HOLY WEEK AT HOME RESOURCES TO TRY OUT

Our Holy Father Pope Francis speaks to all Families ahead of Holy WEEK

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Holy Week is an important time for us as Christians, but this year we are unable to gather to pray and reflect because of the pandemic.

This site has gathered activities that will help you and your children move through the week thoughtfully, prayerfully, and also with some fun.

Pick and choose from the options based on the ages of your children and what appeals to you.

Ideas are listed on the most relevant day, but you can do them whenever you would like.

What is most important this week—especially during this unsettling time—is for you to be present to your children, say you love them, talk to them about faith, and pray with them.

PLEASE Check out this link for super resources

https://holyweek.pastoral.center/

Access the activities for each day with the links below or the menu at the top of the page.  Materials on this site for

Palm Sunday    https://holyweek.pastoral.center/palm_sunday

Holy Thursday  https://holyweek.pastoral.center/holy_thursday

Good Friday   https://holyweek.pastoral.center/good_friday

Easter Sunday.  https://holyweek.pastoral.center/easter_sunday

 

Also Please checkout Armagh Prays for Holy Week prayer resources

https://www.armaghprays.com/

Bishop Michael speaks to us

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OTHER RESOURCES:

Holy Week @HOME Family Retreat    This is a superb pack to print off and use at home this Holy Week. Something for everyone at home.

Palm Sunday

The Last Supper Activity Pack

Anointing Feet

Crucifixion

Risen

The Resurrection of Jesus wordsearch

 

TRY MAKING A HOLY WEEK RETREAT AT HOME>

Holy week retreat from https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1_voxLrr391f50ebFxMUDnjvODVwLLE1o-kP-mzFD5Ig/edit#slide=id.p

A Plan of the week

HOLY WEEK RETREAT Plan

 

Another way of participating in Holy Week :

Join Fr Denis Mc Bride well know scripture scholar and retreat master for HOLY WEEK REFLECTION

Hosted by Redemptorist Publications view Fr Denis here

https://www.rpbooks.co.uk/palm-sunday-reflections-with-fr-denis?utm_source=RP+Newsletter+2020&utm_campaign=ba18b658b5-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_01_13_04_38_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_61d90c626e-ba18b658b5-217574287&mc_cid=ba18b658b5&mc_eid=eefcde65aa

also

Coming next week

Wednesday 8th April 2020, another free audio resource by Redemptorist Publications, in which Fr Denis McBride C.Ss.R. accompanies us through the services of the Easter Triduum. You will hear to prayers, readings, psalms and the Gospels of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil.

Also STATIONS OF THE CROSS

LINK  https://www.rpbooks.co.uk/stations-of-the-cross-then-and-now-free-reflections?utm_source=RP+Newsletter+2020&utm_campaign=2758ea10e8-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_01_13_04_38_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_61d90c626e-2758ea10e8-217574287&mc_cid=2758ea10e8&mc_eid=eefcde65aa

MASSES on LINE  Full list of parishes with Mass times.

https://www.armagharchdiocese.org/webcam-masses-in-the-archdiocese-of-armagh/

 

LITANY OF SUPPLICATION USED BY POPE FRANCIS

Litany prayed by Pope Francis last Friday – could be used as a prayer at Veneration of Cross on Good Friday Solemn Liturgy

Litany of Supplication used by Pope Francis

 

MORE RESOURCES CA BE FOUND HERE

https://www.elphindiocese.ie/programme-prayer-resources/

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A prayer composed by Fr. Donal Neary, SJ

Be with us Lord, in times of darkness: may you be our light;

In times of isolation, may we support each other,
In times of illness, heal each one.
Be with our nurses, doctors and all medical staffs,
And all who keep life going at this time,
Those who care at home for the elderly
and look after our children,
And those who look out for the poor.

Remember Lord in your kindness, all I remember this day,
Especially those away from home.
Father God, Brother Jesus, Mother Mary,
Let me not lose hope in your love, now and always.
Holy Spirit fill us all with serenity and hope.
Amen.

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Veritas, the publishers of the Grow in LoveReligious Education programme used in Primary Schools has opened up its website to public access for the duration of school closures.  Families can access the class material relevant to their own child’s / children’s class / classes. 
Each year has a section on Holy Week and Easter listed among its ten-or-so themes, with video clips and other materials linked to the the Pupil Textbook.  .
The web address is:  https://app.growinlove.ie/en/login
In the box asking for your email address type:  trial@growinlove
Password:  growinlove

 

 

Extraordinary Urbi et Orbi blessing by Pope Francis RTÉ News Now tomorrow at 5.00pm

Archbishop Eamon Martin welcomes Friday’s extraordinary Urbi et Orbi blessing by Pope Francis

 

  • Blessing to be broadcast live by RTÉ News Now tomorrow at 5.00pm

 

“Pope Francis’ blessing will be an opportunity to avail ourselves of Divine Grace.  I encourage everyone to watch this special broadcast” – Archbishop Eamon

 Tomorrow Friday, 27 March, at 5.00pm Irish time, the Holy Father Pope Francis will preside over an extraordinary global celebration (Statio orbis) of prayer.  It will take place on the sagrato of Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome, the platform at the top of the steps immediately in from of the façade of the church.  The ceremony will consist of readings from the Scriptures, prayers of supplication, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; and will conclude with Pope Francis giving his Urbi et Orbi (to the City [of Rome] and to the world) blessing.  During this prayer ceremony the Pope will grant to participants all over the world a plenary indulgence in the context of the Coronavirus.

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Evening meditation from Pope Francis March 27th

Pope Francis offered a meditation on the crisis facing the world, reflecting on a passage from the Gospel of Mark (4:35-41). Calming of the Storm.

“For weeks now it has been evening,” said the Pope. “Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void, that stops everything as it passes by; we feel it in the air, we notice it in people’s gestures, their glances give them away.”

In this situation, he said, we feel afraid and lost, like the disciples whose boat was in danger of sinking while Jesus slept at the stern.

The Covid-19 pandemic has reminded us that we are all on the same boat, said Pope Francis, and so we call out to Jesus. The disciples ask Him, “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?”

To read the full meditation download this pdf .

Pope Francis Urbi et Orbi Corona Virus   (With Gospel Reading)

Pope Francis Urbi et Orbi Corona Virus

 

Trying   to cope with it all …   Read the following thoughts

Covid19 Way of the cross

Lockdown Bro Richard Hendrick OFM

What is the Corona teaching us Bill Gates

 

Teachers in NI may be preparing online work for students at home.

Susan has shared the Fully Alive Texts in digital form as PDF .  You may find these helpful to draw upon.

You can put the Fully Alive books upon their VLE’s. Also Workbook and Activity Book for each year

You can download these from here

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Fully Alive 1 screen res

Workbook

Activity Book

Fully Alive 2 screen res

FullyAlive2Workbook

FullyAlive2ActivityBook

Fully Alive 3 screen res

Fully Alive 3 Workbook

Fully Alive 3 Activity Book

 

All teachers may find the following a help ……

36 Online Lesson Plans with embedded links to Other Resources, e.g. YouTube links, Songs etc.

GSR in the Classroom.  This site hosts excellent lesson plans, encompassing good discussion questions, stories, testimonies,  scripture passages, suggested actions, links to Youtube clips and concluding prayers on the following topics:

Lent (6 lessons)
Environment (6 lessons)
Human Trafficking (6 lessons)
Migration (6 lessons)
Race Relations (6 lessons)
Vocations (6 lessons)

Each lesson follows Tom Groome’s approach of going from life to faith to life.  There are also great cross-curricular links within RE and with other subjects, e.g. geography, business, history.

Everything you require for a lesson (some could cover two class periods) can be found in one downloadable handout (pdf), which you can email to your students pre or post-lesson if you wish.  Links to YouTube clips are also embedded further limiting demands on you.  There is also a teacher guide for each lesson (clearly written by an experienced teacher) but given your own formation and experience as an RE Teacher and the quality of each handout,  you may not require this.

To source these lessons plans, teacher guides etc. go to:  www.globalsistersreport.org/classroom

 

Checkout also   https://www.24-7prayer.com/videos

 

JUNIOR CERT RE  NEW BOOKS FOR CATHOLIC STUDENTS.   SOULSEEKERS  By Tom Gunning.

Do go on line a check these resources from Tom

Dear RE teacher,

We are aware of the increased pressure on RE teachers at this particular time to gather resources for their students. Accordingly, we have decided to provide free access to the resources on our Soul Seekers website: www.soulseekers.ie . Please find the details below:

Email: soulseekers2020@veritas.ie

Password: SS2020Veritas!

 

CORONA VIRUS – Some nice prayers and thoughts to keep us going !! KEEP SAFE DEAR FRIENDS

‘The Church – showing Solidarity and Compassion in a time of Social distancing’ – Archbishop Eamon Martin

In the midst of all the talk of “social distancing” and “self-isolation”,    I find myself reflecting this weekend on two consoling images from the scriptures: the first is of a good and gentle Shepherd; the second, of a loving and caring Mother.

Read Archbishops Eamon’s Homily for the 4th Sunday in Lent.

‘The Church – showing Solidarity and Compassion in a time of Social distancing’ – Archbishop Eamon Martin

 

HOME WORSHIP RESOURCES:
Resources above for praying the Liturgy at home.
In this challenging time when many of us are unable to attend Mass in person, here’s a great way that you can pray together as a family.
“As Christians, we try to find the connection between challenging times and God’s will. Maybe this is the jolt we needed, individually and as a society, to remind us that life is a fragile gift. The experience may increase our empathy for those for whom anxiety and vulnerability is every day. This week it was reported that the reduced economic activity in China has actually saved between 50-75,000 lives, owing to the reduction in air pollutants over the past three months. Maybe the pandemic will lead humanity to address other serious issues, such as climate change, having shown that a common purpose can only be achieved when all countries work together.”  Dr Ger Condon D A
Prayer Intentions for this Week:
  • For the Church, that it may be a sign of hope in this time of crisis; may all who follow Christ bring the light of his love into the world.
  • For those sick with the Coronavirus; for those who are isolated, or have lost their jobs as a result of the economic crisis, that they may have the help they need to find healing and new life. 
  • For doctors and nurses, that they may be strengthened in their good work as they imitate the goodness of Christ who brought healing to the sick.
  • For scientists who are working on a vaccine and other treatments, that they may have the gift of understanding and wisdom to reach this goal.  
  • On this mothers’ day, we pray with gratitude for all mothers.  Like Mary, the Mother of Jesus, may they see God’s will in all that they do and stand by their children at all times.
  • For those who have died, especially … That they may dwell in God’s house forever

All holy Father, you have shown us your mercy and made us a new creation in the likeness of your Son.  Make us living signs of your love.  Through Christ our Lord.

 

A daily Meditation Exercise.

We encourage you to sit in stillness for ten to fifteen minutes and open your heart to receive God’s gift of the Holy Spirit.

This spiritual exercise will deepen your awareness of the presence of the Holy Spirit in your heart and give you confidence that the Spirit will be with you in everything you do to make Christ known.

  1. Centre yourself; sit upright, two feet firmly on the floor; breathe rhythmically with deep breaths, in and out, from the abdomen; clear your mind of all preoccupations.
  2. Bring yourself to bodily stillness.
  3. Now welcome in your heart this gift that Jesus has for you: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid” (John 14:27).
  4. Quietly repeat those words of Jesus and hand over to him all worries or trouble.
  5. You may find it helpful if you mention or name to God a specific area where you need healing or forgiveness.
  6. Now be still for some time in the presence of God as you welcome the Holy Spirit into your heart.
  7. As you are about to finish your time of prayer, focus again on your breathing while you relax in God’s presence.
  8. Bring yourself gently back to your daily concerns.

May you receive that peace of Christ each day.

Exercise excerpt taken from Talking about Jesus £4.95

 

This beautiful prayer was written by an Italian priest who is self-isolating at the moment and very sadly lost his own brother a few days ago to Covid-19…

I’m staying at home, Lord!

I’m staying at home, Lord! And today, I realise, you taught me this, remaining obedient to the Father, for thirty years in the house of Nazareth, waiting for the great mission.

I stay at home, Lord, and in Joseph’s studio, your keeper and mine, I learn to work, to obey, to round the corners of my life and prepare you a work of art.

I’m staying at home, Lord! And I know that I am not alone because Mary, like any mother, is in the next room, doing chores and preparing lunch for all of us, God’s family.

I’m staying at home, Lord! And I do it responsibly for my own good, for the health of my city, for my loved ones, and for the good of my brother, whom you have put beside me, asking me to take care of him in the garden of life.

I’m staying at home, Lord! And in the silence of Nazareth, I pledge to pray, to read, study, meditate, be useful for small jobs, in order to make our home more beautiful and more welcoming.

I’m staying at home, Lord! And in the morning, I thank you for the new day you give me, trying not to spoil it and welcome it with wonder, as a gift and an Easter surprise.

I’m staying at home, Lord! And at noon I will receive the greeting of the angel, I will make myself useful for love, in communion with you who have made you flesh to live among us; and, tired of the journey, thirsty, I will meet you at Jacob’s well, and thirsty for love on the Cross.

I’m staying at home, Lord! And if the evening takes me melancholy, I will invoke you like the disciples of Emmaus: stay with us, the evening has arrived and the sun sets.

I’m staying at home, Lord! And in the night, in communion of prayer with the many sick, the lonely and all the caregivers, I will wait for the dawn to sing your mercy again and tell everyone that, in the storms, you have been my refuge.

I’m staying at home, Lord! And I don’t feel alone and abandoned, because you told me: I’m with you every day. yes, and especially in these days of confusion, O Lord, in which, if my presence is not necessary, I will reach everyone, only with the wings of prayer.

Amen

 

School Resources
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NI RE RESOURCES
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For lesson materials check out
Download
Co Louth School RE Resources:
Ciara Dunne from Veritas has been in touch to say that the second volume (second of two) in the Soulseekers series for Junior Cycle RE is in production for next September.  The current Volume 1 is for 1st Years; ( I left a copy for you in your school) the new book will be for years 2 and 3.  Soulseekers fulfils the criteria for Junior Cycle RE set out by the new NCCA specification.  It is also rooted in the Catholic tradition and is especially suited to Catholic schools.  Veritas is offering free access to the online element of the programme to teachers who make contact with Ciara  (ciara.dunne@veritas.ie or on 0857564689).  Ciara will answer your queries and forward you an access code which will allow you review the excellent https://soulseekers.ie/  website.
Ger Condon kindly sent me this    Thanks a million Ger :
Crises carry within the seeds of opportunity and conversion:

1.  While “social-distancing” and “self-isolation” sound negative, they can be interpreted positively, as ways of coming home to ourselves.  We can spend more time in reflection and prayer, and thinking about our priorities. 

2.  “Wash your hands”   – as you do so say one Hail Mary

3.  Churches remain open – make visiting the church part of your new routine.

4.  Learn a new skill or revive an old hobby: a language, a musical instrument, or perfect a new signature dish for the family table.

5.  More time for reading?  Dust off that book on theology or religious education you had been meaning to “tolle, lege”; “Take up and read” (Augustine)

6.  Spend more time in your garden and in the great outdoors.  Recognise the face of the Creator in the beauty of creation. 

7.  Spring-clean and declutter– donate what you do not need to charity.  

 
Prayer Intentions:

1.  For people around the world, as we come to terms with the Coronavirus – for the victims that they will quickly recover, and for the doctors, nurses and support staff that the Lord will strengthen their good work and keep them safe. 

3.  For people who thirst for love and for purpose in their lives.  May they see in Jesus the living water of God’s presence; giving them new heart and purpose.  

4.  For our school or parish, particularly for the vulnerable and elderly people of our district; that we may look out for one another and support those who are most in need.  

5.  We pray for those who have died.  We remember …  may they be raised to new life in God’s kingdom of peace and mercy. 

Bon Mot: If you cannot do great things, do little things with great love. (Mother Teresa of Calcutta)

Paidir tradisiúnta:  Dia idir sinn agus an t-olc. 

Powerful reflection by Sr Maud Murphy entitled  ” The Challenge of Corona ” Download below
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Dr Kieran O’Mahony from tarsus.ie has started putting up short talks on the Sunday Scripture readings via Zoom technology.

https://zoom.us/rec/play/65Yuc72u-Do3G9TEuASDA_UsW9W5J_qsgHJK-KBczEu9WncLZlamN7oQZuUhc5XjzGDo7EN3KjkT5sHF?autoplay=true&startTime=1584524379000       

Attached also is his weekly Lenten resources with lots of interesting links.

Another recent online resource that some people have found useful for joining in to prayer with others on-line is the Taize Community each evening at 7.30 live at  https://www.facebook.com/taize/

🌈 🌍🎵🌷 ❤💚🧡💛💙 🌷🎵🌎🌈
The most beautiful words I’ve heard yet to inspire & fill your lungs with love. ❤
“Yes, there is fear.
Yes, there is isolation.
Yes, there is panic buying.
Yes, there is sickness.
Yes, there is even death.
But….
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again. 🎶
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.🌷
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.🌈
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary😇
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way🌍
All over the world, people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.❤
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.🙏
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.❤
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing. 🎵
Brother Richard Hendrick, OFM
( Capuchin Franciscan Monk )
March 13th 2020
Stay safe everyone 💜🙏💜
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POPE FRANCIS PRAYS TO MARY, Health of the Sick ….

The Pope offered a prayer to the Virgin Mary on Wednesday afternoon, in a video message to mark the Diocese of Rome’s day of prayer and fasting for the coronavirus emergency.

The video was broadcast at the opening of a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the diocesan vicar, at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Divine Love near Rome.

In his prayer, Pope Francis calls Mary “Health of the Sick”, adding that she kept her faith firm as she stood near the Cross as Jesus suffered.

“You, Salvation of the Roman People, know what we need. We are certain that you will provide, so that, as you did at Cana of Galilee, joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial.”

The Pope also said we seek refuge under Our Lady’s protection, knowing that she will help us “conform ourselves to the Father’s will”.

An English-language translation of the Pope’s prayer is below:

O Mary, you shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope.

We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick.

At the foot of the Cross you participated in Jesus’ pain,

with steadfast faith.

You, Salvation of the Roman People, know what we need.

We are certain that you will provide, so that,

as you did at Cana of Galilee,

joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love,

to conform ourselves to the Father’s will

and to do what Jesus tells us:

He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and bore our sorrows to bring us,

through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen.

We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God.

Do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test – and deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.

AMEN

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Watch video

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Irish Episcopal Conference Prayers

When we cannot attend Mass, we can still make an Act of Spiritual Communion, in which we express our faith in Christ and in His Presence in the Eucharist, and ask Him to unite Himself with us. The basic elements of an Act of Spiritual Communion are an Act of Faith; an Act of Love; a desire to receive Christ; and an invitation to Him to come into your heart. There are various popular prayers to accompany an Act of Spiritual Communion, eg:

My Jesus,

I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.

I love you above all things, and I desire to receive you into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally,

come at least spiritually into my heart.

I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself wholly to you.

Never permit me to be separated from you.

Amen.

 

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Extract from Saint Patrick’s Breastplate

Christ with me,

Christ before me,

Christ behind me,

Christ in me,

Christ beneath me,

Christ above me,

Christ on my right,

Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down,

Christ when I sit down,

Christ when I arise,

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.

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Memorare      

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,

that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection,

implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided.

Inspired with this confidence,

I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.

To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.

O Mother of the Word Incarnate,

despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer.  Amen.

 

15.03.2020

So beautiful from Pope Francis:
“Tonight before falling asleep
think about when we will return to the street.
When we hug again,
when all the shopping together will seem like a party.
Let’s think about when the coffees will return to the bar, the small talk, the photos close to each other.
We think about when it will be all a memory but normalcy will seem an unexpected and beautiful gift.
We will love everything that has so far seemed futile to us. Every second will be precious.
Swims at the sea, the sun until late, sunsets, toasts, laughter.
We will go back to laughing together.
Strength and courage.
See you soon! “#Papafrancesco
#restateacasa #pope #popefrancis ❤🙏

 

Hope and Love.  Four Candles.  ( Not the Fork handles joke !! )

 

 

ST PATRICK’S DAY some resources for school use.

 

Here are some resources you may wish to use with students.

St Patrick Day Play Assembly 

Celtic Saints – Patrick

Profile of St Patrick

St Patrick – a Reflection

THE DEER’S CRY

St Patrick & social justice

Blessing of Shamrock pdf

 

Utube video  ” The true story of St Patrick”

.Discover the true story of St. Patrick told by the two archbishops of the Roman Catholic and Anglican St. Patrick’s cathedrals in Armagh, Northern Ireland.

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Saint Patrick’s Day message from Archbishop Eamon Martin

  • Archbishop Eamon to celebrate Mass for Saint Patrick’s Day at 11.00am in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, which will be live streamed on webcam

This Saint Patrick’s Day, Ireland – like many parts of the world – is coming to terms with the Coronavirus.  Many people are anxious about what lies ahead.

Like others in society, our parishes have been introducing restrictions to help keep people safe, especially those who are most vulnerable.  I invite you to join me today in praying the beautiful prayer of Saint Patrick, known as his “breastplate” prayer, in which he invited Christ to surround him with love and protection:

Christ with me, Christ before me,

Christ behind me, Christ within me,

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ at my right, Christ at my left,

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.

The coming weeks and months are going to bring challenges and uncertainty for all of us, as we are reminded of the fragility of human life and of our dependence on one another and on God.

This is a time for an outpouring of the works of mercy towards the sick and vulnerable, and for a spirit of generosity and self-sacrifice, compassion and charity in Ireland, and across the world.  It’s hard for people not to be alarmed, but it’s worth remembering that we are never completely isolated or alone.

This is also a time for prayer.  Pray for the virtues of patience and perseverance and for the composure to overcome any temptation to despair.  Do your best to spread calmness – not panic; serenity – not turbulence; solidarity – not selfishness.  Reach out to neighbours and relatives who may feel troubled or alone.  Even a simple phone call can make a huge difference.  Work to ensure that hope and compassion will prevail.

In turning towards God for protection, as Saint Patrick did, I ask for your prayers in particular for our brave and selfless health workers and for the medical scientists who are searching for a vaccine and better treatments.  Pray that government and public health authorities can make wise judgements and decisions about how to limit the impact of the virus, especially on the most vulnerable.

In Ireland we have a strong tradition that God is at our side in time of trouble.  It remains important to keep reminding ourselves and others in the coming days that we are never completely isolated: Christ is beside us, before us, behind us, on our right and on our left, beneath us and above us.

Saint Patrick, Apostle of Ireland, pray for us.

Dia idir sinn agus an t-olc. – “God between us and all harm”.

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Download:

Praying at Home with St Patrick

 

 

LENTEN SACRED SPACE – Muirne

Talking about the Lent/Easter Sacred Space:

Purple is the colour used in the church for lent. It has two meanings – purple is used to denote the penance (sacrifice) we do to prepare for something special and it is also the colour of royalty. The soldiers dressed Jesus in a purple robe when they mocked him as a ‘king’.

The hessian cloth shows the desert, where Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights preparing for his ministry. Our 40 days of Lent imitates this time. The cacti help to create a desert scene.

The stones represent one of the temptations that the devil put before Jesus in the desert. He challenged Jesus, that if he really was the Son of God, he could turn the stones into loaves of bread. Jesus resisted the temptation.

The Eiffel tower represents another temptation. The devil told Jesus if he really was God’s Son, he could jump off a high tower and angels would help him fly. Jesus resisted the temptation.

The crown represents the third temptation when the devil promised Jesus that if he followed him, he would make him king of the whole world. Jesus resisted again.

The donkey reminds us of how Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The cross made out of dried palm leaves reminds us that people waved palms like flags and cheered Jesus as he arrived.

The chalice reminds us of the Last Supper when Jesus changed bread and wine into his own body and blood and said “Do this in memory of me”.

The purse with silver coins reminds us how Judas betrayed Jesus to the chief priests and was paid 30 pieces of silver.

The cockerel reminds us of how Peter was so afraid that he denied that Jesus was his friend. He did this 3 times before the cockerel crew.

The cross reminds us how Jesus died on Good Friday on the hill of Golgotha.

The angel carrying the cross reminds us of the angel who told Mary Magdalen and another Mary that Jesus had risen from the dead.

The lamb reminds us of how the Jewish people would sacrifice a lamb at their Passover feast, to make up for their sins. Because Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross for our sins, he is often called the Lamb of God.

Eggs are symbols of new life and the wooden egg here is decorated with Christian symbols to show that the resurrection of Jesus means that there is a new life for all of us, even after death.

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For a lovely Ignatian prayer meditation entitled “Following Jesus into the Desert” use this link

Following Jesus into the Desert

 

 

ANNUAL ARMAGH RELIGIOUS EDUCATION COMMUNITY DAY 2020

This year our Annual Religious Education Teacher Community will meet on Tuesday 23rd June in St John the Baptist College, Drumcree, Portadown.

This Annual Gathering has proved to be very successful in helping to meet the personal, spiritual and professional needs of teachers of Religious Education in our Archdiocese.  It also affords an opportunity for RE teachers and HODs to build networks for support and to exchange ideas and resources.  Being part of this community helps build a strong sense of support, belonging and identity.  We hope to commence at 9.45 am with Taize Lectio based Morning Prayer,

Full details can be downloaded here.

Annual RE Community Day 2020

Reply slip 2020

Our Annual Armagh Community Day Programme

  1. 45 am           Arrival & registration    (Declan )
  1. 00 am          Taize Lectio Morning Prayer   (Declan)
  1. 40 am           Coffee break

11.00  am            “Living the Gospel as RE Teachers”     Mrs Joan McCombe

12,15. pm             Pure in Heart      Marie Cummins and team

1.00 pm                Lunch break    (Light Lunch Provided)

1.50 pm               Sharing resources and issues.

( Bring 15 copies of one resource you used and found good )

2.10 pm            “ The Fifth Gospel  –  Learning from the  Holy Land itself ”

. Fr Paul Clayton Lee.

3.30 pm               Evaluation and Closure.

 

I really hope as many of you as possible will come along.

I realise the Co Louth schools will be on Summer Holiday by then but maybe a few may make it north to join us all.

 

LENT & POPE FRANCIS

“Lent,” Pope Francis said, “is a time in which to turn off the television and open the Bible.”

During his teaching for the weekly Audience the Pope reflected on the 40 days spent by Jesus in the desert as He prepared for His public ministry and said that, in a sense, it is a time for us to imitate Jesus and seek a place of silence, where we are free to hear the Lord’s word and experience His call.

“In the desert one hears the Word of God,” he said, “one finds intimacy with God and the love of the Lord,” noting that Jesus taught us how to seek the Father, who speaks to us in silence.  For many of us, it is not easy to be in silence as we live in an environment that is “polluted by too much verbal violence,” by so many “offensive and harmful words” which are amplified by the internet “ Lent is a time to disconnect from cell phones and connect to the Gospel,” he said.

“It is the time to give up useless words, chatter, rumours, gossip, and talk and to speak directly to the Lord,” he said, it is a time in which to dedicate ourselves to an ecology of the heart.

Following on from our CSW Tree planting and Sprout Pencils now is a chance to get more involved in saving our Planet  Mother Earth. .

THE SMA LAUDATE TREE PROJECT.

The Laudato Tree Project is Ireland’s contribution to the Great Green Wall – an incredible global initiative to plant 8,000km of trees, spanning 13 countries, right across Africa and to establish a mosaic of greened areas in the Sahel region south of the Sahara.

While the trees you help us plant in Africa will combat the destructive impact of climate change, we must also practice what we preach. So, as a statement of intent that we are serious about tackling climate change and meeting our own greenhouse targets, your generous donations will also help plant trees in Ireland – a country with one of the lowest forest coverage levels in Europe.

The Laudato Tree – Be part of something amazing

Also

A competition being run by Trócaire at the minute called Game Changers (runs to 20th April) where students are invited to create a card, board or video game that explores Climate Justice, Human Rights or Sustainable Development Goals.

These 22 groups of young people, their teachers and Trócaire staff then came together to enjoy a hugely energetic and colourful event. On the day, the judges were wowed by the standard of gameplay on show but the final say on who took home the title went to the entrants themselves.

‘Children are hope’ – a new book by Pope Francis for children

‘Children are hope’ – a new book by Pope Francis aimed at children. I bambini sono speranza

I Bambini sono speranza (Children are hope) is the of a newly published children’s book composed of short and simple statements by Pope Francis that encourage sharing, acceptance and love.

The materials have been selected by Father Antonio Spadaro SJ, director of La Civiltà Cattolica magazine, and the book has been illustrated by Sheree Boyd who illustrated the Dear Pope Francis book for children published in 2016 which so many people loved.

Introducing the new book, Cardinal Tagle said that “where there are no children, there is no future.”

The book, he said, is “a breath of fresh air” as it is full of images of joy, energy and life. He shared that it reminds him of his own childhood in the village of Imus in the Philippines, where the family had no television set and where every evening his mother would read books to the children.

In the book the Pope speaks directly to children, choosing words that invite them to be generous, to not be afraid to cry, to do good in life, but also to smile and to dance for joy.

“You and I can make the Earth a more beautiful place” and “the best way to win a conflict is not to start it,” are amongst the Pope’s words chosen to make up the text of the volume.

On page one Pope Francis says “When I see a child like you, I feel so much hope in my heart”; next to it is a mirror in which the child sees his or her own reflection.

” Children are hope ” is “a special little book with a universal message to make the world a better place.”

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Another book aimed at young people owes its origins to extracts from Pope Francis@ letter Christus Vivit.  Called “CHRIST IS ALIVE” £1.50 copy

Pope Francis calls all those aged 16-30 to throw themselves into life, to love, to create community, to care for our sisters and brothers who suffer, to build a better world and get involved as Jesus did.

Chapters include the following topics

The booklet is produced by Synod Fruits.

Check out this https://www.synodfruits.org.uk/#resources  You can order online.  Much more fascinating resources to be gleaned on this website.

 

 

 

LENT and EASTER 2020

Lent approaches as February passes.

Pope Francis tell us all

“Lent is a new beginning, a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ’s victory over death. This season urgently calls us to conversion. Christians are asked to return to God “with all their hearts” (Joel 2:12), to refuse to settle for mediocrity and to grow in friendship with the Lord. Jesus is the faithful friend who never abandons us. Even when we sin, he patiently awaits our return; by that patient expectation, he shows us his readiness to forgive.”

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Watch Utube video  WHAT IS LENT ?

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also check out  Utube video  ” LENT IN THREE MINUTES “

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Some more resources you may find helpful with your classes.

LENT 2020 an overview

Stations-of-the-cross-Assembly

Year-group-Reconciliation Sacrament 

50 things to give up for lent

Teachers-Notes-for-A-Lenten-Garden

Along_the_Lenten_Road

Ash Wednesday Prayer Service

School Liturgy for the Distribution of Ashes

Introduction to a Christian Seder

Stations for Armagh Archdiocese

STATIONS OF THE CROSS Large

Donna kindly sent me this

Dist of Ashes 2020

Lent Board from Roisin

 

Lent idea from Donna