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Sermon for 9 September 2012

TWENTY THIRD SUNDAY OF THE YEAR B + 9TH SEPTEMBER 2012. RACIAL JUSTICE SUNDAY and Day of Prayer for Justice and Peace in the World.


My Dear People,

If you look at the old Hospital for the Deaf and Dumb in Grosvenor Street - All Saints - next to the old cinema on the Corner, you will see over the Gothic arch a lovely carving of the miracle we have just heard about in the Gospel assigned to this Sunday. You can see it better from the top deck of a bus coming from town.

The old building is going into a ruin now having passed through many uses. However the carving stands out as a witness to the Victorian people who built it. They saw the work of helping the deaf and the dumb as part of and indeed an expression of Christ's Ministry to the deaf and the dumb of his day. Nowadays wonderful things are done by people with these handicaps. The sign language is so efficient and many learn it and the computer has transformed communication - even inventing an artificial voice and implants in the skull so people can hear.

However the world of the deaf and dumb has not always been like that and the malady must have meant isolation for so many - cut off from the "hearing" and "talking" world. It still is not an easy thing to contend with is it? Our Lord released the man from this isolation in private. Our Lord took him apart from the crowd and did something unusual – he put his fingers into the man’s ears and put spit from his mouth into the mouth of the man. Then the man could hear and talk normally and there was great rejoicing.

In the Liturgy of Baptism we still re-enact this sign of our Lord. After Baptism and the anointing with the Chrism, the minister of Baptism touches with sign of the Cross the little lugs of the tiny child and blesses the little lips with the prayer that through these senses the child might learn to love and praise God. Isn't that a nice gesture, going right back to this miracle of our Blessed Lord? You see there is none as deaf and dumb as those who have no faith. No Faith means Deaf to God and unable therefore to pray or give thanks or ask for your needs or the needs of your neighbours.

Be patient with the deaf. I am getting deaf in my right ear!! It is the fact that my right ear hears Confessions of the Faithful in St Kentigern’s confessionals and St Edwards!!! Poor sight too might often be misinterpreted as "You ignored me!" when the poor person accused of such a thing actually could not see you!

Think about it. Never talk in the presence of a deaf person with the presumption that they cannot hear you either. Many a relative has made this error and been left out of the Will!! In dying they say the last sense to go is the hearing. I always speak to the person when I am administering the Last Rites to tell them who I am and what I am going to do for them even when they appear unconscious, for you never know. I once asked a 90 years old "unconscious" man to squeeze my hand if he could hear me and he gave it a right grip. He was one of the only surviving workers from the original Ford Motor Company Factory built in Europe in Cork - now then - a piece of history.

Today the Bishops want us to think of Racial Harmony and Justice. I am very impressed by the good relations so many of you have with neighbours who come from foreign parts to reside here. Some streets around here have only have three original households and those who have come from abroad are praised by these old parishioners as wonderful people who help them in every way and are most kind. That is the heart of racial justice - Christian love to all who are my neighbours. We have had so many second collections I don’t want to have another but I will send a Donation on your behalf to the Bishops Fund for Racial Justice.

God bless you all,

Father Tom Connolly


MARRIAGE CLASSES. All those marrying in the next 12 months should see the priest to fill in forms and book dates. The course of Preparation is mandatory and will take place in the afternoon of the last Sunday of January and all the Sundays of February at 2.30-4pm. It takes place in the Marian Room of St Kentigern’s Social Club and is for all the couples marring in the local Catholic Parishes.

HEALTH of your PP. - Can I just tell everyone that I have had a few “funny turns” lately. One happened at the end of the 11am Sunday Mass and I simply stood at the Altar after everything was finished. I go blank out and, without knowing it am just Absent as it were and go very pale. It does not last long and I have no recollection of having a blank out and I feel perfectly well immediately after and I get no warning it is about to happen. The GP has referred me to a Cardiologist to check out. Say a prayer for me that it is something simple to deal with and not life threatening won’t you.

YEAR OF FAITH has been proclaimed by the Pope and we are having a good start by the Marian Procession on 6th Octobe. At 11 am.

On 28th November - Wednesday we are having a Day of Retreat in St Kentigern's Centre to launch us good and proper. I will be buying loads of Catechisms in different types to suit all and I hope you will take them and read them and deepen your understanding of your Catholic Faith. The more you understand the more you can enter into.

Bidding Prayers


Priest: My dear friends let us pray to the Lord who has made all of us clean through the cleansing waters of Holy Baptism that from pure hearts we may seek the Lords help in all our needs.

Reader. For the great religions of the BOOK - that the God of Abraham may bring all to Christ his Son. We pray for all who are called to leave their own nations to bring that message to a waiting world abroad and we pray for the missionary work of the Church. Lord in your mercy.

For all our fellow Christians who are persecuted and especially for those churches in Iraq and Egypt destroyed by those who hate us - for the Christian and fellow Catholic people of Iraq and Egypt in their hour of need. Lord in your mercy.

For the economic situation and for all whose jobs are going or have gone – that they do not lose hope – that life itself is still a great and wonderful gift. Bring jobs for people to earn their bread O Lord. Lord in your mercy.

For those who parade glorifying immorality - that the Good Shepherd may bring home the wondering sheep. Lord in your mercy.

For all our young ones – going to Higher Education or new jobs - that God will secure them and give them fulfilment. Lord in your mercy.

For all who are weighed down by sin that they may approach our Lord in the Holy sacrament of Penance and find pardon and peace for their souls. Lord in your mercy.

For all our dear sick that the Lord in his power may heal them and restore them if it is his holy Will: Anne Marie Martin, Rose Regan, Ann Martin, Jimmy Rogers, Ann Bowens, Father McGarry, Kathleen Burke, Margaret Martin Maria Car-uan-a. Lord in your mercy.

May God let his face shine upon us and let his face shine upon those who have died: Francis Higgins, Peter Henry, John Jack Connolly, Michael Brennan, Mary Geraghty, Margaret Quinn, Arthur Higham, Kevin Cosgrove, Pauline Anderton AND For all those who we have loved in life but do not forget in Death - Patrick Cahill,(senior) Joseph Malynn. Joe Page, John Bohan (11am), Martin Fadian (Vigil), Bridie Greally (6.30pm Sunday) Thomas Roach, Gerard Murray May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed...

Mary is the one God Chose to bring His Son to a waiting world - O Mary, conceived without sin. R/ Pray for us who have recourse to thee. Hail Mary, full of Grace.

Priest: O Lord and Eternal Father of Mercies - you to listen to our heartfelt prayer. In your tender love for Christ's flock - hear and answer our petitions which we make through Christ our Lord. Amen.