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I must confess to being a little surprised to find myself here this morning. Two weeks ago, we finalised a development plan for the parish, and that was the only plan I had in mind for the foreseeable future. I have learnt over the years, however, that vocation is never static. 

Donnybrook Parish Development Plan PresentationThe word Church (“ecclesia” in Greek) means an assembly. The very idea of an “assembly” also suggests a place in which we will gather. The Church, with its associated parish facilities is the home of the parish community. Some parishioners gather on a daily basis for prayer, while other gather less frequently. We are all, however, the people of God whom he loves. “Home” as Robert Frost wrote “ is the place that when you go there, they have to take you in.” It may not be the most positive vision of home, but it does relate well to the expectation which we all share, that the Church will be there for us and that the doors will be open, when we come to baptise our children, marry our life‘s partner, or celebrate the life of a family member who has died.

Donnybrook Parish Development Plan PresentationThe parish, of course is much more than the buildings. The development of the parish includes the renewal of ministry, the provision of opportunities for learning and praying together, welcoming new parishioners and finding ways to share the gift of faith with our young people. Some important beginnings have already been made, but there is much for us to do together and I’m quite excited about the possibilities. 

donnybrook parish bellsFor some years now the bell in the tower of Donnybrook Church has been silent. Investigations revealed that the bearings in the swing mechanism were badly worn and the electronic tinging mechanism was obsolete.

Pope Francis’ Letter To FamiliesWith this letter, I wish, as it were, to come into your homes to speak about an event which will take place at the Vatican this coming October. It is the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which is being convened to discuss the theme of “pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelization”.

feeling DrainedJust before Christmas, as part of the process of preparing a draft development plan for the Church, we initiated an extensive survey of the drainage system. Coincidentally, in the week after Christmas we discovered 4 inches of water in one area of the crypt. 

There are over 4200 households in Donnybrook Parish, but we have family names for less than a third of these, and many of our records are inaccurate or out of date.

Donnybrook Parish Parish Census form download.

Fr Martin Clarke died as he lived, proclaiming: “We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song.” Photograph: Frank MillerFr. Martin Clarke who has died aged 66, was a priest of the Dublin diocese, an urbane pastor who helped rebuild confidence in the Catholic Church after a period of great turbulence. 

feast-of-all-saintsAt this time of year as we approach the end of October and become more and more aware of the shorter daytime and the darker evenings, we notice in the fall of the late autumn leaves the harbinger of winter and the death of the world of Nature.

Sacred Heart ChurchIn October 2004, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin asked each parish to set up a Parish Pastoral Council. The Pastoral Council of Sacred Heart Parish Donnybrook, established in 2006, provides an opportunity for parishioners to share in the task planning and coordinating pastoral action in the parish News Feed