Kinneigh Union has now been vacant since January this year, but you the parishioners seem in good heart. As I have said before, an occasional vacancy reminds parishioners that the present and future well being of the parish rests with you, for you are the parish. Rectors come and go, as do those who look after parishes during vacancies, but you, the people, have your roots here, you are here to stay. For my part it is a privilege to serve you for as long as it takes. You have been most friendly and supportive and I feel I have made many good friends. We are on a journey together, a pilgrimage seeking God’s presence in our lives. We continue to pray for the Bishop in his search for a new Rector conscious that there are three other parishes in the United Dioceses in the same situation, so please pray for them also Ballydehob, Templebreedy and soon Cobh and Glanmire.
The picture at the top depicts Jesus blessing young people and comes from a recent Gospel reading. It is always a pleasure to see young people in church, even if from time to time they may cry out. As I said in a recent sermon isn’t it better to hear them in this way than not to hear them at all.
This leads on to the Bishop who has just announced that Confirmation will be held in the parish on Sunday 15th November in St. Mary’s, Desertserges. With this date in mind I intend to start preparation classes on Saturday 3rd October in the St. Paul Parish Centre, Ballineen at 11.00 and for no longer than an hour each week. I have sent a letter to each of the ten candidates who earlier in the year indicated they wished to confirm for themselves the promises made on their behalf at Baptism (to which a reply is required). This letter includes a church attendance form as part of the preparation as each of the candidates are asked to attend at least 4 separate services between now and the confirmation date. This is part of their preparation, and I would encourage parents to make sure their children understand its importance. I would ask everyone in the parish to encourage the candidates and to pray for them during the preparation period.
They are: – Evan Shorten, Michelle Shorten, Evelyn and David Deane, Mark Kingston, Andrea Moore, Edward Shorten, David Buttimer, Alvin Shorten and Alyson Shorten.
Over the next few weeks I hope to involve them in some small way in our churches – taking the collection, bringing forward the bread and wine at Communion, handing out books etc., again all part of the preparation.
There are two matters under this heading – the weather and the economic climate.
It has by all accounts, and proven by the records, to have been one of the worst summers for many years and one of worry for the farming community and by extension everyone who depends on the produce of the land – which includes us all! We can, however, give thanks for the recent dry and sunny spell, which has been a Godsend to those waiting to bring in fodder at the end of the harvesting season. Judging by the number of tractors and trailers I have met recently every opportunity has been used to take advantage of the fine spell.
The state of our economy and the measures being taken to correct the severe downturn in the country’s financial affairs have effected us all, some – particularly the growing number who have lost their jobs. I am particularly concerned about the effect this has had on those in developing countries who have been dependent on our continuing aid – just to stay alive. There has been no on going protest to our Government who over the past 12 months have slashed â‚¬145 million off our country’s aid budget. It behoves us, even within our own reduced circumstances, to continue giving to aid charities, which in the light of the above become ever more vital in the struggle to survive. Virtually all charities began because of the inadequacy of official aid to deal with human needs. Over the next few weeks envelopes for the Bishops’ Appeal will be available in the churches and I would ask that you be as generous as you can in your giving.
I have previously drawn attention to the necessity to ensure the sustentation is paid up to date and I do not wish to labour the point. As an auxiliary or non-stipendiary priest I am “neutral” as regards the parish finances, but I am concerned people may not be aware that a vacant parish cannot be filled if the payment of the assessment to the Dioceses is not up to date. As of now I understand there is a shortfall in giving of some €4,500. If you give to the sustentation and have not yet done so, please make your contribution to the Union Treasurer, Mrs. F. Stanley, as soon as possible.
Constitutional vote on the Lisbon Treaty
It was said that the vote was lost last year because so many people just couldn’t understand what the Lisbon Treaty was about so they listened to the opponents and voted “no”. On October 2nd we have another opportunity to vote and this time we cannot use the excuse that we haven’t been informed if the amount of mailing coming into my house is an indicator. Whilst I in no way want to “tell” you how to vote – that is your prerogative – it may be of some help to know that, as announced on the radio, the Church of Ireland along with the Methodist Church and the Society of Friends, is recommending a “yes” vote. The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has said there is nothing in the Treaty that would prevent their people from voting either for or against.
Whatever way you decide please exercise the right you have to cast a vote. Every vote counts. Remember it was just by one vote in his favour that Hitler came to power in 1933.
There is real concern for the future of some of our national schools if the more draconian measures suggested in the McCarthy report are implemented by our government. Apart from suggesting an increase in the pupil/teacher ratio, which would mean teachers losing their posts as well as educational deficiencies, the most drastic suggestion is that schools with less than 50 pupils be closed and amalgamated. If carried out this would have a serious effect on the Church of Ireland as around the country a number of our rural schools have, at present, less than 50 pupils. Along with the suggested closure of more rural post offices and Garda stations this would have a negative effect on local communities who would lose a physical focus for social life. Where and when you can try and lobby local politicians and T.D’s, or write to the Minister for Education pointing out the importance of continuing to meet the real needs of our people by maintaining our schools.
- Harvest Thanksgiving: Whilst we have had our central service of Thanksgiving in Kilmeen, the services in Desertserges (October 4th), Kinneigh (October 18th) and Farranthomas (October 25th) will have a harvest theme.
- Confirmation: This will be in St. Mary’s Desertserges on Sunday 15th November at 10.30 and will be the only service that day.
- United Service: The next 5th Sunday is November 29th when the united service will be in Kinneigh at 10.30.
- Christmas: This may seem far ahead but we plan to have Desertserges N S Christmas Service in Desertserges at 10.00 on December 6th and Ballymoney National School Christmas Service in Kilmeen on December 13th.
23:30 Desertserges Holy Communion
8:30 Kilmeen Holy Communion
10:00 Kinneigh Holy Communion
11:30 Farranthomas Holy Communion
10:30 Kilmeen United Service
Heavenly Father, through your Son Jesus Christ you have called the Church into being in order to bring the world to yourself, so we pray that we in this Parish may live and work and pray to this end. Give us renewed vision and kindle our hearts with love so that we may attempt new and greater things to your glory, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Peter T Hanna