Harbour Parish Currents
PARISH NEWS & EVENTS
Parish News and Updates
Sacramental celebrations bring joy to families
It was lovely to see the joy of local families in recent days as the past pupils of Star of the Sea NS celebrated their long-awaited Confirmation ceremony and the third-class pupils celebrated their First Holy Communion. We thank the children and their parents for their understanding and patience over recent months and we thank the staff of our schools for their dedication and support, without which these special celebrations would not have been possible. This week we look forward to celebrating the Confirmation of past and present pupils of Soil Barra Naofa and the First Holy Communion of the children in Shanbally NS. May they know God’s blessing now and always.
Cork & Ross Diocesan Priests’ Retreat
The priests of the diocese will gather for their Annual Diocesan Retreat in Garryvoe from Monday 11th October to Thursday 14th October 2021 which means that there will be no Masses in parishes during those days. The diocese is arranging cover with members of local religious orders for Funeral Masses during these days.
Vincent de Paul Collection next weekend
The Church Gate Collection in September for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul amounted to €1,371.70. The Society thanks you all for your generosity and looks forward to your continuing support at the next collections which will be held on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd October 2021.
Enthusiastic response to idea of a ‘living memorial’ for Fr Con
There was a very favourable response to the proposal to upgrade St Elizabeth’s Room in St Mary’s Church, Passage West as ‘a living memorial’ at the service of the community in honour of Fr Con. Local engineers and architects have kindly offered their services free of charge to carry out a structural assessment of the building and to complete the design phase. Once that first stage is complete, we hope that others will come on board to help in other aspects of the project such as labour, technical trades and fundraising. We will keep you posted as the project progresses. The Parish Assembly
Finding a fitting memorial for Con
Many people have asked what we might do to honour Con and ensure that his memory is enshrined here in our community? But how do you even begin to find a fitting tribute for a man like Con? He was not a man for monuments or plaques…. which he jokingly referred to as ‘dust-collectors’! Con would want any memorial to him to be a living tribute, something practical that not only honoured him but also served all the things that were dear to his heart …… hospitality, community, faith, friendship, caring for those who needed support, prayer and music.
One idea that has emerged, and which we discussed at our Parish Assembly meeting last week, was the idea of modernising St Elizabeth’s Meeting Room behind the Church in Passage West. Before Covid19 it was often used as a gathering place for a ‘cuppa’ after Mass during the week, a place of hospitality where friendships were forged and community celebrated. Indeed it was there that we celebrated Con’s 70th birthday after Mass one Saturday evening almost three years ago. Our Church choirs use it for rehearsals. Parish and prayer groups use it for meetings. Community groups and public agencies sometimes used it to provide outreach care services to our community.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could bring this room up to modern standards, while respecting its rich history, and dedicate it to Fr Con’s memory so that all those activities that were close to his heart could continue and be enriched. Some may say that it is an overly ambitious project, but Con was a big man with an even bigger heart and he always thought big! He was a firm believer in the goodness and generosity of people and was convinced that together we could achieve anything we set our minds to. As a first step we are seeking the kind assistance of an engineer or similar professional to assess the building and draw up a report on the scope and the nature of the works that would be required so that we have a better sense of what such a project would involve. If any engineer in our community, or connected to our community, is willing to offer their services, we would be very grateful. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org Working together let’s do something that Con would be proud of! Fr Seán.
Faith and Good Works
As we reflect on St James’ insistence that faith must be accompanied by good works in the Second Reading at Mass this weekend, we are delighted to report that we have forwarded €3,205.62 to Trócaire’s Lenten Campaign from our parish. Thank you to everyone who returned their Trócaire Lenten Boxes to the parish and to all those who forwarded their contributions directly to Trócaire. The monies raised will go to help Trócaire in their work for development and justice with some of the poorest communities in the world.
We also were delighted with the response to our ‘Give a vaccine, get a vaccine’ campaign that we launched in late July. Last week we forwarded €1,160 to support the UNICEF vaccination campaign which will allow 232 people in poorer parts of the world to be fully vaccinated. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the campaign. We are justifiably proud of our parishes’ rich tradition of solidarity with the needy of our world and we pray that our faith may continue to inspire us to reach out in love to our brothers and sisters throughout the world who need our support.
Important part of Passage West’s religious heritage preserved
Many people who grew up in Passage West have spoken to me over the years of their fond memories associated with the Convent of Mercy adjacent to St Mary’s Church. They spoke of May and Corpus Christi processions in generations past as well the tradition of First Holy Communion children getting ice-cream on their special day. Sadly, many of the buildings are now dilapidated and in need of redevelopment. We are delighted to report however that the three stained glass windows from the Convent Chapel, that were such an important feature of the convent, have been saved for posterity in recent months in the hopes that they can once more be restored to a suitable place of prominence in our community.
On behalf of our parish community, we would like to thank Barry and Trish Coleman of Clyda Eco Homes Ltd, who previously purchased the convent site, for generously agreeing to donate these historic windows to the parish. We would also like to thank John Daly for his expert advice and technical guidance as how to safely remove the windows and for helping us to secure the services of a specialist stained-glass contractor to carry out the works.
Our hope is that we will be able to carry out whatever restoration works are needed on the windows and then integrate them as a feature in the porch in St Mary’s Church so that future generations can continue to enjoy their beauty, their craftmanship and the rich heritage of faith that they express. In many ways it is a miracle that the windows have not been damaged or vandalised over the years and we are delighted to have at last been able to preserve them before anything happened to them. Whilst we prepare the next phase of the project and look at how it might be financed, we have placed the windows in safe storage but we hope that, in the coming year, they will once more become part of the life and heritage of our community. We will keep you informed of developments as they happen and look forward to your support.