06 November 2017

Notes for a school assembly
in All Saints-tide

All Saints ... a traditional icon

Patrick Comerford,

6 November 2017

I hope you all enjoyed the mid-term break.

Most of you probably enjoyed Hallowe’en too.

Do you know why we call that evening [31 October] Hallowe’en?


In the Lord’s Prayer, we prayer ‘hallowed be thy name.’

‘Hallowed’ means ‘holy’ or ‘blessed.’

So, Hallowe’en means the evening or the night before the day when we remember all those who are blessed or holy, those we call the Saints, on All Saints’ Day [1 November].

We celebrated All Saints’ Day on Wednesday last in Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton, and we remembered this special day again in some of our prayers in church in Askeaton and Tarbert yesterday [5 November 2017].

This has been a major feast day in the church for hundreds of years.

So, do you have a favourite saint?

Who is your favourite saint?


Does anyone here have a name that is a saint’s name?

Do you know the story of that saint?


Saints do not have to be martyrs. Do not have to live or die in ways that none of us lives or dies.

Saints do not have to be canonised. There are people who handed on the faith from previous generations – teachers, grandparents, perhaps neighbours – even though they may be long dead by now, who are still part of our vision of the Communion of Saints.

Saints do not have to live a perfect life … none of us lives a life that everyone would regard as perfect.

And saints do not have to be shrouded in superstition.

In the Gospel reading for All Saints’ Day (Matthew 5: 1-12), Christ tells us who his saints are, those who are blessed, those who are holy, those who are example of how we should live our lives.

In the Beatitudes, Christ tells us that the holy ones, the blessed ones, the ones who should be our best examples, include these people:

The poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven;

Those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

The meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

The merciful, for they will receive mercy.

The pure in heart, for they will see God.

The peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

We, you and me, can all be saints for Christ’s sake and for the sake of Gospel values in our lives.

The Beatitudes set a good standard for how we can do that.

The saints are: the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.

The saints are: the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers and those who are persecuted.


Almighty God,
you have knit together your elect
in one communion and fellowship
in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord:
Grant us grace so to follow your blessed saints
in all virtuous and godly living
that we may come to those inexpressible joys
that you have prepared for those who truly love you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


God give you grace
to share the inheritance of all his saints in glory ...

(Revd Canon Professor) Patrick Comerford is Priest-in-Charge, the Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin Group of Parishes. These notes were prepared for a school assembly on Monday 6 November 2017.

Rathkeale parish notes in
‘Newslink’ November 2017

Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton, decorated for the Harvest Thanksgiving Service

Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin Group of Parishes

Rathkeale, Askeaton, Kilcornan and Kilnaughtin

Priest-in-Charge: Revd Canon Patrick Comerford,
The Rectory, Askeaton, Co Limerick

Giving thanks after the Harvest:

Father Seán Ó Longaigh, Parish Priest of Askeaton and Ballysteen, was the preacher at this year’s Harvest Thanksgiving Service in Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton. Father Seán generously shared his wealth of experience in ministry, including chaplaincy and counselling and four years of mission experience in Nigeria.

The church was beautifully and imaginatively decorated during the two days beforehand, and all the fruit, vegetables, flowers and other gifts were auctioned later at the reception in the Community Centre.

Councillor Adam Teskey looked after the auction in his own inimitable and humour-filled style.

Between the collection and the auction, more than €1,000 was raised. €500 is going to support work with refugees on the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh and €500 is going to help the work of Saint Paul’s Anglican Church in Athens with refugees on the streets of Athens. This is being sent through the Anglican mission agency USPG.

Warm thanks are due to Father Seán, Councillor Teskey, and to all who decorated the church, read lessons and intercessions, who helped at the reception and the auction, and who helped to make this a successful evening.

Councillor Adam Teskey invites bids at the Harvest Auction in Askeaton


Welcome to our new neighbour, the Very Revd Niall Sloane, the new Dean of Limerick and Ardfert, and Rector of the Limerick City parishes.

Church Services in November:

Wednesday 1 November (All Saints’ Day): 11, Holy Communion, Saint Mary’s, Askeaton, followed by morning coffee in the Rectory.

Saturday 4 November: 3.30, Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton, Holy Baptism.

Sunday 5 November: 9.30, Askeaton, Holy Communion; 11.30, Kilnaughtin, Morning Prayer.

Sunday 12 November (Remembrance Day): 9.30, Castletown, Holy Communion, 11.30, Rathkeale, Morning Prayer.

Sunday 19 November: 9.30, Askeaton, Morning Prayer; 11.30, Kilnaughtin, Holy Communion.

Sunday 26 November: 9.30, Castletown, Morning Prayer; 11.30, Rathkeale, Holy Communion.

Planning for Advent and Christmas:

Carol Services: 8 December, Tarbert (8 p.m.); 17 December, Askeaton (3 p.m.), followed by refreshments in the Rectory. 20 December, School Service, Rathkeale.

Christmas Services:

Christmas Eve (24 December): 11 a.m., United Service (Holy Communion), Rathkeale; 8 p.m. Kilnaughtin (Christmas Communion); 10 p.m., Castletown (Christmas Communion).

Christmas Day (25 December): 9.30 Askeaton (Christmas Communion); 11, Rathkeale (Christmas Communion).

This is an edited version of the parish notes in the Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin Group of Parishes in the November 2017 edition of ‘Newslink,’ the Diocesan Magazine of the United Diocese of Limerick, Killaloe and Ardfert.