Saturday, 21 November 2020

NOVEMBER 21, PRESENTATIION DAY

Today, 21 November, is the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the temple at Jerusalem or as we know it, Presentation Day.  It is a day that is special to Presentation Sisters all over the world.  It is special to St Patrick's girls and boys too because it was the Sisters of the Presentation who established St Patrick's Convent School and taught there for well over one hundred years.  (Some of us can even remember when Presentation Day meant a holiday from school!)  

The school closed in 1999, but although many years have passed since we sat in the desks at St Patrick's, those days and the Sisters continue to influence our lives. 

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple
The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known in the East as the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple, is a liturgical feast celebrated on 21 November by the Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, and by some Anglo-Catholic Churches. The account of the Presentation of Our Lady into the temple is based on the Protoevangelium of St James.  The Protoevangelium has been dated by historians prior to the year 200 AD. It relates that in thanksgiving for the birth of their daughter, Joachim and Anne decided to consecrate her to God. When the child was three years old, her parents brought her to Jersusalem where she was presented in the temple.

Dolls depicting how the PBVMs used to look
That the Sisters of the Presentation are no longer a presence in our Parish is sad.  The contribution of the PBVMs to St Patrick's School, Church, and Parish is immeasurable. The whole of the West End of our beloved City is better for their coming.

Saturday, 14 November 2020

A 108 YEAR OLD TEXTBOOK!

I owe this post to Sean of "FAIR AND SQUARE HANDYMAN SERVICES".

Fair and Square Handyman Services

Sean's mother came across a very old school book which had belonged to her aunt. The aunt, Mary (May) Williams, happens to be my aunt too. 

Mary (May) Williams and her younger sister
standing behind their parents

Mary Williams attended St Patrick's Convent School more than one hundred years ago so she would have been taught by some of the Presentation Sisters who had come over from Ireland on the Newfoundland Mission!  

Mother M DeSales Walsh (1866-1968)
Among the Irish Sisters was Mother Mary DeSales Walsh who was born in Tralee, Co Kerry, in 1866. Mother DeSales was just 16 years old when she arrived in St John's to join the Presentation Sisters at Cathedral Square. Mother DeSales had a long and distinguished life. She taught at various schools, including St Patrick's, and served two terms as Mother General of the Presentation Sisters in Newfoundland. She was also one of May's favourite teachers!  Mother DeSales died at Presentation Motherhouse on 1 March 1968. She was 102 years old.

English textbook used by St Patrick's pupils
more than 100 years ago
Now back to that book! The book is an English text book that children of that time used in school. Sean has taken pictures of some of the pages where we can see where May marked the pages to be studied. Homework, perhaps? He has also taken pictures of the front cover and of the inside back cover. On the inside back cover, May has written her name and the date. At this time, so soon after our commemoration of the signing of the Armistice on 11 November 1918, the pictures set me thinking about the children who learned from copies of this textbook. They would have lived through the dreadful years of WWI. Many of them would have been in the thick of it, fighting in the mud and blood of the trenches. Sadly, so very many of them would never again return to their beloved Newfoundland. May lost her first beau just days before the Armistice was signed. He died in a military hospital in France at the tender age of 17.  

A peek inside an English textbook from the early 1900s

Could you handle this at 11 or 12 years of age?
Once again, thank you Sean, for the pictures and for others that you have kindly sent to me over the years. I must not forget to thank Sean's mother, my sister Doreen.  She too gets a vote of thanks for keeping the book safe and keeping alive the memory of a 12 year old St Patrick's Girl who studied at our school over one hundred years ago.

Inside back cover with May's signature and the date

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

A WOW MASK!

Now this is what I call a "WOW MASK"! I received an email from Teri Healey Evans with this delightful photo attached.  

The Unique "Wow Mask"
For a better view of the mask, just click on the picture and that should enlarge it.

Teri said that she had the mask made for her Class Reunion on 11th September 2020.  (Even pandemics can't keep those loyal St Patrick's pals apart - well about 2 meters apart perhaps?)  The friends met at The Rooms for Afternoon Tea and Teri said "I had a lovely time 'sipping' my tea and tasting the sweet and savory treats.  And, of course, enjoying the company of my former St Patrick's classmates who were able to attend."  

Thank you, Teri, for sharing news of your get together and for letting us all enjoy this wonderful mask.  I hope we will hear from some of the other friends who attended and see some more pictures of the happy post lock-down event.

Monday, 24 August 2020

JOJO'S BEAUTIFUL CREATION

It is always with a sense of pride that I highlight the many talents of our St Patrick's schoolmates.  Today  I am very pleased to share with you some lovely photos which attest to the talent of JoJo Connors.  By the way, this little story also has a bit of intrigue, which crosses international borders and even an ocean!  Read on.

This story begins in the USA.  St Patrick's graduate, Paula Florey (McAllister), who is currently living in the States, was looking for a special Birthday present for her mother, Pat, in St John's.  St Patrick's folks always seem to keep in touch and Paula contacted school friend JoJo Connors and asked her if she could make one of her beautiful creations for Pat.  Kindly, JoJo agreed. 

JOJO'S BEAUTIFUL CREATION

Well, this lovely gift had to be paid for and delivered.  A bit difficult for Paula in the good old USA (especially with Covid 19 and all the travel restrictions).  And there was also that inconvenient little matter of American currency and Canadian currency.  So, what's to be done?  Never fear, Paula and JoJo were on the job and hatched a plan.  Now the intrigue begins!

Paula's cousin, Heather, in St John's, is always happy to lend a helping hand so they got her in on the Birthday Caper.  As they say in all the very best novels, "the plot thickens".  Through some 'cousinly' agreement, payment to Heather was arranged. Then Heather contacted Pat, innocently inquired if she would be at home on the following Monday (Pat's Birthday, remember) and asked if she would do her a big favour.  Heather told her trusting Aunt Pat that she was expecting a parcel but, because she had to work, she wouldn't be at home to receive it.  Could she ask them to deliver it to Aunt Pat's address?  ("Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive.""Of course" replied Aunt Pat, trustingly.  The deceit continues.  Heather handed Aunt Pat an envelope and instructed Pat to give it to the lady who would deliver "the parcel".  If you haven't already figured it out,  the envelope contained payment - in Canadian currency of course - for JoJo, who had generously offered to deliver the Birthday Gift. 

At last the big day arrived and so did JoJo. Needless to say, Pat was surprised and delighted with JoJo's delivery.

AND CHOCOLATE TOO!
Now we skip across the Atlantic to Pat's sister-in-law (yours truly) in Wales.  On the Birthday afternoon, being mindful of the three and a half hour time difference, we phoned Pat to wish her happiness on her Birthday.  She was indeed delighted with her special day, having received calls, cards, gifts and dining invitations from loved ones near and far.  Indeed, Pat was naturally very happy with everything but she enthused about her phone chat with Chris and Grayson and Paula's gift.  I became curious and requested a photo of her surprise gift.  A couple of emails later and I had the photos and the tale.  I was extremely impressed with JoJo's beautiful arrangement, and so I felt compelled to let you all enjoy it.  I didn't realize that I had such resourceful (sneaky?) nieces either.  Nice work, Paula and Heather. 

I think that just about sums up this post.  Thanks to the scheming of family and friends - and JoJo's amazing talent, one St John's Mom had a wonderful Birthday surprise.

JoJo's work is so beautiful I just had to share it with you.  Well done JoJo! No doubt about it, you are a  very talented lady.  Thanks for allowing me to use your photos.

Friday, 5 June 2020

The Irish Blessing - over 300 churches from our island sing a blessing o...

THIS IS HISTORIC, BEAUTIFUL,  UPLIFTING,  AND IT WILL STIR OUR IRISH HEARTS.  JUDGE FOR YOURSELF.  I THINK YOU WILL AGREE WITH ME. 

Monday, 1 June 2020

JUNE, MONTH OF THE SACRED HEART

The month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  The Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart on the Friday following the second Sunday after Pentecost.  The Feast will be observed this year on Friday, 19th June.
Sacred Heart Statue, 
St Patrick's Church
The Feast of the Sacred Heart was approved for specified dioceses by Pope Clement XIII in 1765, and extended to the whole Church by Pius IX in 1856.  In 1889 Pope Leo XIII elevated it to the rank of first class and, through an encyclical in 1899, dedicated the whole Catholic world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In addition to this liturgical celebration, many devotional exercises are connected with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Of all devotions, devotion to the Sacred Heart remains one of the most widespread and popular in the Church.

In the 1670s, in a series of revelations to a French Nun, St Margaret Mary Alacoque, Our Lord made twelve promises to those who honour His Sacred Heart.  Jesus promised St Margaret Mary that those who propagate devotion to His Sacred Heart shall have their names written in His Heart, never to be effaced.
The 12 Promises
Sacred Heart of Jesus, 
we place our trust in Thee.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

AN OLD IRISH PRAYER

As the month of May, Mary's month, draws to a close, I thought we could see it out with this old Irish prayer.  It is a short prayer to Our Lady of the Wayside.
"for the sake of the Child 
you hold in your arms"
"Our Lady of the Wayside,
for the sake of the Child
you hold in your arms,
take hold of my hand
for the rest of the road."

Although the Covid 19 virus appears to have lessened in some places, it is still causing suffering and death around the world.  We certainly can do with Our Lady's help "for the rest of the road". Don't take any unnecessary risks and stay safe, everyone.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Remembering Father Shea

Some of us remember Fr Shea when he served at St Patrick's Parish. He was a wonderful man of God and he was taken far too young. May he rest in eternal peace.  Thank you, Fr Ray, for the lovely tribute to Fr Shea.

Monday, 18 May 2020

TWO WEEKS LEFT

Here we are more than half way through Mary's month of May.  At the beginning of the month we threw out a little challenge - a Rosary a day for the month of May!  Did you take up the challenge?  If you did, how are you doing with it? 
"Pray the Rosary every day"
The word "bead" is from the Old English, "bede".  It means "to request in prayer".  There are still two weeks left in May, so come on, let's "request in prayer".  Pick up your "Beads" and get praying the Rosary.  As long as this Covid 19 continues to devastate the world, every prayer is needed.
Stay safe, keep well, and may God and His Holy Mother Mary protect us all.

Saturday, 16 May 2020

A POEM FROM LULU

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, 
now and at the hour of our death. 

MY THOUGHTS ON COVID 19

As our Covid 19 world has been spinning around

and putting this earth on hold,
People are told to be careful and to self distance
We are trying to accept what we have been told.

It has become heart wrenching on our loved ones
Not to be able to give a hug or touch an arm,
As this deadly virus moves and glares at us
And can bring us so much harm.

God Bless our government for reassuring us
To stay calm and stay in our bubble,
If all went out of this small circle
You can bring to our home so much trouble.

Schools, Churches, and activities in this uncertain world
Were told to shut their doors,
But the internet has brought prayer services on line
It will rock this virus to the core.

Essential workers are definitely God's angels
To do what they have to do,
To go directly to the line of fire
We are so thankful for all of you.

In our near future, this will be written in books
So many have lost their precious lives to this,
As I bow my head before God in Heaven
I pray for our good health and happiness.

Written by Mary Lou Tucker (Lulu)

A sincere "Thank You" to Lulu (Mallard) Tucker for sharing in this poem her thoughts on the terrible Covid 19 Virus which is still raging in the world.   Stay safe everyone and remember, May is Mary's Month, so ask her help with a Rosary a day.

Sunday, 10 May 2020

A Mother’s Day Message from Father Ray

Thank you Fr Ray Earle for this tribute to our wonderful mothers. May God bless them all and may God bless you too, Fr Ray.

Saturday, 9 May 2020

"BE NOT AFRAID"

A group of Catholic Artists have come together, at a distance, to make this rendition of this lovely song which is well known by most of us.  Take a few minutes to relax and listen to it.  Perhaps, as the world still struggles with Covid 19, it will uplift you and give you renewed hope.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

CHEERLEADERS

Today we bring you some more of Wendy Power's photos.  Were you a cheerleader? Have a look at the pictures. Perhaps you are in them.  Was this a Basketball game?  Where were the pictures taken?  Perhaps you could give us some details about them.  Thank you for sharing your memories, Wendy.  






Monday, 4 May 2020

CONGRATULATIONS FR RAY

Sunday, 3rd May 2020, was a very special day for Fr Ray Earle.  On this Good Shepherd Sunday, Fr Ray celebrated the 34th Anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. 
Fr Ray Earle on his 34th Anniversary

Very best wishes, Father, and may you be blessed with many years of good health to carry on your priestly work.  And - may St Patrick's Parish be blessed with many years of your kindly and inspiring presence!

Congratulations Fr Ray and thank you for everything. God bless you.