Parish News Sunday 17 December 2017 Third Sunday of Advent


In silver the wonder of a Christmas townland

Patrick Kavanagh’s lyric poem of the simple beauty of Christmas as seen through the eyes of a six-year-old boy may seem antiquated now to our glitzy tinselly version of the season, but in its freedom from any trace of pretence it should strike a chord within the hearts of us all. His father played the melodeon outside their gate and ‘Mass-going feet/crunched the wafer-ice on the pot-holes.’ Anyone whose formative years were shaped by the sights and sounds of a rural Christmas will readily respond to that yuletide landscape.

That, however, is all a long way from Christmas, 2017 – the way we are now. Which is the closer to the true spirit of the Saviour’s birth in a cave outside an obscure village in the Roman Empire? I’m inclined towards Kavanagh’s: it seems to fill the soul with something that is wholesome and gentle. And it is free from the contagion of the commercial Christmas, which promises us ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ if we possess the product being displayed. (there’s one born every minute)

It is free also from the illusion that you’ve got to be happy (and possibly in love) if you are to enjoy Christmas, and if not, then maybe that yearly nagging question surfaces: what’s wrong with me? Sure – Christmas can be a great time for re-uniting with friends and family, but what about the dreaded Christmas dinner when conflicts within a family may lie dormant till then. Or indeed: ‘Mammy’s Will’ that excluded one of the sons who sweeps in from San Francisco with his male partner. What about the empty chair? T.S. Eliot said: ‘April is the cruelest month’.  For many, Christmas can be that too.

By the way, in case you think I’m in a ‘bah humbug’ mood: what do you get if you eat Christmas decorations?

Tinselitis, of course.  Peace and joy to all.                                                                                     Fr William

Advent & Christmas Timetable 2017

Monday 18th December

Advent Service of Reconciliation for Rathmines/Harolds Cross/Mount Argus 7.30pm Rathmines Church

Sunday 24th December CHRISTMAS EVE

Masses 9am, 11am, 6pm Family Mass

Singing of Christmas Carols 8.30pm, Christmas Vigil Mass 9pm

Monday 25th December CHRISTMAS DAY

Masses 9am, 11am, 12.30pm Folk Mass. Please Note NO Evening Mass on Christmas Day

Tuesday 26th December – Friday 29th December

Mass 10am

Sunday 31st December

Vigil Mass 7pm (Saturday), 9am, 11am, 6pm Folk Mass

Monday 1st January 2018 – Friday 5th January 2018

Mass 10am

Saturday 6th January Epiphany of the Lord

Vigil Mass 5.45pm (Friday), 9am and 11am

Sunday 7th January 2018

Vigil Mass 7pm (Saturday), 9am, 11am, 6pm Folk


Evening Service Monday 18th December Rathmines Church 7.30pm

Christmas Eve Sunday 24th December Rathmines Church After 11am Mass

A huge thank you to all those parishioners who contributed so generously to the Annual Diocesan Special Collection for St Vincent de Paul last weekend which raised a total of €7,429.

The monthly Do this in Memory Mass takes place this Sunday 17th December at 11am.

We welcome the parents and families whose children will receive the Sacrament of Baptism this Sunday at 11am Mass.

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 our sacristan.  The envelopes are also available for collection in the boxes at the back of the church. 

The Advent Reconciliation Service will take place tomorrow, Monday 18th December at 7.30pm and will be led by Fr. Peter O’Connor.  A number of priests will be present with an opportunity for individual confession.  Music will be provided by the Folk Group.

Advent Alert

We invite you to visit our Sacred Space in the Baptistry and reflect for a moment on the true meaning of Advent.  Don't forget to check the Liturgy Notice Board (on the left as you enter the Church) as there are special displays for the season of Advent.

Carol Service in the Pro-Cathedral on Sunday 17 December at 3pm with the Palestrina Choir.  The collection during the service is in aid of Blossom Ireland which is a national organisation that serves children with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities by providing therapy designed camps and after-school activities.

Monastic City in Glendalough: Come and join St. Kevin’s choir and the community of Glendalough for a Carol Service in the ancient Cathedral.  Meeting at the steps of the monastic site at 7.15pm to walk to the Cathedral for 7.30pm start on Tuesday 19th of December 2017.  Refreshments afterwards in the Glendalough Hotel.

The Spirit of Christmas Concert in the National Concert Hall with St.  Mary’s Pro Cathedral Girls’ Choir on Thursday 21st December at 1.05pm. Conductors, Bláinaid Murphy & Amy Ryan, Accompanist, David Grealy. Favourite carols and seasonal music featuring all the traditional favourites. Tickets €15, concessions €12.


St. Louis Infant School

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 Rathmines Square development.  Applications for boys and girls for September 2018 should be sent to the school no later than 2.30pm on Friday 26th January 2018. As places in this school are in high demand, only applications received by 26th January will be considered.  Further enquiries regarding enrolments for 2018 may be made by phoning Barbara our school secretary on 497 2188. The school has a comprehensive website,

Save the Date: Archdiocese of Dublin Knock Pilgrimage will take place on Saturday April 21st 2018Theme: “We are Pilgrims – Knock invites us to Healing and Peace”.  Full programme to be announced soon.

Aware, the national organization providing support, education and information services for those impacted by depression and bipolar disorder, is urgently seeking 100 new volunteers. Aware relies on the passion and dedication of its volunteers to ensure that the organisation can continue to provide free support services nationwide, essential services that have a profound impact on individuals and families throughout Ireland.  Aware is currently recruiting volunteers across its four support services – Support Line, Support Mail, Support & Self Care Groups and Life Skills Online. No prior qualifications or experience is required, as comprehensive training as well as ongoing support and education is provided by the organisation. For more information, please visit or call 01 6617211.

New Pilgrim Path Website of the Week 17 December 2017 Among the richest treasures of Advent are the seven "O Antiphons." This series of seven ancient verses epitomises the spirit of Advent, with its deep longing for the coming of Jesus. Beautifully poetic and theologically deep, the Great O Antiphons build a mood of eager expectation as Christmas Day approaches. To hear the antiphons and access a commentary on each, visit 

Diploma in Catholic Education: Applications are now open for our Diploma in Catholic Education, which will be starting in January 2018. The Diploma in Catholic Education (DCE) has three aims.  To begin, it seeks to deepen an understanding of Catholic Education, both in a local and global context.  Secondly, through a diverse suite of modules it places this education in the wider context of theology.  Finally, in the diverse structure of the programme it focuses on three aspects in the life of a teacher – professionalism, community and spirituality, by means of module lectures, through opportunities for retreat experiences, in monthly celebration of the Eucharist and table fellowship and by meetings with practitioners in the area of Catholic Education.  For further information on any of the above items Phone 01 7084772 / Emails: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / OR go to:

Overseas Volunteers Required!

Volunteer IT/HR Admins, Montessori/Primary/Secondary Teachers, Physios, Accountants, Social Workers...all required for funded placements on Missions in Africa, SE Asia and the Caribbean.  No previous overseas exp required, no upper age limit! Contact Viatores Christi +353-1-8689986 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more info.

THE LITTLE BOOK OF RANELAGH is a compendium of fascinating, obscure, strange and entertaining facts about this Dublin suburb. The book is written by well-known local historian, Maurice Curtis, who also wrote a best-selling book on Rathmines. In his latest book, you will find out about Ranelagh’s rural past, its sporting heritage, its arts and culture, its schools and churches, shops and industries, and its famous (and occasionally infamous) men and women. Through main thoroughfares and twisting back streets, this book takes the reader on a journey through Ranelagh and its vibrant past.  A reliable reference book and a quirky guide, this can be dipped into time and time again to reveal something new about the people, the heritage and the secrets of this fascinating south Dublin suburb.  Published by The History Press Ireland. and available in all good bookshops.

Registration & Tickets for WMOF2018 Registration for the World Meeting of families in 2018 is now open. Visit the Tickets Section on  to access information on the different type of tickets and registration available.  Accommodation booking is also available online at time of registration through the same booking form on the website. 

Volunteers: Aware is a National Organisation supporting individuals, families and communities concerned about depression. They provide a range of support services such as support groups, telephone and email service and a Life Skills Online programme.  All of which are free. Demand for services is continuing to grow and they are now recruiting volunteers to meet this demand. Our volunteers receive full training and ongoing support.  People with depression need Aware and Aware needs volunteers today.  Please contact Dr Emma Barnes on 01 661 7211 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or

Faith4Life is an Adult Faith Course designed to help you to discover more energising and empowering ways to live out your faith in the reality of today’s world: through relationships, family, home, workplaces and the events of daily life. It aims to help you to be more active, open, faithful, confident, trusting and willing to work for change. Faith for Life takes place over four weekends in Holy Cross College, Clonliffe Rd, Dublin 3. Called to become … Human & Holy (21st/22nd October), Centred on The Word of God (2nd/3rd December), Church in and for the World (20th/21st January) and Living Faithfully (3rd/4th March).  The course will benefit everyone who wants to make a deeper connection between faith and life. Further details and application forms are available by emailing Rosemary Lavelle: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by telephone 837 3732 ext. 247/239.




Are you frustrated by your lack of computer skills? Do you feel that the digital age has passed you by? 


Search the Internet Send & receive emails

Shop and book flights

Use your own device or use computers available at some venues

Age Action runs beginner courses in Computers, iPads and Tablets for older people who have little or no experience or for the absolutely terrified!  Courses run once a week for 5/6 weeks in Mounttown, Foxrock, Dun Laoghaire, Stillorgan, Bray and City Centre


If you wish to become a volunteer or to book a course

TEL: (01) 475 6989

Certificate in Theology:   This is a one-year course is offered by St Patrick’s College Maynooth from September which aims to provide a dynamic learning environment for those seeking a comprehensive foundation in Catholic Theology or for those who wish to develop and broaden their Theological knowledge. Participants will gain a more thorough understanding of their lived faith and its application to both parish and public life.  Key areas of study: Sacred Scripture, Social Ethics, Sacramental Theology, Liturgical Theology, Spirituality, Pastoral Theology, Church History.  Lectures will be on Mons and Weds 6.30pm-9.30pm, plus two Saturdays in the second semester.  For more info: contact Dr. Suzanne Mulligan Tel: 01 474 7665 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

BA in Theology and Lifelong Education is a 4-5 year course offered by the School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music at Dublin City University.  The degree is intended for people from a variety of backgrounds. This course suits mature students already involved in areas such as Ministry, Biblical Studies, Social Justice Groups, Ecumenical Projects, Dialogue with other faith communities, Parish Councils, School Boards, or Liturgy. The degree also serves as a qualification for those who wish to pursue postgraduate study or research in theology. To qualify, you must be aged 23 or over on the 1st January in the year of application.  The Programme follows a 5 year cycle with students entering the programme in any of the years of the cycle. Normally a student will study between 5 and 6 modules per year.  Further information

The weekly envelopes for Planned Giving (Family Offering) for 2017/2018 are available for collection from the parish office. 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.


RCIA (The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) Be sure to take the time to look at the display board at the back of the Church.  The names of the 47 adults who have come in to full communion with the Catholic Church through our Parish RCIA are written there.  The map shows candidates coming from all over the world, each of whom has received a warm Rathmines welcome. 

Koins for Kids We are a small voluntary charity putting all our efforts into the funding of whatever essential life-saving equipment “The New Children’s Hospital” will need when building is complete.  We repatriate foreign coin, collect out of date and damaged currency, bus refund tickets and we also collect 1 & 2 cent coin accumulations.  We have raised in excess of €27,000, a modest sum but we intend to make a big difference to these children who suffer for reasons beyond their control.  We would greatly appreciate any donation of this type of currency.  Please leave into the Parish Office (Mon-Fri from 10am to 12pm) for subsequent collection by Koins for Kids. 

Catholic Papers and magazines are on sale after morning masses from the sacristy.

From 6th March, a Parent and Toddler Group will be held every Monday (Excluding Public Holidays) in Rathmines Library at 12 noon. The sessions will be open to all and no booking is required, but places are limited.  Contact: Eithne Massey, Senior Librarian Tel: 497 3539.

Diocesan Prayer Book:  The Dublin Diocesan World Day of the Sick Committee has published for the 25th Silver Jubilee Celebrations of World Day of the Sick a renewed version of their very popular prayer book - ‘I Am With You’ (Psalm 90).  For those experiencing suffering and illness, and for those caring for those who are facing sickness.  Of use for personal prayer  on many occasions - in parish - at home - in hospital - healthcare facilities, - for pastoral visitation of the sick and carers and First Friday calls.  Additional copies of the prayer book are available from Ms. Sheila Pyne, Archbishop’s House - Tel: 01 8379253, (Ext. 116) and from  More information on World Day of the Sick 2017 -

Love One Another as I Have Loved You Fr. Gareth Byrne's new book of prayers, meditations and reflections  Love One Another as I Have Loved You is a response to the publication by Pope Francis of Amoris laetitia, his apostolic exhortation ‘on Love in the Family’ (2016). This collection includes reflective pieces on love, family, friendship, community and on the Church as the family of Christ. With the World Meeting of Families to be hosted by the Archdiocese of Dublin in August 2018, this is an opportunity to begin to think and pray in new ways about what family and relationships mean to us.  Love One Another as I Have Loved You is available from Veritas stores for €4.99.

1916 Exhibition in the Pro Cathedral:  Ministry, Advocacy and Compassion 1916 exhibition which examines the role of the Catholic Church in 1916 continues from 1.30-5.30pm daily at St. Kevin’s Chapel, Pro-Cathedral. 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:

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).

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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. 

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 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

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

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.

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 operates a free Volunteer Driver Service that is available to patients attending the following hospitals for chemotherapy treatments; St. Vincent’s University Hospital; Tallaght Hospital & St. James’s Hospital. Volunteer drivers will pick a patient up at the door of their home, drop them at the hospital door and then when finished treatment, pick them up and drop them home again. All volunteer expenses are paid. Patients wishing to avail of this free service should contact their healthcare professional, visit the website at or contact the Irish Cancer Society for more information on 01 2310 522.

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.  

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 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.

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. 

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

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.