Welcome

 

The Parish of Larkhill/Whitehall/Santry is

a community of two Church buildings;

the Church of the Holy Child &

the Chapel of Blessed Margaret Ball

each different but both visible expressions

of God’s presence among us

and our response as God's people in worship and service.

Vision for our Parish

"A family of God's people

reaching out to all,

encouraging and enabling all,

to become good people as God is good."

 

 

 
 
 
Newsletter 28th September 2014

 

Towards the formation of the 3rd Parish Pastoral Council (part 2)

 

Autumn

As the leaves begin to fall we become aware of changes in the world of nature. Change is all about us, sometimes taking place very rapidly and on other occasions much more slowly—we hardly even notice it until it has happened. Our lives of faith also change, our Church Community is affected; to-day there is a deep spirituality in people and a great searching for meaning. Belief in God is strong, the high percentage who identify themselves as Catholic is an indication of the centuries of tradition, culture and the strength of Christian heritage. Coupled with this is of course the picture of declining Mass attendances and Parish Communities challenged to share the Good News of the Gospel and meet changed realities.

Parish Pastoral Councils have responded over the past ten years or so and this Parish has been blessed with committed and dedicated members. Their term of office is coming to an end and we thank them for their generosity and their help in passing on the baton to a new group.

A Parish Council

Pastoral is the most important word. It’s about sharing wisdom and planning for the spiritual and pastoral needs of the Parish. Pastoral is about care and having a listening heart by being in touch with the homes and lives of parishioners. It is the group in the Parish that is asking the overall question such as; how are things going in our Parish? What does the future hold? What do we want for our Parish?

The principal focus of a Council in such a well developed Parish as ours is towards the future and planning for it. It is there to provide the leadership and vision that can help discern the way forward. Leadership involves priests and people working together with a model of leadership inspired by the Gospel which is in terms of service to people. It will be marked with a spirit of partnership where listening is real, gifts valued and decisions shared.

Invitation

If you feel you could commit and contribute to the next Council, or even if you wish to find out what’s involved in the formation of one you are most welcome to come along on Wednesday evening to the Parish Centre at 8.00p.m. Ellie McKeown who has worked with parishioners previously will facilitate the evening.

Finally

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin was speaking recently about the striking fact that nearly one in five people in the Diocese is under the age of 10 years. He spoke of an inward looking church not changing hearts and enthusing people. “The overall religious culture in the Diocese is continually changing and our pastoral responses must continually change. However, pastoral planning should not get bogged down in the mechanics of consultation and just in structures. An inward-looking church will not change hearts and will not enthuse people.

We have to reach out, as Pope Francis says, to those who are living on the margins of our society and on the margins of Church life. I am convinced that we can do it, and part of my conviction comes from witnessing in recent years how our Parish Pastoral Councils have shown that they want to move forward in this way and they want to do what is best for the Church”.

Fr. John Jones Adm

 

We also visited Chioggia on a few occasions to search for bargains at the markets, to browse in the art galleries, to visit the Cathedral or to sit by the side of the Lagoon and watch the boats come and go. Chiogga is the principal fishing port on the lagoon and is only a fifteen minute walk from Sottomarina.

One of the highlights of the trip was our visit to Padua. We alighted from the coach in the Prato della Valle and walked to St Anthony’s Square. The soul of the city is St Anthony’s Basilica which is the burial site of the city’s patron saint. Before we visited the Basilica, Fr. Michael celebrated a very prayerful Mass in one of the Oratories. After Mass we turned our attention to the lavish Basilica which was built as a shrine to St. Anthony. The exterior is very impressive. The cone shaped central dome is accompanied by seven other domes and the facade is a mixture of Gothic and Romanesque elements. Once inside, we visited St. Anthony’s sarcophagus in the north transept. The walls around the shrine are decorated by marble reliefs depicting scenes from

St. Anthony’s life. The frescoes in the adjoining transept which depict scenes from everyday medieval life are much more colourful. The Reliquary Altar receives much attention and the relics are contained in very ornate, gold and silver reliquaries. Space does not allow for a description of the many chapels in the Basilica.

Our guide then took us on a tour of the city. Padua has many squares with irregular shapes. We entered Piazza Anterore which gets its name from the mythical founder of Padua. Next we saw the “Palace of Reason” which was built in 1218 to serve as Padua’s law court and is Europe’s biggest medieval hall. The walls are

covered with frescoes by Miretta. The “Palace of Reason” separates two squares, the Piazza della Erbe and the Piazza della Frutta, where fruit and vegetable markets are held daily. In these two squares we got a glimpse of ancient Padua. It is an old university town with a significant academic history. Palazza del Bo is the seat of Padua’s University. The city centre is extremely lively because of the large number of students and the fruit markets. A little further on, we reached Cafe Pedrocchi . This oddly shaped cafe is a meeting place for students and intellectuals. Having completed our tour we lunched in one of the squares, did some shopping and walked down the Via Roma to board the coach for the return trip to Sottomarina.

Ravenna is known as the city of mosaics as it houses the most celebrated mosaics in Europe.ÂÂÂ We arrived by coach and walked to the Piazza del Populo. We explored the area for some time, discovered a beautiful mosaic gallery, did some shopping and had lunch. Then our guide took us on a tour of the city to see the most outstanding sights. We visited the Basilica of St Vitale first. This Basilica dates from the 6th

century. Mosaics depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments cover the walls and vault of the presbytery and the Apse. Events from the lives of Abraham and Moses are beautifully illustrated. There are depictions of the evangelists and the prophets and of the sacrifices of Abel and Melchizedek and many more. Inside the chancel two magnificent mosaics portray the Emperor Justinian with San Massimiano and a very solemn Empress Theodora. Christ is depicted seated on a deep blue globe. We also visited Dante’s tomb.ÂÂÂ The new Basilica of St. Apollinare is a must- see. On the right wall, twenty six martyrs in white robes are depicted moving towards True True 3 (``````````` (``````````` 12 2343150 5238750 0

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The Parish Holiday to Veneto

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One of the first challenges to face parishes in the Grouping was a reduction in weekend Masses. In January 2010, weekend Masses had to be reduced in St Luke’s, Kilmore West. Having been made aware of the changes, parishioners, were furnished with the times of weekend Masses in the Grouping. The changes were also advertised in Whitehall and Beaumont. In May 2010, when Mass times changed in Whitehall, the same support and help was given to Whitehall by

Kilmore West and Beaumont. Recently, when Beaumont made a change to their weekend Masses, they received the same co-operation.

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Preparation for the Congress offered an opportunity for the Grouping to look at the significance of the Sunday Eucharist. All three parishes looked at the Gathering Rite and correct posture: a welcoming committee, to hand out leaflets and greet parishioners and the use of incense at the principal Masses were also considered. Gathering hymns were also discussed. Fr. Damian provided a lot of details at our meetings, regarding preparations for the Congress.

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A refresher course and re-commissioning service for ministers of the Word, from the three parishes, was held in preparation for the IEC. A similar event for Ministers of the Eucharist was held in November 2011.An information session on the New Missal, for all those involved in ministry in the three parishes, was also held. Fr. Damian facilitated all of these worthwhile and well attended courses. Satellite events were held in the three parishes to coincide with the main events of the Congress in the RDS and Croke Park

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A steering group, comprised of the three Chairpersons of the Parish

Pastoral Councils, has been formed to look at projects and an overarching vision for the Grouping and to examine ways to communicate better with the extended parishes. Now each Parish has a slot in the weekly Newsletter to highlight news from the Grouping.

 

There seems to be a ‘naturalness’ about our Grouping because the Parishes are geographically close. We have achieved much in practical terms and good relationships have been built up. There is good interaction and better communication between the parishes, but much more needs to be done. This is a work in progress.

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Plans for the Future

A ten part DVD series entitled Catholicism was presented in Beaumont Parish earlier in the year and proved very popular. This is a presentation from Word on Fire ministries and is hosted by American priest Fr. Robert Barron. After each session, those attending took part in a short discussion over a cup of tea/coffee. We will run the programme again in the late autumn, this time splitting the sessions between the three parishes. Times and dates will be confirmed.

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We have also invited Fr. Gareth Byrne to meet with the council members from the Grouping. Fr. Gareth is author and editor of Share the Good News, the National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland. This publication is a sound basis upon which our faith can be nurtured now and into the future in Ireland, and will hopefully, challenge us all in the work of evangelisation at parish level.

 

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