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Thought from Fr. Colm - 3rd March 2024

We were blessed for our annual parish retreat. The weather may have been mixed, but the sense of togetherness and positivity of the group was lovely. We took time for prayer, sharing, and relaxed gathering for walking in the stunning surroundings, and unwinding each evening. The food was excellent, staff were kind and hospitable, as always. Accommodation was basic, but good. Capping it all was the extraordinary beauty of the Lakes. Thanks to all our retreatants and to Katie for her youthful leadership and inspiring optimism. It was for many of us a realisation that we can be weighed down in such negativity in a world in turmoil and sometimes it requires younger and more enthusiastic Spiritual hope to point us forward. This enabled, on occasion, a fuller sharing and discussion on Faith. My thanks to all for sharing themselves. We also had chance to share in the special birthday of Norbert Peyerhimoff. Those attending our 10.30am Mass at St. Joseph’s will know Norbert from that friendly welcome he gives as he opens the door to all. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, Norbert.

Fitting perhaps to have the reflective words:

A Walk, by Rainer Rilke

“My eyes already touch the sunny hill, going far beyond the road I have begun. So

we are grasped by what we cannot grasp; it has an inner light, even from a distance –

and changes us, even if we do not reach it, into something else, which, hardly sensing it,

we already are; a gesture waves us on answering our own wave … but what we feel is the wind

in our faces.”

Our pre-Easter Liturgy meeting took place on Wednesday. It was positive and constructive with Sunday’s music given a full and lively discussion. We are always welcome to more musicians and singers at both churches. Thanks again to all who contribute. We are very fortunate. We are fast approaching Holy Week, so can I ask for volunteers for reading etc. This is so important and essential. Please sign up. Thanks.

“The language of the Catholic Church – the liturgy, the prayer, the gospels – was in many ways my first poetry.” Alice McDermott

We have an important insert in the bulletin from our Parish Safeguarding reps, Kathleen and Dennis. Basically, it is to remind us of appreciating and developing a mindset of what Safeguarding means. Perhaps the best way for volunteers, especially, is to alert ourselves each time we gather to discuss our numerous parish activities, we might simply give a brief reminder of its importance.

“Pity the nation whose people are sheep, and whose shepherds mislead them.

Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced, and whose bigots haunt the airwaves. Pity the nation that raises not its voice, except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.

Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own, and no other culture but its own.

Pity the nation whose breath is money and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.

Pity the nation – oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode and their freedoms to be washed away. My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.”

Lawrence Ferlinghett (Book: Ferlinghetti’s Greatest Poems)

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