Church Review notes September 2014

The Parish of Saint Catherine & Saint James with Saint Audoen, Dublin

Canon Mark Gardner (Editor) Tel: 01 454 2274 Mobile 087 266 0228

The Revd Martha Waller (Curate-Assistant) Tel: 01 868 1655


Review Distribution: Doris Brooks Tel: 01 453 0887


Service times every Sunday

10.00 Eucharist, St Audoen, Cornmarket. (Parking in Francis Street is free on Sundays).

The Church and Visitor Centre are kept open to the public free of charge by the Office of Public Works until about 17.30 daily.

11.30 Eucharist, St Catherine & St James, Donore Avenue. (Service of the Word, Second and Fourth Sundays)

Harvest Thanksgiving

Killian Farrell, organist at St Audoen’s, is planning a celebration 15.30 Sunday 21 September, instead of a Harvest Gathering such as we had on a Friday evening last year. Music written by Bach for a Lutheran Harvest will be played and sung in a form of Service which will be both traditional and new. Bach has written three Cantatas with a Harvest Thanksgiving theme, which are both choral and orchestral, so we look forward with anticipation to a choir of eight, including the soloists, and an orchestra of fifteen, on St Matthew’s Day. Fruit and vegetables will be given to the Regina Ceoli Hostel in Morning Star Avenue, run by our neighbours in the Legion of Mary whose original premises are in Francis St in this Parish, and the charity collection will be given to Threshold, the National Housing Charity, whose Dublin office is in Stoneybatter. In the following month, we have in mind Sunday morning 19 October for Harvest Thanksgiving in the Church of St Catherine & St James.

St Audoen’s Church

Vaughan Electrical have installed under-seat heating, and members of the OPW staff have already been enjoying some comfort while minding the Church when open to the public. We value very much the way they keep the doors open day by day and at the same time treat the Church with such reverence. The heaters are very discreet, as are the goose-necked microphones, part of the new sound system, the first time there has ever been a sound system in St Audoen’s.

Player’s Square and St Catherine’s National School

While voices are raised on all sides about the best location for a children’s hospital, those of us who live beside the empty 22 acres between the Parish Church and the Coombe Hospital are inclined to favour that site. The demolition of St Teresa’s Gardens adds considerably to the available area. While the School is enlarged with the addition of two prefabs, we are grateful to Players Square for permission to use a parcel of their land as a playground for our increased number of schoolchildren.

Thomas St Ambassadors

St Audoen’s Church and Thomas St are on the Dublin Line or ‘Dubline’ tourist trail from Trinity College to the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. The Thomas Street Ambassador Programme has again been a huge success and a Parishioner, Almeida Nianga (recently married), has again been involved, this year as a team supervisor. It’s part of a larger 90-day improvement plan for the area initiated by the Thomas Street Business Association (TSBA) and was run in conjunction with Volunteer Ireland, whose offices are in Thomas St.

After induction and training, volunteer ambassadors patrolled Thomas Street wearing purple bibs bearing the invitation “Ask me about Thomas Street”. Their job was to assist visitors by giving directions and answering queries. Tourists like to meet local people and appreciate a friendly face.

Heritage Week at the end of August is another very successful initiative which seems crowds gathering all over Ireland. The guide book runs to nearly three hundred pages, including many events relating to the centenary of the First World War and the colossal number of Irish casualties.

War Memorial

Ann Baker has written, asking for the location of the war memorial or roll of honour from St Luke’s Church, the Coombe, bearing the names of two sons of Thomas and Bridget Warbrook, who died in the First World War. Happily this memorial is now in St Catherine & St James, (where her husband’s Aunt was married, then called St Victor’s), which they were able to visit on Sunday 17 August. The War Memorials from St Catherine’s Thomas St and St James’ Church James’ St are also preserved here.

Glenstal Ecumenical Conference

I attended the fiftieth conference last year, when it was felt that there should be a break while people consider the way forward, and assess what reform is need in the participating Churches and in their relationships with each other. So there has been no conference this year. However, David Murnaghan of St Patrick’s Cathedral tells me that the words of one of the most inspirational speakers of last year or any of the last fifty years, Gabriel Daly OSA, are available online at www Click on ‘free access article’. The title of his paper is ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’.


My Sister Alison has worked for many years in computers, in Sandyford and Seattle. She tells me about another Irish person who has made a remarkable impact in America. He says of himself, “My name is Walter O’Brien, and I am a genius. Einstein had an IQ of 165. Mine is 197.” He was from Enniscorthy but the family emigrated. When he was 13, he represented Ireland in high-speed problem-solving at the 1993 International Olympiad in Informatics, and with the nickname Scorpion hacked into NASA’s computer system!

He tells the story: “I was coming home from school and encountered a house surrounded by black cars. Mom was on the couch, crying; Dad was not too happy. Men in suits were wanting to yell at me for what I had done but were a little surprised when out of my school bag I pulled an extradition waiver. If they signed this, I would show them where the holes were in their network. We ended up doing a deal.”

Mark Gardner