Issue 155      “UNION NEWS”    February 2023  

Dear Parishioners,

Lent 2023

This year Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, 22nd February.  On Ash Wednesday there will be the following Services:

  • All Saints’                        9.30 a.m.          Children’s Service
  • Killucan                         10.30 a.m.          Holy Communion
  • Almoritia/Kilbixy              5.00 p.m.         Evening Prayer

                                                               (the Service will be held in Almoritia church)

  • All Saints’                        7.30 p.m.         Holy Communion

Every year Lent provides us with the opportunity for a prayerful preparation for Holy Week and Easter.  I do hope that parishioners will support the church services during Lent, particularly on Sundays.  During Lent there will be a number of special Lenten occasions which I hope will be well supported.

St. Etchen’s Day – Sunday 12th February

In Killucan church on Sunday 12th February, we will celebrate St. Etchen’s Day.  This is always a lovely parochial occasion and the Senior Parish Choir will lead the singing.  After the service there will be delicious refreshments provided.  Please make a point of coming to St. Etchen’s to celebrate the patronal festival. Sincere thanks to the parishioners for providing the refreshments.

Lighten Our Darkness by Numbers

The young leaders of the Lighten Our Darkness By Numbers initiative also have a very busy and exciting year to look forward to.  Their year got off to a great start last month with an amazing presentation of the initiative during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  Those who attended from the wider community were mightily impressed and I have received many wonderful compliments which I have passed on to the young leaders.  The 2 local papers have given the presentation wide coverage which we very much appreciate.  There was also a wonderful response to their Christmas Tree Appeal for the planting of trees in the Parish, as part of the “Communion Forest” initiative launched by the bishops at the Lambeth Conference.  Parishioners committed themselves to plant over 100 native Irish trees.  We look forward to doing that in the coming weeks. The young leaders look forward to working with many other groups in the Church of Ireland this year as we all do our best to repair the damage to God’s creation through climate change.

Bible Study

We hope to start holding Bible Study again next month. Bible Study on Saturday mornings is not convenient for many parishioners. I wonder what you would think of meeting once a month at 4.30pm on a Sunday afternoon? I would welcome your comments

Tree Planting -Saturday 25th February at 4pm

On Saturday afternoon, 25th February at 4.00 p.m., Dr. Dara Fitzpatrick from University College Cork, will conduct a tutorial on why trees are so important in God’s world, at Rathconnell churchyard located just off the Delvin Road.   After the tutorial we will start the planting of trees which we hope will be completed by early March.  This tutorial will be very interesting and informative and I would like to warmly invite parishioners to join the young leaders for this very special occasion.

Tree quiz & colouring competitionLighten our Darkness project fundraiser
The Lighten our Darkness group will be attending the General Synod in Wexford on 14 May to present their climate project. To support this trip we are running a quiz sheet and colouring competition. Quiz sheets will be available in all churches at a cost of €2. Closing date for entries Friday 31March. Thank you for your support, enjoy.

Whist Drives

This Friday, 3rd February, the All Saints’ Whist Drive will be held at 8.00 p.m.  Parishioners and friends are warmly invited to what is always a lovely occasion.

A further Whist Drive will be held in All Saints’ on Friday 3rd March at 8.00 p.m. to which everyone is warmly invited.

The Tyrrellspass Whist Drive will be held on Friday 17th February at 8.00 p.m. and the Moate Whist Drive will be held on Friday 24th February at 8.00 p.m.

This year it is lovely to see such a large number of people attending the Whist Drives and everyone is most welcome.

Grandparents’ Sunday – Sunday 26th February at 11.00 a.m.

We will hold a special Grandparents’ Service on Sunday 26th February at 11.00 a.m. in All Saints’ Church.  You may remember that we held a similar Service before the pandemic and it was a wonderful success.   We invite all grandparents in the Parish to invite their grandchildren to come to church with them, and of course the children’s parents are also very welcome.  I warmly commend this occasion to you.  The church was full for the last Grandparents’ Sunday Service and it would be lovely to see the church full again on this occasion.  So grandparents, please invite your grandchildren to join you on the 26th February. 


Women’s World Day of Prayer

This very important Service will be held in Killucan on Sunday 5th March at 11.30 am.  The Service will be conducted by women in the Parish and I hope it will be very well supported.   We are so utterly blessed with the wonderful women we have in each of the churches in the Mullingar Union.   I sincerely ask all the men in the Parish, along with the women, to come so that we can display our support for women throughout the world and the parish at this special service.


Recently we have welcomed into God’s family through baptism Liam, We remember Liam, his parents and godparents in our prayers at this time.

We look forward this month to the baptism of two of Canon and Mrs. MacDougall’s great-grandchildren.  Mrs. MacDougall, who is now 99 years of age, hopes to be present at the baptism.


We also offer our deepest sympathy to Rosanne and Alan Roderick and their sons, Nick and Simon.  Rosanne’s father, George, who was so actively involved in the Church of Ireland over a long period of years and was greatly respected and admired, passed away in early January in his late nineties.  His funeral service in Nun’s Cross in Ashford was an inspiring occasion and we pray that Rosanne, Alan and the family will be richly comforted by their wonderful memories of him.  We pray that George, now in the fuller presence of God, may rest in peace and rise in glory.

We also offer our deepest sympathy to Pamela and David Webster.  Pamela’s brother, Fred, who was a farmer in Co. Cavan, sadly passed away in January following a very long illness.  We pray that God’s love and care will be a strength to Pamela and her mother, Violet, David, their children John, Mark, Sarah and Jessica, and the wider family at this sad time for them.  Pamela has wonderful memories of her “big brother” which we hope will also be a comfort to her as Fred rests in peace and rises in glory.

I would like to remind you that if you ever need assistance of any kind, please do not hesitate to get in contact with me and I will always be pleased to hear from you.

With kind regards and with God’s blessings,

Revd. Alastair Graham

Mobile: 087-787 0985

Learning about trees and planting trees


Saturday 25th February


4.00 p.m. at Rathconnell churchyard


Dr. Dara Fitzpatrick


Everyone Welcome


All Saints’ National School- School Enrolment

All Saints’ National School is accepting applications for enrolment for the school year 2023 – 2024 from Tuesday 10th January to Friday 10th February. The schools admission notice and application form are available online on our website –

Please return the form by closing on Friday 10th February  We look forward to hearing from you. Hard copies of application forms are available from the school office 04493 48206

Church Services this Month – February 2023


Sunday 5th February

All Saints’          10.00 a.m.          Holy Communion, Canon Lawrence

Killucan             11.30 a.m.          Holy Communion, Canon Lawrence



Sunday 12th February

All Saints’          10.00 a.m.          Holy Communion, (said), Rector

Killucan             11.30 a.m.          St. Etchen’s Day, Rector

Almoritia             7.00 p.m.         Evening Prayer, Rector



Sunday 19th February

All Saints’          10.00 a.m.          Holy Communion, Rector

Killucan             11.30 a.m.          Morning Prayer

Kilbixy              11.30 a.m.          Holy Communion, Rector



Sunday 26th February

All Saints’          10.00 a.m.          Holy Communion, (said) Rector

11.00 a.m.          Grandparents’ Service followed by refreshments

We look forward to welcoming grandparents              

from each church in the Union




Wednesday 1st February – St. Brigid’s Day

All Saints’          11.00 a.m.          Church Service



Thursday 2nd February – The presentation of Christ in the Temple

All Saints’          11.00 a.m.          Holy Communion



Wednesday 22nd February – Ash Wednesday

Service times in Union Notes



Friday 24th February – St. Matthias the Apostle

All Saints’          11.00 a.m.          Holy Communion






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Rev. Alastair Graham
The Rectory
Gaol Hill
Co. Westmeath

Tel: 044 9348376