From Fr. Peter’s Desk, 12th December, 2018

This was a busy one. If you happened to be going by you might be made into
a volunteer for one thing or another. At one spot there were people making
jam and jelly, over there people putting up decorations, in the hall people
selling the raffle tickets while others got the cakes into place for the
cake sale. Sheep were herded towards Bethlehem. All this in the sweltering
heat of the Parish Center (not because of the weather but because the
heating system went on strike, Japanese style now apparently fixed)

On Friday night the Parish Staff (with a representative of the Parish
Council) had a little gathering to celebrate the Christmas and enjoy each
others company. It was a very original menu.

In the background, the Communications Team used a drone and a photographer
to capture some moments of Parish life as they prepare a renewal of the
parish website. Meanwhile, the Advent morning prayer continued in the hush
of the morning, and the community was represented by those hardy souls as
they yearn for the Saviour to become more present in a broken world.

Our local Conference of St. Vincent de Paul (there are 1213 conferences all
over Ireland) spoke at the Masses and made their annual appeal for help.
They spoke about the needs they try to address with the generosity of the
Parish members. As always the people of Balally responded with great and
discrete generosity.

The Christmas Time Tables were made available, and this shared effort with
Sandyford Parish hopes to offer 17 Masses between Christmas Eve and
Christmas Day.

Of Course one of the Highlights of the year was the Carol Service on Sunday
afternoon with the participation of the Leinster Orchestra, the choirs from
St. Olaf’s, Queen of Angels, the Parish Choir, The Readers Club the
Hospitality and Failte groups all coordinated from the Parish Office. It
was just a fabulous way to get the Christmas Spirit going in the Parish. We
all did a lot of exercises as Peter O Brien got us to sing and act the
twelve days of Christmas. Afterwards mulled wine and mince pies were had
while the raffle was held in the Parish Centre.