CSW 2020 & SEINN 2020

CSW 2020

Catholic Schools Week was launched at St John the Baptist Parish Church in Portadown today Tuesday January 21st. About 30 schools were represented with 600 young people attending with Principals teachers and some parents and grandparents. Living in harmony with Creation was our main focus. A similar launch took place yesterday at the Seinn Service at the Church of the Redeemer in Dundalk Co Louth. There the church was full to the brim with about 900 students from Dundalk, north and mid-Louth and south Armagh attending with teachers, parents and also so proud grandparents.
Our three banners this year remind us that our planet and special home is quickly being destroyed by careless and selfish overuse by nations, large companies and even individual choices in how we live and how we treat this wonderful part of God’s Creation. The first banner shows life created by God and says: “Creation God’s love for us” The second shows planet Earth cracking and wounded and says: “What went wrong?”  The third shows the same picture of our suffering planet Sister Earth and says: “We went wrong”.  Today we hoped to find a way forwards towards healing and living in harmony with our beautiful planet which is part of God’s Creation.
Music, hymn, readings, artwork and mime and dancing provided wonderful inspiration and reflection. Celebration and prayer helped us resolve in our own small way to be stewards of this wonderful world created in love for us by God. The organising team wish to thank all who helped make this celebration a true launch into CSW which begins this Sunday. Bishop Michael led us all in prayer and story. He blessed saplings of trees for schools to plant and each student received a sprout pencil contains sunflower seeds to emphasise the eco message of living in harmony with our world. Please God all will return home to school determined to make the most of CSW 2020.
Some schools have asked for a copy of the order of service. You can download this below.

Bishop Michael Router meets Colaiste Ris Students CSW 2020

The launch of Catholic Schools Week in the Archdiocese of Armagh will take place as follows:
Date Time Venue
Tuesday 21 January 11.00 am St John the Baptist Church, Drumcree, Portadown  ( Prayer Service / Para-liturgy)
Thursday 23 January 12.30 pm Holy Redeemer Church, Ard Easmuinn, Dundalk   ( Prayer Service with active singing !!)
Bishop Michael meets students in Dundalk as we prepare for CSW 2020 next week.  Full details of the launch are further down the blog.


Watch this uTube video of their time together.




Christian Unity Prayer Week 2020

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will run as usual from 18 to 25 January.
The theme this year is They showed us unusual kindness (Acts 28:2).   Annually, leaders of faith communities throughout the world gather together to arrive at the theme for the annual celebration of Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This year the theme finds its origins in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 27:18 – 28:10).
Resources are available as downloads from the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland website at www.ctbi.org.uk/weekofprayer.
Local Service
An interdenominational Service for Christian Unity will be held in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, Armagh, on Wednesday, 22 January at 7.30 pm.
The guest preacher will be Fr Tony Currer, a diocesan priest of Hexham and Newcastle diocese in the North East of England who currently works at the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity where he is responsible for the Vatican’s relations with the worldwide Anglican and Methodist Communions and
for the materials prepared for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

The materials for the 2020 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity have been prepared by the Christian churches in Malta and Gozo (Christians Together in Malta). On 10th February many Christians in Malta celebrate the Feast of the Shipwreck of St Paul, marking and giving thanks for the arrival of Christian faith on these islands. The reading from the Acts of the Apostles used for the feast is the text chosen for this year’s Week of Prayer. The story begins with Paul being taken to Rome as a prisoner (Acts 27:1ff). Paul is in chains, but even in what turns out to be a perilous journey, the mission of God continues through him. This narrative is a classic drama of humanity confronted by the terrifying power of the elements. The passengers on the boat are at the mercy of the forces of the seas beneath them and the powerful tempest that rages about them. These forces take them into unknown territory, where they are lost and without hope.

Today many people are facing the same terrors on the same seas. The very same places named in the reading (27:1, 28:1) also feature in the stories of modern-day migrants. In other parts of the world, many others are making equally dangerous journeys by land and sea to escape natural disasters, warfare and poverty. Their lives, too, are at the mercy of immense and coldly indifferent forces – not only natural, but political, economic and human. This human indifference takes various forms: the indifference of those who sell places on unseaworthy vessels to desperate people; the indifference of the decision not to send out rescue boats; and the indifference of turning migrant ships away. This names only a few instances. As Christians together facing these crises of migration this story challenges us: do we collude with the cold forces of indifference, or do we show “unusual kindness” and become witnesses of God’s loving providence to all people?