Youth Bus going to Rally for Life, Dublin, Saturday, 1 July The Rally for Life is taking place on July 1st in Dublin. The Armagh Diocesan Youth Ministry Team is organising a ‘Youth Bus’ to go to Rally!! If you are interested in going please let us know asap by filling in this form https://form.jotform.com/231442812691353
This is an important Rally to really show our stand for Life. Since 2018, there have been 31,000 abortions in this country. Now is a time to take a stand. If we continue this fight as William Wilberforce said “you may choose to look the other way but you can never again say you did not know.” For more information please contact Rob 0832085877 or Janet 07968738486.
Visit to Cathedral
A first class relic of Blessed Carlo will visit the Cathedral from Sunday 11 – Tuesday 13 June 2023. Blessed Carlo was beatified by Pope Francis in Assisi in October 2020. His friends remember him as a young dreamer, service-oriented and full of charisma. He died in 2006, at only 15 years of age, after a battle with leukaemia. His life may have been short but it made a huge impact. Recently, in the process for the teenager’s beatification, his tomb became a real pilgrimage site. Please share attached flyer
Prayer to the Servant of God, Carlo Acutis
Exam Mass at Knock Shrine – 5 June Exam Mass at Knock Shrine: For all students preparing for exams and their families. Take some time out from your studies for a quiet moment to ask for God’s strength and guidance as you move through your exam period. Bring your pencil case to have it blesses. June 5th, 7.30pm, Knock Basilica.
Visiting St Patrick’s Cathedral Armagh
First Class Relic of Blessed Carlo Acutis, to visit St Patrick’s Cathedral, in this the 150th year since the Dedication of the Cathedral
Dear Father, who has given us the ardent testimony of the young Servant of God Carlo Acutis, who made the Eucharist the core of his life and the strength of his daily commitments so that everybody may love you above all else, let him soon be counted among the blessed and the saints in your Church. Confirm my faith, nurture my hope, strengthen my charity in the image of young Carlo who growing in these virtues, now lives with you. Grant me the grace I really need…..I trust in you Father and your beloved Son Jesus, in the Virgin Mary our dearest mother, and in the intervention of your servant Carlo Acutis. AMEN
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be
“Always to be united with Jesus, that is my life’s programme”. Carlo Acutis
Children’s Commissioner calls for more support for RE in schools
Dame Rachel de Souza
Students, RE experts, and leaders of faith and belief organisations meet in London to celebrate the subject and discuss its future amid teacher recruitment challenge.
Dame Rachel de Souza, Children’s Commissioner for England, has spoken of the ‘safe space’ offered by good RE teaching in schools, remarking that it is “the one place in the curriculum” where young people can discuss “important and exciting philosophical, religious and moral conundrums in safe spaces”.
Attendees at an event marking the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Religious Education Council of England and Wales heard from students, teachers and faith and belief leaders who spoke of the academic skills and knowledge the subject provides young people in helping them to take their place in modern Britain.
Religious education continues to be a popular subject in schools. Over the last five years entries to Religious Studies GCSE have stood around an average of 250,000 with entries to the full course GCSE rising by 30% over the last decade.
Despite its popularity, many schools offer little or no RE provision. A recent data review by the National Association of Teachers of RE found that around 500 secondary schools in year 11 offer no RE provision. There is also a problem with specialism in schools, with a recent parliamentary question revealing that half of secondary RE teachers spend most of their timetable delivering another subject.
Dame Rachel de Souza said: “Children have told me that they want school to be the place where they can learn about life skills, relationships and how to set themselves up for the future. The RE curriculum is one place that children can learn these important things.
It provides children with a chance to understand more about the world, other cultures and religions, and also about themselves. RE helps us understand the different faiths and communities which make up modern Britain and crucially, RE is a place where these young people can discuss important and exciting philosophical, religious and moral conundrums in safe spaces.”
REC Chair Sarah Lane Cawte, said: “The world has changed significantly in the fifty years since the REC was founded and RE has continually evolved to serve the needs of our society. We must continue to change, working towards the vision of the Commission on RE, with an approach that recognises the complexity of religious and non-religious worldviews in the twenty-first century.
“This change starts by those in government and schools recognising the value of subject in preparing young people for a rich, diverse, multicultural society and global workplace.”
In October, a Westminster Hall Debate saw MPs and Peers from across the House agree on the RE’s importance for life in modern Britain as well as express concern around a lack of government support for the subject. Last March, the Father of the House, Sir Peter Bottomley MP hosted a roundtable on the future of the subject.
He said: “We must support our RE teachers in delivering a modern, relevant RE curriculum. High quality religious education builds cohesion in our societies and helps prepare young people for the world beyond Britain too. We need a national plan for religious education to curb the present teacher recruitment crisis and ensure this high quality provision reaches every young person in every school.”
An RE teacher recruitment campaign, Beyond the Ordinary, is currently underway to attract the next generation of RE teachers. It has called for applicants from a variety of backgrounds, stressing the ability of the subject to help young people answer the big questions in life.
Established in 1973, the Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC) brings together over 60 national organisations. These comprise academic and professional associations specialising in religious education, as well as individual religion and belief organisations representative of the range of communities found nationally.
After a very successful pilot, the first three modules of this exciting new digital programme will be available for first teaching in September 2023. We are now able to offer teachers links to further information as set out below:
The first link is to an in-service video (25 minutes) which was prepared by Siobhan O’Donoghue, one of the writers of the programme. In the video, Siobhan outlines the aims and structure of this fully digital programme, and guides teachers through the content of the first three modules. Each module has five units.
The second link is to a sample unit. It is part of Module 2: Climate Justice, Unit 3: Meeting the Challenge to Live Sustainably. This is so teachers can have access to a unit within a module to try it out and see how they might use it with a class.
The third item that we are offering to teachers is the attached Scope and Sequence document. This contains an overview of each of the modules which will be available to schools for first teaching in September. This is to allow teachers to plan for the next school year.
Subject: Webinar: New Horizons Tonight 6.00pm-7.00pm
Dear Colleagues, we are doing an evening seminar for Post-primary teachers who want to find out more about our New Horizons programme for Senior Cycle non-exam RE. Could you please send out this invite to a Zoom Call tonight (6.00pm-7.00pm) for any teachers wishing to learn more about New Horizons? This has already been advertised on Facebook and Twitter – but just in case someone didn’t see it. If teachers can’t attend, it is being recorded as well.
Susan Morgan is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
The Holy Father Pope Francis recently stressed: “Jesus concretely can transform us and our lives, if we let Him. St Paul himself said: So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.”
We approach Holy week together aware of the Lord and all he had to face and endure.
Key moments in Holy Week to reflect upon
Jesus setting his face towards Jerusalem;
The welcome he received and the subsequent rejection he experienced;
His desire to be obedient to his vocation from the Father;
The scene in the Upper Room, where in word and sign he anticipated the manner of his death and gave the Church the sacrament which is both a source and an expression of the grace which lies at the heart of our mission;
His arrest in the garden, under the paschal moon;
His betrayal by a close friend and his denial by another before the cock crowed at dawn;
His “trial” before the keepers of orthodoxy in Israel, and then before the civil magistrate whose casual cynicism has marked him out as one of the dark figures of world history;
The courageous little group – mostly women – who “…stand not far off…” and the reordering of relationships at the foot of the Cross: “Woman behold your son; son behold your mother…”
The sordid, lonely and ignoble death which has given the world its most powerful religious symbol – the Cross;
The kindness of strangers in his burial;
The abject bewilderment of his followers, lying on the floor in the dust behind locked doors;
The various encounters by women of the risen Lord – unrecognised, but somehow known;
The dawning conviction that everything in every age has been changed utterly.
( Taken from The message for Holy Week and Easter 2023 by Archbishop John McDowell and Archbishop Eamon Martin)
ICN Resources article for Lent 2023 with links to sites.
Feb 20th, 2023
Llanberis – Image ICN/JS
Enlarging the Space of our Tent’: Small Group Faith-sharing Resource
This Lent 2023 booklet was written by Fr Dominic Robinson SJ and Colette Joyce from the Westminster Justice and Peace Commission for the Agency for Evangelisation. The resource consists of five 60-90 minute sessions, each focusing on a theme covered by Justice and Peace, including poverty and homelessness, racial justice, care of creation, migrants and refugees, and peace. Each session explores the theme in the light of a piece of Scripture from the coming Sunday (beginning with the Second Sunday of Lent and finishing with Palm Sunday), prayer, a reflection on experience from a local example in Westminster diocese, and questions to support group sharing.
In these reflections for Lent, Barbara Glasson leads through 40 days, focusing on the theme of water: its power, potential, terror and gentleness, providing a deep well of daily prayer and meditation. Covering issues both domestic and international, Barbara seeks to centre Lenten reflections on the water that both gives life and which challenges us to live for justice.
As Barbara herself says: ‘Our relationship with water is primal: all life depends on the abundance of a fresh, clean water supply. And yet so many live with drought, thirst and wilderness. In these reflections, I hope you will come to understand the power and beauty of water, and how it relates to the transformative, sustaining power of prayer.’
A guided Lent journal for prayer & mediation. It offers a “healing journey” with Sr Miriam James Heidland, SOLT. In this beautiful guided journal for prayer and meditation, Sr. Miriam invites you to meet the tenderness of God’s mercy, the power of his love, and the restoration of your heart and life as you practice prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Restore features stunning original art by Valerie Delgado of Pax. Valerie along with daily meditations on a passage from scripture, reflection questions, guided prayer, and space for journaling and notetaking.
A spiritual programme of study for those who want to journey side by side with our Lord during Lent, either individually or in small groups. We begin our journey in the wilderness and finally sit with him at the table before accompanying him to the cross. The main purpose of the book is to encourage the reader to think about Jesus’ journey and their own. How can the story of Jesus throw light on your own?
This Lenten season, Franciscan Media presents a daily email series inspired by the life and legacy of St Clare. Sign up to learn more about St Clare and receive daily messages of inspiration and hope, reflections on how St Clare’s holiness can remind us to focus on God today, brief prayers, and videos to enhance your Lenten practices.
Pax Christi England and Wales and Christian CND are hosting an online Ash Wednesday Witness, lamenting the UK’s involvement in war and the supply of arms and, as we approach the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, praying for a ceasefire and peace rather than the escalation our political leaders seem to be encouraging. The event begins on 22 February at 7pm on Zoom and you can register to attend here: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUld-iorD8oHdRrsG-F93vdZZX1u63sScOC
Pax Christi Merseyside is inviting all members and supporters in the North West to join them at St. Luke’s, Liverpool (the Bombed out Church) at 11.45am. From St. Luke’s, there will be a procession to the Town Hall and the group will be calling on the Government to sign up to the UN Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons. For more information contact Jan Harper on email@example.com
Pax Christi Lent Reflections on the Icon of Peace
From Wednesday 1st March, Pax Christi will be hosting five weekly online reflections on the Icon of Peace. Starting at 7pm on Zoom, each week we will focus on one image from the icon and pray for a conflict situation in one part of the world. You can register for one or all of the reflections here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEkceCrqDIsE9HflpiHPzlRHeRdgrfVztCy or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details
Lenten Journey 2023 ‘The Common Good’
Scottish Laity Network
Thursday 23 February: Catholic Social Teaching and the Common Good
TROCAIRE has a new program suitable for young people.
My name is Laura and I am the Development Education officer at Trocaire.
I would like to share The Tree of Justice with you, Trócaire’s latest education resource. This is the first year of a three-year learning journey on justice, and this year the resource explores what global justice means by focusing on Somalia, Guatemala and Palestine. The resource is intended for use in the Primary, Post-Primary and youth sectors. This is the first year we have adopted this new digital platform and we plan to develop this over the coming years to make it more interactive and innovative.
Please do share these with any teachers you might know and encourage them to use the materials. They are intended for use at any time throughout the academic year.
May the blessing of light be on you, light without and light within. May the blessed sunlight Shine upon you and warm your heart till it glows like a great peat fire, so that the stranger may come and be warmed and also a friend. And may the light shine out of your eyes, like a candle set in the window of a house, bidding the wanderer to come in out of the storm. And may the blessing of the rain be on you – the soft sweet rain; May it fall upon your spirit so that all the little flowers may spring up, and shed their sweetness on the air. And may the blessing of the great rains be on you, may they beat upon your spirit and wash it fair and clean, and leave there many a shining pool where the blue of heaven shines, and sometimes a star. And may the blessing of the earth be on you – the great round earth; May you ever have a kindly greeting from them you pass as you’re going along the roads. May the earth be soft under you when you rest upon it, tired at the end of a day, and may it rest easy over you when, at the last, you lie out under it. May it rest so lightly over you that your soul may be off from under it so quickly, and up and off, and on its way to God. And now may the Lord (and Lady) bless you and bless you kindly Amen.
A Prayer to St Brigid of Faughart.
Brigid Patroness of the Irish and woman of deep faith
We salute you as with Patrick you helped the Irish come to faith in Jesus.
Your love for the Master drove you to be an apostle of the faith.
Your compassion for the poor and sick knew no boundaries.
People recognised in your heart the Light of the world. Your love for all creation drew wild creatures to trust you .
You were always a woman of action more centred on people than bricks and stones.
A woven cross of reeds helped a dying man grieve for his sins resulting in forgiveness and reconciliation.
Encircle us with your cloak of charity and help us all find a renewed faith in Jesus our common Master.
Help us reach out to the Christ we meet daily in the faces of those in need who approach us for comfort, help us to seek their Blessing upon us as we wash their feet and try to bind their wounds.
Mary of the Irish show a mother’s protective care to all who call upon you in need. Help us always to care for our beautiful planet Mother Earth.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins on Wednesday 18 January and continues until 25 January.
The theme this year is “Belonging: Praying for Unity amidst Injustice”. Following dialogue between the Holy See’s Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Council of Churches, the resources for this year have been compiled by the churches in Minneapolis. They seek to challenge us in how we witness to Christian Unity in the midst of turmoil and racism in our world.
Here in Ireland, this year of 2023 marks two important anniversaries of key events of the journey towards Christian Unity. This year is the centenary of the formation of the Irish Council of Churches and it also marks the 50th anniversary of the Ballymascanlon Meetings between the Catholic Church and other Christian Churches on the island of Ireland in 1973, a structure that is now the Irish Inter-Church Meeting.
Today, these are the bodies for inter-church dialogue in Ireland as we continue to work together for peace, reconciliation and social justice. As we know, that work is unfinished; sectarianism is still, sadly, a major problem in communities and political life in the north while the growth of racism is increasingly evident across the island. The current cost of living crisis and the effects of the war in Ukraine add to this turmoil.
It is in this context that we mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity this year- giving thanks for the progress made by the Churches at various levels over the decades but seeking to place our continuing journey of witness to Christ’s desire for unity alongside his radical call to discipleship and social justice.
So let us journey onwards with a reconciling vision of hope, singing together an anthem of “be-longing”: “There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (Ephesians 4:5-6).” Amen.
Address by Archbishop Eamon at St Annes Cathedral Belfast