From the Rector
Our local weekly newspaper ‘The Tallaght Echo’ was forty years old in 2020 and each week they had a feature on ‘The faces of Tallaght’ and at the beginning of the pandemic they did a piece on myself. I was pleased to see St. Maelruain’s name feature again when they included an article on 10th December about Sister Kay Mulhall. Sister Kay began and ran her Refugee Drop in Centre in our Small Hall for about ten years until the space became too small. She is an inspirational woman who impacted so many who found themselves on our shores, many of whom were very isolated with little or no English. The Drop in Centre provided English classes and along with a team of volunteers provided a variety of classes, activities and support services, including advice, advocacy, friendship and a cup of tea.
The Tallaght Person of the Year awards were unable to be held this year due to Covid but it was touching that Amy and Lionel were both proposed for certificates of appreciation, Amy for singing and playing the ukulele for seventy-seven online services and Lionel for filming and streaming our services on Facebook live along with updating our FB page with posters and icons to represent the theme of each service. They were awarded the certificates on 15th December.
Christmas 2020 was a very
different one for us all. With the lifting of restrictions for the three
Sundays before Christmas our Church doors were open again with the same social
distancing and hygiene measures that were in place on the previous opening up.
Our Nine Lessons and Carols Service was on Sunday 20th December at
our 11am Service. I read each lesson instead of the usual parish organisations
taking their turns reading and our Ukelelist sang each Carol wearing a mask
with her back to the congregation. We continued with our services on Facebook
live and for the Carol Service our videographer featured an icon to represent
each organisation. Thank you to
By the time Christmas Eve came along people were concerned by the rising numbers of Covid cases following the month long easing of restrictions. We had our midnight Christmas Eve Service in the upstairs lobby of our Main Hall, our 8.30am Christmas Morning Service in our Small Hall and our 11.00am Family Christmas Morning Service in Church in order for each service to be conducted in a sterile environment. Christmas day proved to be poignant as we knew it would be the last time we worshiped together for the foreseeable future. Two days later, for Sunday 27th
we were back to services only on Facebook live. There are now seventy seven services which can be viewed on Facebook or on our Parish Website as we continued with live streaming even when restrictions during the year were lifted in order that our more vulnerable parishioners and our immigrant parishioners, who tend to work in the caring professions, could still ‘come to church’. We have quite the lively online community greeting each other and commenting Amen.
About fifteen years ago our immigrant parishioners asked could we have a service to welcome in the New Year on New Year’s Eve. This service has been an annual event since then, including this year, albeit on Facebook live. On the 31st my family and I were in Church live broadcasting with parishioners watching at home on their devices so they were not subjected to watching RTE’s New Year’s Eve programme featuring a sketch accusing God of rape by claiming he had “forced himself on” Mary and “allegedly impregnating her against her will”.
According to “Dr” Luke’s Gospel the angel Gabriel was sent to tell Mary that she was to “give birth to a son”, to which Mary replied “How will this be since I am a virgin?” The angel answered “the Holy Spirit will come upon you” ….. (also in the other account in Matthew’s Gospel) Mary answered “I am the Lord’s servant” and “May it be to me as you have said”. Then the angel left her.
Mary later sings her grateful song of praise “The Magnificat” which we usually sing at Morning Prayer even if in it’s modern version of “Tell out my soul”.
I don’t know what standard of consent RTE requires but I would suggest that Mary could be used as a model, even by the standards of today, two thousand years later.
The reason we call Mary a Saint is because she is an example of faith by being willing to say “Yes” to God and on reflection, what better New Year’s resolution could we have?
God bless William
On Saturday 19th December the funeral and burial of Eileen Whitten took place in the graveyard of St. Maelruain’s. Eileen and Stuart were founding members of our Bowls Club so members of the club formed a ‘Guard of Honour’ for Eileen while keeping social distancing in place. Our sincere condolences to Eileen’s daughter Lynn, son-in-law Joe, grandchildren Jonathan, Philip and Christopher, family and friends.