February 22nd 2004 – 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today’s gospel sets a high standard: loving our enemies, treating other people as we would like them to treat us, being compassionate like God himself. It is normal for those who oppose Christianity to point at our failure to live up to these standards. What Pope John Paul has done in beatifying and canonising so many people is to say that there are many who do live up to them. Most of us can think of some people we know like that: a teacher, a relation, a Guard. At times we can even be so ourselves. What Jesus tells us is, always to aim as high as we can. Always be compassionate, always grant pardon — not nursing permanent grudges, always give something good, not pretending, but really. It is the only way for us to make the world a better place.

Ash Wednesday
Next Wednesday 25th Feb. ashes will be distributed at all Masses.
Mass Times on Ash Wednesday: 7.30 am, 10 am, 6 pm.
Ash Wednesday is a day of Fast & Abstinence.
Week-day Masses during Lent: 7.30 am & 10 am

A Fresh Look at Lent
7 points
Below are 7 points about the season. Pick out the 3 which you think are the most important. This will reveal to you a lot about the key elements in your own religious outlook.
It may also get you thinking about aspects of your faith which need more attention.
1. At Mass the many references to baptism during these weeks encourage us to reflect more deeply on our own baptism and what it means.
2. The call to be generous with our money and time for the sake of those in real need helps us to break out of our self-centred lives.
3. Ashes on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday remind us that our lives are short, and that we must always be ready for death and judgement.
4. Mass each day or as often as possible unites most closely in mind and heart with Jesus.
5. This season is a time for “putting to death” all that is sinful in ourselves so that we may share in the life of the Risen Jesus at Easter.
6. “Giving up” something like alcohol, sweets, TV, trains us to control all our desires and teaches us humility.
7. In our turning away from sin and to God, the sacrament of penance is a key moment, so confession should be part of our preparation for Easter.

We remember in our prayers those who died during the week: Kitty Morgan, Woodview, Derrynane Rd., Tommy McSweeney, late of Fr, Matthew Rd. who died in England, Seán Lynch, O’Connell Ave.
We extend our sympathy to their families.

Parish Visitation
Fr. John will visit Willow Court & Willow Dale.
Fr. Kerry will visit Curragh Road.

Christmas Sponsored Swim
Our thanks to all who were part of the Christmas Day Swim. €5,403 was raised for the Restoration Fund.

Family Fast Boxes
Trócaire Family Fast Boxes are available at the back of the Church, and will also be distributed through the schools.
Last Lent €7,000 was raised for Trócaire.

Summer Scheme AGM
South Parish & Surrounding areas Summer Scheme AGM will take place on Mon. Febr. 23rd at 8.15 pm in the Community Centre, Sawmill St. (Rear of Fiat Garage).
Your attendance is essential to ensure another fantastic year.

Mass for Peace & Reconciliation
The 28th annual Mass for Peace & Reconciliation in Ireland will be concelebrated in St. Augustine’s Church, Cork, on Sunday 7th March at 3.30 pm. Fr. Kevin Mullen, Omagh, will preach the sermon.

Passion Play
will take place again this year in our Church during Holy Week, under the direction of Pierce Gunn.
The Men will meet on Tuesday 24th February at 7.30 pm.
The Ladies will meet on Wednesday 25th February at 7.30 pm.

“Walk with Me”
All copies were sold out last weekend. We have ordered more copies — as we go to print they have not arrived. Hopefully they will by the weekend. Walk with Me is:
a Lenten Journey of Prayer and Family Life — an ideal companion during the season of Lent.
> daily meditations written in simple and accessible style
> a weekly catechesis on marriage and family life
> a great way to encourage people to prepare for Easter.
This is an excellent booklet. Cost: €1.50 Walk with Me and Lenten Calendar.

LOTTO DRAW Febr. 16th
Numbers drawn: 13, 15, 24, 25.
€35 CASH
T. Collins, C. Sheehan, C. Gaffney, B. Dorgan.
Last week’s net “take” €2,980
Last week’s second Collection €1,340
Anonymous Donation €40
Old Money still welcome for the Restoration Fund. Box at the back of the Church.