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."




Child Safeguarding Policy Statement

The Archdiocese of Dublin and the Parish of Larkhill/Whitehall/Santry value and encourage the participation of children and young people in parish liturgies and in Diocesan activities in order to enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual and social development.

We recognise the dignity and rights of all children and are committed to ensuring their protection from all forms of abuse.

This is a commitment binding on all priests and on those who work in our Diocesan offices and agencies,  and in our parishes. It extends to all the many and varied ways that children share in the life of the Church in our  Diocese.

Your Parish Safeguarding Representatives -  Derek Scott and Anne Flanagan are contactable through the parish office.

  If you have a concern about child abuse, please contact:

Diocesan Child Safeguarding & Protection Service (CSPS)

Designated Liaison Person

Mr. Andrew Fagan, Director, Child Safeguarding and Protection Service, Holy Cross Diocesan Centre, Clonliffe College, Dublin 3.    Tel:  01 8360314  (Mon—Fri 09:00—17.00)

Deputy Designated Liaison Person

Ms. Julie McCullough, Child Protection Officer, Child Safeguarding and Protection Service, Holy Cross Diocesan Centre, Clonliffe College, Dublin 3.   Tel:  01 8360314 (Mon –Fri 09.00-17.00)

Tusla Office:  Tusla Child and Family Agency, 22, Mountjoy Square, Tel:  01 8566856

Local Garda Station:      Santry Garda Station.  Tel: 01 6664000







Newsletter 29th May 2016


The Reality of Doubt, the Use of Reason, the Gift of Faith (2)


In the first part of this article we looked at the rational arguments for the existence of God.  The reality, of course, is that the existence of God can neither be conclusively proved nor disproved by mathematical means.  It is unfortunate that over the centuries religion has intruded into the domain of science and science has intruded into the realm of religion.  We should remember that science is about explanation while religion is about meaning.


And while we should use our God given reason to arrive at a rational understanding of creation and in a Creator, ultimately it all comes down to faith  -  faith in the Resurrection of His Son.  As St. Paul said (Corinthians 15:14) “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and your faith is in vain.”


We should also remember that doubt is normal, even healthy.  We should never think that doubt is sinful.  As J.R. Tolkien (Author of  Lord of the Rings) said “Not all those who wander are lost.”  Those who “wander” may actually be seeking the truth (think of the Magi).  Indeed Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, speaking at the Catholic Leadership Centre in Melbourne in 2014, said “Certainties can deceive.  Seeking can be a healthy sign of respect for a truth we still have to enter profoundly.”


One of the greatest doubters must surely have been St. Thomas or “Doubting Thomas” as he is often called.  In many respects he is my favourite saint as, in my opinion, he is the one who asks the questions which any rational person would ask if confronted by some of the situations he finds himself in.  He combines a healthy scepticism with reason and, eventually faith.  When told by his companions that they had seen the risen Lord, he attests that unless he sees in His hands  “the mark of the nails, and  place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into His side, I will never believe.”



  We know what happened.  Eight days later, the Lord appears again and invites Thomas to do just that: to place his hand in His side.  And Thomas utters the greatest avowal of faith ever spoken “My Lord and my God.”


According to Pope St. Gregory the Great, the faith of “Thomas the doubter” becomes a bolster for our own faith  -  even more so than the faith of the other disciples.  He says “Do you really think that it was by chance that this chosen disciple  (Thomas) was first absent, then came and heard, heard and doubted, doubted and touched, touched and believed?  It was not by chance but in God’s providence.  In a marvellous way, God’s mercy arranged that the disbelieving disciple, in touching the wounds of His Master’s body, should heal the wounds of our disbelief.”


Ironically, the disbelief of Thomas has done more for our faith than the faith of the other disciples.  The very apostle who doubted becomes a witness to the reality of the Resurrection.  So doubting is natural and healthy and doubters often become the greatest believers!


Of course, the behaviour of the apostles in the aftermath of Pentecost is another great reinforcement to our faith.  Here is a group of people who had run away when their Master was arrested and crucified, and who had cowered behind locked doors even after His resurrection.  Then, suddenly, they achieve a courage to go out and start preaching the Good News.  They do so without fear, not caring what may happen to them and, indeed, they welcome the opportunity to suffer for the Risen Christ.  If they had been charlatans who had hoped to achieve wealth and fame this new movement of theirs would not have lasted long.  As Gamaliel said “If this plan (of theirs)  is of men, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not  be able to overthrow them” (Acts 5:35-39).



On the face of it, belief and questioning are antithetical.  Yet, they can go hand in hand.  As Martin Scorsese says in his introduction to Shusaku Endo’s brilliant book “Silence” “Faith and questioning go hand in hand.  One nourishes the other.  Questioning may lead to great loneliness, but if it co-exists with faith  -  true faith  -  abiding faith—it can end in the most joyful sense of communion.  It can be painful, paradoxical passage  -  from certainty to doubt to loneliness to communion” Faith is a gift.  We may struggle with it at times and in such dark moments we can only pray “Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief.”


Peter McDermott
















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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