• on 17th March, 2022

A Word From The Balally Bunker/Monastery By Father Jim: 17th March 2022

As you probably know by now Father Dermot and I have tested positive for Covid. As Oscar Wilde wrote in the Importance of being Earnest ” To lose one parent ,Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose both looks like carelessness”!!!!

Father Dermot is doing well. We talk all the time. I’m fine, no symptoms just very tired. I’m overwhelmed by the acts of kindness and thoughtfulness in word and deed. Such wonderful people in this parish and to think we didn’t know each other a year ago.!!!
I’ve been trying as best I can to keep our timetable going. I’m very grateful to Father Padraig for stepping in to help but we must remember that he is retired and must keep a careful watch on his own health. We will have the usual Sunday Mass at 10 and the rest will be Communion services, including 6pm on Saturday.It’s just not possible to get priests .I’ve made several attempts and a clear message emerges…they are in their own words “ keeping our own show on the road, just about” or saying they are too old.
This is the reality that we have to face. As parishioners I have a challenge for you. If you see there is no Mass in the parish try to avoid the temptation to rush to another place “to get Mass”. It’s of course an understandable reaction but it takes the Eucharist away from the context of the community gathering . Can I suggest that you go to what is provided here ,even if it’s not Mass? And can you consider that you offer yourself or others to train for leadership of morning prayers, Communion services etc. I’ve asked Paul Thornton to lead us in prayer ’till Dermot and I return and I’m grateful for his generous response. We have a few others trained also but we need new faces urgently. Maybe you? As they say “never waste a good crisis”
I won’t be wasting these days . I was planned to be in Glenstal for 4 days and now Saint Columba’s, 312 Hawthorne Rd will be my Glenstal.I’ve divided the day up (my Mepkin experience is coming in handy) and allowing for 2 periods of meditation, reading my Saint Bridget book, listening to some good classical music, joining the monks of Glenstal for prayer on line,and doing some Lectio Divina . I’ve started a novel” The Winter Guest”, I am eating well and taking plenty of rest.
These days are giving me time too to reflect prayerfully and quietly on the future of the parish. I want to remind you of 2 forthcoming events…Abbot Christopher Dillon from Glenstal comes to us on Wednesday 30 March @7.30pm. He will talk , bless us and bless some new icons. We will conclude with Compline live from Glenstal.
On Saturday April 2 @11 we will walk in solidarity with the great Charlie Bird. It’s a short walk so ALL are welcome, young and old. I’ve asked our schools to be involved. Ask your own children and grandchildren. All money raised will go to Charlie’s charities….Motor Neuron and Pieta. Take a look @ Climb with Charlie website and see Charlie watch his colleagues in RTÉ singing “Shine a light “. It’s inspiring.
Keep Dear Father Dermot in your prayers
With love
Father Jim

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  1. Take care and wishing you both a good recovery, and indeed to all who are not well.
    I’m loving the Oscar Wilde reference, two men down are here we are, perhaps the Spirit is leading this one to the Synod.
    Enjoy the sunshine. I’m also posting a link to some new Irish theatre available on line, another option during quarantine, or for anyone interested . https://www.fishamble.com/outrage.html

    1. Thanks so much Imelda.FrJim

    2. Thanks Imelda..and for the link

  2. Get well soon father Jim to yourself and father Dermot. We all still need to be careful as Covid has definitely not gone away.

    1. Thanks so much Sandi

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