ST PATRICK’S DAY AT THE WELL: The open-air Mass at the historic site of St Patrick’s Well, Singland, went ahead as planned, in spite of a shower around 10.30am. It is reputed that St Patrick baptized people at this site, around 15 hundred years ago, as we believe that he spent quite a long time in the Singland area. There was quite a good attendance. Retired Bishop Donal Murray participated in the Mass, celebrated by Fr David Gibson P.P., assisted by Fr Eamonn Purcell. Fr Gibson welcomed everybody. This year, for the first time, a white tent was erected in front of St Patrick’s Shrine sheltering the altar, and the seats for St Brigid’s choir. Brid Sheehan read the first reading in Irish. Judith Hanley recited the second reading. Jerry Patterson sang the responses, and all the gathering around the Shrine joined in the hymn singing.
Bishop Donal Murray gave an inspiring homily, and the following is just a shortened extract from his full address to us … “Quoting from the second reading of the day by St Paul, Bishop Murray said “remember what St Paul said in that reading; St Paul felt that he had never arrived and had no need to make further efforts. We have to keep trying, and strive ahead for what is still to come. St Patrick was kidnapped and brought to Ireland. He spent his youth on the mountains minding sheep. It must have been a terrible situation to be in, knowing the Irish weather, and yet, after he escaped, he decided to come back, and he came back to continue the struggle. He returned to what he called “the land of his captivity.” He left his family, his homeland, and knew he would never go back to them. Speaking about the persecutions he suffered; about violence he met; he wrote a very angry letter to a soldier because they had taken away and killed some people who had just been baptized. In spite of all that, St Patrick kept going, remained fully committed to his task, and he said that he wanted to stay in Ireland in his mission until he died, and he did that in such an excellent way that his name is still honored in every country of the world; his heritage is our heritage now, but let’s be realistic, this is one of the few times in the millennium and a half since St Patrick came to Ireland, when it is by no means certain that Ireland will continue to be a Christian and Catholic country. The challenge is now in our hands; we have a great history of faith; a great history of missionary endeavor. The Irish have brought their faith and traditions to wherever they went, but a great history is no guarantee of a great future, and St Patrick knew that his work was never finished. His wish for the people who came after him, he said, was not that they would continue his work, not that they would imitate him, but that he wished they would do better things, and do greater things when he had gone. When Blessed John Paul 11 came to Limerick in 1979, one of the things he kept emphasizing to us was this; Ireland must choose, Ireland must decide what kind of country it wants to be. Remember what Pope John Paul said – what the fidelity of just one man has made for Ireland and the world, the solid foundations on which to build. We have a solid foundation, and we have to move forward from what St Patrick gave us to do even better here.
Pope Francis, just the other day, issued the same challenge. He said “when one does not walk – one does not move forward; one stands still and dies. And when one does not build on stone what happens? What happens is what happens to children’s sand castles on the beach - they are washed away”
When it all comes down to it; we have a heritage that is our responsibility, and please God, our celebration of this day will be a day of enjoyment, and also a day of remembering what it is that we celebrate on the Feast of St Patrick. It was a privelidge and joy to have our retired Bishop Murray attend our special parish celebration of our parish’s patron Saint. and we thank him for coming to us.
Fr David Gibson P.P. thanked Jean Ryan, of the Limerick City Community Safety Partnership, and who is also the community co-ordinator for Garryowen, for organizing the clean up of the area around the well; Pat O’Connor who did the painting and who replaced capping; Noel Hannon who did the gardening; Sean Gibbons for cleaning up the waste, and to Kevin Fitzgibbon who brought along 20 American students who helped out with the tidying up of the well and surrounding area. Jean Ryan added her own thanks also for all the help she received from the same group. There was also a special word of thanks for Richmond’s Rugby Club who supplied the marquee for the Mass. Fr Gibson also thanked Fenola, the Sacristan of St Brigid’s, the St Brigid’s choir, and Bishop Donal Murray for accepting his invitation. Fr Gibson also thanked all those who attended the Mass, and wished everyone a happy St Patrick’s Day.
HOLY WEEK CEREMONIES: Palm Sunday 11.30 Mass-St Brigid’s Church
12.30pm Mass – St Patrick’s Church
Monday 9.am Mass – St Patrick’s Church
9.45 Mass – St Brigid’s Church
Tuesday 9.am Mass- St Patrick’s Church 9.45am Mass – St Brigid’s Church 8.pm Penitential Service for our Pastoral Area in Milford Church.
Wednesday 9.am Mass- St Patrick’s Church 9.45am Mass-St Brigid’s Church 7.30pm Chrism Mass-St John’s Cathedral
Holy Thursday 7.pm Mass of the Last Supper followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and finishing with Night Prayer at 9.pm- St Patrick’s Church
Good Friday 3.pm Liturgy of the Passion- St Brigid’s Church 7.pm Stations of the Cross- St Patrick’s Church.
Holy Saturday 8.pm Easter Vigil- St Brigid’s Church.
Easter Sunday 11.30am Mass- St Brigid’s Church 12.30pm Mass-St Patrick’s Church
Confessions: after each of the ceremonies.
RECENT NEWS FROM ST BRIGID’S N.S.
FEEDING THE BIRDS: Geoff Hunt, ornithologist, returned to the school to talk to First and Second Classes about the birds in our garden. Visitors may have noticed the bird feeders positioned around the school grounds. We have been feeding the birds since January, and some classes have even made fat-balls as treats to tempt the finches, starlings, rooks, crows, blue-tits, magpies, and collar doves that frequent the yard.
SPRING BLOSSOMS: Spring has come to the garden, with the appearance of the crocuses and the first daffodils. Miniature purple irises are blooming in the flower-bed near the car-park. We are keeping an eye on the frogspawn in the school pond, and hope that we will have a good supply of tadpoles later in Spring.
WORLD BOOK DAY: on March 7, was celebrated by a whole-school event. Classes from Junior Infants to Second, were paired with the senior classes for a storytelling session in the Reading Room. Teddies were invited too, and the experience was enjoyable and beneficial for all. Every pupil took home a book token, and a book mark was presented to the junior pupils by the older readers.
CYCLE SKILLS TRAINING: took place on Monday last, March 11, for Fifth Classes. On that day, children brought their bikes [and helmets] to school, and received safety training from the Gardai.
FOOTBALL: Fifth Class boys took part in the F.A.I. 5-a-side in Seanchoill, Corbally, on February 26, and qualified for the Limerick finals.
DRAMA WORKSHOP: Fifth and Sixth Classes attended a Drama Workshop on Tuesday last, March 12. It addressed how children may best acquire life-skills for solving problems in modern society, and apply them to their own lives.
WOOD CRAFTS: Fifth Classes spent a day working with wood, hammer, and nails, and produced an amazing array of wooden horses, under the guidance of craftsman Mark Wilson. The activity supports their study of the novel ‘War Horse’ and will form part of a display in the Granary at Easter.
IRISH COMPETITIONS:: Seachtain na Gaeilge takes place next week, and includes the ever-popular Spraoicheist [Table Quiz], a Seanfhocail [Proverbs] Poster Competition, and a Ceolchoirm [Concert].
OTHER ACTIVITIES: Cookery Classes continue for a second group of Fifth Class children, and camogie training has begun for girls.
GREEN SCHOOLS PROGRAMME: St Brigid’s are currently working on the Travel component of the Green Schools programme. Following a poster and slogan competition in the school, pupils mounted a display of work in the Parkway Shopping Centre. The aim is to reduce car-dependency and, to achieve this, pupils and staff participate in a Walk-on-Wednesday scheme, which has been very successful to date.
A SEA OF GREEN FOR ST PATRICK’S DAY: On Friday last, March 15, both staff and pupils all wore something green to school, in celebration of our national Saint - Patrick. St Brigid’s School was a sea of green.
ST PATRICK’S GAA: Club Membership is now due, closing date is March 31. Membership is available from any member of the committee.
MATCH RESULTS: Our u/21 hurlers were defeated last time out against Deel Rangers. The final score line being 2-10 to 0-08. We play Adare on Tuesday, March 19, in the Gaelic Grounds, and our final league game is against Na Piarsaigh on March 26, at a venue to be decided.
The u/14 footballers played in the Feile Peil competition on Saturday, March 16, against Adare. Despite a valiant performance, we were defeated on a score line of 1-02 to 3-05.
ST PATRICK’S DAY PARADE: Well done to all who participated in the record breaking St Patrick’s Day parade event. Over 80 members participated in the parade. It was great to see so many turn out and great credit must go to Chris Mortell who organized it. To view photos taken at the parade - visit the St Patrick’s GAA club face book page.
THANKS: We are now back playing in Garryowen, and thanks must go to Phil Doyle, Pa Doyle , Larry Cross, Alan Ryan, and Marcus Clancy for erecting the new goal-posts last Saturday morning.
CONGRATULATIONS: to Andrew Hannigan on being part of The UL Fresher B team who recently beat UCC in their All Ireland final,
FUNDRAISING: St Patrick’s are presently running two fundraising events. A raffle for an Easter Egg, to be held in the club house over Easter, and tickets can be got from Kenneth Dawson.
The second fundraiser, in aid of our all weather facility, the main ticket prize is for a great trip for two to Old Trafford to see Manchester United in action against Swansea on May 12.. Tickets are only €3 each or two tickets for € 5please support this fundraiser.
CLAUGHAUN GAA: The Claughaun GAA club are holding a Bag Packing day in Dunnes Stores Childers Road, on Good Friday, March 29. Volunteers are needed