Welcome to our website

Welcome to the website of Saint John the Baptist Catholic parish in Clontarf. John the Baptist understood his role as bringing people to Jesus. The local church is now called to bring people to Jesus and to reveal him by how we live, serve one another and worship. As a parish community we are called to support one another in our call to bear witness to Jesus as the Light of the World, as the Way, the Truth and the Life. We hope that our parish website helps you to feel a sense of belonging to our parish community.

Fr Martin

Reflection on Today's Gospel Reading

Fourth Sunday of Easter

When people go to Rome, one of the places they often visit is the Catacombs, the earliest Christian cemeteries in existence. The earliest Christian art is to be found there. The images are very simple and unadorned compared to the Christian art that would emerge in later centuries. Yet the art is very striking just because of its simplicity and its directness. One of the images of Jesus that you find in the catacombs is that of the Good Shepherd. Jesus is portrayed as a young beardless man with a sheep draped around his shoulders, holding a bucket of water in his right hand. Clearly the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd that we find in today’s gospel reading spoke to Christians from the earliest days of the church.

Perhaps one of the reasons why the image appealed to Christians from earliest times is because it conveyed something of the personal nature of the relationship between Jesus and his followers. That image from the Catacombs conveys a sense of the close personal connection that the shepherd has with the sheep. The shepherd had gone looking for the one sheep that has wandered off and having found it is taking the sheep home on his shoulders back to the flock. There is a personal bond between the shepherd and this one sheep. That is what Jesus conveys in today’s gospel reading. He declares that he knows his own and his own know him, just as the Father knows him and he knows the Father. It is an extraordinary statement to make. Jesus is saying that the very personal relationship that the relationship that he has with each one of us is as intimate as the very personal relationship that he has with his heavenly Father. Jesus knows us as intimately as the Father knows him, and he wants us to know him as intimately as he knows the Father. There is a great deal to ponder there. When it comes to the Lord we are not just one of a crowd, lost in a sea of faces. In a way that we will never fully understand, the Lord knows each one of us by name. He relates to us in a personal way and he invites us to relate to him in a personal way. I am often struck by a line in Saint Paul’s letter to the churches in Galatia, where he says, ‘I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me’. We can each make our own those words of Saint Paul. When Jesus says in today’s gospel reading that, as the good shepherd, ‘I lay down my life for my sheep’, he is saying that he lays down his life for each one of us individually.

The Lord who knows us by name, who gave himself in love for each one of us on the cross, also calls us by name. Today is Vocations Sunday. The Lord has a calling that is personal to each one of us. He calls us in our uniqueness with our very particular temperament, our unique identity, the background that is specific to each one of us. No one of us is like anyone else. Parents know how distinct and unique each of their children is. They will all have been given the same love; they grow up in basically the same environment. Yet, from a very early age, their uniqueness becomes very evident. That unique identity begins at conception and begins to be formed during the nine months the child is in his or her mother’s womb. The family is a microcosm of the family of the church. We are each called to be the Lord’s disciples, to follow the good Shepherd. That call of the Lord begins while we are in the womb. There is that striking line in the prophet Jeremiah where the Lord says, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I set you apart’. That call of the Lord is respectful of our uniqueness. The particular way in which the Lord works through us will be unique to each one of us. I can do something for the Lord that only I can do. Each one of us has a unique contribution to make to the work of the Lord in the world, to the life of the church, and that contribution is just as important as anyone else’s contribution. We each have a unique vocation and each vocation is equally significant. When we each respond to our unique vocation, we give a lift to everyone else. When any one of us fails to respond to that vocation, we are all a little bit impoverished.

The first reading declares that the stone that was rejected by the builders proved to be the keystone. There is a clear reference there to Jesus himself. He was the rejected one who became the keystone of a new family, the church. There is a sense in which the Lord sees each of us as the keystone for some aspect of his work. We are all key to the Lord’s work, and he calls each of us by name from the first moment of our conception. On this Vocations Sunday we commit ourselves anew to hearing and responding to the call of the good shepherd.

Saint John the Baptist Parish, Clontarf, Dublin, Ireland

Parish Website:  www.stjohnsclontarf.ie Join us via our webcam

Twitter: @SJtBClontarfRC

Facebook: @SJtBClontarf

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Mass Times

Weekend Masses:  

Saturday: 6pm

Sunday: 10.00 am, 12:00 pm

Weekday Masses:

Monday to Saturday: 10am

Holy Days:

6.00 pm Vigil Mass and 10.00am Mass.

Sacrament of Baptism:

Second Sunday of the month: 11.00am

Third Saturday of the month: 12.00pm

Sacrament of Reconciliation:

Thursday before first Friday after 10.00 am Mass

Saturday, after 10.00 am and 6.00 pm Mass

Holy Hour:

3rd Sunday of the month 7.30pm

Parish Events

Holy Week Liturgies

Holy Thursday: Morning Prayer at 10.00 am Confessions after Morning Prayer 5.00 pm, Family Mass 7.00 pm, Mass of Lord’s Supper 8.15 pm, Hour of Prayer   Good Friday:  Morning Prayer at 10.00 am Confessions after Morning Prayer 12.00 pm, Stations of Cross 3.00 pm, Celebration of the Lord’s Passion 7.30 pm, Ecumenical Stations, starting […]

Volunteers Evening

We hope to have an evening to say thanks to all our volunteers on Wednesday, 23rd May, at 7.30 pm in the Hall of Holy Faith School. A light warm meal will be served. Please keep the date free in your diaries. We hope to be in contact with you about it soon.

Confirmation Promises

The young people of the three Clontarf Parishes who are to make their Confirmation in May will be publicly making their Confirmation Promise to abstain from alcohol until a certain age and from all harmful drugs at all times during Mass in the three Clontarf parishes on the weekend of April 14/15. It was due […]

Volunteers Evening

We hope to have an evening to say thanks to all our volunteers on Wednesday, 23rd May, at 7.30 pm in the Hall of Holy Faith School. A light warm meal will be served. Please keep the date free in your diaries. We hope to be in contact with you about it soon.

First Holy Communion and Confirmation

We will soon be celebrating the First Holy Communion and Confirmation of the children in Belgrove Schools and in other schools in our three parish churches. First Holy Communions will be celebrated in the three parish churches at 11.00 am on Saturday, 28th April. Confirmation will be celebrated at 11.00 am on Thursday, 17th May […]