03 March 2020

Parishioners in Rathkeale group
mark Holocaust Memorial Day

Canon Patrick Comerford at the launch of Holocaust Memorial Day prayers and resources in the House of Lords

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and other concentration camps, the end of the Holocaust, and the end of World War II.

Canon Patrick Comerford of the Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin Group of Parishes, who is a member of the Church of Ireland Interfaith Working Group, was invited to the House of Lords recently for the launch of resources for churches produced by the Council of Christians and Jews to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2020.

The resources were launched by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Revd Colin Sinclair, and the Bishop of London, the Right Revd Sarah Mullally.

The launch was introduced by Bishop Michael Ipgrave of Lichfield, and the other speakers included and Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Senior Rabbi of Masorti Judaism and the Archbishop-elect of York Stephen Cottrell. Senior Christian and Jewish leaders present included six bishops of the Church of England.

Parishioners in the Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin Group of Parishes used these prayers for Holocaust Memorial Day on two successive Sundays in all four churches – Askeaton, Kilnaughtin, Castletown and Tarbert – and also displayed boards with the hashtag #WeRemember, used universally to mark Holocaust remembrances.

Parishioners in the Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin Group of Parishes marked Holocaust Memorial Day with the hashtag #WeRemember

This half-page news report is published in the March 2020 edition of ‘Newslink’, the magazine of the Church of Ireland United Dioceses of Limerick, Killaloe and Ardfert (page 19)

Praying through Lent with
USPG (7): 3 March 2020

A wagon on the train tracks in Birkenau (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

During Lent this year, I am using the USPG Prayer Diary, Pray with the World Church, for my morning prayers and reflections. Because this year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and the end of the Holocaust, I am also illustrating my reflections with images on this theme.

USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) is the Anglican mission agency that partners churches and communities worldwide in God’s mission to enliven faith, strengthen relationships, unlock potential, and champion justice. It was founded in 1701.

This week (1-7 March), the USPG Prayer Diary is focussing on ‘Theological Education: a Key Pillar of Mission,’ with a particular focus on Bishop Gaul Theological College in Harare.

Bishop Gaul Theological College takes its name from Bishop Billy Gaul, an early SPG missionary from Ireland. The acting principal, Bishop Chad Gandiya, is a former Regional Desk Officer for Africa and the Indian Ocean at the USPG office in London.

Tuesday 3 March:

We pray for the students at Bishop Gaul College; that through their studies they will be well equipped to lead the churches in their care.

Readings: Isaiah 55: 10-11; Psalm 34: 4-6, 21-22; Matthew 6: 7-15.

The Collect:

Almighty God,
whose Son Jesus Christ fasted forty days in the wilderness,
and was tempted as we are, yet without sin:
Give us grace to discipline ourselves
in obedience to your Spirit;
and, as you know our weakness,
so may we know your power to save;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Lenten Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God,
you hate nothing that you have made
and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:
Create and make in us new and contrite hearts
that we, worthily lamenting our sins
and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may receive from you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

With Bishop Chad Gandiya, acting principal of Bishop Gaul Theological College, during a visit to Ireland in 2010 when he was Bishop of Harare (Photograph: Orla Ryan)

Continued tomorrow

Yesterday’s reflection