SVP Christmas Appeal 2021

Christmas Appeal 2021

Many families will face impossible choices this Christmas say SVP as they launch one of the most difficult Annual Appeals in their history.

Launching the Annual Appeal, Rose McGowan, SVP National President said that calls for help this year will be at their highest level in its history and could reach almost 200,000 by the end of December.

“When Christmas comes around, we all have to make lots of choices – what presents to buy? What food for the Christmas dinner? But for those who struggle to make ends meet there are additional, sometimes impossible, choices. Do I borrow or go without? How can I make Christmas a happy time for my children and pay the bills? Do I buy essentials or heat the house?”

According to Rose McGowan the Society requires the help of the public now more than ever, but in some different ways:


BLUE ENVELOPES CAMPAIGN: Envelopes will be available at all masses in St Philomena’s Church from early December.  Donations can be placed in these (or any envelope clearly marked SVP) and dropped into one of the church collection boxes or left into the sacristy. Donations made in this way have been the mainstay of our income in Palmerstown over the past 18 months, for which we are extremely grateful.

SVP ANNUAL COLLECTION WEEKEND ON 11/12TH DECEMBER:  This year, the special SVP Annual collection will be an outdoor collection.  (Note: There is no SVP Monthly collection on the first weekend of December)


ONLINE: and nominate your local area

BY PHONE: 0818 176 176 and nominate your local area

BY POST: to SVP, PO Box 1234, Dublin 1, cheques made payable to ‘Society of St. Vincent de Paul’ or direct to a regional office, addresses can be found on

SVP VIRTUAL GIVING TREE:  There is no Giving Tree in the church this year, since donating and distributing gifts is not recommended. However, for those who would like to directly assist a child or a family in our community, Gift Cards can be donated in an envelope and left in the sacristy or church boxes. (This year, SVP have teamed up with Me2You, since their Gift Cards are accepted in a huge range of toy and other stores).  Me2You Gift cards can also be donated to an SVP region via the website:

Pastoral Letter for Advent from Archbishop Dermot Farrell

Pastoral Letter for Advent 2021

On the First Sunday of Advent our Church, and many others, begin a new Church year. The Church begins its year with a time of hope, and Advent—so frequently ‘lost’ in the preparation for Christmas—is the season of hope par excellence. It is the season of hope, because our God who gave himself to us by creating us, and who came to us in the coming of his Son, will come again.

Our God “comes to enrich our personal and collective histories, our dashed hopes and our sterile yearnings.” (Pope Francis, Homily for the First Sunday of Advent, Bangui Cathedral (CAR), November 2015). Our God comes to save us. “Unless the Lord comes to us, we are completely helpless,” as St Maximus the Confessor, so dramatically put it.

In Advent, we proclaim and celebrate our hope and our trust that our God is faithful: that the Lord will come again and again to rescue us, to heal us, to console us, to be with all that he has called into life.

God calls us forward to a new world, to embrace a new future. That is God’s deeper gift to us. His call is not to return to a wonderful place where “everything was wonderful”—be that Bethlehem or the ‘wonderful world’ of our shared past. Our prayer this Advent and always is, therefore, shaped by that hope. In this time, for many, it is also framed by the experience of loss and continuing grief.  Our anticipation of the joy of Christmas is all the greater for the depth of the crisis through which we have been travelling. Christian hope is not naive. It does not give rise to nostalgia, denial or conformity.   Rather it is realistic in its faithfulness and bold in its imagination. Pope Francis tells us that hope ‘is able to see a tomorrow; hope is the door that opens onto the future.’   Hope changes everything.

As we prepare to celebrate the overwhelming gift of love that was the Incarnation, we are invited to take stock of how well prepared we are, not only to celebrate the Nativity of the Lord at Christmas, but to live the kind of life we are meant to live, loving one another and the whole human race as much as we are loved.

The Gospel for the First Sunday of Advent reminds us that the Christian life is rooted in prayer; we are urged to pray at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, so that we can stand with confidence before the Son of Man.

We have been living through a very testing time. Sickness and death resulting from the Covid-19 virus have taken a heavy toll.   The necessary restrictions on everyday life have at times been very hard to bear. The continuing pressure on healthcare staff and other vital workers has increased our admiration for their commitment and care. Our gratitude for the remarkable success of those developing vaccines and treatments has been tempered by a growing realisation that there is no easy or simple solution for this crisis.

So it is for us, the community of faith that is the Church in this Archdiocese.   We are living through dark days.  We confront immense challenges, not least that the dominant culture is hostile to faith, while there is much in our story that discourages and even repels many people. Yet as Christians we are called to bring Good News to the whole world, to accompany those at all stages of life‘s journey towards an encounter with Jesus Christ. We are hopeful, despite the immensity of these challenges, some of which have become even more stark as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

It was to build hope that, some months ago, I established a Task Force to develop a pastoral strategy to support parish communities of faith to undertake a radical renewal, looking to the future with creativity, while enabling the Archdiocese of Dublin to act now so as to give effective witness and service in the years ahead. The Task Force received views and suggestions from over 3,000 people, the vast majority of them laypeople involved in different ways and to different degrees in the life of the Church. I have received the recommendations of the Task Force and I am reflecting upon them and praying about them.

The strategy that has been recommended involves principles to guide our renewal, a process of engagement that would involve the whole diocesan family, and a framework to guide discussion and discernment. It is my intention to invite the whole diocesan family, and every parish, to begin the process of discussion and discernment early in the New Year, and to provide guidelines and suggestions to support this journey, which will be, in itself, an expression of the synodal path on which the Church has embarked.

Any pastoral strategy that is true to our Christian calling will acknowledge, as the Task Force has, our need to hear the call to conversion of hearts and minds, and to deepen the spirit of prayer and attentiveness to the word of God.

I am therefore inviting the Church in the Archdiocese of Dublin to use this season of Advent as a time of prayer and reflection to prepare ourselves spiritually for the challenge of renewal. Responding to the Task Force Report, we need to create a prayerful atmosphere this Advent as we begin to look to the future of parishes, groupings of parishes, and the Diocese itself.  Our prayer must be, above all, to be open to the Spirit to guide us in our mission as bearers of light and carriers of good news to the people of our time. We honour our history and our traditions. We draw strength from what has been built up. But we are not afraid to craft new wineskins to carry the new wine of the Good News to those who thirst for it today.

In Advent we begin the Liturgical Year preparing for the coming of the Lord. Our diocesan theme this year is ‘Be Still’, waiting for the Lord, preparing ourselves for the year ahead with Him.

There is a ‘Be Still’ resource available on the Diocesan Website, and our Mission and Ministry Team are offering a daily prayer posting on Facebook every day during Advent with a variety of contributors.

We need to ‘be still’ during Advent, and mark time a little with the Lord, as we set out on a year of prayer, reflection and planning.

Advent resources are available below.

I am asking each parish community to pray for conversion of heart so that we may be effective missionaries. I ask that the Synod prayer be prayed every day during Advent, especially during our celebrations of the Eucharist, so that we are reminded of the call we have received and the hope-filled response which we will craft together under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

In the season of Advent, we unite yourselves with our Blessed Mother Mary, whose own preparation models for us the spirit of hope and faith that brings the light of Christ to life.

Let us pray:

Ever faithful God,

You sent your son into the darkness of human history

to fulfil your will, and guide your people home to you.


Fill our hearts with the hope of your coming

that we may draw close to all our sisters and brothers

especially those who bear the cross of Jesus in the heart of our world.

May the Light of his victory over darkness and death,

guide our feet on the way of justice and peace.

We ask this in the name of Him who came and will come again,

Jesus, our Lord, for ever and ever. Amen


+Dermot Farrell,

Archbishop of Dublin


To view Archbishop Dermot Farrell’s recent homilies or letters, please click the link below:-


Crosscare Christmas Appeal 2021

On-line Appeal for Families in Food Poverty

December 2021


We in Crosscare need your support to help families experiencing food poverty this Christmas.  We are working with hundreds of families and children in Dublin who struggle to get basic food supplies.


Families need our help this Christmas, but not just for Christmas in the months after Christmas, which many people find challenging.


Crosscare helps people with food parcels and meals in our cafes and food banks in the short term, and we work with them to move out of food poverty in the long term.


We keep in touch with families, helping them to help themselves.  We help them with budgeting, healthy eating, and long-term housing and welfare support they may need, giving them the dignity and independence to provide for themselves.


Due to Covid restrictions, the online appeal for donations replaces the food collection in parishes in previous years. Your ongoing support for Crosscare makes a huge difference to those most in need.


We are asking for donations to continue this vital work at Christmas and into 2022.


Please help us to help them.


Support our appeal to end food poverty by giving what you can


online at  or call 01 8360011


Thank you for your ongoing support from all in Crosscare, working for those most in need with love, respect and excellence.

Gardiner Street Parish Advent Retreat, 05-Dec-21



The Ignatian Retreat in Daily Life is a prayer journey for those who want to live more deeply in relationship with God, to discover or find again the value of prayer, to encounter the God who loves you, and perhaps to get help with a decision you need to make.

This Advent, Gardiner Street Parish is offering a week of retreat in daily life.

The starting meeting will take place on Saturday 5th of December in St. Francis Xavier’s Church, followed by daily check in with your retreat guide (in person or online). Ends with Mass on Saturday 11th December at 6 pm.

If you are interested, please phone  01 8363411 or email


I wait! I watch! I hope! – Daily Advent Reflections via WhatsApp

If you are looking for something different this advent, why not join a WhatsApp group to receive an Advent reflection every day.


For further details and if you like to join contact Christina, Archdiocese of Dublin on Mobile Number: 0857162152.



The Office for Mission and Ministry are offering daily reflections for the Advent Journey. The theme of these reflections is ‘Be Still’. This is a great opportunity for everyone to take time during advent to be still. The reflections will be posted each morning on the Facebook page for the office of Mission and Ministry.


Palmerstown Meals on Wheels – Part-Time Cleaner Required

Part-Time Cleaner Required

Monday, Wednesday and Friday (9 Hours in Total)

Experience Essential

Location:  Palmerstown Parish Centre

Enquiries:  Please contact 087-0657040

(between 9am and 5pm)


We invite you to join us for two Godly Play sessions which will focus on ‘The Circle of the Church year’ and Advent stories.

Facilitators: Saule Cameron and Rosemary Lavelle are recognised Godly Play Trainers in Ireland.

Join us for the Godly Play ‘Taster’ morning on Tuesday, 30th of November, 7.30 to 9 pm, in St. Thomas The Apostle Parish Pastoral centre, Fortunestown Road, Jobstown, Tallaght, Dublin 24.

BOOKING ESSENTIAL. Suggested donation – 10 euros. Tea/Coffee provided.

Please text Saule at 085 801 8987.