Synod 2023

You may have read about the Synthesis document sent to Rome in preparation for the Synod of 2023.

You can read it here

It calls for a major change in the Church’s attitude to women, the LGBTQ+ Community, those married, divorced and single parents. It also recommends the removal of mandatory celibacy for priests.

Some thought the bishop would fudge it, not so. In his covering letter, Archbishop Martin of Armagh said, “Our listening process has identified the need for a more inclusive outreach, reaching out to those who have left the Church behind and in some cases feel excluded, forgotten or ignored”. It’s really worth a read.

Some have expressed disappointment that important issues outside the Church structures barely got a mention. Social justice, care for the poor, care for the earth etc.

We of course need to provide new structures of lay leadership and inclusion. We need to prepare for a lay-led parish, or at the least, more lay involvement in leadership. We need to prepare new leaders especially among the young but, it all has to be based on personal transformation, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and renewal based on the Gospel.

One possible way forward is to use The Alpha Experience – a wonderful introduction to Jesus Christ, and his mission to save our world. We will be running the Alpha Programme in the Pastoral Areasome time later this year. However, before then…

Alpha will help you get to know Jesus!

Alpha Ireland: Conference for those interested in making MORE of Parish – will be held in St Catherine’s Church, Dublin 8 on Saturday 24 Sept 2022. See the full lineup on our website https://alphaireland.org/multiply  Our theme for AIC22 is Multiply as we bring together the best minds in mission to offer a one-day bootcamp of mission. Come together to be inspired, encouraged and equipped for evangelisation. Tickets are just €25 pp (Parish will sponsor these if you are interested) We would love to see you there!

Contact Fr. Paddy or The Parish Office for more information.

Blessing of The Graves 2022

We were delighted to be able to hold all three of the Blessings of the Graves in beautiful summer sunshine. Thanks so much to everyone who prepared for and participated in the liturgies, and all who came from near and far to attend the blessings. Thanks especially to Joe Finnegan who recorded them – they are linked here, and on our parish Facebook Page. Please share with family and friends who weren’t able to attend or who live abroad, and please God, we’ll see you all again in Summer 2023.

Mullery was on Sunday 24th July @ 12noon;  

The Blessing of Mullery on 24th July 2022

Ballymakenny was Sunday 31st July @ 12 noon 

The Blessing of Ballymakenny on 31st July 2022

Monasterboice was Sunday 7th August @ 12noon (NB Change of Time)

Help for Ukraine

 A special collection for the People of Ukraine will taken up at all Masses in Ireland this weekend.

People are also invited to support the charitable initiatives of Aid to the Church in Need, the Jesuit Refugee Service, and Trócaire, which is currently responding to the crisis through its partners Caritas Ukraine and Caritas Poland which have a strong presence in the region and can use resources strategically to the greatest effect. 

A fundraising ‘bring and buy’ is being organised by PPC members & others in Drumshallon Forge on Sunday 27th from 2.30 to 5.30, all proceeds going to The Irish Red Cross Ukraine Fund – please lend your support.

Local Gathering for Synod Feedback

You are invited to gather – in person – at The Forge, Drumshallon on Wednesday 23rd February, 2022 at 8pm – to participate in a consultative process. All Welcome.

As many of you already know, Pope Francis has called on the Global Catholic Church to engage in a process of ‘Listening’ in a new way to the voice of the Spirit, about how the Church is to face the challenges of the future.

This process is called a Synod

Each Country, and each Diocese has been asked to organise opportunities for all people to participate in the process;

Together, all the baptised are the subject of the sensus fidelium, the living voice of the People of God. At the same time, in order to participate fully in the act of discerning, it is important for the baptised to hear the voices of other people in their local context, including people who have left the practice of the faith, people of other faith traditions, people of no religious belief, etc. For as the Council declares: “The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to  raise an echo in their hearts” (GS, 1).  For this reason, while all the baptized are specifically called to take part in the Synodal Process, no one – no matter their religious affiliation – should be excluded from sharing their perspective and experiences, insofar as they want to help the Church on her synodal journey of seeking what is good and true. This is especially true of those who are most vulnerable or marginalized. 

https://www.synod.va/content/dam/synod/document/common/vademecum/Vademecum-EN-A4.pdf
The Synodal Process is first and foremost a spiritual process.
It is not a mechanical data-gathering exercise or a series of meetings and debates

Our Country has a website dedicated to the process – you can find it here

The Armagh Diocesan Synodal Core Group is very mindful of the difficulties Covid-19 has posed for parishes. It has organised a virtual consultation that will broadcast twice a day 3pm and 8.30pm, Monday to Friday, from the 7th February to the 25th February on the St. Patrick’s Cathedral Webcam.  

The webcam can be accessed through the Armagh Parish Website at www.armaghparish.net/cathedral-webcam

The video can be tuned into at those times by anyone who wishes to learn more about the synod and to take time to reflect on the questions posed.  It lasts approximately 45 minutes and can be used by individuals, family groups, parish groups and indeed any group or organisation who wants to be involved. 

 The video can also be accessible through YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch/S3scX2xCX0Y and many other resources for the synod can be found on www.armaghprays.com

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Finally, our Pastoral Area, St. Colmcille’s (The parishes of Clogherhead, Monasterboice, Termonfechin and Togher), all have the chance to gather – in person – at The Forge, Drumshallon on Wednesday 23rd February, 2022 at 8pm – to participate in a consultative process. All Welcome.

In this sense, it is clear that the purpose of this Synod is not to produce more documents. Rather, it is intended to inspire people to dream about the Church we are called to be, to make people’s hopes flourish, to stimulate trust, to bind up wounds, to weave new and deeper relationships, to learn from one another, to build bridges, to enlighten minds, warm hearts, and restore strength to our hands for our common mission (PD, 32). Thus the objective of this Synodal Process is not only a series of exercises that start and stop, but rather a journey of growing authentically towards the communion and mission that God calls the Church to live out in the third millennium.  This journey together will call on us to renew our mentalities and our ecclesial structures in order to live out God’s call for the Church amid the present signs of the times. Listening to the entire People of God will help the Church to make pastoral decisions that correspond as closely as possible to God’s will (ITC, Syn., 68) The ultimate perspective to orient this synodal path of the Church is to serve the dialogue of God with humanity (DV, 2) and to journey together the kingdom of God (cf. LG, 9; RM, 20). In the end, this Synodal Process seeks to move towards a Church that is more fruitfully at the service of the coming of the kingdom of heaven. 

https://www.synod.va/content/dam/synod/document/common/vademecum/Vademecum-EN-A4.pdf
The Synod Logo

The Prayer for The Synod

Please share this information on your Social Media.

The Alpha Programme (online) – An Invitation!

please click here -> to see video – https://fb.watch/axTDY4uArK/

Fr. Paddy is asking you to consider joining him in taking on this course.
It will be good for anyone, but especially for those who – as he says in this video – have found themselves drifting away from the Church, or disillusioned by it or the scandals, or if you simply dont know what faith teaches.

Would you consider spending 11 Tuesday evenings investing your time in exploring how Faith can relate to your life in normal but powerful ways? This can happen online from the comfort of your own home for just 1 hour each night

What is it? The Alpha Course is a friendly, engaging, non-judgemental approach to exploring the ‘big’ questions of life from a Christian standpoint. Why are we here? Does God really guide us? Where does Faith and Prayer fit in? Why is there Evil in the World?

Who is it for? It can be for those who are already heavily involved in their Parish of for those who would like to be involved or more involved. Whatever about involvement, it certainly is for those who are seeking and searching for deeper meaning in life which can easily relate to Life to Faith.

What can I expect? 25 Minutes of a thought provoking DVD followed by group discussion with a facilitator. This Course is not a heavy learning session but about reacting to the clip you’ve seen and sharing your thoughts. 

For the first time, this Alpha is being run on a Nationwide basis with each parish having its own small group of 7 to 8 people.

Course starts Tuesday 18th January @8pm

If you’re interested please check out alphaireland.org/refocus  for more details and online Registration.

Blessings for the New Year

On behalf of the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC), and indeed all involved in our parish community, Fr. Paddy extends prayers for the blessings of health and happiness to all our parishioners, and indeed the whole community. May the New Year be a peaceful and joy-filled time for us all.

Fr. Paddy shared part of this reflection for the first Masses of the New Year.

God of all time, help us enter the New Year quietly,
thoughtful of who we are to ourselves and to others,
mindful that our steps make an impact
and our words carry power.

May we walk gently.
May we speak only after we have listened well.

Creator of all life,
help us enter the New Year reverently,
aware that you have endowed
every creature and plant, every person and habitat
with beauty and purpose.

May we regard the world with tenderness.
May we honor rather than destroy.

Lover of all souls,
help us enter the New Year joyfully,
willing to laugh and dance and dream,
remembering our many gifts with thanks
and looking forward to blessings yet to come.

May we welcome your lavish love.
In this new year, may the grace and peace of Christ bless us now and in the days ahead.

With the help of God, in 2022 we will deepen our faith in God, and come closer together as a community of faith.

There are some exciting projects in the pipeline for this year, so please do continue to connect with us and thank you for your support of our Parish.

Even the Pope goes to Confession…

Yes, Pope Francis went to Confession, publicly, in St. Peter’s Basilica, after leading a penitential service.

The Holy Father said the Christian way begins with taking a step backward, with removing oneself from the centre to make room for God.

This same criterion, this same outlook, applied to confession, can provoke a revolution in the life of each person: I am no longer at the centre of the sacrament of penance, humiliated with my list of sins — perhaps always the same ones — to be told with difficulty to the priest.

At the centre is the encounter with God who welcomes, embraces, forgives, raises up.

“One does not go to confession,” the Pope explained, “as chastised people who must humble themselves, but as children who run to receive the Father’s embrace.

And the Father lifts us up in every situation, He forgives our every sin. Hear this well: God always forgives! Do you understand? God always forgives!” One is not going to a judge to settle accounts, but “to Jesus who loves me and heals me”.

Confessions for Christmas

Tuesday 21st – 7-8pm, Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure

Thursday 23rd – 7-8pm, Church of our Lady of The Nativity, Fieldstown

Friday 24th – 1-2pm, Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure

Parish Arrangements for Christmas 2021

Update – as of 12.30am Saturday 18th December 2021;

The first two Masses of Christmas Eve – 5pm & 6.30pm Tenure)- are now completely booked out.
Please DO NOT turn up without having booked a ticket. Capacity limits will be in operation.
Nb – There is a waiting list, and we appeal to anyone whose plans have changed to release their tickets back into the system for re-distribution, thank you.

The third Mass (8pm, Fieldstown) is 80% booked (Only 20 tickets remain)

The final Mass for Christmas Eve (9.30pm in Fieldstown) still has 75% Availability

The Christmas Day Mass (9.45am in Fieldstown) is only 12% booked (88 Tickets remaining)

The 11.15am Mass in Tenure on Christmas Day is 42% booked (87 Tickets left)

Post of 11th December 2021

Covid-19 continues to impact on our lives, especially when considering large gatherings. After some reflection, and adhering to Government guidelines, the following times are proposed;

Christmas Eve (Friday 24th) Masses:

The Crib in The Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure

Tenure – 5pm & 6.30pm – max 150 at each Mass
Fieldstown – 8pm & 9.30pm – max 100 at each Mass

Christmas Day (Saturday 25th) Masses:

Fieldstown – 9.45am & Tenure – 11.15am

This schedule will facilitate 750 people to attend Mass for Christmas (almost 5 times the number that attend each week currently). While I understand that you may not find the time/Church that you normally attend. Please try to be flexible and you must follow all guidelines.

You must book a FREE ticket to attend.

As with last year, tickets will be available online at Eventbrite and will be released on Wednesday 15th December at 9am. Bookings will close on Tuesday 21st December at midnight.

The Sanctuary of The Church of The Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown, Advent 2020

For those without internet access, please contact the Parish Office (Mary/Ann 087 379 1443 or Fr. Paddy 086 880 7470ONLY on Tuesday 14th December from 2.30 – 5.30pm.

The most important thing is that we continue to do everything we can to keep each other safe over Christmas. Thank you for helping to achieve this. 

May the peace of the Christ-child be in your hearts and homes this Christmas. Happy Christmas!

St. Buithe’s 1500th Anniversary

In our parish, we had hoped to commemorate him with a Triduum of Prayer, however, in recent weeks, as Covid numbers continued to rise, we felt it wouldn’t be good to be promoting gatherings for extra events. Hopefully we will have an opportunity to do something more significant in the spring/summer.

However, we didn’t want to let the moment pass without some commemoration, therefore we have decided to hold the following;

1. Sunday 5th December – Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 7pm, from the Church of The Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown – commemorating the life of St. Buithe. Available on the ‘Fieldstown’ tab of this website https://www.churchservices.tv/monasterboice

2. Monday 6th December – Online reflection on the life of St. Buithe and the prayer and work of Monasterboice in the 6th Century – at 7pm on Zoom. Meeting ID: 862 9538 8975. Passcode: 730302

3. Tuesday 7th December – Rosary from the Round Tower at Monasterboice – at 7pm, live on the Monasterboice Parish Facebook Page.

We would like to invite you – and anyone you wish to share the information with – to join us for any/all of the events

He was born in 445, and probably met St. Patrick as a youth. Leaving Ireland, he was trained and ordained in Italy, and after a stay in Germany travelled to eastern Scotland, where he encountered King Nectan of the Picts

It is said that Buithe raised Nectan from the dead, and in gratitude the king gave the saint the land for the Church of Buithe (Kirkbuddo).

Returning to Ireland in about 500 AD, Buithe was given land at Monasterboice by the local King Eoin O’Cassidy, and founded a monastery and school at Monasterboice. This was one of the most important sites in ireland for six centuries, becoming known as An Manistair (The Monastery)

This school was known for its sculpture; the Crosses of Monasterboice are world renowned. They incorporate representation of Biblical subjects directly on the Crosses, visual lessons for the faithful and less likely to be destroyed than were books. Two of these crosses, including the Muireadach Cross dating from 923, survive at Monasterboice.

Around 1097, there was a massive fire at the site, and many of its treasures of books and art were destroyed. And in the year 1142, a new Monastery was established at Mellifont.

St. Buithe/Boice died on 7th December 521, & foretold the birth of St. Colmcille, who was born on the day Buithe died.

We have close ties with the people of through the work of Rev. Allan Webster, a Church of Scotland mInister and historian, who worked with Fr. John Hanratty, PP, and along with the local communities they set up a twinning between Monasterboice and Letham (nearest town to Kirkbuddo). Most recently visitors from Letham visited Monasterboice.

You can hear/see Maria Callery (Monasterboice) speaking about St. Buithe here

Our Lady of Fieldstown

Our Lady of Fieldstown

Last year (2020) during Lockdown, it was suggested at a Parish Pastoral Council Meeting, that we should explore erecting a Shrine to Our Lady on the outside of the Church in Fieldstown.

Very quickly the idea took momentum, and through the stalwart work of Enda Fahy, and his son, Gavin, the base and arch of the Shrine were constructed. Margaret Fahy, Clare Murphy and Emily Halpin painted the wall, prepared the flowers and helped by Teresa Mulroy, our Sacristan, prepared the Shrine for the arrival of the new statue.

Eventually, after Mass on Sunday, 31st October, the shrine and statue were blessed and dedicated, and Mary Brennan penned a lovely poem for the occasion, from which we got the name, Our Lady of Fieldstown.

Thanks to everyone whose vision, hard work, and support brought this special project to completion. We now have a lovely shrine which we hope will inspire many to turn to Our Lady for help and protection – especially in these difficult times.