Prayer for Immigrants
Merciful God, we pray to you for all the men, women and children who have died after leaving their homelands in search of a better life. Though many of their graves bear no name, to you each one is known, loved and cherished. May we never forget them, but honour their sacrifice with deeds more than words. We entrust to you all those who have made this journey, enduring fear, uncertainty and humiliation, in order to reach a place of safety and hope. Just as you never abandoned your Son as he was brought to a safe place by Mary and Joseph, so now be close to these, your sons and daughters, through our tenderness and protection. In caring for them may we seek a world where none are forced to leave their home and where all can live in freedom, dignity and peace. Merciful God and Father of all, wake us from the slumber of indifference, open our eyes to their suffering, and free us from the insensitivity born of worldly comfort and self-centredness. Inspire us, as nations, communities and individuals, to see that those who come to our shores are our brothers and sisters. May we share with them the blessings we have received from your hand, and recognise that together, as one human family, we are all migrants, journeying in hope to you, our true home, where every tear will be wiped away, where we will be at peace and safe in your embrace.
A Christmas Poem
No longer able to believe
That the Great Unknowable
Came among us as a child
He finds a way,
This tinselly time of year
To the crib and the singing
In some kind of fealty
To those whose softness
Nourished his growing;
And, for a moment,
Dreams himself back
Into the sweetness. (From: God in Winter by Pádraig J. Daly (p 74) (Dedalus Press2015)
Happy Christmas from all the community and staff here at the Graan! This the second Christmas that we are experiencing the dark clouds of the coronavirus swirling around us. Our anxieties about this dreaded virus distracts us and dissipates our energies. Its tentacles reach into our festivities and colours all that we do. We cannot ignore it. It is like a bad smell that will not go away. This year, we Passionists are celebrating the two hundredth birthday of St. Charles of Mount Argus. A Jubilee has been declared that began on the anniversary of his birth 11 December 2021 and will end on his feast day on the 5 January 2023. The theme of the Jubilee is taken from Matthew 11:28-29. “Come to me all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”. This is a wonderful subject that addresses not only the needs of our world today but our reactions to this virus. There is a weariness with the subject of coronavirus. We long for the day we can leave our masks at home. We yearn for those moments when we can reach out and hug one another again without the fear of infection. We hope for the day that those little bottles of hand sanitisers can become historical artefacts. We are getting tired. Tiredness is like a thief. Tiredness steals hope. It steals time. Overdrawing our energies in the present will always lead to problems in the future. It breeds forgetfulness. Our responses become slow. Our thoughts slip away dishevelled and disorganised. We long for a way to recharge. Tiredness steals our potential. Our perspective gets out of shape. Molehills become mountains. It affects our relationship with family, friends and God. Tiredness meddles with our productivity making us feel awash with failure or even guilt. Guilt has its own numbing effects taking us in the back gloomy alleys of our lives – it consumes our thoughts and remembering. We ask, “Why?” If my life in Christ is all about being transformed why isn’t it happening? Where is that joy I’m supposed to experience? Why is it all so bland, weary and empty? Surely I must have missed something? What have I forgotten? The opening line of the first reading of Mass on Christmas night declares: “The people that walked in darkness has seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone” (Isaiah 9:1). We are the people who are in the land of “deep shadow” It is only in the Gospel of Luke that we find the stories about the shepherds doing their work in the darkness of night. In the midst of their dull, ordinary and boring work, their world changed. “The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone round them” (Luke 2:9). Listen to the story again. Listen not only with your ears but with your heart. The one who brings meaning to our lives – even in the midst of suffering – is born for us. The prophet Isaiah declared “In rest and repentance your salvation lies in quietness and trust is your strength but you would have none of it. (Isaiah 30:15). It is holiday time. Rest is important. It helps us to remember who we are and above all who God is. Yes, these are weary, scary times. But we are blessed by today’s feast. Someone once said to St. Augustine “Gospel values are beautiful, life giving and forever true. But we live in evil times.” He replied by saying: “We ourselves make the times. If we are good, we make good times. Let us fashion the times by the quality of our lives.” Happy Christmas.
Christmas Cards and Gifts: The Community would like to thank you for all the Christmas cards and gifts they have received in the past few weeks. We promise to pray for all your intentions now and in the New Year.
Christmas Collection: There will be a special collection taken up today for the Community’s work here at The Graan.
Remembering the Dead at Christmas: We have placed all the names of your deceased relatives on the altar.
Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Masses: To help us accommodate those wishing to go to Mass for Christmas we have put on an extra Mass at 6pm on Christmas Eve. The second Mass on Christmas Eve will be at 8.30pm. We want to prevent overcrowding at any of these Masses: therefore we will be using our overflow rooms (which can accommodate small numbers), in the old sacristy and in the upper prayer room. We will have these Masses transmitted by radio link also. You may have to sit in your car in our car park and listen to the Mass on your radio. Tune into 106FM.
Christmas morning: 9am, 10.30am and 12noon. There will be no 4pm Mass today.
Christmas Crib: Please visit our Crib during this special season. The proceeds will go to St Vincent de Paul in Enniskillen. Thanks to Gerry Murphy for erecting the crib at Our Lady’s Grotto.
Thanks also to Dervilia from DD’s Flowers in Irvinestown for the beautiful flower arrangements.
2022 Graan Calendars: These are available free of charge at the Graan shop today.
Post-Christmas Arrangements: (Sunday 26th December) Masses at 10.30am, 12noon & 4pm. Mon 27th, Tues 28th, Wed 29th, Thurs 30th & Fri New Year’s Eve Mass will be at 11am.
The shop will be open to 12noon each day.
New Year’s Day (Saturday) – Mass @ 11am and Vigil at 6.30pm.
Sunday 2nd January 2022 Masses – 10.30am, 12noon & 4pm.
Brian Mc Cann, Coa, Fr John Kearns SPS, Corcaghan, Co Monaghan, Pauline Dunbar, Chanterhill Rd, Enniskillen, Karl Burns, Drumclay Rd, Enniskillen. Joe Mc Ternan, Belcoo
Telephone: 028 6632 2272
Fax: 028 6632 5201