Introduction to SHARE THE GOOD NEWS

National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland

Share the Good News is the National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland.

It is a ten year plan for Evangelisation, for Catechesis and for Religious Education in Ireland from the perspective of the Catholic Church.

Share the Good News may be purchased at any Veritas shop or online at

It is addressed to and is aimed at everyone in the Church. It obviously deals with those who have ministerial and teaching positions in the wide Church community but it is particularly addressed to adults – young adults, those rearing children and adults of mature years.

It reaches out to children, to adolescents, to those who experience social disadvantage, to people with special needs, to the deaf community, to the travelling community, to migrant workers and other newcomers and to those living with illness.

Chapter seven, the final chapter of Share the Good News, presents policies and objectives to be pursued at all levels of Church governance and membership. Alongside each objective, some indicators of achievement are provided, suggesting steps to be realised along the way in addressing a particular objective.

The Directory is concerned with your faith development and with the renewal of your Church.


1. Living the Gospel in Ireland Today

The Irish Christian Tradition
New Culture, New Challenges

  • Fulfilling Our Potential
  • Overcoming Social Exclusion
  • Ecology, the Sciences and Technology
  • Understanding Culture
  • Diversity: Welcoming Newcomers
  • Globalisation and Communications Technology
  • Church and State in Dialogue

Witnessing to the Power of the Gospel


2. Evangelisation, Catechesis and Religious Education

The Revelation of God’s Love
Education in the Love of God
Presenting the Message of Jesus Christ
Good News for All People

  • Initial Proclamation
  • Christian Initiation
  • Catechesis
  • Religious Education
  • The New Evangelisation
  • Theological Reflection

Faith Development Overview

3. Our Faith: The Gospel Alive 

Growing in Faith
The Deposit of Faith
A Hierarchy of Truths
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Profession of Faith: The Apostles’ Creed
The Celebration of Christian Mystery: The Sacraments

  • Sacraments of Initiation
  • Sacraments of Healing
  • Sacraments at the Service of Communion

Life in Christ: The Beatitudes and Commandments

  • The Beatitudes
  • The New Commandment of Love
  • The Ten Commandments

Prayer in the Christian Life: The Lord’s Prayer
Ecumenical Outreach
The Challenge of Inculturation
Inter-religious Dialogue


4. Adult Faith Development

The Catechesis of Adults

  • Initiation of Adults into the Catholic Church
  • Adult Faith Development
  • A Supportive Environment for Adult Faith Development
  • Sensitivity to Adult Ways of Learning

Young Adults
Marriage Preparation and Support
Parenthood and Family Ministry
The Single Life
Bishops, Priests, Deacons and Religious
Adults of Mature Years

5. Sharing our Faith with the Young

The Baptism of Children
Presenting the Gospel to Children

  • Nurturing the Faith of Children
  • Children’s Religious Education in School

Presenting the Gospel to Adolescents

  • Nourishing the Faith of Adolescents
  • Religious Education of Adolescents

6. Reaching Out in Christ’s Love to All 

Those Who Experience Social Disadvantage
People with Special Needs

  • People who have Physical Disabilities
  • People with Special Learning Needs

The Deaf Community
The Travelling Community
Migrant Workers and Other Newcomers
People Living with Illness


7. Resources and Implementation

The Parish Community as Agent of Faith Development

  • Parish Faith Development Objectives

Diocesan Faith Development Services

  • Diocesan Faith Development Objectives

National Co-operation

  • National Faith Development Objectives

Faith Development in Catholic Schools

  • Faith Development Objectives in Relation to Schooling

Ecclesial Movements, Groups and Organisations

  • Faith Development Objectives for Church Organisations, Small Christian Communities and Ecclesial Movements

Education and Training for Faith Development

  • Faith Development Formation Objectives

Provision of Materials for Faith Development Activities

  • Objectives Concerning Materials for Faith Development


234 pp. Veritas Publications. To purchase this book online go to


It is with a strong sense of gratitude for the blessing that Jesus Christ has been in the life of Irish people down through the centuries that the Irish Episcopal Conference publishes this National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland. We are convinced that the gifts of goodness, healing and peace that Christ offers the Church and all peoples today have the power to teach us, and future generations, how to live generous, just and committed lives with one another in God’s all-embracing love:

I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare… to give you a future with hope… When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29: 11-13)

In the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, and of the pastoral attentiveness to catechesis with which the Church has concerned itself since, Share the Good News seeks to encourage renewal within the Catholic community in Ireland as it endeavours to make the Good News of Jesus Christ more fully known and available to all. It does so, as pointed out in the Introduction to the Church’s General Directory for Catechesis, by situating catechesis within the call to evangelise, taking account of the particular circumstances and needs of the local Church, and by helping people to appropriate the content of the faith as presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This National Directory provides the Irish Church with a framework indicating principles and guidelines for evangelisation, catechesis and religious education today, and motivating us to study and research all the means available to bring the Gospel to life anew every day. Share the Good News has been reviewed and approved, according to established norms, by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy and Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  ……..

This National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland speaks from the heart of the Church with love. It is particularly timely in seeking to address the specific catechetical issues that arise in the Irish context now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It acknowledges the many questions about Christ and his message that are alive in Irish society and in the Church in Ireland today. We hope that it will encourage all who are searching for the deepest meaning of life and love to turn toward Christ who educates us to live truly, compassionately and with integrity in the presence of our ever-loving Father.

We trust that this Directory will have a wide circulation. It is essential reading for those engaged in catechetical and other faith development initiatives at every level of the Church in Ireland. We invite all those who are interested in sharing the Good News, to study, reflect, pray and act upon this document, as individuals and as communities of faith, so that together we may grow ever closer to the Lord.

We pray that the same Holy Spirit who gave courage and voice to the prophets and apostles will guide us, too, in all our efforts. May Mary, ever faithful, intercede for us in the wonderful work of making her Son more fully known to all.

+ Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland
+ Diarmuid Martin Archbishop of Dublin, Primate of Ireland
+ Dermot Clifford, Archbishop of Cashel & Emly
+ Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam

Some great videos for teaching Rel Education:

This is Church    Great introduction to a dynamic vision of Church for us all

This is Prayer      Good kick off into the topic of prayer in our lives. Every great relationship involves communication.

The Lord’s Prayer    Although we may be divided by geography, language, or style, this video explores the idea that we can all be united through prayer.

The Apostles Creed   The Apostles’ Creed is a statement of Christian beliefs that is founded on a biblical understanding of the gospel. These foundational tenets have long served the Church as a reminder of where our Hope is and the Truth we stand upon.

Sunday Morning   Things aren’t always what they seem…even on Sunday morning. This video is a humorous way to help your audience make sure their perspective isn’t getting in the way of their relationships.

Strangers     We all know how important it is to talk to others about Christ. But we shouldn’t forget about the impact of how we live our lives as well. Just think, you may never meet the person whose life you helped change.

We are here  This call to worship helps connect your audience to the heart behind church. It reminds them to reflect on why we come to worship our Lord.

Follow   Throughout the course of his public ministry, Jesus knew both the adoration and desertion of the crowds. Today, just as 2,000 years ago, the gospel asks a question that demands an answer: Will we follow?

Are you amazed   It is clear from the gospels that wherever Jesus went, the people were amazed. Whether rich or poor, young or old, for Him or against Him, they were all amazed. Very beautiful meditative reflection based on sections from Film Jesus of Nazareth

Its out Time    This video is a plea to today’s Church to take its rightful place as the steward of the gospel. We can no longer be restrained by either our excuses or sins. It’s our time to rise up and serve a watching world.

Life in the Womb  ( 9 months in 4 Minutes )

Norman McClaren’s famous animated film  NEIGHBOURS

Who is my neighbour ?  Bro Phip Pinto   Trocaire Lecture.    Who is my neighbour? Building a ‘civilisation of love’ in an unequal world – delivered by Brother Philip Pinto cfc on the occasion of Trócaire’s 40th anniversary.


Church Unity Week 2014 – IS CHRIST DIVIDED ?

Unity Theme 14

This year’s theme comes to us from the Churches of French Canada.

Canadians live in a country that is marked by diversity in language, culture, and even climate, and it also embodies diversity in expressions of Christian faith. Living with this diversity, but being faithful to Christ’s desire for the unity of his disciples, has led them to a reflection on Paul’s provocative question in 1 Corinthians, “Has Christ been divided?” In faith we respond, “No!” yet our church communities continue to endure scandalous divisions. 1 Corinthians also points us to a way in which we can value and receive the gifts of others even now in the midst of our divisions, and that is an encouragement to us in our work for unity.


Unity 2014   word version


Prayers for Unity 14

Catholic School Week 2014


The theme of Catholic Schools Week this year is Catholic Schools: Places of Faith and Learning
There is a temptation in contemporary Irish discourse to dismiss religious belief as inherently irrational, divisive
and anti-intellectual. This runs completely contrary to the Catholic education tradition which is built on a
respect for faith and reason. Those who dismiss schools with a religious ethos as centres of indoctrination
show little understanding of the long evolution of Catholic schools over many centuries, the rich diversity
within the Catholic sector and the principles which underpin such education today. The value placed on
both faith and reason is the most important principle of all, which helps to explain why Catholic schools
are so popular and respected throughout the world.  ( Fr Michael Drum   Chairperson  Catholic Schools Partnership )
A school evaluation process is now available see below:
Homily Archbishop Eamon Martin

In our Catholic schools, we help young people to become stronger followers of Jesus, and to find a clear direction in their lives despite all the conflicting and confusing messages that surround them – Archbishop Martin

Apparently Pope Francis has more than ten million followers on Twitter – not bad for a 77 year old! He’s also the most talked about person on Facebook! But there’s still a way to go before he has as many Facebook friends as Rihanna or Cristiano Ronaldo! Of course Pope Francis is not on Twitter because he wants us to follow him. The Holy Father wants us to follow Jesus. Recently someone sent me this text: ‘Jesus doesn’t have a mobile, but I talk to Him every day; Jesus isn’t on Facebook, but I am His friend; Jesus isn’t on Twitter, but I am one of His followers’!

The very first followers of Jesus were simple fishermen: Simon Peter and his brother Andrew, James and John the sons of Zebidee. He called them as they sat in their boats preparing the nets for a catch. Did you notice that at the same moment Jesus called them, He also gave them a mission? Follow me, he said, and I will make you fishers of men and women. You see, you cannot be a follower or friend of Jesus and keep it to yourself. By becoming His follower you accept a call to spread the good news about Him to others.

Two Sundays ago at the Sistine chapel in Rome, Pope Francis baptised 32 little children. He used a lovely image. He described every newly baptised child as being like a link in a chain of faith that goes right back to the time of Jesus. Whenever parents bring their children for baptism, he said, they are adding another link to the chain. And, please, God, when these little ones grow up, they in turn will come back to have their own children baptised. And so the chain of faith goes on and on.

What a wonderful privilege it is for a parent to create a new link in the chain of faith. What an honour and challenge it is to pass on to a child the gift of faith and friendship with Jesus. I want to acknowledge today the vital role of parents in handing on to their children the light of Christ, telling them their first stories about Jesus, teaching them to make the Sign of the Cross and gradually showing them by word and example how they can know and love God and keep His commandments.

Parents are the first teachers of children in the ways of faith. But today, at the beginning of Catholic Schools week, I also want to pay tribute all those who work in, and support our Catholic schools – the teachers and other staff, members of Boards of Management and all who contribute to the life of our schools in any way. Together, in our Catholic schools, we help young people to become stronger followers of Jesus, and to find a clear direction in their lives despite all the conflicting and confusing messages that surround them.

This week we will be celebrating five key characteristics of our Catholic schools – the five W’s: Welcome, Word, Wisdom, Worship and Witness.

Catholic schools are places of where all are WELCOME. In Catholic schools we listen to God’s WORD and try to follow God’s word in our lives. Our children not only learn information and skills, but in our schools they also gain true WISDOM which will last them a lifetime. In Catholic schools our young people, teachers and parents have opportunities to praise god and WORSHIP together. But most importantly, Catholic schools are about WITNESS. Witness means going out to make a real difference in the world by the way we live our lives. After all, that is what being a friend and follower of Jesus is all about.

Think again about those simple fishermen: Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John.

Because of their witness, because they chose to become fishers of men and women, here we are in Drogheda – Ireland – 2000 years later worshiping God together. It all began with twelve followers who went out to create new links in the chain of faith. Today we are among 2.2 billion followers of Christ around the world – 2.2 billion, a third of the world’s population. Now, beat that Rihanna!!!




Nelson Mandela


Nelson Mandela Resource   ( Dublin Archdiocese website)

Starting out as a leader of an underground political movement called the African National Congress  Nelson Mandela played a part in many dramatic demonstrations against the white-ruled government.

Nelson Mandela His career in the ANC was cut short in 1964 when he was sentenced to life in prison. The notorious Rivonia Trial, as his sentencing was called, is now seen as nothing more than a cruel ploy used by the white South African government to silence Nelson Mandela once and for all. But even while in prison, Mandela continued to be a beacon of hope for his people who carried on the struggle against Apartheid in his absence. In 1990, after 27 years of imprisonment, Mandela was freed. His release marked the beginning of the end for apartheid. In less than five years after his release, Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and elected president of South Africa.

Today, thanks to the self-sacrifice of Nelson Mandela, apartheid has been outlawed. Everyone in South Africa now has an equal opportunity at home and at work to live comfortable, productive lives. Nelson Mandela is one of the world’s true freedom fighters, and his life and personal triumphs will be remembered long after the world has forgotten the evils of Apartheid.

Nelson Mandela’s book, Long Walk to Freedom tells the extraordinary story of his life, an epic of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph.

“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.”                              

Taken from  FREEDOM HERO: NELSON MANDELA   by Jeff Trussell

This video is worth a look.

Advent & Christmas 13/14

Advent Resources 2013 and 2014

What is Advent ?

Lovely slide reflection on Advent   ” Waiting for Jesus”  (Archdiocese of Dublin)


This 5 minute advent meditation focuses on the coming of Christ into our world- not just as a child in a stable but as the bringer of justice and freedom. Music for the meditation features Kyrie – I Call to You from ” Standing Still” by Jeff Johnson (

Some pastoral resources available for personal and school use this Advent and Christmas:

  • The inter-diocesan scripture reflections for the four Sundays of Advent.
  • Our own booklet for use by families and primary schools aimed at helping children enter into the meaning and spirit of Advent & Christmas.
  • A reflection of slides and a blessing prayer for Advent wreaths.
  • A reflection of slides on the meaning of Christmas. It takes time – a reflection on the spirit of Christmas in parts for readers.
  • Jesus and Santa – getting the balance right. Litany for the coming of Christ & Mary’s Dream.

We hope you will print these off and make use of them to nourish your prayer and reflections throughout the coming weeks.

Advent 2013 Year A Primary Resource


Advent Scripture Reflections 2013 -14 Year A

Advent Wreath slides

Blessing and Prayers for Advent Wreath

IT TAKES TIME Reflection in parts

Jesus and Santa – the right balance

Litany for Christ & Marys Dream

Jesus is Knocking at your Door this Christmas

Capital Punishment – Death Row Ministry.

Suitable for GCSE and Senior Rel Education.

Helen Prejéan, is a Roman Catholic sister, a member of the Congregation of St Joesph and a leading American advocate for the abolition of the death penalty.

Her efforts in death row ministry began in New Orleans in 1981. She corresponded with convicted murderer Elmo Patrick Sonnier, in the Louisiana State Penitentiary.

Dead Man Walking, the biographical account of her relationship with Sonnier and other inmates on death row, served as the basis for a feature film, an opera, and a play. In the film, directed by Tim Robbins, she was portrayed by Susan Sarandon, who won an Academy Award.

She spoke to Rojo on Spirit about her experiences

Check this link to Podcast

Check out Utube re film  “Dead men walking ”