Dominican Fathers
Sunday - March 11, 2001
Love/Hate Relationship
One of the aspects of our lives over which we have absolutely no control is when we were born. We are left with little option but to come to terms with the times in which we live and do the best we can to fulfil our mission and role in life in our allotted space of time. As I come to a better understanding of local history the thought has crossed my mind that I just might have been a great Dominican Prior during the time the Vikings come to Waterford (I・m speaking with tongue in cheek), but that・s not how life turns out to be. Here I am instead, struggling to make sense of life at a time when the Celtic Tiger rules our minds and hearts. That・s how it is and that・s how the cookie crumbles. I have learned a few things along the road of life and one of them is that when times change a great deal (and we are living in a time of tremendous change, even if we are not always aware of it) there are two things to keep in mind. One is, don・t presume anything because almost everything is, in one way or another, up for grabs. Secondly, keep in mind the bigger picture, the longer journey. Failure to do so inevitably results in getting caught up in the details, being hung up on what is insignificant, and losing sight of how it all fits together. Bulletin space allows no time for dilly dallying so I am pressing the forward button to get to one of the main issues that confronts me on my return to Ireland after a most rewarding pastoral sojourn on the Pacific North coast of Canada. We, Irish, have a chronic love hate relationship with the Church. We see it every time we pick up the newspapers and read letters to the editor. We are the only Church that publicly criticized itself in the newspapers. We cannot seem to get the love, hate relationship out of our gut. There is another thing I have noticed. We identify Church with our local parish. And so discussion on Church often becomes an extremely parochial affair. Many times, I have taken a hard look at the thousands of young people pouring into the streets after school and I have said to myself, "most of these youths are not going to live out the rest of their lives in Waterford." They will leave home, change their addresses and alive elsewhere. I have two nieces and nephew raised in the Ardkeen area of the city. One is living in Boston, one in Holland and the youngest in Dublin. Parish was important to them growing up. Hopefully it still is, where they now live. Hopefully, they feel included not excluded, in their new surroundings. Rahner and Conegar, two of the great 20th Century theologians of the 2ndVatican Council in the 60・s are on record as saying that for the first time in history, the Church was becoming truly Catholic. Up until then the Church had identified itself with Western civilization. Missionaries were white and European. There are changing times. I have just served as Parish Priest for 4 years in West Vancouver in a multi-cultural parish of eighty-two nationalities. Without realizing at first, it then suddenly dawned on me that the parish was both local and universal. It was a gathering place for the people of God of every culture and race on the globe. I came to Vancouver with a local vision of Church and left with a universal one. What a blessing that was for me. I have come home to Ireland to discover that we are not immune to the great phenomenon of people migrating on a scale never seen before in world history. We have in our parishes men, women and children from lands near and far, reminding us that for the first time we are privileged to belong to the global Church. The universal Church is the bigger picture. The more we connect the local with the universal dimension the more we will emerge from the small mindedness and pettiness of local politics, hang-ups and failures which have undermined and damaged the mission and role of the Irish Church today. The more we see the Church as bigger that the Irish experience the more we will embrace and welcome the stranger in our midst. The more too we will be clothed in love and summoned beyond where we are now to a Church vision that is, at the same time, both local and universal in lifestyle and outreach. THOUGHT PROVOKING I went but a little way, and sat down upon the ground, looking out upon the sea, which was just before me, and very calm and smooth. As I sat here, some such thoughts as these occurred to me: What is this earth, of which I have seen so much? Whence is it produced, and what am I, and all the other creatures, wild and tame, human and brutal? Whence are we? ~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe A man and a woman must have a dream that is larger than he or she is, or else life has little meaning. A teacher told the class that God saw all the good people as red and all the bad people as white. Then she asked this question, "If all the good people are red and all the bad people are white, what colour are you?" The response was somewhat predictable. The good children announced that they were red. The children who thought of themselves as bad remained quiet. That left Sally wildly waving her hand in a desperate attempt to be recognized by the teacher. Finally the teacher said, "OK, Sally, if all the good people are red and all the bad people are white, what colour are you?" She blurted out, "Streaky!" What a great answer. What honesty! Sally was not speaking just for herself but for all of us. We are at best streaky. Lent is an opportunity to examine our streaky behaviour and root out what is mean and ugly. NOTICE BOARD Weekday Mass 8.00am and 10.30am only. No 8.00am Mass on Saturday. Stations of the Cross 7.30pm on Fridays during Lent. Website Log onto our website. Beginning on Easter Sunday morning, we will be inviting our Website audience to join us in spirit at the 10.30am Mass under the title: Sunday Morning Ireland. If you have family members living abroad who have access to the Internet, please advise them of this initiative. We must seek every opportunity to carry the good news worldwide. St. Patrick・s Day Mass schedule: Friday 7.30pm. Saturday 7.00am, 10.30am and 12 noon. Happy St. Patrick・s Day to all our friends at home and abroad. Dominican Shop Full selection of Confirmation and Communion prayer books, beads, rosettes and souvenirs now in stock.

Mass Sunday : 7:30 pm - Saturday Vigil Mass
7:00 am
10:30 am
12:00 noon
7:00 pm
Weekdays : 8:00 am
10:30 am
7:30 pm
Confessions Saturday : 10:10 - 10:25 am
10:10 - 10:25 am
11:00 - 1:00 pm
4:00 - 6:00 pm
Weekdays : 10:10 - 10:25 am
7:10 - 7:25 pm
All correspondence to : Fr. Vincent Travers O.P.
Bridge Street, Waterford
Tel: 875061 Fax: 858093

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