peterjohn16th Sunday of Easter

I read during the week that a motto of the Benedictine order is:

        Always we begin again

It reminds us of the often quoted lines from Brendan Kennelly:

Every beginning is a promise,                                   
born in light and dying in dark                     
determination and exaltation of springtime        
flowering the way to work . . . . 
Though we live in a world that dreams of ending
that always seems about to give in                           
something that will not acknowledge conclusion
insists that we forever begin.

Though we are well into our response to the Covid 19 pandemic, we have to begin each day to be vigilant, for our own protection and that of others. Thank you for all your continued efforts, and good wishes to those on their way back to work during the coming week. 

The country’s archbishops have begun contact with the Government about beginning worship again in our churches but, if you follow guidelines from Italy and America, the experience will be different from what we’re used to. I will be doing some work on what seats may be used in the churches, but they are only guidelines, until we get specific instructions later in the Summer. Leaflets will need to be removed, as germs can rest on them. The churches remain open for private prayer, but please use the hand gel and wipes provided for your own safety and the safety of others.

We think of those who have died recently. Bereavement is never easy, but, during the pandemic, restrictions on visiting the dying, gatherings and the number attending funerals, make it even more difficult. Thanks to all adhering to the Government guidelines, and to those going the extra step to support creatively the bereaved, using the different forms of media. We think, too, of Leaving Cert students whose exams have been disrupted. We ask for wisdom and patience for all involved.

Thoughts, too, for our 1st Communion classes whose big day has been postponed. The boys and girls from Rathkenny NS were to receive their 1st Communion this weekend, and the boys and girls from Stackallen NS, next weekend. You will have to wait a while longer to receive Communion, but you know that you are very special to Jesus, to your families and to this community. Please mark the day at home with your family, following the HSE guidelines. We are all united in waiting to receive Jesus again, as we are all united in the love we share as family and friends, even those socially distant from us just now. Thanks to teachers, working quietly, and supporting your learning.

As we head into a new week of restrictions, we seek a new awareness and determination to beat this pandemic. We wish success for the beginning of the easing of restrictions, and commit to cooperate as best we can. We appreciate those who have been working for our safety and service during these last weeks.

' . . . To be a hero for a moment, for an hour, is easier than to bear the heroism of everyday life. Accept life as it is - grey and monotonous, that activity for which no one praises you, that heroism that no one notes, which draws no attention to yourself. The one who bears the colourless challenge of life and still remains human is indeed a hero.'     Fyodor  Dostoevsky

                                                                                                                                                           Fr Gerry