December 2nd 2007 – 1st Sunday of Advent (A)

‘It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.' Pope Benedict
We begin our journey through Advent this weekend. It comes from the Latin word adventus meaning ‘coming' or ‘arrival'. It is time set aside to help us prepare for what's really important and essential this Christmas. We often find ourselves aware of the large muddle of our world which also touches in on our own lives. There are times when the sheer scale of the world's problems and our own overwhelms us and we wonder can we do anything to change the future. Advent reminds us that the future holds hope but only because God is very much present in the here and now. In the clutter and busyness of the coming few weeks
Many look for the perfect gift for Christmas and are looking for a perfect Christmas. There is no such thing as a perfect gift or a perfect Christmas. Advent keeps our feet firmly on the ground. It helps us to avoid the might be and puts us much more in touch with finding God in the here and now.  But only if we let it!
Fr. James McSweeney
Feast of the Immaculate Conception December 8th
Traditionally this was the first day of the official countdown to Christmas. Each year Christmas seems to be starting earlier which means, Dec 8th has lost some of its appeal. But it's still an important feast day as we remember Mary. As the Mother of God she is often put up on a pedestal, given fancy names and yet she is a woman of the people. She has left a deep imprint in our Gospel accounts. She was a woman of character, courage, bravery, patience and always hopeful. Her feast day. It's a day of celebration and a celebration of good news that's often hidden and obscure. We ask her blessings on all of us.
Saturday next 8th Dec. — Holy Day of Obligation.
Mass Times:  Vigil Friday 6 pm.
Saturday: 10 am, 12 noon & 6 pm. (Vigil 1st Sun. Advent)

First Friday:
Fr. Charlie & Fr. Kerry will visit the sick and the housebound on Thurs. & Fri. at the usual times. There will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Fri. after the 10am Mass until 1pm

Child Protection Policy
for the Diocese of Cork & Ross will be published shortly. This policy will ensure that all the children and young people who are involved in Church related activities are safeguarded and protected. Each parish will, in the future, appoint one or two Parish Child Protection Representatives. They will be responsible for ensuring that all information about child protection procedures will be available in each parish
Information and training sessions will be held throughout the Diocese for those interested. In a letter to the people of the Diocese this weekend, Bishop Buckley encourages parishioners to give serious consideration to volunteering for the position of Parish Representative when the posts are advertised in each parish

Parish Christmas Card
There has been a big demand for the Parish Christmas Card and Christmas Triduum Mass Card – available in the Parish Office after Mass today and during the week.
The Triduum of Masses will be offered on 23, 24, 25 Dec.

Turner’s Cross Senior Citizens Christmas Party
in the new Nemo Rangers Complex, Trabeg, on next Friday 7th Dec. at 7.30pm. Please hand in names to Parish Office, Sacristy or to Members of the Committee. Phone 4964902

Santa to help St. Vincent de Paul Society
Santa, whose real name is St. Nicholas, is probably the best loved saint of children. His feast day is Thursday next Dec. 6th. Next weekend he will be here with a basket of letters. In his letter he will tell us to prepare well for the Birthday of Jesus and will ask us to bring a specific item the following weekend 15/16 Dec. and place it in  his basket. Our “Do this in Memory Mass”  will be at 10.30am the same weekend. Santa will deliver your gifts to members of St. Vincent de Paul who are always helping those in need. In preference to toys, donations of food items (non perishable), chocs, biscuits and small items of clothing will be appreciated. Don’t forget to collect your letter. We thank you for your continuing support.
The Vincent de Paul  Christmas Church Gate Collection will be next weekend 8/9th Dec.

Important Date
22nd/23rd Dec.  Penitential Rites at all the Masses.

Walk With Me
This Sunday we begin our Advent Journey. An excellent little book: “Walk with Me” is available after Mass this weekend (Cost €1). A journey of prayer for Advent & Christmastide 2007.

L’Arch Christmas Craft Fair
Sun. 9th Dec. 10am–5pm L’Arch Community Centre, Togher (next to Parish Church). All welcome: adm. free. Lots of beautiful hand-crafted gifts for all the family.

Ministers of the Eucharist:
can collect their Rotas in the Sacristy after Mass today.
Ministers of the Word: Missals with the readings  for the coming year (A) will be available next Sat 8th Dec

Parish Assembly
Our thanks to the people who took part in our Assembly process there was a great response to the electoral process last weekend. Counting and sorting of votes is in progress and people will be contacted over the next weeks.

Parish Steering Group
will meet in the Parish centre on this Monday 3rd Dec. at 8pm

Christmas Raffle
Thanks to the generosity of many, a Lovely Hamper has been put together in aid of the Church Grounds Fund. Tickets are on sale after Mass today and during the coming days. One line €2,  3 lines €5.

Good Luck
To Cork City  F.C. for their Cup Final Match against Longford Town on this Sunday

We welcome to our Christian Family  James Musa-Sexton who was baptised recently.

We remember in our prayers Rita Donnelly, 31 Derrynane Rd, who died recently and extend our sympathy to his family.

to our our Altar Server Leah Barry of 5th Class in Christ King Girls Primary School on winning the National Writing Competition sponsored by the Grace Nolan Foundation.

Cork Youth Orchestra – Christmas Concert
In aid of Marymount Hospice
City Hall Thurs. 6th Dec. at 8pm
with Mary Hearty & Breffini Horgan
Tickets: Promusica  €25, €15  (Students & OAP €10)

Coffee Morning
in aid of Our Lady’s  Children’s Hospital  Crumlin.
Thursday 6th Dec. in Christ the King Parish Centre after the 10am Mass
All are welcome.  Your support will be appreciated.  “No brightness shines like the light of hope in the wide clear eyes of a child”

Knights of St. Columbanus
Faith  Development  Programme
A series of four talks for Advent will take place in Bru Columbanus.  All talks will be at 8.00.p.m. and admission is free. Members of the public are very welcome.  Light refreshments will be provided.
The third talk will be given by Rev. Fr. Sean O’Sullivan on Wednesday, 5th December. Topic: “Life Up Your Heart” – keeping hope alive.