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Ashbourne-Donaghmore Parish Notices/Information
Tuesday, March 31st 2020

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.”

Vocations Sunday – 3 May: (Good Shepherd Sunday)

Vocations Sunday – 3 MayGood Shepherd Sunday: Ashbourne Church 2020

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:

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

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 –

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.

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

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

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.
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,

Brother Richard Hendrick, 13 March 2020

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!

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.

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.

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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.

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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