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 http://www.armaghparish.net
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.

POPE FRANCIS WASHES THE FEEET OF IMMIGRANTS IN 2016

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!


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.

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.

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.

Swapping Pulpits

Last weekend saw the first in a new initiative among the parishes of St. Colmcille’s Pastoral Area, where the local priests celebrated Masses in neighbouring parishes. It seems to have gone very well, and we would love to hear your feedback about the initiative. Please feel free to contact any of the parishes by email.

This is part of a process to facilitate closer collaboration within the Pastoral Area as the future of all our parishes will lie in this direction.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The area takes in the four parishes on the east coast running from Togher in the North to Termonfechin in the South. Clogherhead in the East, and Tenure in the West. An area approximately 190 sq. Km. There are over 2,500 catholic families in this area. The area has 9 Churches, 9 schools, and is served by 4 active priests, with 3 priests ‘in residence’ in the area. Each parish has an active Parish Pastoral Council, and the four parishes together have a Pastoral Area Resource Team (PART), who along with the Vf (Vicar forane – an appointment by the Archbishop) promote closer working together of the Pastoral Area.

Many of the structures we have at the moment evolved in an Ireland where most people walked to Church, and at a time when there was a period of expansion in the Catholic faith in this country.  Now we have entered a new phase.  

There is a need for consolidation to take account of how faith practice has developed and will continue to develop into the future. The Covid-19 Pandemic has also had a significant effect with many people still choosing to engage with Church via webcam, and as priests become older and fewer in number, more  things will happen together, rather than in individual parishes.  

Facing the Future: 
As we go forward, it will be unlikely that there will be sufficient priests to replace all those who retire. Therefore, remaining priests will become responsible for larger areas. In order to best prepare for this eventuality, we must begin now by working together on the things we can, and putting into place the structures which will help us meet the challenges of the parishes of the future. 

Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels.com

Change is not easy – for any of us! It can bring many challenges, and often make people very fearful. However, it is important to remember as a people of faith that we do not face these realities alone. God’s Spirit is with us as we seek to navigate the way forward, especially in these post-pandemic times.

While the future will certainly bring change, there will be many things which will stay the same, and there will be new opportunites to engage with faith and Church both in our own parish and the wider Pastoral Area.

1. Praying for the future;

2. Taking part in the life of your parish/pastoral area using your gifts/talents to benefit the life of the parish/area;

3. Share your faith in Jesus with those around you;

4. Keep yourself informed and up to date with developments on this front.

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.