At Easter, there is something to be learned from the fact that many Churches are thronged on Good Friday for the celebration of the Lord’s Passion.

The pubs may be legally opened for the first time this year on Good Friday, but the drama of the Way of the Cross captured in image and word and the act of veneration seems to touch people who may not be regular Church goers.
The story of the Crucifixion and Cross is a story of love. The three days of Easter next week, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, leading into Easter morning, both console and challenge.
They console many people who struggle every day with the demands that love makes.  They also challenge us to dig a bit deeper in cultivating love to one another.
In several interviews during her career, the late Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of the Cranberries, shared that rearing her children gave her far greater satisfaction than worldwide fame.
Since her death in January, her fans have pointed out the place of pride that family has in some of the group’s best-loved hits.
Jesus’ whole outreach to people is characterised by a self-sacrificing love.  As we prepare for Holy Week and those three days at the end of the week, as the Cross begins to cast its shadow, we begin to see it less a sign of a cruel God and more as a symbol of a Father’s unconditional love for us.  We read and listen to the Passion Story in the light of the resurrection.  What seemed a humiliating and shameful failure for Jesus was not the end of the story.
Perhaps with hindsight, you can look back on something in your own life that seemed like a tragedy at the time, but out of that tragedy, new life and new possibilities followed for you.
For each of us, there arise situations in which we feel things are outside our control and we are utterly helpless and powerless. We are not alone in this experience. In his passion, Jesus is one with us in his human helplessness.
I invite you to enter into the journey of Holy Week that will bring you to Easter joy and happiness.

Trócaire

The annual Trócaire Lenten Campaign comes to an end during Holy Week. Trócaire boxes and contributions can be returned to any Church or Primary School.
Every cent and Euro does make a difference. Don’t underestimate those coins around the house. All put together, they make a big difference.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said that “you cannot get to Heaven without a letter of reference from the poor”. Trócaire Lenten Campaign challenges us all to respond to the cry of the poor.

Holy Week in Shannon 2018

Saturday 24th March Vigil Mass for Palm Sunday with the Blessing of Palm in SS John & Paul Church at 6.30pm.
Summertime begins. Clocks go forward 1 hour
Sunday 25th March Palm Sunday: Palms will be blessed at all Masses
Monday 26th March Morning Prayer (each morning Monday to Holy Thursday morning) in the Adoration Chapel daily at 7.20am.
Tuesday 27th March Penitential Service for the Tradaree Cluster with an opportunity for individual Confession in SS John & Paul Church at 7 pm led by the Franciscan Friars.
*Note there will be no evening Mass this evening.
Wednesday 28th March Mass of the Chrism in Ennis Cathedral at 7.30pm, with Blessing of Oils and Renewal of Priestly Commitment.
*Note there will be no evening Mass this evening.
Thursday 29th March Mass of the Lord’s Supper in SS John & Paul Church at 7 pm.
Watching and Waiting: conducted Hour of Prayer in the Jubilee Chapel Mary Immaculate Church 9pm-10pm.
Silent Hour of Prayer in Cuan na nOg SS John & Paul Church 9 pm – 10 pm
*Please note the Adoration Chapel will be closed today.
Friday 30th March A day of fast & abstinence.
*Please note the Adoration Chapel will be closed today.
Liturgy of the Passion in Mary Immaculate Church 3 pm.
Stations of the Cross in Mary Immaculate Church at 7 pm.
Dramatised Stations of the Cross in SS John & Paul Church at 9 pm
Saturday 31st March Blessing of Food – A Polish Easter Tradition in SS John & Paul Church at 12 noon.
Confessions in both Churches 12 noon – 1pm & 7 – 8pm.
Easter Vigil in SS. John & Paul Church at 9 pm
Sunday 1st April 6.30am – Dawn Mass in Illaunmanagh Cemetery.
8.45am – Airport Oratory.
9 am, 11 am – Mary Immaculate Church.
10 am, 12.15pm – SS John & Paul Church
Monday 2nd April Bank Holiday Monday.
Mass at 12 noon in Mary Immaculate Church.