December 21st 2008 – 4th Sunday of Advent

Christmas Ceremonies
Please note the details of our Christmas Ceremonies and we hope you can be with us for these special graced moments at the heart of the Christmas Story. We deeply appreciate the time and dedication which so many have devoted to the preparation of these ceremonies and hope that together we will experience a renewal of faith and hope to encourage us on our pilgrim path. A blessed and quiet few days of relaxation to all our parishioners.

It is good to give and receive gifts.  God also gives us many gifts freely and abundantly. One of these is the gift of forgiveness.  It's fair to say that all of us have done something or said something that we regret. Deep within our hearts we know we have let God down.   But whatever we have done should not be an excuse to throw in the towel. This is most certainly the case with God. God's love and forgiveness knows no bounds especially at Christmas time. 
Lord, I am sorry for the times when I have closed the door on you. Grant me forgiveness and pardon. As I prepare for confession before Christmas may it be a time for me to come closer to you and experience your gentle healing and forgiveness in my life.

Christmas Penitential Services & Confession This weekend  after 6pm, 9am, 10.30am & 12 noon A number of priests will be available for confessions.  There will also be Confessions on Mon.& Tues. & Wed.  after 10am Mass and at  12 noon on Wed. 24th.

Christmas Masses
Christmas Eve:. 24th Dec.: 6pm (The O'Connor /O’Mahony Families will lead us in the singing of carols).   10 pm: Mass & Blessing of Crib. (Parish Choir). Christmas Day: 9am, 10.30am Children Mass (Parish Choir),  12 noon.

Flowers Our thanks to all who donated Poinsettia Pot Plants to decorate our altar for Christmas. Much appreciated.

Christmas gifts with a difference.
There has been to be a great response to the Gift with a difference. If you are still searching for the perfect Christmas gift idea?  There is still time.  You can purchase one of the gifts listed below and get the card to sent or give to a friend instead of a gift. They are available at the back of the Church.  So far €3,900 has been contributed.
Christmas Gift Range :School Lunch (for a year) €10, Olive Tree €20, Seeds & Tools €35, Goats €45 Mother & Child €60, Grandparent Support €80,  Food €100, Water €150, Land  €200.

Prayer around the Christmas Tree and Crib:
Go to the Parish website  and you will find these prayers.

Priests Collection
The Collection taken at the Masses on Christmas Eve  6pm, 10pm and Christmas Day is for the Priests of the Parish. There will be only one collection. This collection, with the Spring & Autumn Dues, are the primary source of income for the Priests of the Parish.

Turner’s Cross Day Care
would like to thank everyone who supported their Christmas Raffle. It was much appreciated.  Winner: Eileen Coughlan Palacanne Lawn.

Christmas Raffle
The draw for the Christmas Hamper in aid of the New Church Organ will take place after the 10am Mass this Monday. Lines are still available in the Porch.

Offertory Collection
Last weekend offertory collection came to €2,648   Thank you for your generosity.

St. Stephen's Day 26th Dec.  Mass at 10 am.   Feast of the Holy Family Sunday 28th Dec.  Weekend Masses as usual.

The 10pm Mass on Christmas Eve will be signed for the Deaf.
Members of the Deaf Community have been invited to join us.  We look forward to having them with us on Christmas Eve.

Parish Christmas & Triduum Cards
The Parish Christmas Card and Christmas Triduum Mass Card are available in the Parish Office after Mass today and during the week after the 10am Mass.  The Triduum of Masses will be offered on 23, 24, 25 Dec.

We remember in our prayers  Phyl Barry. Friars Rd. who died recently. Phyl was one of the founder members of our Parish Choir. We extend our sympathy and prayers to her family

Holy Communion
Fr. Kerry will visit the sick and housebound of his area on this Mon. 22nd Dec.

Words of Wisdom
Recently Pope Benedict XVI was speaking to young people who are preparing for their First Holy Communion, he said “Christmas is the day when God gave a great gift to us.  His gift was the gift of Himself.  He gave us his Son, so Christmas became the feast of gifts”.
Let us therefore try and imitate God and not only live for ourselves, not think only of myself but think of someone else, think about our parents, our brothers and sisters and so forth.
And so at this time the most beautiful gift is to be kind to others, to show goodness, fairness and love.  This is the best gift.
I now wish you all a merry Christmas and ask you to rejoice in having faith.

  t  t