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Sermon for 22nd December 2013
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FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT A + 22nd DECEMBER 2013.

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST

My Dear People,

In this year's Infant Christmas Play and Concert there was a very moving moment when the little girl dressed in blue (Our Lady) entered and Processed around the Hall full of gathered eager parents along with St Joseph and holding her Divine Child, the new born Infant King, Jesus our Lord. They took up centre stage as other children who were the Narrators announced in no uncertain terms the story of our Salvation. They were surrounded by angels and shepherds and so many, many sheep and a donkey I saw and perhaps a camel. I am sure Divine Mercy School had a similar experience but Father George could tell you about that.

But like all good Christmas stories in a Catholic school the real message came through to the audience again and again. The message was that this babe is very special and is going to be different and he will be the Saviour of the World. His motive for coming is to tell us the good news that we are going to get to Heaven now because of Him- baby Jesus. No one is beyond his love and influence and it is a cause of great happiness and rejoicing for the whole of mankind. And boy did those children given it their all and their voices rang out and their spoken parts were remembered and proclaimed to the housetops and we all came away with a feeling of even greater expectation for the rest of Advent.

Indeed each one of those young ones was the object and expression of God's inexpressible love. Indeed we all are we not? Now we know because Jesus is born of us and for us and our salvation. "He came down from Heaven" the Creed says.

Look at our Lady in the Gospel of today's Holy Mass. She is the figure standing alone with the Saviour growing in her womb. This is the first Advent and Mary waited with confidence in God. How was she to explain to her betrothed that a baby was coming along? Maybe Joseph would have fallen flat at the news like the young boy in our school Christmas Play.

No - being a good and upright man Joseph just decided not to make a fuss and just go away and not to expose or humiliate Mary. Can you imagine our Lady's purest of hearts and souls suffering in silence and trusting in God who had led her to this pregnancy by a miracle would not let her down? But she was not shown the Map was she? She had to live with the enigma for many months perhaps before the Angel was sent to Joseph to tell him to take Mary as spouse for the baby was from the Holy Spirit indeed. All those things are meant to teach us you know. Joseph is told that the son to be born is the Saviour and Joseph must give him the name "JESUS". SO THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT JOSEPH DID. Here is the church at its beginning – Jesus, Mary and Joseph – the Holy Family soon to be Holy Church universal with St Joseph as the Protector of the Universal Church as one his titles. Is not God wonderful in the Great Plan for our salvation?

Is it not a wonderful story to hear again and again for each year it has to be told because each year will bring in a new generation of God’s children? The family you know is the Plan of God for all Mankind. Treasure your family for God created it. We are born of parents who – usually love us dearly and give their all for us and then we do the same for ours. God became a member of the family unit and above all we must try to be faithful to this above everything. Each child's well being depends of it. May God bless each and every family in our parish this Christmas. Happy Christmas.

Father Tom Connolly and Father Sean O'Brien and Father George.


Take the Christmas Card with all the Mass times on.

Confessions at the Holy Name run most the day before Christmas. Boxing Day in a Sunday Mass day and don’t think it is not!!

PRESENTS FOR THE NEEDY CHILDREN UNDER THE TREE – HAVE GONE TO THE BATTERED WIVES, HOMELESS FAMILIES AND THE CARITAS OF OUR DIOCESE NEEDY FAMILIES.

DIAMOND WEDDING. ON BOXING DAY, HUGH AND IRENE FARRELLY WILL CELEBRATE THEIR 60 YEARS OF MARRIAGE. IS THAT NOT A WONDERFUL ACHIEVEMENT? ? I THINK THEY SHOULD GET A MEDAL! AT THEIR REQUEST A FEW MONTHS AGO I ASKED POPE FRANCIS FOR A BLESSING ON THEM AND HE GAVE IT AND THE PARCHMENT IS ON THEIR WALL. GOD BLESS YOU BOTH AND CONGRATULATIONS ON SUCH A GIFT.

NO EXPOSITION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT FROM 23RD UNTIL NEW YEAR BECAUSE FOLK ARE WITH FAMILY CELEBRATIONS.





Bidding Prayers

Bidding Prayers Advent IV

Bidding prayers 4th Advent Year

Priest: The Lord's coming is at hand, we must have patience for he will come in his own time, in his own way. We bring our needs before him who is the Great intercessor as Head of the human race, the Son of Mary and the first born from the dead.

Reader: We live in a world weighed down by unbelief - may the Lord increase our faith by the grace of his Incarnation to resist the secularisation of time and culture. Lord in your mercy.

Upon the richness and complexity of man's thought, theories and philosophies of our world today - come and spread your glorious light O infant of Bethlehem. Lord hear us.

Let us love the Church which continues to proclaim and announce to all ages the reality of your coming. Lord in your mercy.

Be with those expectant mothers at this holy time and bless them with a safe delivery. May the example of Holy Mary be for all a lasting consolation. Lord in your mercy.

For the Christians of Syria, Iraq and Egypt as they face terrible suffering- deliver them O Lord. Lord in your mercy.

For all those who have been bereaved this last year that they may find in the child born in the stable a great consolation. Lord in your mercy.

Help our sick ones, raise up our weary ones and console your people O Lord, Console them. We pray for our sick: Frances Howarth, Tom and Brenda Lynch, Pat and Cath Banaghan, Richard Molloy Kirstey Rafferty, Bee- Anne Grady, Ronnie Molloy. Lord hear us.

The dead longed for life – free them Lord from death and bestow upon them the gift of your glory in eternal life: AND for all those whose anniversaries fall about now: Patrick Dolan, Harry King, Freddy King, Joyce Cook, Robert Burke, Fr Charles Mulholland, Brenda and Arthur Strafford (VIGIL), Mary Colbert, George Lindley, Bob and Ann Mulvehill, Michael Serridge, Kevin Devanny, Rosella Devlin (11am), James Crawford, (9am), Bill Cook, Maureen Burke, Molloy and Grennan Families, Kathleen Towers, Boyle family. MAY their souls and the souls of all the faithful..

O Mary, conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee. Mary is the Gateway to man’s Heaven - through her, we received Christ the Lord: Hail Mary, full of...

Priest: Almighty God, now that the Birthday of Your Son as man is drawing near, we pray that your eternal Word, who took flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and came to dwell among us will bestow on us his people his love and mercy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.