Carol Service from Portarlington Union

A couple of weeks ago, a small group of parishioners gathered in the Church of St John the Evangelist in Monasterevin to record a Carol Service for this year. We had to keep it small because of the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. And although we could listen to carols, we weren’t able to sing them. You can watch the service here via Youtube. The Order of Service is below. Download the Order of Service here. Continue reading Carol Service from Portarlington Union

School Carol Service with a difference

The first year the Carol Service of my old school, Balllymena Academy, was in St Patrick’s Parish Church was the year after I left. I remember three of us re-joining the “back row” of the choir to sing the familiar carols and other music that the choir was singing. It was lovely to be back among the senior choir and to do so. This year, that Carol Service is not possible due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the musical members of Ballymena Academy have put together an online Carol Service via Youtube. I am so pleased to see that … Continue reading School Carol Service with a difference

The Feast of the “holy motorists”

Anyone who read William Mayne’s “Chorister Series” will know today as the Feast of the Holy Motorists — that is St Simon and St Jude, AA. Of course the AA does not refer to the Automobile Association but is simply an abbreviation for Apostles. However, it is a feast day that sticks in my brain particularly because of that joke in Cathedral Wednesday. Jude was martyred by axe (or club) and is the patron saint of lost causes, Simon was martyred at the same time, cut in two by a saw. He is patron of leather workers and sawyers. They … Continue reading The Feast of the “holy motorists”

St Laurence, deacon, martyr at Rome

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I tell you, most solemnly, unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest. Anyone who loves his life loses it; anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for the eternal life. If a man serves me, he must follow me, wherever I am, my servant will be there too. If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.’ —John 12:24-26 Today’s Gospel is for the Feast of St Laurence, Deacon, Martyr at Rome. St … Continue reading St Laurence, deacon, martyr at Rome

A healthy prayer life is what matters most

Prayer matters most At the beginning of today’s Gospel, St Matthew tells us that Jesus went up into the hills by himself to pray. He had just finished a very long day teaching the crowds, healing the sick, and peforming the miracle of the multiplication of the laves. At the beginning of that day he had heard the news about the death of his cousin, St John the Baptist. At the time, he had wanted to go off alone to reflect, to pray, and to mourn the loss of that great prophet, his cousin. But the crowds didn’t let him. … Continue reading A healthy prayer life is what matters most

Looking back you cannot see where you are going

Every single day, it is important as Christians to stop and have a conversation with God. Real conversations are not one way. Real conversations, between friends, are very much two-way communication. Taking the time to listen to what he says as well as to bombard God with our petitions and thanksgivings is vital to a healthy spiritual life. In today’s Gospel, Jesus is told by a man on the road, I will follow you wherever you go. Luke 9:57-62 The Lord responds that Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has … Continue reading Looking back you cannot see where you are going

Let’s obey the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit works quietly We all like spectacular fireworks. They are exciting, impressive, exhilarating. The Church’s first Pentecost had some spectacular fireworks. The Apostles and other Christians were gathered “all together in one place”. Where that was precisely, we do not know.  It was probably somewhere inside or near the Temple in Jerusalem as right after the fireworks, crowds started to gather. It may have been the same large room where our Lord and the Apostles had eaten the last Supper. Nothing is certain.  So, they were all in one place, then a thunderous noise like a strong wind, … Continue reading Let’s obey the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit