Well done to all those who were honoured at the Mayfield Community Volunteer Awards held in the Silversprings Clayton Hotel on Thurs. Apr. 6th. A deep sense of community and volunteerism was evident at the awards ceremony and is mirrored day after day in numerous community, sporting and parish groups in the wider Mayfield area. Our Lady Crowned parish is truly blessed with loyal volunteers who give of themselves, their faith, their time and talents in so many ways. All our volunteers make our parish and community a special place. They knit our parish and community together with the fabric of their faith and generosity. May God bless all our volunteers in their loyalty, goodness and generosity.
Many really look forward to Holy Week ceremonies in our church and parish. Unlike Christmas, when so many things must be done, Holy Week is much calmer and more prayerful. The ceremonies are powerful and beautiful. There is a beautiful rhythm and movement to the different liturgies. The Stations of the Cross on Good Friday can touch our hearts and lives. The joy of resurrection is dramatic on Holy Saturday night. We often say that we would like to have some time space for ourselves. Why not take that opportunity this year and enter into the special atmosphere in our church. Make Holy Week 2017 your special time and join in our ceremonies this week.
This Friday, Mar. 3rd is a Day of Prayer for survivors and victims of clerical sexual abuse, in Ireland and around the world, as requested by Pope Francis. This Day of Prayer takes place in Ireland and more information can be found here: www.catholicbishops.ie. During the month of March, representatives from a support service for survivors called Towards Peace, will be present and speaking at Masses here in Cork and Ross. They look forward to speaking with us in Mayfield next weekend, the 11/12th March. Here is more information about Towards Peace: Towards Peace is a new spiritual support service designed for those who have experienced sexual, physical, emotional or spiritual abuse by Catholic Church personnel in Ireland. Support is also available for family members of abuse survivors. The vision of Towards Peace is to provide a safe supportive space, where people who have been affected by abuse in a Church context can be accompanied as they seek their own experience of spiritual peace, one step at a time. Towards Peace provides spiritual support through one-to-one spiritual direction sessions, with a qualified spiritual companion. Up to nine sessions are offered and there is no cost. For more information, please visit www.towardspeace.ie, phone 01 505 3028 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
We have another great gospel reading this weekend i.e. the healing of the man born blind. As always, the gospel is more than just a simple story about a miracle and more about faith and belief at a different level. Equally, the gospel account on last weekend was more than just about providing water for Jesus to drink and more about bringing the Samaritan woman to faith and belief. In fact, at the end of John’s gospel, it says that these things are recorded so that ‘you may believe’. That is you and I this weekend and every other day as well. The spittle placed in the eyes of the man born blind is messy in much the same way that our own lives, worries and troubles are also messy. However, it is through this discomfort and mess that the man comes to faith and belief. At the very end, he says, ‘Lord, I believe’. This weekend, as we come to Mass, you might be in a big mess and yet it is that which can bring us to belief and faith. Faith and belief is not a theory but very real. Please God, you can take these gospel stories and passages into your hearts and lives and trust that Jesus will bring us to faith in Him.
Lent 2017 begins on this coming this Wed. Mar. 1st. In recent days and weeks, many people have been preparing their gardens and planting for the spring. Please God, this work will flourish for Easter and later in the year. Growth is slow initially, but then flourishes with warmer temperatures in spring and early summer. Hopefully we can see the same pattern of change and growth for ourselves. Growth does come even if it seems impossible at first. Lent is a time of change and growth which too, seems impossible at first but it does happen. It is a time for us to turn our hearts and minds to God as a loving and merciful Father. Please God, many of us will receive ashes on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday. We want to receive the ashes and we all want to do our best. Think about what you can do this Lent, what sacrifice can you make to help us along. Think about it before Ash Wednesday and be ready to make Lent 2017 important for you and your family.