Many reasons to celebrate

Many reasons to celebrate


The community of Blanchardstown parish came together in large numbers last Wednesday to celebrate a combination of the feast day of St Brigid, parish patron, the journey to the Eucharistic Congress (IEC) and the beginning of a year of celebration for the 175th anniversary of St Brigid’s church.

”It is a group of celebration in one,” said Liam Dunne, Chair of the Parish Pastoral Council, explaining that Betty Cronin, the parish representative in the diocesan IEC committee was the driving force behind the Mass.

Blanchardstown is an historic parish in a busy, urban environment which was once a large rural expanse.

The parish is planning a number of anniversary celebrations throughout the year including a Novena of Grace, an historic exhibition and another Mass to mark the actual anniversary date in November.

”The church has stood here for 175 years and that’s a long time,” said Fr John Jones PP in his homily. ”It’s been a great symbol of God’s presence in this area and a living monument to generations of people’s faith. It is the combination of those two, God and the people, that makes this truly a holy place.”

Mass started with the placing of a lantern on the altar as a symbol of St Brigid and ”our sustenance and our service to each other and the community, and our wish that God is with us in all we do in our celebrations of the past, the present and as we look to the future,” said Kevin Mullally, parish pastoral worker. It was very much a celebration filled with symbolism including a blessing of the hands, a dressing of the altar and the presentation of the gifts including an early picture of the church, the IEC candle and St Brigid’s crosses.

The choir added a prayerful atmosphere, including beautiful hymns by the local children, but the whole congregation also sang with gusto under the leadership of cantor singer, Mary Kelly.

Mass was followed by a social cup of tea in the adjoining community centre.