02 December 2019

Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin
notes in ‘Newslink’ December 2019

Bishop Andrew Doyle of Texas and Canon Patrick Comerford during the visit of the Compass Rose Society to these dioceses

Rathkeale & Kilnaughtin Group of Parishes

Rathkeale, Askeaton, Castletown and Kilnaughtin

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

The autumn celebrations of Harvest and the November commemorations of the saints and the dead have come and gone. We are entering Advent and preparing for the coming of Christ, not only as the Christ Child at Christmas but once again as the King of Glory.

Ministry, Mission and Hospitality:

The Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe, the Right Revd Kenneth Kearon, is visiting this group of parishes on Advent Sunday, 1 December 2019.

November was a busy month, with the Bishop of Clogher, the Right Revd John McDowell, visiting the parishes in Co Limerick, including the Rathkeale Group of Parishes and the Rathkeale Pre-Social Cohesion Group. Canon Patrick Comerford took part in the visit of members of the Compass Road Society to these dioceses, and events hosted by Askeaton Civic Trust and Askeaton Contemporary Arts.

The next training day for clergy and readers takes place at Saint Mary’s Rectory in Askeaton, Co Limerick, on Tuesday 3 December, with a workshop on ‘preparing for Christmas.’

A minute’s silence at the Remembrance Sunday service in Rathkeale

‘We will remember them’:

Colonel Edward Buckingham laid the wreath at the World War I memorial in Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale, during the Remembrance Sunday Service on 10 November.

The service included a minute’s silence, reading the names of parishioners on the World War I memorial on the south wall and on the World War II plaque at the credence table. The Sunday School children made poppies, and laid a wreath at the altar.

The Sunday School children made poppies for the Remembrance Sunday service in Rathkeale

Camino walk:

Simon White is completing the Camino, walking 20 or 30 km a day on the route to Santiago de Compostela, and raising funds for the Simon Community, Médecins Sans Frontières and the RNLI.


The parish extends its sympathy to Pat Ruttle of Clonreask, Askeaton, on the recent death of her brother-in-law, John ‘Van’ Bevan.

December, Christmas and January Services:

Sunday 1 December (Advent 1): 9.30 a.m., Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton, Holy Communion (with Bishop Kenneth Kearon); 11.30, Saint Brendan’s Church, Kilnaughtin (Tarbert), Morning Prayer (with Bishop Kenneth Kearon).

Sunday 8 December (Advent 2): 9.30 a.m., Castletown Church, Kilcornan, Holy Communion; 11.30, Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale, Morning Prayer.

Sunday 15 December (Advent 3): No morning service in Askeaton; 11.30, Kilnaughtin, Holy Communion; 3 p.m., Carol Service in Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton, followed by refreshments in the Rectory.

Wednesday 18 December: 12 noon: end-of-term School Play and Carol Service, Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale.

Sunday 22 December (Advent 4): 11 a.m., United Service (Holy Communion), Castletown.

Christmas Eve, Tuesday 24 December: 7.30 p.m., Kilnaughtin (Christmas Communion); 9.30 p.m., Castletown (Christmas Communion).

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

Sunday 29 December (Christmas 1): 11 a.m., United Parish Communion, Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale.

Sunday 5 January 2020 (Christmas 2): 9.30 a.m., Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton, Holy Communion; 11.30, Saint Brendan’s Church, Kilnaughtin (Tarbert), Holy Communion.

Monday 6 January 2020 (The Epiphany): 11 a.m., Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton, the Epiphany Eucharist, followed by tea/coffee at the Rectory.

Sunday 12 January (Epiphany 1): 9.30 a.m., Castletown Church, Holy Communion; 11.30 a.m., Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale, Morning Prayer.

Sunday 19 January (Epiphany 2): 9.30 a.m., Askeaton, Morning Prayer; 11.30 a.m., Kilnaughtin, Holy Communion.

Sunday 26 January (Epiphany 3): 9.30 a.m., Castletown, Morning Prayer; 11.30 a.m., Holy Communion, Rathkeale.

Council Kevin Sheehan with Canon Patrick Comerford at the Askeaton Civic Society celebrations

This is an edited version of the Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin Group of Parishes parish notes in the December 2019 edition of ‘Newslink,’ the magazine of the Dioceses of Limerick and Killaloe, pp 34-35

Reading Saint Luke’s Gospel
in Advent 2019: Luke 2

‘Simeon took him in his arms and praised God’ (Luke 2: 28) … a stained glass window in Saint Mary’s Church, Lichfield (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2019)

Patrick Comerford

During the Season of Advent this year, I am joining many people in reading a chapter from Saint Luke’s Gospel each morning. In all, there are 24 chapters in Saint Luke’s Gospel, so this means being able to read through the full Gospel, reaching the last chapter on Christmas Eve [24 December 2019].

Why not join me as I read through Saint Luke’s Gospel each morning this Advent?

Luke 2 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised)

1 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

14 ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favours!’

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

21 After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

22 When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’), 24 and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.’

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,

29 ‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.’

33 And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed – and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’

36 There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, 37 then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

39 When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.

41 Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. 43 When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44 Assuming that he was in the group of travellers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, ‘Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.’ 49 He said to them, ‘Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ 50 But they did not understand what he said to them. 51 Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favour.

A prayer for today:

A prayer today from the Prayer Diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG, United Society Partners in the Gospel:

Almighty God, as your kingdom dawns,
turn us from the darkness of sin to the light of holiness,
that we may be ready to meet you
in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

‘She gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger’ (Luke 2: 7) … a panel on the reredos in Saint Mary’s Church, Lichfield (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2019)

Tomorrow: Luke 3

Yesterday: Luke 1

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org