

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.