The Feast of St Monica, 27 August 2018

Dear Pope Francis, 

Thank you for your visit to Ireland and for your strength and humility in the way you reaffirmed our faith, hope and love. The thoughts below have been written by members of our parish on the day after Mass in the Phoenix Park, Dublin. 

Hugh Hanley SCJ (Moderator) 


  • Thank you, Pope Francis, for coming to my native city. We were delighted to have you among us. You lifted our spirits and put joy in our hearts.
  • Thank you for coming to Ireland.
  • Thank you, Holy Father, for coming with your inspiring words and encouraging thoughts at this sad time for our country.
  • Thank you, Pope Francis. Wonderful things you have done for us. God be beside you always.
  • Thank you for reminding us of God’s pure and everlasting love.
  • Pope Francis, thank you for being yourself amongst us this weekend, in celebrating the Eucharist, in reminding us of the beauty of family life.
  • Pope Francis, thank you very much for coming to visit. God grant your intentions and bless you.
  • Hang in there, Pope Francis. We have holy God on our side.
  • Thank you so much, Pope Francis, for visiting Ireland and listening to our deepest needs and hurts. I thank God for your compassion, love and concern. And our prayers will be with you always.
  • Thanks, Pope Francis, for coming to our great country. We love it so much. Bless all our people and we will pray for you every day.
  • Great weekend. Brought back the faith.
  • I was very happy. I am very good after it.
  • Holy Father, thank you for being here and showing us how we could live. God give you strength to carry on your wonderful work.
  • Holy Father, thank you for being here and making us all feel so good. And, please God, things will change. 
  • Thank you, Holy Father. From the time you landed in Ireland the whole weekend was, for me, inspirational. God bless you.
  • Holy Father, through your stewardship help the Church to finally bring justice, peace and reconciliation to all those abused by the clergy. God bless you and thanks for coming to Ireland.
  • Thank you, Pope Francis, for this visit to Ireland at this very difficult period for the Church. May it be a comfort to us all and particularly to all families, especially young families.
  • Thank you for such a lovely prayerful time you spent with the people of Ireland.
  • Dear Holy Father, Pope Francis, I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I love you.
  • Pope Francis, you gave us a beautiful weekend of prayer and I will pray for you. Thank you for coming to Ireland.
  • God bless you, Pope Francis, and thank you from my heart for visiting Ireland.
  • Thank you Pope Francis for your kind words and forgiveness. We are so happy with your sincere words for the people of Ireland. God bless you.
  • Dear Francis, Our Lord’s servant, “please, sorry, thank you” are the three words every family needs.
  • Pope Francis, with gratitude from my heart for coming to Ireland. With all of the negativity surrounding your visit, it was a great success and I do believe this will be the beginning of something. Thank you from my heart.
  • It was an excellent weekend. You did great with your answers to questions. It’s not an easy job you have. Thank you very much.
  • Thank you for bringing so much joy to Ireland. 



Special Mass celebrated by the new Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Jude Okolo,
to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of St John Vianney, the Curé of Ars,
going to his parish of Ars for the first time.

(For more photos see 'Gallery')



 Last Wednesday was our third open meeting of the parish to look at some of our issues and to suggest ways forward.  After a short time of prayer and reflection we looked at the Minutes of our meeting in June (see noticeboard in church,  and Facebook: ‘John Vianney’, Dublin).  We took up some of the issues that had been raised in June and came up with some other suggestions: 

  • To take up the idea of regular Bible-sharing/Lectio Divina, led by Fr Michel.
  • To re-establish a Funeral Ministry to support families at the time of their loss and help them during the Funeral Mass. We will also need to reform a Baptism Team. We have been invited to a Diocesan meeting.
  • Looking for volunteers to welcome visitors who come to church for anniversaries, Family Masses etc, giving out hymnals and newsletters. Also to ask people to do the Offertory Procession.
  • To get involved in preparation for the World Meeting of Families. Two members will attend a preparatory Diocesan meeting, which will outline ways in which the parish can get involved.
  • To find out more about the Catholic Grandparents’ Association, perhaps inviting a member to come and speak to us. Through the Association, encourage faith links with the primary schools in the parish.
  • Digital outreach. To continue developing our new website ( and Facebook (‘John Vianney’, Dublin). Explore other possibilities like Twitter and YouTube.
  • Send out a fuller newsletter to all the houses in the parish with the Altar List of the Dead, as well as with the Christmas and Easter offering envelopes.
  • To explore ways of reaching out to young adults in our wider area along the lines of Fr Hugh’s Project 2030 group for 20somethings.
  • Encourage a team of volunteers who would keep in touch with the housebound in their area.
  • Develop the monthly Family Mass. The primary schools in the parish are supportive of this idea. Help will be required with providing refreshments after this Mass in the parish hall. The first Mass will take place on Sunday 22 October at 11.30 am. The next meeting of the preparatory group will be on Wednesday 27 September 8.00 pm in the Resource Centre.
  • To make available more details of our parish questionnaire before the summer.
  • To make a new questionnaire where people can give their responses to the various suggestions for action and to say whether they would be able to help with that area. 

The Diocese are supportive of us using this open forum method of setting up a Parish Pastoral Council, as long as we have a Chairperson and a Secretary to help put some structure to the group.  The Moderator would be President.  

All of those attending the meeting could have come to a meeting during the day, so we decided that it would be good some time to have an informal meeting, with a cup of tea, after daily Mass sometime to hear suggestions from parishioners who are unlikely to come out to meetings in the darker nights.  But we will continue to have the main meetings in the evening.  

Our next gathering will be on Wednesday 25 October at 8.00 pm. 




Facilitator: Leonard Kaye


After some reflection on our first parish meeting, held in May, Leonard suggested that in our table groups we should discuss and come up with six priorities for the parish. 

Table One: 

Bible-sharing – Lectio Divina.  Prayer renewal. 

Finding ways to become a more welcoming parish.  Shorter sermons.  Have a Family Mass linked to the school.  More use of videos etc.

Table Two:

Encourage the young to come back to church.  Liaison with the schools.

Have a monthly Mass for those preparing for Communion.

Try and reach out to young adults – concern for their mental health. 

Set up a permanent forum for the exchange of ideas in the parish.

Encourage church leaders to speak out more clearly on issues.

Table Three:

Do more for those who go to church regularly.

Attract younger people.  Invite First Communion classes to come to Mass. 

Have talks on various subjects – relate dogma and experience. 

Listen to the views of those who have stopped coming to church.

Table Four:

Have a Family Mass, linked to the schools.  A junior choir?  Encourage 5th and 6th class to become servers.  Have Offertory Processions.   Speak to the children from the centre aisle.

Have a webcam in church.

Have sermons that are more topical and shorter.

Table Five:

How can we encourage others to get more involved in the parish?  Have a website with links, for example, to the Pope’s teaching. 

Have a Family Mass once a month, preferably at the 11.30 am.  After Mass have a social gathering, with tea and biscuits.

Homilies to have more relevance to day-to-day life – with eye contact.  Priest to visit the parishioners more, especially the housebound. 

Get the Parish Pastoral Council up and running.



Each table was asked to reflect on the suggestions made by the other groups and to come up with two priorities.  The results were the following: 

Family Mass (5 votes).  Develop a website (3 votes). 

One mention for each of the following: set up Parish Pastoral Council, outreach to young people and church leaders speaking out.

It was agreed to have two smaller groups meeting over the summer to help arrange a Family Mass and discuss a possible website and use of social media.

Two other topics were highlighted independently:

  • If Parish Novenas are in the morning, this cuts out those who are working.
  • Improvements in the heating in the church hall (more relevant to Financial Commission).





Friday 4 August: 10.00 am Mass Solemnity of St John Vianney (Curé of Ars) Celebrant and Preacher: Fr Paddy Boyle (Ayrfield) 

Friday 7.30 pm Mass: Celebrant and Preacher: Fr Marian Szalwa SCJ (Ardlea) 

Saturday 5 August:  10.00 am Mass  Celebrant and Preacher: Fr Paddy Boyle (Ayrfield)

Saturday Vigil Mass:  6.00 pm Mass  Celebrant and Preacher: Fr Paschal Scallon CM (Vincentian Mission Team)  

Sunday 6 August:  9.30 am Mass  Celebrant and Preacher: Fr Paschal Scallon CM (Vincentian Mission Team) 

Sunday 11.30 am Mass  Celebrant and Preacher: Fr Paschal Scallon CM (Vincentian Mission Team) 

Monday 7 August:  10.00 am Mass Celebrant and Preacher: Fr Tom Curran SMA (Ranelagh Road) 

Adoration from after Mass until 8.00 pm (and every Monday of the year) 

Tuesday 8 August:  10.00 am Mass  Celebrant and Preacher: Fr Vasyl Kornitsky (Ukranian Chaplain, Donnycarney)

Wednesday 9 August:  10.00 am Mass   Celebrant and Preacher: Fr Aidan Walsh OFM Conv (Fairview) 

Wednesday 3.00 pm  Mass with Anointing of the Sick  Celebrant and Preacher: Fr Tom Curran SMA (Ranelagh Road)

Thursday 10 August: 10.00 am Mass Celebrant and Preacher: Fr Bryan Shortall OFM Cap (St Michan’s)

Thursday 7.30 pm:  Holy Hour   Led by a Blessed Sacrament Father 

Friday 11 August:  10.00 am Mass  Celebrant and Preacher: Fr Brian de Burca OMI  (House of Retreat, Inchicore) 

Friday 7.30 pm Mass:  Celebrant and Preacher: Fr Michel Simo Temgo SCJ (Ardlea) 

Saturday 12 August:  10.00 am Mass Celebrant and Preacher: Fr John O’Donoghue M.Afr (Templeogue) 

Saturday 6.00 pm Mass  Celebrant and Preacher: Fr Hugh Hanley SCJ (Ardlea)