ADVENT & CHRISTMAS 2019

Help put Jesus back into Advent and Christmas with your students this year.  The secular message of Christmas is all about ” ME” and the real reason for this festival has been set aside quite deliberately by the business and the commercial interests that surround us all.

The Advent booklet is for the younger members of the Diocese (pre-Holy Communion) and contains items based on the Advent Gospels and Readings, Christmas Day, the Holy Family and The Epiphany of the Lord (Cycle A).  Families and schools should download and ask children to work with this booklet. Discuss the materials with them.

Advent 2019 Year A

Some Post Primary Resources to download for RE Class.

Christmas assembly +

Advent – The Waiting Time

Ten Christmas Commandments

Christmas Carol Service

Penitential Service for Advent (Susan)

Child of promise come

Flame of Bethlehem spreads light throughout the world

Jesus is Knocking at your Door this Christmas

The Innkeeper s Tale

Advent-Wreath-Colouring-Page

Doodle Prayer

Mary’s diary

Mary’s dream

Prayer In A Pot

Thought for Christmas

The Birth of Jesus Christ

Epiphany of our Lord January

Epiphany to colour

Meditation on the Epiphany

 

 

LIVING IN HARMONY WITH GOD’S CREATION

Jesus once told a parable about sowing a mustard seed.

“What shall we say the Kingdom of God is like?” It is like this. A man takes a mustard seed, the smallest seed in the world, and plants it in the ground.
It is so small, like a speck of dust. After a while, it grows up and becomes the biggest of plants.
It puts out such large branches that the birds come and make their nests in it.
THE GROUND  – A person’s heart
THE SEED – God’s love.
A SMALL PLANT – Good actions.
FULLY GROWN TREE- The Kingdom of God.

 

Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.Leave the rest to God.

 

Catholic Schools Week 2020

Catholic Schools Week 2020 will be celebrated from Sunday 27 January – Sunday 1 February 2020 on the theme ‘Living in Harmony With God’s Creation’.

Catholic-Schools-Week-2020-Flyer-1

November Moment and Liturgy can be found below

CSW2020-November-Moment-Post-Primary

CSW2020-November-Liturgy

 

The Archdiocese of Armagh will celebrate the launch of CSW 2020 as follows

Tuesday, January 21st   St John the Baptist Church Drumcree Portadown at 11.00 am. (Arrive from 10.30 am)

Thursday, January 23rd  Holy Redeemer Church Ard Easmuin, Dundalk at 12.30 pm   Seinn  2020.  (Arrive from 12.00 )

We are looking forward so much to meeting up again to celebrate in Word and Song all that is special to our Catholic Education System throughout our Diocese.

Do put these dates in your diary and please do come along to join us.

CREATION

CAFOD have this wonderful introduction video to Pope Francis and his teaching about Mother Earth our common home.

Climate change and human sgreedhave all hurt mother Earth.  Creation was entrusted to us as something great and precious.  We have messed it up so badly that we it may never recover.  Watch this now.

 

 

Also check out resources here on Bishops website

https://www.catholicbishops.ie/2019/07/17/season-of-creation-2019/

 

Pope Francis on Caring for Our Common Home

“We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family.”

“The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. In many parts of the planet, the elderly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish.”
“Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last 200 years.”
“We are not God. The Earth was here before us and was given to us.”
“The idea of infinite or unlimited growth, which proves so attractive to economists, financiers and experts in technology … is based on the lie that there is an infinite supply of the earth’s goods, and this leads to the planet being squeezed dry at every limit.”
“Yet all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start.”

3.-Creation Prayer-Service-4th-October2019

 

A prayer for our earth
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts
of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.
Amen.

A Christian prayer in union with creation
Father, we praise you with all your creatures.
They came forth from your all-powerful hand; they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love.
Praise be to you!
Son of God, Jesus,
through you all things were made.

You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother, you became part of this earth, and you gazed upon this world with human eyes.
Today you are alive in every creature
in your risen glory.
Praise be to you!

Holy Spirit, by your light
You guide this world towards the Father’s love and accompany creation as it groans in travail.
You also dwell in our hearts
and you inspire us to do what is good.
Praise be to you!

Triune Lord, wondrous community of infinite love, teach us to contemplate you in the beauty of the universe, for all things speak of you.
Awaken our praise and thankfulness
for every being that you have made.
Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined to everything that is.

God of love, show us our place in this world as channels of your love for all the creatures of this earth, for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.
Enlighten those who possess power and money that they may avoid the sin of indifference, that they may love the common good, advance the weak, and care for this world in which we live.
The poor and the earth are crying out.

O Lord, seize us with your power and light, help us to protect all life, to prepare for a better future, for the coming of your Kingdom of justice, peace, love and beauty.
Praise be to you!
Amen.

Watch Greta spaking at the UN

see video

Greta Thunberg full speech at UN Climate Change COP24 Conference from Grow in Love by Veritas on Vimeo.

 

Finding God in all things .  Praying as St Ignatius liked to pray.


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/279296672″>The Ignatian Way: Finding God in All Things</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/loyolapress”>Loyola Press</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Greta adresses United Nations.  Her full speech

You can read her full address below

Greta Thunberg address to UN

 

October Resources. Month of Our Lady and the Rosary

Some resources for praying the Rosary and some meditations on life of Mary, Mother of God.

Mother of Sorrows

How to recite the Rosary

rosary-colour-book-joyful-mysteries

rosary-colour-book-sorrowful-mysteries-1

rosary-colour-book-glorious-mysteries

Luminous Mysteries to Colour

Mysteries of the Rosary with scriptural readings

rosary lesson slides

Mary Service

Theotokos to colour

Hail Mary remains favourite prayer for young and old

Mary Woman of Faith

 

 

 

 

WORLD MISSION SUNDAY 20th OCTOBER 2019

        World Mission Sunday 2019

This year, World Mission Sunday, with the theme ‘Together We Are Mission’, will be celebrated over the weekend of 20th October. Throughout October, there are many, many ways you can show your support – be it through action, giving or prayer.

3_Childrens-Day-of-Mission-Prayer-Booklet

5_Mission-Poster-A2_English

1_Mission-Month-Booklet

4_Mission-Month-Toolkit

2_Mission-Sunday-Mass-Booklet-English

visit site for full details

https://www.wmi.ie/mm2019/mm2019-pack#1567504171848-4aa16ece-13cd

.

I like this short meditation ,it puts all of this into a great context

“They left everything and followed him”

My vocation is grounded in belonging to Jesus, and in the firm conviction that nothing will separate me from the love of Christ. The work we do is nothing more than a means of transforming our love for Christ into some­thing concrete. I didn’t have to find Jesus. Jesus found me and chose me. A strong vocation is based on be­ing possessed by Christ. It means loving him with un­divided attention and faithfulness through the freedom of poverty and total self-surrender through obedience. This is the call of being a Missionary of Charity, being wholeheartedly given over to serving the poorest of the poor. It means serving Christ through his suffering appearance in the poor:

He is the Life that I want to live. He is the Light that I want to radiate. He is the Way to the Father. He is the Love with which I want to love. He is the Joy that I want to share. He is the Peace that I want to sow. Jesus is Everything to me. Without him, I can do nothing.

Saint Teresa of Calcutta

Saint Teresa of Calcutta (t 1997) founded the Missionaries of Charity and won the Nobel Peace Prize.

 

A Day for Life 6th Oct 2019

Catholic Bishops Conferences for Ireland, England and Wales have chosen to focus on domestic abuse as this year’s theme for the Day for Life 2019.

Laura’s Story is typical of what so often happens.  To read her story go to    http://www.dayforlife.org/article/2019-day-for-life-domestic-abuse/

or

http://www.dayforlife.org#DayforLife2019

Home

You can view the poster here below.

A Day for Life 6.10.2019

Some prayers

On this Day for Life, we pray for all those who are suffering and surviving domestic abuse, that they may be given hope and be filled with the love of God. Guide their abusers away from a course of violence and onto one of love.  Lord hear us ….

We pray for anyone who feels trapped or isolated in their home. Help us to reach out in love and friendship, responding to families affected by domestic abuse with patience, understanding and wisdom.  Lord hear us.

Lord, give us the courage to offer friendship to people in distress, remembering your example of the good Samaritan. Help us to know that prayers and actions must work hand in hand to bring about change. Lord hear us.

On this Day for Life, we pray for all lives, that they may be treated with respect and have their God-given dignity acknowledged from conception to natural death, as well as throughout life.

 

Sacramental and liturgical resources.

As always Redemptorist Publications are on the ball.  Their new catalogue for Sacramental and Liturgical resources offesr practical parish and family based resources for preparing for key experieces of sacramental life.  Teachers will find some first rate ideas and readable materials in some of these booklets. Looking at the Wedding preparation book will give you excellent material for senior discussion for students.   Similar the funeral booklet.

 

I have scanned the catalogue for you to  download and read.

Sacramental Resources Red Pub

 

WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY 2019

To mark World Communications Day 2019, a seminar was held today in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, entitled: ‘Believers in the Digital World: Opportunities for Mission’.  Senator Joan Freeman chaired the seminar and Archbishop Eamon Martin delivered the opening address.  A video interview with Archbishop Martin, and the seminar brochure, are available on the home page of www.catholicbishops.ie.

World Communications Day 2019 will be celebrated by the universal Church this weekend on Ascension Sunday, 2 June.  Today’s seminar has been particularly informed by Pope Francis’ 2019 message for WCD We are members one of another (Eph 4,25).  From network community to human communities; by the Holy Father’s final address in February at the Vatican meeting on ‘The Protection of Minors in the Church’; and, by the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit To Young People and to the Entire People of God, which was published in March.  Those attending included members of the clergy, religious, diocesan communications officers, seminarians and representatives from the national seminary, students, second and third level chaplains, parish pastoral workers and volunteers, Catholic youth ministers and youth organisations, journalists, representatives of Catholic education, digital media experts and practitioners. 

 

·         Archbishop Eamon Martin is Archbishop of Armagh and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dromore; Primate of All Ireland; President of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference and chair of the Bishops’ Council for Communications.

Opening address on faith in the digital world by Archbishop Eamon Martin to mark World Communications Day 2019

Saint Patrick College, Maynooth

 

·         Ten principles offered to guide the presence of believers on the “digital highways” – Archbishop Eamon Martin

The screen time facility on my mobile phone and tablet offers me a detailed analysis of the time I’ve spent on my favourite apps, on social media, browsing the internet, and working on speeches like this one.  It tells me whether my total screen time is up, or down, on last week – which invariably leads to feelings of either guilt or self-congratulation.  For Lent I tried to go off all screens between nine at night and nine in the morning – but failed miserably!

Out at the Synod of Bishops on Youth in Rome last October we considered the massive impact of ‘screen culture’ – including not only mobiles and tablets, but also cinema, mini-series and video gaming.  We spoke about the exploitation of young people online, about the harvesting of their data, identity theft and scams.  However the young people present pleaded with us that the Church should not just stand outside the digital world, looking in with disapproval.  The Church should also recognise that Digital Technology, and especially Social Media, is now a permanent part of the life and identity of the majority of young people, and increasingly so, of all of us.  The distinction between the “online” and “offline” world is becoming more and more nebulous.

Nearly sixty years ago in 1963, the decree Inter Mirifica (Amongst the Wonderful) on the media of social communications, was published by the Second Vatican Council to set a positive tone for the Church’s interaction with new media – here are its opening paragraphs:

“1. Among the wonderful technological discoveries … made with God’s help, the Church welcomes and promotes with special interest those which …. have uncovered new avenues of communicating most readily news, views and teachings of every sort. The most important of these inventions … can, of their very nature, reach and influence, not only individuals, but the very masses and the whole of human society, and thus can rightly be called the media of social communication.

2. The Church recognizes that these media, if properly utilized, can be of great service to mankind, since they greatly contribute to entertainment and instruction as well as to the spread and support of the Kingdom of God. The Church recognizes, too, that people can employ these media contrary to the plan of the Creator and to their own loss. Indeed, the Church experiences maternal grief at the harm all too often done to society by their evil use.”

Today’s seminar takes place in that positive, yet inquiring spirit.  We are here to mark the message of Pope Francis for the 53rd World Communications Day which takes place this weekend on Ascension Sunday.  I begin by losing our key question, “Can we be believers in the digital world?” – “Believers”, firstly in the sense that we recognise the positive and powerful possibilities of digital media for education, exchange of information, ideals, and interests.  But “believers” also in another sense, as “believers” in God, for whom the digital world presents a vast “new continent” for meeting people, entering into dialogue with them, and opening up for them an encounter with Jesus Christ, and the challenges and the Joy of His Gospel.

Pope Francis sets out the context of his message clearly in the opening section:

“Ever since the internet first became available, the Church has always sought to promote its use in the service of the encounter between persons, and of solidarity among all. With this Message I would like to invite you once again to reflect on the foundation and importance of our being-in-relation and to rediscover, in the vast array of challenges of the current communications context, the desire of the human person who does not want to be left isolated and alone”.

Pope Francis continues,

“Today’s media environment is so pervasive as to be indistinguishable from the sphere of everyday life. The Net is a resource of our time. It is a source of knowledge and relationships that were once unthinkable. … If the Internet represents an extraordinary possibility of access to knowledge, it is also true that it has proven to be one of the areas most exposed to disinformation and to the conscious and targeted distortion of facts and interpersonal relationships, which are often used to discredit”

We will have an opportunity this morning to explore four particular perspectives:

Two young people, Emma Tobin and Oisín Walsh, will describe their peer group’s experience of the digital environment; Brenda Drumm of the Catholic Communications Office will reflect on faith and evangelisation in the digital space.  To help us consider some of the more difficult social media challenges, Detective Sergeant Mary McCormack will look at the challenge to society of online abuse and Darren Butler, of the Bishops’ Pastoral Response to Substance Misuse, will ask how parishes might addressing internet addiction.

Five years ago, I offered ten principles to guide the presence of believers on the “digital highways”.

1. Be positive, communicating the ‘joy of the Gospel’.

2. Strictly avoid aggression and ‘preachiness’ online; try not to be judgemental or polemical.

3. Never bear false witness on the internet.

4. Fill the internet with charity and love, continually seeking to include a sense of charity and solidarity with the suffering in the world.

5. Have a “broad back” when criticisms and insults are made – when possible, gently correct.

6. Pray in the digital world! Establish sacred spaces, opportunities for stillness, reflection and meditation online.

7. Establish connections, relationships and build communion, including an ecumenical presence online.

8. Educate young people to keep themselves safe and responsible online, particularly in light of cyberbullying and the prevalence and accessibility of pornography and online gambling.

9. “Give a soul to the internet”, as Pope Benedict XVI  once said – at all times witness to human dignity online.

10. Be missionary, remembering that, with the help of the internet, a message has the potential to reach the ends of the earth in seconds!

 

With these principles in mind, I invite you to consider how we CAN be “believers” in the digital world, and, conversely, reflect on the impact which the digital world is having on Church, society, on family, on interpersonal relationships and on each of us as individual persons.

Clearly a screen culture which massively prioritises “image” over listening and reading, will influence the missionary endeavours of all the great world faiths whose members have been traditionally known as “People of the Book”.

The digital world also has obvious implications for our contemporary understanding and use of key concepts like love, friendship, community, gathering, solidarity with others, especially the vulnerable.

Some speak of the “ME” or “selfie”  generation, which needs instant gratification and is nurtured by the narcissism and voyeurism of social networking – the extremes of this are seen in young people constantly checking their phones for likes and friends, obsessing for hours over their profile picture, or the macabre filming and instant sharing of tragic incidents like road accidents or the aftermath of terrorist attacks.  What can believers say into this space?  How might we understand more fully the driving forces within cyberspace and witness by our example to a Christian, healthy, and wholesome presence online?

Pope Francis refers to the danger of creating “closed circuits” on the Net, with people all thinking alike and easily manipulable by powerful outside interests which can “facilitate the spread of fake news and false information, fomenting prejudice and hate”.  He cautions on the other hand against the isolation and loneliness which can pervade our internet use, and “the dangerous phenomenon of young people becoming “social hermits” who risk alienating themselves completely from society”.  How can Christians build bridges across the divides online, be reconcilers, peacemakers, comforters, instilling hope, love, faith?

I suggest that Church and society has much to evaluate and reflect on in these areas.  However the sheer exponential speed of development of the World Wide Web, the immensity of questions raised about our identity and relationships and belonging, not to mention the huge ethical and moral questions it poses, can sometimes frighten us from even going there.  Our distinguished chairperson, Senator Joan Freeman, will share with us the work which she, Dr Mary Aiken and others have been doing to encourage dialogue and legislation to better safeguard our children and young people online.

Before handing over to the chair to introduce our Working Groups I leave the final words again to Pope Francis from his Message for this Sunday:

“… If a family uses the Net to be more connected, to then meet at table and look into each other’s eyes, then it is a resource.  If a Church community coordinates its activity through the network, and then celebrates the Eucharist together, then it is a resource.  If the Net becomes an opportunity to share stories and experiences of beauty or suffering that are physically distant from us, in order to pray together and together seek out the good to rediscover what unites us, then it is a resource.

We can, in this way, move from diagnosis to treatment: opening the way for dialogue, for encounter, for “smiles” and expressions of tenderness … This is the network we want, a network created not to entrap, but to liberate, to protect a communion of people who are free.  The Church herself is a network woven together by Eucharistic communion, where unity is based not on “likes”, but on the truth, on the “Amen”, by which each one clings to the Body of Christ, and welcomes others”.

Thank you for your participation this morning and I hope that you enjoy and benefit from today’s opportunity for interaction and dialogue.