Advent and Christmas 2020

During the four weeks of Advent, we prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ through prayer and meditation. We recall the First Coming of Jesus as Saviour of the world, and anticipate his promised Second Coming at the end of time. And in the midst of busy Christmas preparations, we look for practical ways to practice the holiness of this season in our everyday lives even with the Covid pandemic about us. .

Video ADVENT in 2 MINUTES

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Homily of Archbishop Eamon Martin for the First Sunday of Advent 2020 

Some resources from Cafod

https://cafod.org.uk/Education/Primary-teaching-resources/Advent-calendar-for-children

https://cafod.org.uk/Education/Secondary-and-youth-resources/Advent-resources-for-secondary

Other Resources.

https://www.catholicteacher.com/category/advent-and-christmas/

https://www.ncea.org/NCEA/Learn/Resource/Advent/Advent_Resources.aspx

YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN AN ADVENT DAY OF RECOLLECTION ONLINE (DRUMALIS CENTRE)

Sr Pam Thimmes OSC, Poor Clares, Faughart, will lead an Advent Day of Reflection on Saturday, 19 December from 10 am – 4 pm, hosted by Drumalis via Zoom.

For most of us 2020 has been an unprecedented time – a time of change, loss and grief, confusion, discovery, wonder and uncertainty. In some ways it has been an extended advent (arrival, emergence). Isaiah’s words came to his people in exile.  This day of reflection will allow us to bring these feelings and experiences of exile and newness of life into focus and perceive anew Christ born among us and living among us.  Our souls, like Mary’s have been pierced and transformed. Let us open our hearts to God’s newness born each day among us.  Do we see it and how do we live it? 

The cost for the Day of Reflection is £20 per person or £30 per household.  To book please contact Drumalis tel 028 28272196/ 28276455  (Mon-Fri, 9 am-5 pm).  For more information please see attached poster.

During Advent we have our Week of Witness recalling all who have suffered for their faith.

“Week of Witness” – 25 November –2 December

“Week of Witness” will take place from Wednesday 25 November – Wednesday 2 December 2020. During the week, we will remember all who have given great witness to their faith in the past and those who continue to give witness today and all who will continue to give great witness in the future.

On Wednesday 25th November (Red Wednesday) Archbishop Martin will celebrate a special Liturgy in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh at 7.30pm. People are invited to wear something red as we remember all who have given and all who continue to give great witness to their faith.

CSW 2021

Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith and Resilience.

Catholic Schools Week Catholic Schools Week 2021: The overarching theme for CSW 2021 will be  Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith and Resilience.

This particular theme will be especially relevant given the pandemic experience that is affecting the entire country. The following will be the daily themes for CSW 2021:

(1) Monday: Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith.
(2) Tuesday: Catholic Schools: Communities of Learning 
(3) Wednesday: Catholic Schools: Communities of Love
(4) Thursday: Catholic Schools: Communities of Resilience
(5) Friday: Catholic Schools: Communities of Hope

As in previous years, the resources for Catholic Schools Week will be uploaded on www.catholicschools.ie in time for January.  Posters in English and Irish will be sent to all schools in early January.  
The first stage however of Catholic Schools Week 2021 will be as usual the November Moment  to assist school communities in commemorating the Month of the Holy Souls. This year this may prove to be particularly poignant for our school communities given the losses that have been experienced by families across the country due to Covid-19.
The November Moment resources have been uploaded in English and Irish and can be sourced at www.catholicschools.ie
Download the CPSMA app for the most up to date information.

Downloads here as well.

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To think about …….

Pope Francis has repeatedly taught that ‘the book of nature is one and indivisible’ (Laudato Si’ 6), and that there are ‘rhythms inscribed in nature by the hand of the Creator’ (Laudato Si’ 71) that must be recovered and respected. This passage is particularly important: The acceptance of our body as a gift from God is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift from the Father and our common home, whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation. Learning to accept your body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology. Also, valuing one’s own body in its femininity or masculinity is necessary if I am going to be able to recognise myself in an encounter with someone who is different’ (Laudato Si’ 155).

The task of evangelisation is to help young people realise that their personal happiness is dependent upon them accepting the rhythms inscribed in nature by its – and their – Creator. When students realise this, and I have had occasional such light-bulb moments in class, there is an almost audible sigh of relief as they realise that life is a gift that self-worth is inherent and that they have inviolable God-given dignity. So, life becomes a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance, which is also acceptance and surrender to the mystery of God, rather than the more fragile and risky project of self-invention.

This recognition and insight is key to ecological conversion, because acceptance of one’s own dependence leads to recognition of the interdependence of all creatures, and the need and desire to care for our fellow creatures and our common home.  

Dr Eamon Conway Intercom April 2020

Some great resources on this link

http://jesuitinstitute.org/Pages/JPP/4%20Faith-filled%20Hopeful/JPPFaithfilledHopeful.htm

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Like this very much…….

Very much in line with the famous adage of mystic Julian of Norwich – “All will be well” – Christians have the ability to remain joyful in all circumstances, however difficult, because of their knowledge that God gently guides history and cares in an intimate way about us. The task of Christian education then, is to deepen young people’s trust that their lives are safe in God’s hands, that God has a plan for them and to help them to discern their future according to this plan.

In light of this, Fr Eamonn is calling on Irish faith schools to reform their current wellbeing programmes by recognising the importance of religious education and Christian hope, which offers not a product or a package, but a person, the resurrected Christ.

“I’m encouraging faith-based schools to evaluate critically the resilience programmes that are being rolled out, to evaluate them critically, and to see in what way they need to be complemented or substituted by programmes that reflect that characteristic sprit of those schools.”

But this isn’t just a problem only schools and academic institutions should be tackling, but all Christians who, by living out this Christian hope daily, can inspire others to realise that most things aren’t worth worrying over.

“I think the best way we can promote hope is to live hope – it is up to ourselves to live knowing that our lives, even in the most difficult moments, are held in God’s hands and that our lives are protected, shaped and guided by God’s hands and to live trusting in that and believing in that,” Fr Eamonn says.

article taken from the Irish Catholic