Collinstown + Fore Parish

Welcome to our Parish! Collinstown & Fore Parish is a community based in the Midlands. It has a rich Christian heritage going back to St Patrick and St Feichin.

Today we as a community are committed to following Jesus Christ, loving others and making disciples. As Christians, we seek to honor our faith tradition by authentically and creatively presenting it in our community.

Table of Contents

Mass Schedule

Weekend

Saturday Vigil

St Mary’s 7.30pm
St Feichin’s 6.00pm

Sunday

St Mary’s 11.30am
St Feichin’s 10.00am

Weekday
See the Parish Newsletter for daily Mass times

Holy Day
Announced in the Newsletter on Weekend before

Diocese of Meath Safeguarding Children

The Diocese of Meath are undergoing an external child safeguarding review.  Course dates for end-2019 / 2020 are being finalised and will be published when confirmed.  For more information on Safeguarding, including the safeguarding children policy and standards for the Catholic Church in Ireland and related publications, please visit www.meathsafeguarding.ie.

Faith, Mission, Values

Our Faith

We believe in God, the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ,
his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by
the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand
of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge
the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.

Our Mission

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, we, as a community of believers, commit ourselves to witness to the Truth. Our mission to spread God’s love has three different yet interconnecting strands; to deepen our relationship with God who loves us, to witness in joy to God in our local community and to stand in solidarity with those in our wider world who suffer injustice, are marginalised, rejected, and forgotten.

Our Values

Worship

The Eucharistic celebration is the source and summit of our faith which we seek to live and serve with the whole of our lives in vibrant and creative ways.
Excellence in our worship honors God.

Discipleship

We believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of God. Our preaching and messages strive to break open the relevance of the Bible for our daily lives. Changing and growing into the likeness of Christ is not just greater knowledge of our faith, but doing what God’s Word says.

Fellowship

We believe that our Baptism makes us one family in which we learn to love one another as Christ loved us. We strive to build a church culture through small groups where people are open and authentic, especially about their need to grow and change.

Service

We believe that the Holy Spirit has prepared works for us to do that will advance the kingdom of Christ. We recognize God’s call on our church to serve both within our parish and also beyond: in our village, our country, and in the world. In the service of the Lord we can always do more.

Evangelization

We heed God’s command to share his name with the world. We look for the opportunity to invite disconnected Catholics to join us. As a church we want insiders to reach outsiders.

The Team

Parish Priest

Fr Patrick Donnelly took over the Leadership of Collinstown + Fore Parish in September 2013. As Parish Priest he encourages people to come together in order to share their talents so as to serve their community and honour God. He encourages them to realise that God has a plan for their lives and a need of them in building the kingdom of heaven in our parish and wider world. As preist and parishioners we strive to inspire confidence in each other to help realise God’s presence in our lives and in our parish community and so meet the needs, the concerns and the hurts of all in our community.

The main part of Fr Patricks work is to inspire confidence and raise up disciples- men and women, young and old, encouraging them to draw strength from the Sacraments celebrated and inspiration from the word of God lived out in our lives.

Parish Steering Group

The Parish Steering Group is a representative body of parishioners, working in close collaboration with the Parish priest of the parish, to further this mission in the parish of Collinstown+ Fore. New members are always welcome.

Finance Team

This committee consists of five members. The parish finance committee is responsible for overseeing the finances of the parish. At their meetings they review the income and expenditure of the parish. They oversee the general and development work in the parish and make recommendations on spending and implementation of projects. They monitor the annual distribution of the parish envelopes and they prepare an annual statement.

Liturgy Team

The Parish Liturgy Team meet once a month and ensure that as a community we develop best practice in worshipping and honoring God when we gather for worship as a community. The Liturgy team organize all the major liturgical celebrations as well as the weekend celebrations.

Musical Directors

Ms Emma Farnan is the Director of Music in St Mary’s church and Ms Lorraine Ledwith is the Director of Music in St Feichin’s church. Both Directors lead vibrant choirs which sing at the weekend Masses and major Feast Days.

Sacramental Preparation Team

This is a group of Parishioners who work with boys and girls and their parents preparing for 1st Holy Communion.

Youth Team

Our Parish have two youth Groups.
The senior Group –Ignite- was founded in 2014 and caters for young people between 6th Class and Leaving cert.
The Junior Group was founded in 2019 and caters for boys and girls in 3rd, 4th & 5th Class. Both group meet on Sunday evenings during School term.

Church Environment

The teams decorate our churches for the different liturgical celebrations throughout the year reflecting the beauty of Gods creation and communicating the mysteries of the Christian Faith through their creativity

Evangelisation

All groups in our parish aim to follow our Parish Mission Statement and have evangelization at the forefront of all that they do. The Parish Steering group keep evangelization at the heart of what they are about.

As a parish community we meet with other parishes in the midlands who share our values and mission.

Pastorate

A group of parishioners meet on Monday evenings to reflect and to discuss the following Sundays Gospel. The Group meet at the Parochial House on Mondays at 8.00pm and concludes with refreshments. All are welcome.

The Sacraments

Sacrament of Baptism

“Dear Parents and Godparents and dear friends, you have asked to have your child baptised. By water and the Holy Spirit your child will receive the gift of new life from God who is love. It will be your constant care to bring your child up in the practice of the faith. Baptism is parents’ day too, since you publicly promise to hand on the faith to your child”.
We welcome your child on behalf of all in the Christian family.
Baptisms take place in the church on Saturdays and Sundays.
Please contact Fr Patrick after any of the Masses to arrange a date
The family are advised to arrive 10 minutes before the Baptism.
Please bring a Baptismal Candle and a white robe for the ceremony.

Sacrament of Penance

’God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins. Through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace and I absolve you of your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen”
In this sacrament God reassures us of his love and of his healing forgiveness. Through this sacrament we are renewed and recommitted to being open to the action of the Spirit in our lives in helping us to become more fully human and so be effective in reflecting Christ and his words of life and love to others. In this way we strengthen Christ’s body on earth, his community, which in turn can continue the healing, saving, loving work of Jesus Christ.
The sacrament is available on request after any of the Masses.
Before Christmas and also during Holy Week there are two special days of Reconciliation and prayer in our parish. The Sacrament of Penance is available from early morning until late evening on those special days as we prepare to celebrate the two majors feasts in our Church.
First Penance
Children usually make their first Confession in 2nd Class of primary school. They celebrate the Sacrament for the first time with their class group and their family usually during the Lenten season.

Sacrament of Eucharist

“The close connection between the appearance of the Risen Lord and the Eucharist is suggested in the gospel of Luke in the story of the two disciples of Emmaus, whom Christ approached and led to understand the scriptures and then sat with them at table. They recognised Him when he “ took the bread, said the blessing, broke it and gave it to them” (24:30)”
(Dies Domini)
The Eucharist is at the very heart of Christian life. We welcome you to join with the community in our celebration of the Eucharist, especially on Sundays. At Sunday Mass, Christians relive the experience of the Apostles on the evening of Easter when the Risen Lord appeared to them as they were gathered together.

First Holy Communion

During the Month of May over boys and girls in our parish receive their First Holy Communion.
The boys and girls spend the year preparing, with the help of the teachers at school, their parents at home and the parish Sacramental preparation Team. The children spend many hours at school learning about Jesus their their friend.
Preparation for First Holy Communion
The home should be the first church which children should know, and in which they are reminded of God and helped to pray by what they see around them. Religion begins at home. Parents are the first religion teachers and the most important of all teachers of religion.
Our Parish programme is designed to facilitate the involvement of parents and the wider parish community in the preparation of children for First Eucharist. We believe that the sacramental preparation of children is the responsibility of the home, school and parish working together in partnership.
The work of sacramental preparation begins long before the First Eucharist Celebration It is a sacred and important moment on a long journey of faith development. Together with Baptism and Confirmation it opens the door to full membership of the Christian community. It is not an end in itself. The sacramental preparation of our children is an opportunity for the whole parish to deepen our faith.
Our Parish Preparation Programme is a set of six Sunday Masses, in which the children preparing to receive their First Holy Communion are involved in a special way. These special Masses support the work being done in the schools by our dedicated teachers and complement the Alive-0 4 school religion programme.
There are also six special evening sessions that parents and children are required to attend. The sessions are led by our parish Sacramental preparation team.

Sacrament of Confirmation

Confirmation Day is a very special day in the faith lives of the young people to be confirmed and also for their family, friends and parish community who join them on that day.
Confirmation celebrates the presence of the Holy Spirit within us. Our Confirmation is, in fact, a continuance of what has begun at our baptism; a continuance of the developing awareness and reality of faith and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
There is an ancient tradition in the Church of speaking about the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. The custom can be traced back to Isaiah 11: 1-3 and it sets down the following gifts:
Knowledge
The gift of knowing the truth; knowing the Father and Jesus the Saviour whom he sent among us
Wisdom
The power to see all things as God sees them
Understanding
The gift of understanding God’s revelation.
Right Judgement
Helps us to see what we should do in a difficult situation
Courage
The power to carry through joyfully what we know to be right
Reverence
Leads us to feel for God the love that a child feels for a loving parent and enables us to see all others as our brothers and sisters
Wonder and Awe in Gods presence
Enables us to be willing to respond to the impulses of the Holy Spirit and gives us a fear of being separated from God
Preparation for Confirmation
The home should be the first church which children should know, and in which they are reminded of God and helped to pray by what they see around them. Religion begins at home. Parents are the first religion teachers and the most important of all teachers of religion.
Our Parish Confirmation Preparation Programme is a set of Six Sunday Masses, in which the young people preparing for Confirmation are involved in a special way. These special Masses support the work being done in the schools by our dedicated teachers and complement the Alive-0 7 school religion programme.
Our parish preparation seeks to provide an opportunity to establish links between home, school and parish in the young peoples preparation for Confirmation. It provides practical opportunities for the parish community to share faith with and support those preparing to receive this sacrament. It provides the young people with the experience of the involvement and interest of the local Church as they are completing their initiation into the Church community.

Sacrament of Holy Orders

“I am often asked, especially by young people, why I became a Priest. Maybe some of you would like to ask the same question. Let me try briefly to reply. I must begin by saying that it is impossible to explain entirely. For it remains a mystery, even to myself. How does one explain the ways of God? Yet, I know that, at a certain point in my life, I became convinced that Christ was saying to me what he has said to thousands before me: “Come, follow me!” There was a clear sense that what I heard in my heart was no human voice, nor was it just an idea of my own. Christ was calling me to serve him as a Priest”
“And you can probably tell that I am deeply grateful to God for my vocation to the Priesthood. Nothing means more to me or gives me greater joy than to celebrate Mass each day and to serve God’s people in the Church. That has been true since the day of my ordination as a Priest. Nothing has ever changed, not even becoming Pope.”
– Saint John Paul II
If you are thinking about priesthood or religious life please contact Fr Patrick

Sacrament of Marriage

Congratulations! We are happy that you have decided to get married. We wish you every joy and God’s blessings. We hope that your life together will be a happy and fulfilling experience.
Accord and CatholicIreland.net offer a website at www.gettingmarried.ie as a service to all couples preparing for a Church wedding. The web site is easy to navigate. It has a wedding timeline which highlights some points to consider at specific stages in the couples journey towards their wedding day. The site provides answers to the many questions that couples are faced with when preparing for their wedding day including information on Church expectations, essential steps, the ceremony, marriage preparation, faith and knowledge.
Getting Married in Collinstown + Fore Parish
Couples who plan to marry must contact the Parish Office to check availability of the desired date. If the date is available, couples will then be advised to fill in a booking form, obtainable from the parish office.
If you wish the Parish Priest to conduct your marriage ceremony, check the date and time with him. Couples are advised to discuss the ceremony with the officiating priest – readings, hymns, marriage rite etc.
Marriage Preparation
A Marriage Preparation Course is an opportunity for couples to take time out from the planning of their Wedding Day, to focus on their relationship.
All of this takes place in the company of other couples preparing for Marriage and with the assistance of trained facilitators, themselves experienced in Marriage. These preparation courses highlight the core elements of relationships and the course concentrates on exploring these.
You should contact ACCORD (www.accord.ie) and register for your pre-marriage course at least 6 months in advance. It is advisable to book early, as these courses are usually heavily booked.
What couples need to do before their wedding day
1. The Church law requires a minimum of six months notice of your intention to marry.
2. The date and time of the wedding is arranged with the Parish Office.
3. Weddings are not celebrated on Sundays, holy days, or Holy Week .
4. A pre-nuptial inquiry form must be completed in the parish of your residence. To complete the form you will need:
◦ Baptismal certificate (issued within the past six months)
◦ Confirmation certificate
◦ Letter of freedom,
◦ Pre marriage course certificate
◦ Permissions and dispensations where applicable need to be applied for. If either party has been previously married, it is essential that freedom to marry be established before any marriage arrangements can be confirmed.
Civil Requirements
At least three months before the wedding, you must arrange to meet in person a civil registrar, to give the required three months notice of your intention to marry. You will receive the Marriage Registration Form (MRF) from the civil registrar. Without this document your marriage cannot take place. You must show this form to the priest when the pre nuptial forms are being filled out, to check that details are correct. This MRF form is the sole responsibility of the wedding couple, and you must ensure that you present it to the priest officiating at the wedding on the day of your marriage, to be signed. You must return the signed MRF form to any civil registrar no later than one month after the wedding.
Guidelines for the Ceremony
The ceremony is prepared with the priest who will celebrate the Wedding Ceremony
Couples who wish to marry in Collinstown + Fore Parish must comply with the following guidelines:
1. In the celebration of the marriage ceremony the readings must be taken from scripture and the marriage rite and all other prayers from the marriage ritual.
2. The Music should be appropriate to the celebration of the sacrament. This should be discussed with the priest well in advance of the celebration. Accord has prepared a suitable CD of wedding music
3. Flower arrangements are a beautiful adornment to any ceremony. However, they should not be ostentatious to distract from what is happening, nor should they impede the congregation’s view of the altar, which is reserved for the celebration of the Eucharist. For this reason the unity candles should not be placed on the altar table, but on a table near the ambo.
4. The signing the Marriage Registration Form takes place at a table in the sanctuary.
5. Outside the Church
◦ No rice confetti etc may be tossed in the Church grounds.
◦ A drinks reception on the church grounds is not permitted.
6. Punctuality: Out of consideration for all concerned the bride and groom should be present on time as delay inconveniences everyone.
7. Photographer/video technician
Please present these guidelines to your photographer/video technician
In St Mary’s church and St Feichin’s church a video recording and photographs of the ceremony are permitted on the understanding that:
◦ For the integrity of the ceremony, photographers and the video technicians should not distract or disturb the ceremony e.g. lots of movement.
◦ The photographer or video technician should not enter the sanctuary area without consulting the Priest before the ceremony (the sanctuary is the red carpeted area.)
◦ The photographer and/or the video technician are asked to consult the priest conducting the ceremony before the beginning of the ceremony and not to record private moments like the receiving of Holy Communion
Getting Married in a Catholic Church Abroad
All couples wishing to celebrate their marriage abroad must firstly fill in a form available from the parish office. This form requests the name of the Diocese in which the ceremony is taking place, the name of the church in which the marriage is being celebrated, the name and address of the officiating priest, a letter from the officiating priest stating his willingness to celebrate the sacrament, and the date of the ceremony.
All Church papers for weddings abroad (pre-nuptial enquiry forms) are to be completed at least six months prior to the date for the marriage.
All papers for marriages abroad when completed in your parish are then sent to the diocesan office for onward transmission to the Diocese where the marriage is to take place. Papers sent to the diocesan office must be accompanied by €100 to cover expenses.
In Irish law the obligation to oversee the civil registration of marriage rests with the couple. The civil registration of marriages differs from country to country.

Sacrament of the Sick

“When we are sick we feel alone, weak and frightened. Things which seemed important don’t matter anymore. But as Christians we know that we are never alone. In fact we are never so close to Jesus as when we are weak or unwell.”
The anointing of the sick is the ultimate healing sacrament, available whenever our health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age. God is always with us in our illness
–Your faith, Redemptorist publications
The sacrament is available on request after any of the Masses and once a month at the Padre Pio Mass which takes place on the eve of the 1st Friday of the Month

Visits to the Sick and Elderly
On the First Friday of every Month Fr Patrick brings Communion to those who because they are elderly or infirm, are unable to attend Sunday Mass. If you know of someone, please contact Fr Patrick
Hospital Visitation
If you have a family member or know of some one who is in hospital and they would appreciate a visit by a priest of the parish please contact the parish office.

Bereavement

Death of a loved one

We are very sorry to hear of the death of your loved one.
Facing the death of a loved one is a very painful experience and draws upon our deepest emotions both mentally and spiritually. The death of someone you love is always traumatic. But even in your darkest moments, you need not fear, for God is with you. He is close to you.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled”, Jesus says. “Trust in God still and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house”.
This is the wonderful promise of Jesus – that he has prepared a place for those who love him.
Planning the Funeral Liturgy
Fr Patrick will be glad to discuss with you any aspect of the Funeral Liturgy. He will assist you in the preparation of the Funeral Liturgy – readings from Scripture, Prayers of the Faithful, Offertory Procession, Sacred Music, etc. It is our wish that the Liturgy will be a time of prayer for your loved one and of consolation and hope for you.
In the course of the Funeral Liturgy, we try to let God’s word speak to the hearts, so that we all might hear and be comforted by the Christian message.

The Healing Garden

The Healing Garden was officially opened and blessed after the Divine Mercy Mass in 2017.

The garden serves two purposes.

Firstly it will be in remembrance of all those who have been hurt by the church institution in the past – abuse of minors and Mother and Baby home scandals. It is not the intention to draw a line under the horrors of the past but to serve as a reminder of what has happened lest we forget in future years and a warning to all what happens when we blindly trust any institution and fail to question and cover up. The Garden is located at the front gate so that it will be a constant reminder, as we pass into the church building, of church failure in the past.

Secondly we hope that all who enter the garden will find some peace and healing. Many people no longer find peace in a church building and so we have provided an alternative – outdoors, where people can pray and worship the Lord. All of the plants have been carefully chosen and have special meaning, we hope to provide a description in the coming months.

Thanks to the many parishioners who were involved in the project, but a special word of thanks to Mr Paul Henry who volunteered to manage the project and who directed operations and the people involved.

Parish Schools

Patronage

Bishop Tom Deenihan is the Patron of the two Catholic primary schools in our community.

St Mary’s National School

St. Mary’s NS, Collinstown, Co. Westmeath is a co-educational primary school under the patronage of the Catholic Bishop of Meath. Although our school has a Catholic ethos, we welcome children of all faiths and none. As we respect the beliefs of others, we expect prospective parents and students to respect our ethos.

Contact http://stmaryscollinstown.scoilnet.ie/blog

St Feichin’s National School

St. Feichin’s National School is situated in the beautiful, historical village of Fore in North Westmeath. It was built in 1896 and extended in 2008 and 2013. We welcome you to share in our journey as we open doors to a new and exciting world through education. We seek to continue the work begun by St Feichin when he built his monastery in Fore. We are very proud of our heritage and strive to preserve and enrich it for oursevles and future generations of school children who will live among us.

Contact http://www.forens.ie/

ALPHA

The Series

Alpha is taken from the first letter of the Greek Alphabet meaning “Beginning”

WHO IS ALPHA FOR?

The 11 week Alpha is open to anyone, Christian, Non-Christian, Regular church- goer or not. It is also for Christians who want to develop a clearer understanding of their Christian beliefs and to learn more about Jesus and His teachings.

FORMAT

Each of the 10 nights follows the following sequence:

1. Introduction and announcements
2. DVD presented by Rev. Nicky Gumbel, Pastor at Holy Trinity Church, Brompton, London.
3. Tea/Coffee
4. Group discussion facilitated by a nominated Leader who has already completed the Alpha Course
5. Group Prayers of Thanksgiving and Petition

HOLY SPIRIT DAY

Midway through Alpha, participants take part in a Holy Spirit day. This day is normally held on a Saturday.

11 WEEK PROGRAMME

Week 1. Who is Jesus?
Week 2. Why did Jesus die?
Week 3. How can we have faith
Week 4. How and why do I pray?
Week 5. Why and how should I read the Bible?
Week 6. How does God guide us?
Holy Spirit Day Who is the Holy Spirit?
Holy Spirit Day What does the Holy Spirit do?
Holy Spirit Day How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit?
Week 7. How can I resist evil?
Week 8. Why and how should I tell others?
Week 9. Does God heal today?
Week 10. What about the church?
Week 11. How can I make the most of the rest of my life?

To date over 33,500 Alphas have been provided in 169 countries worldwide. Over 20 million people worldwide have completed Alpha. Alpha has been approved by all the major Christian Churches.

After Alpha

After the 11 week series, participants are encouraged if they wish to join a pastorate to continue their journey of faith. This is explained during Alpha.

Those who have completed an Alpha Series are are invited to help out at the next Alpha series if they so wish.