15th May 2011 – 4th Sunday of Easter

Good Shepherd  – Vocation Sunday.
A letter writer to the editor of the Irish Independent stated:
“As a non Catholic am I alone in finding myself increasingly uncomfortable with the now endemic demonisation of clergy in the Catholic Church. As a non believer, I am fortunate enough to know Catholic Priests and Nuns, as human beings with a deep conviction, giving their lives over to the pursuit of these beliefs”.
Today, Vocations Sunday or Good Shepherd Sunday, we are asked to keep in our prayers the Priests and Religious, who work to help bring  about the kingdom of God, in our parish and the community in which we live. Priests and religious are central to our Parish communities. The need has never been greater.  The age profile of so many of our Priests and Religious is a stark reminder of the need for new vibrant young adults, to discern the calling to religious life. (see survey below)
The Chinese word for crisis is the same as is used for opportunity. Priests and Religious are an integral part of any Faith Community.  But, with the reduction in numbers of Priests and Religious, lay people are finding their rightful role in church life. We remember the young men studying for Priesthood, who will serve in our Diocese of Cork & Ross. We pray for Anthony Buckley who will be ordained a priest for our Diocese on  4th June and that the whispering of the Good Shepherd to the idealism and generosity of people will find receptive hearts.

Prayer to Follow the Call of Christ
Lord, I thank You for the gifts You have given me, especially for life, love, family and friends.  Help me to know myself better and to know my talents, as I pray, study, work and decide on my life's work.   Help me to see and understand the path You open for me. Help me choose a life's work which will be in response to my potential and your love for me.
If I am being invited to follow You as a priest, brother, sister, give me a generous heart to respond to your challenging call and the strength to follow You wherever You lead me.

Death: We remember in our prayers Mary Linehan, Capwell Ave. who died recently. We extend our sympathy to her family.

Fr. Peter McVerry will speak on “A Church of Service” in Holy Cross Church, Mahon, on this Sun. 15th May at 3 p.m. There will be ample time for questions and discussion.  Fr. Peter has spent over 30 years working for and championing the cause of homeless young people in Dublin.

Trócaire Boxes:  can be returned to the Sacristy during the week

to the  Girls and Boys from The Schools in our Parish  who received their First Holy Communion this Saturday. We had a lovely memorable ceremony and say well done to the Children their Teachers, Parents and School Choirs who sang so beautifully.  We will have our final “Do this in Memory” Mass on the 12th June when all the First Communicants will walk in a short Eucharistic Procession  in the Church Grounds after the 10.30 Mass

Memorial Concert will be held on Tues.17th May at 8.15pm for Fr. Donal O’Mahony OFM. Cap founder of Threshold in Holy Trinity Church, Fr. Matthew Quay. with Welsh Male Voice Choir, City of Newport.  Tickets €15 available from Threshold 021 4278848 or at door on night.

Christ King Girls’ Primary School:
 Open Night. Thursday 19th May  7pm – 8.30pm Application forms available phone 021- 4963695.

Praying together for Vocations: Our thanks to all who from our Pastoral Area – Turner’s Cross, South Parish, Ss Peter & Paul's and the three Order Communities from St. Francis. St. Augustine’s & Holy Trinity and many others  who joined us in prayer for vocations last Friday in the South Chapel.  

Our Students are remembered in our Shared Mass every Friday at 10am. Special Cards are available in the Sacristy for those doing and preparing for exams.

Revealing Survey

A national survey taken in 2006 tells us that between November 2000 and July 2006  –  1,173 Irish priests died.   In the same period, 101 Irish priests were ordained.  That means that one diocesan priest in five was being replaced and one religious priest in thirty.  In 2005  – 199 Irish priests died whereas only 8 priests were ordained.  In 2010 in our own Diocese of Cork & Ross 103 priests were active in parish ministry by 2013  priests in active ministry will be 86 and by 2020 will be 65.  Projected numbers are calculated on basis of priests retiring from active ministry at age of 75,  it does not account for other eventualities.  This figure does not include Churches in the city served by Religious Orders.  Parishes without priests are parishes where the Eucharist cannot be celebrated.  Amalgamating parishes, clustering parishes and closing churches is not a solution to the priest shortage but merely a response to it.   Asking older priests to take on more and more in their later years, must surely lead to burn out.  Only the family and the parish where the faith is vibrant, produces vocations to priesthood.   We recall Christ’s words:  “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few.   Ask the master of the harvest to send workers to gather his harvest”.  We are called upon to respond to the Lord’s request with generous prayer.  

Cork Lions Club are running a Recycle for Sight campaign – people are asked to gather old glasses (including reading glasses and sunglasses) that are no longer required and deposit them in the specially marked Lions Recycle for Sight collection boxes located at the back of the church. These glasses will be cleaned and passed to Lions Club International for distribution in developing countries where eye care is often unaffordable and inaccessible. The boxes will be available between May 22nd and 29th – your generosity is much appreciated.