January 25th 2009 – Conversion of St. Paul

St. Paul
We celebrate the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul this weekend. He had a dramatic conversion experience while he was on the road to Damascus on his way to arrest followers of Christ. Saul had an encounter with the Risen Jesus Christ. He was shaken and blinded by the experience. When a Christian named Ananias came and baptized Saul, his blindness went away. Saul, whose name now became Paul, went to Jerusalem to consult with Peter. After his first missionary journeys, Paul was called by Jesus to proclaim the Gospel to the Gentiles (non-Jews). He spent the rest of his life journeying on his missions, establishing local churches, and writing to them when he heard of their accomplishments and failures. He was martyred in Rome around the year 67 A.D. Paul's letters that we hear every Sunday are the earliest records of the life and history of the early Church.
The Year of St. Paul that Pope Benedict asked us to observe is  a personal invitation to each of us to discover something more of the man who shaped the first communities of the Early Church as they struggled to find a way of living the Gospel in a secular and often hostile world. By discovering the man behind the letters, we can find ourselves drawn into St. Paul's energy and enthusiasm, He has something to say to all of us. 
The Irish Catholic on sale at the back of the Church continues its series of articles on the Life of St. Paul by Fr. Jerome Murphy-O'Connor
Good website on St. Paul  http://www.rcdow.org.uk/paul

Praying the year of St Paul
Heavenly Father,
open our minds and hearts to the working of your Holy Spirit.
Enlightened by Truth and emboldened through Grace,
may Faith overcome doubt, Love conquer hatred,
Hope shine through suffering,and zeal mark our proclamation
of the Good News that St. Paul preached to the peoples of all nations.

Dates for Your Diary 2009
3rd Feb. Feast of St. Blase – Blessing of Throats
11th Feb. Our Lady of Lourdes – Blessing of the Sick
25th Feb. Ash Wednesday
Beginning of March First Confessions
25th March Parish Confirmations
4/5th April. Penitential Rites
12th April Easter Sunday
May 9th & 16th  First Holy Communions

Family Mealtime
What are family mealtimes like in your home? Is it the time when various family members pop their individual meals into the microwave and retreat to their own corner of the house? Or is it the time when family members gather together to eat, talk and share their experiences of the day – research shows that mealtime is the most valuable way of keeping the family lines of communication open.

* If you have  moved into  the parish and would like to have your home blessed, just make contact with one of the priests.
* If a member of your family or a neighbour is ill, whether in hospital or at home, and would like a visit from a priest, just leave a message in the Sacristy  or Tel:  087-2610276
*  If you are getting married over the next six months make contact with the priest now and make sure the preliminary paperwork is completed in good time.

Pope Benedict's greeting to New President of U.S.A. Barack Obama
I pray that Almighty God will grant you unfailing wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high responsibilities.
"Under your leadership", he adds, "may the American people continue to find in their impressive religious and political heritage the spiritual values and ethical principles needed to co-operate in the building of a truly just and free society, marked by respect for the dignity, equality and rights of each of its members, especially the poor, the outcast and those who have no voice.
"At a time when so many of our brothers and sisters throughout the world yearn for liberation from the scourge of poverty, hunger and violence, I pray that you will be confirmed in your resolve to promote understanding, co-operation and peace among the nations, so that all may share in the banquet of life which God wills to set for the whole human family.”

Offertory Collection
Last weeks offertory collection €2,492. Many thanks for your generosity.

Parenting Course.
Recently, the Parish Assembly organised a Parenting Course for the parents of young children, it was very successful and parents found it very helpful.  We now plan to organise a course (six weeks) for the parents of teenage children  If there is sufficient interest The course will begin in February in the Parish Centre.  Please contact any member of the Parish Assembly or one of the priests.

We remember in our prayers Kathleen O'Connell, High St. who died recently.  We extend our sincerest sympathies and prayers to her family.

South Parish Community Association
Over 60's Talent Competition Plus Guest Artists  Compère – Pat O'Sullivan will be held on Friday, Jan. 30th at 8 p.m. sharp in the South Parish Community Centre Sawmill Street contact Maureen Holland or John Creed at 4317780 Mon-Fri between 7 – 9p.m.

Yoga: Gentle Yoga classes starting Thurs 29th Jan 6.15 – 7.30pm in Turners Cross Community Centre, Curragh Rd.
Suitable for all ages/abilities, 6.15 – 7.30pm. Limited places.
8 weeks   Contact Grainne 087-9008654

A winning Investment
We are surrounded by economic doom and gloom. Investing is a feared word shunned by many until this period of uncertainty runs its course.
There is one guaranteed investment – it always pays huge dividends. Why not invest in your marriage? 
Marriage Encounter runs weekend events for couples that really deliver the goods.
The next weekend will take place in the Lake Hotel Killarney on the 27th February – 1st March 2009.
You could find out more by looking at their website www.marriageencounter.ie , or by Ray & Ann Hennessy at 086 8334382.
If you have the wisdom to invest in your most important relationship it will provide an excellent return.

Pope Benedict sets up YouTube page  Related Link: www.youtube.com/user/vatican
It marked the start of the Vatican's strategic vision of working "to be present wherever people are," said Archbishop Claudio Celli, head of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
The Vatican officially unveiled the new channel Jan. 23 during a press conference that presented Pope Benedict's message for World Communications Day, which was dedicated to new media technology.

Pope Benedict has become the first pope to embrace the Internet to the point of having a video feed of his events and messages on YouTube.
The Vatican now has its own YouTube page where Internet users can view videos of the Pope and events at the Vatican.

This YouTube channel offers news coverage of the main activities of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI and of relevant Vatican events. It is updated daily.
Video images are produced by Centro Televisio Vaticano (CTV), texts by Vatican Radio (RV) and CTV.
This video-news presents the Catholic Church's position regarding the principal issues of the world today.
Links give access to the full and official texts of cited documents.
Related Link: www.youtube.com/user/vatican