Message From Fr. Joe

I hope this will bring some clarity in these uncertain times.
I believe we give First Holy Communion to our children far too early.
I would much prefer that this sacrament marked the end of primary school and the beginning of
secondary school and that no parent felt that this was something they had to do, but rather
something that is freely chosen for their child.
Ideally this free choice would be made by families for whom Jesus is an important part of their
lives, and that a key part of their faith is regular attendance at Eucharist/ Mass.
First Holy Communion implies Second, Third and many more wonderful opportunities to receive
Holy Communion. First Holy Communion should not mean last Holy Communion.
This year has been a hard one, especially for you as parents and families. This is a horrible virus. It
does not come from God. Perhaps though there is some learning in these days. I think it would be
a missed opportunity if we just scramble to hit the reset button and try and get back to where we
were. Even if this was possible is it actually desirable?
In terms of First Holy Communion we are learning that the dress or the suit may be lovely, being surrounded by friends great fun and the party itself very exciting but the truth is, if we
understand what Holy Communion really is, we realise that the greatest and most special
moment is the actual moment when the children receive Jesus for the first time. So, my
friends, I would sincerely ask you, have a think about it. Is the Mass important to your
family? Are you going to support your child in coming to know Jesus? To attend Mass
If you are answering yes to these questions then you have TWO ways to access First Holy
Communion. Please give them your best consideration and also that you also have the option of
waiting until such times as you feel it is safer for your family. Despite what some think, there is in
fact no hurry. The first one is to book a place for your child to receive his/her First Holy Communion at any of our
nine weekly ‘regular’ Masses.
Your choice of Masses every week is as follows: Tuesday and Thursday at 9.15 am in St Brigid’s
and 10 am in St Patrick’s, Friday at 7pm in St Patrick’s, Saturday at 10 am in St Patrick’s. On
Sundays we have three Masses to choose from: 9 am and 12 noon in St Patrick’s and 11 am in St
Brigid’s. We can accommodate two children at each of these Masses.
In order to safeguard places at daily Mass for our regular faith community I had originally not
allowed booking any more than a week in advance. However a result of listening to the difficulty
this was causing you as parents regarding arranging time of work, child minding and so on, this
limitation is now gone and it is possible to book weeks in advance.
Whilst I believe this way of celebrating First Holy Communion is both fitting and beautiful I have
decided to offer another way of celebrating the sacrament.
In addition to the present nine weekly Masses I have decided to offer an extra
twenty Masses between now and the Feast of All the Saints of Ireland, November
6th, where you can book a place for your child to receive his or her First Holy
It will be possible to accommodate TEN children at each of these Masses. I have
chosen days with special significance, each one reminding us of the beauty of our
The dates and times of these extra Masses for our First Holy Communion children are as follows:
Feast of the Archangels, Tuesday September 29th at 12 noon
Feast of St Therese, the Little Flower, Thursday October 1st at 4 pm
Feast of the Guardian Angels, Friday October 2nd at 12 noon
Feast of Blessed Columba Marmion, Saturday October 3rd at 6 pm
Our Lady of the Rosary, Wednesday October 7th at 12 noon
Our Lady, Saturday October 10th at 12 noon
Feast of St Teresa, Thursday October 15th at 12 noon
Feast of Pope St John Paul II, Thursday October 22nd at 12 noon, 4.30 pm and 7 pm
Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Wednesday October 28th at 12 noon
Blessed Dominic Collins, Saturday October 31st at 1 pm
Feast of St Malachy, Tuesday November 3rd at 12 noon, 3 pm, and 6 pm
Feast of St Martin de Porres, November 5th at 12 noon and 6 pm
Feast of All the Saints of Ireland, November 6th at 10 am, 12.30 and 4.30 pm
ALL BOOKINGS: 0877043742 9 AM – 1 PM MON – FRI
I hope these new arrangements provide you with clarity and an opportunity to celebrate this
beautiful sacrament, if it is in fact something you believe in and genuinely desire for your child.
Needless to say please do not come to the church if your child or indeed yourselves are unwell.
I assure you you will be accommodated at another time.
Let us continue to remember each other in prayer. Fraternally JMCD


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