Yesterday, Fr. Martin and the three of us traveled the short distance to Ballyvaloo retreat center for a day of reflection. Mostly, we wanted to look back on the past five months and reflect on what we’ve accomplished this year so far. But also, we were looking ahead to the next five months, deciding what we can accomplish before the year is over. It was a beautiful day and we’re so grateful to Fr. Martin for facilitating such a wonderful, and productive day. It was great to put into words the ways in which we have been blessed these past few months and the ways we have been able to give of ourselves to this community. So I thought I would share with you a little “Teach Bhríde 2009 in Review.” Here goes:
-Provided music for many beautiful liturgies at Clonard including the Stepping Out Into Secondary School Liturgy, an Advent Penitential Service, and a parish Remembrance Service.
-Started an Adult Choir to sing Saturday Vigil Mass. We plan liturgies and rehearse with our small, but loyal group on Wednesday nights. We had a big responsibility for music during the Christmas season, and are very gradually getting the congregation used to being lead by a cantor.
-Assisted the Children’s Liturgy Group and have attended the Family Mass on Sunday mornings. We’ve been teaching some new repertoire to the children’s choir and helping with youth catechesis.
-Sang with the Folk Group who sing at 11:15 Sunday morning mass. We also assist at the Folk Group liturgy planning meetings and have been exploring ways to enhance the liturgy overall.
-Prepared and successfully executed a very well attended Advent Workshop.
-Accompanied the Parish Pilgrimage to Knock and provided music for the pilgrimage masses.
-Were commissioned by Bishop Brennan at the Folk Group 30th Anniversary/ Teach Bhríde Commissioning Mass.
-Assisted in numerous capacities, the two primary schools associated with Clonard Parish, Kennedy Park and Scoil Mhuire. I would say we are most proud of our work with these schools. We have shared so many moments of prayer as well as laughter with our new friends there. We assisted both schools with their Opening of the School Year Liturgies and with their Christmas Carol Services. The carol services (a previous tradition at Kennedy Park, but new to Scoil Mhuire) were huge successes and lots of fun. Also, at Kennedy Park, we’ve initiated a new program of Class Masses where we planned a month long curriculum to work with individual classes preparing a mass. We choose themes, pick readings and songs, write prayers of the faithful and gifts, and take volunteers to be lectors, cantors, and gift bearers. This year we’ve gotten to work with the fourth and fifth classes, and they seem to love this program. Working in the schools is our favorite part of the week!
It has been a busy fall, and we’re looking forward to an eventful spring! We have some exciting prospects on the horizon including: the St. Brigid Feast Day Celebration, Lent workshop, Parish Pilgrimage to Lourdes, Clonard Parish Mission, Sacrament preparation with Communicants and Confirmands from both primary schools, Stations of the Cross throughout Lent, the Triduum and Easter. As always, we ask that you keep us in your prayers. The next few months will be filled with hard work, exciting visits from loved-ones, and a new Teach Bhríde team in place for next fall! The rest of the year is going to fly by, I’m sure. We’ll keep you posted!