This Week's Newsletter

A Few Words from the Fr Joe

Last Friday I headed off to Kilternan to celebrate a wedding in the ‘Blue Church’. I love to go there from time to time as it holds many fond memories for me from 38 years ago. As a newly ordained priest in 1986 I was assigned to teach in Dundrum Tech and live in Sandyford Parish. In that parish there are three churches, the main parish church in the village, the beautiful cut granite church in Glencullen, high in the mountains and the unique wooden church in Kilternan with its light blue timbers framed with white and set in an extensive garden.

I believe that more than 100 years ago the then parish priest was on holidays in Switzerland, saw this type of church and drew a picture of one he liked, and on his return commissioned it for the parish. Not only is it used as a local church for Sunday Masses in Kilternan but it quickly become a very much in demand venue for weddings. When I was there it was booked months, if not years in advance for all the Fridays and Saturdays from Spring to Autumn.

 After the ceremony, the sacristan presented me with the Marriage Register to sign. I glanced at the page and to my complete surprise this was only the fourth wedding in the church this year. I counted back and saw only 14 weddings registered for 2023. I’ve heard that only a small percentage of weddings are in the Catholic church now, maybe as low as 36%, but to see how a once in demand venue is now used so little really made the point. No doubt there are many reasons why this is so, but none the less it seems a pity. I just don’t know what conversation is had in families now when our young parishioners get engaged, but maybe we could speak in favour of the Sacrament of Marriage. This understanding of marriage, in the sight of God, praying for all the graces and blessings to sustain a happy and durable loving relationship has much to recommend it. The parish clergy are always willing to meet with couples and discuss how a church wedding might best work for them. The whole congregation on Friday were delighted with the liturgy, the setting and the sacrament, and I was delighted to participate in such a special moment.

Fr Joe Mullan



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