November 1st, All Saints day, traditionally marks the beginning of a month of remembrance. This
remembrance may be for loved ones who passed away during the previous twelve months and/or those who were killed in a time of war. And in this regard, Leopardstown Park Hospital will be holding two Services. The first will be their annual Service of Remembrance for deceased residents and staff on the evening of Tuesday 10th November. The second will be held the following morning at 11:00am and will be the traditional Remembrance Day Service for those who sacrificed their lives for justice and freedom in time of war. The added significance of the latter are the various centenaries; this year is the Gallipoli campaign and next year will be the Battle of the Somme. But, of
course, an added dimension for next year will be the centenary of the 1916 Rising.
When it comes to the remembrance of war, opinion can be very divided. Some would argue that war is so horrific that it would be best forgotten – that its remembrance only glorifies it and makes heroes of those who fought in it. Whilst proponents of the other side of the argument would also agree that war is horrific, they reason that it is for that precise reason it must be remembered in order that we do not ever make that mistake of going down that road again. Wherein I personally support the second argument, the sad reality is that unfortunately the mistakes of the past continue to be made. War, civil strife and unrest still have an all too familiar presence in today’s world. As mentioned a few months ago, there are, as I write, more refugees and migrants due to war that ever before in the history of the world.
Also, as mentioned last month, the prediction that the plight of migrants would become more acute is now actually becoming a reality. News reports in recent days from places like Serbia, Croatia and the Greek Islands record how the effects of recent prolonged rainfall, plummeting temperatures and insanitary conditions are heaping even further misery on an already desperate and suffering group of people. There has been again some respite as the weather has improved, but that is likely to be short lived as winter is just around the corner. Let us hope and pray that the aid agencies on the ground will find sufficient manpower and resources to get to grips with this situation before it becomes a tragic human catastrophe.
The end of November leads us into the season of Advent – the beginning of a new Church year. In the united dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough it will see the launch of a yearlong initiative of ‘Come&C’. The purpose of this project is to foster closer relationships and cooperation between parishes – especially within localities known as Rural Deaneries. It is hoped that by sharing ideas and working together the Church’s mission will become more attractive and encourage people to come and see and want to experience it for themselves. It recognises that most parishes have unique resources such as areas of expertise and skills that could be put to more effective use if shared. There is also recognition that in areas such as youth ministry, some parishes do not have sufficient numbers to run meaningful programmes on their own and would therefore benefit by joining together with other local parishes. This should ensure a much more efficient and effective use of resources as unnecessary duplication would be eliminated. This, in turn, should free up all involved in ministry, both lay and ordained, to concentrate on those areas of ministry their particular talents are best suited. Let us pray that this project may prove to be fruitful in growing the Church of God in this area.
With every blessing,
Rev’d John Tanner. Tel: 01-289 3154 / 086 302 1376