World Day of Prayer for Grandparents & the Elderly

Pope Francis has established a World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, which will take place for the first time on Sunday 25 July 2021 on the theme ‘I am with you always’ (Mt 28:20)

Today is a day of joy and hope for all of us in celebrating and giving thanks for our grandparents and the elderly. 

Pope Francis has also granted a plenary indulgence to grandparents, the elderly, and all those who participate in a solemn celebration of this day as well as to those who spend time (actually or virtually) with an elderly brother or sister in need on this day.

Grandparents Day Prayer

I thank You, Lord, for the comfort of Your presence: even in times of loneliness, You are my hope and my confidence, You have been my rock and my fortress since my youth!  I thank You for having given me a family and for  having blessed me with a long life. 

I thank You for moments of joy and difficulty, for the dreams that have already come true in my life and for those that are still ahead of me. I thank You for this time of renewed fruitfulness to which You call me.  Increase, O Lord, my faith, make me a channel of your peace, teach me to embrace those who suffer more than me, to never stop dreaming & tell of your wonders to new generations. 

Protect & guide Pope Francis and the Church, that the light of the Gospel might reach the ends of the earth. Send Your Spirit, O Lord, to renew the world, 

that the storm of the pandemic might be calmed, the poor consoled & wars ended.

Sustain me in weakness & help me to live life fully in each moment that you give me, in the certainty that you’re with me, until the end of the age.  Amen.

Closing of Year of Reflection & Prayer and Commissioning of Diocesan Synodal Core Group

On Behalf of Bishop Michael…

Thank you to the priests, religious and parishes who responded to the invitation to attend the ceremony in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, on Wednesday 30th June, or who watched it online.

The homily, in particular, provides information on the nature of the Synodal Pathway that we are undertaking at a diocesan, national and international level. It is important that when the conversation and consultation begins in every parish and religious community, people will be informed and up to date.

We will have a listening process in the diocese over the next two years in preparation for the Diocesan Assembly in 2024, but parallel to that there will be a consultation in the coming months for the Synod in Rome in 2023 and over the next few years for the National Assembly or Assemblies in 2026.

Full Closing Ceremony

Homily

The Diocesan Website for the process can be accessed here;

A Blessing of Holy Water

On the basis of age-old custom, water is one of the signs that the Church often uses in blessing the faithful. Holy water reminds the faithful of Christ, who is given to us as the supreme divine blessing, who called himself the living water, and who, with water, established Baptism for our sake as the sacramental sign of the blessing that brings salvation.

The blessing of holy water usually takes place on Sunday, in keeping with the rite given in the Sacramentary.

Since the beginning of the Pandemic, Holy Water fonts were emptied, and the use of Holy Water has been much reduced since it could be a vector for the Covid-19 virus.

However, as we slowly emerge from the restrictions imposed to reduce the spread of the virus, and are coming into the season of the Blessings of the Graves, Fr. Paddy has suggested that people bring their own water to Mass on the weekend of the 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time (27th June), and he will bless the water at the beginning of Mass using the rite mentioned above.

Those tuning in from home may also have water blessed for use as Holy Water for their own devotional practices – including the sprinkling on the graves of loved ones during the traditional time for the Blessings of the Graves, which will be postponed this year, with the hope that they can be held in September/October.

Here are the pages from the Roman Missal which show the Rite of Blessing of Water;

Thanks to ChurchPop for the graphic used here. ChurchPOP is a Christian culture brand that’s fun, informative, and inspirational.

St. Colmcille’s 1500th Anniversary

Pastoral Area: Along with Termonfechin (Fr Paul Byrne 98 22121), Clogherhead (Fr Martin McVeigh 98 22224), & Togher (Monsignor Jim Carroll 98  89335), our Parish is part of the St. Colmcille’s Pastoral Area.  

Wednesday 9th June was the feast of Saint Columcille and this year is a very special day, in that it will be 1500 years since the Saint’s birth in 521AD. There are three patrons of Ireland, St Patrick, St Brigid & St Colum Cille who was born in Donegal from the powerful O’Neill clan. His original name was Crimthann. ‘Crimthann’ meant Fox, possibly because he was red-haired. Sometimes he is referred to as Columba, which is the Latin for Dove.

A young Colmcille entered the priesthood at the age of 20 when he became a pupil at Clonard Abbey, situated on the River Boyne in modern day Co. Meath.Colmcille founded some 30 monasteries in just 10 years, inspiring many people with his personal holiness. As a result of a dispoute in 563, he was banished from Ireland by the High King, He settled on a bleak Scottish island called Iona where he would spent most of his remaining years. Colmcille spent the rest of his life on Iona praying, fasting, and teaching his monks to read and copy the Scriptures. He was a renowned ‘man of letters’, wrote several hymns and has been credited with having transcribed over 300 books and manuscripts.

Numerous Catholic schools and parishes are under the patronage of the Irish saint, with Church of Scotland, Evangelical Lutheran and Episcopal Churches also have parishes dedicated to him – showing the strength of his legacy.

Iona and St Columcille: Iona is a tiny beautiful Hebridean island off the west coast of Scotland, cradle of Christianity in Scotland, where in 563AD the Irish monk Columba (Columkille) established a monastic settlement that evangelised large parts of Scotland & the north of England and became an important centre of European Christianity. In the Middle Ages it became the site of a Benedictine abbey, & over the centuries it has attracted thousands of people on their own pilgrim journeys. visit www.iona.org.uk

As a Pastoral Area, we celebrated this occasion with an evening Mass in the Church of Saint Columcille Togher @ 8pm on Wednesday 9th June. Celebrant was Fr Paul Byrne V.F.

Each parish will took responsibility for the ceremony as follows:
Welcome and Co-ordination: Togher parish;
Music & song: Termonfechin parish;
Scripture Readings: Clogherhead parish;
Prayers of the Faithful: Monasterboice parish;

We appreciate the work of the Pastoral Council members in all our parishes, and we look forward to what might be happening throughout the rest of this year.

St Columcille, pray for us!     Launch out into the deep Luke 5:4

Pastoral Area Pentecost Prayer Service

This week, members of the Pastoral Councils from the St. Colmcille’s Pastoral Area (which includes the parishes of Clogherhead, Termonfechin, Togher, & Monasterboice) recorded a prayer service for Pentecost.

You can view this video by clicking this link

We wanted to mark the Feast of Pentecost, or the coming of the Holy Spirit, this week; This year the Covid-19 pandemic has given our Pentecost prayer, “come Holy Spirt and renew the face of the earth” a new urgency. 

It has made us aware of our fragilities and the deep inequalities that wound us all; it has shown us our vulnerability and our poverty. Above all this, however, it has shown us the extraordinary generosity of so many people and their capacity for selflessness.

Their light shines through all the darkness.

Pentecost is sometimes called the birthday of the Church. On the day of Pentecost the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and given the strength to continue Christ’s mission on earth.

Our Pastoral Area will contine to send out these kind of online prayers from time to time.

We are grateful to the members of the Parish Pastoral Councils of Clogherhead, Termonfechin, Togher, & Monasterboice for taking part. 

If you would like to be involved, do get in touch with your parish priest, and if you think someone else might benefit from praying this prayer, please share the link with them. 


May the Spirit, who hovered over the waters when the world was created, breathe into you the life he gives. Amen.

May the Spirit, who overshadowed the Virgin when the eternal Son came among us, make you joyful in the service of the Lord. Amen.

May the Spirit, who set the Church on fire upon the Day of Pentecost, bring the world alive with the love of the risen Christ. Amen.

And the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you this day and for evermore. Amen.

Update on the Celebration of the Sacraments

On Thursday 14th May, we received a communication from the Diocesan Office re: arrangements for the Sacraments of First Confession, First Holy Communion & Confirmation.

The current position remains:

“In light of current public health advice, and whilst we await further detail in the published guidance and regulations in the coming days, I (The Archbishop) ask that you do NOT proceed to organise First Holy Communion and Confirmation ceremonies at this time.
Please continue of course to ensure that all the necessary catechetical preparations are being made for the sacraments.  
I understand that this will cause disappointment and frustration for children, parents, schools and parishes. 
Please be assured that I will let you know as soon as I am aware of a change in the health advice or guidelines.”

The Archbishop is continuing to pursue clarification with the public health authorities and will let you know as soon as possible if there is likely to be a change.

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.