April 23rd 2006 – 2nd Sunday of Easter

Divine Mercy Sunday
The late Pope John Paul II throughout his pontificate placed a strong and significant focus on the Mercy fo God. Repeatedly he wrote and spoke about the need for us to turn to the mercy of God as the answer to the specific problems of our times.
Divine Mercy is the heart of the Gospel. If we really look at how God has revealed himself in Scripture and in Church Tradition, we discover afresh how mercy is essential to understanding his message of love and salvation. Mercy even reveals his very identity. With this understanding of God and his revelation, we can ask for his Mercy, be merciful to others and strive to completely trust in his Son.

Exciting Times
These were exciting times for the new-found Christian community who were united in heart and mind and in the sharing of their possessions. As prayerful and dedicated people, these first believers were and example to all as they lived by what they believed and the number of converts was notable. Their lives and preaching changed the course of human history. They bring home to us that faith is not some cosy assent to a set of intellectual truths but is a belief in the resurrection, something real that we must share with others and live out in our daily lives. This is not an easy task in a society that is indifferent to gospel values. There is not greater demonstration of faith in action, as St. John reminds us in the second reading, than the love of others, which is most challenging and in human terms demands the giving of ourselves. Our belief in the resurrection is evident to the extent we allow Jesus to touch our hearts and influence our lives.

Irish Bishops’Commissions Collection
will be taken up at all Masses this weekend. This collection helps fund the work of the Irish Bishops Conference and its agencies & commisions.

Thank You and Farewell
The Priests of the Parish say a sincere thanks for your Easter Offerings and Spring Dues – to the Area Collectors and to all who helped in any way with the Holy Week Ceremonies. Great to see the big crowds at the ceremonies. Congratulations to the Ryan and Trehy Families, whose daughters Aoife and Matilda were baptised at the Easter Vigil.
We say farewell to Fr. John Fitzgerald MSC who has been recalled to his Society. We knew his time with us was going to be short – we had hoped it was going to be longer. We say thank you to Fr. John and wish him well in his new appointment.

Easter Garden
Big numbers have been coming to visit the Easter Garden. Our thanks to Frank and Eddie who put it together – It gives us all food for thought –‘The Lord is truly risen Alleluia!’

Jubilee Celebration
Ballyphehane Pastoral Council invites members of the public, in particular former parishioners, to our Golden Jubilee Eucharistic Celebration. The Celebration takes place at the Church of the Assumption, Ballyphehane, Cork, on Sunday April 30th at 3 pm.

There has been a very good response to the Trócaire Lenten Appeal. To date, over €7,000 has come in — Don’t forget to hand in your Trócaire Box.

We remember in our prayers Annie Walsh, Sth. Douglas Road and Madeline McGann, Windmill Road, who died during the week and extend our sympathy to their families. May all who mourn be comforted.

Don’t forget to fill out your Census Form this Sunday and have it ready for your Census Enumerator when they call during the week. It will make life easier for them.

Active Retired Ladies Club, Care Centre, Capwell Rd.
Change in time from 7 pm to 7.30 pm on Tuesday nights.

Retired Mens Club
meet in Care Centre, Capwell Rd., Wed. 26th April at 7.30pm. Talk on Gardening.  New members welcome.

Monday Night Prayer Group
The Group re-assembles in the Parish Centre on this Monday 24th April at 7.30 pm.
Would you like to join us for an hour’s Gospel reflection? You will be very welcome.

Morning Mass
In the coming weeks there will be one morning Mass at 10.00 am.

Turners Cross Gramophone Circle
Recital in the Parish Centre this Tuesday  7.45 pm
Presenter — Jim Ahern

52nd Cork International Choral Festival
This Sunday at our 10.30 am Mass we welcome the Choir of the Church of the Holy Cross, Mahon.
Our Choir are singing in St. Patrick’s, Rochestown, this Sunday.
Next Sunday 30th April at our 10.30 am Mass the Choir “Juventus” from the University of Latvia will sing. The Choir has given concerts all over the European Union as well as the USA, Japan and former USSR countries.

Four Strengths
The four strengths of the early Church were:
Fidelity to the teaching of the Apostles;
A sense of community;
Sharing and responsibility for one another;
Personal daily prayers.
A good strategy for helping anybody interested in joining the Church or seeking to be a better member is to work at one or other of these four angles. Any one of them properly pursued will eventually embrace the others.

A Thought
'Unless I see the holes that the nails made in his hands
and can put my fingers into the holes they made
and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.' 

John 20:25
Sometimes people are better remembered for the mistakes they make than for the good they do.  The stamp with the small printing error becomes a collector's item.  The score missed in a match becomes a big talking point.  Ask anyone to name a church tower in Italy and the most likely answer is Pisa, a leaning tower due to a mistake in the foundation. 
Thomas the disciple had important questions to be answered but he is remembered not as a believing Thomas but a doubting Thomas. 
Raising questions and voicing doubts can lead to a growth in our faith journey. It is something healthy and important.  Our doubts and questions are also important and need to be expressed too.