April 15th 2007 – 2nd Sunday of Easter

80th Birthday
Our Prayers and good wishes to Pope Benedict XVI who celebrates his 80th Birthday on this Monday 16th April, and the 2nd anniversary of his election  as Supreme Pastor of the Church on Thursday 19th April.

Prayer for Pope Benedict XVI
God our Father, shepherd and guide,
source of eternal life and truth, give to your
shepherd, Benedict XVI, a spirit of courage and
right judgment, a spirit of knowledge and love.
By governing with fidelity those entrusted
to his care may he, as successor to the
apostle Peter, the Vicar of Christ, build
your Church into a sacrament of unity,
love, and peace for all the world. May he be
the visible centre and foundation of our
unity in faith and love. May his word and
example inspire and guide the Church, and
may all those entrusted to his care, come
to the joy of everlasting life.  Amen.

This weekend at all the Masses Fr. Con Cronin of the Kiltegan Fathers will speak on his mission experiences and the work of the Kiltegan Fathers. We welcome Fr. Con among us.

We offer sincere and prayerful sympathy to the Family of Pierce O'Dalaigh, 'Cong", Loretto Pk. Lord grant him eternal peace and joy, and to his family & friends strength and comfort.

Holy Land Pilgrimage
All places (51) for the Parish Pilgrimage to the Holy Land 7th-21st Oct. have now been filled.

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

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.

Holy Week
Our  thanks to all who were part of the of the Holy Week Ceremonies. The big numbers who attended and the involvement of so many people was great  it was good to be part of the congregation at the Easter Vigil who welcomed Isobel and Brooke into the Christian Family-  thanks again.

Divine Mercy Sunday
Our late Pope, John Paul ll throughout his pontificate placed a strong  and significant focus on the Divine Mercy message and devotion. 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 to us, we can ask for his Mercy, be merciful to others, and strive to completely trust in his Son, who is Divine Mercy Incarnate.

Just in Passing….
The President Mary McAleese had an audience with our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI recently. She presented him with a book by an Austrian, Ludwig Bieler, who translated Irish Medieval texts into German and Latin.
The Pope told the President that he was very impressed by Irish young people. He felt that they were so idealistic and had such a strong volunteer ethic.

"Do this in Memory Mass"
Our next special Mass for those preparing for First Holy Communion will be  next Sunday 22nd April at 10.30am
The meeting with the Class Parent Representatives will be in Fr. Charlie's House this Mon.  16th April.  at 7.30pm

The Parish Steering Group: will meet in Fr. Kerry's House on this Mon. 16th April at 8 pm

We welcome into the Christian Community those who were baptised recently Dagmara Rzwznik, Clare Maree McCarthy, Sophie Marie Martin, Brooke Marion Murphy and Isobel McCriem.

Thank You
Fr. Charlie and Fr. Kerry say a sincere thanks for your Easter Offerings and Spring Dues and to the area collectors 

Christianity & Islam
'The purpose of life'  Speakers: Fr. Sean O'Sullivan (of the Cork & Ross Adult Religious Education office) and Sh Abdur Raheem Green
(London Central Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre)
Venue: Lecture Hall GO1, BrookField Health Science Complex, U.C.C.. 24th April at 7.30pm

There has been a very good response to the Trocaire Lenten Appeal. We will have the total next weekend – Don't forget to hand in your Trocaire Box.

'Climate Change'
Talk by Fr. Sean McDonagh S.S.C. on April 18th at 8pm in the Keane Building Room G2  U.C.C. All are welcome. Admission free, Contact number Columban 087-2284284

Nemo Rangers Street Leagues
Will start on Fri. 20th April. Registration for boys born from 1996 to 2002 and girls born from 1995 to 2002, will take place on Tues. 17th April, at their complex at Trabeg from 6.30 to 8 pm.  Full details and registration forms available at club reception.  Tel.: 4894041 
Website: www.nemorangers.ie

A Thought
'Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. When the disciples said, 'We have seen the Lord', he answered, 'Unless I see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe'   ~John 20:23-25
Not everyone is fully sure about the Resurrection or what it fully means.  But one thing is absolutely certain and that is that the Resurrection is the corner stone of our faith.  It's the hinge on which we rest everything.  We all though have our doubts and questions.    That's why we should not be so hard on Thomas better known as 'Doubting Thomas'.  He holds all our questions and doubts.
The message is not to be discouraged.  Hold onto them, live them and give them time.  This is what Thomas did and marked him out, not just as a believer but marked him out as an open, honest and genuine believer.  God always appreciates such openness and honesty. 
We all could do well to follow.

Questions people ask
Q. Did Jesus really rise from the dead or is it a symbolic story about the rising of a body of believers who carried on Christ's preaching?
A. There is no basis whatever in Scripture to treat the resurrection as merely symbolic. All the sacred writings, even if they differ on accidental details, point to the bodily resurrection of Jesus. There is no evidence whatever that any disciple thought otherwise. St Paul staked the credibility of his preaching on the fact of the resurrection. 'If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is without substance, and so is your faith' (1 Cor. 15:14).
Fr. Silvester O'Flynn OFM Cap