Aug 01 2012

Precious Blood Church…

Published by at 1:07 am under News

I called by the Parish Office the other week for a copy of my baptism certificate and was so surprised to find the church completely empty. I sat down in the row at the back and thought about years ago when there’d always be a few women kneeling down holding onto their Rosary Beads and each of their heads covered with a scarf as they prayed to God to help them find the money for their rent or to give them the patients of a saint as they tried to cope with the husband and his drink. One of our old neighbours used to call into the church each morning on his way to work and light a candle for his father and mother. He used to park his bike in the church porch. And I also thought back to a time when this church was packed to the rafters with people of all ages attending midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Do you remember all the men and the lads down the back of the church? Father O’Farrell often refered to them as ‘Duck Hunters’ because they’d always be down on one knee. And then there was Friday Night Sodality with a banner for each road in the parish proudly displayed on a pole which fitted through two brass rings on the outside of the row nearest the wall.

I looked up at the altar and visualised all my relations attending my sister’s wedding and her in tears because she was leaving home. I don’t know why because she was back to the Ma’ every other day for one thing or another. And to think that this was the church I was baptised in all those years ago. It’s such a pity the original baptism font is gone. I was the first child in our family to be baptised here because the church wasn’t opened until 1951. Most of the others were baptised in the Pro Cathedral or in the old tin church on Ballygall Road near Finglas.

Can you see on the right hand side of the church up next to the altar were the statue of Holy Mary is?…well that’s where the Crib was every Christmas. Myself and the brother used to sit up at the front just to see Baby Jesus in the manger. And of course I thought about all the times I went to Confession here over the years. During Lent we’d have to do the Station of the Cross and all the statues were covered over, I don’t know why.

I suppose I felt a little sad also at the thought of all our old neighbours who are dead and gone now. All good people in their own way, the salt of the earth as they say. There were some good priests as well who took a great interest in the parish and its people. Now before I left the church I lit three candles, one for all my Cabra History friends around the world in the hope that God will keep you all safe and well, one for my father and mother and one for all our old neighbours. God bless you all.

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