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Sermon for 28 December 2014

The Holy Family + a 28th January 2014.


My Dear People,

The feast of the Holy Family always come straight after Christmas just when most of us have been fortunate enough to have celebrated the Christmas feast of our Lord's birth with my own "family". Many of you asked me what are you doing for Christmas Father?" and of course I knew what they meant. They were asking me with whom would I be spending my Christmas. So many of those poor people stuck in Airports on week before Christmas because of the breakdown in the Air Traffic Control were heading home for Christmas.

The Church teaches with great force the place of the Human family in the formation of humanity. All of us go by the way of the family. The family forms us so deeply and it is sacred to God. It is his will that Man and Woman, given that they are given the gift of fecundity, be good parents. The Nuptial Blessing at a Marriage refers to the parents being made good and holy. Children really prosper and develop well when they have a mother and father – married - If they do not – like is very precarious. Under half of couples living together now in our country have the married state of any type. That is why 300.000 children are without fathers present to them. What a loss! If the State undervalues marriage and reduces it, then people take the hint don’t they?

Jesus, Mary and Joseph are the model for the Christian family. This is the first family unit where Jesus Christ is loved and adored. The prayers of this Mass in the old translation say this: "Father, you ordered the earth to bring forth life and crowned its goodness by creating the family of man. In history's moment you sent your Son to dwell in time. Teach us the sanctity of human love, show us the value of family life and help us to live in peace. May this communion strengthen us in the troubles of life."

The Synod the Pope has called for next year is on The Christian Family. Saint John Paul II wrote widely on the Family. The family needs to be defended from the attack of the politicos who would reduce “family” to anything you want. Even Elton John tells us that he feels sorry for his child who will never know a mother’s love. How about that then?

But think now those of us who can, of the formation we got from our dear parents from our relations- our brothers and sisters or cousins and kin – of neighbours and friends of our family. We thank God on this feast for all those good people, living and dead who, on our pilgrimage of life have enriched us. Our Lord could have done the same. Joseph and Mary thought he was with friends and acquaintances in the caravan returning from Jerusalem to Nazareth. It was only when they had asked around searched do they realise he, the Eternal Son of the Father- The Chosen One was lost from them at the age of Twelve.

Such is the family of our Lord and the rest is history. May Joseph and Mary watch over our families. May our young believe in the divine calling of the sacrament of marriage and enjoy it wonderful graces. May our married people be faithful to the holy Sacrament God has given them and enjoy its graces. May the Engaged couples soon to begin their marriage preparation Course for 5 Sunday afternoons have a wonderful grace given them.

God bless all of you on this Feast,

Father Tom Connolly

TOYS FOR CHILDREN APPEAL at St Kentigerns: THANKS HAVE COME IN FROM THE Caritas of our diocese from the Homeless Families units and so many more I cannot tell you. Carole Whitely alone in the RSB offices where she works in town collected nearly £1000 for this purpose. These were all bought and wrapped and labelled so they were clearly for a boy or a girl (oooh gender stereotyping!!!) and the age. Then you dear parishioners were so generous in all your wrapped gifts. They all brought a little joy into the life of some child in need this Christmas.



Bidding Prayers

Christmas Bidding Prayers

Priest: Jesus is the Son of God who teaches us how to live as God's children. On this special night OR [ day] we pray for the grace to live his way.

Reader: Jesus you are our light. Help us to be a people ever eager to do what is right, peaceable and just. As we celebrate your birth, Lord in your mercy.

Jesus, you were sent by God to bring us peace. May we practice kindness in our families with our friends and among those with who we live and work. As we celebrate your birth, Lord in your mercy.

Jesus, you chose to live as one of us. May we choose to live like you by loving God and neighbour. As we celebrate your birth, Lord in your mercy.

Jesus, you are God's gift to us. May we be a gift to you by obeying your commandments. As we celebrate your birth, let us rejoice in the freedom you bestowed on us and the new dignity to human beings.Lord in your mercy.

Jesus, the angels sang your praises when you came into the world. May we sing your praises in our daily prayers and at Mass. As we celebrate your birth, Lord in your mercy.

Jesus, the poor shepherds came to pay you honour. May we show our care for others by assisting the poor and the needy. Lord in your mercy.

Jesus, you came to save people of every race, language, and age. May we show respect to all the people you lived and died for. As we celebrate your birth, Lord in your mercy.

Jesus, through the saving mystery of your birth, life and death may family, friends and parishioners who have died in the past year be granted the fullness of life, especially Josie McConnell - as we celebrate your birth, Lord in your mercy.

May those whose anniversaries occur we pray: Arthur and Brenda Stafford, Harry King, Freddie King, Joyce Cook, Bill Cooke (VIGIL), Kelly and Duffy Family, Mary and Tom Colbert, Mary, Denis and Tony. Lord in your mercy.

The Holy Mother of God gave birth to the eternal One - we salute her...Hail Mary...

Priest: God of glory, the light of Christ reveals your love for us. Receive our prayers and grant that we may always receive your Word-Made-Flesh with grateful hearts. We ask this in Jesus' name, Christ the Lord, who lives forever and ever. Amen.

Bidding for Holy Family

Let us adore the Son of the Living God who became a Son in a human family and who intercedes for us with the Eternal Father.

Reader: Jesus , Eternal Word of the Father, you lived under the authority of Mary and Joseph, teach us all to walk that path of humility marked out by you. Lord in your mercy.

Mary kept in her heart all that you said and did; may we learn in her example the spirit of contemplation. Lord in your mercy.

Christ, yours was the strength that shaped the universe, yet you came to learn to be a carpener. Help us to see our work as a sharing in yours. Lord in your mercy You advanced in wisdom and in favour with God and men, may we live to the full in you and build up your body in faith and love. Hallow our family life and bring back those who have strayed and unite us all in your body oh babe of Bethlehem.

For the sick we pray and commend to the Child who reaches out to us all: Kirsty Rafferty, Denis McLoughlin, Eileen Farren, Margaret McErlane, Elizabeth Layden, Mary Farrelly-Stiles. Lord in your mercy.

We pray for those souls who have died recently : Jim Law, Josie McConnell, Mrs Jones, John Rowson, Kathleen Burke AND Those who we remember on their anniversary: Patrick Grennan and The Molloy and Grennan Family Members (11am), Afram Zaer, Ann Hopkins (1st Jan) Austin Hopkins, Teresa Hamilton , Danny Colbert, Mary and Tom Colbert,Harry Duggan Snr and Harry Duggan Jnr.

May their souls and the souls of...

Mary is the bearer of life for our redemption as she brought forth the Saviour - O Mary conceived with out sin..Pray for us..Hail Mary..

Priest: On this feast of the Holy Family may we offer these heartfelt prayer for all family life. Thru Christ our Lord.