Church of St James – The life of the church and the parish depend on the goodwill and input of a large number of people who give their time and effort voluntarily in the service of the church and the community. Each Baptised member of the Church is given gifts by the Spirit to build up Parish and community. Gifts used in the service of God and of God’s people are referred to as ‘ministries’.

Ministers of the Word: Readers, usually in pairs, proclaim the Word of God at Masses and other ceremonies. At present, about fourteen people regularly take part in this ministry. Co-ordinator: Mary Flynn 021 4876730

Children’s Liturgy Ministry: At the 11.30 Mass on most weekends, young people of 4-7 who have not received First Holy Communion, are invited to leave the Church at the beginning of Mass and to go to the Scout Den for 15-20 minutes while the adults celebrate the Liturgy of the Word. The ministers explain the gospel theme in simple terms, and the young people are encouraged to sing, draw, pray and celebrate the Word of God in their own way. They return at the Offertory time. Coordinator: Brigid Meehan 087 3707907

Reflections February 25/26, 2017Lent Again – The Sacred Season

Ashes? Wednesday next is Ash Wednesday. We wear the ashes as a symbol of our call to conversion; that we are sinners, but with a cross of blessing on our foreheads, blessed by the love and mercy of God. Ashes remind us that without God we are merely dust.

Fasting? Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are the only days of the year when we are asked by Church law to abstain from eating meat. We are also asked, between the ages of 18 and 65, to fast on those days by having only one full meal and two lighter snacks.

In the early Irish Church, times of fasting like Lent were very severe, but they believed ‘there can be no feasting without fasting’. We can’t see pancakes as a treat without understanding the need to fast the following day; we can’t experience fully the joy and specialness of Easter without a period of low-key emptiness in Lent. Lent, since the earliest days, has been a period of preparation for Easter, through a bit of discipline, self-control and austerity. It need not be a time of ‘giving things up’. Maybe it’s a time for ‘taking things on!’

Reflections February 25/26, 2017Lent Again – The Sacred Season

Ashes? Wednesday next is Ash Wednesday. We wear the ashes as a symbol of our call to conversion; that we are sinners, but with a cross of blessing on our foreheads, blessed by the love and mercy of God. Ashes remind us that without God we are merely dust.

Fasting? Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are the only days of the year when we are asked by Church law to abstain from eating meat. We are also asked, between the ages of 18 and 65, to fast on those days by having only one full meal and two lighter snacks.

In the early Irish Church, times of fasting like Lent were very severe, but they believed ‘there can be no feasting without fasting’. We can’t see pancakes as a treat without understanding the need to fast the following day; we can’t experience fully the joy and specialness of Easter without a period of low-key emptiness in Lent. Lent, since the earliest days, has been a period of preparation for Easter, through a bit of discipline, self-control and austerity. It need not be a time of ‘giving things up’. Maybe it’s a time for ‘taking things on!’

Church News April 1/2

Lazarus and his 3 sisters

The Context: A story of Jesus told with a bias by the last gospel writer, 60 years after Jesus has died and risen. The Resurrection of Jesus is already the central truth which distinguishes the Christian community from the Jews. New members are joining the community. They need to come to full faith in Jesus. John uses the major stories of his Gospel as faith-meetings with Jesus. We have had most of them in the last few weeks: The Transfiguration, The Woman at the Well, the Man Born Blind, and today, Martha and Mary. The major actors come to make a profession of faith in Jesus at the end of the story, and Jesus is allowed to make the huge ‘I Am’ statements: ‘I am the light of the world’, ‘I am the resurrection and the life’, etc.                                                                                                                                       What about me? What is expected of each one of us listening to this Gospel is that we can answer the question Jesus asks Martha: ‘Do you believe this?’, after he has told her that he is the Resurrection and the Life. Do we believe this? If we don’t, then we are missing one of the central truths of our faith – the Resurrection of Jesus, and the resurrection promised to each of us, his followers. John shows Jesus converting the bystanders to faith, as well as Martha and Mary. John gets Jesus to pray out loud so that the people around will know who he is, and come to faith. This is a central faith story, as we approach the Feast of Resurrection.                                                                                                                                            The Human Jesus: A lovely picture here too of the Jesus who was full of concern. ‘And Jesus wept’ is a lovely picture of a Jesus, mourning  his friend who has died. ‘See how he loved him!’ was the comment of the bystanders. Surely these words are applied to us too, his friends. He loves us enough to want to share his life with us – here and in heaven – and he shares his life with us – in Eucharist. Thank God for the people who have shared life and love with us, and have shown us how much Jesus loves us!

STATION MASSES:

The Station Mass for Inniskenny/Knocknalyre/Ballintannig will take

place in the home of Con and Eileen Lynch on

Friday April 7th at 8pm.

The Station Mass for Ballinora – Dineen’s Lane

to Maglin Bridge, will be at the home of Jerry

and Mary Kelleher on Saturday morning,

April 7th at 11am.

Further Station Masses to follow up to the

end of April.

SOCIETY OF ST VINCENT DE PAUL          Appeal for Volunteers

The SVP in Cork are urgently looking for

volunteers for their shops in Cork City and also

at their Clothing Recycling Centre in Little Island.

If you can give an hour or two a week then please contact Mark Hussey at mark.hussey@svp.ie  or

086 0495712; Noel O Leary at ofcsouthwest@gmail.com or 086 8057751

 

YOUNG LEGION OF MARY

CONFERENCE

You are invited you to a Catholic Young Adults Conference (18-40) on Saturday the 22nd April

in Ennismore Retreat Centre, Montenotte, Cork

organised by the Legion Of Mary Cork Young Adults.10am - 6.30pm. Inspiring talks, testimonies,

prayer and Mass. Cost is €15 incl. lunch.

Information at cork.olgraces@gmail.com, or call

Daniel: 0838345441 / Barry: 0851743570

 

RECENT WEDDING:

We congratulate Deirdre Murphy and Paul Doyle

who married last Saturday in St James’ Church.

The ceremony was celebrated by Fr David

Kenneally S.S.C. We wish them long life and happiness together.

 

RECENT BAPTISMS:

We welcome into our Christian family in 2017:

Eoin Andrew O’Carroll

Benjamin Kevin Caples

Aoife Noreen O’Riordan

Amy Aidie O’Rourke

Eve Helen O’Rourke

Tom Daniel Howard

Joe Dermot O’Mahony

Fionnuala Anna Flanagan

Benjamin James Cogan

He Breathed on Them: ‘Receive the Spirit!’                                               

Breathing Life: One of the most amazing and miraculous things to see, in film, or in real life, is a person brought lifeless from the sea - no heartbeat, not breathing. Then, someone applies their mouth to the person’s mouth, presses regularly on their chest, and suddenly the person starts to cough and to breathe; heartbeat returns, and recovery follows. To witness this is to appreciate the miracle of life – breathing oxygen in and out; the heart circulating it throughout the body.

Jesus breathed on his disciples: How unhygienic! So many would hesitate today to try mouth to mouth resuscitation, on health grounds. But Jesus did what the Creator God did in the biblical account of creation: God breathed on the dust from the earth, and it became a human being, with life in it. Now the disciples of Jesus are full of his life, a New Creation. Spirit-filled. The word ‘spirit’ means ‘breathing and alive.’

Pentecost is a Feast of Life:

  • The Risen Jesus came in through closed doors. Faith banishes fear, opening us up to life and love. Who needs my words of courage?
  • The risen Jesus showed his wounds. Our wounds and vulnerability can open us to others. We identify with them. Who needs my healing?
  • The Risen Jesus says ‘Peace be with you’. Faith brings calmness, peace and security. What is blocking my peace?
  • The Risen Jesus says: ‘Forgive or retain sins’. Forgiveness lets love in; retaining sins often hurts and stifles. I have a choice. What do I need to let go?
  • The Risen Jesus sends out his followers. Who is he sending me and you out to today? Who does he want us to breathe new life into?

The Spirit of Jesus lives, moves and breathes within you and me! Good News!

­­­­­­­DATE FOR YOUR DIARY

The annual Mass to support and pray for

Examination students – especially those sitting the Leaving Cert and Junior Cert Exams will take place on Tuesday night, June 6th in the Parish

Church, at 8pm

A NEW PARISH COUNCIL

The process is now under way to form a new Parish Council for our Parish. The Ballinora Parish Council, in conjunction with the priest of the parish, is entrusted with the task of building up the community as the People of God, encouraging participation in the spiritual work of the parish and its ministries, supporting the liturgy and parish celebrations, encouraging people in neighbourhoods to build closer bonds, as well as overseeing the maintenance and financial needs of the parish. The Parish Council meets once a month, nine times per year. The outgoing members have now served their term of three years. If anybody would be interested in becoming a member of the new Council, please speak to Fr Declan or any member of the present Council. A public meeting to which all parishioners are invited, will take place in the Scout Den, on Monday June 19th at which new members will be proposed. There will be an opportunity for discussion on the needs of the parish, and to put forward items for the attention of the new incoming Council..

POOR CLARE SISTERS  - VOCATIONS AFTERNOON

“Come and See" Vocations Afternoon, Sat. June 17th, 2 - 4.30pm; Poor Clare Monastery, College Rd., Cork.

LEGION OF MARY.

The Legion of Mary have a statue of Our Lady of Fatima. If any family would like to have it in their home in honour of the Centenary of the Fatima apparitions (13th May 1917 to 13th Oct. 2017) please contact Breeda 4871143 or Norah 4872253.

 

Calling all Spring Dues, Easter Offerings,

Trócaire Boxes….

Please return any remaining Spring Dues

Envelopes, Easter Offering Envelopes, or Trócaire Boxes to the church as soon as possible. Thank you to those who have already returned them

Solstice Celebrations in Ballinora

 

For several years now, the parishioners of Ballinora have been celebrating a dawn Mass outdoors, on the Sunday morning closest to the Summer Solstice. The event has captured peoples’ imagination. Young and old gather on the amphitheatre-shaped slope in the field opposite the Parish Church at 6.30 a.m. We are conscious of re-living and celebrating at a time of year when in the mists of history, our pagan ancestors would have gathered in sacred sites to celebrate their gods. But this is a Christian celebration of the Sun, and of the Son. The location is directly on the path leading to the Mass Rock lower in the glen, sacred to our ancestors in troubled Penaltimes, but a little difficult to access now, The altar is a felled tree trunk, decorated with wild flowers. The surroundings become an open-air cathedral. The birds join in with their praises. The sparrows, the lilies of the field, seeds and flowers, used by Jesus to show the glory and beauty of God and of human life, are all part of the celebration.

 

The Mass gives a lovely opportunity to worship and give thanks to the God of Creation and Nature, totally in harmony with the Apostolic Letter ‘Laudato si’ of Pope Francis, on preserving the beautiful world we live in . Hymns and readings and prayers are chosen to suit the occasion. Themes of respect for Nature, the fruitfulness of the earth, the food we eat, the animals and crops, are all woven into the liturgy, and many symbols of life are brought along to accompany the gifts of bread and wine used by Jesus himself.

 

But last, and certainly not least, the Mass also serves as a celebration of the parish, its people, its activities. But more particularly, it celebrates and fosters Community, as Jesus did with his followers at the Last Supper. The Mass is followed by another ‘Breaking of Bread’. A community barbecue breakfast is provided for all, cooked and served by Parish Council and other helpers. A voluntary donation is sometimes suggested for a local charity. A religious celebration like this, somewhat out of the ordinary, helps to blend history with the present time, the secular with the sacred, liturgy with life, and takes the Mass from the sacred building into the open countryside, expanding our horizons, encompassing Nature, all of life, and all the World.

 

Dawn Mass of the Solstice. Ballinora. 6.30a.m. Sunday June 25th 2017

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