Archbishop Eamon Martin welcomes the message of Pope Francis for World Communications Day
· Theme for 2018: ‘The truth will set you free’ (Jn 8:32). Fake news and journalism for peace
I warmly welcome the message of Pope Francis for World Communications Day 2018, which we celebrate today, Ascension Sunday.
This year’s theme, ‘The truth will set you free’ (Jn 8:32). Fake news and journalism for peace, is particularly relevant in our era of social media and digital communications. The theme also resonates strongly in Ireland during these days as we count down to the referendum on the Eighth Amendment on 25 May.
In this year’s message Pope Francis gives us advice and guidance about “fake news” and encourages us to promote a journalism of peace. All of us need to ask ourselves “what is ‘fake news’?” Pope Francis tells us “fake news” is “false but believable news” that is sensational and often goes viral. It is the “spreading of disinformation online or in the traditional media … based on non-existent or distorted data meant to deceive and manipulate the reader”. It seeks to “advance specific goals, influence political decisions, and serve economic interests”.
Fake news spreads arrogance and hatred; it discredits others, presenting them as enemies, to the point of demonizing them and fomenting conflict. The current referendum debate, including the decisions this week by Google and Facebook to shut down digital advertising regarding the referendum, has generated its fair share of accusations and counter accusations of fake news.
Pope Francis tells us that we can recognise the truth of statements from their fruits – whether they provoke arguments and cause division or promote informed mature dialogue and discussion with friends, family, colleagues and loved ones. He tells us: “Informing others means forming others; it means touching peoples’ lives”.
He chose to publish his message in January on the Feast of Saint Francis de Sales, patron saint of journalists and writers. This great saint preferred to confront the hostility of his time with the example of holiness and love. If he were around today I expect his advice to all those in the media would be: “teach and proclaim the truth with love”.
This applies especially to those who work in the media. The Pope describes the work of journalists as not just a job but a mission. He invites them to promote a “journalism of peace” – journalism that is truthful, and opposed to falsehoods, rhetorical slogans, and sensational headlines. He says journalists are the “protectors of news” with a responsibility to expose the truth at all times and hold people to account.
Pope Francis’ words are also relevant to all of us, because more and more we are all using a wide variety of media to spread our news and opinions. Our world is rich in communications resources and our era is often described as the age of “democratic journalism”. The way we express ourselves has changed radically and we can now instantly share our ideas on a multiplicity of platforms.
As we reflect on the message of Pope Francis, I join with the Holy Father in encouraging Catholics and all people of goodwill to be more authentic, active and “truth-full” witnesses in the new digital world.
Download full text of Pope Francis’ Message for Communications Day 2018
All over Ireland these days, thousands of young people in their final year of primary education are receiving the sacrament of Confirmation. This year in anticipation of the World Meeting of the families, I’m taking the opportunity at Confirmation ceremonies to say thanks to families, to acknowledge and celebrate the joy of love in the family, and to reflect on some of the challenges, pressures and struggles which families face. The Confirmation ceremony is a special moment of connection between Family, Parish and School. It is an opportunity to humbly recognise how much we all need each other and to underline the importance of our working together in order to offer the very best education to our young people.
The three and a half thousand young people confirmed this year in the Archdiocese of Armagh will transfer in September to post-primary schools in Louth, Armagh, Tyrone and Derry – schools like your own. The theme of your Conference is: “Catholic Schools – a Meeting of Families”. I would like to reflect on some of the distinctive ways in which our Catholic schools can support families in the sometimes daunting task of educating young people today.
To read Archbishop Eamon Martin’s Keynote address download this pdf of his full talk.
This year our annual Religious Education Teacher Community will meet on Tuesday 19th June in St John the Baptist College, Drumcree, Portadown. This Gathering has proved to be very successful in helping to meet the personal, spiritual and professional needs of teachers of Religious Education in our Archdiocese. It is also invaluable as it provides an opportunity for RE teachers to build networks of support and exchange ideas and resources. Being part of a community helps build a strong sense of support, belonging and identity. Attached programme and booking form. PLEASE consider seriously being there Send me numbers for catering for light lunch. Promise you will enjoy the day
I wrote to Principals about this earlier this week.
13th – 14th July 2018
Are there really only two sexes?
What is gender, exactly?
What can I legally say and do as an educator?
What does a healthy psychology of sexuality look like?
How can we help children who demonstrate confusion?
How does sexuality affect our ability to become disciples?
Those who are involved with the formation and education of young people today are facing the difficult task of continuing to evangelise and teach in the midst of a growing trend of confusion surrounding personal identity, particularly sex and gender. Join us for a 2-day, multidisciplinary conference on these special topics, where we will hear from experts in the fields of philosophy, psychology, spirituality, law, and other related areas.
The conference, which is open to teachers, parents, chaplains, catechists, pastors, and anyone interested in learning more, aims to equip Catholic Christian educators and formators with knowledge of and confidence in the Church’s full and positive vision of the human person in his or her sexuality.
Just to flag we have added new resources to the Graduation Resources and upgraded it to a Category of its own.
You can check this out by looking in the category list section.
‘Gaudete et Exsultate’, Pope Francis calls on us to ‘Rejoice and be Glad’
A Christian cannot think of his or her mission on earth without seeing it as a path of holiness, for “this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thess 4:3). Each saint is a mission, planned by the Father to reflect and embody, at a specific moment in history, a certain aspect of the Gospel.
Pope Francis launches his new exhortation
GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
ON THE CALL TO HOLINESS IN TODAY’S WORLD
.I like to contemplate the holiness present in the patience of God’s people: in those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to support their families, in the sick, in elderly religious who never lose their smile.
To be holy does not require being a bishop, a priest or a religious. We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case. We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves. Are you called to the consecrated life? Be holy by living out your commitment with joy. Are you married? Be holy by loving and caring for your husband or wife, as Christ does for the Church. Do you work for a living? Be holy by labouring with integrity and skill in the service of your brothers and sisters. Are you a parent or grandparent? Be holy by patiently teaching the little ones how to follow Jesus. Are you in a position of authority? Be holy by working for the common good and renouncing personal gain.
.This holiness to which the Lord calls you will grow through small gestures. Here is an example: a woman goes shopping, she meets a neighbour and they begin to speak, and the gossip starts. But she says in her heart: “No, I will not speak badly of anyone”. This is a step forward in holiness. Later, at home, one of her children wants to talk to her about his hopes and dreams, and even though she is tired, she sits down and listens with patience and love. That is another sacrifice that brings holiness. Later she experiences some anxiety, but recalling the love of the Virgin Mary, she takes her rosary and prays with faith. Yet another path of holiness. Later still, she goes out onto the street, encounters a poor person and stops to say a kind word to him. One more step.
Please download and read prayerfully the full text below. ENJOY
For a detailed article that explains this wonderful exhortation follow this link…
A colleague recently asked me if I had a reflection or prayer on Servant Leadership. I searched my files but didn’t find one. I have made a small attempt myself at writing what I believe lies at the core of servant leadership. I hope you may find it helpful Declan
Lord as we thank you for the great gift of communion with you, we recall that at the Last Supper you rose from the table and taking a towel you set to washing the feet of your disciples. Having completed this task, the work of a servant or slave, you asked your disciples to imitate this action saying “If I your Lord and Master have washed your feet, you should wash one another’s feet”. Christian leadership is a leadership based on service. After the Resurrection, the Risen Jesus had breakfast with some of the disciples by the lakeshore. Simon Peter who as leader had failed his Master even denying he had ever known him, found himself reinstated to this task when Jesus told him “feed my sheep”. Christian leadership is about being called by the Master and following his example reaching out to those we meet in service, forgiveness and love. Lord like Simon Peter we are frail and all too human. Strengthen our resolve to be Easter people who through servanthood exercise Christian leadership believing that the Master comes to each of us in those we meet and serve each and every day, Amen.
In his homily at the last World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, Pope Francis spoke about howwe experience ‘homely gestures’ in our families, such as a hug at the e nd of a day, or a meal readywhen we arrive home. He then goes on to say the following:
“We Christians, the Lord’s disciples, ask the families of the world to help us! How many of us are here at this celebration! This is itself something prophetic, a kind of miracle in today’s world, which is tired of inventing new divisions, new hurts, new disasters. Would that we could all be prophets!
Would that all of us could be open to miracles of love to benefit our own families and all the families of the world, and thus overcome the scandal of a narrow, petty love, closed in on itself, impatient of others! I leave you with a question for each of you to answer – because I said the word ‘impatient’: at home do we shout at one another or do we speak with love and tenderness? This is a good way of measuring our love”
WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY 2018
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will run as usual from 18 to 25 January. The theme this year is That All May Be Free. Resources are available as downloads from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland website at www.ctbi.org.uk/weekofprayer. An interdenominational Service for Christian Unity will be held in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, Armagh, on Wednesday, 24 January at 7.30pm. The guest preacher will be
Fr Kieran McDermott, Administrator of St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Dublin. It is hoped that there will be a large attendance of clergy and people from the diocese at this service. .
Download pdf of this year’s booklet
Powerpoint for Service