Welcome to the Parish of Donoughmore Knockea Roxborough Co. Limerick

Christmas 2021

Christmas is the most emotional time of the year, and we all react to it in our own way. The Dickens character Scrooge in ‘The Christmas carol’ is so well remembered: he refused to celebrate Christmas. Every possible lyric and song has been written and sung about this season from Bing Crosby ‘White Christmas’ to the Pogues ’ fairy tale of New York’. From the most wonderful time of the year to having Christmas over as quickly as possible are some of the emotional reactions to this Season. Christmas amplifies lots of feelings. There is also the other fact now that the backdrop of our Christmas this year has cast a degree of uncertainty with the reintroduction of restrictions to curb the speed of the Omicron variant. This has forced early closures on the hospitality industry and leaving some families unable to return home for the festive season again. Christmas was never meant to be like this. Collectively it has been a challenging year after a challenging year and for some the challenge has been much greater. We have all had different experiences.

Christmas day follows the shortest day of the year the winter solstice, it’s a day that has fascinated people for thousands of years. Newgrange in Co. Meath a world historical site constructed five thousand years ago instilled in our ancestors a great sense of hope that darkness would lose its firm grip to give way to increasing light and the good news is that more light is already starting to brighten our days. We have seen this year of difficulty marked again with acts of great kindness, selfless service, community efforts, there is an indomitable spirit of goodness that responds with love. It is the spark of the divine within us, the sense of life in essence never private but shared with others. Into this world of mystery comes the person of the Christ child. This ‘Night Divine’ brings a light and a love which overcomes all darkness, as St. Paul says to be a people ‘of his own’ having ‘no ambition except to do good’. The ultimate questions stalking our planet these days are a daily occurrence with our ordinary conversation, there is only so much of this we can take. All we can do is hold onto the brief moments of contentment, the sweet fragments of life and cherishing every second of them. As our Canters and choirs sing those beautiful hymns of Silent night, Adeste Fideles and O Holy Night let us all be stirred with the energy and blessings of the great moment when God touched our humanity.

We offer warm greetings to all who can attend our Christmas masses and please follow the basic & essential guidelines. I extend a huge word of thanks to our Parish teams Support groups in both churches who have worked so hard throughout the year to ensure our churches are safe for all to attend. If you feel vulnerable, uneasy about coming out, we ask you to stay at home. Our masses will be livestreamed on our FB page DKR Parish and for those who don’t have FB it’s easy to set up in your lap top, you don’t have to be on Fb to do that, to access Mass from your own Parish Church is always nice. All masses can be accessed on 105.6Fm on your car radio if you wish to sit in the safety and comfort of your car in our Church carparks and listen to Christmas Mass on the radio. Christmas eve 6.30pm Donoughmore, Knockea 8pm. Christmas day Donoughmore 10am, Knockea 11am.

Many thanks to everyone involved in the various Ministries of our churches for all their help throughout the year, for all who have put up the Cribs, Christmas trees and decoration of our Churches, our sacristan. We wish our schools, teachers, staff, Board of Management, and children a well-deserved break and a very Happy Christmas. For generations Irish families have put a light in the window to invite the Holy Family into their home for Christmas I invite you to light a candle near your crib to ask God’s blessing on your family and for those away from home, face time and WhatsApp will be working overtime this Christmas. I am particularly conscious of families who lost loved ones during the year in the parish, this brings its own loneliness, all will be remembered in our masses. Finally, for all the little people who have been counting down the day to Santa’s arrival, he will be on the way. From mulled wine to mince pies, gingerbread men and fruit cake and something for Rudolf he won’t be short of energy but, with plenty of driving involved, let’s hope he goes easy on the wine. I wish all of you and family members who can’t be home this Christmas a peaceful and safe Christmas. Be careful on the roads. Happy Christmas everyone. Let’s keep one another in our prayers, take care out there, with kind regards. Fr. Tom

Wishing you all a happy and safe Christmas

“Rivers do not drink their own water; trees do not eat their own fruit; the sun does not shine on itself and flowers do not spread their fragrance for themselves. Living for others is a rule of nature. We are all born to help each other. No matter how difficult it is…Life is good when you are happy; but much better when others are happy because of you”

Pope Francis

St. Patrick’s Breastplate

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

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