February 18th 2007 – 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Ash Wednesday marks the first day of the season of Lent.  A time when we prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline.
Pope Benedict decided to change the focus of his Lenten message this year because aware,  of the growing tendency to put God on the sidelines of social and political life.  He urges us  "to look at Christ welcome his love and allow ourselves to be drawn to Him, by doing this we will be moved to open our hearts to others, recognising the dignity of the human person."
Lord,  Ash Wednesday traditionally marks the beginning of doing certain things or giving up something, creating an opportunity for all of us to come closer to you.  We have been through enough Lents to know that a complete change is never possible.  This Lent help me to focus on you Lord and take small, positive, creative and manageable steps that will bring me closer to you.

Ash Wednesday
Next Wed. 21st Feb.  Ashes will be Blessed and distributed at all the Masses.
The Mass Times on Ash Wednesday and on all the weekdays of Lent will be at 
10am and 6pm.

‘Do this in Memory’
We welcome the parents and the children preparing for First Penance and First Holy Communion to our Mass this morning. The Boys will make their First Confession on 7th March, the Girls on 8th March.

St Joseph’s Young Priests Society
monthly meeting this Tues. 20th Feb. after the 10am Mass in the Sacristy.

Beginning Experience
There is a special heartache for those who find themselves single again. Now there is help.
A Beginning Experience a weekend away for a lifetime of change.
13th – 15th April  Venue St. Dominic's Retreat Centre, Ennismore, Montenotte.   Information contact  Tel: 021-4275136

A Lenten Invitation
Lent is an opportunity to grow in knowledge and love of Jesus. A  simple way to do this is to prayerfully read the Gospel in faith.
Each Monday in Lent, at 10.30am, beginning Mon 26th Feb.  a group of people will be doing just that with the Gospel for the following Sunday.  This is often called Lectio Divina. Don’t let the name put you off. Just join us, for one hour in the Parish Centre in Turners Cross. You will be very welcome.

“Walk with Me”
On sale this weekend, linked with the season of Lent, a little book ‘Walk with Me’, a Lenten Journey of Prayer — an ideal companion during the season of Lent. Daily meditations in simple and accessible style, a great way to encourage people to prepare for Easter. This is an excellent booklet. Cost €1. Available at the back of the Church.

We offer sincere and prayerful sympathy to the families of: Maureen McCarthy, Belmont Place, Douglas Rd Thomas O’Rourke, Capwell Rd, Betty Foulds, Capwell Rd. and Michael O’Leary, Sunview Tec. Lord grant them eternal peace and joy, and to their families and friends strength and comfort

Family Fast Boxes
Trócaire Family Fast Boxes are available at the back of the Church, and will also be distributed through the Primary Schools. Last Lent the great sum of €11,881 was raised for Trócaire from our Parish.
Trócaire's approach
At all times, Trócaire's emergency and rehabilitation work is designed to build upon the existing capacities of local communities. When an emergency situation arises, Trócaire is contacted by a local partner who will provide information about the needs of the people being affected.
Then, together with the partner, we work quickly to develop an appropriate proposal for emergency intervention. The partners’ contribution is crucial in that in-depth knowledge of the local area, issues, local authority structures and language is provided.
Rather than the expense of importing emergency supplies from Europe for example, in so far as is possible, all necessary inputs are purchased locally. In this way the local economy is supported and partners and communities become actively involved in the emergency relief effort. They develop long-term capacity which they can draw upon again into the future. This how the monies we contribute to Trócaire are managed.

Day of Prayer for Temperance
As Lent begins The Bishops have given us a Pastoral Letter –
“Alcohol: The Challenge of Moderation” 
Here as some of their practical suggestions
• Refrain from alcohol for the weeks of Lent.
• Consider drinking non-alcoholic drinks when out with friends at the weekend.
• Reduce the intake of alcohol from what is your normal use.
• Encourage your friends to reduce alcohol intake.
• Donate some of the money saved from alcohol to a charity of your choice.
• Encourage discussion with your friends about the dangers of excessive drinking.
• Initiate a discussion in the home about the family’s attitude to and use of alcohol.
• Nationally, we might encourage people to reduce their alcohol use, say by one-third or a half, during the weeks of Lent.

What a great legacy and gift it would be for our children in this new emerging country of ours if we would be the generation brave enough to promote and work for an attitude and culture of moderation rather than excess in our use of alcohol.
If we could promote abstinence or moderation and create attitudes towards alcohol use that are conducive to a better and healthier way of life, then indeed we would be leaving a wonderful inheritance to future generations. (a limited number of copies of the Pastoral are available in the Sacristy)
Download the Bishops’ Conference pastoral letter for Temperance Sunday and Lent 2007:
English: Alcohol: The Challenge of Moderation – PDF (154kb)
Irish: An tAlcól Dúshlán na Measartlachta – PDF (265 KB)
Polish: Alkohol: Wyzwanie Abstynencji – PDF (464 KB)
            Enjoy your pancakes – but don’t forget the meaning of Lent