Dominican Fathers
Sunday - March 04, 2001
The Underground Church
One of the tricks of the teaching profession that I learned in St. Julian・s School, Lisbon was to toss a word at the students and invite a sharing of thoughts that flashed into the mind. The word .Church・ was always good value and never failed, to get things going in the classroom. From my experience the gut reaction to the word .Church・ was .a building.・ Next came, .an organization run by bishops and priests.・ After that was, .a place where people go on Sunday.・ Occasionally, .a place for hypocrites.・ Obviously, there are various ways of seeing or perceiving the Church. Another simple clever teaching device was going to the blackboard and saying, "I・m going to spell the word Church." I would print in large letters: CH_ _ CH. Then I would back away saying, "Something is missing." A chorus of voices would pronounce the letters "U" and "R". And I would enthusiastically translate the "U" "R" as "YOU ARE." The lesson of the day was: You are at the centre of the Church. There can be no Church unless you are there. Wherever you are there is the Church. This is, of course, a much more demanding image and understanding of Church than .building・ or .organization.・ The Church has many facets and can be perceived from many different vantage points. Just as I am a man, priest, Dominican, Irish and can be perceived as any one of these things, so the Church can be perceived in many ways too and yet be one. It is, first and foremost, the people of God whom Jesus has gathered around himself as favoured and loved, sharing the common goal of bringing his lifestyle, culture, vision, value system, his way of being in relationship with God and each other to the world. Jesus saw family as something beyond ties of flesh and blood. His family would include everybody irrespective of age, rank and status. It would be home for everybody especially the poor, aged, rejects, down-and-outs. To him there are no insignificant people, everybody belongs. Everybody is a child of God. From all of this two images emerge: Jesus surrounded by followers, gathered together in a crowded room in Palestine listening with attention. Men and women from all walks of life, sharing thoughts and experiences, learning a new way of seeing life and of living, sharing a common goal of bringing about God's kingdom of justice and love, where doing his thing and not theirs is what counts. The second is that some group of people, more or less, hitting the road, the Church on the move, making its presence felt in the towns and villages of Galilee, telling not just the story of Jesus but being the story as best they can, on the beaches, in the fields and market places, the taverns, around the family table, in the places where people work, play and pray. The story continues today. It will not end in our lifetime. It will continue after we have passed on. It will end only in God・s time when his mission on earth has been accomplished. We are called in our allotted times and places not just to tell the gospel story but more importantly, to be the story, to be the Church, to make our unique contribution in the places where we live out our lives: the bars, the courtrooms, schoolrooms, boardrooms, dressing rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, on the job, a date, hanging out with friends on a night in the town. If I fail to turn up as a disciple of Jesus the work I was called to do will remain forever undone. God can, of course, repair the damage but my distinctive mark, my torch of genius will be missing and, sadly, the world I frequented will be, as a result, emptier and poorer. There are no apologies here for putting it up to you. We get one shot at life. We either rise to the occasion or let the moment pass us by. No one can live your life, meet the people you meet, in the way you meet them. No one has quite got your faith, temperament, smile, humour, personality, charm, gifts and inner beauty. No one in the Church can ever come off the substitutes bench and replace your unique telling of God・s amazing story of salvation. THOUGHT PROVOKING To encourage those who excuse themselves from Mass we are planning a special "No Excuse Sunday." Bunks will be available in the sacristy for those who say, "Sunday is my only day to sleep in." We will have steel helmets for those who say, "The roof would fall in if I ever came to Church." Blankets will be available for those who think the Church is too cold, and fans for those who say it is too hot. Scorecards will be available for those who wish to make a list of all the hypocrites present. Relatives and friends will be in attendance for those who can・t go to Church because they have to cook dinner. Doctors and nurses will be in attendance for those who plan to be sick on Sunday. The sanctuary will be decorated with both Christmas poinsettias and Easter lillies for those who have never seen the Church without them. We will provide hearing aids for those who can・t hear the preacher and cotton wool for those who think he is too loud. Hope to see you there! NOTICE BOARD Weekday Masses: 8.00am and 10.30am only. No 8.00am Mass on Saturday. Stations of the Cross 7.30pm on Fridays during Lent. Bible Study: 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. Please make a note of these dates. Padre Pio Mass The monthly Padre Pio Mass will take place in the Dominican Church on Tuesday 6th March 2001. Starting with rosary at 7.15pm. Pilgrimage to St. Dominic・s Country 16th to 22nd April 2001. Cost G500. Cost includes flight, all coach transfers in Spain, full board accommodation in single en-suite bedrooms and travel insurance. Deadline for applications 15th March. Further information: Sr. Mary Cunningham. 014514627 Dominican Shop Full selection of Confirmation and Communion items now in stock.


CHURCH SCHEDULE
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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