Harbour Parish Currents
PARISH NEWS & EVENTS
Parish News and Updates
Provisional Confirmation and First Holy Communion dates set.
Star of the Sea NS, Passage West
Confirmations Rearranged date to be confirmed.
First Holy Communions Saturday 4th September
Scoil Barra Naofa, Monkstown
Confirmations Friday 27th August
Friday 10th September
First Holy Communions Saturday 25th September
St Mary’s School, Rochestown
Confirmations Friday 17th September
First Holy Communions Saturday 18th September
First Holy Communions Saturday 25th September
All dates are subject to public health advice permitting such ceremonies at that time.
Update on the impact of lockdown on parish finances.
Not being able to gather in person to celebrate Sunday Mass for much of the past year has been difficult and challenging for all of us. We are delighted to be able to gather once more in person for Mass and we look forward to when it is safe for us to all gather in prayer. As you can imagine, lockdown has had a major impact on our parish finances. Our Sunday Collection has traditionally constituted our principal source of income. Whilst many parishioners continued to support us regularly during lockdown, be it through the use of their Sunday Offering Envelope, or donating online using the Donate Button on our parish website, or by forwarding on personal contributions to the parish, our parish income has, like most parishes and many other community organisations, plummeted. This week we have published our Income and Expenditure accounts for 2020, prepared by PF Lynch Accountants, on our parish website and we invite those who are interested to study same. Click here for the Parish Finances page for the full details.
When we compare our 2020 income to that of 2019, the scale of the drop becomes apparent. Our parish income from collections, donations and contributions from parishioners dropped from €56,272 to €34,347 in Passage West Parish and €81,043 in 2019 to €50,775 in Monkstown Parish [which includes Shanbally and Ringaskiddy]. Where possible we have tried to reduce our day-to-day expenditure as much as possible to offset our reduced income but it still leaves the parish facing a significant financial challenge over the coming months and years.
As you know, in recent years we have invested in a number of capital projects and maintenance works to enhance the facilities available in our various Churches. Whilst parishioners’ generous response to fundraising drives have helped to meet some of the costs incurred, the remainder of the costs has been met from general parish funds. Thankfully we are coming to the end of these capital improvements, and we hope that the works that have been undertaken have indeed enriched the life of our parish and the services we can provide. This note is not about us playing the ‘beál bocht’ or ‘the poor mouth’. We simply believe that parishioners ought to be informed of the state of our parish finances as this is your parish and the parish finances are money you and your families have contributed to our parish over the years. We appeal to you to continue to be generous in supporting your parish so that together we can continue to serve the needs of our community. More information on our finances and the different ways you can contribute to the parish are available on our parish website. If you would like to talk about any aspect of our parish accounts please feel free to contact me at any stage. Thank you for your continued support. May God bless you all for your continued generosity. Fr Seán.
Picnic in the Park - Passage West
A Time for Music, A Time to Reconnect.
During July and August a 'Picnic In the Park' initiative in Passage West is being organised by local volunteers in conjunction with our Parish Assembly. The events are FREE and community focused and will encourage people to gather safely once again, to enjoy some live music and songs of old, a picnic and hopefully glorious Sunday afternoons throughout the summer. Young and old and family groups will be welcome - with specific dates for Songs from Disney, Songs from the Movies and Musicals, Irish Singers and Songwriters and much more! Our first date is the 11th of July when we welcome Ryan Morgan, Dan Twomey and Louise O’Sullivan who will treat the gathering to Songs from Movies and Musicals! Pull up a deck chair, throw down a blanket and join us at 3pm on July 4th down beside the Park in Passage West. We look forward to seeing you then! Tickets are free but limited by both space and Covid restrictions so if you or someone you know would like to go, ring Louise on 086 1748649 or Mary on 086 8356869 or email Tickets will be strictly on a first come first served basis. Please note that leaving a voicemail does not guarantee tickets. While we will try to return all calls, if you have not heard back from us, please call again or email us. We will confirm all reservations by phone or by email. The concerts are subject to Covid Restrictions. Click here for the full list of concerts in July.
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.
Monkstown Church development works continue
If you have visited Monkstown Church in recent weeks, you will notice that work has resumed on completing the new building in the area which previously housed an old garage and out-building. This new structure will at long last provide much needed access-for-all toilet facilities for those using our Church as well as incorporating the existing boiler house, a storage room and an area that can be used as a small meeting room or developed as a Parish Office depending on the needs of the parish. The works are well advanced, and we hope that the facility will be available for use from July onwards. We believe that the project, particularly the provision of toilet facilities, is an important and much needed addition to our Church.
We have also secured permission from the local authority to carry out stabilisation works on the retaining wall that runs the length of the Church and which has been closed off for many years and has had such a negative impact on the appearance of our Church. The stabilisation works will consist of a process known as ‘soil-nailing’ which will be carried out by a specialist contractor and the soil underpinning the wall will also be protected using sprayed concrete to prevent erosion and deterioration. Once these works are completed, we will once more be able to open up this side of the Church to pedestrians and hopefully make it a space where people can freely gather and chat after Mass. Once this project is complete, the last step in the proposed improvements will be to renew the tarmacadam in the Churchyard in those areas where it has become degraded in recent years. Hopefully, all of these works will help restore our Church to a beautiful safe and sacred space. We can then gather together as a community to celebrate Mass and special family occasions such as weddings, baptisms, funerals, and community celebrations like our First Holy Communions and Confirmations. The 150th Anniversary of our beautiful Church can be celebrated when restrictions are lifted.
Obviously, these renovation projects involve a considerable investment on the part of the parish and we will launch a fundraising drive in the coming weeks and months to help meet the outstanding costs. We trust that you will support us in that fundraising drive so that our Church can continue to serve our community for many years to come. We will have more details on how people can be part of our fundraising drive in the coming weeks as restrictions on meetings and gatherings are hopefully eased. For now, we simply wanted to keep you up to date on our plans as we look forward to a time, hopefully not too long from now, when we can all gather to enjoy our beautiful Church together once more.