Blessing of Pets/Animals and Their Owners

Not to hurt our humble brethren (the animals) is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission – to be of service to them whenever they require it. If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.

                                              Saint Francis of Assisi

To honour St Francis of Assisi, whose feast day is celebrated on October 4th each year, the parish assembly organised a blessing of all pets/animals and their owners in the church car park on Saturday, 6th October at 3pm.

We were blessed with a beautiful warm and sunny day; we can be forgiven to think St Francis, who loved all nature with a passion, had some influence on the weather! Just after 2.45pm parishioners began congregating with their pets, mainly dogs, though we did have guinea pigs, gerbils and one girl brought a photo of  her pet fish. All then assembled in the car park. It was a memorable sight to behold. A table held a statue of St Francis, kindly lent to us, for the occasion, by the Poor Claire Sisters, College Road, also, figures of animals, a floral display and a lighted candle graced the table.

Just after 3pm Fr John began the ceremony with the above quotation from St Francis. John, a parishioner, read from the Book of Genesis on the creation of the world, and five children read the Prayer of the Faithful in which we asked God’s blessing on our furry, and not so furry, friends. Fr John then prayed a blessing over all pets and their owners, and blessed them with holy water.

For single householders, a pet can be a true companion. Many people arrive home from work to find a furry friend overjoyed at their return. Many a elderly person has a lap filled with a purring fellow creature. Children, who are fortunate to have pets, learn to love, look after and care for them, and in doing so they learn how to be a little less selfish.

The bond between person and pet is like no other relationship, because the communication between fellow creatures is at its most basic. Eye-to-eye, a man and his dog, or a woman and her cat, are two creatures of love.

No wonder people enjoy the opportunity to take their animal companions to church for a special blessing. Church is the place where the bond of creation is celebrated.

Every creature is important, because they have been created by God. The love we give to a pet, and receive from a pet, can draw us more deeply into the larger circle of life, into the wonder of our common relationship to our Creator.

Fr John promises that this blessing will be an annual event and it is hoped that more and more parishioners will be prompted to bring their pets/animals to this ceremony. 

Prayer for Pets:  Almighty and everlasting God, Creator of all things and giver of all life, let your blessing be upon all these animals. May our relationships with them mirror your love, and our care for them be an example of your bountiful mercy. Grant the animals health and peace. Strengthen us to love and care for them as we strive to imitate the love of Jesus Christ our Lord and God’s servant Francis. Amen.

Parish Assembly News



Parish Assembly



The current Parish Assembly is now coming to the end of its second year. We would like to thank you all for your support. We continue to welcome your suggestions and input.


Chairperson:Sr Elizabeth Bradley,Vice Chairperson:Sheila Glavin, Secretary:Pauline Flahive.

         Community and Communications Group

The group continues to support the Active Retired Group on Wednesday mornings and presently the “Go for life” course which is being facilitated by Anna on Monday is a huge success. Over Easter, Ger kindly gave a festive flower demonstration to the Active Retired Group.

We made and distributed St Brigid’s crosses on February 1st and marked Ash Wednesday with hot cross buns. We would like to carry on these simple traditions into the future.

On May the 6th, the Ateneo de Manila College Glee Club from The Philippines paid our parish a visit. Their beautiful singing was greatly appreciated and refreshments afterward were enjoyed by all.

For the Month of May – the reciting of the Rosary was encouraged among families. A named decade and beads were distributed. The rosary was “shared”.

It is planned to provide a defibrillator in the church and fundraising for same will commence in September – your support will be greatly appreciated.

Chairperson: Marion O’Connell       Secretary: Anna Heffernan

                            Liturgy Group

The Christmas Carol Service on Tuesday 20th December was well attended by families and individuals, who joined in singing the traditional Christmas Carols. We hope to make this an annual event.

In February the group once again organised the annual Healing Mass in February which is growing in popularity as the years progress.

The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was placed on the sanctuary during Lent. The congregation was invited to write words, on cards provided, describing the good and evil in our world today, which they then hung on the tree.

Members of the group helped erect the Tomb during Lent and the Resurrection Garden at Easter. These remained on the sanctuary until the end of the Easter season. The group also placed on the sanctuary a tree for Pentecost displaying the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit, which are received at the Sacrament of Confirmation.

To the left of the sanctuary the group placed a small table dedicated to the 2012 Eucharistic Congress which was held in Dublin from the 10th to 17th June.

In May there was a Mass of Intercessions organised by the Liturgy Group. This Mass was aimed particularly at students sitting college and Leaving Cert. exams, as well as for the special intentions of the parish community.

The group continues to organise the monthly Family Mass with the children’s own liturgy of the Word. This is for pre-first Holy Communion children.

Chairperson:  Kay Murray   Secretary:  Jachanthia Bracken

                 Faith Enrichment Group

 The group is very short of members with the result that it’s hard to plan any events. We organised 4 nights based on the Eucharist run by the diocesan support group based in The Holy Cross Parish in Mahon as a lead up to the Eucharistic Congress. The response was disappointing but as Marian Mortell the organiser said quoting Jesus “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”.  We also had Evelina’s (our parish’s first  catechumen) Baptism during the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday night. It was indeed a beautiful ceremony conducted by Fr. Colin. Evelina’s Father travelled from Lithuania for the occasion and how proud he was of his daughter on the night.

Chairperson:  Tom O’Byrne


The Parish Assembly hopes you all have an enjoyable summer break. Please continue to visit our website for the latest parish notices and news.

















Welcome Evelina – our First Catechumen

The RCIA (The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is a process which involves the community in journeying with a non-Catholic who has asked to become a Catholic. It involves a number of stages punctuated by liturgical rites to aid and assist the potential person toward the final rite at the Easter Vigil at which time they will become full members of the Roman Catholic Church.

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Sincere thanks from Frs John & Colin

A most sincere thanks to everyone who helped to prepare the church so beautifully for Christmas and to those who erected the Crib. Your time and energy given was very much appreciated.

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Family Mass

On Sunday 27th of November about 20 children participated in the children’s liturgy of the word during the 11 o’clock Mass Just after Mass began Fr. Colin invited parents to bring their children aged 8 years and under (pre-1st Holy Communion) into the children’s room at the back of the church.

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Micheal O Cochlain’s retirement party

On Friday, September 30th 2011 Micheál Ó Cochláin took early retirement after 37 years of service. Micheál was born in Newcastlewest and his family moved to Cork when he was 3 years old. He began his primary school education in Eason’s Hill where his father was principal and he completed his education in Scoil Chríost Rí.

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Mass readings

Please follow the link for daily and Sunday readings.  The daily readings are only shown on the day, the Sunday readings can be viewed from the previous Monday.