Fr Colm Kenny: Reflections of a friend
Almost two months have passed now since my friend Colm died. Even as I type the words I am still finding it hard to believe. My friend Colm is dead. How could it be true? He was larger than life, full of strength and confidence, the one I turned to when I needed help or advice. How can he not be there anymore?
At his funeral in December the Archbishop spoke about the side of Colm that was not immediately obvious. He was certainly a straight talker and a strong and passionate preacher, but there was a very sensitive side to him as well, along with great kindness and generosity.
For you, the people of Our Lady of Victories parish, Colm's death has meant you have lost a priest and pastor who was deeply committed to his ministry and who drew great life and strength from your support and encouragement. I know that great numbers of you have benefitted from his ministry, particularly in times of bereavement and I know that you will miss him greatly, as will his family and his friends.
Colm and I have been friends for more than thirty five years, when we started together in the seminary. We shared a house together in the early days, both of us on our first appointments as school chaplains - he in Donaghmede and me in Coolock. We had some great times; we shared a lot and learned a lot - about life, about priesthood, about people and about ministry. In 30 years of priesthood you come across some difficult situations, supporting people in times of bereavement, loss and tragedy. We helped each other through those times, while giving what help and support we could to the people we were serving. I learned a lot from Colm’s way of building strong connections with people and maintaining close and loyal friendships with them.
We went on holidays together every year, usually a group of three or four of us but sometimes just Colm and myself. I have great memories of driving around England and Scotland with him; he always drove while I was the map reader and navigator. We had a very memorable holiday in Canada some years ago, travelling by train through the most beautiful countryside. Italy was a favourite place that we went to again and again. Having studied in Rome, he had excellent Italian and was a great guide and a great organiser. He was particularly good at finding the best restaurants with authentic Italian cooking! We spent many an evening sitting at tables sorting out the problems of the world.
Our most recent trip to Rome was last October, just six weeks before he died. We had no idea then that there was anything
wrong. He was feeling a bit tired but otherwise was in good form and so the news of his illness and then of his rapid decline was an enormous shock. It all happened so quickly. There was no time to prepare, no time for proper goodbyes, no chance to express appreciation to him for his friendship and kindness, his generosity and his understanding.
And maybe if I had the time I wouldn't have had the words to say it anyway so I'll say it here instead. Thank you, Colm, for being my friend. Thank you for all that you were and for all that you gave and for all the great memories you have left behind. We still meet as a group of friends and you are always a big part of the conversation. Just a few days ago a group of us met to celebrate your birthday. It might seem strange to celebrate your birthday without you being there – but sometimes it feels as if you haven’t really left us at all.
Colm, may you rest in peace.
Fr Donal Roche (Adm. Wicklow and Adm Kilbride and Barndarrig)
(Classmate of Fr Colm’s)
Daily Readings & Meditations
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Parish Mission Statement
We long for a parish where young and old are "fully alive" with Christ at the centre. That our parish will be a place of welcome where everybody feels included; where we share the responsibility for the care of our parishioners and for mapping out our way forward into to future.
We place our church and our parish community under the protection and patronage of Our Lady of Victories.
So, What Does This Mean In Practice?
Like any Catholic Community, our unity is primarily expressed by our gathering to celebrate the Sunday Eucharist. This is the centre of parish life and the gathering at which we hope most people will be able to feel connected to each other and to the Lord. We tend to be a friendly lot, so feel free to mingle after mass and get to know your neighbours. If you're new to the parish, or just visiting, or just spending a year or few as a student in DCU, then please introduce yourself to the parish team. All the better if you want to get involved in some way or other by offering your services.
Of course, there's a lot more going on outside of the Sunday liturgies. Take your time to browse these pages and, if you have any questions or wish to be more involved, then use the "Contact Us" tab above to delve further.
Below are some images of the day Our Lady of Victories opened on 1st Feb, 1969
Parish Pastoral Council
Parish mission throughout the world is evolving and the church in Ireland is very much part of this evolution. Each parish has to discern its own mission and how to go about achieving this. It very much has to be a partnership between clergy and laity, with the emphasis on the lay involvement. Throughout history, whenever the church appeared to be going through a crisis or radical change of any type, it was the faith of the lay people in parishes that kept the flame burning and not that of the episcopacy or clergy. So, the first priority of the PPC is to discern how the mission of OLV fits in with the overall mission of the church in the modern world and on what pastoral areas we need to concentrate our energies.
Here in Dublin, we have decided that the future in maintaining vibrant parish life, lies in the grouping (or clustering) of parishes together. We are grouped with Ballygall, Drumcondra, Glasnevin & Iona. The PPC's from all five parishes will work together to see how we can foster a co-operative spirit and set goals for appropriate pastoral activity in a wide range of areas, such as in Faith Formation, Education and Personal Growth; Development of Worship, Prayer and relevant Liturgy; encouragement of Support groups; Youth Ministry; Ecumenism; Evangelisation; Work for Peace and Justice; Community Development and Good Relations etc. The list of possibilities is endless. The function of the Parish Council is to facilitate all of the above, rather than the individual members actually carrying out the tasks - in other words, the people of the parish on a wider scale need to be willing to become involved with this important work, under the guidance of the PPC.
Until January 2017, the members of the PPC are:
Mark McDonald (Chair), Jo McGlynn (Secretary), Ger Casey (Child Protection), Martin Smyth, Marie McVeigh, Heather Fagan, Paddy Gallagher, Cora McKeever, Fr. Fintan and Fr. Colm (President). We meet on a monthly basis and are open to suggestions from parishioners as to how we can advance the aims of the PPC. The monthly meetings are a combination of prayer, reflection, reviewing and planning.
So, in summary, and encompassing all that is mentioned above, the aims of the Council are:
- To be an advisory/consultative group to the Parish Priest
- To provide a formal structure whereby the priest and the laity confer openly and work closely together, make decisions, share responsibility and act effectively in the administration of parochial duties.
- To provide effective communication between the priests and the parish community.
- To work towards fostering faith and mission in the parish, that we may be supportive, caring, witnessing to the call of Christ.
6.30 Gospel Mass
Night of Hope, 2015
The 6:30 Gospel Mass is celebrated each Sunday evening from September until mid June, as well as on other special occasions!
Do you want to join a Parish based Gospel Choir?
Many thanks to Fr. Colm for this continued support and to Fr. Fintan who works with the young adults and Gospel Choir. Fr. Fintan is instrumental in promoting and encouraging the development of this young adult mass and we thank him for all that he does. Finally may I take this opportunity to thank you the parishioners in OLV, those who participate in the young adult mass and all those who are always so supportive of us. Many thanks.
Director of the OLV Gospel Choir.
JOIN THE YOUNG ADULT GROUP:
Get in touch with us if you are interested in joining the young adult group for 2016
WHAT IS INVOLVED?
There are many ways to be involved (e.g. readers, welcoming people, Eucharistic Ministers, musicians, collectors & singers etc...) and everyone is welcome. An explanation of what's involved in each ministry is given below:
Ministry of Welcome
It is important that we are a welcoming community. So those involved in this ministry volunteer each week to welcome everyone as they arrive and give them one of our own leaflets.
Ministry of the Word
This involves reading the introduction at the start of the Mass, proclaiming the Sacred Text to our faith community and reading the Prayer of the Faithful.
Ministry of the Eucharist
A Minister of the Eucharist assists in the sharing of the Eucharist among our faith community.
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?
Check it out! You're welcome to come along any Sunday (September - May)
"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses." Acts 1:8
Are you interested in joining our young adult group and getting involved on Sundays? Would you like to share your gifts and talents at our 6:30 Gospel Mass? If you want to get involved, please contact us via e-mail or by phone! No matter when you're available to help out, you'll always be welcome!