Dominican Fathers
Sunday - January 14, 2001
Saints and Sinners
I'm wondering how those of you who came home for Christmas and re- connected with the church are feeling about it today? Was it worth it or did the experience confirm negative thoughts and memories of yesterday? Will you stay or leave again? The church at Christmas is not your normal Sunday mass gathering. It's more like the Christmas dinner at home, a hyped-up occasion made for celebration and bonhomie, a far cry from the usual run of the mill Sunday roast effort. Yet each borrow from the other. My hope is that, as a result of returning to the fold, you now have more questions than answers. The crucifixion scene is a good image of church. Jesus dies between two convicted criminals. Anyone at the time, standing around and looking at that scene, would not have made a distinction between who was guilty and who was innocent. There was just a shared landscape for all to see God on a cross between two thieves. Here we have the biblical image of church: Jackyl and Hyde, grace and sin, good and evil, holiness and pettiness, fidelity and betrayal, all part of the same horizon. Not many of us think of James Joyce as a theologian. But he was at his theological best when he wrote in Finnegan's Wake, "Catholic means, here comes everybody." The church is always God hung between two thieves. Thus, no one should be surprised or shocked at how badly the church has betrayed the gospel and how much it continues to do so today. It has never done well. It struggles in its humanity to make real the dream of Jesus. At the same time nobody should deny the good the church has done and continues to do. It has mediated the grace of God, produced saints, morally challenged the planet, opted for the poor and made, however imperfectly, a house for God to dwell on this earth. I have felt just as much at home saying mass in Mountjoy prison, on the infamous Minnesota strip on New York's West 42nd Street, as I have in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome or St. Saviour's in Waterford. Being connected with the church means being associated with criminals, racists, paedophiles, murderers, adulterers, hypocrites of every description. It also identifies us with saints, the noblest and gentlest, our finest human beings of every time, country, race and gender. To be a member of the church founded by Jesus is to carry the mantle of both the worst and the best because the church always looks exactly as it looked at its beginning, God hung between thieves. THANK YOU Christmas may have come and gone but we haven't forgotten the many kindnesses over the festive season. We thank you, one and all, and particularly those who sent greeting cards and gifts. We ask you to accept these words as an expression of our appreciation. X Community of St. Saviour's. THOUGHT PROVOKING In the closing section of his book, I sought and I found, Carlo Carretto addresses the church in these words: How much I must criticize you, my church and yet how much I love you! You have made me suffer more than anyone and yet I owe more to you than to anyone. I should like to see you destroyed and yet I need your presence. You have given me much scandal and yet you alone have made me understand holiness. Never in this world have I seen anything more compromised, more false, and yet never have I touched anything more pure, more generous or more beautiful. Countless times I have felt like slamming the door of my soul in your face X and yet, every night, I have prayed that I might die in your sure arms. No, I cannot be free of you, for I am one with you, even if not completely you. Then too X where should I go? To build another church? But I could not build one without the same defects, for they are my defects. And again, if I were to build another church, it would be my church, not Christ's church. No. I am old. I Know better. NOTICE BOARD We regret that the Christmas novena of Masses could not be offered at the times announced. This was not possible because during those days and times no priest was available to say the extra Mass. The novena of Masses was celebrated by one of our Dominican priests on the appointed days. We continue to be under pressure to honour the weekday schedule of Masses. We will do our best to give adequate notice of changes in the Mass schedule. We ask for your understanding and patience whenever such changes occur. Rest assured that we are completely committed to the Sunday schedule of Masses. Lourdes Novena St. Saviour's 3rd-11th February 2001 The opening session will be at 7.30pm on Thursday 3rd Feb and there will be two sessions each subsequent day at 10.30am and 7.30pm. On Sunday 4th February there will be Mass and anointing of the sick. The Preacher will be: Fr. Terence McLoughlin, O.P.

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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