Why do Catholics



There are many traditions we take part in each Sunday and in some cases every day as Catholics, but where do they come from and why do we do them.

Find some answers below.

Make the Sign of the Cross? – This simple gesture is one that sets Catholics apart from many other denominations.  It is used in the administration of all the Sacraments.  It was used from the earliest times in the church for many reasons including helping to recognise other Christians during times of persecution.  From the beginning of Mass, to the start of a meal and beginning a journey or passing a Church the sign of the cross is a simple yet intimate way to remember our Baptism into God’s family and of Christ’s redeeming sacrifice.

“Let me not have my forehead bare – let the cross of my Lord cover it”.  St Augustine’s sermon on Psalm 141


Stand for the Gospel? –  Though we sit to hear the readings from the Old and New Testament as well as the Psalms we stand to ‘greet’ the Gospel with an Alleluia verse.  It has been customary that throughout the Church’s history all would stand and reading and hearing of the Gospel would be treated with the utmost reverence.  In the 3rd century it was noted in Apostolic Constitutions that “When the Gospel is being read, let all the priests, deacons and all the people stand with great quietness.”  Standing to hear the Gospel on a Sunday or daily Mass should challenge us to stand up for the living the Gospel in our lives and communities.


Say grace at meals? – Many of us may have grown up with a formula which is recited at meals before we take our first bites.  The most commonly used is “Bless us O Lord and these thy gifts…..”   Did you know that this is from the Latin blessing and goes back to Pope Gelasius Bishop of Rome from 492-496 A.D.!!!  St. John Chrysostom commented on Matthew’s Gospel account of the Last Supper saying. “He (Jesus) gave thanks before giving to the disciples, so that we might give thanks also.  He gave thanks and sang hymns after distributing so that we might do the same”  It is a simple acknowledgement that before we eat the food before us, we give thanks to Him who has provided for us.


Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Matthew 5:7

Works of Mercy


As we approach the Holy Season of Lent and all throughout this Jubilee Year of Mercy, let us remember that acts of Mercy fall into two categories.  The Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy.  As a faith community we practice these virtuous acts and proclaim the mercy of Christ.  Let us contemplate how we can become active ‘bringers of mercy’ to those in need around us.

Click on the image on the left to see an increased size for easier reading

Year of Mercy P FrancisYear of Mercy:  Outreach to Leopardstown Park Hospital

The Leopardstown Park Hospital has always had a special place in Sandyford Parish. The priests of  the parish are chaplains to the hospital – and in addition, over the years, a number of parishioners have volunteered  as musicians or Ministers of the Eucharist and in other ways.

We are strongly encouraged during the Year of Mercy to reach out to others both as individuals and as a faith community.  With this in mind and responding to the needs of the residents at the hospital,  the Parish Pastoral Council – acting on the suggestions of parishioners – have decided to engage more purposefully with Leopardstown Park Hospital.  We are calling on more parishioners to come forward for a number of ministries – for example as befrienders, as musicians/entertainers for social events, to assist with the Coffee Dock and also to become Plate Friends. There are a wide range of options available – and considering the level of interest so far, we will be arranging an Information Evening to explain more fully.  Please leave a name and contact number/email with the parish office/sacristan and we will get in touch.




rainbows to be croppedSandyford Parish Rainbows  is an important part of our Pastoral Care Programme.   Rainbows  supports children (1st class – 6th class) experiencing grief and loss  through bereavement, parental separation / divorce.

It is a twelve week programme, bringing children of a similar age and loss experience into peer group support, facilitated by trained Rainbows volunteers.

Information and application forms can be downloaded from this link or are available from the Parish office in St. Marys, Sandyford.  Please return completed application forms to the Parish office.  A member of the Rainbows Team will then be in touch with you.

For parents interested in finding out more about this service follow this link

A screening of a Movie that has Faith at its Heart.
Each month Parishioners are invited to enjoy a movie that has a faith message and spiritual resonance for our daily lives.
This month’s film is: PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST
Running Time: 108mins Approx (+10mins Interval)
Certificate: 15 (Scenes of moderate violence)
Starring James Faulkner as St. Paul and Jim Caviezel as St. Luke
In Paul, Apostle of Christ, We witness Luke the physician risk his life to visit Paul who is held captive in a Roman prison under Nero’s rule. Together, they struggle under a determined emperor and the frailties of the human spirit in order to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ as an example of an unbelieving world.

Take your seats on THURSDAY:
21st February @8pm
in Sandyford Pastoral Centre
(Beside St. Mary’s Church)
No door charge, Popcorn and refreshments
will be available on the night at the coffee dock.
(All Children should be accompanied by a Parent.)