The attendances at the blessing of graves in both Rathcooney and St. Catherine’s, Kilcully over the last two weekends have been enormous. People stand alone or in family groups to welcome the blessing and recite the prayers. Many other people visit at other times during November to remember and to pray. In our parish and in our area, there have been many bereavements during the past year and again in recent days. Many people have remarked that they found the parish bereavement Mass very comforting and are always amazed at the kindness and prayerful support of so many in their time of loss. Prayer and remembrance make us the people and the parish that we are and are hallmarks of a faith community. May God grant the eternal light of Heaven on all those who have died. May they rest in the peace of the Lord.
We have been blessed with beautiful weather over the past few weeks. Please God, the mild temperatures and mostly dry days will stay with us into the start of November. Otherwise, it can be a very dreary time of the year reflective of the liturgical time of remembrance. Another beautiful aspect of this autumn has been the beautiful autumnal colours and the leaves that still cling to the trees awaiting the first strong wind that will invariably come. Fallen leaves that often melt into the ground reflect the cycle of life and death. We are all comfortable with the life aspect of that cycle but find death so difficult and painful. As always, Jesus Christ brings us to places where He has already gone Himself. That is the hope of our Christian remembrance and Christian prayer. Beginning on this Wed. Nov. 2nd, we will remember and pray for those who have died with reverence and love. We remember as a Christian people reassured by a new and eternal life for those who have died and Christian hope for the bereaved. Death is not a distressing fracture but a continuity of life into eternal life. May all who have died rest in the peace of the Lord.
Remembering those who have died by suicide and the suicide bereaved after 7pm Mass on this Sat. Sept. 6th. There will be a brief prayer service and symbolic balloon release after mass. Please God our prayers, memories and gestures will ease the pain for many families who have been tragically bereaved. A Prayer for Suicide Bereaved Lord, You are the Saviour of those who trust in you. You are the God of the humble, The help of the oppressed, The support of the weak, The refuge of the forsaken, The saviour of the despairing. Please hear our prayer today. Good shepherd, lift our burden of isolation, Loneliness and depression. In our turmoil, pain and anguish let us know That we are loved and accepted by you. As the Good Shepherd you are searching for us To carry us in your arms. Jesus, our burden can never be too heavy for you; You carried the Cross of shame and humiliation Surround us with your protecting love And lead us to confide our pain to another. Amen.
There has been a lot of sadness in our parish and in our area in recent weeks. It has not been an easy time for bereaved families, community and particularly local school communities. However, incredible resilience and personal support has been evident and shared in so many ways. While words can be difficult to find, people find wonderful ways of supporting one another in thoughtfulness and kindness. People dig deep to find the human instinct to survive along with the precious gift of faith which sustains bereaved families, bewildered neighbours, friends and colleagues. May we all continue to put our trust in God and the irrepressible human instinct to survive helping one another to face loss and bereavement.
Everyone in the country was shocked by the family tragedy of murder/suicide in Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan. People have expressed bewilderment, incomprehension and are unable to find adequate words to respond. As a parish community, built on a shared faith in a loving and merciful God, we pray for the bereaved, the children in the affected schools, the parents and families of the children, the teachers and staff in both schools, the wider community and different sporting organizations. A deep silence has been the reported and understandable reaction in Co. Cavan and throughout the country. Parents, grandparents, teachers, community leaders have struggled to find words for questions posed by children. St. Paul teaches us in his letters that we will have the right words in the face of extreme difficulty. We take that promise on trust and keep those who have died and all the bereaved in our prayers this weekend. May the power of the merciful and loving Father gently guide and inspire those who are shocked, confused and uncertain of how to respond.