What in this weeks newsletter?
- We say farewell to the Sisters of Charity
- Resources for schools
- Alpha programme
- Recent deaths and anniversaries in our parish
- Prayer for vocations
Interested in exploring the deeper meaning of life?’
– try Alpha Online starting Monday the 11th of January from 7 30- 9 pm The course runs for 11 weeks on Monday nights with an additional 12th session
To enrol please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Parish office in Holy Cross Church 051-386477
Prayer for Vocations
That all Catholics will recognize their responsibility to discover their vocation in Christ and follow Him, especially those chosen for the special calling to the priesthood or consecrated life, we pray to the Lord.
“Behold the Lamb of God.”
Could it be that you are being called to be a shepherd for the Lord as a priest, a deacon or in the consecrated life? Speak to your local priest or your Diocesan Vocation’s Director, or email the National Vocations Office on email@example.com
Resources and Prayers for Schools
‘Grow in Love’ at a glance – January 2021 edition
Sr. Antoinette Dilworth rsj has been busy preparing and sending out resources to schools during this difficult time and uncertainty for teachers and pupils. These resources are designed to help pupils pray and keep focused.
The Parish office is closed to the public due to Government Covid 19 restrictions but you may ring the office between 9.30 am-1pm Monday to Friday for any inquiries. Contact : 051-386477
Mass Booking for the months of April, May & June have not opened due to the lockdown.
No booking will take place until further notice and when the restrictions are lifted.
Please remember those who died recently; James Kennedy (Kilbride)
We remember the months mind for Vina Lyons, Maura Lehane
We pray for Paddy Talty, Michael & Eileen O’Riordan, Mike & Johanna Smith, Margaret Walsh (1st Anniversary),Jim Cowman, Tommy & Tessie Power, Kitty O’Rourke, Maura Power née Hayes, Tom & Kitty Whittle, Seamus O’Shea, Eddie & Catherine Mooney, John O’Brien, James Walsh, Hannah O’Shea whose anniversaries occur about this time.
Farewell to the Sisters of Charity
Last week we formally bade farewell to the Sisters of Charity, who have lived and served among the people of Tramore since 1866. Bishop Cullinan celebrated Mass on Friday 8th January, which had the departing sisters in attendance and was watched on live-streaming by many in Tramore and beyond. In the Mass, Bishop Cullinan gave thanks for the immense contribution by the sisters to the parish of Tramore, and excerpts of his homily are given below. The second part of his homily will follow next week.
We have come to express our gratitude to the Sisters for what they have done and recount “the gracious deeds of the Lord” as we read from the prophet Isaiah in the first reading, for what they have meant to the people of Tramore since 1866 and to the people of this Diocese since 1842 where they started their work for the Lord in this part of the world in Lady Lane in the city of Waterford. Our celebration is tinged with sadness because we are saying farewell to the Sisters who were the very heartbeat of this community over all the years.
We are recounting the story of women with a vision. Taking their motto to heart and putting it into action – Caritas Christi urget nos – they set out on a mission “Committing your cause to the LORD”; as we pray in the psalm. They put everything on the line in their determination to make hope a concrete thing, to make the vision a reality. As the Sisters set foot here in this Diocese the great famine was not far off; just a few years. Their story here testifies to the way in which the Sisters worked and the sacrifices they made in caring for the sick and poor and the famine-stricken of the area. Inspired by God’s command to love our neighbour they worked and prayed, as St. Paul says in the reading from Ephesians just read,
“according to the abundance of his steadfast love.”
As the Sisters leave us I wonder if we are not experiencing another type of famine – a more subtle one but nonetheless a famine in our society and our culture today. When the Sisters arrived here they set to work and valiantly tried to relieve the hardship of as many families as possible. They paid special attention to the visitation of the sick and the poor in their homes. The world in which they first worked in the Diocese is described so well in Chapter 10 of the wonderful history of our Diocese – The Faith Journey of the Déise People by Msgr. Michael Olden, to whom we send our greetings.
We hear so much today about evangelisation. The word itself is quite abstract and has perhaps lost the flavour of its Greek root – namely “good news”. The idea is captured in Luke’s Gospel “you are witnesses of these things” (Luke 24:48). What does it mean to be a witness? I am witness not simply if I see something, or know something. I am a witness only if I put into action what I know and have seen. This is what the Sisters have been doing throughout all those years, calling on God to bless their work as we pray in the psalm:
To you they cried, and were saved;
in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.
I am reminded of the first letter of St. John which we are following in the readings for Mass in these days after Christmas. St. John writes:
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life – the life which was made manifest, we saw it and we testify to it, and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us – that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you”. (1 John 1:1-3).
Being a witness is to put flesh on those words by putting them into action. The Sisters have testified to all outside of their walls to what they have seen and heard and touched. They have moved hearts because being in contact with the Lord, they have been fired by his presence and have experienced his presence in themselves, and in the Eucharist which is central to their lives. For over a century and a half the people of this town have been moved by their faith.
Education has been synonymous with the Sisters of charity as well as healthcare. Their contribution in this is monumental and something which those who speak and write about education and healthcare today might well research if they wish to get an informed view. Generations of children of the Tramore area received an education which enabled them to take their place in societies here in Ireland or across the world. Here they became convinced of the value of education, developed skills and acquired family values which would enable them to become mothers and fathers of tomorrow, responsible for building the society of the future. This was all part of the outlook of the Sisters and their ministry.
The Sisters who responded to the challenge were big-hearted indeed. They confronted the harsh world and they did so with the physical, intellectual and above all spiritual tenacity which produced results. The price was one which they paid in terms of hard work and endless worry. And so the cross was there too and the cross is part of your coat of arms chosen by Mary Aikenhead. They worked quietly. How apt the Gospel for today, where these words of Jesus are recorded:“I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to mere children.”
Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan
January 8th 2021