World Meeting for Families Dublin & Amoris Laetitiae

A specially commissioned WMOF2018 icon of the Holy Family was unveiled and anointed on the 21st August 2017, during the launch of the one-year programme of preparation at the National Novena in Knock, Ireland.

The icon was unveiled and anointed on the 21st August 2017, during the launch of the one-year programme of preparation at the National Novena in Knock, Ireland. It has now started to travel to each diocese in Ireland to encourage reflection and prayer as part of the journey of preparations to WMOF2018. The icon is accompanied by petition boxes, where families can write their intentions and prayer. Contemplative communities around Ireland will pray for the intentions collected during the coming year.

This icon takes the form of a triptych which looks, from the outside, somewhat like a house with front doors. On these outside doors, we are presented with the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, who carry with them the desire of God to protect. Their heads are bowed in adoration and service of God, the Holy One. On the base is the inscription “Amoris Laetitia”, ‘The Joy of Love’, the title of Pope Francis’ post-Synodal exhortation on love in the family, the source of our reflections during the World Meeting of Families 2018.

When the doors of this icon are opened we see in the centre the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph seated at table, sharing a meal and sharing their faith. Their faith was celebrated in their home. It is in our home that the reality of God-with-us is communicated and passed on to future generations. Their gathering around the table is reminiscent of the Three Angels in the famous 15th century Icon of the Holy Trinity by Andrei Rublev. Christian Marriage is sometimes compared with the Holy Trinity, as a communion of the giving and receiving of love that is life-giving. Indeed, the family is called to be the “living icon” of the Most Holy Trinity.

Similarly to the icon above, the Holy Family have a place at their table for us. They invite us to join them. They are no strangers to the trials of family life. They themselves have been refugees, fleeing the violence of Herod. They have known great anxiety. Hence the radishes and bitter herbs of the Passover meal represent the sorrows and trials of the people of Israel in their slavery also represent for us the trials and sacrifices of patience and love experienced in every family. The presence of the unleavened bread and cup of wine on their table call to mind the Eucharist for us.

Flanking the Holy Family icon are those two Gospel narratives: the Raising of Jairus’ Daughter and the Wedding Feast of Cana. Passages in the Gospels in which we see Jesus’ deep compassion and concern for marriage and for those living with the burdens of family life.

THEME for World Meeting :
The theme for each World Meeting of Families is chosen by the Pope. In choosing The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World, as the theme for the ninth World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland, Pope Francis invites us to reflect on a theme that was central to the Synodal process that led to his post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia: On Love in the Family.
“A Joy for all the World” is the official hymn for World Meeting of Families 2018 and was composed by young Irish composer Ephrem Feeley. The hymn found its inspiration in the document Amoris Laetitia – the Joy of Love, written in 2016 by Pope Francis following the Synods on the Family held over the preceding two years.
Official Hymn for World Meeting of Families 2018

Composed by Ephrem Feeley


Love bears all things, endures all things
Love longs for all things good, love never ends

Love is patient, and love is kind.
Love is not resentful; it is not rude.
Love is not arrogant, nor boastful, nor jealous,
but love rejoices, rejoices in the truth
The joy, of love, a joy for all God’s family,
The joy of love transcending time and space.
Our Love for each other mirrors God the Father’s love.
The joy of love: a joy for all the earth.
Here in Gods family all find their home.
All can find salvation troubled souls find peace.
Here is found tenderness, compassion and justice
Here God reaches down to us and touches us with grace.
Love is our origin, our constant calling.
Love is our fulfilment, in God’s dwelling place.
Love is the mystery of Father, Son and Spirit,
Love is communion of blessed Trinity.
This is what God asks of us, to act with justice,
to love with tenderness, to walk humbly with God,
to give our lives in service to others.
The joy of the Gospel is the joyful love of Christ!
Love bears all things, endures all things
love longs for all things good, love never ends.
Amoris Logo
Amoris Laetitia  
Senior RE Classes may like to explore the teachings and issues raised by Pope Francis in his recent exhortation.  A parish based exploration with full video and notes can be accessed using the link below. 
Amoris: Let’s Talk Family! Let’s be Family! programme

Access to Amoris Materials here: Opens in new window


LENT 2017

Hard to believe but as February as flashes past we are rapidly approaching the season of Lent once more.

Pope Francis has already issued his Message for Lent 2017

He writes

“Lent is a new beginning, a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ’s victory over death. This season urgently calls us to conversion. Christians are asked to return to God “with all their hearts” (Joel 2:12), to refuse to settle for mediocrity and to grow in friendship with the Lord. Jesus is the faithful friend who never abandons us. Even when we sin, he patiently awaits our return; by that patient expectation, he shows us his readiness to forgive (cf. Homily, 8 January 2016).”
You can read his beautiful message by downloading it here.  It is a fantastic resource for persoanl and group reflection
Trocaire have their annual postprimary resource and video in place.
See also ……
Donna sent me this Ppt File on Lent.  Would work well for a year group assembly.Also for worhip and prayer themes in GCSE and Jun Cert.
Short Play for Holy Week.
Some teachers use the Lenten Sunday Gospels for prayer reflections with senior students. I have attached the 6 sundays here in one pdf file to download.
Another set of lectio resources for group or personal prayer
See this video to start our reflection on Lent and working for a just and equal world..

The Allegory of the Long Spoons.  


Based on an ancient story about hunger and sharing, this animated video is part of Caritas’ “One Human Family, Food for All” campaign. The “allegory of the long spoons” teaches us that when we struggle to feed only ourselves, everyone goes hungry. But when we focus on our

Louise kindly shared this resource in video for Ash Wednesday


Catholic Schools; working with Pope Francis to care for our common home.

Launch of week for the  Archdiocese of Armagh  ( Mainly Northern Schools)  will be at St John The Baptist Church Drumcree, Portadown on Tuesday 31st January.  Gather for 11.00 am start.   This will be a para-liturgy exploring Pope Francis and his message about caring for the Earth and all its wonderful resources.  Teachers and students from all our schools are most welcome to attend.

On Thursday February  2nd. Seinn will host the Annual Gathering for CSW in the Redeemer Church, Ard Easmuin, Dundalk mainly for Co Louth Schools. This will be at 12.30 during lunch break. Seinn will engage the students through music and singing, images and prayer and again we hope as many schools in Co Louth and South Armagh will travel to take part.

To mark Catholic Schools Week, Dromore Diocese will celebrate a special Mass in St Peter’s Parish Church in Lurgan on Wednesday 1st February 2017 at 10.30am.  The celebrant will be Bishop John McAreavey and there will be representation from all the primary and post primary schools in the diocese.

Organising teams have been meeting to prepare the liturgies and suitable resources for our own celebrations.

National Resources for 2017:






SHUSAKU ENDO’S SILENCE An exciting new film arrives.

Shusaku Endo’s Silence

Martin Scorcese’s 2016 film, based on Shusaku Endo’s celebrated novel Silence, raises a wide range of faith-related questions. The story follows Fr. Sebastian Rodrigues, a seventeenth-century Jesuit priest from Portugal who sneaks into Japan in a time when Christians were brutally persecuted there.


Seventeenth-century Japan: Two Portuguese Jesuit priests travel to a country hostile to their religion, where feudal lords force the faithful to publicly renounce their beliefs. Eventually captured and forced to watch their Japanese Christian brothers lay down their lives for their faith, the priests bear witness to unimaginable cruelties that test their own beliefs. Shusaku Endois one of the most celebrated and well-known Japanese fiction writers of the twentieth century, and Silence is widely considered to be his great masterpiece.


As Catholic Christians, we too spend our lives waiting. But we are waiting for something much bigger than a trip, bigger even than retirement or a wedding: We are waiting for the return of Jesus in glory. Advent heightens this sense of waiting, because it marks not only our anticipation of Jesus’ final coming, but also our remembrance of his arrival into our world more than 2,000 years ago.
Overwhelmed by the demands of the season, we can wait for Jesus in a state of anxiety, or cynicism, or harried indifference toward the miracle that is upon us. Or we can take our cue from the prayer we hear every Sunday and “wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.” Welcoming Jesus into our homes and our hearts, full of hope and joy, prepares us to properly celebrate Jesus’ birth and anticipate his return.
Please download some of our resources to use school
Lectio from Prof  Seamus O’Connell
Really love the CAFOD Advent Calander this year … just so engaging and full of depth and challenge
Other resources
An Assembly :
Wonderful new Assembly Susan has written.  Suitable for senior class students.
New Christmas Prayer to the Holy Family
 Jesus, Mary and Joseph, 

in you we contemplate 
the splendor of true love; 
to you we turn with trust. 

Holy Family of Nazareth, 
grant that our families too
may be places of communion and prayer, 
authentic schools of the Gospel
and small domestic churches.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
may families never again experience
violence, rejection and division;
may all who have been hurt or scandalized
find ready comfort and healing.

Holy Family of Nazareth, 
make us once more mindful 
of the sacredness and inviolability of the family, 
and its beauty in God’s plan. 

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
graciously hear our prayer.


Web Sites for RE Teachers.

Websites for Religious Education

This very comprehensive list of links and reviews was originally compiled in the 1990s by Máire Byrne, Milltown Institute.  It has been revised and updated by Susan Morgan, St Mary’s University College, Belfast.

You can download this as a pdf doc



Recommended Catholic Websites

The largest Catholic blog website on the Internet and one of the easiest to use and to search. Search for articles from thousands of Catholic blogs, or browse the directory of Catholic blogs and RSS/Atom feeds. Hundreds of articles added daily to this website.

God Tube is a free video sharing website much like the infamous YouTube but which specialises in Christian-themed videos. The website has a huge selection of themes, from Christian music videos to fascinating insights on how the liturgy is celebrated in other countries and cultures.

Personalize your content, layout, and preferences. Choose from daily Mass readings, reflections, news, links, tools and more. Catholic news, inspirational stories, articles and links presented by topics.

This website offers free content to Catholic blogs and other (non-profit) Catholic websites. By simply adding a few lines to your HTML code, you can easily provide Mass readings, reflections, and more to your readers.

London-based daily Catholic news service.

For more than fifty years, Catholic TV has been providing programming for the Catholic community in Boston and beyond.

Online curriculum support for catechists with discussion group, Catholic links etc. Some content requires subscription.

Resources for parents who wish to educate their children (both home schooling and as a follow up to what their schools teach).

An excellent resource website including information on saints and Catholic news. The link above is the prayer resource section on the website, including a good resource on the Stations of the Cross.

This is a beta site but contains lots of videos (many linked to YouTube) that may be used in a classroom setting. Information on prayer and youth groups is very good and there is a service where you can upload your own video masterpiece to share with other groups!

Does what it says on the tin!

General Resources for Religious Education

RE Source is a website created to support the teaching in Post-Primary Religious Education in Northern Ireland. Contains a good variety of resources and is regularly updated.

English website-Good resource pages

Information on all key stages and integration of ICT into RE lessons

Religious Studies section of this website provides links to larger websites (such as the British Museum). You can search by age group.

Love this resource – endless ideas or for keeping up with current trends in religion and spirituality. I particularly love the video/podcast section – especially ‘In Two Minutes’ – really brilliant short clips on a variety of topics – everything from Lent to WYD explained in (you guessed it…) 2 minutes.

The London Times website on various faith centered topics. Superb articles and lots of up to date information.

A random prayer generator that is a lot more sophisticated than it sounds!

Daily prayers that you can download as MP3s. Very useful for playing via a laptop in the classroom.

The online journal of British Jesuits.

The Way is an international journal of contemporary Christian spirituality, published by the British Jesuits.

The online Catechism.

Part of the TearFund website that deals with issues of global poverty and injustice which focuses on social justice

A favourite website for buying “hard copy” resources. Though it is based in the US the shipping is quite reasonable and they offer good discounts on bulk buys.

Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it! Some useful video clips, for example, on a variety of life issues


Department of Education website for Northern Ireland

General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland

Catholic Council for Maintained Schools – access to information, advice and opinion on Catholic education and Catholic schools in Northern Ireland

Education Authority

Website of Ireland’s National Council for Curriculum and Assessment

Website of Northern Ireland’s Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment

Website of the trustee body for the voluntary secondary schools of the Daughters of Charity, the Presentation Sisters, the Sisters of the Christian Retreat, the Sisters of Mercy and the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. The newsletter of this website is especially useful and well designed.

Resources for Catholic Schools in Northern Ireland.

Access to information, advice and opinion on Catholic education and Catholic schools in Scotland. Useful section on RE Resources.

Some Irish Websites

Revised and updated!

The largest Catholic website based in Ireland. Most Irish websites with a Catholic slant are subsites of this website so it makes a good starting point on a search for resources. Content is varied however so navigation away from the main page should be undertaken with reserve. The Requiem subsite is particularly out of date and prone to crashing. The “Talk to God” link above this is very good for personal prayer for students. Note that the site contains a link to the pdf document of the Liturgical calendar for the year (on the right hand side of the page)

A huge and valuable resource site on prayer and reflection. Can easily be used in the classroom on PowerPoint, a handout, or in assigning roles to prayer leaders. Continuously updated and good on seasonal resources.

Armagh Archdiocese website of Prayer and Spirituality Commission.  Good for down loads on prayer and Seasons of the Year.

The website for the Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin. An excellent resource site.

Other Resources on the Internet

Many of the larger Museums and Libraries have lots of resources that you can use in discussions of religious themes.

British Museum

British Library

Jewish Museum New York

Jewish Museum Berlin

is technical but having a snoop in the “secret archives” (Almost disappointingly linked from the home page!) is good fun-the site offers a virtual tour!

QCA schemes of work

National Curriculum in Action has exemplar pupils’ work linked to levels

World Religions

Hajj, The Greatest Trip on Earth – television programme screened by Channel Four

Buddhist philosophy via cartoons

Other useful websites

Website run by the Catholic Relief Services. Lots of resources for prayer services. Excellent links page.

What kind of Catholic are you? Answer 23 questions and find out!

Link to the Catechism of the Catholic Church online

International Marian Research Institute – is one of the largest international centers of study, research and teaching on Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ – for all you ever wanted to know about Mary!

English version of the Vatican Website – a wealth of resources at your fingertips

Franciscan run “link site” that is well updated. Lots of scholarly articles on a variety of Church documents.

Sistine Chapel – an extended visual tour – beautiful!

Current and historical information about bishops, cardinals, popes.

Theology Library of Springhill College – well worth a look – comprehensive selection of Catholic teaching on a variety of issues

An inspirational website includes quotations and prayers from all major religions

Glossary of religious terms

The Bible

Here is the entire Bible online – 54 different versions in English. Just select book and chapter.

Every book of the Holy Bible is summarized with easy-to-read review notes and keypoints, very useful for everyone and a resource for Bible study

Online Bible study suite

Generally viewed as the New Testament website – has a wealth of every type of resource, (audio, video, books, articles, websites, etc) on the New Testament.

Huge resource for biblical paintings and biblical art in general.

The one with the lego men. Check for age appropriate content.

PowerPoint slides (maps etc)

Vernacular descriptions of terms associated with Biblical Studies. Includes some raps and songs – good fun!

Online, searchable text of the NRSV Bible. What did we do before cut and paste!

Links to bible maps which make for useful visual aids.

Google Earth is invaluable for locating the “weird and wonderful” place names in the Bible and world religions.



May in the Jubilee of Mercy                  20080308_108

Archbishop Eamon wrote recently

In my Pastoral Message for the Year of Mercy, I indicated my wish for schools throughout the diocese to participate in a Rosary Crusade; this initiative has grown into the Rosary Relay. My vision is to unite the pupils of the Archdiocese of Armagh in prayer during the month of May in this Jubilee Year of Mercy.

My intention is for the young people across the Archdiocese, in their classrooms, to pray together a decade of the Rosary at 12 noon each day during the month of May.  The aim of this Rosary Relay is to engage the pupils and staff in the mysteries of our faith and to be part of what Pope Francis has described as an ‘extraordinary moment of grace and spiritual renewal’ in this Year of Mercy.

To assist schools, rosary resources will be available on the diocesan website at  I am grateful to Méabh Carlin and Hannah McCauley, who, along with the expertise of iCatholic, have produced professional, child-friendly, engaging and spiritual videos of the Mysteries of the Rosary.

The schools of the diocese were contacted in February and invited to participate in the Rosary Relay during May.  I am delighted with the response from our schools; to date we have despatched 19,000 rosaries as well as 19,000 rosary prayer cards in readiness for 1 May. Many children will also bring their own rosaries into school.

To support the praying of the rosary see some resources attached to download for use with classes.

How to pray Rosary

Prayers of the Rosary


Reflections, Prayers and Meditations.

Here are some resources to help us all relax from the stress and business of daily living and in stillness come to know the God who loves each of us beyond our wildest dreams or imaginings.


Prayer for Strength John XXIII

Pope Francis Prayer for Jubilee.

The Jesus Prayer With Icons


A Prayer to St Moninne





This time of year is cold and dark and for many depressing.  This 3 minute film shows us the beauty to found all around us in nature even in the cold of winter.





Some prayer services and resources for class and personal use in Lent and Easter.

Check out earlier years on right hand side for further materials.


Lectio for Sundays Lent 2016

Ash Wed & Lenten Services inc Penance Services and Stations of the Cross

School Liturgy for the Distribution of Ashes


Ashes and Penance in Lent

Trocaire Service for Lent &  Care for the Earth

Mary takes us through the Stations of the Cross

We Have This Treasure – Holy Thursday Meditation

Pope Francis has issued his wonderful letter for Lent 2016. download text for personal reading or class discussion.

Lenten Message of Pope Francis 2016

Archbishop Eamon has sent this Letter for Lent 2016 to all parishes.

Year of Mercy Pastoral Lenten Letter from Archbishop Eamon – Leaflet Format