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" CHRISTMAS is COMIN', the GEESE are GETTIN FAT.."

CAROL SERVICE: Thursday 19th, 1.00pm, Ballingarry: The staff and pupils of Ballingarry National school have prepared a lovely carol service and they will be donating funds raised to Milford Hospice. All welcome to attend, in the Church.

YOUTH CLUB MASS: Friday 20th at 7.00pm: You are all invited to this specially prepared Mass and afterwards there are Teas & Mince Pies at the Hall. It is wonderful to see the club members and Leaders taking this initiative and we should all support them, if possible. Another chance also to see the photo exhibition which is still on display, for anyone who missed out.

LISKENNETT CENTRE: Saturday the 21st December, they are having Santa between 11-4pm at Liskennett Equine Therapy Centre. All users of our service are welcome. There will be horse riding on this day too.

CHURCH NEWS: Christmas Masses: Tuesday 24th: Granagh 6.00pm. Ballingarry 8.30pm. Christmas Day: Wednesday 25th: Granagh 9.30am. Ballingarry 11.00am. Parish Office: Monday & Wednesday ~ 11am - 4pm. Tel 069-68661. balgranparish@gmail.com The Redemptorists are holding a Christmas Mission this week, beginning 16th, up to and including Friday 20th at 8am, 10am and 7.15pm. Redemptorists Confessions - Sat 21st & Mon 23rd - 10.30am to 7pm. Tuesday 24th - 10.30am to 6pm. Pope Francis Christmas Eve Mass will be televised on 24th at 8.30pm approx. 'Urbi et Orbi' - Christmas Day Blessing televised at 11am.

KING of the HILL: Thursday 26th Dec: Don't forget the annual GAA Challenge - great way to walk off the excess calories! Registration in Denny A's, 8.30am to 11am. Team of 3 for €30, bring your own hurleys.

FESTIVE KNOCKFIERNA: Friday 27th Dec at 7pm: - Christmas Rambling House. Tuesday 31st at 4.30pm: - New Year's Eve Bonfire.

TRÓCAIRE THANKS: Sincere thanks to the people of Granagh & Ballingarry for the support they gave towards the sale of Trócaire Gift Cards. You have been extraordinarily generous. Know that you have supplied the amazing total of 79 gifts, to the poorest of the poor. Gifts of Soap, Chicks, Solar Lamps, Seeds & Tools, School Lunches, School Kits, Gift of clean Water, a Goat and help for Grandparents will be all winging their way to deserving families. The families that Trocaire work with are mainly based in Sudan, the Congo, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. Imagine their joy receiving these living gifts - the difference between life & death !!. Must mention two special boys who gave up their birthday money to help another family have a better life, well done to their parents for encouraging this generosity. Go raibh maith agaibh agus Beannacht Dé oraibh go leir.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your body, a roof over your head and a place to sleep - you are richer than 75% of the entire world. If you have money in your wallet and can go anywhere you want, you are among 18% of the world's most wealthy people. If you are alive today and healthy, you are more blessed than the millions of people who will not survive this week and die. If you can actually read and understand this , you are more fortunate than the 3 billion people in the world, who are blind, deaf or illiterate. Life is not about complaining. Life is about thousands of other reasons to be grateful and happy ???

45 DRIVE RESULTS: The following are the results from the Camogie Club card game held on Monday 9th Dec. 1st prize: Nell & Donie Culhane. 2nd: Catherine O’Regan, Mary O’Dea, Ned Quirke, Dan O’Rourke, Ann Frawley & Evelyn Culhane. Table Prizes: Tom Dunworth & Pat O’Riordan. Jim Frawley & Pat Hogan. Ger Carey & Eddie Barry. Raffle: Ger Carey. Lisa Kelly. Mike Minogue. Sarah Burke. Pat Hogan. Tom Dunworth. Josie Lynch. Ned Quirke. Joe Carroll.

LAY MINISTRY: At the Diocesan Synod in 2016 a clear call was heard to train lay people who would take on a significant role in the community around faith development and ministry. Part of the response in Limerick is to launch a new programme of formation in lay pastoral ministry and leadership. It provides training for those who are interested in working as volunteer catechists or lay pastoral workers. The programme combines academic content with pastoral skills and promotes the personal and spiritual development of the participants. The programme runs for 30 months and normally runs one weekend per month (Friday evening and all-day Saturday for 8 months per annum). After an initial six month period, the candidate enrols in an accredited Certificate in Pastoral Ministry at Level 6 awarded by Mary Immaculate College. The Programme of Formation includes: - Prayer and Spirituality, Pastoral Formation, Personal Development, Study over a two year period. Date for initial Orientation and selection, Saturday 25th January – 10.00am to 4.30pm.

BIRTHDAYS: Congratulations to Mary Chawke, Chawke's Cross, who recently celebrated one of those roundy birthdays that we all eventually reach.! Also, Nora O'Keeffe, Ballingarry who will be celebrating her 80th on Christmas Eve, have a lovely day.

THANKS: Following on from the Hall's celebrations, we must thank Denis Bucke of DB Printers, Newcastle West who sponsored the printing of photos for us. The photos are still on display.

CHRISTMAS WISHES: " At Chrstmas time, our thoughts go out to loved ones, far and near. To those we still remember, each day throughout the year. At Christmas time we cherish Hope, with Love & Joy to share, and pray for Peace to fill the world, for people everywhere." Wishing all parishioners at home and away, a very Happy, Peaceful & Loving Christmas. Hope everyone gets to spend time with their families. Thinking also of those in hospital, nursing homes, their nurses and carers. Those who have been sick and are in recovery and those who have been bereaved. We might especially remember those who are troubled by addiction, depression and lonliness. Any small kindness you can do, will never be wasted. DIARY: 13th - 31st: Crochet Exhibit, NCW Library. Thur 19th: B/garry Carol Service. Church, 1pm Fri 20th: Youth Club Christmas Mass. 7pm. Mon 23rd: Bag packing for St. Josephs' in Supervalu, C.ville. Fri 27th: Greybridge Christmas Night Run thru Granagh.

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