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Gardiner Street Book Club: A history of the Bible

Christine Halloran, Pastoral Assistant at Gardiner Street Parish, reports on the Parish’s recent events including the Gardiner Street Book Club and Springtime Spirituality Series. She also expresses her delight in the opening of the Church for Mass services. Read her report below.

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Monday, 10 May 2021 was welcomed with open arms by a Covid weary Ireland! The easing of Level 5 government restrictions from the tenth means that Masses at St Francis Xavier Church, Gardiner Street, are celebrated once again to an “In church”, as well as an “Online” congregation. Fr Gerry Clarke, Parish Priest, is delighted to welcome parishioners in person to the 11am and 1pm weekday Masses from Monday, 10 May onwards. Details of all church services can be found on the parish website ».

Despite the Covid restrictions however, work for the parish team in Gardiner Street has not abated over the past year, and in particular the past five months have been very busy. The very popular Springtime Spirituality Series of talks was followed by the new Zoom/Facebook format for the Novena of Grace in March. Easter Services quickly followed suit and the team were very pleased with the level of attendance and participation in all events by parishioners and non-parishioners alike.

The Gardiner Street Book Club is also proving to be a very popular activity. Initiated in 2019 by parish secretary, Sonia Obergon, the book club has continued via Zoom throughout lockdown. At present a group of 23 individuals meet via Zoom on Wednesday evenings for group discussion from 7pm to 9pm. The group has just finished reading, A History of the Bible: The Book and its Faiths, by Dr John Barton, Anglican priest and biblical scholar. Excitement is building at the prospect of meeting the author on Wednesday, 19 May, as he has kindly accepted an invitation to join the group that evening for an open discussion on his book.

Besides the general duties of running the parish, Gerry Clarke SJ is also heading up the Irish Province’s Ignatius 500 committee. This committee is charged with the responsibility of organizing, and rolling out, a series of initiatives and celebrations to mark the 500th anniversary of St Ignatius of Loyola’s conversion. Gardiner Street Parish’s Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus from 3 to 11 June will be one of these events centring on the theme of conversion. Click here for the story of the Ignatius 500 year ».