This was a busy week in our parish. Cemetery Masses, Kilkelly Festival, Concert and the Urlaur Pattern. It was heart-warming to see so many people gather to remember, pray, shed a tear as well as to laugh, dance a step, whistle a tune or sing a song. A very balanced mix of emotions and a fine display of talent. We can be proud of our week in the parish.
One of the moments that stays very much with me this day, is the “Naming of Religious” from the parish that was a central part of our Pattern Mass this year. The Mass, celebrated in St Joseph’s Church, saw the church filled to capacity. The “calling by name” took place after the homily and before the presentation of the gifts of bread and wine. Four people from our community, took their turn to read from a prepared list that bore the name of 108 men and women from the parish who said “Yes” to the Lord’s call to serve Him and His Church as a priest, brother or sister. Perhaps some found another path later in life but the call, nonetheless was heard and responded to in Faith, Hope and Love. There were names missed too, of course, but there was a space for them in the sacred silence of St Joseph’s and it’s not too late to add any omitted names to a future list. For the moment, the Pattern Moment, we allowed those names be heard. As each list concluded, we sounded a bell, the great call to prayer, and after a little space for silence, said together words adapted from the Ceremony of Ordination; “May God, who begun the good work in them, bring it to fulfilment”.
It was, in truth, a very moving ceremony and locating it in the Eucharistic gathering of the Urlaur Pattern seemed so fitting. The Dominicans, who came as strangers to the lakeshore at Urlaur and built stone on stone to create “God’s House” must have rejoiced to hear this moment too. From a historic place of Faith to the newest Church in our diocese, the journey continues.
It’s remarkable to think we know of at least 108 men and women from our parish who, in living memory, found in their Souls, the willingness to say “yes” to God’s call. They served His Church in a variety of ministries at home and abroad. They truly made a difference.
That call remains a true need of our day too. How can we allow it be heard more clearly?