Teachers may wish to take time in Lent to deepen their own prayer experiences. You are invited to join us for Prayerfest at either of our two locations this Lent.

  1. Franciscan Missionary Community Mount Oliver

Saturday March 23th  2019  10 am      Mount Oliver, Ballymascanlon , Co Louth.


  1. Kilmore Parish Pastoral Centre
              Saturday April 6th 2019         10. am        Battlehill Road, Stonebridge, Richhill, Co Armagh, BT61 8QJ


The Prayer & Spirituality Commission will lead the day of prayer for all.  Come and try different styles of prayer.


Starts at 10.00 am with a Morning Prayer.     Please Bring a packed lunch – Tea and Coffee will be available.

Download poster    prayerfest 2019


The Prayer and Spirituality Commission are delighted to let you know about their new exhibition on Pilgrimage. It was designed to be available to secondary schools who look at this topic as part of Junior Cert and GCSE Religious Studies. It may also be suited to parish groups. To have it for display you will need a large room with tables around the walls so that the posters and materials can be viewed comfortably.

As part of their celebration of Catholic Schools Week, St Killian’s Community School in Ardee is currently hosting the display for their students and staff members to visit.  Other schools in the Archdioces are invited to apply to Fr Declan O’Loughlin to make a booking. You can download the attached poster and small brochure on Pilgrimage prepared by the commission.  contact Declan at

exploring christian pilgrimage poster



As we draw towards the close of January we find ouselves looking forward to the awakening of nature as Spring gradually breaks in upon us. This raises our hearts and spirits as the days gradually lengthen and the quality of light slowly grows brighter and even warmer. For us in Ireland the Feasts of Brigid and Patrick are makstones as this awakening unfolds.   I will add resources as you send them to me.  I thought this Utube video gives us all a great overview of the dawn of Christianity   in Ireland  This is available through Utube on the scoilnetwebsite that provides primary and seconary school teaching resources.   Check out the following link




Other Resources to download and use.

Checkout this library of ideas and resources

Pilgrimage to St Patrick’s Purgatory Lough Derg.

View Utube video

Bishop Robert Barron speaks about the meaning of Lough Derg

Those who come to Lough Derg take their spiritual lives with utter seriousness, and that is precisely why they are willing to endure hardship—even imposing it on themselves—in order to deepen their communion with God. They know that there are certain tendencies within their bodies and souls that are preventing the achievement of full friendship with God and therefore they seek, quite sensibly, to discipline themselves. John Henry Newman commented that the ascetical principle is basic to a healthy Christianity. He meant that Christians, at their best, understand that our sinful nature has to be chastised, disciplined, and rightly ordered. When the ascetical instinct disappears (as it has in much of Western Christianity), the spiritual life rapidly becomes superficial and attenuated, devolving into an easy “I’m okay and you’re okay” attitude.

The whole point of the Christian life is to find joy, but the attainment of true joy comes, in a sinful world, at the cost of some suffering. That’s why I, for one, am glad that a place like Lough Derg exists.


Full comments at


Spring Meditation music and images from utube Spring Mediatio

prayer for students

the canticle of brother sun

catching rainbows

like a sunflower

St Brigid Blessing and Litany

feb 1 St Brigid.


st Brigid pray for us pic to colour


St Patrick and Early Christianity

St Patrick – a Reflection

the Deer’s Cry

St Brigid ..her life


St Brigid Blessing Prayer





Louise kindly sent me this piece for ASH WEDNESDAY

Download Resources below.

ash wednesday service


what does it mean to fast

lent around the world

lent – a reflection

Lenten_Gospel Reflections_2019 Ver 2

ash wed & lenten services inc penance ser.

ashes & penance in lentopen my eyes and ears

patient god (reconciliation)

empty tomb Colouring page

easter breakfast in galilee

holy week  Ppt on Holy week

stations of the cross

Lent Paper Chain

Finding a way to God in our messy world today

Video  Holy Week in 3 Minutes !



For Trocaire Resources this year check out

Land Rights – Post Primary Education

Activities to make connections between land and Human Rights in Ireland and the wider world

Videos are listed on Trocaire and can be downloaded and stored for use by following these instructions.

How to download the videos

Our videos are on a website called Vimeo, this is how to download the video from Vimeo.

  1. Click this link to see the video on Vimeo:
  2. When on Vimeo, scroll down under the video and click the download button.
  3. Select a video file size to download, and save the video to your computer or memory stick.

trocaire_lent_2019_presentation_v PPtx


This Lent Your Love Can Help Change Lives from Trocaire on Vimeo.












ADVENT starts next week. Another liturgical year has passed and now we get ready to welcome the Christ Child once more.

This is a dark time of year. Many find the darkness oppressive and hard to cope with.  I suspect many who instal Christmas lights so early are people who struggle with darkness.  As we prepare for the arrival of Christ Out Light we ask for help to cope with the short days and the long nights.  This wee song may help ….


Attached below some resources for you to use in school.

Advent – The Waiting Time

Advent Journey    Powerpoint slide show.

Advent Reconciliation Service

Penitential Service for Advent

Advent Sunday Gospel reflection Yr C

Advent speaks to the power of smallness

Christmas Carol Service

The Best Gift

The Birth of Jesus Christ

The Twelve days of Christmas

Happy Birthday Jesus

Practical ways to celebrate Christmas

Bambinelli Sunday, Blessing the Christ Child

Bambinelli Information Sheet – final

Community Carol Service Booklet Rev




Catholic Schools Week 2019

“Catholic Schools: Celebrating the Work of Our Own Catholic School”

Each year Catholic Schools Week provides Catholic school communities with an important opportunity to celebrate ‘who they are’ and ‘what they do’. Catholic Schools Week 2019 aims to achieve this in a more meaningful way by placing each local Catholic school at the centre our celebrations. This year the theme for Catholic Schools Week 2019 is ‘Catholic Schools: Celebrating the Work of Our Own Catholic School’ and we invite Catholic schools to reflect on and celebrate the relationship that exists between home, school and parish through participation in two catechetical moments

Catholic Schools Week 2019 runs from Sunday, 27 January to Sunday, 3 February.
The theme this year is Catholic Schools: Celebrating the Work of Our Local Catholic Schools.
The launch of Catholic Schools Week in the Archdiocese of Armagh will take place as follows:
Date                            Time              Venue
Tuesday 22nd January   11.00 am          Church of St John the Baptist, Drumcree, Portadown
Thursday 24 January      12.30pm          Church of the Holy Redeemer, Ard Easmuin, Dundalk

Catholic Schools Week  2019
This will run from Sunday Jan. 27t to Sunday Feb. 3rd 2019.  Both Junior and Senior Cycle Lesson plans and a liturgical resource will be available soon at:

This year’s poster / flyer   CSW_Flier_A4_2019

November Post Primary  Moment 1   Remembering our Dead


Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled Music by David Haas Performed by Renae and Mark Haas


National Resources for 2019

Day 1.  LIVING TRADITION.    pp_day 1  (Pdf Download)

Day 2. Welcoming Diversity.  pp_day 2  (Pdf Download)

Day 3. Inter GenerationalEducation pp_day3  (Pdf Download)

Day 4. Serving Communities  pp_day 4  ( Pdf Download)

Day 5  Supporting Faith  pp_day 5 (Pdf Download)

BOM/BOG  Reflection pp_bom (Pdf Download)

Staff Reflection  pp_staff to staff

If you need these files in Irish you can access them on



“A ROOM AT THE INN” – Pastoral letter on homelessness in Ireland – Senior Students Justice Study perhaps.

A Room at the Inn? looks in depth at the root causes of the housing crisis and offers solidarity with anyone experiencing homelessness.  The dignity which, as Catholics, we recognise in every person, must be reflected in the reality of life in our society.

Key findings of A Room at the Inn? are:  

  • housing be recognised as a human right and that it should be safe, affordable and appropriate;
  • the provision of housing cannot be left solely to the market;
  • housing should not be treated as any other commodity;
  • housing policies should recognise the rights of families and seek to bring about greater equality in our society;
  • action must be taken to increase the supply and reduce the price of housing;
  • the private rental sector needs to ensure fair pricing and security of tenure in the context of its recent growth at the expense of home ownership and social housing;
  • cooperative housing should be encouraged and supported with the introduction of a new ‘Cost Rental’ sector which focuses on actual cost of providing housing and not profit;
  • taxation be considered for vacant sites; close tax loopholes and use compulsory purchase powers to utilise potential sites which lie undeveloped for a lengthy period of time;
  • the making of enormous profits through land speculation in housing developments and in maintaining high rents is particularly damaging to society;
  • the accommodation needs of the Travelling Community and of asylum seekers must be addressed in a housing strategy;
  • housing provision should take account of environmental sustainability and the use of proper building standards to ensure quality of living for occupants;
  • housing provision should take account of rural and urban development policies;
  • housing policy should be committed to ensuring that those employed in the construction sector can work in safe, secure and fair working environments;
  • energy poverty is widespread in Ireland and many are living in substandard or in minimal standards of accommodation;
  • the absence of adequate housing occurs as a result of governments prioritising other objectives over the provision of housing which is necessary for the dignity of the person;
  • an absence of an adequate and a secure home for children will impact on their life in terms of education, employment and health;
  • allowing a continuation of the disparity between those who have adequate and affordable housing and those who are poorly housed or without a home will create a divided society;
  • There needs to be an open debate about how public policy can serve to reclaim housing from global markets so that its primary and essential purpose is realised.

Please see the following link to the full text in pdf of A Room at the Inn?


A great example for us all is the life and teaching of Mother Theresa now a Saint.

She experienced a second calling in her life and chose to go and work with the poorest of the poor.

Watch this video of her story.


Pope Francis encourages us to live the Beatitudes. He says

“The Beatitudes are like a Christian’s identity card. So, if anyone asks: ‘What must one do to be a good Christian?’, the answer is clear. We have to do, each in our own way, what Jesus told us in the Sermon on the Mount. In the Beatitudes, we find a portrait of the Master, which we are called to reflect in our daily lives. The word ‘happy’ or ‘blessed’ thus becomes a synonym for ‘holy’. It expresses the fact that those faithful to God and his word, by their self-giving, gain true happiness.” {GE, 63-4)

Living these are a true challenge for us all.  Pope Francis continues

“If I encounter a person sleeping outdoors on a cold night, I can view him or her as an annoyance, an idler, an obstacle in my path, a troubling sight, a problem for politicians to sort out, or even a piece of refuse cluttering a public space. Or I can respond with faith and charity and see in this person a human being with a dignity identical to my own, a creature infinitely loved by the Father, an image of God, a brother or sister redeemed by Jesus Christ. That is what it is to be a Christian! ” (GE, 98)

My good friend Aidan Donaldson has recently written about the new Beatitudes mentioned by Pope Francis in Sweden

In his own beatitudes, he tells us that this is what this path to happiness and holiness looks like:

  • Blessed are those who remain faithful while enduring evils inflicted on them by others and forgive them from their heart.
  • Blessed are those who look into the eyes of the abandoned and marginalised and show them their closeness.
  • Blessed are those who see God in every person and strive to make others also discover him.
  • Blessed are those who protect and care for our common home.
  • Blessed are those who renounce their own comfort in order to help others.
  • Blessed are those who pray and work for full communion between Christians.

(Beatitudes announced by Pope Francis in Sweden 2016)

For more on this read “The Beatitudes of Pope Francis, A manifesto for the modern Christian ”  By Dr Aidan Donaldson  Published by Veritas   9781 84730 850 4









The Bishops of the world are meeting in Rome this month with Pope Francis together with observers to discuss the theme of Young People, Faith and vocational discernment.  Archbishop Eamon and Bishop Donal McKeown are attending this month long synod.

.Pope Francis noted: “The theme, an expression of the pastoral care of the Church for the young, is consistent with the results of the recent Synod assemblies on the family and with the content of the post-Synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Its aim is to accompany the young on their existential journey to maturity so that, through a process of discernment, they discover their plan for life and realize it with joy, opening up to the encounter with God and with human beings, and actively participating in the edification of the Church and of society.”


This video explains what the synod is all about.



In October 2018 Catholic Bishops from around the world will meet in Rome to focus on how the church helps, guides and accompanies young people as they grow in faith and discern the part they can play in shaping the future of the Church.

The participants will take part in a Synod of Bishops meeting in the Vatican to discuss and debate the subject in question. In 2018 the theme is: Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.  It is the fifteenth Ordinary General Assembley of the Synod of Bishops.

Ahead of the Synod, a preliminary outline document called a Lineamenta is prepared and distributed to all concerned for comment. Based on the responses to this, a working document – the Instrumentum Laboris – is released globally and acts as the basis for discussions at the Synod.

When gathered in Rome, the assembly examines the proposals, or propositiones, put forward by members and passes those that receive approval to Pope Francis. The Pope uses these as a guide for a post-synodal apostolic exhortation – a papal document often written following a synodal gathering of bishops.

The final version of the preparatory Working Paper for this synod is attached here.  Young people from all over the World met with Pope Francis and this document has been drawn up to form the basis of the work at the October Synod.

Download and read this doc.

Youth Synod working doc

This document was drafted by the young adults who participated in the Pre-Synod Gathering in Rome and was presented to Pope Francis on Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018.

Irish Episcopal Conference discusses Synod.

Synod of Bishops in Rome on Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment

From today until 28 October Pope Francis will host a Synod of Bishops in Rome on the theme: ‘Youth, faith and vocational discernment’. 

The Synod is an assembly of bishops from around the world, gathered with the Holy Father, to share their wisdom and experiences in the common pursuit of pastoral solutions which have a universal validity and application.  Taking place every three years, this will be the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.  Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, the President of the Bishops’ Conference and Bishop Donal McKeown of Derry, chair of the Council for Pastoral Renewal and Adult Faith Development, are representing the Irish bishops at the Synod.

As part of the preparations for the Synod, bishops met with representatives of youth ministry from around the country to discuss key themes arising from a web-based consultation which they undertook with young people.  This involved feedback from 2,500 respondents. 

Arising from this information, bishops noted positive examples and obstacles facing young people regarding their faith and growing up in the contemporary world, such as:

–          young people face many challenges including peer pressure, mental health issues and from social media;

–          young people are passionate about justice, equality and fairness, and desire to be listened to even when their opinions are not in line with Church teaching;

–          many young people want to learn, experience and have a greater role in their faith, but sometimes struggle in achieving this; and

–          the positive experiences of chaplaincy services, pilgrimages and other dedicated national and international youth encounter events.

As they reflected on the importance of this year’s theme for the contemporary Church, and on the responsibility placed upon the Synod Fathers, bishops asked the faithful to join with them by praying the Prayer for the Synod by Pope Francis.

Lord Jesus in journeying towards the Synod,

your Church turns her attention to all the young people in the world.

We pray that they might boldly

take charge of their lives,

aim for the most beautiful and profound things of life

and always keep their hearts unencumbered.

Accompanied by wise and generous guides,

help them respond to the call

you make to each of them,

to realize a proper plan of life

and achieve happiness.

Keep their hearts open to dreaming great dreams

and make them concerned for the good of others.

Like the Beloved Disciple,

may they stand at the foot of the Cross,

to receive your Mother as a gift from You.

May they be witnesses to your Resurrection

and be aware that you are at their side

as they joyously proclaim you as Lord.