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)

Ascension Sunday/World Day of Prayer for Communications

“Ascension,” by Giotto, 14th century. (Wikipedia)

The Feast of the Ascension of the Lord: is part of the resurrection. Resurrection emphasises that Jesus has entered a new life and not just that he recovered his previous life.

The ascension emphasises that the risen Jesus is together with the Father, that he shares the place and dignity of the Father. This important feast – in the past celebrated on the 40th day after Easter – reminds ourselves that when Jesus left us he gave us a very important mission.

That mission was and is to continue his loving and redemptive presence in the world. Let us ask him today to help us, together with him, to carry out that huge responsibility in the way he wants.

The Feast of Ascension is celebrated in connection with World Communications Day. We are invited to reflect upon the diversity of media of social communication and how they influence our lives.

Here is a link to the Pope’s Message entitled “Listen!”.

The Holy Father says; “Every dialogue, every relationship begins with listening. For this reason, in order to grow, even professionally, as communicators, we need to relearn to listen a lot”

Easter Triduum in The Parish & Pastoral Area

During Holy Week, the Church celebrates the mysteries of salvation accomplished by Christ in the last days of his life on earth, beginning with his messianic entrance into Jerusalem. The Lenten season lasts until the Thursday of this week. The Easter Triduum begins with the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday.

Times are as follows;

Holy Thursday – Mass of The Lord’s Supper

Church of St. Michael, Clogherhead @ 7.30pm
(Adoration at Altar of Repose until Night Prayer at 9.20pm)

Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure @ 8pm
(Adoration at Altar of Repose until Night Prayer at 10pm) Confessions available

Church of The Immaculate Conception, Termonfechin @ 7pm
(Adoration at Altar of Repose until Night Prayer at 9.30pm)

Church of St. Colmcille, Togher @ 7pm
(Adoration at Altar of Repose until 9pm)

Good Friday – Celebration of The Lord’s Passion

Church of St. Michael, Clogherhead @ 3pm
Stations of the Cross in The Church of Ss Peter & Paul, Walshestown @ 7pm
(Collection for The Holy Land in both Churches)

Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure @ 3pm Confessions 4-5pm
Stations of The Cross in The Church of The Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown @ 8pm
Confessions available afterwards

Church of The Immaculate Conception, Termonfechin @ 3pm
Stations of The Cross in The Church of The Assumption, Sandpit @ 7pm

Church of St. Colmcille, Togher @ 3pm
Stations of The Cross in The Church of St. Finian, Dillonstown @ 7pm


Holy Saturday – The Easter Vigil

Church of St. Michael, Clogherhead @ 8.30pm

Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure @ 9.30pm

Church of The Immaculate Conception, Termonfechin @ 9pm

Church of St. Colmcille, Togher @ 8.30pm

Easter Sunday – Mass

Church of St. Michael, Clogherhead @ 10am
Church of Ss Peter & Paul, Walshestown @ 11.30am

Dawn Mass outside The Church of The Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown @ 5.30am
Church of The Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown @ 9.45am
Church of Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure @ 11.15am

Church of The Assumption, Sandpit @ 9.30am
Church of The Immaculate Conception, Termonfechin @ 11am

Church of St. Colmcille, Togher @ 10am
Church of St. Finian, Dillonstown @ 11.30am

In conjunction with the Pastoral Councils of our Parishes,
we wish all our parishioners every blessing for Holy Week,
and joy in the Resurrection of The Lord.

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.

Christmas Blessings

Happy Christmas!

Hope you enjoyed this special time of the year – despite the difficulties in the country and the world at this time.

Fr. Paddy used a reflection at his Christmas Masses, and some people have asked for it to be shared;

A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF THE INCARNATION

The Incarnation is no mystery, Jesus. You make it easy to understand.
Because you walked our earth, we are to see the face of the Divine in every person we meet:

the friend who betrayed;
the family gathered for a meal;
the mother on welfare;
the man on death row;
the server in the store;
the teenage thug on the corner;
those society tells me are different from me, and my enemy
and trains me to treat that way.

Every time I love, the mystery of the Incarnation happens.
Every time I love, I birth you on earth, Jesus.

I fall on my knees and beg you, Jesus, deepen my living of the Incarnation.

Slightly adapted from ‘Prayers for A New Millennium’, by Mary L .Kownacki

Fr. Paddy also acknowledged all those who helped in the parish throughout the year;

I think of all those who have helped keep our parish going this year; You, our Parishioners; Our Sacristans; The Parish Pastoral Council; The Parish Finance Committee; The Covid-19 Committee; Stewards; Ministers of the Word & Eucharist; our Secretaries; and all those who helped in any way. I am so grateful for your support.

Happy Christmas

So, on behalf of all, may you and your families experience the many blessings of Christmas and have a joyous and grace-filled new year!

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