06 February 2021

Our borders enrich pluralism
or entrench prejudice

A two-page feature in the ‘Church Review’ on borders, creating divisions and enriching cultural co-operation in Europe (Photographs: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

As ‘Brexit’ begins to have its impact throughout this island, many of us are realising the harsh realities it is creating. The Republic Ireland has become the only EU member state whose only land border is with a non-EU state.

My monthly column in the February 2021 edition of the Church Review, the Diocesan magazine in Dublin and Glendalough (pp 14-15), looks at how European borders can create division or enrich cultural co-operation.

I look at some of the peculiar borders and divisions in Europe, and take examples from Gibraltar, the Isle of Man, San Marino and the Vatican.

But I also look at the old Cold War border that slices through the town that is known on one side in Italian as Gorizia and on the other side, in Slovenia, as Nova Gorica. They have come together in a unique venture that allows them to share as one, single urban area, the title of ‘European Capitals of Culture’ in 2025.

But more about this tomorrow when the Church Review is published (see HERE).

In the regular ‘From the Archives’ slot on page 8, the Church Review looks back 20 years ago to the February 2001 edition and recalls:

‘Meanwhile, Patrick Comerford was looking forward to the introduction of the new edition of the Book of Common Prayer, which was due to be published in 2004. He reported that the editor, Canon Brian Mayne, had undertaken that the 204 Book of Common Prayer would be both “user-friendly and a lovely book.” He was writing as the Church of England had adopted new prayer books: Common Worship and Common Worship: Pastoral Services.’

Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin
Group parish notes in
‘Newslink’ February 2021

Chalking the church door in Askeaton at the traditional Epiphany blessing (Photograph: Barbara Comerford)

Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin Group of Parishes

Rathkeale, Askeaton, Castletown and Kilnaughtin

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

Parish Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RathkealeGroup/

The decision to cancel Christmas services came just after the four churches had been decorated, the cribs put in place, and after the school carol service in Rathkeale and traditional carol service in Askeaton.

The Community Crib remained in the open space in front Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton, and the three wise men arrived on time on the Feast of the Epiphany on 6 January, which was also marked with the traditional blessing and chalking of the church door and rectory doors.

The present Covid-19 pandemic restrictions make it difficult to know when Church services with congregations are going to resume. Should restrictions ease, these are the times of planned services.

Sunday 7 February (2 Before Lent):

9.30, Askeaton, Parish Eucharist (Holy Communion 2); 11.30, Kilnaughtin (Tarbert), Morning Prayer.

Sunday 14 February (Sunday before Lent, Transfiguration Sunday):

9.30, Castletown, Parish Eucharist (HC 2); 11.30, Rathkeale, Morning Prayer.

Wednesday 17 February (Ash Wednesday):

11, Askeaton, Holy Communion with the Ash Wednesday prayers.

Sunday 21 February (Lent 1):

9.30, Askeaton, Morning Prayer; 11.30, Kilnaughtin (Tarbert), Parish Eucharist (HC 2).

Sunday 28 February (Lent 2):

9.30, Castletown, Morning Prayer; 11.30, Rathkeale, Parish Eucharist (HC 2).

Feast Days and Saints’ Days in February:

1, Saint Brigid; 2, the Presentation of Christ in the Temple

Funeral of Alan Fitzell:

Alan Fitzell of Glencullare, who died on Christmas Eve, was buried at Saint Brendan’s Church, Tarbert, on 27 December. Alan was born in Tarbert in 1941, and worked for many years with the ESB at the Great Island, Marina and Tarbert Power Station at commissioning and as a shift supervisor until he took early retirement in 1994.

Alan built 20 to 30 currachs in his 20s and 30s, built his first cruiser in the early 1970s – a 21 ft clinker – and built a 30 ft motor cruiser (Pegasus) that was his greatest pride. He also organised countless regattas. In Church life, he was a churchwarden for countless years, a member of the Select Vestry, the Diocesan Synod, and a board member of Saint John’s, Listowel (2000-2018).

Alan is survived by his wife Margaret, their sons Nigel and Brian, daughters-in-law Rachel and June, grandchildren Lucy, Mollie, Daniel, Gemma and Edie, and their extended family.

Christmas cards:

Congratulations to Jackie Gardiner on achieving ‘Highly Commended’ in the ‘All-Ireland Mothers’ Union Christmas Card Competition, ‘A Christmas Card for a Child.’

On-line sermons:

During the lockdown, when church buildings are closed, the Parish Eucharist continues to be celebrated, and the Sunday sermon and the intercessions go online through the Parish Facebook page and through Patrick’s blog (www.patrickcomerford.com). The sermons are also made available on YouTube.

The three wise men arrived at community crib in Askeaton in time for the Epiphany (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

This is an edited version of the Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin Group parish notes in the February 2021 edition of ‘Newslink,’ the Limerick and Killaloe diocesan magazine.