Church Review Notes July 2018

The Parish of Saint Catherine & Saint James with Saint Audoen
Canon Mark Gardner (Editor) Tel: 01 454 2274 Mobile 087 266 0228
Review Distribution: Margery Bell Tel: 01 4542067
Organist: Derek Moylan

Service times every Sunday
10.00 Eucharist, St Audoen, Cornmarket. (Parking in Francis Street is free on Sundays)
11.30 Eucharist (and Sunday School, in term time) St Catherine & St James, Donore Avenue.
(Family Service and Church Coffee, usually Second Sundays)

While works continue in St Audoen’s Park the only access to the Church will be through the OPW Visitor Centre gate on the High Street.

Holy Baptism
At Family Service in June, on the Feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, we had the adult Baptism of Ruaidhrí DeValera, followed by Church Coffee and a celebratory cake, on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of my ordination. Many thanks to those who provided tasty snacks and drinks for old and young. It was also my late Father’s 98th birthday. In Irish tradition, the eve of St John’s day is midsummer, and even today bonfires may be seen on hilltops in the West of Ireland as the long day fades to dusk.

St Audoen’s continues to be popular with young people as a place to get married. Roger Rawlinson and Jean Thompson, like me, members past or present of the mysterious fraternity of bellringers, were the most recent. We were most grateful to the contractor Kevin Collins for giving Jean access to the ramps, still under construction, for her motorised wheelchair. It was a very informal and happy event, with many ringers involved.

Two of our young people, Eithne Ogbata of Donore Avenue and Ciara Barnes of Kevin Street were confirmed by the Archbishop at Christ Church Cathedral on the feast of Pentecost. I had to leave before the ceremony began, to attend at the bedside of Orla Honer, on life-support in intensive care.

Community Garden
Dougal and Sandy Hazel, our parishioners of Haroldville Avenue, are very involved with the community garden in Rueben Street. Fears have proved unfounded that the site would be built on. It is laid out in sections rather than allotments, and the local clergy were invited to a revival of an old Irish custom of blessing the planting of a patch of potatoes. Holy Water was sprinkled by Fr David from St Teresa’s, I read some suitable prayers from the Book of Common Prayer, and Ishmael, who has an Islamic congregation in Rialto, gave thanks. He invited everyone to St Andrew’s Community Centre, former Methodist Church, where they have a gathering to enjoy a fine array of food and drink after the hours of daytime fasting during the month of Ramadan.

Orla Honer
Text of the address given at the service of thanksgiving for the life of Orla Honer, at which two of her sons were readers, and among an attendance filling every part of the Church, there were also outside many others, including Kevin Honer’s football team who formed a guard of honour. He was prevented by his Mother’s final illness from being Confirmed as planned at Christ Church Cathedral.

Jesus said, do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. We will miss our friend Orla, and no-one will miss her more than her immediate family. But we will never forget her. In these last few days we have been sharing memories of her, of her early days and married life, of her long association with St Catherine’s National School, and the commitment she made to this Church, the Sunday School and the Vestry. Brian Honer and I were in school together and we met again when I came to this Parish and got to know Orla, at a time when she was in good health and very active, before she began to suffer various illnesses and to spend time in hospital. She seems to have suffered a cardiac arrest either before or after falling downstairs and to be deprived of oxygen. So after some time in St James’ Hospital, where I am chaplain, the family made the brave and courageous decision to allow the organ donor team to be called in, and that intervention has brought new life to I think three or four other people in need of a transplant. Even this must bring with it a sense of shock, all the more so as it has all been so sudden. Orla rang me on Saturday evening to tell me that Brian’s Father Liam was in St James’ Hospital, and on Sunday morning Brian rang me to say that Orla was in the hospital. Poignant that the date of her death coincided with the fifteenth birthday of her son Killian. In sharing memories we have been reminded of more than one coincidence in her life. To take but one example, the happiness of her marriage in 1996 was overshadowed by the death of her own Mother one year later. I have been glad to learn from her contemporaries in the Parents’ Association what good times they had together, and I pay tribute to the part she played in the life and work of this Church, where we walked together as friends. May memories of good times bring us all a sense of hope even in days of darkness, and may the dark days become fewer and come back less often in time to come. On her wedding day they sang the hymn ‘Amazing grace’, and we are grateful to the choir of St Patrick’s Cathedral Grammar School who are going to sing ‘Amazing grace’ for us now, and to the staff who are accompanying them, and to the sixth class of St Catherine’s National School who will then lead us in prayer, and to their teachers. Jesus said, ‘I will come again, and will take you to myself, so that where I am there you may be also.’

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