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!
If you are considering making a donation to the parish, please use our online donation system which is linked via the “Donate” button below:
TheSeason of Creation 2021 which runs from September 1st (the World Day of Prayer for Creation) to October 4th (the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi). In recent weeks many of us have been overwhelmed by the alarming UN report on climate change. The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, described it as a ‘code red for humanity’. Pope Francis in LaudatoSi’ calls faith communities to respond and reminds us that “All is not lost. Human beings… are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start… [embarking] on new paths to authentic freedom.” (LS, 205). The forthcoming Season of Creation is a wonderful opportunity to do just that. The theme for this year’s season is “Restoring Our Common Home”.
The Healthy Planet Healthy People petition has been endorsed by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Integral Human Development as the key advocacy action for Catholics for the Season of Creation 2021. It is aimed at COP26 – the UN Climate Conference due to take place in Glasgow in November – and calls for urgent action from world leaders in addressing the environmental crises our world faces today. As Pope Francis will attend COP26 in Glasgow, this global Catholic petition will help to create the momentum needed to affect change. Visit www.healthyplanetandpeople.org.
Task Force’s work of Building Hope.
Archbishop Farrell established the Task Force to support parishes to undertake a radical renewal, looking to the future with creativity, and to enable the Archdiocese of Dublin to act now so as to be able to give effective witness in the future. The Archbishop has initiated a conversation aimed at stimulating engagement across the whole Archdiocese. As a missionary Church we need to be clear about what we are offering to the world, what we need to retain and build on so as to be bearers of hope, and what we must change or leave behind as we build a future of hope while slowly emerging from the Covid-19 crisis. Parishioners are asked to pray, to discuss the consultation with their families and to complete the online consultation by visiting www.dublindiocese.ie where you will also find a special video message from the Archbishop.
We welcome all those who join us for Mass.
It’s great that some are now able to attend in person. There are 36 marked spots where people may sit in the two sections of the Church, that is, 72 places in all. Where members of families sit together in one spot, more places are available, but not exceeding 100. So, we especially welcome those who can only join us online.
We ask people please to follow the same procedures as when we were allowed open before, that is, as regards facemasks, social distancing and sanitising hands; entrance is by the front doors and exit by the back doors; no crossing over from one section to the other; shrines are at the back of the Altar.
Stewards will take up the collection in the seats. 1st collection is for the priests, 2nd Collection is for Share. Parish Family envelopes may be put with either collection.
Remain in seats for Holy Communion. Receive only in hand. As Confessions are not readily available it is sufficient for everyone to say act of contrition before receiving Holy Communion. No singing allowed. Front seats leave first in order to allow for social distancing No gathering outside on leaving, this is the main cause for concern as regards spreading the virus.
Only 50 may attend a funeral or wedding in the Church. The pandemic is hopefully coming under control, and so we expect that we will have less restrictions, but Confirmations and First Holy Communions will not take place till September.
The necessary restriction of public worship has profoundly affected the two essential Sunday Mass collections on which parish funds depend. The first collection—as you know—supports clergy ministering throughout the diocese as well as sick and retired priests and priests working in other ministries throughout the diocese. The second collection—the ‘Share’ collection—supports diocesan services to parishes especially disadvantaged parishes. In the last financial year, the clergy collection decreased by 54% and the ‘Share’ collection decreased by 65%. This year the situation is even more grave—with a decrease of 80% and 86% respectively for the first quarter (January to March 2021 That this would have happened, given the character of the necessary lockdowns, is not surprising. I am grateful to all who have continued to give so generously in the past 15 months.
Closing Church Gates
Regretfully, due to disturbance and lack of respect for Church grounds, I have to lock the gates. They will however be open for private prayer in the mornings and whenever any services are taking place in the Church. Sorry for the inconvenience caused.
Pope Francis’ Prayer for the Year of St Joseph (starting Friday 19th March)
Hail Guardian of the Redeemer, Spouse of the Blessed virgin Mary. To you God entrusted his only Son; in you Mary placed her trust; with you Christ became man. Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father and guide us in the path of life. Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage and defend us from every evil. Amen
Day of Prayer The annual Day of Prayer for Survivors and Victims of Sexual Abuse is an initiative by Pope Francis and was first marked in Irish dioceses and parishes in 2017. As a gesture towards this initiative we have placed a candle and prayer at St Matthew’s statue as St Matthew was a sinner before Jesus called him. The following which was sent to us is the prayer that you might say:
Lord, forgive us our many sins. We grieve and repent with all our hearts for having offended you, for our great failings and neglect of the young and vulnerable. We place all of those who have been hurt by the Church in any way into your loving hands and under the protection of Our Blessed Mother. Lord, bring peace to their broken lives and show us all the way out of darkness and into the light of your Word. May we as the people of God be more fully human, more fully Christ-like and more fully your people, that we may see the errors of the past and go forward with renewed hope and faith in Christ and in our Church. Amen.
Prayer asking Mary’s Intercession for Protection from the Coronavirus
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.
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 50 people. 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.