Dominican Fathers
Sunday - February 04, 2001
Why go to Church?
What do you tell your friends or perhaps even your own children who no longer go to Church but wonder why you do? Why do we in the Church commit ourselves to a group of flawed men and women and agree to journey with them for the rest of our lives? The first question raised in the Bible is when Cain asks defensively, ˇ§Am I my brotherˇ¦s keeper?ˇ¨ Since he had already killed Abel, we can presume that Cain asked rhetorically. Yet he posed the ultimate question for human kind ever after. Must I care for others as well as myself? Surely, it is possible to answer Cainˇ¦s question not as either / or , but as both / and ; that we are to care for ourselves and each other in a ˇ§community-of- persons.ˇ¨ In Church language, we understand ˇ§community-of-personsˇ¨ to mean a faith community. We Catholics have this deeply held conviction that we go to God, not on a one-to-one, but together, as a people, as a body. At the time of the Reformation (16th Century) we had a huge falling out on this very issue with our Protestant brothers and sisters. Luther, Calvin and other reformers were condemning the Church and saying it was corrupt (and they had some good reasons for condemning it). They were saying it was not bringing us to God but getting between us and God. So they said: Lets go around it. Lets skip it. Did you ever have that temptation? The great cry of the Reformation was: Go to God directly. When the much chastened Catholic Church regrouped at the Council of Trent (1545 - 63) it responded: Yes, of course, we should go to God directly. Everyone should have their own spirituality. Everyone should have a personal relationship with God. But we must also go to God together, as a people, as a Church. This old Church of ours remained convinced to the core, that for all its sins and shortcomings, the Church is still the primary way that God typically comes looking for us and we come typically looking for him. Have you ever stopped and asked yourself why do Catholics put so much emphasis on things like going to mass? Our Protestant brothers and sisters stress the importance of Sunday worship and keeping the Sabbath. Yet they have never made it a big sin (ˇ§sin,ˇ¨ as in missing the mark as Christians), but we do. Its the Church's way of saying we have to be a community. We are born into community. Community is in our bloodstream. We wake up each morning as one among many. When scripture says, ˇ§it is not good to be alone,ˇ¨ it means that for all men, women and children. Hell is not other people, as Sartre once said but the absence of people. Our search and hunger for God must be consistent with our nature. Together we aspire. Together we live out the life of the Christian community so that all of us may learn, more and more, to take good care of ourselves and others and in that way fulfil the challenge of Jesus, which was ever so strong and simple, love your neighbour as yourself. THOUGHT PROVOKING A man woke up one morning to discover that the morning paper had incorrectly reported his death. The headline to his obituary read, ˇ§Dynamite King Dead.ˇ¨ The article went on to relate that he had amassed a fortune by manufacturing ˇ§weapons of mass destruction.ˇ¨ The man freezed on the spot: ˇ§Is this how I want to be remembered?ˇ¨ Clearly the answer was no, so he set about changing his lifestyle. This man was Alfred Nobel, who we know today because of the Nobel Peace prize named after him. We, too, need to confront the question. ˇ§How will I be remembered?ˇ¨ The unconfronted life is not worth living. One lighted torch serves to light another.~ Godet. Johnny went to the hospital for a complete physical. He was very depressed and said to the doctor," I look in the mirror and see that Iˇ¦m a mess. My jaws are sagging. I have blotches all over my face. My hair is falling out. I feel ugly. What is it?ˇ¨ The doctor said," I donˇ¦t know what it is Johnny, but your eyesight is perfect.ˇ¨ Use soft words and hard arguments.~ Proverb. All the world lives in two tents - content and discontent. NOTICE BOARD Lourdes Novena 3rd to 11th February 2001. The opening session will be at 7.30pm on Saturday 3rd 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 at 4pm. The Preacher : Fr. Terence McLoughlinO.P. The 7.30pm mass will be discontinued as from Monday 12th February. Scripture: St. Saviourˇ¦s Bridge Street. Fr. Maurice Fearon, O.P. , a scripture scholar has accepted an invitation to give a three day workshop, March 5,6,& 7th on the Bible at 7.30pm. Spring Courses: St. Johnˇ¦s College, Waterford. Ministers of the Eucharist: Wednesdays 7th 14th & 21st February at 8pm. Ministry of Reader: Reading and Proclaiming the Word of God. Wednesdays 7th 14th & 21st February at 8pm. No Padre Pio devotion on Tuesday (6th February) due to Lourdes Novena.

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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