A Word from Father Jim
The country was gripped with emotion by the recent tragic murder of Ashling Murphy.
Ashling was everyone’s sister, daughter, teacher. Over the years I have seen incredible primary school teachers who form our young people in values, not least in faith. We have wonderful teachers in Balally, dedicated, loving people like Ashling. Ashling came from my mothers home parish. My cousins husband renovated her first violin. Her funeral was celebrated in St Bridget’s Church, Mountbolus. My parents were married there. Ashling’s death is a challenge to all of us men. How do I treat women? How do I speak to and about women? Is there anything I need to change, to repent for? This is not to demonize men but to challenge us to work together so that women feel safe and of course there is the Church. How can we continue to treat women as second class citizens?
The use of social media needs to be reassessed too. An innocent man was named and shamed. Others have experienced less dramatic exposure. We have all learned lessons from Ashlings tragic death.
Thanks to all who organized and attended the beautiful vigil here in our Church last Sunday (250 people). May the beautiful Ashling Rest In Peace . On a totally different issue, Covid has led to a collapse in church collections in all the parishes of the diocese. It’s the same here in Balally. In 2019 the two Sunday collections brought in 81 k, 2020 it dropped to 36k and the 2021 figure was 19 k. Several parishioners have spoken to me about the need to reorganise the collections. With this in mind we had a helpful discussion at our recent meeting of the Parish Finance Committee. It was decided that Father Dermot and I should gather the stewards for a short meeting. We owe our stewards a great debt of gratitude for their sterling work during Covid. So let’s meet for one hour next Thursday 27 January at 7pm in the church to decide how best to reorganise the collections. New stewards / collectors welcome. With love Father Jim