ADVENT & CHRISTMAS RESOURCES 2022

Tonight we begin the Season of Advent. Below are some resources you may wish to download to use with students.

For Lectio or Taize Prayer

Advent resources and events 2022 A list published today by ICN

I will add more as the weeks unfold.

ASSEMBLY RESOURCES

I came across an article for grownups about the meaning of Advent from a number of perspectives. I cannot recall where or who wrote it. It is worth a read as we enter these 4 weeks together.

Cafod has some great Advent Resources for schools this year.

MISSIO also has a series of useful materials for younger students.

SOME CHRISTMAS RESOURCES

Children love to colour and write a birthday message / Card for Jesus. See attached. This could be placed on Christmas night or morning by the crib at home, or the parish crib, or school crib.

CSW 23 Catholic Schools; Walking together in Faith and Love.

CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S WEEK 2023  

Our theme for this year is ‘Catholic Schools: Walking together in Faith and Love’.  During this week, we celebrate how Catholic Schools help all our young people to achieve their full potential and journey together with the Lord in faith and in love. We will focus and pray using the story of the Disciples walking together with the Risen Lord on the Emmaus Road.

ARCHDIOCESE OF ARMAGH CELEBRATIONS:

This year we hope to have a downloadable video for class or school in-house celebrations and /or assemblies. In addition, we are planning two Armagh Diocesan Liturgical Celebrations. It will be great for folk to return to gathering as a Diocesan Faith Community.

  1. Tuesday, January 24th Led by Archbishop Eamon St John The Baptist Church, Drumcree Portadown starting at 11.30 am.
  2. Seinn will be celebrating on Wednesday, January 25th at The Redeemer Church, Ard Easmuin Dundalk starting at 11.30 am. Archbishop Eamon will speak and participate.
  3. “A movie entitled The Letter was recently released which focuses on Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si and the impact of climate change and many other environmental issues.  The theme of this year’s Catholic Schools Week is “Walking together in faith and love”.  The Armagh diocesan Youth Commission is hosting showings of The Letter to highlight the need to walk together with all of creation in Faith and Love. 
  4. Barbican Centre Drogheda – One Showing which will take place on Wednesday 1st February 2023.  10am – 1pm
  5. Market Place Theatre, Studio – Two Showings on 23rd January 2023 1oam and 2pm A further showing will take place in the Market place Theatre on the evening of the 23rd at 7pm for young adults.  This showing will be available for booking with the Market Place Theatre”

NATIONAL RESOURCES

Reflecting on the theme, and on the process of synodality, the writers for Catholic Schools Week 2023 identified three features of synodality helpful to exploring ‘Walking Together in Faith & Love’:

• Communion
• Participation
• Mission

The resources will reflect on these features within the overarching theme and will make use of scriptural reflection on journey, prayer, student voice, and (spiritual) wellbeing.

DAILY THEMES:

Monday: Walking Together in Faith

Tuesday: Walking Together in Love
(In our school community, themes of inclusion)

Wednesday: Walking Together to Celebrate – Grandparents’ Day
(Celebrating those who help us on the journey of faith, themes of inclusion of the elderly in society – Pope Francis’ Message for the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly 2022)

Thursday: Walking Together to Transform our World
(Themes of environment – Laudato Si’ – and Mission)

Friday: Walking Together in Hope

There will be a November ‘turning to’ remembrance moment.

NOVEMBER MOMENT:

Catholic Schools Week – November: Trusting God, Trusting Life, Trusting One Another – Post-Primary Resource

Links to resources below.

http://www.ccmsschools.com

More details and other events will be posted shortly as information comes to us.

One Million Children Praying the Rosary

ACN is again inviting parishes, kindergartens, schools, and families to join in the annual prayer initiative A million children praying the Rosary, which will take place on 18 October, the Feast of St Luke this year. The purpose of this prayer campaign is to pray for peace and unity throughout our broken world while encouraging children and young people to trust in God during difficult times says the president of ACN, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza.

The ACN webpage offers free materials for those praying in parishes, schools, children’s groups and families. The free information pack contains instructions on how to pray the Rosary, short meditations for children on the Mysteries of the Rosary, and an Act of Consecration to Our Lady for children.

The origins of the prayer initiative “A million children praying the Rosary” date back to the year 2005 when a group of children was seen praying the Rosary at a local shrine in the Venezuelan capital Caracas, and some of the adults who witnessed the scene were reminded of the words of Padre Pio, who once said: “When a million children pray the Rosary, the world will change.

Since then, the campaign has spread rapidly and become a worldwide phenomenon.

New book by Fr Paul Clayton-Lea for fans of CS Lewis and lovers of Co Louth !

C.S.Lewis and the “Wee” County   Paul Claton-Lea

C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) believed that interest in his books would quickly fade when he was gone. Sixty years after his death and 200 million copies later he has, for once, been proved mistaken. While his influential works on English Literature, Christian apologetics and science fiction remain popular it is his beloved stories for children, the Chronicles of Narnia which continue to keep him firmly in public view. His wonderfully imaginative landscape and gift for storytelling owe much to his Irish origins. Ireland was his constant holiday destination throughout his life. Thanks to a long relationship with Janie Moore whom he called ‘mother’ the ‘Wee’ County of Louth where she had been brought up became an important refuge for him and his brother Warren. Those previously unexplored links are addressed in this anniversary tribute to the creator of ‘Asian the lion of Narnia, son of the Emperor-Beyond-The-Sea.

Father Paul Clayton-Lea spoke to our Religious Education Community some time ago. I know you really appreciated his input and great sense of humour then. He has always had a huge interest in CS Lewis and I am delighted he has written a new book developing that interest alongside his love for Co Louth.  I thought you might to like to know this has been published recently and you may wish to read it. 

978 1 91622 347 9 

Paul Clayton-Lea is a priest of the Archdiocese of Armagh in Ireland.

A graduate of St Patricks College, Maynooth, and Fordham University New York

he has worked as a teacher, college chaplain, and parish priest.

He is currently editor of Intercom magazine, a Catholic pastoral and liturgical resource.

His previous publications include,

In the Light of the Word – Family Life through the Lens of Scripture (published by Veritas 2018)

Pass it On – Ronan Drury 1924-2017 with Maria Flood (2019).

Synodal Process Update (ICN)

The Irish Bishops’ Conference published the National Synthesis of the Synodal Process today, Tuesday 16 August. The publication of the National Synthesis is the fruit of a wide-ranging process of listening and consultation drawing on the syntheses produced by the 26 dioceses in Ireland, as well as those submitted by religious congregations and other interested groups across the Church in Ireland since Autumn 2021.

The National Synthesis will be forwarded to Rome as part of the worldwide synodal process of listening and discernment launched by Pope Francis in October 2021 and which will culminate in the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Rome in 2023.

Bishops’ statement of welcome on the completion of the National Synthesis

We are pleased to publish the National Synthesis document prepared by the Steering Committee of lay faithful, religious, priests, and bishops which were appointed by our Conference to lead us along the synodal journey.

The Process

Since October 2021, tens of thousands of Catholics across Ireland have been engaging in prayerful listening and reflection on the theme chosen by Pope Francis: “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission.” In June 2022 there was a unique and wonderful National Synodal gathering in Athlone which was followed by a moving ritual in the sixth-century ancient monastic site of Clonmacnoise. In a prayerful atmosphere, we heard feedback from the hundreds of conversations that had taken place across Ireland, and from the many submissions that had been collected. Despite the constraints of COVID-19, the process that we have been following in these past months represents a modest but significant first step in developing a synodal style of consultation about the future of the Church in Ireland and around the world.

The Synthesis Document

The National Synthesis document points to many challenges for the handing on of the faith in this country, including a need for inner healing and hope, especially among those who have suffered abuse by Church personnel and in Church institutions. It acknowledges and reflects on the impact in recent decades of a major decline in the practice of the faith, and in vocations to the priesthood and religious life. There are calls for greater transparency, participation in decision-making, and accountability within our parish and diocesan church structures. The importance of a renewed connection with the energy and gifts of young people is emphasised. So too is the need for fresh models of responsibility and leadership which will especially recognise and facilitate the role of women, as well as men. Our listening process has identified the need to be more inclusive in outreach, reaching out to those who have left the Church behind and in some cases feel excluded, forgotten or ignored. In an era of transformation, like Peter we have heard a call to “put out into deep water” (Lk 5:4).

In publishing the National Synthesis document, the Irish Bishops’ Conference invites the whole People of God in this country to study its findings carefully and prayerfully. It is important that, in all our deliberations, we journey together in communion, because as John the Evangelist underlined so much, it is the beauty of Christian communion that attracts people (1 Jn 1:1-4). It is our missionary communion that speaks most eloquently to our sisters and brothers today of the hope that comes from encounter with Christ and the joy of the Gospel. We recognize we need a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit. As Pope Francis has written, “What is under discussion at Synodal gatherings are not traditional truths of Christian doctrine. The Synod is concerned mainly with how teaching can be lived and applied in the changing contexts of our time… What characterizes a Synodal path is the role of the Holy Spirit” (Let us Dream, pp. 84-85)”.

The Continuing Synodal Pathway in Ireland

The Church in Ireland is committed to the ongoing Synodal Pathway which we announced in March 2021. This will entail a further phase of much deeper listening and a more widespread reaching out. Perhaps the greatest learning will emerge as we reflect on what these tentative first steps along a Synodal Pathway have taught us about who we are as the Catholic Church in Ireland, and why we are this way. It is in this deeper reflection that we will prayerfully discern what the Holy Spirit is revealing to us about the kind of pastoral conversion and new evangelization necessary to nurture new life and growth in the Church.

Conclusion

We are most grateful to the Synodal Steering Committee and Task Group and to all who participated in the Synodal Process at parish, diocesan and national levels. We commend our National Synthesis document to the next phase of the synodal journey of the universal Church as it moves towards the meeting of the Synod of Bishops in Rome in October 2023.

Read the National Synthesis of the Catholic Church in Ireland Synodal Process here: https://synod.ie/

Season of Creation 2022

Pope Francis’ Message for the celebration of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation – to be held on 1 September 2022 – was published on 16 July. It has been a unique time that has seen various parts of the world devastated by the fires that have destroyed much of the planet’s green areas. 

” In the heart of this world, the Lord of life, who loves us so much is always present. He does not abandon us, He does not leave us alone, for He has united Himself definitively to our earth, and His love constantly impels us to find new ways forward. Praise be to Him ” ( Pope Francis Laudato Si Par 245)

This World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, as well as the entire Season of Creation, which, from 1 September, will stretch until 4 October, can be a time of prayer, but also a time of serious conversion of attitudes and habits. 

Popes Message to read in full.

The European Bishops, join the appeal launched by Pope Francis, inviting all Christians to be spokesmen for these demands of the Planet, whose voice reveals “a kind of dissonance. On the one hand, we can hear a sweet song in praise of our beloved Creator; on the other, an anguished plea, lamenting our mistreatment of this our common home”. 

May the Lord hear this cry and grant mankind a new heart, capable of showing compassion to the whole of creation, so that concrete gestures may be put in place to allow all creatures to return to praise the Creator and us to join in this “‘grandiose cosmic choir’ made up of countless creatures, all singing the praises of God”.

Christian leaders from across the world came together on Wednesday to officially launch the 2022 Season of Creation, the annual ecumenical celebration that unites the world’s 2.4 billion Christians in prayer and action for our common home.

The leaders reflected on the need for all Christians to truly “Listen to the Voice of Creation,” the theme of the 2022 Season of Creation. God’s creation moans ever louder and suffers more every day amidst the ongoing climate emergency and biodiversity crisis.

A handbook for this year can be downloaded from this address.

Season of Creation

Season of Creation celebration guide 2022

Season of Creation resources are supported by an ecumenical steering committee and a coalition of partners from around the world, including A Rocha International, ACT Alliance, Anglican Communion Environmental Network, Christian Aid, European Christian Environmental Network, Laudato Si’ Movement and the World Council of Churches (WCC).

This year’s theme is ‘Listen to the Voice of Creation’ and a celebration guide is available to download from the Season of Creation website.

CAFOD

CAFOD has Season of Creation resources including marking the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on 1 September, care of creation prayers, creationtide intercessions and joyful mysteries of the rosary for the care of creation.

Catholic Church in Ireland

Resources are provided by the Laudato Si’ Working Group, with the same theme as the international Season of Creation group (see below) of ‘Listen to the Voice of Creation’.

Materials include: Sunday liturgy notes; a weekday prayer service; Season of Creation brochure (also available in Irish); a tree planting resource; Creation walk stations; an Earth Day prayer service; a video reflection; and a Brother River meditation.

Download Season of Creation resources from the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference website.

September & New Academic Year.

Welcome back, everyone. I hope you had a great rest and a chance to find yourself and refresh your spirits. Covid took a huge toll on so many and having some space to call your own helps us all to heal and begin anew. I am drawing together some resources from earlier years to help you plan some liturgies and prayer experiences for the new academic year. See below. Feel free to send me anything you have used to share with our Religious Education Community.

World Meeting of Families Rome

Prayer for the World Meeting of Families 2022: Family Love: Vocation and Path to Holiness

Heavenly Father,
We come before You to praise You
and to thank You for the great gift of the family.
We pray to You for all families
consecrated by the Sacrament of Matrimony.
May they rediscover each day
the grace they have received,
and as small domestic Churches,
may they know how to witness to Your presence
and to the love with which Christ loves the Church.
We pray to You for all families faced with difficulty and suffering
caused by illness or circumstances of which only You know.
Sustain them and make them aware
of the path to holiness upon which You call them,
so that they might experience Your infinite mercy
and find new ways to grow in love.
We pray to You for children and young people:
may they encounter You and respond joyfully
to the vocation You have in mind for them;
We pray for parents and grandparents: may they be aware
that they are signs of the fatherhood and motherhood of God
in caring for the children who, in body and spirit, You entrust to them;
and for the experience of fraternity
that the family can give to the world.

Lord, grant that each family
might live their specific vocation to holiness in the Church
as a call to become missionary disciples,
in the service of life and peace,
in communion with our priests, religious,
and all vocations in the Church.

Bless the World Meeting of Families. Amen.

Zoom Inservice for Year 8 Fully Alive Digital.

Topic: Fully Alive In-Service for Armagh Diocese RE Teachers of Year 8.
Time: Jun 23, 2022 02:00 PM Dublin

Below is the link to view the recording of the Zoom in-service given by Susan on Fully Alive 1, Year 8. Those who missed our meeting today can catch up by viewing the recording, and it can be used as a training video for teachers of Year 8 in September. Click link below:

PRAY TO PROTECT LIFE NOVENA

The Council for Life of the Irish Bishops’ Conference yesterday launched a 9 day Novena of Prayer for Life which will run from Monday 23 May until Tuesday 31 May (Feast of the Visitation). The Pray for Life Novena and its associated website www.prayforlife.ie will give people an opportunity be an active part of this new initiative to pray for the protection of human life and to build a culture of life.

Bishop Kevin Doran, chair of the Council for Life, said: “The Feast of the Visitation has particular significance when it comes to celebrating and giving thanks for the gift of human life. It is a moment of encounter between two women (Mary and Elizabeth), each of whom is unexpectedly pregnant. It is an encounter in which each woman is supported by the other in facing the challenges of pregnancy. It is a graced moment in which each woman acknowledges the child in her womb as a gift from God.

“The Council for Life, drawing on resources originally prepared by the US Bishops’ Conference, has developed an online Novena around the days leading up to the Feast of the Visitation. Every one of us has a right to life. The direct and intentional taking of human life at any stage is gravely wrong and can never be justified. We hope the Pray for Life Novena will help people to celebrate and protect the gift of life and to be more conscious of the practical support that they can offer to women for whom pregnancy is experienced as a crisis. We invite you to join people across Ireland during this last week of May to pray for the protection of human life.”