Parish Arrangements for Holy Week & Easter 2023

Holy Week is the culmination of Lent, and brings us to the highlight of the Christian Year – Easter! The Easter season begins with the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus and continues for the next 50 days, until the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. The color of the Easter season is white, representing Christ’s victory over death. The music is filled with joyful alleluias.

Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, when we read the Passion of Jesus (The long Gospel!). The Gospel will be proclaimed – in parts – at all Masses in the Parish this weekend. There will also be devotions (Adoration & Benediction) held at 7.30pm that night in The Church of The Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown.

Confessions will be held throughout Holy Week;
After any Mass.
Monday 3rd – from 7.30 – 8pm in The Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure.
Holy Thursday, 6th April – from after Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper in The Church of The Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown until Night Prayer at 10pm.
Good Friday, 7th April – from 3-4pm in The Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure and from after the Stations of the Cross in The Church of The Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown.
Holy Saturday, 8th April – from 12noon -1pm in The Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure.

On Wednesday 5th April (Spy Wednesday), Archbishop Eamon, along with the clergy of the diocese, will celebrate the Chrism Mass in The Cathedral, at 7pm. All are welcome. In particular, an invitation to attend is extended to families with children who will make Confirmation this year. The Mass is also available via webcam at
The Chrism Mass reminds us of our oneness in Christ through Baptism and its holy anointing, made possible by the ministry of the archbishop and his priests. The Chrism Mass is also a key moment in which the unity of the archbishop with his priests (together, they form the presbyterate) is manifested and renewed. During the liturgy, the entire assembly is called to renew its baptismal promises; deacons and priests also renew their vow of obedience to the local (arch)bishop and their commitment to serve God’s people. At the end of the Chrism Mass, the Holy Oils are blessed for use in the coming year.  These are: 

  • Oil of the Sick
  • Oil of Catechumens
  • Sacred Chrism

Whenever the Holy Oils are used in a diocese, the ministry of the bishop who consecrated them is symbolically present.


Thursday 6th April, Holy Thursday, sees the Mass of The Last Supper, with the traditional symbolism of The Washing of The Feet. The Altar is stripped after the Mass, the Blessed Sacrament reserved in another placed, and the Church enters into the period of writing for The Resurrection. Mass will be celebrated in The Church of The Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown, at 8pm, with Night Prayer at 10pm.

Good Friday, 7th April, is a most solemn day. It is a day of mourning, fast and abstinence. The Celebration of The Lord’s Passion will take place at 3pm in The Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure. Stations of the Cross will be prayed at 8pm in The Church of The Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown.

The Easter Vigil will take place on Holy Saturday, 8th April at 9pm, in The Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure. With its full and symbolic liturgy, this Mass is one of the most important celebrated in the life of the Parish. All are welcome.

Easter Sunday begins with the Dawn Mass outside of The Church of The Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown, at 5.45am, and is always a special celebration. The usual Sunday Masses follow.

The Lord is Risen! Alleluia!

The Chosen – for Lent

The Chosen, the first multi-season show about Jesus’s life, hopes to take you deeper into gospel stories by retelling and expounding on the character and intentions of Jesus and those who knew Him.

Monasterboice Parish is watching the First Season as a Lenten exercise – every Sunday evening during Lent at 6pm, in Drumshallon Forge. All Welcome.

As the biggest crowdfunded project in TV history, The Chosen is the first-ever multi-season show about the life of Jesus. This series allows viewers to see the life of Jesus through the eyes of those that knew Him. Follow the transformations of His followers through the ministry of Jesus as He journeys to change the world.

The Chosen is as well made and entertaining as many network dramas.

Rather than merely reciting Jesus’s greatest hits, Jenkins and his writers linger with characters in their daily lives—marital and professional conflicts, financial struggles, campfire gatherings. When the audience sees climactic moments from the Gospels, such as Jesus’s miraculous healing of a leper, the events register as disruptions of the status quo.

Although The Chosen stays faithful to the broad trajectory of the Christian Bible, it also creates some speculative backstories. Scripture mentions Jesus exorcising a demon from Mary Magdalene as almost a passing detail; The Chosen centers it in a tale that explains her subsequent devotion to Christ.
Jews who collected taxes for Rome were considered traitors, so the show’s writers depict Matthew the tax collector as on the autism spectrum, reasoning that a social outcast might gravitate toward a profitable but thankless job.
The account of Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding might be well known, but in the show, the miracle also saves the bride’s working-class parents from embarrassing the groom’s wealthy father.

The Chosen’s Jonathan Roumie plays Jesus as someone you’d actually like to hang out with, projecting divine gravity accented with easygoing warmth. He cracks jokes; he dances at parties. “What The Chosen has done well is give us kind of a robust portrait of a highly relatable Jesus that moves beyond some of the holier-than-thou, untouchable, unapproachable portraits of Jesus in the past,” says Terence Berry, the COO of the Wedgwood Circle, an investment group that finances faith-based media.

A Trailer for The Chosen

Download The Chosen App to watch the entire series for free!

Supporting The Earthquake Relief Effort

We have all been heartbroken watching the toll from the deadly earthquake mount. We think of and pray for those who have lost their lives, those who are working so hard to recover anyone still alive, and all who have been affected by this unthinkable tragedy.

We join our prayers to those of the Holy Father

Many are already supporting the relief effort, but its important to do so as practically as possible, and its good to know that some of the major Irish humanitarian organisations have launched a joint-appeal calling on the Irish public to help support people impacted by the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

Irish Emergency Alliance members Trócaire, Action Aid, Christian Aid, Plan International, Tearfund and World Vision Ireland, are responding to the crisis by fundraising to provide food, water, blankets, hygiene kits and shelter.

Please visit to make a donation.

Take Care of Him – Message for The World Day of Prayer for the Sick

Bishop Michael Router, chairperson of the Council for Healthcare of the Bishops’ Conference, has welcomed Pope Francis message for the 2023 World Day of the Sick which takes place this Saturday, 11 February, on the the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.  This year’s theme is ‘Take care of him: compassion is a synodal exercise of healing’. and is inspired by the parable of the good Samaritan in the Gospel of Luke.

Bishop Router said, “As a Church we are journeying along a synodal path together and the experience of vulnerability and illness helps us to accompany each other, as Pope Francis says, in ‘closeness, compassion, and tenderness.’  Such care for those who are weak and sick is a “synodal exercise of healing”.  For some, illness can bring an experience of isolation and abandonment, which the Pope calls inhumane.”

Bishop Michael ‘s Video is on The Catholic Bishop’s Twitter Feed & reposted The Monasterboice Parish Twitter Page & other social media

“Referring to the parable of the Good Samaritan, Pope Francis makes the point that the man who was beaten by the robbers was abandoned when he needed help.  Many are, unfortunately, abandoned and left without care and assistance in today’s world and there are frequent assaults on human life and dignity caused by injustice and violence.  While respectable members of society pass by the injured man on the road in Jesus’ parable, a despised foreigner is moved by compassion to respond and treat him like a brother.

“Pope Francis draws attention to the modern day ‘pervasive culture of efficiency’ which leaves no room for frailty and seeks to marginalise the vulnerable.  The Church must stand against such a culture which allows such practices as euthanasia and assisted suicide to be presented as acceptable in a civilised society.  The mission of the Church is manifested in acts of care and through such outreach she becomes a true ‘field hospital’ where no one is forgotten or disposable.

Bishop Router continued, “The Pope also draws our attention to the pressing need for ‘strategies and resources in order to guarantee each person’s fundamental right to basic and decent healthcare.’  The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed ‘the structural limits of existing public welfare systems.’  It seems that the prioritising of economic success over universal care and compassion is leaving more and more people on the margins – among them the homeless, the refugee, the poor, the patient on the hospital trolley, the drug addict”

“As he brings his message to a close, Pope Francis reiterates the point that the sick are at the centre of the Christian community and that the “Church advances together with them as a sign of a humanity in which everyone is precious and no one should be discarded or left behind”.  The Holy Father concludes by entrusting all the sick, their families and carers, healthcare workers and scientific researchers, to the care and intercession of Mary, ‘Health of the Sick,’” Bishop Router concluded.

World Day of the Sick was established in 1993 by Pope John Paul II and a message is issued annually to commemorate the occasion. Each year the World Day of the Sick is celebrated on 11 February in a different Marian shrine. World Day of the Sick is a day of intense prayer for all who are suffering pain, infirmity and sickness.  In this way the faithful express solidarity with those who suffer – this solidarity arises from our awareness of the mystery of suffering and its place in God’s loving plan for every individual.  Those who dedicate themselves to the world of health care enter the most intimate part of the individual, into his/her existence as a spiritual being.  By caring for the sick and needy we bring the good news of the Gospel alive by offering an authentic sign of love that “the Kingdom of God is close at hand” (Mark 1: 15).

Please see link to the full statement of Pope Francis for the World Day of the Sick 2023

Liturgies & Devotionals This Week in Parish Churches

This week, is a busy one when it comes to devotional practices for Catholics.

Wednesday 1st February is the Feast day of St. Brigid – the Secondary Patron (next to St. Patrick) of Ireland. Her feast been growing in popularity in recent years, and Louth has a number of connections with this great saint. You can read more about St. Brigid here

There will be Mass (as usual) on The Church of Our Lady of The Nativity, Fieldstown, at 9.30am, and St. Brigid’s Crosses (made be volunteers) will be blessed at the Mass, and available for a suggested donation of €3.

Thursday 2nd February is Candlemass day – The Feast of the Presentation of The Lord. Today’s feast is celebrated in our Church forty days after Christmas, marking the day that Mary and Joseph would have brought Jesus into the Temple. 

Under Mosaic law found in the Old Testament Book of Leviticus, a Jewish woman who gave birth to a child was considered unclean (see 12:1-8). The mother of a newborn could not routinely go out into public and had to avoid all things sacred, including the Temple. If her child was a male, this exclusion lasted for 40 days. At the end of the days the woman presented herself at the Temple to be purified. If the baby was her firstborn male child, the infant was brought along to the Temple to be dedicated to the Lord. The law in Exodus specifies that the first male child belongs to God (see 13:2-16)

“Candlemass” is also a traditional name given to today’s feast because as early as the fifth century, the custom of celebrating this feast with lighted candles developed. The Gospel of Luke explains that the old prophet Simeon and the prophetess Anna were at the Temple that day (see 2:22-38). They, like many others, had spent their lifetime waiting, longing for a Messiah, and the Holy Spirit had revealed to Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the Savior. The lit candles symbolized Simeon’s prophecy that Jesus would be “a light for revelation to the Gentiles.”

Mass & the blessing of Candles will take place at 9.30am in The Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure. Candles will be available in both Churches after Mass for a suggested donation of €1.

Friday 3rd February is the Feast day of St. Blaise. He was a physician who eventually was ordained a bishop in the 4th Century and he worked hard to encourage the spiritual and physical health of his followers. His protection of those with throat ailments comes from a story of a woman whose son had a fish bone lodged in his throat. The woman brought her son to St Blaise who instantly healed him just as the boy was on the point of death.

After being made a bishop, a new persecution of Christians began and Blaise received a message from God to go into the hills and hide to escape persecution. He hid in the caves and during his time there, he developed a connection to wild animals. Many of them were sick whom he cured as he did with the boy.

One day, a group of men hunting in the mountains discovered the cave St Blaise was hiding in. He was instantly recognised as a bishop and taken hostage. The men took him back for a trial and, on the way, they passed a wolf who had stolen a pig which belonged to a poor woman. Having built a connection with wild animals, Blaise was able to talk the wolf into releasing the pig. This bought him some time when he was starved by his captor for the woman grateful for Blaise’s help sneaked food into the prison.

He refused to denounce his faith and upheld it, even when he was cruelly beaten. Eventually, Blaise was sentenced to death by the governor.

 On his feast day, traditionally two blessed candles are crossed over and pressed against either side of one’s throat as a blessing is said;

Through the intercession of St. Blaise,
Bishop and Martyr, may you be delivered
from all ailments of the throat and from
every other evil + Amen.

Throats will be blessed at the following times in Tenure; 8.45am – 9.15am; 1pm and after 7pm Mass
and in Fieldstown from 6.15pm-6.45pm

Word of God Sunday / Bible Zoom – 5th February 2023 @ 5pm

To mark the recent Word of God Sunday (3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time – 22nd January), Monasterboice Parish has organised a Facilitated Online Zoom to highlight the importance of the Bible in our Spiritual life.

Mr. Patrick Logue who has a Masters degree in Scripture will facilitate the presentation, which will focus on how we might be better able to spend time with God’s Word. The Zoom has been organised by Fr. Paddy Rushe, PP of Monasterboice Parish, and Vf of St. Colmcille’s Pastoral Area.

Everyone is welcome to join in. The Zoom will begin at 5pm and the login details are;

MEETING ID – 885 7300 2895 PASSWORD – 657146

Patrick will make a small presentation on Scripture – especially as it pertains to Pope Francis’ call relating to the Word of God Sunday. There will be an opportunity for questions, and sharing, and the Zoom will finish with a Scripture prayer.

Please feel free to join us and spread the word.

Moving Forward Together on the Synodal Journey

A Pastoral Message from Archbishop Eamon Martin, Bishop Michael Router and the Synodal Core Group for the Archdiocese of Armagh

Please click here for the full message:

The Archdiocese will collate feedback from parishes and gather again  a further gathering in the Carrickdale Hotel on Thursday December 1st. The diocesan feedback from that meeting will inform the national input at the Continental Ecclesial Assembly that will take place in Prague from the 5th to the 12th of February, 2023.

Plus there will be a Meeting about the whole process in the Pastoral Area, during Advent. Please check back for further details.

Christmas Arrangements 2022

At a recent meeting of the Pastoral Council, the dates for Masses for the Parish for Christmas Eve (Saturday 24th December) & Christmas Day (Sunday) were finalised.

We are pleased to be able to offer THREE Masses on Christmas Eve
5pm & 6.30pm – in The Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure
8pm – in The Church of The Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown

Christmas Day Masses are as follows;
9.45am – in The Church of The Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown
11.15am – in The Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure

Please note that demand is expected to be high, and while there will be NO booking ahead this year, please be aware that Churches may well be more full. Covid precautions (Masks, Hand Sanitising, etc) are encouraged. Please do not attend Mass if you are unwell. All Masses will be broadcast online.

There will be more updates here in the coming weeks about The Advent Mass Themes, as well as Carol Services and other special parish celebrations & events in the run up to Christmas.

Last year, Pope Francis encouraged us all to remember and contemplate that God did not choose to come into the world in grandeur, but as a humble child born into poverty.  Pope Francis said on Dec. 24.

“Brothers and sisters, standing before the crib, we contemplate what is central, beyond all the lights and decorations … We contemplate the child. In his littleness, God is completely present,”

One thing we could do is decide to be more ethical in our Gift giving this year.
There are many worthy charities, but CAFOD (The international development charity and official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales) provides a wide range of special gifts.

Please visit their website for more information.

Synod Document Finalised

Recently, at the end of a Sunday Angelus, the Holy Father announced that the upcoming 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will be held in two ‘moments’, that is, in two sessions, spaced one year apart: the first from October 4 to 29, 2023, the second in October 2024.

This decision stems from the desire that the theme of a Synodal Church, because of its breadth and importance, might be the subject of prolonged discernment not only by the members of the Synodal Assembly, but by the whole Church.

This listening process began in 2021 by the local Churches, that is, by the People of God gathered around their Pastors, and has culminated in the release of The Document for the Continental Stage (DCS), which is the fruit of the ‘Syntheses’ (listening & reflecting) resulting from the consultation of the People of God in the first phase of the synodal process – and which will be the focus of the listening, dialogue and discernment of the Continental Synodal Assemblies (which will be held between January-March 2023).

You can read this document here

There will be a Diocesan Gathering in the Carrickdale Hotel on Thursday December 1st to discuss this document and provide feedback which will inform the national input at the Continental Ecclesial Assembly that will take place in Prague from the 5th to the 12th of February, 2023. Please contact the Parish Office is you would like to attend this meeting.

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  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.