ADVENT & CHRISTMAS 2021

Some resources to use for assembly or class work / worship.

WEEK OF WITNESS

“Week of Witness” will take place from Sunday 21 Nov – Saturday 27 November 2021. During the week, we will remember all who have given great witness to their faith in the past and those who continue to give witness today, and all who will continue to give great witness in the future.

On Wednesday 24th November (Red Wednesday) Archbishop Eamon will celebrate a special Liturgy in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh at 7.30pm. As part of the Liturgy, the Archbishop will speak with two young people who give great witness to their faith today.

Aidan Forker is from the Parish of Loughgall, Co Armagh, a teacher in St John’s Primary School, Kingsisland. A well-known sportsman who plays with Maghery GAC and he’s also a member of the Armagh Senior Football Panel. He’s married with two sons.

Ciara Donnelly is from the parish of Eglish, Co Tyrone, a teacher of Mathematics in St Catherine’s College, Armagh. Ciara is also a well-known sportsperson who plays camogie with her local club in Eglish and she’s also a member of the Armagh Senior Camogie Team. She also plays Ladies Football with Killeeshil GFC and is engaged to get married next year. 

People are invited to wear something red on the evening as we remember all who have given and all who continue to give great witness to their faith today.

After the Liturgy, Archbishop Eamon will launch a new book in The Synod Hall titled “In His Master’s Footsteps – The Way of the Cross in the company of St Oliver Plunkett, Archbishop and Martyr” edited by Canon Benedict Fee.

All are welcome to join in the evening.

ACN WEEK OF WITNESS ( INFO FOR SCHOOLS) https://www.acnireland.org/witness

Every year Aid to the Church in Need hosts the Week of Witness, a week of campaigning and prayer for persecuted Christians around the world. Red Wednesday is the central event of the Week of Witness.

By ACN Ireland

Red Wednesday is a day to gather and draw attention to the plight of those who are persecuted and oppressed for their religious beliefs. Cathedrals, churches and public buildings around the world will light up in red to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Red Wednesday is an initiative of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), a Catholic charity dedicated to the support of suffering and persecuted Christians. This year, Red Wednesday will take place on the 24th of November.

Christians are the most persecuted people in the world

It is clear that the persecution of Christians is reaching a crisis point. In terms of the number of people involved, the gravity of the acts committed, and their impact, not only are Christians more persecuted than any other faith group, but ever-increasing numbers are experiencing the worst forms of persecution.

The purpose of Red Wednesday is to join together and raise a strong voice in support of the persecuted who are unable to speak freely, and who look to us – their brothers and sisters in Christ – to speak on their behalf.

How can I get involved with Red Wednesday? 

Pray: Prayer is the bond that unites us in love and solidarity with our brothers and sisters who suffer and are persecuted for their love of Jesus. Join us in praying throughout November for persecuted Christians. You may also want to offer a Mass for the Persecuted Church. 100% of Mass offerings are sent to poor priests who will celebrate Mass for your prayer intentions.

Awareness: The persecution of Christians if too often ignored. You can change this by knowing the stories of those who suffer and making those stories known. Join our mailing list to receive our weekly newsletter by email, follow us on social media and subscribe to receive our Mirror publication.

Donate: By making a donation to Aid to the Church in Need you are helping us to fund projects that support Christians that are being persecuted, oppressed or are suffering. Each year we receive 7500 requests from around the world but we can only help with about 5000 requests due to a lack of funds.

CSW 2022 CATHOLIC SCHOOLS LIVING LIFE TO THE FULL

The theme for Catholic Schools Week 2022 is ‘Catholic Schools: Living Life to the Full’. As we look forward to and begin our preparations for celebrating CSW2022, it is important for each of us to remember those who have gone before us in the hope of the resurrection promised by Jesus.

Ahead of the celebration of CSW2022 a November Moment is offered to both Primary and Post Primary Schools. These resources aim to assist primary and post-primary schools with activities and lesson ideas for November – ‘The Month of the Holy Souls’, the month in which we remember the faithful departed.

More than most years, this November will be especially poignant as we remember all those who have died during the Covid-19 pandemic. In light of this, the Moment of November recalls to us God’s love for us, a love that conquers all things, even death. The November Moment also encourages us to examine the role that remembrance has played and continues to play for us as we journey through the Covid-19 pandemic.

To download this year’s Resources for Primary and Post-Primary Schools click here 

These resources aim to assist post-primary schools with activities and lesson ideas for November – ‘The Month of the Holy Souls’, the month in which we remember the faithful departed.

The Moment of November Resource:

MISSION SUNDAY RESOURCES

I wanted to draw to your attention a new website with free downloadable resources for Religious Education.  It’s called ‘Missio Ireland’ and aims to promote awareness of the work of missionaries overseas and in particular ‘World Mission Sunday’ which is on the 24th October this year.  The address is: https://missio.ie/I’ve attached some of the resources that it offers relating to October as Mission Month and World Mission Sunday.  This includes a poster, a Booklet with lovely reflections for each day of October, a Mission toolkit, and a Children’s Resource with a useful Activity Calendar.  I would encourage you to explore the website and the amazing and uplifting stories that are there that really bring home the importance of the work of missionaries.  They have a section just for schools. The daily reflections/prayer service could be used in an assembly or during class for prayer time. If any of your schools has an overseas project in place already, they could use photographs or videos of this to highlight the work of student/staff volunteers overseas and perhaps do a special assembly/display during the month of October. 

A Day for LIFE – ‘The Good Samaritan: A Model of Compassion’.

This year’s Day for Life will be celebrated in Ireland on Sunday 3 October. In the context of the recent proposal to introduce assisted suicide, both in Ireland and the UK, this year’s Day for Life message invites Catholics to consider a more positive and compassionate response to the care of people who are in the final stages of life.

Resources in support of the theme attached as follows:

  • The text of this year’s message in plain text
  • The text of the pastoral message in PDF format for printing
  • A set of prayers of intercession
  • Two web and social media images we are using to promote this year’s day and theme
  • Three visuals of pull quotes from the pastoral message
  • Parish newsletter notices  

Additional resources are available to download from www.catholicbishops.ie and www.councilforlife.ie. An article on this year’s Day for Life also appears in the current issue of Interom Magazine

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Download

Holocaust Education

The Crocus Project is an annual initiative of the Holocaust Education Trust Ireland to commemorate the victims of Nazi persecution in World War II.  The Crocus project is confined to one group per school, and takes a few classes concerning the persecution of the Jews in the Second World War.  Participants sow bulbs in the school garden/ lawn in the shape of the Star of David.  The application form, for delivery of the bulbs in October is available at:  https://hetireland.org/programmes/crocus-project/

Triduum of Prayer to St Joseph.

Triduum of Prayer to St Joseph To mark the 150th anniversary of the declaration of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church, Pope Francis has proclaimed this year as a Year of St Joseph.  A special Triduum of Prayer to St Joseph will be celebrated in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh from Tuesday 12 – Thursday 14 October. Mass on each of the days will be celebrated at 8am, 10am and 7.30pm.
Let us ask St Joseph to intercede for us and our families.

Tuesday 12 October

7.30pm Mass: Celebrant: Archbishop Eamon Martin

St Joseph, a family man and protector of all families, a man who models for us the family’s call to holiness.

We invite families to join on this day, to ask St Joseph to intercede for all our homes and families.

Wednesday 13 October

7.30pm Mass: Celebrant: Bishop Michael Router

St Joseph, a worker and the patron of all craftspeople and workers. He laboured for God and we too are called to labour in love.

We invite all workers and especially craftspeople to join on this day for a special blessing of our hands.

Thursday 14 October

7.30pm Mass: Celebrant: Monsignor Colum Curry

St Joseph, the dreamer, an example for everyone and especially our young whom Jesus teaches never to lose the ability to dream, to take risks and to take on difficult tasks.

We invite all who have dreams to join and especially young people and expectant mothers who have dreams for their child and their children.

Pope Francis’ Prayer for the Year of St Joseph Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son; in you Mary placed her trust; with you Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage, and defend us from every evil. AMEN

Transition Year RE Programme “Look Up”

Look Up: Programme for Transition Year: Veritas is delighted to launch this exciting new Religious Education programme for Transition Year students.

Key features of Look Up!

·         The key content for students is presented on PowerPoint slides, to be shown on the class whiteboard.

·         The information on the slides is supplemented by artwork that spans a variety of media and traditions.

·         The accompanying Teacher Notes, which may be viewed in the ‘Presenter Notes’ viewing panel on the teacher’s own screen, include commentary and discussion questions on each slide, as well as additional activities and exercises to supplement and support the information on the slides. These notes also contain resources for the guided prayer reflections that are offered at the close of each lesson.

·         Videos, music and interactive content can be accessed directly from the slides.

·         The content covered is inclusive of all the major world religions.

·         The teacher resources are provided on a USB stick.

·         The accompanying student journal is designed to accommodate students’ personal reflections on content studied. It also contains worksheets and a Glossary of key terms.

Teacher USB stick and sample Student Journal is available from Veritas at a cost of €30. For more information on Look Up! contact Veritas (01) 8788177 or email caroline.teehan@veritas.ie

Opening School Liturgy, – 14 September


Opening School Liturgy, – 14 September

On Tuesday, 14 September at 11.15am, Archbishop Eamon will lead an online Opening School Liturgy from St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh.

Parents, Guardians, Grandparents and other family members are encouraged to participate by following the link below, as we pray for all the children who have returned to school for another academic year.

www.armaghparish.net/cathedral-webcam/

Northern Catholic Bishops webinar series to mark centenary of Partition and establishment of Northern Ireland 

“This webinar series is an opportunity for people of all traditions to engage with our shared history” – Archbishop Eamon Martin 

The Northern Catholic Bishops have announced that they will host an online webinar series of historical talks marking the centenary of Partition and the establishment of Northern Ireland.  These talks will be led by Dr Éamon Phoenix, political historian, columnist and broadcaster, who will be joined by a number of academic historians from the North and South over four Monday nights from 13 September to 4 October 2021. 

Welcoming the announcement of the webinar series, Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, said, “This webinar series is an opportunity for people of all traditions to engage with our shared history.  The presentations, expertly put together by Dr Éamon Phoenix, will allow for the story of the coming into being, and development, of Northern Ireland to be examined and analysed while critically assessing the role of the Churches, and others, in that respect.  On behalf of the Northern Bishops, I invite those with an interest in Church, society, politics and history to join us in helping to unravel further this complex and sometimes contentious story.”

“We are grateful for the funding we have received from the Northern Ireland Office and the National Lottery Heritage Fund which will enable the sharing of untold stories about important aspects of our history and to help bring the community together at this important moment.”

From next week, the programme of talks will be delivered online via Zoom over four Monday evenings from 7.00pm – 9.00pm, as follows: 

Monday 13 September 2021: ‘The path to partition and the creation of Northern Ireland 1900-1922’ with Dr Éamon Phoenix and Ann Donnelly of the Northern Ireland Screen drawing on the historical newsreels of the period. 

Monday 20 September 2021: ‘A difficult birth: political background and sectarian violence 1918-122’ with Dr Alan Parkinson, Jim McDermott and Dr Éamon Phoenix. 

Monday 27 September 2021: ‘The formative years: the Catholic Church, the nationalist minority and the Northern Ireland state 1921-25’ with Dr Mary Harris, Professor Laurence Kirkpatrick, Dr Sean Farren and Dr Éamon Phoenix. 

Monday 4 October 2021: ’The Catholic Church, Northern Nationalism and the Unionist State from the Boundary Commission to the Welfare State and the Troubles, c. 1925-75’ with Dr Mary Harris, Dr Russell Rees and Dr Éamon Phoenix. 

Each week’s webinar will include a question and answer session.  The aim is to facilitate a respectful, cross-community discussion on this key historical period, its legacy and consider its lessons for a society moving forward post-conflict.

Each of the webinars are free of charge but registration is required in advance by email to cjp@iecon.ie.  The Zoom link will be sent out in advance of each webinar.