Pope Francis in Ireland

Donna kindly sent these on for others to use.

Following his recent visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families, you could start each RE class on Pope Francis.
1. First clip – some general background
2.  A Powerpoint emphasising some key teachings/ideals of Pope Francis
3. A short review of the Papal visit to Ireland
Archbishop Eamon to hold Mass of Thanksgiving:

One week on from the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families, the joy of that wonderful occasion together with the visit of Pope Francis continues to ring out in my heart!

During these days there has been so much positive feedback from those who participated in the events at Armagh, the RDS, Croke Park, Knock and Phoenix Park.  None of all this could have happened without the support and contribution of our organising teams, helpers and priests, including yourself.

I invite you to a Mass of Thanksgiving in St Patrick’s Cathedral Armagh on Wednesday, 26September at 7.30 p.m. and afterwards to a cup of tea in the Synod Hall.  This is a simple opportunity to acknowledge the graces we have all received from the World Meeting of Families and in particular, for me to say thanks to all those who helped at diocesan level to make the World Meeting such a success.

When you have some idea who will be attending, please let Sharon Dunne know.  The diocesan choir who helped provided the music in the RDS and Phoenix Park will be singing at our Mass on the 26th – the joy of love, a joy for all God’s family!

I look forward to seeing you there.

With every blessing and kindest regards,

Yours sincerely,

Eamon Martin      Archbishop of Armagh




Full texts of talks and homilies of Pope Francis Translated into English were published in The Tablet last week.



Veritas are to bring out a colour booklet as well see below.

As expected we have had a lot of interest from customers wishing to have a copy of all the homilies, speeches and addresses during the Apostolic visit of His Holiness to Ireland on the Occasion of the 10th World Meeting of Families

We are pleased to inform you that we are currently putting the final touches to Pope Francis in Ireland, a full colour commemorative publication containing pictures of the event alongside transcripts of all of these key moments during the recent visit.

The book is available to pre-order on veritas.ie and in all of our Veritas stores and will sell for €4.99.

If you would like to order multiple copies of this book for use in your diocese please contact Áine Curran and we would be happy to arrange a bulk discount for you.

Finally, on behalf of all of the staff of Veritas I would like to thank you all for your support and encouragement of our team at the RDS who found the entire occasion to be full of positive energy

Aidan Chester

Director    Veritas.




1.    A Prayer Service for 1st September 2018. This could be used for a prayer service in the parish or an ecumenical gathering or at the opening of the school year.


2.    Resources for at least one or some of the Sundays between 1 September and 4 October 2018, covering a Penitential service, Homily notes, Prayers of the Faithful, post-communion Reflection, and the dismissal the end of mass.

2.-Resources-for-Sept Sunday-Eucharists

3.    Resources for the feast of St Francis on 4 October 2018

3.-Prayer-Service-St Francis Oct 4th


4. Donna sent me this reflection based on Simon Peter saying ” To whom shall we go ?”


5.Donna kindly sent me the St Ciaran’s Mass and a link to utube video…

Video for Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and be glad), on the call to holiness in today’s world.

Download the text from the Annual School mass…..










Welcome back dear friends and colleagues.

Some of you have kindly shared assembles for the Start of the new Academic Year and some prayers gathered from the internetAs we start back it is worth recalling some key principles under pinning Religious Education in our Catholic Schools.

Religious Education in Catholic Schools:

In the life of faith of the Catholic school, religious education plays a central and vital part. At the heart of Catholic education lies the Christian vision of the human person. This vision is expressed and explored in religious education. Therefor religious education is never simply one subject among many, but the foundation of the entire educational process. The beliefs and values studied in catholic religious education inspire and draw together every aspect of the life of a catholic school. We are committed to classroom RE, then, because all pupils have the right to receive an overall education which will enable them, in the light of the faith of the Church, to engage with the deepest questions of life and find reasons for the hope which is within them (1 Peter 3.15). Religious education is, then, the core subject in a Catholic school.

Excellence in religious education, then, will be characterised by a clarity of succinct religious learning objectives and of key content, by appropriate methodologies, rigour, richness of resources, achievement of identified outcomes and accurate methods of assessment. Classroom RE will be a challenging educational engagement between the pupil, the teacher and the authentic subject material.

When classroom RE displays these educational characteristics, then its specific contribution to the life of the Catholic school, which as a whole is a catechetical community, becomes apparent. Then the complementarity of the various roles which contribute to the life of the school is also clarified: the role of the leadership of the school as a catechetical community, the role of the chaplaincy of the school and the partnership in the religious life of the pupils between the school, the parishes and the families. All these have a part to play in the handing on of faith and its expression and exploration in daily life.

The importance of the teacher of RE cannot be exaggerated. We are most grateful to all those teachers who, week in and week out, have contributed to the religious education of pupils in our schools. We recognise the difficulties that are faced in this task, especially in a society like ours which does not encourage the natural religiosity of the individual, nor offer popular support for faithful adherence to the practice of faith. We salute the generosity of our teachers who have brought not only a love of their faith to their teaching but also a deep concern for the well-being of every pupil. We offer them every encouragement and support as they strive to develop their professional expertise in this vital subject. We also salute and thank the senior management teams and governors of our schools for their work in fostering our schools as communities of faith. We encourage them to give every possible support and importance to the RE departments and coordinators. A Catholic school which promotes the best possible teaching of religious education is fulfilling its true purpose.


Start of Year Resources:

Prayer for First Staff Meeting of the School Year

Starting a new school Year – Collection of Prayers

Beatitudes for Teachers

The Road ahead

Some Assemblies kindly given to us by Sr Marjorie (St Patrick’s College,  Keady)

Year 8 Assembly

Year 9 Assembly

Year 10-11 Assembly

Years 12,13,14 Assembly


Life is for living

The Canticle of Brother Sun

The Station



More Assemblies.


Assembly Beginning of the School Year

Back To School Assembly

Getting started back to School

Start of School Year Service

Blessed are U who are called to teach





The Irish Jesuits have for some time a special section within their monthly journal “The Sacred Heart Messenger” dedicated to helping the mininistry of religious education in schools.  Each month has a pull out resource with a special theme.  All back issues can be reviwed at


They have a special section for busy teachers where lesson plans and other resources can be located.


For utubeand other online resources check out


Sometimes we are asked for resources about Catholic School Ethos.  Recent work has been done by the Down and Conner Trustee Resource Group.  Other materials can be accessed from the Catholic Schools Partnership.

Useful  Links

D&C Trustee service  Contact  Joan at  email    dctrusteeservice@btconnect.com


Some lovely Staff prayers and tips for the start of the school year on Le Cheile site.


There are many brilliant RE resources for use throughout the school year on









POPE FRANCIS: A MAN OF HIS WORD ( New film in cinemas August)

Pope Francis: A Man of His Word: 




This film seeks to be a personal journey with Pope Francis, rather than a  detailed documentary of his life. It opens with a birds-eye view of a city that is neither Rome nor Buenos Aires. It is Assisi, where another visionary named Francis challenged all of Christendom with his radical re-appropriation of the Gospel: his joyful celebration of the evangelical counsels, his enthusiastic embrace of poverty and of the poor and outcast, his celebration of the natural world, and his peace-making efforts between Christians and Muslims, including his famed visit to the Sultan al-Kamil.

His name’s sake Pope Francis’s ideas and his message are central to this film, which sets out to present his work of reform and his answers to today’s global questions. The film’s direct-to-camera visual and narrative concepts involve the audience face-to-face with the pope, creating a conversation between him and, literally, the world. (Truly mind-blowing!)

Receiving questions from people of all walks of life, the Holy Father responds to farmers and workers, refugees, children and the elderly, prison inmates, and those who live in favelas and migrant camps. All of these voices and faces are a cross section of humanity that join in a conversation with Pope Francis.

While this series of questions provides the backbone for the film, it also shows the pope on some of his many journeys around the world, with footage of him speaking at the United Nations, addressing the Congress of the United States, mourning with those gathered at Ground Zero and at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem. He speaks to prisoners in correctional facilities and to refugees in Mediterranean camps. We see him travel to the Holy Land (Palestine and Israel) as well as to Africa, South America and Asia.


This film is in cinemas in the UK and ROI this week and next week.


Pope Francis: A Man of His Word (2018) 

Pope Francis: A Man of His Word DVD and Blu-ray release date is set for December 4, 2018 and available on Digital HD from Amazon Video and iTunes is estimated for December 2018.




Pope Francis writes to the people of the People of God …..

“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it” (1 Cor 12:26). These words of Saint Paul forcefully echo in my heart as I acknowledge once more the suffering endured by many minors due to sexual abuse, the abuse of power and the abuse of conscience perpetrated by a significant number of clerics and consecrated persons. Crimes that inflict deep wounds of pain and powerlessness, primarily among the victims, but also in their family members and in the larger community of believers and nonbelievers alike. Looking back to the past, no effort to beg pardon and to seek to repair the harm done will ever be sufficient. Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated. The pain of the victims and their families is also our pain, and so it is urgent that we once more reaffirm our commitment to ensure the protection of minors and of vulnerable adults.

Read the Holy Father’s full letter here

Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis to the People of God

#PopeFrancis:    “When you’re worried, having trouble, try a “prayer of entrustment.”    Say, “Lord, I place this in your hands.”








Some nice thoughts:

Life is like a sandwich, you have to fill it will the best ingredients

Be still and know that I am God.

Our hearts were made for You O God, and they are restless until they rest in You

God is always writing in the events and people we experience everyday.

There is no such thing as chance.

God is never blind to our tears or deaf to our prayers.

We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.

If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world ablaze!

Those who leave everything in God’s Hand, will eventually see God’s Hand in everything.

It is not days in your life but life in your days that count.

Death is another step in growing into whom God planned us to become.

The important question to ask is not, ‘What do you believe?’ but ‘What difference does it make that you believe?

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Those who have a why to live for can bear with almost any how. 

Too many people spend too much time trying to perfect something before they actually do it. Instead of waiting for perfection, run with what you got, and fix it along the way.

Prayer is the mind in the heart before God.

The eye of faith can often see much that is hidden from the vision of unbelievers.

“A smile is the flower of the heart,” says Pope Francis

Love and true relationships are based on love. True love is based on sacrifice

Be helpful. When you see a person without a smile, give them one of yours.







Message of Pope Francis for World Communications Day 2018

Archbishop Eamon Martin welcomes the message of Pope Francis for World Communications Day

·        Theme for 2018: ‘The truth will set you free’ (Jn 8:32). Fake news and journalism for peace

I warmly welcome the message of Pope Francis for World Communications Day 2018, which we celebrate today, Ascension Sunday.

This year’s theme, ‘The truth will set you free’ (Jn 8:32).  Fake news and journalism for peace, is particularly relevant in our era of social media and digital communications.  The theme also resonates strongly in Ireland during these days as we count down to the referendum on the Eighth Amendment on 25 May.

In this year’s message Pope Francis gives us advice and guidance about “fake news” and encourages us to promote a journalism of peace.  All of us need to ask ourselves “what is ‘fake news’?”  Pope Francis tells us “fake news” is “false but believable news” that is sensational and often goes viral.  It is the “spreading of disinformation online or in the traditional media … based on non-existent or distorted data meant to deceive and manipulate the reader”.  It seeks to “advance specific goals, influence political decisions, and serve economic interests”.  

Fake news spreads arrogance and hatred; it discredits others, presenting them as enemies, to the point of demonizing them and fomenting conflict.  The current referendum debate, including the decisions this week by Google and Facebook to shut down digital advertising regarding the referendum, has generated its fair share of accusations and counter accusations of fake news. 

Pope Francis tells us that we can recognise the truth of statements from their fruits – whether they provoke arguments and cause division or promote informed mature dialogue and discussion with friends, family, colleagues and loved ones.  He tells us: “Informing others means forming others; it means touching peoples’ lives”.

He chose to publish his message in January on the Feast of Saint Francis de Sales, patron saint of journalists and writers.  This great saint preferred to confront the hostility of his time with the example of holiness and love.  If he were around today I expect his advice to all those in the media would be: “teach and proclaim the truth with love”.

This applies especially to those who work in the media.  The Pope describes the work of journalists as not just a job but a mission.  He invites them to promote a “journalism of peace” – journalism that is truthful, and opposed to falsehoods, rhetorical slogans, and sensational headlines.  He says journalists are the “protectors of news” with a responsibility to expose the truth at all times and hold people to account.

Pope Francis’ words are also relevant to all of us, because more and more we are all using a wide variety of media to spread our news and opinions.  Our world is rich in communications resources and our era is often described as the age of “democratic journalism”.  The way we express ourselves has changed radically and we can now instantly share our ideas on a multiplicity of platforms. 

As we reflect on the message of Pope Francis, I join with the Holy Father in encouraging Catholics and all people of goodwill to be more authentic, active and “truth-full” witnesses in the new digital world.

Download full text of Pope Francis’ Message for Communications Day 2018

Message of his Holiness Pope Francis Communications Day 2018


Archbishop Eamon Speaks to JMB/AMCSS 3rd May

Image result for archbishop eamon martin

All over Ireland these days, thousands of young people in their final year of primary education are receiving the sacrament of Confirmation.  This year in anticipation of the World Meeting of the families, I’m taking the opportunity at Confirmation ceremonies to say thanks to families, to acknowledge and celebrate the joy of love in the family, and to reflect on some of the challenges, pressures and struggles which families face.  The Confirmation ceremony is a special moment of connection between Family, Parish and School.  It is an opportunity to humbly recognise how much we all need each other and to underline the importance of our working together in order to offer the very best education to our young people.

The three and a half thousand young people confirmed this year in the Archdiocese of Armagh will transfer in September to post-primary schools in Louth, Armagh, Tyrone and Derry – schools like your own.  The theme of your Conference is: “Catholic Schools – a Meeting of Families”.  I would like to reflect on some of the distinctive ways in which our Catholic schools can support families in the sometimes daunting task of educating young people today.

To read Archbishop Eamon Martin’s Keynote address download this pdf of his full talk.

Keynote address by Archbishop Eamon Martin to JMB

ARMAGH Annual Day for Religious Education Teachers. June 19th Please put in your departmental Diary !!

This year our annual Religious Education Teacher Community will meet on Tuesday 19th June in St John the Baptist College, Drumcree, Portadown.  This 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 is also invaluable as it provides an opportunity for RE teachers to build networks of support and exchange ideas and resources.  Being part of a community helps build a strong sense of support, belonging and identity.  Attached programme and booking form.  PLEASE consider seriously being there   Send me numbers for catering for light lunch.   Promise you will enjoy the day

I wrote to Principals about this earlier this week.

Download Programme..
Booking Slip

UNDERSTANDING SEX AND GENDER – A conference for Catholic educators

A conference for Catholic educators

13th – 14th July 2018

St Mary’s University 
Waldegrave Road, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, TW1 4SX

Exploring one of the key issues of our time

Learn More

Are there really only two sexes?

What is gender, exactly?

What can I legally say and do as an educator?

What does a healthy psychology of sexuality look like?

How can we help children who demonstrate confusion?

How does sexuality affect our ability to become disciples?

Those who are involved with the formation and education of young people today are facing the difficult task of continuing to evangelise and teach in the midst of a growing trend of confusion surrounding personal identity, particularly sex and gender. Join us for a 2-day, multidisciplinary conference on these special topics, where we will hear from experts in the fields of philosophy, psychology, spirituality, law, and other related areas.

The conference, which is open to teachers, parents, chaplains, catechists, pastors, and anyone interested in learning more, aims to equip Catholic Christian educators and formators with knowledge of and confidence in the Church’s full and positive vision of the human person in his or her sexuality.