Dear Parishioners, welcome back!

In line with Government and HSE guidelines, Fr Paddy & the Parish Pastoral Council in consultation with the Covid-19 Support Team can confirm that all Churches will reopen for public worship from Monday May 10th.

Our Mass schedule will remain as it was;

Tuesdays 9.30am (Tenure)         Wednesdays 9.30am (Fieldstown)            

Fridays 8pm (Tenure)       Saturdays 6.30pm Vigil (Tenure)           

Sundays 9.45am (Fieldstown) Sundays 11.15am (Tenure)

The Social distancing, mask wearing, hand hygiene & one way systems within the Church will still be in place, as a reminder you may wish to bring a coat as doors will remain open to allow good ventilation.

The Archbishop received clarification from the Office of An Taoiseach on a number of issues as follows: Where the size of the premises/Place of Worship allows for a capacity of greater than 50 this may be permitted in PODS only where:

  • social distancing guidelines are adhered to.
  • the premises can be subdivided into distinct sections (cordoned or marked appropriately) of not more than 50 persons in each section.
  • there is a minimum of 4 metres between sections.
  • each section having its own entrance/exit route.
  • separate arrangements for the distribution of Holy Communion.
  • strictly no movement of people between sections before, during or after the service.
  • the premises is well-ventilated.

On this basis, 100 people (2 pods x 50) can be accomodated at each Mass in Tenure, and 50 people at each Mass in Fieldstown.

The Archbishop reminds the faithful that the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays & Holy Days remains suspended at this time and every person should consider carefully if returning to collective worship is the safe and appropriate step for them at this time.

We invite participation, where possible, by way of live-streaming which will continue for all our Masses. 

Finally, we extend sincere gratitude to parish teams – incl. sacristans, stewards and cleaners – who generously ensure that our churches are safe environments

The Shape of Parish – Week 4

The Shape of Parish: What are your thoughts on What it means to be Church, and how we might better be ‘God’s people’, & build The Kingdom in these post-pandemic times.

Quotes from a chapter in a new book released ‘Maynooth College Reflects on Covid-19: New Realities in Uncertain Times’ (Feb 2021, Messenger Publications) include;

“The evolution of the kind of Church envisaged by Pope Francis in what has been described as his ‘manifesto’ of 2013 Evangelii Gaudium (quoted here in the Bulletin of 18th April), is a demanding yet, exciting task”… 

“It is as if some new seeds planted have been germinating in the dark of lockdown, and may yet produce fresh fruit of authentically faithful living”. 

“Is it possible that the ‘lay involvement; which has been genuinely desired by many pastoral leaders for years was perceived by most laity to be beyond their range? … Our experience is of parishioners taking a step along the way from being fed and led to a readiness to feed and lead”.

Fr. Paddy would like to offer an opportunity for parishioners to engage about what it might mean to come back to Mass, & what effects the Covid pandemic might have.

Join a Zoom discussion on ‘The Shape of Parish’
on Sunday 9th May at 4pm. 
Meeting ID: 815 5300 7905   Password: 760947 

All welcome.

The Shape of Parish – week 3

Amazingly after many decades of Catholic education, there are still many parishioners who struggle to know what their faith says about a particular topic, and to understand it. This is especially true about topics such as Sexuality and Morality.  While there are a huge number of resources available for faith formation individually, or as a family, we must be careful to avoid extremes, and follow only reliable sources; 

Thomas Groome is a world-renowned authority on religious education, in his book, “What makes us Catholic” he asks Who do we think we are? In what will we invest? What is our heart’s desire? The answers to these & five other basic questions, for Groome, are “gifts for life”.

He goes further – saying that while the Church provides a space where we are nourished and guided, prayed with and prayed for, encouraged and corrected, it needs to examine whether its purpose and mission are being fully realized. According to Groome, “Religion that does not nurture people’s spirituality is as dead as a doornail” (p. 273).

As we prepare, Fr. Paddy would like to offer an opportunity for parishioners to engage about what it might mean to come back to Mass, & what effects the  Covid pandemic might have. Fr. Paddy will lead a Zoom Meeting on ‘The Shape of Parish’ on Sunday 9th May at 4pm. 

More details next week.

The Shape of Parish – week 2

The Shape of Parish: As we prepare for returning to public worship, Fr. Paddy would like to offer an opportunity for parishioners to engage about what it might mean to come back to Mass, and what effects the Covid pandemic might have as we go froward. 

The recently retired Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin spoke about the future of the Irish Church ten years ago at a conference in Cambridge; His speaking notes can be accessed here;

These words are very relevant – even 10 years into the future; He said;

“the Church in Ireland is facing a real crisis…”;

“The abuse scandal has deeply wounded the trust that Irish people had in the Church and it will take much effort to regain the confidence of many, right across the generations…”;

“The Catholic Church in Ireland will inevitably become more a minority culture. The challenge is to ensure that it is not an irrelevant minority culture…”; 

What are your thoughts on what it means to be Church?, and how we might better be ‘God’s people’, and build The Kingdom in these post-pandemic times?

More next week.

Vocations Sunday

Sunday 25th April is the 58th Anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations also known as “Good Shepherd Sunday.”

The purpose of this day of prayer is to publicly fulfill the Lord’s instruction to, “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest” (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2). As a climax to a prayer that is continually offered throughout the Church, it affirms the primacy of faith and grace in all that concerns vocations to the priesthood & to consecrated life.

While appreciating all vocations, the Church concentrates its attention this day on vocations to the ordained ministries (priesthood and diaconate), consecrated life in all its forms (male and female religious life, societies of apostolic life, consecrated virginity), secular institutes in their diversity of services and membership, and to the missionary life.

Please pray that young men and women hear and respond generously to the Lord’s call to the priesthood, diaconate, religious life, societies of apostolic life or secular institutes.

Resources for promoting vocations can be found at www.vocations.ie

Pope Francis’ Message for Vocations Sunday can be accessed here;

“There is no salvation through anyone else.”

Does a life of joy in knowing you are following the Lord as a priest, deacon or in the consecrated life inspire you?

Speak to your local priest, or contact your Diocesan Vocations Director
Fr. Peter: pmcanenly21@gmail.com; 048 37522802)

or email the National Vocations Office on info@vocations.ie

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.