By Susan Gately - 15 March, 2019
The Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin has invited the faithful to reflect on the Sunday Mass during this time of Lent.
In a pastoral letter to the people of the diocese, Bishop Denis described the Lenten journey as “our annual retreat, our annual turning back to God”.
“The need for such a catechesis for people coming to Mass in their parishes each week has been mentioned to me frequently in recent months by both priests and lay people,” he wrote.
The initiative is entitled Digging Deeper and to help in the process, a diocesan commission has prepared resources, including homily notes, handouts, video materials and a four-part course exploring the Mass which parishes are invited to run through Lent.
Speaking to CatholicIreland.net, Bishop Nulty said he had chosen the Mass as the subject of the annual retreat to help people “understand why Mass is so special in our lives and why at times, if we miss it, we should maybe take a better guard of why we shouldn’t be missing it”.
We should tune in more and understand the Mass, he continued, and people would then realise that we should be there every Sunday, we should be practising more thoroughly in our life.
Asked if people were becoming lax about attending Mass, Bishop Nulty said for some people when they missed Mass for the first time it’s “a huge issue and then when a pattern sets in, that issue dissipates.”
At least ten parishes are running the prepared study course, Signposts on the Road to Emmaus, which revolves around an ICatholic video series looking at four stages in the Mass: the Introductory Rite, the Liturgy of the Word, the Liturgy of the Eucharist and the Concluding Rites. Julie Kavanagh, a Pastoral Resource person with the diocese.
Fr David Vard from Portlaoise presents the video series. The course has already started in some parishes.
“Last Saturday a priest from one of the parishes in Laois rang me saying, ‘I want to thank you for the Digging Deep initiative because 35 people attended the parish study evening’,” said Bishop Nulty.
The Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin said he did not believe that people understood the Mass as deeply as they should. “So this is a journey where we’re digging deeper for Mass, digging deeper for our faith.”
Bishop Nulty said he hoped that through this diocesan journey, people come to a deeper understanding of what the Mass is.
“So that as we get to celebrate the life death and resurrection of Christ, which is the Eucharist, at Easter time, we will have that huge understanding and that in some sense we will rise with the Lord.”