Parish Mission Statement
St. Columba’s parish is a vibrant and welcoming community of faith, continuing to give practical witness to the Good News of Christ, through worship and reflection, and through Christian service to the community.
Welcome to the website of the parish of St Columba, Iona Road, Dublin.The parish of St. Columba is part of the Glasnevin Grouping of Parishes with the parishes of : Our Lady of Dolours, Glasnevin, Corpus Christi, Drumcondra, Our Mother of Divine Grace, Ballygall Road East, Our Lady of Victories, Ballymun Road, in the Archdiocese of Dublin.
To register for Confirmation or First Holy Communion please go the Sacraments page above and follow the link.
First Sunday of Advent 28th November 2021
Parishioners and visitors are encouraged to continue hand sanitising on entering the church, to maintain social distancing and to wear face masks throughout the Mass. An MC will introduce the Mass at the weekends, updating everyone with any new developments.
There are two Collection moments at Mass, the first after the homily, and the second while the parish notices are being read.
We regret that the Service of Lament and Thanksgiving planned for this Sunday has had to be postponed due to public health concerns. It is hoped to celebrate the service in the new year when circumstances allow.
The second collection today is the annual collection for the Sick & Indigent Roomkeepers Society and it replaces the usual Share collection.
The monthly meeting of our Parish Pastoral Council takes place on zoom next Thursday 2nd December at 8.00pm.
Crosscare is working with hundreds of families and children in Dublin who struggle to get basic food supplies. It is often the months after Christmas which many people find challenging. Crosscare helps people with food parcels and meals in our cafes and food banks and assists families with budgeting, healthy eating, long-term housing and welfare support. Due to Covid restrictions, the online appeal for donations replaces the food collection in parishes in previous years. Support our appeal to end food poverty by giving what you can online at www.crosscare.ie/donate or call 01 8360011. Many thanks!
A ceremony of Enrolment for children and their families preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation in 2022 will take place at the vigil Mass at 6.00pm on Saturday 11th December, third Sunday of Advent. Due to the numbers involved, we ask the children and families to participate via webcam at www.ionaroadparish.ie A few representative families will attend in person.
On the Thursdays of Advent, parishioners are invited to participate (via zoom) in a reflective reading (Lectio Divina) of the Gospel for the following Sunday. We will meet on Thursday 2nd December at 7.00pm. If you would like to join us, just contact the parish secretary to ask for the zoom link.
Archbishop Dermot Farrell has published a Pastoral Letter for Advent. You can read it in full on our parish website www.ionaroadparish.ie
The Office for Mission and Ministry are offering daily reflections for the Advent Journey. The theme of these reflections is ‘Be Still’. The reflections will be posted each morning on the Facebook page for the office of Mission and Ministry. www.facebook.com/officeformissionandministry
Over the past few weekends we distributed a letter encouraging parishioners from January 2022 to place their donations for both collections in an envelope which can then be placed in the collection basket. This will enable the parish to trace the contribution and claim tax back on it. If you are happy to do this, we now invite you to complete the form which is available at the back of the church, with your name and address on it, and drop it into the safe at the back of the church before Sunday 28th November.
We thank parishioners for your contributions to the First and Second Collections and to the Family Offering. Contributions can also be made through the ‘Donate’ button on the parish website: www.ionaroadparish.ie
This Sunday the blessing of the Advent wreath reminds that we enter a new season, a season that speaks of joy and hope in the midst of darkness. May hope light up our lives and may it be visible in our engagement with others.
BLESSING OF THE ADVENT WREATH
We ask you, God, our creator, to bless this Advent wreath.
May it remind us that Jesus is in our midst
And that we are surrounded by his love and care.
Bless these candles on our wreath.
May they remind us that Jesus is the Light of the World
Bless these evergreens on our wreath.
May they remind us that Jesus’ love for us
Is everlasting and that nothing we do will ever take it away.
May this wreath remind us to prepare well
For Christmas, each and every day of the Advent Season.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Pastoral Letter for Advent 2021 from +Dermot Farrell, Archbishop of Dublin
On the First Sunday of Advent our Church, and many others, begin a new Church year. The Church begins its year with a time of hope, and Advent—so frequently ‘lost’ in the preparation for Christmas—is the season of hope par excellence. It is the season of hope, because our God who gave himself to us by creating us, and who came to us in the coming of his Son, will come again.
Our God “comes to enrich our personal and collective histories, our dashed hopes and our sterile yearnings.” (Pope Francis, Homily for the First Sunday of Advent, Bangui Cathedral (CAR), November 2015). Our God comes to save us. “Unless the Lord comes to us, we are completely helpless,” as St Maximus the Confessor, so dramatically put it.
In Advent, we proclaim and celebrate our hope and our trust that our God is faithful: that the Lord will come again and again to rescue us, to heal us, to console us, to be with all that he has called into life.
God calls us forward to a new world, to embrace a new future. That is God’s deeper gift to us. His call is not to return to a wonderful place where “everything was wonderful”—be that Bethlehem or the ‘wonderful world’ of our shared past. Our prayer this Advent and always is, therefore, shaped by that hope. In this time, for many, it is also framed by the experience of loss and continuing grief. Our anticipation of the joy of Christmas is all the greater for the depth of the crisis through which we have been travelling. Christian hope is not naive. It does not give rise to nostalgia, denial or conformity. Rather it is realistic in its faithfulness and bold in its imagination. Pope Francis tells us that hope ‘is able to see a tomorrow; hope is the door that opens onto the future.’ Hope changes everything.
As we prepare to celebrate the overwhelming gift of love that was the Incarnation, we are invited to take stock of how well prepared we are, not only to celebrate the Nativity of the Lord at Christmas, but to live the kind of life we are meant to live, loving one another and the whole human race as much as we are loved.
The Gospel for the First Sunday of Advent reminds us that the Christian life is rooted in prayer; we are urged to pray at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, so that we can stand with confidence before the Son of Man.
We have been living through a very testing time. Sickness and death resulting from the Covid-19 virus have taken a heavy toll. The necessary restrictions on everyday life have at times been very hard to bear. The continuing pressure on healthcare staff and other vital workers has increased our admiration for their commitment and care. Our gratitude for the remarkable success of those developing vaccines and treatments has been tempered by a growing realisation that there is no easy or simple solution for this crisis.
So it is for us, the community of faith that is the Church in this Archdiocese. We are living through dark days. We confront immense challenges, not least that the dominant culture is hostile to faith, while there is much in our story that discourages and even repels many people. Yet as Christians we are called to bring Good News to the whole world, to accompany those at all stages of life‘s journey towards an encounter with Jesus Christ. We are hopeful, despite the immensity of these challenges, some of which have become even more stark as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
It was to build hope that, some months ago, I established a Task Force to develop a pastoral strategy to support parish communities of faith to undertake a radical renewal, looking to the future with creativity, while enabling the Archdiocese of Dublin to act now so as to give effective witness and service in the years ahead. The Task Force received views and suggestions from over 3,000 people, the vast majority of them lay people involved in different ways and to different degrees in the life of the Church. I have received the recommendations of the Task Force and I am reflecting upon them and praying about them.
The strategy that has been recommended involves principles to guide our renewal, a process of engagement that would involve the whole diocesan family, and a framework to guide discussion and discernment. It is my intention to invite the whole diocesan family, and every parish, to begin the process of discussion and discernment early in the New Year, and to provide guidelines and suggestions to support this journey, which will be, in itself, an expression of the synodal path on which the Church has embarked.
Any pastoral strategy that is true to our Christian calling will acknowledge, as the Task Force has, our need to hear the call to conversion of hearts and minds, and to deepen the spirit of prayer and attentiveness to the word of God.
I am therefore inviting the Church in the Archdiocese of Dublin to use this season of Advent as a time of prayer and reflection to prepare ourselves spiritually for the challenge of renewal. Responding to the Task Force Report, we need to create a prayerful atmosphere this Advent as we begin to look to the future of parishes, groupings of parishes, and the Diocese itself. Our prayer must be, above all, to be open to the Spirit to guide us in our mission as bearers of light and carriers of good news to the people of our time. We honour our history and our traditions. We draw strength from what has been built up. But we are not afraid to craft new wineskins to carry the new wine of the Good News to those who thirst for it today.
In Advent we begin the Liturgical Year preparing for the coming of the Lord. Our diocesan theme this year is ‘Be Still’, waiting for the Lord, preparing ourselves for the year ahead with Him.
There is a ‘Be Still’ resource available on the Diocesan Website, and our Mission and Ministry Team are offering a daily prayer posting on Facebook every day during Advent with a variety of contributors.
We need to ‘be still’ during Advent, and mark time a little with the Lord, as we set out on a year of prayer, reflection and planning.
Advent resources are available from Advent 2021 | Archdiocese of Dublin (dublindiocese.ie)
I am asking each parish community to pray for conversion of heart so that we may be effective missionaries. I ask that the Synod prayer be prayed every day during Advent, especially during our celebrations of the Eucharist, so that we are reminded of the call we have received and the hope-filled response which we will craft together under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
In the season of Advent, we unite yourselves with our Blessed Mother Mary, whose own preparation models for us the spirit of hope and faith that brings the light of Christ to life.
Let us pray:
Ever faithful God,
You sent your son into the darkness of human history
to fulfil your will, and guide your people home to you.
Fill our hearts with the hope of your coming
that we may draw close to all our sisters and brothers
especially those who bear the cross of Jesus in the heart of our world.
May the Light of his victory over darkness and death,
guide our feet on the way of justice and peace.
We ask this in the name of Him who came and will come again,
Jesus, our Lord, for ever and ever. Amen
Archbishop of Dublin
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