Welcome to the website of St Matthew’s Parish, Ballyfermot. We hope you will find any information that you may require on our site, but should you need any help, please don’t hesitate to contact us in the Parish Office.
As you are probably aware, we have installed a webcam to allow parishioners and others to view our celebration of the Eucharist and other services in St. Matthews. If you would like to see the webcam, you’ll find a link in the menu above, or else just click here!
No public Masses. Masses on web only. Weekday Mases at 10am, weekend Masses, Saturday 6.30pm & Sunday 10.30am only. Church open for private prayer on weekdays 10.30am till 12 noon. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed on Fridays at this time. Everyone encouraged to pray for end of pandemic. 25 only allowed at weddings and funerals. Parents and godparents only allowed at baptisms.
ACN Ireland Week of Witness
Every year, from November 25th to December 1st ACN Ireland invites parishes across the country to join them in a Week of Witness for suffering and persecuted Christians. This special week involves important talks and exhibitions throughout the island of Ireland on themes of Christian persecution. See our Facebook page.
During Advent some people like to set up a Jesse tree. This tree represents Jesse’s family tree to which Jesus belongs. It is way of reflecting on how God revealed himself gradually to the Jews during their history and how in this way he prepared his people for the coming of Christ. We too need to open our hearts to the coming of Christ into our lives. On our Facebook page (Extended Word for the Week) I give full details of the symbols that are placed on the Jesse tree. You might think of making your own symbols for your Jesse tree. Alternatively for Advent you might make your own advent wreathe like the one we will have in the Church, or again you might get the children to make their own cardboard crib using figures from old Christmas cards.
A Prayer to Mary during the Coronavirus Pandemic (given to me by Sr. Anne Marie)
O Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of Our Lord Jesus, with confidence we come to implore your unfailing help. We think of you Mother, at the foot of the cross. Your heart must have bled to see your Son in agony. But your joy was great when he rose from the dead, victorious over the powers of evil.
Mother of sorrows, pray for us in this time of trial. Help us not to lose heart.
Intercede for your people who are afflicted with the coronavirus. Comfort your people who are vulnerable and anxious.
Protect healthcare workers who put their lives at risk. Inspire our leaders to make good decisions. Change our hearts that all may act responsibly.
Teach us to trust in God’s love and mercy, and so share the joy of having courageously faced up to all the challenges of life. Amen.
O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.
Where are we?
We, as a Church, have been called on by God to preach the Gospel to all nations. That is our task. It begins by bringing the Gospel to those close to us , our family,, our friends and our colleagues, because these are the ones over which we have most influence. The parish is made up of many such small units, but if those units aren’t working, the parish fails to function as it should. That’s our problem.
The Parish Cell Movement was set up to counteract this problem, and I would like to see it operating in our parish, but we cannot get started right now because of the pandemic. The Parish Cell Movement necessitates friends being able to come together to share their faith. We are considering how this might work in our parish.
More pressing at the moment is our desire to celebrate First Holy Communion with those who were to make their First Holy Communion last May, and also to plan how we are to prepare to celebrate the sacraments next year. Besides which we are unhappy that we are unable to celebrate public Mass as this is so important in connecting people with each other in the faith we profess. Uncertainty about this and other matters is distressing for everyone. Finances are a particular concern for the parish as well as for individuals, as when people are not coming to Church finances have dropped drastically. We would appreciate any help in this regard to any of our usual collections.
Let us see where our loving God is working in this pandemic. For example, this might be a time when someone with time on his/her hands and with competence in I.T. might help us to improve our communication with parishioners and meet their needs. Don’t keep a safe distance from God.
Like everyone else in Dublin, I suppose, I was foolishly hoping that the corona virus could be brought under control, but this is not what has happened and so we’re upset. At this stage people’s anxiety has deepened as they feel that their efforts are not working. Older people may feel it’s unfair that they have to bear the brunt of the restrictions, though it is for their own safety. Younger people may feel that they should not be restricted as they are likely to recover if they get the virus. People are fed up and just want to find someone to blame so that they may excuse themselves in their behaviour. But the fact is that many young and old are catching the virus and that this is having a terrible effect on their health, and the number dying is not going down. Compassion for all who are effected is what is needed, not anger and resentment.
The pandemic has hit us hard, because until this pandemic arrived, we as a country were doing so well. Please God we will continue to do well, but it is such a different situation now that we cannot expect that everyone will be as well-off as before, and there will be more need to take the needs of others into account. For the moment it’s a matter of staying calm, and following the guidelines for the sake of each other. When people have more time on their hands, they can reflect and be creative, and many are to be commended because they have found ways of doing so in a way that has helped others. We can all likewise use the opportunities we have to pray and this will enable us to see the good that God wishes to bring about at this time, and to control the ill-effects of the virus.
Following on directions from the government, the Archbishop has informed us that we are placed on Level 3 of the Government’s National Recovery Plan for at least a three week period. This means that St Matthew’s Church will remain closed from midnight tonight (Friday, 18th Sept.). No public Masses will take place, except for funerals and weddings where attendance will be limited to 25. Parish Masses will be transmitted on the web from St Matthew’s at the usual Mass times. We are allowed to open for private prayer, and will do so from Monday onwards from 10.30am till 12 noon.
I am very grateful for all the support and co-operation. When the Church re-opens we will again have the same necessary restrictions as up till now. They include measures like sanitising your hands, social distancing, and wearing facemasks. The obligation to attend Mass on a Sunday does not apply during these times of the pandemic and those who are vulnerable or who have been in touch with those affected by the virus should not attend. Entry only will be by the front doors and Exit only by the back doors. Exception will be made for those in wheelchairs. Toilets will be open, but those who use them will be expected to use hand sanitisers and clean the toilet furnishings after use. Only priest and sacristan will be allowed in the sacristy at Mass-times. The collection baskets will be at the back of the Altar. People will not be allowed to gather around outside after leaving the Church. Holy Communion will be brought to the people in their seats and they may receive only in the hand.
Covid 19 Funeral Arrangements in St Matthews Church (These to be changed).
We offer our condolences to all those who are mourning the loss of a loved one at this time. We understand that this is a difficult time for you. We do not wish to make it any more difficult for you. However, to safeguard the wellbeing of all who attend the funeral in St Matthew’s Church we ask everyone to respect certain arrangements.
If you arrive before the hearse, do not gather outside the Church. On arrival enter through the front door of the Church and take your seats.
All we can allow in the Church at the moment are 25people. So sit only in the places where there is a yellow marker. (We have installed outdoor microphones so that those who are outside can follow the Mass, but they must observe social distancing.) Two people from the one household may sit together, and no more.
Leave the front seats available for the chief mourners who will arrive with the hearse.
Those who are doing readings or bringing up symbols (mementos) of the deceased should sit at the end of seats so that they do not have to pass anyone on leaving their seats.
For the distribution of Holy Communion everyone should stay where they are and Holy Communion will be brought to you.
At the end of Mass the priest and coffin will go out first, and then starting from the seats nearest the Altar, people will leave the Church by the same door by which they entered. So stay in your seat until the people in the seat in front of you have moved 2 meters past you.
Transmission of the ceremony through our website will continue until the singer has finished her singing.
Move away from the Church when you come out. Social distancing will not allow people gathering in front of the Church.
We would be very grateful if people would co-operate with the stewarding and follow these necessary arrangements.