Choose Life 2018 Newsletters
Bishop Francis Duffy pastoral letter March '18
Life is precious
Amidst all the rich variety of life on earth, human life is cause for special wonder. We alone can contemplate the beauty around us. We alone can create art and music and literature to express this beauty. We alone can love one another.
Each human being has the capacity to experience and express this beauty and love in a unique way and, in doing so, to enrich others. We know that we did not create the beauty and the love around us. We know that we did not create ourselves.
When we say that human life is sacred we are recognising something that is sensed not only by religious people but by everyone who appreciates the wonder of human life. As human beings we depend on one another and so others have the right to expect something from us – it is the right to be recognised and respected and never to be treated as less than he or she is. That is true at every moment of our life – from its first beginnings to its natural end.
Every human life is beautiful, every human life is precious. Choose Life!
CHOOSE LIFE 2018 NEWSLETTERS:
Choose Life 2018 is a new weekly newsletter for parishes,
It is designed to encourage discussion in families on the value of every human life.
Each week the newsletter will follow the development of ‘Baby Bump’ based on the milestones from conception to 12 weeks gestation. Choose Life 2018 will also feature prayers, testimonies, questions and answers and links to helpful resources on the right to life.
ChooseLife2018 Issue 1
ChooseLife2018 Issue 2
ChooseLife2018 Issue 3
ChooseLife2018 Issue 4
ChooseLife2018 Issue 5
ChooseLife2018 Issue 6
ChooseLife2018 Issue 7
ChooseLife2018 Issue 8
ChooseLife2018 Issue 9
Trócaire provides humanitarian assistance and long-term support to communities in over 20 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Last year, 2.6 million people directly benefited from our overseas programmes. In Ireland, we raise awareness about the root causes of poverty and inequality, and campaign on justice issues.
Trocaire boxes are available in our churches from this weekend.
Recent Baptisms and Deaths
We welcomed the following children into our Christian commmunity in recent weeks:
Please pray for the souls of our recently departed:-
~ January 2017 ~
~ February ~
~ March ~
~ May ~
~ June ~
and formerly of Spiddal, Co. Galway
Angela Tuite, Bracklin Road)
~ July ~
~ August ~
~ September ~
~ October ~
~ November ~
~ December ~
Clerical Changes – September 2017A number of Clerical changes have been made by Bishop Francis Duffy effective September 1st, 2017.
Frs. Seamus McKeon, Pat Lennon and our Pat Kiernan have all been granted sabbatical study leave.
Fr. Kiernan travels to California where he will be engaged in Parish Ministry in the Diocese of San Diego. During this time he will also have the opportunity to attend a course of study in San Diego. We wish Fr. Pat the very best while he is away.
We welcome Fr. Tom Healy to our parish. Currently administrator in Longford he is to take over as the new parish priest in St. Mary’s Edgeworthstown and as the Diocesan Secretary and Financial Administrator.
Other changes include Fr. James McKiernan, CC Boher who is to become Administrator in Longford while
Fr. PJ Higgins will return from Ecuador to become CC Boher.
Additional responsibilities have also been bestowed on other priests within the diocese.
Fr Tom Murray PP in Clonbroney will become Director of Planning, while Fr Seamus O’Rourke, CC Carrick-on-Shannon has been appointed Vocations Director.
Fr Pat has left us the following note:
WORD OF THANKS
I would like to exprees my sincere thanks and appreciation to everyone for their support, help and generosity during the last two years. At this time your kindness, good wishes and prayers are very much valued and appreciated. I pray that Jesus the Good Shepard will bless, protect and guide you and your families today and always. Please remember me in your prayers. I promise to do likewise for you. Beannachtaí agus Buíochas.
Mary Greene R.I.P.
Tribute to Kevin Greene and to Mary Greene (R.I.P.)
On Sunday August 21st 2016 in St. Mary’s Church, Edgeworthstown at the end of 10.00 a.m. Mass we read a tribute to Kevin Greene. Surrounded by his family and grandchildren we presented him with a Genesis crafted Nativity set.
Tribute to Kevin Greene
This morning we are going to take a few moments to acknowledge and pay tribute to our Parishioner, Kevin Greene, who gave freely of his time and expertise to our parish of St. Mary’s, Mostrim for the last 27 years
When volunteering for a job, sometimes one actually volunteers, or as often happens, one is volunteered. Either way, one usually concentrates on the job in hand, not looking ahead, taking one day or one week at a time. As one week follows the previous one, the weeks become months and soon enough a year or two passes by.
In Kevin’s case, he volunteered and served this Parish diligently, conscientiously, quietly and efficiently during the last 27 years. During this time, he was a wondrerful help and support to the many Priests who have served in this Parish, namely, Fr. Christopher Stapleton, Monsignor Patrick Early, Fr. John F. Doyle, Fr. John Francis Kiernan, Fr. Charlie Healy, Fr. Hugh Turbitt, Fr. Jim Sorohan, Fr. Patrick Murphy, Fr. Michael Bannon and Fr. Patrick Kiernan. He also worked closely with Sacristans, Joe Breaden and his good wife Mary.
For the last 27 years Kevin was responsible, with the assistance of other generous volunteers, in collecting and counting the Offeertory Collection here at St. Mary’s, Mostrim, which you the Parishioners so generously and faithfully support, every week of the year.
It is with gratitude and appreciation that we would like to recognise your wonderful contribution to our Parish and we would like to acknowledge all of those who give of their time so generously to volunteer and to serve the various roles in our Parish. On this August morning, we would like to make a presentation to you Kevin on behalf St. Mary’s Parish, in recognition and appreciation of your dedicated and loyal service for the last 27 years.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish you health and happiness now and in the future.
Beannachtaί agus Buίochas
It is with a heavy heart that we record the death of Kevin’s wife Mary, peacefully at home in Devine Crescent (formerly of Drumeel, Ballinalee) on September 14th 2017 after a short illness. It was a kindness that she was not allowed to suffer for a long period. As we know The Lord works in mysterious ways. It was his way of saying to Mary “Good and Faithful Servant, your time to enter the Kingdom has come”. He gently opened the gates of Paradise and welcomed Dear Mary home.
Mary served as Sacristan in St. Mary’s church, Edgeworthstown for 13 years. She succeeded Joe Breadan and served under the following priests/parish priests:
Monsignor Patrick Early, Fr. John F. Doyle r.i.p., Fr. John Francis Kiernan r.i.p., Fr. Charlie Healy, Fr. Hugh Turbitt, Fr. Jim Sorohan r.i.p., Fr. Patrick Murphy, Fr. Michael Bannon and Fr. Patrick Kiernan – she just missed working with Fr. Tom Healy, newly transferred from St. Mel’s two week’s prior to her passing. She also assisted Fr. Peter Beglan, Cannon Jerry McAuley r.i.p., Fr. Cieran McGovern, Fr. Joe McGrath and Fr. Nigel Charles.
Her passing has left a very big void in her family’s lives, those of husband Kevin, sons Gerard and Philip, daughters Rosemary, Noeleen and Catherine, grandchildren, great grandchild, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers Tommy, Jimmy, Robbie, Mickey and Joe, sisters Róisín, Ita, Bridget and Ann, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, cousins. As it has to the community of friends who all loved Mary
Mary’s great loves included her husband and family and her work in the church. While her attention to detail ensured all services ran smoothly she always made time to chat with neighbours and friends. Several times each day – hail, rain or shine – Mary walked from home through to the other end of town to her devine calling, her church. She also facilitated those of us who counted the collections and banked them.
Mary was the mainstay of our church for those thirteen years, her total dedication and love of her work radiated from her. She truly loved what she did and we owe her a deep gratitude.
It is a great tribute to the Greene family that Kevin served us for twenty seven years, Mary for thirteen years, Gerard has filled in as sacristan during and after Mary’s illness and Philip acts as funeral usher.
Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a n-anam
May she rest in peace and rise in glory
Pastoral Letter March 2017 – Bishop Francis Duffy
Sustaining our Faith Community
in the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise
I write to you concerning the reality that the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois has, and will continue to have, fewer priests ministering to the faithful.
I know that many of you who read this are now or have been involved in many ways in your parish church community as Ministers of the Word, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, members of Parish Pastoral Councils, Parish Finance Committees, Ushers, Altar Servers, Safeguarding, Eucharistic Adoration groups, sacramental preparation teams, in addition to the long established choirs and the committees and individuals who maintain churches in such good order. There are many other invaluable local initiatives that you have undertaken such as hospitality at times of funerals, raising awareness of local identity through events and publications and outreach and support to those who have various pastoral and spiritual needs.
At diocesan level we have a Diocesan Pastoral Council, a Diocesan Liturgy Commission, Finance Committee, Accord, Safeguarding Committee, Diocesan Advisors in Catechetics and the Saint John Paul II Awards for young people. The two most recent initiatives are the introduction of the Parish Catechist and the Permanent Diaconate.On behalf of our diocese, to each and every one of you, I offer my blessing and heartfelt gratitude.
As you are aware, in the midst of all these positive developments there has been a steady decline in the number of our priests. Many of you will fondly remember when there were two or three priests working in your parish and where now there is only one.
Three of our parishes do not have a resident priest. This trend of a declining number of clergy is set to continue. At the moment we have 52 very dedicated diocesan priests in our parishes but sadly no seminarians preparing for ordination.
In addition we have four priests from abroad and from missionary congregations who are working in the diocese. This means we have a declining, and an ageing, group of clergy.
From both a pastoral and a duty of care perspective, it is important that responsibilities our clergy now carry are shared with parishioners even more so than at present.
By 2030, over the next 13 years, 28 of our 53 diocesan priests will reach the retirement age of 75 years. By the time children baptised this year reach Confirmation our diocese will be a very different place.
|Number of Diocesan Priests||Number of Parishes|
These statistics tell us that from this year on, as our priests retire or are transferred, there will not be priests to replace them and so an increasing number of parishes will not have resident clergy. In the very near future your parish may not have a resident priest, or if you have, then your priest may be called on to provide pastoral care in a neighbouring parish that is without a resident priest. This ongoing development will impact every parish in the diocese and will bring about considerable change in how the parishes are organised and also in the way the Good News of Jesus Christ is passed on to succeeding generations.
Critically, there will also be an impact on the workload of priests and their welfare is our concern in this changing context.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states “the Sunday celebration of the Lord’s Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church’s life”.
The Sunday Eucharist and the celebration of the sacraments and the pastoral care of people are of central importance for every parish. As a consequence, consideration needs to be given to developing and enabling parish faith development and pastoral care to continue and to flourish with fewer priests and with greater involvement of parishioners.
This is not about closing churches but about reimagining how we worship and pass on our Christian faith.
At this time you and our priests have a unique and precious opportunity to serve the Lord by encouraging and engaging with each other to prepare for and take on responsibility for the formation, promotion and practice of the faith at local level in changing circumstances. We continue to pray for and promote vocations to priesthood and religious life. A time of decline in one area can be an opportunity for growth in other areas. I firmly believe the Lord is with us in change and will provide opportunities for the local church communities to continue to flourish in new ways.
I invite your support as we prepare for a future that will differ greatly from the past in terms of how we worship as a faith community. I therefore ask each of you to consider carefully these matters and
I would greatly welcome your input and suggestions directly, or through your Parish Pastoral Councils, as we seek to meet this challenge together under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois
Post: Saint Michael’s, Longford, Co Longford, N39 Y4X5
Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Parishes of the Diocese of
Ardagh & Clonmacnoise
“What kind of world do we want to leave….
to children now, who are growing up?”
Pope Francis – Encyclical Letter Laudato Si
Miriam Marivel Campos Perez (30) and her daughter Maria José Gonzáles Campo (6) stand beside one of the houses ruined by rising sea levels, beside their coastal house in Cuyamel, Omoa, Honduras.
The neighbourhood sits on a sandbank between a river and the Atlantic Ocean. When bad weather hits, the ocean moves inwards and the river swells until the entire sandbank is covered in water.
“It’s really sad when I come back and see how my house looks. I want to run away and never return. The sea brings sand and is full of garbage that gets washed here from Guatemala.” Miriam Marivel Campos Perez.
Miriam and her daughter Maria live just metres from the sea in Honduras. Their home wasn’t always so close to the water, bur rising sea levels and violent weather means they are now constantly at risk of their small home being flooded and losing everything.
When you donate to Trocaire you’re not just giving. You’re directly helping struggling communities in their fight for justice. Trócaire is the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland.
Trócaire was established in 1973 as a way for Irish people to donate to development and emergency relief abroad. Trocaire’s dual mandate is to support the most vulnerable people in the developing world, while also raising awareness of injustice and global poverty at home.
Trocaire’s work is guided by Catholic Social Teaching, recognising the inherent dignity, worth and human rights of all people, as well as the importance of acting in solidarity with each other and in caring for our shared environment.
Trocaire support regardless of race, gender, religion or politics.
To learn more about Trocaire’s work visit www.trocaire.org