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Welcome to Ashbourne-Donaghmore Parish
Tuesday, March 31st 2020

Welcome to Ashbourne-Donaghmore Parish

Our office is contactable to the public Monday – Friday 9.30am – 2.30pm by telephone 01 8353149
or e-mail ONLY ashbournedonaghmoreparish@gmail.com


Masses will continue to be celebrated via our Parish Cam (Webcam):
http://www.ashbourneparish.ie/news/church-services-tv/
Sunday @ 11am.
MondaySaturday @ 10am.

All Mass bookings, Mass Cards & enquiries should be made by telephone or email
(details above).

Mass Cards are available for collection on Wednesdays ONLY from 10.30am-12.30pm in the parish office.
Please pre-book these by phone or e-mail.

Emergency phone number only
Tel: 087 3519516

The Toilets in the Parish Office remain Closed at this time of emergency for obvious reasons of hygiene.

54th World Communications Day to take place on Ascension Sunday

By Katie Ascough – 15 May, 2020

I would like to devote this year’s Message to the theme of storytelling, because I believe that, so as not to lose our bearings, we need to make our own the truth contained in good stories – Pope Francis.

Earlier this year Pope Francis released a message to mark the 54th World Communications Day which will take place on Sunday 24 May, the solemnity of the Ascension of Jesus Christ. Pope Francis reflected on the theme of storytelling this year, with an introduction from the Book of Exodus: “That you may tell your children and grandchildren,” (Ex 10:2).

“Life becomes history,” the Holy Father said. “I would like to devote this year’s Message to the theme of storytelling, because I believe that, so as not to lose our bearings, we need to make our own the truth contained in good stories. Stories that build up, not tear down; stories that help us rediscover our roots and the strength needed to move forward together. Amid the cacophony of voices and messages that surround us, we need a human story that can speak of ourselves and of the beauty all around us. A narrative that can regard our world and its happenings with a tender gaze. A narrative that can tell us that we are part of a living and interconnected tapestry. A narrative that can reveal the interweaving of the threads which connect us to one another.”

To read the full text of the Pope’s message, click here.

According to the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, in welcoming the Pope’s message for World Communications Day, Archbishop Eamon Martin said, “The relationship between the generations is a favourite theme of Pope Francis which he emphasises again today in his World Communications Day message. Throughout his pontificate the Holy Father has sought to develop the synergy that exists between younger and older people by regularly asking them to join forces to make the world a better place. 

“That night, at the 2018 Youth Synod, Pope Francis launched a book called Sharing the Wisdom of Time. In the preface he says ‘the Lord wants me to say: that there should be an alliance between the young and old people.’ Pope Francis goes further to explain that this cooperation entails sharing experiences of older people, heeding their advice and creating a strong bond with the new generations who are hungry for guidance and support as they prepare for their future. This is exemplified in his World Communications Day message this year.”

Communion & Confirmations 2020
The present situation of emergency is clearly a very difficult situation for everybody but especially for parents and children and teachers in our schools awaiting Sacraments of First Holy Communion & Confirmation. All I can say is that Bishop Tom has written to us very recently and I quote “we will have to wait until schools are reopened and Church ceremonies are allowed before we can realistically answer questions about when Sacraments will be celebrated”.

On account of government restrictions these celebrations will take place at a different time later this year but we don’t know when as these decisions are out of our hands. When we know you’ll be the first to hear along with all our other national schools.

MASS INTENTIONS
SUNDAY 31st MAY – SUNDAY 7th JUNE


Sunday 31ST 11am Anna Marie Scully & Dad Tommy, Sean Conway, Kathleen Geraghty, Henry Ellis, Michael O’Reilly, Joan Deegan, Phyllis Twomey (Mths Mind), Hugh Bartley (Mths Mind)

Wednesday 3rd 10am Tom Hollywood

Friday 5th 10am Altar List of the Dead

Saturday 6th 10am Bethany Mass

We pray for those who have entered eternal rest:
[March – May 2020]

Anna Daly, Rath, Ardcath, Meath/Carrickaboy, Cavan.
James Stewart, Bachelors Walk, Ashbourne/Carnaross, Co. Meath.
Ita Furlong, Kilbrew Demesne, Ashbourne, Co. Meath.
Mary (Marita) Shanny, Primatestown, Ashbourne, Co. Meath.
Séamus Moore, Broadmeadow Green, Ashbourne, Co. Meath.
Marie Weston, Castle Park, Ashbourne, Co. Meath.
Gerard (Gerry) Lillicrap, Milltown, Ashbourne, Co. Meath.
George Kelly, Huntsgrove, Ashbourne, Co. Meath.
Denis O’Brien, Kilbrew Demesne, Ashbourne/Kilmore West, Dublin.
Andrew (Andy) Roche, Milltown, Ashbourne, Co. Meath.
Tony O’Connor, Baltrasna, Ashbourne, Co. Meath
Kathleen Tormey, Fleenstown, The Ward, Ashbourne, Co. Meath.
Fr. Phoncie Macken, retired Parish Priest of Bohermeen and former director of Meath Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes.
Fr. Gabriel O’Dowd, retired Parish Priest of St. Margaret’s Parish, Dublin.
Hugh Bartley, Castle Park, Ashbourne, Co. Meath
Phyllis Twomey, The Ward Dublin/Meath
Gerry Murray,
Milltown Rise, Ashbourne, Co. Meath
Brigid Flynn, Castle Park, Ashbourne, Co. Meath.
Pauline Loughran, Castle Park, Ashbourne, Co. Meath.

May they rest in the peace of the Risen Christ. Amen.

Accord Helpline
Couples experiencing lockdown tension urged to call Accord helpline
By Sarah Mac Donald – 15 April, 2020

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin highlights Accord’s specially dedicated COVID-19 counselling services.
He has urged couples experiencing tension in their relationships during the COVID-19 lockdown to contact Accord’s specially dedicated counselling service.

Last week, Accord Dublin, the catholic relationship counselling service, launched a new helpline for couples who find themselves in distress during the pandemic, amid concerns over the impact the lockdown is having on many relationships.

On Wednesday (15 April 2020) Accord CLG and Accord Northern Ireland announced that they too have established relationship support phone lines to help support marriage and relationships in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
These two helplines will be staffed by experienced couples and relationships counsellors. This will be a free service but calls are charged at a local rate.

Accord’s specialist in counselling (marriage and relationships), Mary Johnston said, “Accord is very conscious of those experiencing difficulties in their relationships and family lives as we are confined to home during this unprecedented period for all in society.”
“The circumstances in which we are living now can increase stress and pressure on relationships and in families. To help address these challenges, Accord has established a  relationship support phone line to enable callers to speak to experienced couples and  relationship counsellors in order to talk through the difficulties they are experiencing.”

Accord’s telephone service has been set up as more incidents of domestic violence and relationship tensions have been reported globally as restrictions, aimed at stemming the spread of the coronavirus, remain in place.

Launching Operation Faoisimh last week, Chief Superintendent Declan Daly, head of the Protective Services Bureau, said the Gardaí would respond quickly and robustly to any report of domestic violence despite the force being stretched by other duties related to the pandemic.

Confined to quarters: Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.
Speaking to CatholicIreland.net, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin highlighted that there are “a lot of tensions, problems about domestic violence and sexual violence” within many families as they grapple with increased stress relating to financial difficulties and enforced proximity in confined accommodation.
“People need a place where they can talk,” Dr Martin said.
Referring to Accord’s experience in relationship counselling, he said this couldn’t be done face to face in the normal way at the moment because of the social distancing measures and so the telephone helpline had been set up specifically to help couples who need support.

Accord’s dedicated COVID-19 couples and relationships line is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 8pm.
It offers an experienced couples and relationships counsellor to talk to people during what the agency describes as “an unprecedented time of stress and pressure on family life”. “This helpline could easily be swamped,” Archbishop Martin acknowledged. “We will see how it works and we can improve it,” he said.

The Archbishop also highlighted that Crosscare, the social care agency of the Archdiocese of Dublin, has at the request of the HSE, taken over the management of 100-bed facility on Dublin’s Talbot Street which will cater for homeless and vulnerable people who need to cocoon and are unable to do so in existing overcrowded homeless services.
Crosscare’s Food Banks continue to operate and additional food parcels are being delivered to families and individuals across Dublin from the agency’s centre in Blanchardstown.
Dr Martin paid tribute to the Government’s financial measures aimed at trying to keep people going economically. But he said there would always be very vulnerable people who need specific supports.
The Pope, he highlighted, had told the story recently of a policeman who stopped a man during the lockdown in Italy and told him he could not be on the streets and that he must go home. “To which the man replied the street is my home. You will still have people like that,” he said.

Accord’s support lines are open from 9am – 8pm Monday to Friday
Please see contact details below:
Accord Dublin – 01 9059555
Accord NI – 028 9568 0151 or 00353 1 531 3331
The three Accord companies – Accord Northern Ireland Catholic Marriage Care Service CLG (Accord NI); Accord Dublin Catholic Marriage Care Service CLG (Accord Dublin); and Accord Catholic Marriage Care Service CLG (Accord CLG), which represents 34 Centres in the State outside of Dublin; all operate in 54 centres throughout the island.
Accord is committed to providing professional support for the pastoral needs of individuals at different stages in their development: in schools, through relationship and sexuality education programmes; by helping couples prepare for the sacrament of marriage; and, to couples and individuals seeking marriage and relationship counselling.

Vocations Sunday – 3 May: (Good Shepherd Sunday)

Vocations Sunday – 3 MayGood Shepherd Sunday: Ashbourne Church 2020

GIVING AT THIS TIME
Dear Parishioners,
This past few weeks have been deeply distressing for everybody. It is particularly devastating for all who have lost jobs and are seriously financially impaired.
With so much challenge we don’t expect parishioners to financially support the parish unless you are in a position to do so. A number of people have asked us to put the Parish account number (IBAN and BIC) on the website so that you can support us online. With people trying to steer clear of handling cash/coin it seems the best way to contribute and we would like to encourage this. Could I also ask that you refrain from putting money through Fr. John’s or Fr. Ciarán’s letter box please. Hopefully this challenging time will pass soon and the most important reality is to keep safe and look after each other.

For Parish Funds,
Account name: Donaghmore Ashbourne Church
BIC – BOFIIE2D
IBAN – IE81BOFI90318941259940

For Priest’s Offerings,
Account name: Donaghmore Ashbourne Church
BIC – BOFIIE2D
IBAN – IE66BOFI90318941030708

The Parish Office now accepts payment by Bank Card /Credit Card over phone (01) 8353149.
A secure designated box is located at the back of the Church for Parish Funds, Priest’s Offerings and Donations.

When contributing online please indicate your name so we can credit you at the years end and many many thanks for all your heartfelt support during this time.

Irish Chaplaincy offers contact service for anyone in Ireland with concerns about vulnerable older family or friends isolated in London

The Irish Chaplaincy in London is a registered charity which provides an outreach service to three main groups: elderly Irish people (the Seniors’ Project); prisoners and to Travellers. 
At this challenging time caused by COVID-19 social restrictions, the Chaplaincy is offering support to anyone in Ireland with concerns about an older family member or friend living in London. 
On their behalf the Chaplaincy can make direct contact with vulnerable older Irish living but isolated in London. 
The Chaplaincy is also a link to services and community groups on the ground local to where a person is living in London.

This is a free service and contact can be made to the Chaplaincy from Ireland by post: PO BOX 75693 London NW1W 7ZT; by email  seniors@irishchaplaincy.org.uk and by phone 0044 (0) 20 7482 3274.  Please leave a message and a representative will contact you.

Everything is not cancelledA Reflection
This reflection was used on Palm Sunday during Mass and a number of requests came in for it:

The Sun is not cancelled
The Spring is not cancelled
Relationships are not cancelled
Love is not cancelled
Reading is not cancelled
Faith is not cancelled
Music is not cancelled
Imagination is not cancelled
Kindness is not cancelled
Conversations are not cancelled
Hope is not cancelled

Pictures from our Holy Week Ceremonies 2020
Ashbourne-Donaghmore Parish
All via Parish Cam: http://www.ashbourneparish.ie/news/church-services-tv/

Palm Sunday : Commemoration of the Lord’s Entrance into Jerusalem

Palm Sunday 2020: Ashbourne Church

Holy Thursday : Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Holy Thursday 2020: Ashbourne Church
Holy Thursday 2020: Ashbourne Church

Good Friday : Passion of the Lord & Stations of the Cross

Good Friday 2020: Ashbourne Church

Holy Saturday: Easter Vigil & Renewal of Baptismal Promises

Holy Saturday 2020: Ashbourne Church – Easter Cross
Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil Garden
Holy Saturday 2020: Easter/Paschal Candle

Easter Sunday: The Lord’s Resurrection. Alleluia! Alleluia!

Easter Sunday 2020: Ashbourne Church – The Resurrection Garden

During Holy Week we invited you to create your own sacred space at home with some ideas we suggested and using the link below to kandle.ie.

https://www.kandle.ie/holy-week-2020-resources/

We encourage you to share pictures of your sacred space with us whether it was in the garden or your home on the following email – ashbournedonaghmoreparish@gmail.com

Some people have already shared pictures with us and we would like to create a small collage by way of encouragement.

Thank you to all who sent us pictures.
Here are some of them posted below:

Pope Francis’ Prayer to Mary during the coronavirus pandemic 
O Mary,
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman People,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.

A Prayer for Healthcare Workers during this time of the Coronavirus COVID-19
Loving God,
we place into your care
all our doctors, nurses and healthcare workers.
Give them courage of heart
and strength of mind and body.
Keep them safe from harm.
May they know our deep gratitude
for all they are doing
to heal and help those affected by
the coronavirus.

Trócaire Lenten returns to be made over Pentecost weekend
(29th May – 1st June 2020)

Over the Pentecost weekend (29th May – 1st June 2020) people in every parish in Ireland will be asked by Bishops and priests to return their intended Trócaire Lenten donations.

Pentecost is linked closely with Easter and with Trócaire’s mission: ‘You shall receive power…and you will be my witnesses’ (Acts 1:8).
As the disciples received their mission to go out and share the Good News, we in Trócaire are missioned by the Irish Church to go out to the world to care for the most vulnerable.

Returns can be made online, by phone, by post to Trócaire or to Churches & parish offices that are open.

COMECE/CCEE Common Prayer to God for Help
The Presidents of the two bodies representing the Bishops’ Conferences of European countries (COMECE and CCEE) have released a our common prayer to God for help, comfort and salvation: 
God our Father, Creator of the world, almighty and merciful, out of love for us
You sent your Son into the world as the doctor of our souls and our bodies,
look upon your children who, in this difficult time of confusion and dismay in many regions of Europe and the world, turn to you seeking strength, salvation
and relief, deliver us from illness and fear, heal our sick, comfort their families, give wisdom
to our rulers, energy and reward to our doctors, nurses and volunteers, eternal
life to the dead. Do not abandon us in the moment of trial but deliver us from all evil.


God of all consolation
may they know your protection and peace.
Bless them in these challenging days
and bless their families.
Amen.

We ask this of Thee, who with the Son and the Holy Spirit, live and reign for
ever and ever.
Amen.


Mary, mother of health and hope, pray for us!
May our blessing be with you,

Jean-Claude Card. Hollerich SJ
Archbishop of Luxembourg
President of COMECE

Angelo Card. Bagnasco
Archbishop of Genoa
President of CCEE

Third Age Ireland is a national organisation who take care of the elderly. Senior Line is one of their programmes and could be very helpful to you at this time. SeniorLine has been the national, confidential listening service for older people, run by trained older volunteers since 1998. This peer-to-peer helpline for older people receives in excess of 10,000 calls per year. If you are feeling worried, stressed or isolated at this very unnerving time, please feel free to ring this FREEPHONE service anytime between 10am and 10pm on anyday of the week on 1800 80 45 91.

Lockdown – A Reflection by Brother Richard Hendrick OFM Cap 
Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing.

Brother Richard Hendrick, 13 March 2020

Ashbourne Red Cross has an eager group of young, trained up volunteers happy and more than willing to help out with various services people may require including transportation to Medical appointments in hospitals. If you are unable to get out and need us to collect your shopping or your prescription or if you know an elderly or vulnerable person that you need us to check on. For more information please contact :-
Diana Connor at 085-1546421 or Pat on 087-9286471

A Prayer in this time of challenge by Bishop Larry Duffy

God of Love, we turn to you with prayerful hearts and with confidence in your loving presence among us now and in every moment of our lives. We stand before you as a people of hope, trusting in your care and protection. May we be comforted by your love in these anxious times.
Generous and Merciful God, fill us with compassion and concern for others, young and old; that we may look after each other in these challenging times, especially those among us who are vulnerable. May your example give us the courage we need to go to the margins, wherever they may be. Heal us of our fear.
Healing God, bring healing to those who are sick with the Coronavirus and be with their families and neighbours. We pray especially who those who are isolated, that they may know your love. Stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.
God of Strength, accompany all those who serve us with such love and generosity in the medical profession and in all our healthcare facilities.  We give thanks for their continued work in the service of people. We ask you to bless them, strengthen them and guide them with your abundant goodness.
God of Wisdom, we ask you to guide the leaders in healthcare and governance; that they may make the right decisions for the wellbeing of people.
O God of creation and God of life, we, your people place ourselves and our world in your protection and love. May your peace be with us and enfold us today, tomorrow and during the time ahead. Amen!

Cuimhnigh 
Cuimhnigh,
a Mhaighdean Mhuire róghrámhar,
nár chualathas trácht ar éinne
riamh a chuir é féin
faoi do choimirce
ná a d’iarr cabhair ort
ná a d’impigh d’idirghuí
is gur theip tú air.

Lán de mhuinín asat, dá bhrí sin,
rithimse chugat, a Mhaighdean
na maighdean is a Mháthair.
Is chugatsa a thagaim,
is os do chomhair a sheasaim,
i mo pheacach bocht atuirseach.
Ó a Mháthair an Aonmhic,
ná diúltaigh do m’urnaithe
ach éist leo go trócaireach agus
freagair iad. Ámén.

A Coronavirus Prayer
Loving and healing God,
we are confident that you are with us and with all people in every moment.
We stand before you as people of hope, trusting in your care and protection.
May your faithful love support us and soothe the anxiety of our hearts.

Generous God,
fill us with compassion and concern for others, young and old,
that we may look after one another in these challenging days.
Bring healing to those who are sick with the virus and be with their families.
May those who have died rest in your eternal embrace.
Comfort their family and friends.
Strengthen and protect all medical professionals caring for the sick
and all who work in our medical facilities.
Give wisdom to leaders in healthcare and governance
that they may make the right decisions for the well-being of people.
We pray in gratitude for all those in our country who will continue to work in the days ahead in so many fields of life for the sake of us all.
Bless them and keep them safe.

O God of creation and life,
we place ourselves in your protection.
May the mantle of your peace enfold us this day and tomorrow.
          St Brigid, pray for us.
          St Conleth, pray for us.
          St Lazerian, pray for us.
          May all the saints of God, pray for us. Amen.

Confessions at this time – People are reminded of the longstanding pastoral practice, when penitents’ access to the Sacrament of Reconciliation is restricted, that they can be assured that their sins are forgiven if they make an act of contrition with a firm resolve to approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation after the stay at home orders are lifted.
Pope Francis has spoken about this and it is in line with the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Nuns’ and monks’ prayers and tips on enclosure and self-isolation

By Ann Marie Foley – 31 March, 2020

Mother Fahy also invited people to join the 31 or so sisters at Glencairn in “keeping up a constant and trusting prayer for all our medical and healthcare workers and for all humanity”.Abbess Marie Fahy, GlencairnMother Fahy also invited people to join the 31 or so sisters at Glencairn in “keeping up a constant and trusting prayer for all our medical and healthcare workers and for all humanity”.

“We are united in prayer with all of you, asking the Lord to shield you and protect you under His wings. We are confident that the Lord in his infinite mercy will not delay in answering us and will drive away this dreadful virus. May our efforts to control the spread be blessed and successful,” stated Mother Marie Fahy, Abbess, Glencairn, in a special Facebook message issued as the numbers of people sick and dying from COVID-19 increase in Ireland.

She highlights the importance of keeping a daily structure such as getting up, having meals and going to bed around the same time each day. Other essential activities done at fixed times each day could include cleaning and cooking; some outdoor work (including cleaning windows!); and communication, emails, phone calls, texts. “Contact different people each day,” stated Mother Fahy.

It is important to do something purposeful each day, such as decluttering an area or wardrobe or drawer; or sorting out old photos; cleaning out the kitchen cupboards; and even keeping a journal – “something that will give you a sense of achievement at the end of the day,” she added. This is also a time to read all those books that we never have had time for.

She offered spiritual suggestions, stating: “If you are a person of faith, pencil in some times for prayer throughout the day, maybe a Hail Mary or some of the lovely prayers we know by heart from the Mass, e.g. the Gloria, the Creed, Our Father, Lamb of God. Read a psalm or a story from the Gospels. Pray the Rosary. Have a fixed time for this. Here in the monastery we have to drop everything when the bell goes for prayer!”

She also invited people to join the 31 or so sisters at Glencairn in “keeping up a constant and trusting prayer for all our medical and healthcare workers and for all humanity.” She stated that one of the psalms which they pray at each night prayer is Psalm 90, part of which states:

under his wings you will find refuge.
You will not fear the terror of the night
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the plague that prowls in the darkness
nor the scourge that lays waste at noon.

St Mary’s Abbey, Glencairn, Co. Waterford is home to Ireland’s only community of Cistercian Nuns.

Separately, an Irish monk has offered his contribution to helping people get through this period of worry and self-isolation. Fr Simon Sleeman, OSB Benedictine monk of Glenstal Abbey, Co. Limerick, has produced a video blog titled Heart Centre. In the latest and second talk he describes how he prepares each day for what lies ahead and the challenges that he will inevitably meet.

This includes lighting a candle given to him by his sister when he faced mental health issues last year and received help at a St John of God facility. He spoke openly about this period in his life with Brendan O’Connor on RTÉ Radio 1 at the weekend, and about the video blog.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is fr-Simon-Sleeman-EUMTw8QXgAA3XLt.jpg

In talk two on meditation, he prayed: “lead us from darkness to light… sadness to joy… death to immortality”. He gave tips about how he meditates and tends to his spiritual needs. “This is a time to connect with our heart, our soul, our inner world…” he said, and that takes time, quiet and space.

In the first video, he spoke about his life as a Benedictine monk. He said that the COVID-19 virus has stopped people in their tracks, and given them time to slow down and connect with what is important, and to be in touch with nature and with each other.

Glenstal Abbey is a Benedictine Monastery in Murroe, Co. Limerick, Ireland and is home to a community of 34 monks.

Prayer for our protection
The Irish Bishops have asked us to say this prayer daily.
We ask for prayers for those affected by the Coronavirus.  Placing all our trust in the Lord, and asking Our Lady to intercede for us, we invite everyone to pray these prayers.

Extract from Saint Patrick’s Breastplate:
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,

Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.


Memorare
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer. Amen.

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March 25th – World Day of Prayer
Tuesday, March 24th 2020

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Parish Safe Guarding Representatives
Sunday, September 15th 2019

Ashbourne-Donaghmore Parish Safeguarding Representatives:

Mary Deignan and Ethna Felten

The Parish Safeguarding Representative is required to:

  • Raise awareness of what safeguarding entails at parish level;
  • Offer information and advice on safeguarding matters to individuals and groups involved with children in the parish;
  • Ensure that all those working in the parish understand their responsibilities in relation to child safeguarding;
  • Ensure that church activities are provided in a way that ensures that all children are looked after safely and are protected from abuse;
  • Ensure that all contact details of the relevant civil and diocesan safeguarding personnel are widely publicised.

They may be contacted through the Parish Office at 01 8353149.

Volunteers are always welcome to assist with the children’s groups in the parish.  Currently, the groups involved are:

  • Altar servers
  • Junior Readers
  • Family Mass Group
  • Junior Youth Choir

Anyone wishing to offer their services to any of these groups must first read, understand and agree to comply with the requirements of the Parish Policy Document at all times and also complete appropriate documentation available from the Safe Guarding Team.

Compliance with requirements as outlined in the Parish Child Protection Policy serves to ensure the safety of children and volunteers.

If you would like to work with children in the parish please contact the parish office at 01 8353149 for a copy of the Child Protection Policy Booklet.

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Farewell for Fr. Derek
Saturday, May 25th 2019

FR. DEREK’S FAREWELL MASS

All are welcome to join Fr Derek on Saturday, 15th June at 6pm in Ashbourne Church as our Parish prepares to say farewell to him.  We express our sincere thanks to him for his dedicated service, commitment and leadership throughout his ministry.  We will always be grateful to him for enriching the lives of the people of our parish and also for his guidance & assistance with the various groups and communities within the area.  We offer our appreciation to him as pastor and a friend since he was appointed as Curate for the parish in 2007 and Parish Priest in 2013.  We wish him the every blessing in his new appointment as Administrator in Mullingar Parish and Episcopal Vicar for Pastoral Planning and Development for the Diocese of Meath, which he commences on the 17th June.  A reception with refreshments will take place in the Parish Hall after this Mass of Farewell.  As Bishop Tom visits our parish on Sunday 16th May, Fr. Derek will formally say farewell at all Masses the weekend of 8th/9th June. 

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World Meeting of Families Celebrations
Thursday, August 30th 2018

“I have found so much faith in Ireland.  I am close to you: keep moving ahead with courage.  The light of Faith will show the path to renewal for the Irish Church.” – Pope Francis

Festival of Families – Croke Park – 25th August 2018

“It is true that I like to say that in our families we need to learn three words.  They are “sorry”, “please” and “thank you”. Three words. What were they? Everyone! [all: “sorry, please, thank you!”] Another time! [“sorry, please, thank you!”]. I can’t hear you! [“sorry, please, thank you!”] Thank you very much! When you quarrel at home, be sure that before going to bed you apologize and say you are sorry. Before the day is done, make peace. Do you want to know why it is necessary to make peace before ending the day? Because if you don’t make peace, the next day you have a “cold war” and that is very dangerous! Watch out for cold wars in the family! Maybe you get mad sometimes and are tempted to sleep in another room, all by yourself. If you feel that way, just knock on the door and say: “Please, can I come in?” All it takes is a look, a kiss, a soft word… and everything is back to the way it was! I say this because when families do this, they survive. There is no such thing as a perfect family; without the practice of forgiveness, families can grow sick and gradually collapse.”

Penitential Act of the Holy Father

(Papal Mass Croke Park – 26th August 2018)

Yesterday I met with eight persons who are survivors of the abuse of power, the abuse of conscience and sexual abuse. In reflecting on what they told me, I wish to implore the Lord’s mercy for these crimes and to ask forgiveness for them.

We ask forgiveness for the cases of abuse in Ireland, the abuse of power, the abuse of conscience and sexual abuse on the part of representatives of the Church. In a special way, we ask forgiveness for all those abuses that took place in different kinds of institutions directed by men and women religious and other members of the Church. We also ask forgiveness for cases in which many minors were exploited for their labour.

We ask forgiveness for all those times when, as a Church, we did not offer to the survivors of any type of abuse compassion and the pursuit of justice and truth by concrete actions. We ask forgiveness.

We ask forgiveness for some members of the hierarchy who took no responsibility for these painful situations and kept silent. We ask forgiveness.

We ask forgiveness those children who were taken away from their mothers and for all those times when so many single mothers who tried to find their children that had been taken away, or those children who tried to find their mothers, were told that this was a mortal sin. It is not a mortal sin; it is the fourth commandment! We ask forgiveness.

May the Lord preserve and increase this sense of shame and repentance, and grant us the strength to ensure that it never happens again and that justice is done. Amen.

 

 

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St. Elisabeth’s Convent – Belarus
Saturday, June 30th 2018

Sr. Nina and Sr. Anna along with Dimitri from St. Elisabeth’s Convent in Belarus visited Ashbourne-Donaghmore Parish recently.  They were most grateful for the support they received from parishioners during their visit at which they displayed traditional arts, crafts, icons, pottery, embroidery and other religious goods.  Proceeds from the sale of their crafts assists the sisters in providing spiritual and social help for more that 500 orphaned children with special needs.  In addition, they operate a rehab centre where over 300 socially vulnerable and disadvantaged people are offered support and shelter.

 

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Ordination to the Diaconate
Sunday, May 27th 2018

Congratulations to Fergal Cummins who was ordained to the Diaconate by Achbishop Diarmuid Martin, in Maynooth this weekend (27th May 2018).  We wish him every blessing as he begins his ministry in the diocese.  During his homily, archbishop Martin encouraged those ordained by remarking,

‘The challenge of witnessing to Jesus Christ in today’s world is not an easy one.  Many will see the results of Friday’s referendum as an indication that the Catholic Church in Ireland is regarded today by many with indifference and has having a marginal role in the formation of Irish culture.   The Church that is called to make present the Jesus who is full of mercy and compassion is seen by many as somehow weak in compassion.

The Church in its beginnings had its distinctive characteristics as we read in the Acts of the Apostles.  It was marked by harmony, by prayerfulness, by generosity and care.  The Acts of the Apostles note that the new Christian community was then held in high regard by all and grew in believers day by day.

Harmony, prayerfulness, generosity and care must be the marks of those who preach the word of God.  The Irish Church after the Referendum must renew its commitment to support life.  The Church is called to be pro-life however not just in words and statements and manifestoes but to be pro-life in deeds, by being a Church which reflects the loving care of Jesus for human life at any stage. That loving care includes support to help those women who face enormous challenges and who grapple with very difficult decisions to choose life.’

 

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Altar Servers’ Tour 2018
Sunday, May 20th 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.

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

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.

  

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Bishop Smith Blesses New Baptism Font
Thursday, April 19th 2018

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.

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