2018 was a very busy year in our parish and community. The parish team, parish groups and parish ministries work together in our parish ensuring a welcoming, caring and prayerful environment. Just some of the events arranged by the parish and different parish groups are as follows: Our Lady Crowned welcomed Fr. Laurence Freeman on Aug. 23rd. Fr. Laurence gave a wonderful reflection and prayerful meditation in the church on that evening. Approximately 500 people attended this very successful event. The church was again full to capacity on Sun. Oct 14th for a memorable Finbar Wright Concert. The proceeds of the concert which reached €15,000 went to the provision of supports for the newly established ASD class for children with autism in Scoil Mhuire agus Eoin. Our parish was well represented at the Papal Mass in the Phoenix Park in late August. The Mayfield bus was full to capacity and everyone enjoyed an historic event. While it was a very long day, everything went on schedule and people were delighted with their pilgrimage. A pilgrimage from Our Lady Crowned and surrounding parishes is planned to go to Loudres from Jun. 10th-15th 2019 with Fr. Michael. Details of this pilgrimage will be provided very soon. All bookings etc will be arranged through the Office of JWT Travel in Patrick St. Thanks to the Parish Finance Committee for their great work caring for the maintenance and upkeep of our church. Scoil Mhuire agus Eoin was officially opened in May 2018. The new school continues to expand rapidly serving our parish and community. Enrollments are very strong for 2019 and beyond. Refurbishment works on St. Killian’s School (previously St. John’s) was completed in August and the school opened smoothly on the 31st August. A further phase of refurbishment is due for completion soon. Additional ministers of the Word and Eucharist completed their preparations during the autumn and were commissioned in November. Our Lady Crowned Parish continues to work with St. Patrick’s/Holy Family and St. Joseph’s parishes in a very strong and successful pastoral area. We wish Canon Dan Crowley the very best as he continues to recover from illness. These are just some of the events along with the celebration of the sacraments of Confession, First Holy Communion and Confirmation for the children of the area. The church continues to be a special place of celebration and consolation with many christenings, weddings and funeral ceremonies. May Mary, Our Lady Crowned and our patron continue to bless us and we rely on her help and blessing in 2019 as our parish develops and grows. Our Lady Crowned, pray for
The words of the first reading on Tuesday, New Year’s Day are beautiful: ‘May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord let his face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace.’ These are beautiful words from the scriptures and a most prayerful blessing with good wishes to all in our parish and community. Also, New Year greetings to all family members in different parts of the world. May they be blessed with the care and protection of Mary the Mother of God on this, her feast day. Please God, we can all make a fresh start to face our many challenges with faith and courage in 2019.
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.
While Advent has been very short this year, the ‘run-up’ to Christmas has been very long. Many people remark that they are worn from preparations and all the expectations associated with Christmas. People are expected to be in so many places, to attend numerous events and fearful that they may forget someone in their greetings and gifting. It has now reached such a stage that people nostalgically yearn for a less complicated time when the ‘run-up’ was shorter and Advent had a real purpose of creating anticipation and no little excitement. Indeed the deepest and greatest expectation is waiting for the golden moment on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning when we look on the infant Jesus at the centre of our beautiful church crib. It is a real expectation because it matters to our own lives and that of our families. Please God, our hearts can jump a little beat when we see that the promise of the newborn infant is real and makes a difference. If this year, your heart is broken or sad, if you are lonely for someone away from your table, if a relationship has deteriorated or broken down, then look on the newborn infant and see our hope and our future. May you all have a blessed and holy Christmas and may you not be disappointed in your hope and expectations of a new beginning and better days ahead
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.