Today is the First Sunday of Advent: Today is the first weekend of the Church’s New Year. It is also the first weekend of another strict lockdown for those of us who live on this part of the island of Ireland! The coronavirus respects no borders and is still holding us all to ransom. During the last lockdown we had at least the beautiful weather to keep us company. Now we are called again to socially distance, keep washing our hands and covering our face. This time reminds us of those animals that hibernate during the winter months. Hibernation comes from the Latin word “Hiberna” which means winter. It refers to the “sleeping” or resting of an animal so that it can conserve energy and survive during periods of harsh weather. Hibernation is a time of safety and warmth. It is necessary in order for animals to prepare for the coming seasons. They hibernate in order to survive. They switch off in order to be able to switch on again when the first weak rays of sunlight start to thaw the deep snowfalls. Hibernation is a temporary death they go through in order to lead a more fruitful life when they re-emerge into the chaos that is life. It is an annual resurrection of sorts, a ritual passage that lies at the heart of the cycle of being. During this Advent season the days are growing exceedingly shorter as we move towards winter solstice when once again the light will slowly begin to increase day by day. Advent’s darkness offers a womblike cocoon where we are invited to wait, to ponder what is gestating within us, and to hold expectancy for the glimmer of light on the horizon. For those of Christ-centred faith, it’s a prayerful time to await the return of Light to the world through the celebration of Christ’s birth. This graced time of Advent is a time for reflection. Yet our culture works counter to this season. Politicians and the media are discussing endlessly if we will be free to mingle with our loved ones during the coming Christmas holidays. This past week have seen us busily and frenetically shopping and gathering in the goods for our time of lockdown and in case of the possibility of the Christmas festivities being cancelled. Of course these are difficult days, chosen or not, our periods of hibernation need to be punctuated with moments of social contact, or else we unravel. The tradition of the Church, however, during this Advent season calls us to reflection. It calls us to recognise the hunger within us for meaning to our lives. The restlessness that is within us can only be answered by the One who created us. St. Augustine recognised this reality in his own heart by praying “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” One of the Opening Prayers at Mass on this First Sunday of Advent declares; “Rouse us from sleep, deliver us from our heedless ways, and form us into a watchful people, that, at the advent of your Son, he may find us doing what is right, mindful of all you command.” May your Advent be a reflective and prayerful time of blessing!
Feasts of the Week: Monday: St. Andrew -Patron Saint of Scotland, Romania, Greece, Russia, Ukraine, Poland and fishermen. A brother of St. Peter and the first of the disciples to be called by Jesus. He suffered crucifixion on this date, but the tradition of an X-shaped cross comes much later. Thursday: St. Francis Xavier (1506-52). He is one of the first seven Jesuits was sent to India by St. Ignatius. Preached the Gospel in Goa and later in Japan and he died as he attempted to enter China. He is one of the patron saints of the oversea missions.
Lockdown: There will be no confessions or priests on duty at this time. However our church will be open from 9.30am – 5pm for private prayer.
Masses will be celebrated at the normal times without a congregation. You are welcome to join us for these Masses by means of our webcam. Visit www.thegraan.com.
Masses will be at 7pm Monday to Friday. Weekend Masses Saturday (6.30pm), Sunday 10.30am, 12noon & 4pm.
Shop: If you wish to contact us as regards purchasing cards or religious goods please ring us during office hours (9.30am – 5pm) and we will try our best to facilitate your requests.
Guild Mass Cards and Christmas Mass Bouquets: We have a wide selection of Mass cards. Go to www.thegraan.com. We value your support.
Graan Draw: Our first prize in our draw is £5000, second prize is £1000 followed by prizes of £100. The tickets are £1 / €1 each or a book of 6 for £5 / €5. Because of Covid regulations we are unable to sell tickets in our usual outlets and we would appreciate it so much if you could help to sell a couple of books of tickets for us. The draw will now take place on the 18th Dec 2020.
Thank you: We do appreciate your generosity towards us during these difficult days. A special word of thanks to all those who anonymously donated their contributions towards the upkeep of the Graan. These are difficult days for all of us and we know that financial constraints are affecting us all and it is wonderful that you are so generous to us. Be assured of a constant remembrance in our prayers.
“May Hope Be Yours‘ – CD: As we move through this pandemic, funds raised by the sale of this CD will be of great benefit to so many families and individuals whose challenged circumstances became even more challenged because of Covid-19. All proceeds go to St. Vincent de Paul Society. Cost: £15 and available at the Graan shop. Thanks for your generosity.
Mickey Mc Phillips, Newtownbutler
Margaret Burns, Drumbeg, Enniskillen
Joe & Molly Duffy, Monea
Kathleen & Patrick Higgins, Mullylogan, Enniskillen
Nora Ledwith, Fernvalley, Enniskillen
Gerry Sheerin, Enniskillen
Patrick Sheerin, Marlbank
May Mc Brien, Dublin
Angela D’Arcy, Fairview, Enniskillen
Kathleen Quinn, Boho
Patrick & Katie Casey, Drumcose
Telephone: 028 6632 2272
Fax: 028 6632 5201