The Feast of Christ the King gives us an opportunity to lay aside a lot of cultural baggage we may have about kings, leaders and kingdoms. Jesus’ kingdom is unlike the one that Pilate, or many other earthly leaders know. It is a kingdom built on love, service, justice, reconciliation and peace. Few ‘kings’ can measure up to this: responding to violence with forgiveness, giving those with no hope a reason to hope, putting the crisis of the world before financial gain or power. Who do you know in our world today who is the more living example of this type of kingship, making daily sacrifices in endless service to those around them?

© Jane Mellett, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Intercom Magazine, Veritas Ireland.

We are reading the final chapters of Luke’s Gospel for Year C. Jesus is in Jerusalem and the passages we hear are talking about end times. The people gathered are obviously excited, having seen how magnificent the Temple is, but the time for excitement might not be just yet. Jesus reminds them, and us, that these things are short-lived and we should not be too bothered about ‘fine stonework’ and ‘votive offerings.’ These things do not last.

At some point, we have all seen and heard someone shouting on the street or on the internet about the end of the world. You’d be forgiven for thinking that today’s Gospel is trying to achieve the same thing. Jesus tries to comfort the people regarding various crises that will happen; the call is to take a broader perspective, to look at the bigger picture. Endurance is the message of today’s gospel. The people of Jerusalem will witness the destruction of the Temple, the disciples will face persecution. He warns that for people of faith, there are tough times ahead. Whatever crisis may come, Jesus is asking people to keep going, to stay focused and not be afraid. Michel de Verteuil once wrote: ‘Lord, when we are young we think that we become great through our achievements. Life has taught us the truth of Jesus’ words: it is by endurance that we win our lives.’

© Jane Mellett, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Intercom Magazine, Veritas Ireland.

In today’s Gospel Jesus comes into a room full of fear. Sometimes it is fear itself that makes us close the door on others and on God. Occasionally in life a person comes along with the gift of breaking through our closed doors, a person who comes to be with us in our fears. Pentecost is an invitation to acknowledge those who have come to us and stood with us in times of fear, those who have brought us peace in a time of anxiety.  Likewise Jesus showed his wounds to his friends. Moments of grace can occur when another person shows us their vulnerable side, or when we do so with them. Sometimes our vulnerability and our own experience of brokenness opens us to others and to God and allows the Spirit to breathe new life into our souls.                         © John Byrne OSA, Intercom Magazine, Veritas Ireland.

Last Sunday we felt deeply privileged to be part of the Bi-Centenary Celebrations in Shanbally Church where the community gathered to celebrate a wonderfully vibrant yet prayerful Mass of Thanksgiving and gathered afterwards for a reception in the grounds of Shanbally National School.  It was lovely to see so many old neighbours and friends catching up with one another and the afternoon was marked by a tangible sense of a community and goodwill.  It was lovely to see parishioners from Passage West and Monkstown join with the people of Ringaskiddy and Shanbally in celebrating their special day.  Thank you to everyone who played any part in making the day such a wonderful success. 

Olivia Walsh has uploaded a delightful short video of the celebrations on YouTube conveying a fabulous sense of the occasion.  Simply search ‘Shanbally Church Bi-Centenary 2019’ on YouTube. Copies of John Twomey’s fascinating booklet to mark the Bi-Centenary are available in Shanbally Church at a cost of €5 each and copies of Colman O’ Mahony’s thoroughly researched article on the history of the  Church are also available free in Shanbally Church and from the Parish Office. Congratulations again to everyone involved.                  Fr John, Fr Con & Fr Seán

Congratulations to the children from Shanbally NS who celebrated their First Holy Communion in a beautiful ceremony on Saturday morning.  We look forward to our final First Holy Communion Ceremony for this year when we welcome the children of Ringaskiddy LHNS to The Oratory in Ringaskiddy to celebrate their special day next Saturday 25th May 2019.  All the children, their teachers and class assistants deserve great praise for all their hard work in preparation for this special moment.

Most of us who are a little bit older can probably agree on two things in respect of exams, especially our own experience of the Leaving Cert.  For many of us it was an incredibly anxious and tense time, a time of pressure and uncertainty. The weeks building up to it, waiting for it all to begin, were often the most difficult.  But we also know that there is life after the Leaving Cert.  Our results may have shaped our choices for our next step in life but the Leaving Cert did not define us nor did it determine who we were to become in life.  That depends on us!

With all this in mind the Parish Assembly have organised an evening of Taize Prayer in Ringaskiddy Oratory next Thursday evening, 30th May 2019, at 7.30 p.m. that will be offered for all those in our communities and in our families facing exams over the coming month.  Taize Prayer is a form of quiet prayer, popular amongst young people throughout the world, consisting of moments of quiet reflection interspersed with short scripture readings and distinctive meditative Taize chant with its soothing repetitive rhythm.  Come and join us on Thursday evening as we pray with and for young people who will remain in our thoughts and prayers over the coming weeks.                                                                   The Parish Assembly

Next Sunday marks a historic day for our parish as we celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Shanbally with a Concelebrated Mass led by Bishop Buckley. It ought to mark a special moment not just for parishioners from Shanbally but for all of us who are part of the Harbour Parishes.  When Shanbally Church was built back in 1819 Shanbally, Ringaskiddy and Monkstown were all part of Passage West Parish.  It was only after the Church of the Sacred Hearts in Monkstown was built in 1871 that the communities of Monkstown, Shanbally and Ringaskiddy became a parish in their own right.  When the parishes were amalgamated as the Harbour Parishes in 2005 it was very much returning to its original configuration that acknowledges and celebrates the close bonds and associations between all the communities here in the Harbour. So please don’t think that the celebration next Sunday is only for the people of Shanbally and Ringaskiddy.  Obviously the celebration will have a special resonance for those most closely associated with the Church, parishioners and families who have celebrated the sacraments there and being part of its prayer life, but the celebration is for the entire parish and all who wish to join us are welcome to do so.  We invite you to be part of our anniversary celebrations in Shanbally next Sunday. 

If anyone would like to contribute baking or cakes for the Community Gathering please drop them into the marquee in Shanbally School between 12.30 and 2.00 p.m.  Thank you for your kindness and support.                                            Fr Seán

The first council of the church in Jerusalem that we read about in today’s first reading had enormous implications for the history of the world, far beyond what the participants could have imagined. They were not surrounded by the pomp and splendour of the Second Vatican Council, nor did they have the attention of the world’s media analysing every move. Rather that small group had to proceed believing that, despite the differences and the difficulties involved in reconciling them, the Holy Spirit would guide them on the right path.  So it is with the church today. Doubtless there are difficult days ahead and hard decisions to be made, but as people of faith we step forward trusting that God will bring about the changes in us which will make us more perfectly the People of God in The Church.

© Seán Goan, Let the Reader Understand  www.columba.ie

Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Shanbally

Bi-Centenary Mass

3.00 p.m.

Sunday 26th May 2019

Principal Celebrant:  Bishop John Buckley

Followed by a Community Gathering and Refreshments in the grounds of Shanbally National School. All are welcome.