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26 Jan 2022

Christmas Mass of the Gifts at the Ursuline

Christmas Mass of the Gifts at the Ursuline

Back Row (L-R); Avril Clohessy, Lauren Croke, Niamh McCormack, Nonie Lavelle, Mairi Brolan, Isobel Doyle Front Row (L-R); Ava O'Dwyer, Gemma Fitzgerald, Katie Norris, Ariana Krasniqi, Katie Hanamy, L

On Friday, December 17, the Ursuline Christmas Mass of the Gifts was celebrated in the Sr Ursula Memorial Hall. 

The liturgy was broadcast live to all students and staff who watched from classrooms in the main school building. Present in the Sports Hall were members of the Ursuline Community, the Religion and Music teachers and students directly involved in the celebration. Celebrant Fr Jim Purcell captured the essence of the Christmas story in his homily with an anecdote of how the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York came to be built.

George C. Boldt, the first manager of the world-renowned hotel, was offered the position after a chance encounter with William Waldorf Astor and his wife on a stormy night in Philadelphia. He had been exceptionally kind and helpful to the millionaire couple in offering them his own living quarters in the small hotel where he worked after they became stranded in the city without accommodation. When it came to choosing a manager for his new hotel on Park Avenue, Astor offered Boldt the position in gratitude for his warm welcome and open generosity. Boldt could never have dreamed a passing incident would lead to such elevated possibilities. 

Fr Jim likened it to the line in the Gospel that asks, ‘What will this child turn out to be?’ He told the congregation that possibilities in life are multiple, but that kindness always makes a difference. Everyone has the power to move beyond themselves to do good for others. He asked that everyone watching be encouraging of those around them, trust that God wants them to do their best and bring out the best in one another. The music was provided by the violinists of the Senior Orchestra and Chamber Choir who sang and played all the favourite Christmas Carols; Oh Come all ye faithful, Joy to the World and Oh Holy Night. 

Thanks to all students who participated in the Mass with singing, music, readings, processions and dance. It was a lovely Liturgy that captured the spirit of Christmas, and it was a privilege to be able to celebrate it even with the restrictions of Covid in place. 

Contributed to School Days in the Tipperary Star. 

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