9th January 2011 – Feast of the Baptism of The Lord

Blessing of Holy Water
(At the beginning of Mass Holy Water is be blessed instead of the Penitential Rite)
Dear friends,
this water will be used to remind us of our baptism.
Let us ask God to bless it and keep us faithful
to the Spirit he has given us.
God our Father, your gift of water
brings life and freshness to the earth;
it washes away our sins and brings us eternal life.
We ask you now to bless +  this water,
and to give us your protection on this day
which you have made your own.
Renew the living spring of your life within us
and protect us in spirit and body,
that we may be free from sin
and come into your presence
to receive your gift of salvation.
May almighty God cleanse us of our sins,
and through the eucharist we celebrate
make us worthy to sit at his table
in his heavenly kingdom.  Amen.

Out baptism was a special occasion even though we may have no memories whatsoever of it except for photos.  Every Christian baptism today is celebrated with joy and the ceremony is full of beautiful meaning and symbolism. Unfortunately we tend to see our baptism as a once off event when in fact its effects have an impact on our daily lives.  Our baptism and what we believe in gives our lives meaning and fulfillment and no one can take that away from us.
In our Parish we have Baptismal Teams who visit the families of those to be baptised they explain the ceremony and help the family prepare for this special moment in the life of their child. We thank the members of our Baptismal Teams for their work and commitment.
Lord, today is the feast of your baptism. May I always nurture the gift of faith you have given me. You have said that the smallest of seeds can make such a difference. Help me to realise that by living my faith I too can make a difference

A New way of Living
Some years ago Anna (from Romania), an 11 year-old girl in fifth class spoke to me in the school yard after I had visited the school. She had a request. ‘I'd like to be baptised,’ she said. ‘We were learning about Jesus' baptism in class. The teacher asked the class who was baptised, and all the other girls raised their hands. I want to be baptised too.’ I said ‘Anna do you  want to be baptised because everyone else is?’ Her freckles winked up at me and she replied, ‘No, I want to be baptised because it means I belong to God.’ I was touched by her understanding. We met with Anna's parents and she was baptised some months later at the Easter Vigil. Her teacher and some of her classmates were at her baptism at the same Mass she received her First Holy Communion.  She was confirmed with her calss by Bishop Buckley the following year.   Anna is regularly at our Mass, she was with us on Christmas Eve. She will be doing Leaving Cert. in June. She told me she prays and comes to Mass and in all sincerity she said, ‘I like being part of God's family.’  I felt the better of meeting Anna on Christmas Eve.  

Turner's Cross Active Retrirement Group are re-opening on 11th Jan. in The Day Centre, Capwell Road, at 7.30 pm.  New members  are most welcome.

Important Dates 2011

Sun. 23rd Jan.  “Do this in Memory Mass”
Tues. 9th  March  First  Confessions  Girls 7.30pm
Wed. 10th March First Confessions Boys 7.30pm
Tues. 29th March  Retreat for those Preparing for Confirmation in the Nemo Complex.
Tues. 29th  Service of Light for those being confirmed and their Parents in the Church at 7.30pm
Wed.  6th April Parish Confirmations
Sat. 14th  May  First Holy Communion Boys & Girls 10.30am

Parish Assembly:
The Parish Assembly will meet on this Mon. 10th Jan. in the Parish Centre at 8pm. Those who have been nominated to the New Assembly will be contacted in the coming days.

St Joseph’s Young Priest’s Society
Monthly meeting on this Tues. 11th Jan. after the 10am Mass in the Parish Centre.

Tory Top Library, Ballyphehane. Friday 14th Jan. at 11.00a.m. – Cúpla Focal Group. All welcome.

The Alzheimer Society Support Meeting for Carers will take place on Wed. 12th Jan. from 3pm to 4.30pm in the Day Care Centre in Bessboro Blackrock.

We remember in our prayers: Maureen Conroy Late of Friars Rd. Louise O'Mullane, Fr. Matthew Rd. and Peg O’Riordan, Connolly Rd.  We extend our sympathy and prayers to their Families.

St. Vincent de Paul: The members of the Parish Conference wish to thank all who contributed so generously to their annual  Christmas Church Gate Collection the sum of € 5,436 was contributed also thanks to those who brought gifts to the Santa Basket. Your continued support will be appreciated during these difficult times.

Holy Land: In recent times we have had two very successful and memorable pilgrimages to the Holy Land. Going to the Holy Land is truly an experience of a lifetime.  This coming September 13th to 22nd. there is a flight direct from Cork. Fr. Kerry is prepared to lead a group if there is interest – will you please contact him as soon as possible as the travel agent said the one plane going direct from  Cork to Tel Aviv will fill very quickly.  
Mobil: 087 2610276 / 021 4312466   Email: kerrymoc@eircom.net

Diary of last Parish Pilgrimage to the Holy Land