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 14th September 2014


Take My Son


A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything, from Picasso to Raphael, in their collection. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art. 


When the Vietnam war began, the son went off to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. When the father was notified, he grieved deeply for his only son. 


About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. When the father answered, a young man stood with a large package in his hands. 


In a gentle voice he said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier your son gave his life for. He saved many lives that day and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you and your love of art." The young man held out the package, "I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist. But I think your son would have wanted you to have this." The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture.


 "Oh, no sir. I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift."The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Everytime visitors came to his home, he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.


 The man died a few months later. An auction was being held for all the great work he had collected. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the masterpiece paintings and having the opportunity to purchase one for their own collection. 


On the platform, the first piece to be auctioned, sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel, "We will start the bidding with this portrait of the son. Who will bid for this portrait?"


There was silence.


Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, "We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one."

But the auctioneer persisted, "Will somebody bid for this portrait? Who will start the bidding? One hundred dollars? Two hundred dollars? Who will start bidding?"


Another voice angrily shouted, "We didn't come to see this portrait! We came to see the Van Gogh's, the Rembrandt's! The good paintings! Get on with the real bids!"


But still the auctioneer continued, "The son? The son? Who will take the son?"


Finally a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the long time gardener of the man and his son. "I will give ten dollars for the portrait." Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.


"We have ten dollars. Who will bid twenty? Will anybody else bid twenty?" said the auctioneer.


"Give it to him for ten dollars," someone spoke up. "Let's see the masterpieces!"


 The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the portrait of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collection. 


The auctioneer pounded the gavel, "Going for ten dollars... is there anybody who will bid more than ten dollars for the son?" After a short pause, he continued," Going once... going twice.... SOLD! For ten dollars!" He then pounded his gavel to signal the closing of the bid.


A man sitting on the second row shouted, "Good! Now let's get on with the real collection!"


The auctioneer laid the gavel on the podium, then said, "I'm sorry, the auction is over."


"What? What about the paintings? The masterpieces?" asked the confused crowd.


 "I am sorry. When I called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the portrait of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that portrait would inherit the entire estate, including the masterpiece paintings."


 He then looked and pointed toward the gardener, "The man who took the son gets everything."   (Author unknown)


 God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on the cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is.... "The son? The son? Who will take the son?"


Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything. 


John 3:16   "

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not  perish but have everlasting life.”












































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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.  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.  The new Basilica of St. Apollinare is a must- see. On the right wall, twenty six martyrs in white robes are depicted moving towards











































































































































































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.




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.






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





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.




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.





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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