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Welcome to Ashbourne Donaghmore Parish

Welcome to the Ashbourne Donaghmore website. We see ourselves as a parish without walls, a parish that reaches out to and welcomes everybody. While the parish has to attend to day to day things, essentially it is about deeper things of the heart. Read More »

"Go deeper than love, for the soul has greater depths, love is like the grass, but the heart is deep wild rock molten, yet dense and permanent". (DH Lawrence, taken from "Dive Deeper" by Michael Paul Gallagher.)

We look forward to hearing from you because we want to listen and engage with you and your concerns and issues. We hope you will get the information you need on this website, but also that all of us will hear the good news of God's great love for us.

While all of us want to share the kind of parish we want -

"The real pastoral problem is simply to make a parish want the right thing, to instil in it a yearning for Christ. Then the rest will follow". (Carlo Maria Martini)

The real question is what kind of parish does God want Ashbourne Donaghmore parish to be.

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Sunday, May 20 2018
World Meeting of Families 2018

Preparations for the World Meeting of Families are well under way.   Over the days of the WMOF, a chosen theme will reflect “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World” and will include an enriching programme for adults of keynote speakers, workshops, talks, testimonies and discussions.  An engaging and exciting programme for young people as well as fun activities will be provided for children.  The schedules for the ceremonies, exhibitions, cultural events and musical performances are available on  The WMOF dates for your Parish Diary are attached below.


Wednesday 22 August is the day of the congress on which parishioners from around the diocese of Meath are invited to join with parishes through the provinces of Armagh and Dublin.  The programme will commence at 9am with Morning Prayer and will conclude with Mass in the RDS Arena at 4pm.

Attendance at the RDS Congress on Wednesday guarantees a ticket per person to the Festival of Families with Pope Francis in Croke Park on Saturday 25th August.


to the Papal Mass in The Phoenix Park on Sunday 26th August.  Parishioners can register individually on line or can complete a registration form in the Parish Office with payment of €38.  If there are sufficient numbers, the Parish will register as a group and organise a coach for one or all of the three events and will advise of the cost in due course.


The official icon of the Holy Family visits the diocese on the dates below.  This initiative encourages prayer and reflection as part of the journey towards WMOF 2018.  Families around Ireland will have the opportunity to write their petitions for inclusion at the Papal Mass in the Phoenix Park.

26-28 June  St. Mary’s Church, Navan

29June-1 July  Cathedral of Christ the King, Mullingar


Up to 10,000 volunteers are required to help with various elements of the WMOF and the Papal Visit.  So far, over 3,000 volunteers have signed up.  152 singers from parishes around the diocese have offered to be part of the 5,000 voice choir for the Papal Mass.  Registration can take place on Families in a position to welcome visiting families to Ireland by hosting a person, a couple, or a family should contact: or call 01 5676800.


Sunday, May 20 2018
Altar Servers’ Tour 2018

Some of our Altar Servers attended the Altar Servers’ Tour this week as a token of appreciation for their commitment to our Parish all year round.  Thank you to our Altar Servers’ Team who care for, and support our servers with great pastoral care and encouragement throughout the year.  Our thanks to those who coordinated the tour and the volunteers who assisted on the day with the outing.

Friday, May 18 2018

Final comment by Bishop Michael Smith

“With less than a week to go to the referendum, there remains a lot of confusion among the electorate about what the proposal entails.

We are not voting on a solution to the complex cases that have touched the hearts and minds of many people.

We are voting on whether to take away the only legal protection in the Constitution for all unborn children – healthy babies in the womb as well as babies who may have a life-limiting disability.

Our faith requires us to be compassionate but let me be clear – there is no semblance of compassion involved in ending the life of any child in the womb.

I urge you to cast your vote for a society that cherishes the equal right to life of every person.  You can do this by voting NO on Friday.”


Thursday, May 10 2018

In advance of the forthcoming Referendum, parishioners are invited to join our parish’s prayer initiative: ’12 hours of prayer for the Protection of Life’ beginning Tuesday 15th May at 10am and concluding at 10pm.  Adoration will take place in the St. John Paul II throughout the day and the Blessed Sacrament will be transferred to the main altar in the church from 8pm-10pm where our priests will lead us in guided prayer and the Rosary, concluding with Benediction.

We thank all who give generously of time and resources in support of the Pro-Life cause.  A regular pro-life newsletter can be followed on

Ashbourne-Donaghmore Parish has prepared a ‘Prayer for Life’ which we would invite everyone to pray:

A Prayer for Life

God of all goodness,

Creator of heaven and earth,

from Your gentle hand flows the gift of life.

Awaken the conscience of our country in this time of discernment and confusion.

Let the pursuit of freedom and progress be tempered by responsibility and integrity.

May we never act out of misguided compassion or be tempted to justify abortion rather than life.

Open the minds of our leaders who govern and influence our nation to the great worth of human life from the moment of conception to the last breaths of old age.

Touch the hearts of elected representatives to legislate for values which protect life in all it’s stages, offer greater support to those in crisis pregnancies, and provide life-affirming alternatives.

As elected representatives, may they never advocate that one human being has the right to life over another.

Give us the courage to speak with truth and love and with conviction in the defence of life.

Help us to extend the gentle hand of mercy and forgiveness to those who advocate alternatives to the gift of life.

Mary, Mother of us all,

we pray for all mothers who feel threatened and overwhelmed by their pregnancy.  Intercede for them, that God may dispel their fears and anxieties, instilling confidence in their ability to be mothers.

Grant that your people may always be a sign of your love in the world.  Amen.


Monday, May 7 2018
Bishop’s Smith’s Statement on Forthcoming Referendum

 “A Truly Compassionate Society Values All Life”

Statement from   Bishop Michael Smith  on the forthcoming referendum

In a few weeks time, the people of Ireland must make a decision that will have a profound impact on the kind of society we will be in the future. We will be asked to decide on whether to retain the 8th amendment in our Constitution by voting ‘No’ or to remove it by voting ‘Yes’. I wish to share with you my conviction about why it is essential to vote “No” if we are to build a truly compassionate society that values all life.

The choice before us has become even starker in the light of the recent judgment of the Supreme Court which stated that the only legal protection the unborn child has at present is the 8th amendment. If this is removed the unborn child up to birth becomes a non-person in Irish law. Do we want to say that the child in the womb has no rights whatsoever in our Constitution? This, I am sure, every mother would find impossible to believe from her experience of her child moving in the womb as he or she grows and develops. The Supreme Court judgment means that the child in the womb would have no constitutional right to treatment or support.

Despite suggestions to the contrary, the Church asks that all necessary medical treatment be given to a mother in pregnancy even if this were to result in the unintended death of the child. Highly respected medical and legal experts have made it clear that under the present law the best standards of care are available to mothers in a crisis pregnancy. All involved in caring for the pregnant mother in Ireland have to take pride in the fact that Ireland is one of the safest countries in which to be pregnant. Read the full post »

Thursday, April 19 2018
Papal Nuncio Visits Ashbourne – “Are we ready?”

His Excellency Jude Thaddaeus Okolo, Papal Nuncio to Ireland visited Ashbourne-Donaghmore Parish last weekend.  He was formally welcomed to the parish by Ciarán Lawless (Parish Pastoral Council) at the beginning of Mass.

The Sprinkling Rite took place at the Baptism font, blessed by Bishop Smith earlier that morning before the commencement of Mass.  Candy Querida-Maia  and Anastasija Sitova, both received into the Church at Easter assisted the Nuncio during the Sprinkling Rite at the beginning of Mass.  The scripture readings were read by Blannaid Naghten and Jim Kavanagh.  During his homily, the Papal Nuncio, asked those gathered if they were ready to welcome the Holy Father as he prepares to travel to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families in August. He also spoke of the influence Irish missionaries had on his own call to the priesthood.  The Prayers of the Faithful were read in some of the languages which make up the rich tapestry of languages and cultures in Ashbourne.   Linus and Meg Offiah, and members of the Kavanagh Family presented the offertory.


The Papal Nuncio joined the parish community to posthumously present the Benemerenti Medal on behalf of Pope Francis to the family of the late John Mc Ginley.  This Papal honour, given for service to the Church, recognises John’s work and craftsmanship in creating the six stained glass windows which illumine the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Ashbourne.  George Walsh, artist, who originally designed the windows was also present to celebrate and honour his late colleague and friend.  The medal and parchment were received by John’s son Robbie Mc Ginley.

John’s career took him all over the world: the cathedral in Porto, Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, Texas and New York.  Closer to home, John worked on the stained glass windows in OL of Victories church in Ballymun, St. Canices, Finglas and the Church of the Annunciation in Finglas West, and of course Ashbourne.

His excellency also formally launched the recently published booklet on the stained glass windows.  The booklet entitled, ‘The Story of our Stained Glass’,  preserves the past for future generations, and enlightens all who bathe in the colourful lights of the church.

Thanks were expressed to Ashbourne Church Choir who provided the music for both ceremonies, servers, those who offered hospitality and those who decorated the church.  Parishioners retired to the Parish Hall for a reception afterwards and the opportunity to meet the Papal Nuncio.


Thursday, April 19 2018
Bishop Smith Blesses New Baptism Font

Bishop Michael visited Ashbourne-Donaghmore Parish at the weekend to bless the newly installed Baptism Font and Ambry, prior to the celebration of Mass by His Excellency Jude Thaddaeus Okolo, Papal Nuncio to Ireland.

Read the full post »

Thursday, April 19 2018
Clann Ceol Concert Success

Ashbourne-Donaghmore Parish played host to Clann Ceol 2018 Candlelight Concert.  Performing on the evening were Eurovision Winner Eimear Quinn, The Dublin Brass Ensemble, The Mamisa String Quartet, and Schola Hyberniae.  Congratulations to Ashbourne & District Lions Club and Will Palmer for their initiative, organisation, and tasteful repertoire, all of which contributed to a wonderful evening.

Fr. Derek’s welcoming address:

Ashbourne-Donaghmore Parish is delighted to host Ashbourne Lions Club and it’s charity concert Clann Ceol 2018.  We welcome all who visit our parish for an evening of culture and music in support of two worthy beneficiaries: Special Olympics and World Meeting of Families.  The beauty and majesty of tonight’s collection of music has the capacity to unites us, move hearts and raise minds in appreciation of the creative genius of the Divine. Read the full post »

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