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Message From The Parish Priest

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My Dear people,

This week we celebrated the Memoria of the Patron saint of all priests - Saint John Mary Vianney. He was a Parish Priest in Ars which is a village near Lyon in France. The Bishop and a group of priests from this diocese visited that village which now enshrines the saint's body and burial place and made a retreat there. It was very moving.

Some years ago Pope John Paul visited the shrine and suggested that a seminary should be built there. The Bishop said that seminaries they had plenty of but seminarians they did not. The Pope replied by saying that if you build a seminary here it will be full.

The Bishop got all the priests of France to subscribe and a seminary was built and it is full and the students are full of faith and zeal. They go to many French diocese and we even met an Irish seminarian preparing for an Irish diocese.

John Vianney was so good a priest the devil used to physically attack him if a great sinner was coming to confession the next day. The saint heard confessions for sixteen hours a day. He could see through to your very soul. The railway station in Lyon had a special kiosk for tickers for Ars - for people going to go to confession to the saintly priest. He used to give little Penances and he would do the Penance for the Big Sinners. He lived off boiled spuds too.

He worked miracles - multiplying grain that had run out so the orphanage he founded for fatherless girls left over from the wars raging around could eat their daily bread. He even helped to build the orphanage with his own hands and founded an Order of nuns to run it.

He taught the people the Catholic way of life which was pleasing to God and years after his death the people used to sing the catechetical songs he taught them in the fields where they worked which helped them remember and keep the Divine truths of the Christian and Catholic way of life.

The village of Ars was transformed from a small droopy town with few practising Catholics to a dynamic and religious town where nobody missed Mass. St John Vianney transformed the parish by his love for our Lord and our Lady. St Philomena was his great patron and he ascribed miracles to her but folk believed that it was he who did some of those miracles but the saint wanted to divert attention away from himself. He was seen talking to our Lord and our Lady by reliable witnesses. No wonder the Pope has made him the Patron for all priests not just Parish Priests as he was before.

On Tuesday last, his feast, Fr Flynn went down to the Cathedral with Father Pinto to renew their vows of priestly service and to pray the litany of St John Vianney and in union with the Bishop and clergy and people who were in Lourdes. That was the day too that the Lourdes pilgrimage prayed for us all back home in the Diocese of Salford. That was a really good thing to do and I am sorry I could not do it with them.

Fr George has gone off to India to visit his family for a few weeks and Fr Flynn has gone on retreat and then takes his holiday, so it leaves me and Father Pinto for a few weeks.

Hope all of you can get a few days relaxation away from your daily grind.

God Bless,

Father Tom Connolly

Bidding Prayers


Priest: Strengthened by the food from Heaven which we are about to receive - let us have faith in God's power to save us and change his world.

Reader: Our Lord talks of eternal life in him - we pray for all who receive the Holy Sacrament of the Altar that the joy of the life Christ gives may be theirs and that any fear of death may be alleviated. Lord hear us.

For all who are deprived through persecution - of participation in the Mass and especially for our brethren in mainland China and the Bishops and people imprisoned for their faith. Lord hear us.

For the starving - for the nations who have famine, drought and war so that their people cannot eat the food which gives life. Lord hear us.

That we may live in integrity without grudges or hatred in our lives - that we be ministers of Christ's mercy to us all.

We pray for those on holiday that they may be refreshed in body, mind and soul. Lord hear us.

For all new children born into the world, that they will be seen as a blessing. For all who want suicide to be legal - that they may see the grave evil they are opening up for the weak and the vulnerable. Lord teach us your truth always. Lord hear us.

For all our sick we pray to Christ the Healer for their comforting and courage: Martin Hoysted, Maureen Waring, Maureen Moran, Bridget Boyle, Denis Doherty, Fr Patrick Keane, Michael Connolly, Bernard Cummings, Marjorie Walsh, Brendan Inniss, Rachel Butt, and Baby Charli Meehan. Lord hear us.

For all those who have died recently: Martin Collins and Kathleen Welsh,


For all those souls we have loved in life and whose anniversaries of death occur around this time: Margaret Comisky, (11am) Mary Green-halch (9am), John Scannell, Rose MaFarlane, Edward Russell, Patricia McGregor, Sarah Russell, Marie Silk, Carl Feathstone (VIGIL), Doris Connolly , Tony Hallinan and Bridie Greally MAY THEIR SOULS AND THE SOULS OF ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED...

O Mary, Mother of the Divine Word pray for us. O Mary Conceived without sin. R/ Pray for us who have recourse to thee. HAIL MARY. FULL OF...

Priest: Heavenly Father, you have sent us the bread from heaven which gives life to us and the whole world - listen now in your tender love to our needs. Through Christ our Lord.