Union Notes May 2020


 Corona Virus Outbreak

Prayerful Thoughts and Comforting Words and

Parish Information at a time of National crisis

  May God be gracious to us, bless us and make His face shine on us”

Psalm 67


May 2020

Dear Parishioners,

The Covid-19 pandemic has been hard for everyone and, sadly, tragic for many.  While the phased reopening plan outlined by An Taoiseach has give some confidence, we are still in a very challenging situation.  I am very conscious of the financial, employment, farming, health, social and personal pressures so many people are suffering in the Parish.

We remember in prayer and offer our deepest sympathy to two families in the Parish who have recently been bereaved.  On Sunday 26th April, Ivan Bourke sadly passed away.  Everyone in the Parish and the wider community was heartbroken on hearing the sad news.  Ivan was a legend in the business community with his ownership of Hutchison’s store, in the Parish community of All Saints’ where he played the organ for over 60 years, in the wider community through his involvement in the Mullingar Choral Society and many other organisations.  He was the epitome of the true gentleman, with a graceful, generous, compassionate and kind personality which won the admiration and affection of everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.  Ivan was pre-deceased by his beloved wife Elsie and we offer our deepest sympathy to David, Olwyn, Shirley, Adele, his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, sister and all members of the wider family.

Sadly, on Monday 27th April, Ann Hill of Killynon, Mullingar, passed away suddenly at her home. Ann was a warm-hearted loving person whose welcome to visitors was unsurpassed, with her lovely friendliness and her great generosity and hospitality, with plenty of cups of tea.  Her beloved husband, Bob, passed away last August and we offer our deepest sympathy to Robert, Anna and Aidan, her adoring grandchildren and her great-granddaughter, her brothers and sisters, and all the members of the wider family.

We pray that both Ivan and Ann may rest in peace and rise in glory.

Every week through the Parish website, (mullingarunionofparishes.net), and Facebook, Lorraine Hales is working exceptionally hard to keep everyone in the Parish up to date with Parish news.  I would like to sincerely thank Lorraine for her wonderful work and kindness, and if you are able to convey your own appreciation please do so.

Remember the Parish community Noticeboard : Text or Whats app   089 2497078  or email info@mullingarunionofparishes.net  It’s a lovely way to keep in touch and remind us that we are still together and united as a parish.


The Sunday Service at 12.00 noon is now well established.  The Bible Reflection continues every Wednesday at 8.00pm on the website and the virtual School Assembly is held every Friday morning at 11.00 a.m. on the All Saints’ School website. www.allsaintsns.org

The phased reopening will allow for churches to reopen for public worship on 20th July.  I will be liaising with the churchwardens and Select Vestry to agree what arrangements the Parish will be making and I hope to be able to give you details in the next issue of “Union Notes” in June.

I hope you will continue to keep well and safe and prayerfully benefit from the select readings and prayers I am including in this issue of the Union Notes.

If I can be of any assistance to you at any time, please do not hesitate to contact me in the Rectory on 044-9348376.

With kind regards and with God’s blessings,

Rev. Alastair Graham



Prayerful Thoughts and Comforting Words

Psalm 67

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us—

so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.

May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you.

May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth.

May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you.

The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us.

May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.



1 Peter, Chapter 1, verses 3-9

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,

who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Matthew 6, verses 25-34

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.

Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


Reflection:  We live in a world filled with anxiety, and it’s easy to let it rub off on us.  Jesus in this passage is talking about the Creator, who has filled the world with wonderful and mysterious things, full of beauty, energy and excitement, and who wants people above all to trust Him and love Him and receive their own beauty, energy and excitement from Him.  Jesus watched a thousand different kinds of flowers growing in the fertile Galilean soil.  He held his breath at their fragile beauty.  One sweep of a scythe, one passing donkey and this beautiful flower is gone.  Where did its’ beauty come from?  It didn’t spend hours in front of the mirror putting on makeup.  It didn’t go shopping in the market for fine clothes.  It was just itself, glorious, God-given, beautiful, showing us the goodness of God our heavenly Father.


Psalm 31, verses 1-5

In you, LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.

Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.

Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.

Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.

Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, LORD, my faithful God.


For those fearful of the future:

Living God, we pray for everyone in Ireland as we face the future with uncertainty and anxiety.  We pray for those who feel troubled in any way and long for peace and an end to conflict.  We pray for those who face trauma and upheaval in their lives, feel insecure and search for hope.  We pray for those who doubt their ability to cope with what life may bring, those overwhelmed by pressures, paralysed by fears, crushed by sorrows.  We pray for those faced with difficult decisions, circumstances beyond their control, unexpected dangers, awkward choices.  Living God, reach out to all of us for whom the future seems uncertain and unwelcome, and bring the assurance that, even in the darkest moments, greatest challenges, most worrying times, you are always there, able to bring light out of darkness, hope out of despair, joy out of sorrow and good out of evil.  Amen.


Most merciful Father, we commend to your care and protection those who succumbed to the Corona virus and those whose work is dangerous, especially those who risk their lives in providing care to those with Covid-19.  We thank you for their courage and their devotion to duty and pray that in every hour of need they may know that you are with them and need fear no evil.  Amen.


Lighten our darkness O Lord, we pray, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers at this time, for the love of your only Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.


The Great Realisation by Tomas Roberts

This has already been read by over 18 million people:

It was a world of waste and wonder, of poverty and plenty,

back before we understood why hindsight is 20/20.

You see the people came up with Companies to trade across all lands

but they swelled and got much bigger than ever we had planned.

We had always had our wants but now things go so quick,

we could have everything we dreamed of, today, or with a click.

We noticed families had stopped talking, that didn’t mean they never spoke,

but the meaning must have melted and the work/life balance broke.

The children’s eyes grew squarer and every toddler had a phone,

they filtered out the imperfections but amidst the noise they felt alone.

And every day the skies grew thicker till we couldn’t see the stars,

so we flew in planes to find them and down below we filled our cars.

We’d drive around all day in circles, we’d forgotten how to run,

we swapped the grass for tarmac, shrunk the parks till there were none.

We filled the sea with plastic because our waste was never capped,

until each day when we went fishing we pulled them out already wrapped.

And while we drank and smoked and gambled, our leaders taught us that it’s best not to upset the Lobbies, more convenient to die,

But then in 2020 a new virus came our way, the governments reacted and told us all to hide away.

But while we were hidden amidst the fear and all the while,

the people dusted off their instincts, they remembered how to smile,

They started clapping to say ‘thank you’ and calling up their mums,

and while the car keys gathered dust they would look forward to their runs,

And with the skies less full of voyagers the earth began to breathe,

and the beaches bore new wildlife that scuttled off in to the seas,

Some people started dancing, some were singing, some were baking,

we’d grown so used to bad news but some good news was in the making.

And so, when we found the cure and were allowed to go outside,

we all preferred the world we found to the one we left behind.

Old habits became extinct and they made up for the new,

and every act of kindness was now given its’ due.

But why did it take a virus to bring the people back together?

Well, sometimes you’ve got to get sick my boy before you start feeling better.

Now lie down and dream of tomorrow and all the things that you can do

And who knows if you dream hard enough maybe some will come true.

We now call it The Great Realisation and since then there have been many,

but that’s the story of how it started and why hindsight is 20/20.

Keep safe, keep well.


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Rev. Alastair Graham
The Rectory
Gaol Hill
Co. Westmeath

Tel: 044 9348376
Email: info@mullingarunionofparishes.net