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.



Gaudete et Exsultate The call to holiness in the world today.

‘Gaudete et Exsultate’, Pope Francis calls on us to ‘Rejoice and be Glad’

A Christian cannot think of his or her mission on earth without seeing it as a path of holiness, for “this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thess 4:3). Each saint is a mission, planned by the Father to reflect and embody, at a specific moment in history, a certain aspect of the Gospel.

Pope Francis launches his new exhortation


.I like to contemplate the holiness present in the patience of God’s people: in those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to support their families, in the sick, in elderly religious who never lose their smile.

To be holy does not require being a bishop, a priest or a religious. We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case. We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves. Are you called to the consecrated life? Be holy by living out your commitment with joy. Are you married? Be holy by loving and caring for your husband or wife, as Christ does for the Church. Do you work for a living? Be holy by labouring with integrity and skill in the service of your brothers and sisters. Are you a parent or grandparent? Be holy by patiently teaching the little ones how to follow Jesus. Are you in a position of authority? Be holy by working for the common good and renouncing personal gain.

.This holiness to which the Lord calls you will grow through small gestures. Here is an example: a woman goes shopping, she meets a neighbour and they begin to speak, and the gossip starts. But she says in her heart: “No, I will not speak badly of anyone”. This is a step forward in holiness. Later, at home, one of her children wants to talk to her about his hopes and dreams, and even though she is tired, she sits down and listens with patience and love. That is another sacrifice that brings holiness. Later she experiences some anxiety, but recalling the love of the Virgin Mary, she takes her rosary and prays with faith. Yet another path of holiness. Later still, she goes out onto the street, encounters a poor person and stops to say a kind word to him. One more step.


Please download and read prayerfully the full text below.  ENJOY

Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate ..The call to Holiness.

For a detailed article that explains this wonderful exhortation follow this link…





A colleague recently asked me if I had a reflection or prayer on Servant Leadership.  I searched my files but didn’t find one.  I have made a small attempt myself at writing what I believe lies at the core of servant leadership.  I hope you may find it helpful     Declan


Servant Leadership  –  a prayer


Lord as we thank you for the great gift of communion with you, we recall that at the Last Supper you rose from the table and taking a towel you set to washing the feet of your disciples. Having completed this task, the work of a servant or slave, you asked your disciples to imitate this action saying “If I your Lord and Master have washed your feet, you should wash one another’s feet”.   Christian leadership is a leadership based on service.  After the Resurrection, the Risen Jesus had breakfast with some of the disciples by the lakeshore. Simon Peter who as leader had failed his Master even denying he had ever known him, found himself reinstated to this task when Jesus told him “feed my sheep”.  Christian leadership is about being called by the Master and following his example reaching out to those we meet in service, forgiveness and love. Lord like Simon Peter we are frail and all too human. Strengthen our resolve to be Easter people who through servanthood exercise Christian leadership believing that the Master comes to each of us in those we meet and serve each and every day,  Amen.