MULLINGAR UNION OF PARISHES
Happy New Year
I would like to wish everyone in the Parish a very happy and healthy New Year. Christmas was a special time in each Church and we can all look forward to the New Year with confidence and hope. It would be lovely if your New Year’s resolution was to attend a Church on Sunday- you will not be disappointed.
Advent, Christmas and Epiphany
Our special Parish Programme, which ran from Advent Sunday through to Epiphany, went very well indeed and it was very encouraging to see the level of support at all the church services and events. The Programme generated both interest and energy and I would like to thank everyone in the Parish who worked so hard to make each of the church services and events so very successful. The Select Vestry will review the Programme at its meeting later in the month and we hope to run a similar programme again this year.
This year Epiphany falls on Sunday 6th January. This is a very important day time in the Church and we will be holding a United Epiphany Carol Service at 11.00 a.m. in All Saints’. I warmly invite parishioners from all four churches to attend. I am inviting all those who have been confirmed in recent years to the Service. Mrs. Diane Ashmore is going to conduct an impromptu choir of the Confirmation group. Would those who have been confirmed please attend at 10.15 a.m. before the Service for a short rehearsal with Mrs. Ashmore. Let’s all celebrate Little Christmas Day in a special way this year.
We hope lots of young people will come to sing.
Nativity Play and Live Crib
The Nativity Play, followed by the Live Crib, was a huge success and I would like to thank everyone involved – the children, the Principal, the teachers, staff, Parents Council and all the parents. Over 4,000 euro was raised and the whole occasion was truly special. Thank you all indeed.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity- 18th – 25th January.
Every January the churches unite together around the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This year we are looking forward to a very special time of prayer and fellowship. There is a very valuable friendship with mutual support shared between the churches. The churches hope to undertake a significant initiative together this year and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity provides the ideal opportunity for prayerful reflection and discernment. This year the special annual Service for Christian Unity will be held in the beautiful cathedral of Christ the King in Mullingar on Sunday 27th January at 7p.m.
Service of Crowns
For the last number of years we have held a special Service of Crowns in January. At the Service the children of the Parish present their gifts of money in appreciation of all they have received at Christmas and the money collected goes to support a very worthwhile project in Africa. For the last number of years we have provided support to a school in Nairobi. This year we hope to support the children suffering deprivation in the Yemen, by the children’s gifts. The Service is full of colour as the children parade wearing their amazing home made crowns. The Service of Crowns will be held on Sunday 20th January in All Saints’ at 11.00 a.m.
Conversion of St. Paul
A Service of Holy Communion will be held on Friday 25th January at 11.00 a.m. in All Saints’.
Rock Solid Youth Club – will meet from 7.30p.m. – 9p.m. on Thursday 17th January
JAM.- Sunday School will meet in All Saints’ on Sunday 27th January at 10a.m. and in Killucan on Sunday 13th and 20th at 11.30a.m.
The Select Vestry will meet on Wednesday 23rd January at 8.00 p.m. in the Rectory.
We warmly congratulate Killian and Leah Hales following their marriage in Kilmore Cathedral on Saturday 15th December. We pray they will enjoy a long life together with good health and happiness.
The funeral of Billy Craig was held in All Saints’ on Tuesday 4th December. We would like to offer our deepest sympathy to Edna his wife, and Diane, Wendy and Malcolm, his children and to his grandchildren and all the members of his family. Billy and Edna moved to live in Mullingar five years ago, having spent most of their married life in Sligo. Billy had worked for Irish Biscuits and had a plethora of interests which provided Billy and Edna with a very wide circle of friends. Billy’s daughters, Diane and Wendy, are both in the Parish and have distinguished themselves as teachers, Diane in All Saints’ Mullingar and Wendy in Castlepollard National School. Malcolm is admired for his work in business in Dublin and his support for Lucan Parish where he and his family are parishioners. Billy bore his illness with great courage and dignity and we pray that, now in the fuller presence of God, he may rest in peace. He was buried at Kilbixy churchyard.
We also offer our deepest sympathy to Prionsias and Valerie O’Fearghail following the passing before Christmas of Prionsias’s father. His father was greatly respected, loved and admired in the family and in the wider community and will be sadly missed. For the last three years, due to failing health, he was resided in a nursing home where he died peacefully. We pray that Prionsias and the family will be comforted by their lovely memories of him and we pray that, now in the fuller presence of God, he may rest in peace.
We also remember all other families who had recent bereavements of loved ones not residing in the Parish. Among those who have been bereaved we remember, Jean and Frank Kilmartin. Jean’s much loved sister-in-law, Joan, passed away suddenly following a short illness. We remember her husband Leslie, her daughters Karen and Gail, and Jean and the wider family in their sad loss. Joan has left them wonderful memories and we pray that she will rest in peace in the fuller presence of Almighty God.
In Killucan the Remembrance Tree was greatly appreciated and, on Christmas Day, we remembered by name those whose names had been placed on the tree. I would like to thank Susan for this thoughtful initiative which was greatly appreciated.
A Special Thank You
I would like to thank everyone who decorated the Churches so beautifully for Christmas this year. We would also like to thank all the Church Wardens for their invaluable assistance at the Christmas Services. A special thanks is also due to Bill McConnell and the Senior Parish Choir for their inspiring singing at the Services and to our guest Soloists and all those who read at the Services, and to Harry Haskins who organised the Confirmation candidates as readers at the Carol Service. We too thank Jean Gorissen for organising the young people to read at the Killucan Carol Service We also thank our organists David Lambe and Jean Kilmartin and Lesley Denniston for the important part they played at the Services. To everyone else who helped any way, many thanks indeed.
Olive and I would like to wish you all a very healthy and happy New Year.
Rev. Alastair Graham