Dear Father, two thousand years ago, you brought your son, Jesus into this world to teach us the power of love and sacrifice. As we raise this tree, we remember His birth and the meaning of His life for us. Bless this tree as a symbol of our celebration of Jesus' birth and our gratitude for His sacrifice. May the light and joy which this tree brings soften the pain and sadness of those who have been bereaved by the sudden death or tragic suicide of a loved one. May the words spoken and the songs sung here break the silence of suicide and the heartbreak of the bereaved. We ask your blessings upon our loved ones, this Christmas and always. Amen.
This Sunday (Dec. 9th) is the Second Sunday of Advent. The second candle is lighting on the Advent Wreath and the circle of light is emerging. The figures of Mary and Joseph in the sanctuary edge closer to Bethlehem and the approaching Nativity. Hopefully we can all retain a sense of perspective that this is a spiritual time. It is great to hear the children preparing with hymns and carols in the schools. Certainly, parents and grandparents will be serenaded with carols as the children prepare for their school events and our Parish Carol service on this Sunday evening at 5pm. Please come along on this Sunday evening to listen to the choirs, the school groups and visiting artists. It will be a lovely evening beginning at 5pm. There is no charge and there will be a lovely sense of occasion. It will set the scene for the remaining days of Advent and give a good message of the central event of Christmas with the birth of Jesus.
It was with great sadness that we heard of the death of Fr. Pat O’Herlihy on last Wed. Nov. 14th. Fr. Pat died peacefully in the company of some family members and his Columban colleagues in Dalgan Park, outside Navan. Fr. Pat lived in Mayfield for 17 years and only moved to Dalgan Park earlier this year. Fr. Pat was born in Berrings in 1933 and commenced studies in Dalgan Park in 1952. He was ordained in 1958. He celebrated his diamond jubilee of ordination during the summer. Indeed, he celebrated his golden jubilee here in Our Lady Crowned in 2008. Fr. Pat served as a dedicated and conscientious missionary priest in the Phillipines for many years serving in different parishes. He also served as chaplain to the Irish communities in the United Kingdom from 1973-1979. Fr. Pat was always humble about his work as a missionary priest and never boasted in any way about the sacrifices he had made. However, he did often speak of his time serving on ‘Smokey Mountain’, where he worked in very difficult conditions to serve the poorest of people on that enormous rubbish tip in the Phillipines. In more recent years, when Fr. Pat arrived in Mayfield, he worked very hard to promote the work of the Columban Missionaries in the dioceses of Cork & Ross and Cloyne. He arranged many successful concerts in the City Hall and numerous other fundraising efforts. Fr. Pat was a true missionary and a dedicated priest. He was brave and courageous. He never shirked from hard work would do anything for people. He continued to serve as chaplain to the growing Filipino community in Cork and we extend our sympathies to members of the Filipino community in our own parish and beyond. May his gentle soul now rest in the peace of the Lord after his life’s work is truly he done
This weekend (Nov. 24th/25th), we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, the last Sunday in the church calendar before we begin the season of Advent. In our church the mosaic of Jesus on the cross with Mary and St. John on either side is central. This is where we see Jesus as king sitting on ‘His throne’ which is the Cross. He judges us but with mercy, love, humility and He takes the ‘last place’. We do not like to be judged but this is a different judgment and a different king. This weekend, we may have many difficulties and many worries. The last thing we might need is to feel judged harshly and to be ‘lorded over’ by a remote king. Jesus Christ on His throne, the cross, is completely different. We are raised up by Jesus as our King this weekend. Please God, you can experience the tender mercy and love of Jesus Christ this weekend and experience healing in your life and in your family
November is a very special time of the year when we remember and pray for all those who have died. Every year we may be adding a new name to our list of the faithful departed for our Novena. Each year, there are thousands of names on our lists here in Our Lady Crowned. Each single name is a full life of family, self-giving, trust, love and memories. It is not possible to articulate our sense of loss and change. The best way is to include them in our Novena, keeping all the deceased close to God in the Mass and close to us as pray for them. Please ensure to include all your names on the lists and envelopes provided at the back of the church and return them for the start of the Novena on Fri. Nov. 2nd.