Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Praying in Ordinary Time 2021:
81, Saint Colmcille’s Church, Knocklyon

Saint Colmcille’s Church, Knocklyon, Co Dublin … the Carmelites are leaving Knocklyon after a presence of almost half a century (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2021)

Patrick Comerford

Before the day gets busy, I am taking a little time this morning for prayer, reflection and reading. Each morning in the time in the Church Calendar known as Ordinary Time, I am reflecting in these ways:

1, photographs of a church or place of worship;

2, the day’s Gospel reading;

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.

My theme this week is churches in the Carmelite tradition, and my photographs this morning (18 August 2021) are from Saint Colmcille’s Church, Knocklyon, Co Dublin.

Inside Saint Colmcille’s Church, Knocklyon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2021)

The Carmelites have been in Knocklyon since 1974. Archbishop Dermot Ryan of Dublin invited the Carmelite Provincial, Father Joseph Ryan, to send the Carmelites to the young parish.

Father Paddy Staunton, later Assistant Provincial, and Father Seán Dunne were two of the first Carmelites in the parish, and Father Paddy was the first Parish Priest. They planned a new church, celebrated Mass, and offered pastoral care and pastoral outreach.

When Saint Colmcille’s Church was proposed in 1974, Knocklyon had many new housing estates, but amenities were inadequate or non-existent. There was no street lighting, no shops, emergency phones only and limited public bus service. The nearest Sunday Mass was in the small chapel in the Carmelite Convent on Firhouse Road.

The parish was formed on 1 October 1974 and the first parish council was formed at a meeting in Terenure College in November 1974. A committee meeting later that month discussed a Mass centre, a school, a residence and fundraising.

The first Mass was celebrated on Sunday 15 December 1974 in the canteen at the McInerney’s building site office, a rough wooden building. A church site was bought in 1975, and the first Mass was celebrated in a temporary church. Saint Colmcille’s Primary School opened in September 1976.

Pope John Paul II blessed the foundation stone for the new church during his visit to Maynooth in 1979. The new Church of Saint Colmcille opened in April 1980. Ten years later, the Youth and Community Centre opened in 1989, thanks to a fundraising effort spearheaded by Liam Mongey.

Bishop Eamonn Walsh opened the Iona Centre on 9 June 2000, the Feast of Saint Colmcille, and it has become the focal point of parish activity. Saint Colmcille’s Community School opened on 4 September 2000.

The relics of Saint Thérèse de Lisieux were brought to the parish on 5/6 May 2001 during their visit to Ireland.

The Carmelite community in the parish in recent years has included Father Fintan Burke, Father Martin Parokaaran, Father Joe Mothersill and Father Michael Morrissey. However, the Council of the Carmelites in Ireland has informed the parish of the intention to return the care of the parish to the Archdiocese of Dublin from 30 January 2022.

The Parish Pastoral Council petitioned the Council of the Carmelites, requesting them to reverse their decision and continue their presence in the parish. However, the Prior Provincial, Father Michael Troy, replied on 3 August that the decision remains unchanged.

Inside Saint Colmcille’s Church, Knocklyon … the foundation stone was blessed by Pope John Paul II (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2021)

Matthew 20: 1-16 (NRSVA):

[Jesus said:] 20 ‘For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with the labourers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the market-place; 4 and he said to them, “You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.” So they went. 5 When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. 6 And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, “Why are you standing here idle all day?” 7 They said to him, “Because no one has hired us.” He said to them, “You also go into the vineyard.” 8 When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, “Call the labourers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.” 9 When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. 10 Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. 11 And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12 saying, “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.” 13 But he replied to one of them, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? 14 Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?” 16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last.’

Saint Colmcille’s Church, Knocklyon, has a batik-style set of Stations of the Cross (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2021)

Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary:

The Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (18 August 2021) invites us to pray:

We pray for St Andrew’s Church [Tangier] and the Diocese in Europe. May Your blessing be upon the church as it serves the people of Tangier.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

Looking out on the world from Saint Colmcille’s Church, Knocklyon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2021)

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

The Iona Centre opened on 9 June 2000, the Feast of Saint Colmcille (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2021)

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