Feast of St Brigid

Some resources you may like to use.

Saint Brigid    February 1 

St Brigid’s Day coincides with the Celtic festival of Imbolc, the first day of Spring.  Though meteorologists always dispute this assertion, there is no denying the lengthening days and the early signs of new life are the harbingers of Spring.  (Dr Ger Conden kindly sent me these short notes)

            Brigid was reputedly born in 450AD, at Faughart, County Louth, the daughter of a petty chieftain called, Dubhthach.  Her mother, Brocca, was said to have been baptised by St Patrick.  She was a generous child, giving away her father’s supply of butter to the poor, much to his annoyance.  But the Lord duly compensated the family by miraculously increasing the milk-yield of their cows.  
            She went on to evangelise (bring the Gospel) to the central plain of Ireland, especially Kildare, which became home to her most important foundation, a “double monastery” made up of both nuns and monks.  She is said to have passed from this life on February 1, 525.  Her fame spread throughout Europe in the 8th and 9th centuries.  There are nineteen ancient English churches named after our secondary patron, including St Bride’s in London. 

Her mantle (cloak) is preserved at Bruges in Belgium.    

A local faith /folk custom:        
Brat Bhríde / Brigid’s mantle:  Leave a piece of cloth on a nearby hedge on the eve (January 31) of St Brigid’s day.  Take it inside the next morning and use the cloth as an aid to prayer whenever there is an illness in your house, 

Faoi choimirce Bhríde go mbeidh tú  
– may you be under Brigid’s protection


The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity takes place from 18 -25 January. The resources for this year have been prepared by the Monastic Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland. The theme that was chosen, “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit”, is based on John 15:1-17 and expresses Grandchamp Community’s vocation to prayer, reconciliation and unity in the Church and the human family.  

A link to the booklet for the Week follows below.  It has an opening reflection on the effects of the pandemic and then a daily meditation and prayer (pages 10ff), which can be used privately.  https://ctbi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/WPCU-2021-English-pamphlet-Final.pdf.pagespeed.ce.SnR5lgw9dp.pdf


The Mark 10 Mission is a new project providing FREE virtual Gospel liturgies for primary schools. The idea had small beginnings, in June I felt the Lord calling me to help children in the school where I teach hear the Gospel during these challenging times. However, since the start of the academic year it seems the Lord has driven things forward incredibly and schools across England and Wales have been using The Mark 10 Mission in their classrooms. We have had brilliant feedback from Headteachers, Priests and Bishops, who have given us great encouragement. We would now love for schools in Ireland to join us too.

The Mark 10 Mission partnered with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal to produce Gospel liturgies to be shared on classroom screens. We knew that whole school worship would be impossible and wanted to create episodes to help teachers easily share the Gospel. As the crisis has intensified, schools have been able to share the weekly episodes with children as part of their home learning.

Each episode includes the Sunday Gospel, a reflection, guided prayer and a live worship song from Fr Gabriel CFR. It would be so appreciated if you could view our latest episode (Series 3 Episode 1) which has been watched in hundreds of schools in the UK this week!





Most schools are in ON-LINE LEARNING MODE presently due to COVID Lockdown. Some teachers may be able to use these attached resources to share with students online or perhaps with those students with special provision attending school at present.

Catholic Schools Week 2021 will be celebrated from Sunday 24 January to Sunday 31 January 2021 on the theme ‘Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith and Resilience’.

As we live through an unprecedented time of challenge and uncertainty, our faith and our resilience can be tested. We can ask questions like ‘Will things ever be the same again?’, ‘When can we get back to normality?’, ‘Where is God in all of this?’ In response to this, we reflect upon how Catholic schools are communities of faith and resilience. In Catholic schools, we are called to support each other and to have faith in the promise of the Good News. Catholic schools are inspired by the belief that God has created each one of us with a capacity to give love and receive love. This love is bound in faith and is more resilient than any virus. While each Catholic school is such a community, every Catholic school fosters the holistic development of its students, promotes their wellbeing and offers them cultivation of a deeper, loving relationship with God. Jesus teaches us to love one another as he has loved us. During Catholic Schools Week we celebrate the gifts and talents we have in following Jesus’ teaching.


This year we celebrate how we are called to be communities of faith and resilience, through our thoughts, words and actions. In doing so, we live out the meaning of the beautiful hymn ‘Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est’ – ‘Where charity and love are, God is there.’

These are the National Resources from the IEC website. Irish language versions can be download there



Susan and I have developed a short Prayer Service for use by our two Dioceses. You may be able to adapt to work with students in a bubble setting if you have students attending school or by an on-line prayer service or assmbly.

Home use is another possibility using your current outreach to students. Perhaps they would have a family celebration using the prayers and their completed artwork. Hang the pieces as a family mobile or use a small tree at home as suggested in the prayer service below.

The following video contains a personal message and blessing from Archbishop Eamon to young people in the Dioceses of Armagh and Dromore.


Thanks to Paula McShane from St Mark’s High School in Warrenpoint for sharing these.