25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

St Vincent de Paul (27 September)
St. Vincent de Paul (1576 - 1660) was born in Gascony, France, and died in Paris. He studied theology at
Toulouse and was ordained a priest in 1600. As a young priest he fell into the hands of Mohammedan pirates who carried him off to Africa. After his return to France he became successively parish priest, grand almoner of the galley slaves, and spiritual director of the Visitation nuns. He founded the Congregation of the Priests of the
Mission or Lazarists to preach especially to country people. With the help of Louise de Marillac he established the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity to care for young girls, for the needy, sick, and orphans.
His motto: "God sees you."
He died at St. Lazarus's which was the centre of his Congregation. Leo XIII proclaimed him special patron of charitable institutions.
Patron: charitable societies; horses; hospitals; leprosy; lost articles; prisoners; volunteers; spiritual help; Saint Vincent de Paul Societies; Vincentian Service Corps; Madagascar; diocese of Richmond, Virginia.
In Ireland the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is the largest, voluntary, charitable
organisation. Its membership of 10,500 volunteers throughout the country are supported by professional staff, working for social justice and the creation of a more just, caring nation. This unique network of social concern also gives practical support to those experiencing
poverty and social exclusion, by providing a wide range of services to people in need.
Dublin's first Youth Conference of the Holy Ghost was established in Blackrock College in 1900. It was not for secondary school students but for those preparing for university examinations. During a coal strike in Britain in 1926 which affected the supply of coal to Ireland and because of coal being essential to what were regarded as "poor families" by the civic authorities of the time, the SVP was asked to undertake the sale of coal at fixed prices.
The Society then organised all its members in Dublin in dealing with the coal emergency and paid for 1,500 bags of coal which it organised to be distributed free to those in great need. SVP members then visited the houses of the working people in their localities and distributed 8,000 vouchers that enabled families to buy a bag of coal for 3s.6d. Electricity and gas were unknown in the tenements of the time in Dublin. The Society also set up a 'coal fund' through which people could pay a few pence a week towards the cost of fuel for Christmas.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVP) is a direct service non-profit organisation whose work primarily
involves person-to-person contact with people who have a variety of needs. In addition to direct assistance, they try to promote self-sufficiency, enabling people to help themselves. Any assistance offered by the Society is given in a non-judgemental spirit of compassion, based on the need of the individual or family.
St. Vincent de Paul act as a short-term safety net for those who fall outside the care of the Welfare State or need emergency financial support. They try to embrace those who are marginalised by helping them to rekindle their self-respect and sense of worth. The Charity's Mission is also to rectify the causes of poverty which perpetuate the problems faced by those they work with. Since the beginning of the recession the calls SVP have doubled.
The Local SVP office is:
SVP North East Regional Office, 53/54 Trinity Street, Drogheda, Co Louth
Telephone 041 9873331/ 1800677777
"Let us love God; but at the price of our hands and sweat of our face."

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Growing in prayer
We connect to each other at different levels. How we do that through words is one thing, but that isn’t the only way or often even the most important way. We talk and have conversations, but what’s really important is mostly growing under the surface. We have ordinary conversations about trivialities and then one day we realise that we love or hate each other, that we’re fast friends or have nothing in common.
Ordinary chit-chat is not the stuff of intimacy but regular contact is because, as the chit-chat is going on, something deeper is happening under the surface.
This is also true of our prayer-lives and our relationship with God. If we make a commitment to sit in private prayer every day we will feel a deep movement towards God. A bond and an intimacy with God is taking place and it grows through regular contact.
Jesus said;
Make your home in me, As I make mine in You”              
John 15.4

When Words Fail
Some time ago in an interview in ‘The Irish Catholic’ singer and composer Fr Liam Lawton says;
“When people come into a sacred space they want to be touched with something that is beautiful. The world is so busy and noisy. I think we need silence and out of this silence comes music, which leads to prayer which leads to silence and back to music again. In the modern world there is a great search for beauty because there is so much banality around and cheapening of life as well. We need to rediscover that beauty and indeed, Divine Beauty. Channelling resources into art helps enhance peoples’ lives. As liturgical music is important for the worship of God, so too is sacred music which helps the soul to be quiet and that is the type of music that I am now moving into”. “It is also important,” he says, “to reach out to the people who are not churchgoers and we are searching. There is huge interest out there and we need to do something for people like this and soon. Consciously being able to touch people when words have failed is very important”.

The following was found on an old woman’s side table after she died:
I would rather have one little rose
From the garden of a friend,
Than to have the choicest flowers
When my day on earth must end.
I would rather have one pleasant word
In kindness said to me,
Than flattery when my heart is still
And life has ceased to be.
I would rather have a loving smile
From friends I know are true,
Than tears shed round my casket
When this world I’ve bid adieu.
Bring me all your flowers today,
Whether pink or white or red:
I’d rather have one blossom now
Than a truck-load when I’m dead.
The Gate of Heaven
Over the massive front doors of a church, these words were inscribed: “The Gate of Heaven”. Below that was a small cardboard sign which read: “Please use other entrance.

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

A weekend to remember.
The Harvest Festival in Sheelin Park comprising of Country Market, tea and refreshments, demonstrations, competitions, auction of items handed in, Family Fun on the pitch etc.etc. Harvest Mass of Thanksgiving. Barn Dance, BBQ, spot prizes in Buddy’s. Four County Vintage Tractor Run supported by Honda Run, food and refreshments for participants, spot prizes, BBQ, Live Music etc., at Fitzsimons.
It was a weekend of friendship and togetherness, gentleness and goodness.
We were put in touch with that great spirit of warmth and cooperation and generosity which is so much part of our parish and wider community. It is good to see it preserved and nurtured and, please God, it will continue to flourish for generations to come. It was good too to see the children enjoying themselves. We mutually enrich each other.
The returns for all the events of Saturday and Sunday amounted to € 10,160. It is a very substantial contribution towards paying off what is owed for the renovation of Carrick and Ballynarry Churches. It is the collective achievement of many many people who tirelessly gave of their time, expertise and generosity. We are grateful to the G.A.A. for making Sheelin Park available and to all who worked so hard to make the weekend so memorable and so successful. The members of the Parish Pastoral Council and Fr Frank would like to say a sincere ‘THANK YOU’ to everyone.
Go mbeirimid beo ag an am seo arís
Our Lady of Sorrows (Sept 15)
As Mary stood at the foot of the Cross on which Jesus hung, the sword of sorrow Simeon had foretold pierced her soul. Below are the seven sorrows of Mary:
1. The prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:25-35)
2. The flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15)
3. Loss of the Child Jesus for three days (Luke 2:41-50)
4. Mary meets Jesus on his way to Calvary (Luke 23:27-31; John 19:17)
5. Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:25-30)
6. The body of Jesus being taken from the Cross (Psalm 130; Luke 23:50-54; John 19:31-37) 
7. The burial of Jesus (Isaiah 53:8; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42; Mark 15:40-47)
Ember Days
The September Ember Days were particularly focused on the end of the harvest season and thanksgiving to God for the season. Ember Days were three days (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) set aside by the Church for prayer, fasting and almsgiving at the beginning of each of the four seasons of the year. The ember days fell after December 13, the feast of St. Lucy (winter), after the First Sunday of Lent (spring), after Pentecost Sunday (summer), and after September 14 , the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (fall). These weeks were known as the quattor tempora, the "four seasons."
Remember that God is never “too busy” to hear from you. Don’t be “too busy” for him! There are some daily prayers such as the Our Father and the Rosary that take only minutes to say, yet their benefits can last a lifetime!
Prayers can do wonders for your soul. God gives us joy and strength though prayer. You can get a great sense of peace in good times and consolation in bad from them. Our Lord wants to give us the good things we ask for in accordance with His will. The more we pray the more we can grow in His grace.
All we need to know
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The child is father of the man.
(William Wordsworth)
It is in the world of childhood that the secret of life lies. We recall what we were told:
Share everything.
Play fair.
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Say your prayers.
Its about simple truth and everyday living. Everything we need to know is in there somewhere.
In times of doubt and uncertainty
Be patient to all that is unsolved in your heart...
Try to love the questions themselves...
Do not now seek the answers,
Which cannot be given because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is to live everything.
Live the question now.
Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it,
Live along some distant day into the answers.
(Rainer Maria Rilke)

22 nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

The month of September is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows whose memorial the Church celebrates on September 15.
This devotion, instituted in the course of the thirteenth century, honours the Sorrows endured by the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is recited on a Rosary
comprised of seven decades containing seven beads in each decade. Each decade of seven is divided from the rest by medals representing the seven principal sorrows of Her life.
The chaplet is said by offering a Hail Mary on each of the beads, with an Our Father each seven Hail Mary's. Completion of the chaplet requires three Hail Mary's at the end in honour of the sorrowful tears of Our Lady.
First Sorrow: Reflect on the sorrow of Our Blessed Lady, when She presented Her Divine Child in the Temple and heard from the aged Simeon that a sword of grief would pierce Her soul.
Second Sorrow: Reflect on Her sorrow when, to escape the cruelty of King Herod, She was forced to fly into Egypt with St. Joseph and Her Beloved Child. Pray for those who kill children today by abortion.
Third Sorrow: Reflect on Her grief when, in returning from Jerusalem, She found that She had lost Her dear Jesus, Whom She sought for three days.
Fourth Sorrow: Reflect on Her meeting Her divine Son, all bruised and bleeding, carrying His Cross to Calvary, and seeing Him fall under its heavy weight.
Fifth Sorrow: Reflect on Her standing by, when Her Divine Son was lifted up on the Cross and the blood flowed in streams from His Sacred Wounds.
Six Sorrow: Reflect on Her sorrow, when Her Divine son was taken down from the Cross, and placed in Her arms.
Seven Sorrow: Reflect on Her following His Sacred Body as it was borne by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus to the sepulchre.

Back to School
The holidays are almost over and it’s back again to school.
At the beginning of this school year we wish parents, teachers and pupils a happy and a successful year. We ask God to bless them and all those who work at keeping our schools running smoothly and looking well. As well as those going to national school, we Prayerfully remember all those who are beginning secondary school or going to third level institutions, an apprenticeship etc. So, as we all begin a new, may our undertakings be guided by God’s inspiration and grow with his help.
For twenty centuries now, people have been called to devote their lives to Jesus, and to serving his people with undivided hearts. Christian communities have always needed leaders who would speak God’s Word to them, who would celebrate His presence with them in the Eucharist and the other sacraments, and who would be living signs of his love, especially for the poor or those in difficulty of any kind.
“If Jesus calls you, do not be afraid to respond to him with generosity. Trust in Him and you will not be disappointed.”
Pope Benedict XVI
Reflection of a Parent
I gave you life,
But cannot live it for you.
I gave you direction
But I cannot be there to lead you.
I can take you to Church,
But I cannot make you believe.
I can teach you right from wrong,
But I cannot always decide for you.
I can buy you beautiful clothes,
But I cannot make you beautiful inside.
I can offer you advice,
But cannot accept it for you.
I can give you love,
But I cannot force it upon you.
I can teach you to share,
But I cannot make you unselfish.
I can teach you respect,
But I cannot force you to show honour.
I can advice you about friends,
But I cannot choose them for you.
I can advise you about sex,
But I cannot keep you pure.
I can tell you about alcohol and drugs,
But I can’t say “No” for you.
I can tell you about lofty goals,
But I can’t achieve them for you.
I can teach you about kindness,
But I can’t force you to be gracious.
I can pray for you,
But I cannot make you walk with God.
I can tell you to live,
But I cannot give you eternal life.
I can love you with unconditional love all of my life
.................................. And I will.