Issue 132  “UNION NEWS”  March 2021

Dear Parishioners,

Safe and Well

In these very challenging times I hope you manage to keep safe and well.  As we know, “the darkest hour comes before the dawn” and so, despite the difficulties we face, we must keep hope in our hearts, knowing a time will come when we will all be able to meet and share our lives again.

Month of Prayer

I hope March will be a special time for prayer in the Parish.  You will find in the Union Notes the opportunities and times we can all share prayer together.

  • on the Sunday Moments online
  • the Wednesday Lenten Zoom Services
  • Sunday “Home Service”. The Order of Service for the March Home Service is in these Union Notes
  • Mothering Sunday on Zoom-Sunday 14th March

Details of the dates and times of the March Services

Online every Sunday – Sunday Moments                                

Sunday 7th March               Women’s World Day of Prayer

Sunday 14th March             Mothering Sunday- ZOOM

Sunday 21st March             Special Preacher will be Luke Hawkins,

Chaplain Wilson’s Hospital

Sunday 28th March             Palm Sunday


Wednesday Lenten Services- on ZOOM

Wednesday 10th March`    7.00 p.m. (please note time this week)

Wednesday 17th March      8.00 p.m. St. Patrick’s Day

Wednesday 24th March      8.00 p.m.


Sunday Home Service – every Sunday in your home


Women’s World Day of Prayer

The Women’s World Day of Prayer Service will be led by women in the Parish.  Women’s World Day started in America in 1887 as a response to the needs of women following the American Civil War.  It became the Women’s World Day of Prayer in 1920.  The first Services in Ireland were held in Dublin, Dun Laoghaire and Greystones.

Mothering Sunday- Zoom Service- Sunday 14th March at 11a.m.

This year there will be a special Service by Zoom on Sunday 14th March which I hope you will all join.  Lets all come together to celebrate Mothering Sunday.


Luke Hawkins

We are delighted that Luke will speak on Sunday Moments on Sunday 21st March.  Luke is doing a wonderful job as Chaplain at Wilson’s Hospital School and we are all benefiting from having Luke and Esther living in the Parish, along with their amazing hens!


Wednesday Lenten Service- on ZOOM

It’s lovely to have a number of families attending this Service every week and taking part.  We have some lovely piano music and special readings and prayers.  I hope you might like to join us.


ZOOM – Zoom is so easy.

It is so easy for me to send you an invitation for the Zoom Services.  All I need is your email address and you need to download the Zoom App.  It would be lovely to have more people from the Parish joining us on Zoom to sing, pray and meet together.



The Aspire magazine is now in a new format and will be posted to you each month during the restrictions.  The annual subscription is €25.  Please send your subscription to Mr. John Hales, Honorary Treasurer, Ballyvade, Ballinalack, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.

If you would like to receive a copy of Aspire please telephone Edna Craig on 087-2761568.



Parishioners were very sad to learn of the passing of Claude Rolston who passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family, on Sunday 14th February.  Claude and Anna had been married for almost 58 years.   They were truly devoted to each other and shared a wonderful love.  An act of supreme love at the end meant an enormous amount to both Claude, Anna and the family as Anna arranged for Claude to return home for the last weekend before his passing.  The comfort and peace he will have felt knowing that each of his children, Wendy, Sandra, Newton, David, and Florence, with Anna, were sitting at his bedside when he peacefully passed away.  We offer our deepest sympathy to Anna and her family, Claude’s two sisters and to Anna’s sister Louise.  Claude was a much admired and appreciated member of the choir in All Saints’ and his presence in All Saints’, Sunday by Sunday, was greatly appreciated by parishioners as were the lovely conversations and time he gave to people unselfishly after each Sunday Service.  As a person of deep faith, we pray that Claude will now rest in peace and rise in glory.

We extend our deepest sympathy to the family of Revd. Canon David Hutton Bury who passed away following a long illness which he bore with such courage and dignity.  David was a true gentleman and his ministry in the Diocese was greatly appreciated by everyone. We pray that he will now rest in peace and rise in glory.

We offer our deepest sympathy to Edie McCullagh, who is a sister of the late Ivan Bourke, whose husband George has also passed away following a long illness which he bore so bravely.  We also extend our sympathy to all of Ivan Bourke’s family at this sad time.

We also offer  our deepest sympathy to John and Andrea Mulvaney following the sudden and sad death of John’s father, Paddy. We pray that Paddy now in the fuller presence of God may rest in peace and that John and Andrea and family will be comforted by their memories of him.


We sympathise with Kathy von Beaumont whose mother sadly passed away in Hungary where she resided. The loss for Kathy not naturally very upsetting and further heart-breaking because due to Covid she was unable to travel to attend the funeral


We offer our sympathy to Canon John Clarke following the death of his mother who passed away peacefully after having lived a very long life. John is Rector of Navan Union.


Item of Interest


George Forbes very kindly sent me this text which I would like to share with you and I thank George for his thoughtfulness in sending it to me:


Charlie Chaplain lived to 88 years of age.  He left us four statements.


The first point is –              “nothing is forever in this world, not even our problems.

The second point –             “I love walking in the rain because no one sees my tears”

The third point –                 “the most lost day in my life is the day we don’t laugh”

The fourth point –                “the six best doctors in the world are

  1. the sun
  2. rest
  3. exercise
  4. diet
  5. self respect
  6. friends

Stick to them at all stages of your life and enjoy a healthy life.

If you see the moon you see the beauty of God.

If you see the sun, you will see the power of God.

If you see a mirror you will see God’s creation


So, believe it – we are all tourists.  God is our travel agent who has already identified our routes, bookings, and destinations……. Trust Him and enjoy life.

March – A Month of Prayer

 Do join us in the Parish on Sunday Moments online,

Zoom Services every Wednesday and Sunday 14th March

It would be lovely to have your company – all you have to do is send me your email and download the Zoom app

Sunday Home Service for March

Order of Service

  1. Gather together standing or sitting in a circle
  2. Eyes closed, take 10 breaths in quiet preparation
  3. The Jesus Prayer – Matthew 6

Jesus said “This then is how you should pray.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven

Give us today our daily bread

And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors

And lead us not into temptation

But delivery us from evil. Amen.”

  1. P – a few moments of quiet prayer

R – remember those in need-the sick , lonely , hungry, war victims

A – aware of the needs of the world

Y – you, your priorities and interests

E – encourage, is there someone you can encourage in the life of faith

R – ready to hear God’s prompts and voice for your life

  1. The Lord’s Prayer – said together
  2. Our Prayers

Lord of all, forgive us that we make time like this all too rarely; forgive us that we fill our lives with noise and activity; forgive us that we ask you to speak but fail to hear your voice because we fail to listen; forgive us that we deny ourselves the peace of your presence.  Open now our hearts to you and fill us with the peace that only you can give, through Jesus Christ Our Lord.

  1. Lenten Collect

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing that you have made and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent; create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness receive from you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness, through Jesus Christ Our Lord.  Amen.

  1. Lenten Blessing

Christ, give us the grace to grow in holiness, deny ourselves and to take up His cross and follow Him.  Amen

  1. Close the Service with a moment of quiet prayer.


With God’s blessings

Rev Alastair Graham- 0877870985

I am always available if you need to contact me

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Rev. Alastair Graham
The Rectory
Gaol Hill
Co. Westmeath

Tel: 044 9348376