Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor,
Give me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
Fifty years ago, when the world was young and we would never die, I and two other bold seminarians headed for New York one summer on a J1 visa. This was against the expressed wishes of the college authorities and even the archbishop. ‘Those who go to America,’ we were told, ‘lose their vocation!’ We got good jobs out in Kennedy airport and played football up in Gaelic Park. That’s when love of America was born. (I know, it mightn’t be your cup of tea)
One day we took the subway to Battery Park (I think) and on to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. And there on the statue was an inscription which encapsulated the spirit of America in our young minds: ‘Give me your huddled masses.’ A poetic rendering of the virtue of hospitality.
Hospitality is the theme of today’s Mass. In the first reading, the holy man, Elisha, passes a village called Shunem and is given a roof over his head by a rich lady: he is also given a bed, a table, a chair and a lamp. The bare necessities of life.
Those who sleep at the doors of our church don’t have the bare necessities. And isn’t it ironic and, in a sense, a holy thing, that down-and- outs come to a church called Refuge of Sinners. We don’t know whether they are sinners or not (God knows) but we ought to be glad that we can offer the hospitality they need.
Mind you, I’m not so understanding at four in the morning when they are bad-tempered and argumentative with each other. And whenever the guards come, they are remarkably tolerant with them. This is Waiting for Godot landscape where the characters are robbed of all creature comforts, yet one or two retain a dignity that shock one.
We can have all the beautiful liturgies that educated people devise (thank God) but if the wretches of the earth have no place in our agenda, hmmn, there’s something missing in our Christ following.
We are glad to announce the re-opening of our church on 4 July after weeks of lockdown. We have all been looking forward to this day.
Masses will resume: Saturday 4 July – 7pm
Sunday 5 July – 9am, 11am (No 6 pm Mass for the present)
Weekdays commencing Monday 6 July 10am
On Monday 29 June, a special ceremony of thanksgiving and remembering will take place that evening at 7pm.
For the next few weeks, we are obliged to follow the guidelines of the HSE and the government. Briefly, the directives are as follows:
- We are limited to a congregation of 50 people.
- We are directed to make use of the hand sanitizers in the interest of your and others health. These are placed in prominent positions in the church.
- A social distance of 2 metres must be maintained at all times.
- You are asked not to delay on entering or leaving the church.
- Anyone who is vulnerable or for any other reason, is not obliged to attend Mass. If anyone wishes they may attend a weekday Mass instead of Saturday/Sunday.
If we follow these directives greater benefits lie ahead, so let’s look after ourselves and one another, in God’s name. As a nation we can be justifiably proud of our response to combat this virus.
Fr William and the Parish Pastoral Council
25 June 2020
You are welcome to join us every Sunday at 11am for broadcast Mass. All you need to do is to log into the parish website and you’ll find us in the church to which I know you have a close attachment.
If you wish to have the names of any of your deceased loved ones mentioned or you wish to dedicate the intentions of the Mass for a private intention, you are welcome to do so. Just phone the parish office and your call will be acknowledged.
You know by now that our church is open from 2pm till 7pm for private prayer. We ensure that the church is cleaned twice daily. Be advised that hand sanitizers are located just inside the inner door.
With every blessing,
Fr William King
Fogra (Croke Park in days of old)
You may be assured to know that the main leadership group, the Parish Pastoral Council is in constant contact: each Sunday morning for prayer and reflection and for meeting purposes.
Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference statement on liturgical considerations in the context of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
Serving the common good
As people of faith we are called to face the fears of this moment with a courage not our own and with a generous heart. God is with his people in good times and bad. Like believers in every age we say: ‘If I should walk in The Valley of Darkness no evil would I fear for You are there’. In our hour of trial Jesus calls on us, his followers, to serve the common good by taking responsibility for each other and to prioritise the most vulnerable in our community ahead of our own individual wants and aspirations. At this time our first concern has to be for the elderly, the ill and those with underlying medical conditions.
As bishops we present the following directions in the light of current public health authority advice in Ireland, north and south, aware that these might have to change at very short notice.
Reviewing this information
We ask everyone to continue to follow the guidance of the public health authorities north and south. As the situation evolves, Church-specific information will be updated and published on local diocesan websites, on the website of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference www.catholicbishops.ie and on their related digital media platforms.
Prayer for our protection
We ask for prayers for those affected by the Coronavirus. Placing all our trust in the Lord, and asking Our Lady to intercede for us, we invite everyone to pray these prayers:
Extract from Saint Patrick’s Breastplate
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection,
implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence,
I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.
To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer. Amen.
COVID-19 Support Line for Older People
ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Professional staff are available to answer queries and give advice and reassurance where necessary. The support line is open seven days a week, 8am – 8pm, by calling 0818 222 024.
Pro-Cathedral – Sunday Lunchtime Recitals On-Line
For the next four Sundays, beginning 21st June, a core ensemble of orchestral players and professional singers – Aisling Kenny, soprano, Andrew Gavin, tenor – all have volunteered to perform a lunchtime recital following the conclusion of the 11am Mass beginning at 12 noon. Music to relax, inspire and uplift from composers Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Albinoni and Mozart. Each recital will last 30-35 minutes. Do join us as we live stream on the Pro-Cathedral webcam at www.procathedral.ie
Now we have moved into Phase 2, you may be finding yourself reflecting more on your experience over the past three months. As you do, while our Weeks of Guided Prayer remain suspended, our team of experienced Spiritual Companions/Guides are available to journey with you in that reflection on how you have been affected by these extraordinary times.
For further information and to be put in touch with a Spiritual Companion/Guide who will listen confidentially and attentively with empathy and understanding to you via phone, skype or zoom contact: Sr Éibhlís NicUaithuas DC at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 087 417 0628.
During the month of June, Lough Derg is offering opportunities to have an experience of retreat and pilgrimage from wherever you are. Online Retreat Days continue on 18 June and from 27 -29 June. You can join the Three Day Pilgrimage from afar, along with the Prior and team. To register for this historic event and for full details of what is happening during June go to www.loughderg.live Tel 071 986 1518 or Email email@example.com