See the diocesan message that will be read at all Masses this weekend (4th Sept) on the issue of church finances and the changeover to the new Mass responses next weekend.

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The Lord be with you

Introducing the new translation of the Roman Missal

 “As we gradually become familiar with this new wording we may well reach a new depth in our understanding and appreciation of this great mystery which is at the centre of our lives as Christians.  All that will take time…”

Message from Monsignor Brendan Byrne
Diocesan Administrator, Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin
September 2011

My dear friends,

In this brief message, I want to address the issue of church finances and the changeover to the new Mass responses next weekend.

Firstly, the issue of church finances was recently in the news. The simple headline is that our collections are in decline. This is not surprising given the severe economic downturn of recent years. We know that many people are trying to get by with less money and are making savings wherever they can, including their parish contribution.

All we can do is to appeal to people to do their best to continue to contribute to their parish. Each parish relies on what parishioners provide. Every contribution is valuable. When all our contributions are added up, it is remarkable what can be achieved. This is shown each year in the Trócaire collection. In the last two years, our diocese has collected nearly €1.5 million (see below). I want to thank everyone for this generosity and for their great support for their parish and priests.

Looking at the wider picture, it is clear that the recession has taken a huge toll on people’s lives. Unemployment and emigration are impacting on so many people. Vital services for the most vulnerable are facing on-going cuts. Many are struggling with the suffocating burden of debt – the true numbers for which are only slowly coming to light.

I want to take this opportunity to re-state what Bishop Jim Moriarty called for in Lent 2009 when reflecting on what he saw as a ‘profound social crisis’ and not just a financial crisis –

 “There are numerous policy areas needing attention, but first and foremost we need to speak up for measures designed to enable families to keep their homes. We need to do all we can to avoid a tide of repossessions sweeping across the land. What is needed here is a set of long‐term solutions to the crisis and not just a temporary deferral.”

It will be to all our benefit to act generously and with true charity.

As announced previously, the changeover to the new Mass responses from the new English translation of the Roman Missal at all Masses will take place next weekend (11th September). The new translation is intended to bring the English version closer to the ‘original’ Latin. It strengthens the biblical language and images in the Mass prayers and reintroduces some theological language lost in the present translation.

This new translation is not of course a ‘new Mass’. The essential meaning of the Mass is unchanged and unchangeable. But the changeover to the new wording will be a challenge. Old expressions and prayers flow easily. As we gradually become familiar with this new wording we may well reach a new depth in our understanding and appreciation of this great mystery which is at the centre of our lives as Christians. All that will take time….

I would like to quote what the late Bishop Patrick Lennon wrote in his Lenten Message in 1970 during the changeover from what is termed the Latin Mass in which the priest had his back to the people –

 “I would emphasise that fuller understanding (of the Mass) will not come without effort. Nor will a better community celebration be achieved without your willing co-operation. Join, therefore, wholeheartedly in the responses and acclamations”.

I echo that call now, for it is as relevant today as it was then. The theme for next year’s Eucharistic Congress is ‘Communion with Christ and with one another’. I pray that this precious Communion will be clearly evident to all as together in every church in the diocese and throughout the country we lift up our hearts and pray with one voice to the praise and glory of God, our Father, through Jesus Christ his Son, in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

Monsignor Brendan Byrne
Diocesan Administrator


New translation of the Roman Missal

The Roman Missal is the book that contains all the prayers for our celebration of the Eucharist. We have used our present English language edition of the Roman Missal since 1975. This text was a translation from the Latin edition of that time which is the ‘original’ edition on which all translations are based.

A new English translation is being introduced this year. The new translation is being introduced in two phases to avoid too much change happening at once.

  •  From 11th September we will begin to use the new people’s parts of the Mass (e.g. Confiteor, Creed etc.). We will have special cards for the Congregation in all the churches with the new responses.
  • From the First Sunday of Advent (27 Nov.), the new Missal will be used by the priest for everything from then on.

 Trócaire – our organisation

Trócaire is the official overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland. It was set up by the Irish Catholic Bishops in 1973 to express the concern of the Irish Church for the world’s poorest and most oppressed people.

See below diocesan totals for recent Trócaire appeals. We thank all concerned in our 56 parishes for their generosity.

 Trócaire 2010

Lenten appeal            €368,694
Haiti appeal                €341,433
Pakistan appeal        €228,783
Total                          €938,910

Trócaire 2011

Lenten appeal            €305,035
East Africa appeal    €220,668
Total                            €525,703