Holy Week 2021 – Hallowing the Domestic Church

There have been so many difficulties and challenges associated with the Pandemic, that sometimes we forget to look for the blessings; Hopefully, we’ve all found support through the practical help of others, even receiving a card or a phone call. It’s a reminder that we don’t have to be doing great things to make an impact – even a smile could change someone’s day, and have an effect on their life.

The phrase “domestic church” has been used to describe families since the beginning of Christianity. In his Letter to Families, (GRATISSIMAM SANE, 1994) Pope St. John Paul II explained, “The Fathers of the Church, in the Christian tradition, have spoken of the family as a ‘domestic church,’ a ‘little church.’” And, most recently, in his post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation The Joy Of Love (AMORIS LAETITIA, 2016), he says; “The Church is a family of families, constantly enriched by the lives of all domestic churches”. In short, we must never forget that Faith starts in the home.

The closure of Churches, and the restriction of public worship these past months have affected Catholics deeply. Many have felt the pain of not being able to gather for worship; pray & sing together, and especially to be deprived of the Eucharist. Most have made some adjustment to ‘Online Worship’, but it’s not the same.

The Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issues a note to Bishops and Episcopal Conferences in February 2021 concerning the celebration of Holy Week 2021.

In it they acknowledged that; “Many countries still have strict lockdown conditions in force rendering it impossible for the faithful to be present in church”; and also that “The use of social media has greatly aided pastors in offering support and closeness to their communities during the pandemic. Alongside these positive results problematic aspects were also observed. For the celebration of Holy Week it is suggested that media coverage of the celebrations presided over by the Bishop be facilitated and favoured, encouraging the faithful who are unable to attend their own church to follow the diocesesan celebrations as a sign of unity”.

Therefore, you are encouraged to follow the Holy Week ceremonies from Armagh Cathedral;

The local Churches from the Pastoral Area will supplement these liturgies with the following;

Holy Thursday

Mass of the Lord’s Supper; Togher Parish @ 8pm

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (@ 9.30pm) & Night Prayer (10pm) Monasterboice Parish (Fieldstown Church) – via the Parish Facebook Page

Good Friday

Morning Prayer Monasterboice Parish (Tenure Church) @9.30am

Please Note: Stations of the Cross led by members of the Monasterboice Parish Pastoral Council are available to view anytime on Parish Facebook Pages/Websites.

Holy Saturday

Morning Prayer – Termonfechin Parish @ 9.30am.

Easter Sunday

Dawn Mass @5.45am – Monasterboice Parish (via the Parish Facebook Page)

Mass of The Lord’s Resurrection @ 10am  – Togher Parish;

Mass of The Lord’s Resurrection @ 10.30 am – Clogherhead Parish;

Mass of The Lord’s Resurrection @ 11.30am  – Termonfechin Parish.

To help you mark Holy Week in your homes, a reflection with some aids is offered here;

Even though our Easter Ceremonies will be very different again this year, we pray that the hope of Easter will carry us all through the coming months  knowing that we will soon be able to meet together again in worship – until then, on behalf of all parishioners, through the Parish Pastoral Councils, & the Pastoral Area Resource Team; May we – Monsignor Jim, Fr. Paul, Fr. Martin & Fr. Paddy pray God’s blessing upon us all. 

May God grant us wisdom to know what we must do,
the will to want to do it,
the courage to undertake it,
the perseverance to continue to do it,
and the strength to complete it. Amen. 


Happy Easter!

Prayer for the Anniversary of 1st Covid-19 Lockdown

We remember that it is a year since an Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s announcement (‘I need to speak to you about coronavirus’) from Washington at 6pm on the 12th March, 2020.  In it he said that Ireland would go into lockdown, with schools etc being closed. 

Little did we know then, about what lay ahead – especially with the toll that the virus has taken on lives (almost 5000 people dead, and nearly a quarter of a million cases) and livelihoods here (buisnesses, schools, and Churches closed) and all over the world.  Nor did we realise that a year later, we would still be under restrictions which help control and limit the spread of the virus.

It’s an important moment to remember, and the members of the Parish Pastoral Councils from St. Colmcille’s Pastoral Area (Clogherhead, Monasterboice, Termonfechin & Togher) offer you an opportunity – in a prayerful context – to reflect on (some of) the things that have happened in the last year, and also to look forward – brighter days do lie ahead.

The service was held through zoom, and recorded. You can access it here;

Zoom Prayer Service for the Anniversary of Ireland’s 1st Lockdown

Stations of the Cross

On Friday 19th February, members of the Parish Pastoral Council took part in a ‘Zoom’ Stations of the Cross.

This recording is now available for you to use, if you would like to follow the Stations for Lent.

Please click here for a link to the video

How to Pray the Stations

Before each station the person leading says:  We Adore You, O Christ, and We Bless You!
Everyone Replies: Because by Your Holy Cross You Have Redeemed the World.

Then each leader names the station, and offers a reflection on it.

Between the stations – The leader will share a story about a Crucifix which is of importance to them. Have you a crucifix thats important to you? Please send us a picture, and a short description of why the Crucifix is special.

After each station we all say together: I love you Jesus, my love above all things. I repent with my whole heart of having offended you. Grant that I may always love you, and then do with me what you will.

Pray the Stations at home using the prayers and meditating for a moment on each station.

Music – Were You There When They Crucified My Lord

Introduction – Andrew 

1 & 2 – Claire

  1.          Jesus is condemned to death:

II.        Jesus is made to carry his cross:

3 & 4 – Declan

III.       Jesus falls the first time:

IV.       Jesus meets his Blessed Mother:

Music – The Old Rugged Cross

5 & 6 – Emily

V.        Simon of Cyrene is made to help Jesus carry his cross:

VI.       Veronica wipes the face of Jesus:

7 & 8 – Philip

VII.     Jesus falls the second time:

VIII.    The women of Jerusalem weep for Jesus:

9 & 10 – Teresa

IX.       Jesus falls the third time:

X.        Jesus is stripped of his garments:

11 & 12 – Fr. Paddy

XI.       Jesus is nailed to the cross:

XII.     Jesus dies on the cross:

13 & 14 – Margaret

XIII.    Jesus is taken down from the cross:

XIV.    Jesus is laid in the Tomb:

Music – Amazing Grace

Conclusion – Andrew

Pope Francis proclaims “Year of St Joseph”

Pope Francis recalls the 150th anniversary of the declaration of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To mark this, the Pontiff has set aside 8 December 2020, to 8 December 2021 as a Holy Year and written the Apostolic Letter “Patris corde” (“With a Father’s Heart”).

At the conclusion of his Letter, Pope Francis added a prayer to St Joseph, which he encourages all of us to pray together:

Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To you God entrusted his only Son; in you Mary placed her trust; with you Christ became man. Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father and guide us in the path of life. Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage, and defend us from every evil. Amen.

There is a special ‘Consecration’ to St. Joseph available.

We will be marking this year in our own parish at a later time.

Lent 2021

Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent are approaching. This will provide renewed opportunities for reflection and conversion – albeit under very challenging pastoral circumstances.

The Congregation for Divine Worship (The Vatican in Rome) has made it clear that it will not be possible to carry out the distribution ashes in the usual manner. With the “Stay at Home” message, and continuing public health restrictions on gathering for worship, we clearly cannot call people to gather in any way for the distribution of ashes.

For this reason the Archdiocese has been concentrating on developing resources to help people at home mark the beginning of Lent and enter into the spirit of this holy season. The following link on armaghprays will bring you to resources which families can use.

https://www.armaghprays.com/lent-2021

These resources will include a prayer service foAsh Wednesday at Home, with scripture reading, prayers of the faithful and an opportunity to make Lenten promises. The link also includes an invitation to symbolically mark – both personally and as a family – the importance of this moment.

This liturgy suggests that families may make a simple cross or ribbon which can be worn on Ash Wednesday instead of the usual mark on our foreheads. Some members of the Parish Pastoral Council have made some of these and they will be available in our Churches on Ash Wednesday, after the 9.30am Mass (online, via the Parish Facebook Page)

Lent is also an opportunity to provide some additional services e.g. online holy hours; Stations of the Cross; Lenten talks or reflections/thoughts for the day; lectio divina etc. These are ways in which we can keep the three Lenten themes of prayer, charity and fasting/self-denial alive in people’s hearts and minds. Please keep an eye on this website, or the Parish Facebook Page for up to date information.

Archbishop Martin responds…

Statement of Archbishop Eamon Martin on the publication of the report by the Commission of Inquiry into Mother & Baby Homes

  • “Above all we must continue to find ways of reaching out to those whose personal testimonies are central to this Report” – Archbishop Eamon

I welcome the publication of the Mother & Baby Homes Report.  As a Church leader today, I accept that the Church was clearly part of that culture in which people were frequently stigmatized, judged and rejected. For that, and for the long-lasting hurt and emotional distress that has resulted, I unreservedly apologise to the survivors and to all those who are personally impacted by the realities it uncovers.  Mindful of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which calls us to protect life and dignity and to treat everyone – especially little children and all who are vulnerable  – with love, compassion and mercy, I believe the Church must continue to acknowledge before the Lord and before others its part in sustaining what the Report describes as a “harsh … cold and uncaring atmosphere”. 

Although it may be distressing, it is important that all of us spend time in the coming days reflecting on this Report which touches on the personal story and experience of many families in Ireland.  The Commission’s Report helps to further open to the light what was for many years a hidden part of our shared history and it exposes the culture of isolation, secrecy and social ostracizing which faced “unmarried mothers” and their children in this country.

I ask all those who are in positions of leadership in the Church to study this lengthy report carefully and especially to spend time reflecting on the courageous testimonies of the witnesses to the Commission.  Together we must ask “How could this happen?”  We must identify, accept and respond to the broader issues which the Report raises about our past, present and future.

Above all we must continue to find ways of reaching out to those whose personal testimonies are central to this Report.  They have shown determination in bringing to light this dark chapter in the life of Church and society. We owe it to them to take time to study and reflect on the findings and recommendations of the Report, and commit to doing what we can to help and support them.  The Report makes it clear that many are still learning about their personal stories and searching for family members. The rights of all survivors to access personal information about themselves should be fully respected and I again urge the State to ensure that any remaining obstacles to information and tracing should be overcome.

The Commission believes that there may be people with further information about burial places who have not come forward.  I appeal to anyone who can help to do so.  All burial grounds should be identified and appropriately marked so that the deceased and their families will be recognized and never be forgotten.

This Report will hopefully speak not just to our past but will also have lessons for today and for future generations.  As Church, State and wider society we must ensure together that, in the Ireland of today, all children and their mothers feel wanted, welcomed and loved.  We must also continue to ask ourselves where people today might feel similarly rejected, abandoned, forgotten or pushed to the margins.

This report will stir many emotions as it further uncovers disturbing and painful truths about our past.  I commend those who have fought to have this story told and I thank those who have already been supporting survivors through various organisations and providing a platform for their voices to be heard.

ENDS

  • Archbishop Eamon Martin is Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm +353 (0) 87 310 4444.

The full report can be accessed here;

Parish Webcam in The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Tenure

A high-quality camera system has now been installed, in this Church and you can view any Mass/Wedding/Funera/Baptism held in the Church by visiting www.churchservices.tv and searching for our Church by name or county.

Please share this news with friends and family who live away from the parish.

It is possible to view the live stream on PC’s, laptops and a range of Apple and Android and other devices. They also have Roku app – for their TV box and stick.

If you would like make a donation to support the installation of the camera, or to support it’s monthly costs, please speak to Fr. Paddy.

A Joint Christmas Message from the Archbishops of Armagh

Archbishop Eamon Martin & Archbishop John McDowell

‘So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in a manger.’ Luke chapter 2 verse 16

There is an old prayer sometimes used around this time of year which talks about the time when Jesus Christ “came to visit us in great humility”. In one of Saint Paul’s letters, he talks about “Jesus not counting his equality with God something to be taken advantage of but taking the form of a servant …”

Could one of the positive consequences of this Christmas be that we have had to relearn how to approach it with humility and also how to celebrate it as servants of one another, rather than as lords of all we survey? For that is what we have been doing these past months. The face coverings and the empty streets have not been signs of fear and desolation. Instead, they are the evidences of love and of a resolve to secure the future.

They say that Saint Francis created the first Christmas crib back in 1223 because he wanted to capture the humility of the incarnation.  When the time was right God humbled himself. He became part of his own creation in a particular way and in a particular place. His Mother was one of the “poor ones” who prayed daily in the Temple for the redemption of Israel. Palestine was an out of the way place and the “Holy Family” of Jesus, Mary and Joseph attracted little attention at the time. That was to be the pattern of his life. He ate his bread in quietness for thirty years, working at his father’s trade as the means whereby he was prepared by his Father for the public vocation had been laid out for him. Apart from the occasion of his finding in the temple, we have no words of his as he grew up in that workman’s family – perhaps he came to speak with such power because he had learned to love silence.

He was not the citizen of a great Empire like Saint Paul, and throughout his life he held no office or position of religious dignity or civic standing. What has survived of his teaching is usually expressed in simple pictorial speech. Like most people of his time, he seems to have had little or no formal education, yet he was never at the mercy of the subtle question, and he was able to cut straight through the pedantry of the scribes.

We are now celebrating the beginning of this life, quietly and perhaps still with some trepidation. We have had to concede that we do not really understand the world and acknowledge that we cannot “manage it”. But Christmas is the time when we call to mind the coming into the world of God himself. And he came, not to manage it, but to redeem it. He came not to dominate it and to exploit if, but to serve it and to bring it to its intended fruition.

He came and he lived (and died) in great humility as the servant of all.

+Eamon   Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh        

+John Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678

New Arrangements for Christmas

Statement of  22nd December 2020

Dear Parishioners, 

Although I continue to recover well from Covid-19, at this stage I will not be symptom free long enough (5 days) to allow me to celebrate the Masses this Christmas. 

With thanks to fellow clergy, and Patrick Logue, I am pleased to be able to confirm the flowing schedule of Masses;

1. Christmas Eve – 4.30pm – Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure – will go ahead

2. Christmas Eve – 6pm – Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure – will go ahead ✅  as a Service of the Liturgy of the Word, with Holy Communion.

3. Christmas Eve – 7.30pm – Church of the Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown – will go ahead

4. Christmas Eve – 9pm – Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure – will go ahead

Christmas Eve – 10.30pm – Church of the Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown – will not go ahead

Christmas Eve – Midnight – Church of the Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown – will not go ahead

Fr. Paddy will offer Mass ONLINE  on the Parish Facebook Page at 11pm on Christmas Eve

Christmas Day – 9.45am – Church of the Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown – will not go ahead

5.Christmas Day – 11.15am – Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure – will go ahead

I apologise for any disappointment, if you’re not able to attend Mass as planned. Thank you for your support and understanding at  this time.  Wishing you, and your family every blessing this Christmas.

If you had planned to attend any of the Masses but have not received a ticket from the Parish Office, know that your name will be on the attendance list in the Church for the Mass you have booked. Please do not turn up if you have not booked a seat.