The Rector writes……

We are in the season of Lent. The word itself comes from an old English word meaning ‘the lengthening of days’ or Spring. In earliest times it was observed by those who were preparing for the baptism at Easter. Later the 40 days of Lent were identified with the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness. Each year it provides us with an opportunity to re-examine our lives and through prayer, study and self-denial, to renew our love for God. This might sound a little daunting and forbidding. Self-denial and discipline do not come easy to any of us. But remember again the origin of the word Lent. It is associated with longer days and more light, increased warmth and the resultant growth. It is something very positive and creative. It is about re-energising what has always been there but lain dormant.

This year I have organised a programme in the parish to help reinvigorate our faith both as individuals and as a community. By now I hope many of you are enjoying working through at short section of Matthew’s Gospel, each day in Lent using the excellent guide written by Bishop Tom Wright. You will see in this issue of Parish Matters information on our first ever Lent Quiet Day on Saturday 28 March. I am delighted that Bishop Michael Burrows will be with us to guide our thoughts and to join us for worship. He has written a few lines about his chosen theme to whet your appetite! The day runs from mid-morning to mid-afternoon and I hope many of you will make it a priority to attend. Next month, for Holy Week, we will welcome back another former curate as our guest preacher – Canon Eithne Lynch. Again, I know many of you remember her ministry in this parish with affection and thanksgiving.

The lengthening of days, fresh growth, the increased radiance of the sun, these are all part of Spring. The same is true about the spirituality of Lent. In that sense I wish you all a good Lent.

                God bless,        Adrian




St Luke’s School Notes Every year the Ashton Players invite our 5th and 6th classes to their dramatic performance produced by their Transition year group. This year our classes really enjoyed their production of “The Pirates of Penzance. It was a superb and a real pleasure to see so many of our past pupils involved. Well done and thank you to Ashton.

We were delighted to welcome Anne and John from St Vincent de Paul to a recent assembly where they were presented with a cheque for over €1,700. This money was collected at our Carol services at Christmas. John also spoke to us about the important work they do and explained how the money is used. Many thanks to all who contributed to our appeal.

As part of our involvement in the Creative Schools’ scheme many of our classes are engaging in creative schools’ homework. These activities range from designing their own mode of transport, making creative creatures to creations using leaves.

4th Class were delighted to take part again this year in the ‘STEAM’ Engineering in a Box’ programme in conjunction with UCC and MEP Engineering. A big thank you to Wesley Bateman who has volunteered his time and expertise to deliver this very worthwhile programme.

Many of our classes have been very active recently. Junior and Senior Infants are really enjoying their Playball classes where they are focusing on fundamental movement skills and 3rd Class are taking part in an Athletics course.

Cork Mental Health Association gave a very informative talk to our 6th Class pupils in January. We thank this Association for raising awareness in schools of this very important issue.

We are always pleased to welcome students on TY work experience, Community Action and work placements. At present Alex O’Regan, Amy Dunne, Elizabeth Ivanova, Eoghan Bateman and Sarah Stanley are working with us.

Many congratulation to Ms Wilson, our Senior Infant teacher on her recent marriage to Tadhg O’Brien.




St Michael’s School Notes St Michael’s have been very active lately with classes enjoying a range of activities including Gaelic football, cycling, athletics, fundamental movement skills, local walks and hockey. We are especially thankful to Cork Sports Partnership, St Michael’s GFC and Blackrock Hurling Club for facilitating these opportunities.

We were delighted with 2nd place in the local Credit Union Schools quiz for our senior quiz team. They had some seriously tough competition in a tie breaker round and were pipped to the post with a score of 50 to 51! Well done to John, Conor, Harry and Liam.

Recently in assembly we were given a copy of ‘Praying Together’, a book of prayers edited by Jacqui Wilkinson. Our 6th class had one of their prayers included in this beautiful collection. We look forward to using these prayers throughout the year.

5th and 6th class visited the Glucksman gallery at UCC, Cork City Museum and Fitzgerald’s Park and Oak Room pupils are heading to the Everyman Palace to see a musical. Pupils from 1st to 6th are looking forward to singing at the Ash Wednesday service in St Fin barre’s Cathedral.

Sophie and David visited us from Ashton as part of their TY programme to talk to 3rd and 4th class about internet safety.

We are delighted to be facilitating teaching placements for three student teachers this term, Kate Healy, Kate Ahern and Mark Ryan Purcell (who is a past pupil).

We were visited by Paul from the RNLI, who told us about the important work they do. We presented him with a cheque for 400 euro which we raised during our Carol singing at Christmas.


Annual Review of the Register of Vestry Members for Douglas Union will be reviewed on Thursday, 5th March at 7.45 pm in the Canon Packham Hall. The Select Vestry will then have their meeting at 8pm.



Hymn singing: Tuesdays , 3rd March at  7.30-9.30 pm

Please contact Florence Binions if interested, as space is limited. 


GIY   Grow it Yourself, will meet in St. Mary’s Church Hall Passage West on Thursday, 19th March at 7.30pm.  Get growing tasty fruit and veg!  For beginners, intermediate and experienced veg and fruit growers.  Monthly meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of each month.  For more information email or phone 085/8701386


Additional Services in Lent

Throughout Lent, there will be a short service of Morning Prayer in St Michael’s Church in Blackrock every Monday at 11.00am. Every Wednesday the mid-week Eucharist will be in St Luke’s Douglas at 11.00am.




Lent Book

Lent is a time for reflecting, spiritual discipline and perhaps doing a little reading to help us grow in our faith. With that in mind, this year as a parish we are reading Lent for Everyone – Matthew, by the bishop and biblical scholar Tom Wright. He has divided Matthew’s gospel into sections, one for each day in Lent, with a short explanation or thought added to help reflection and concludes with a prayer. When we did this exercise several years ago, those involved found it very rewarding.





Climate Change Lectures  9th March UCC


Prof. Katharine Hayhoe is an eminent atmospheric scientist and Professor of Political Science at Texas Tech University USA, where she is director of the Climate Science Centre. (Wikipedia page She is a hugely respected figure in her field and is perhaps one of the best global communicators on climate change. In 2014 she was named in TIME magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2019 she was made one of the United Nations Champions of the Earth.


As a Christian, she addresses the issues of Climate Change from the position of both science and faith. Her first talk, at 17.00pm, is geared towards the scientific community and her second talk at 20.00pm is aimed more towards the Christian community.


It is a great opportunity to hear from a highly respected scientist, and person of faith, about an issue crucial to everyone.




Service in Irish on St Patrick’s Eve

16ú Márta: Tá áthas orainn sa pharóiste seo fáilte a chur roimh Cheiliúradh na Comaoineach Naofa don Deoise i mbliana. Bhí sé i nDún Mánmhaí and bhliain seo caite, is gCarraig uí Laighin roimhe sin. Cruinniú áthasach í seo don deoise do gach duine a bhfuil beagáinín beag Ghaeilge acu, agus bíonn aistriúchán Béarla de gach rud ar fáil leis. Ag 7.30pm i dteampall Naomh Lúcáis.



Come and Sing   John Stainer’s The Crucifixion

St Fin Barre’s Cathedral will be hosting a Come and Sing Stainer’s Crucifixion on Saturday 28th March 2020. Singers from across the diocese are encouraged to support this event and all abilities are most welcome! There will be a rehearsal at 2pm and the performance itself is at 6pm. There will be a charge of €10 to cover costs. Please let Peter Stobart know if you are planning on attending:


Old Schoolhouse Lunch will take place on Wednesday, 25th March at 12.30pm in the Old Schoolhouse, Blackrock.





Lent Quiet Day with Bishop Burrows

This year, as part of our ambition to host 20 significant events in our parish in 2020, we are holding our first ever Parish Quiet Day. We very much look forward to having Bishop Michael Burrows with us on Saturday 28 March. The day starts at 10.30 and we will divide our time between the Canon Packham Hall in Douglas and St Luke’s Church. All are welcome.

Bishop Michael writes, ‘I thought I might reflect on aspects of my own journey since I became curate of Douglas and ‘cut my teeth’ in ministry, in the hope that they might have some wider interest. For me Douglas has been in many ways the ‘place where all the ladders start ‘, and in returning to that context in 2020, I want to look with new eyes particularly at two biblical passages which bring me right back to where I started 

  1. The calling of Isaiah (chapter 6) so often read at ordinations. 
  2.  Jesus ‘conversation with Peter (John 21), the command to feed the sheep, which I vividly recall was the passage chosen for reflection at my pre – ordination quiet day with the diocesan clergy in St Luke’s Douglas on June 22 1987 

I hope, during a delightful opportunity to return to my spiritual roots, to focus on texts which for me offer new pearls of great price in terms of discipleship and service in the times we know.’ 


Visit of Logos Hope The Christian charity Operation Mobilisation has recently announced that their International ship the Logos Hope is coming to Penrose Quay in Cork for two weeks at the end of May. There are over 400 Christian volunteers on board, and they hale from 60 different nations. The ship will also be open for visitors between 27 May and 9 June 2020.

A good website to get a sense of the totality of the ship’s ministry is: or



Anam Cara Cork the organisation that supports bereaved parents, is holding a Parent Evening on 4th March at 7:20pm in The Clayton Hotel, Cork. This is a free event and open to all bereaved parents.


Please click link below to view March Church Services

Church Services March 2020