‘This day was made by the Lord let us rejoice and be glad’ is a line taken from the Psalms. It could well sum up the celebration taking place within our parish this Sunday May 27th. We celebrate the centenary of our beautiful St. Cronan’s church. It is indeed a noble structure with its many outstanding features. It is a truly fitting place of worship and today we celebrate and honour the people who in very hard times funded and built the it.
We think of our many emigrants in the United States and elsewhere who donated hard earned money to ensure that St. Cronan’s became a reality. We honour and give thanks for all those who worked hard and long hours to build it. We thin too of all those who have gathered within its hallowed walls to pray over the decades, those who were baptised here, those who were sealed with the oil of chrism on confirmation day, those who committed themselves in love through the sacrament of marriage, those who prostrated themselves before the altar on ordination day and all those who welcomed the Lord’s mercy in the sacrament of reconciliation and His presence in the Eucharist. We also commend to the Lord today all whose funeral liturgies have taken place here. We pray that they now rejoice in the halls of heaven .We think too of all those who have sat in these seats and lifted up their hearts to the Lord in times of petition and likewise in thanksgiving.
Today we give thanks for all who have passed on this beautiful building to us. As a community let us commit to ensuring that this sacred place is maintained as a fitting monument to generations past. Let us pray also that we will be true to our faith and ensure that it is passed on to those that come after us. Faith inspired the people of Balla to build this church 100 years ago. May our faith enable us to appreciate it and ensure that it remains a place where we continue to lift up our hearts in prayer to God.
On this day of celebration I would also like to remember all the priests who have ministered in this parish over the years and the priests and religious who have left here to share the Christian message with other people at home and abroad, and to acknowledge the tremendous work that over 300 people do in various ministries in both Balla and Belcarra. Without their generosity of service our parish could not operate.
On this centenary celebration day I thank all who are helping to make it a happy and positive occasion for everyone and I pray that God will pour down many blessings on us and on our parish as we give thanks for the past, celebrate the present and pray for the future.
‘This day was made by the Lord let us rejoice and be glad.’ Psalm 117:V24/
27th May 2018.
Photos courtesy of Colin Redmond, Kathy Lyons and Michael Durkan.
2018 marks the centenary of St. Cronan’s Church. Over the coming months both the Pastoral Council and Finance Committee will discuss how best the centenary can be celebrated. Today I would like to invite the views of you and all parishioners on that. If you have any suggestions on how we might mark the centenary please contact me and I will bring it to the discussions.
Everyone agrees that St. Cronan’s is a beautiful church building. It was built in very difficult times. It started in 1913 and was dedicated in May 1918. At that time the First World War was taking place. Yet despite the difficulties of the time when money was scarce the people of the time spared no effort in building a very fine church which 100 years later we can be proud of.
Some years ago when renovations were being planned the Architect asked me what I would like to do. I told him that I would like to honour those who put it here. I would like to do that again next year as well as celebrating the faith that has been witnessed to in this building for the last 100 years and which please God will continue to be celebrated here for many years to come. I would also like to see the centenary celebration as an inclusive community event.
As regards the building itself some work needs to be carried out on it. The priority is the conservation of the beautiful window over the Mass altar that depicts the Crucifixion scene. The window now urgently needs attention and at the moment some companies who specialise in stained glass work are engaged in a tendering process. While I do not have exact figures I would expect it to be anything up to €80,000. It is very specialised and detailed work that will take a number of months. Some works on upgrading the toilet facilities also needs to take place. That means money has to be spent and while we have money in the account we will need to do some fundraising. Over the last 30 years very few demands have been made for funding for the church. It is a topic I do not like discussing but at this time I have to. Fundraising will have to take place over the coming year but it will not be major. I would hope that most people within the parish community will respond in a positive manner.
While not everyone comes to Mass virtually every family in the parish uses the church at some time or other for a Baptism, a First Communion, a Confirmation, a Marriage or a family Funeral.An appeal will be made to all, seeking help and please God many will contribute Also some families might like to make a particular donation and that too would be most welcome.
At this time the new boxes of envelopes for the coming year go out. I would like to thank those who deliver them. I thank all of you who contribute week in and week out towards the upkeep of the church. It is your continued support coupled with so much voluntary work that keeps our heads above water. If any of you are in a position to put a little extra into your envelope it would be of enormous help. Every euro adds up. I would also like to mention that I have a weekly envelope myself. I do not say that as self praise . I have a weekly income and therefore have a responsibility to do my bit in the same way as everyone else.
We have a church that we can be very proud of. I have every confidence that this community will respond to its needs at this time and over the coming months as plans for the renovations and the centenary develops I will keep you informed and if anyone would like to help in any way or make any suggestions please contact me.