Not your average Friday night!
On Friday March 5th, the first Friday of Lent, over forty young people and leaders spent the night at St Macartan’s Cathedral in Monaghan all to raise awareness of the plight of homelessness in Ireland. They slept out, in the same conditions that thousands of homeless people sleep, leaving the comforts of home behind. It’s not exactly what you expect from a group of teenagers - yet together they have answered Pope Francis’ call to ‘swim against the tide’ and stand up for those most in need.
The group were joined by Fr Peter McVerry, the founder of the Peter McVerry Trust that works with thousands of homeless people across the country. In his presentation Fr Peter talked about the beginnings of the Trust and what drives him to work with the homeless. He reminded the group of Jesus’ command not to judge (Matthew 7:1) when thinking about the individuals and families who are homeless. Importantly he spoke of the importance of our anger at injustice - that we should be angry that so many of our brothers and sisters live lives on the edge of poverty. He warned that if we don’t find ourselves angry at the epidemic of homelessness we have ourselves become sanitised by society, we become those individuals who will look anywhere else than at a homeless person who might be in need on the street. He challenged us to really SEE people in need, to SEE them as people - not invisible, to SEE them as our equal and to SEE their God given dignity.
Fr Peter’s journey all started with meeting a young boy on the streets, this drove him to set up an initial house to home a small group of boys aged 12-16. The need continued to grow and more homes were set up. Now, in 2019 the Trust works with thousands of individuals and families, has over 200 housing units and provides over 32,000 support visits across the country.
Fr Peter’s thought provoking, and eye opening, talk provided the perfect background to why The Big Cathedral Sleep Out was organised. It was clear to all the group that more awareness is needed to help those most in need in our country. With all the stories of individuals Fr Peter has met throughout his time working with homeless people the group moved to a time of prayer. In this time of prayer the group were led through reflective prayer stations based on the Corporal Acts of Mercy, to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, bury the dead, comfort the sick and to visit the imprisoned (Matthew 25:31-46). Together, they also spent time in Adoration, lifting up in prayer all those who are homeless and asking for the Lord’s help throughout the night.
Armed simply with cardboard, their sleeping bags and many layers of clothing the group set up their sleeping stations outside of the Cathedral walls. Together the group braved the elements, with the temperature hovering around 3 degrees. As the night progressed a classic mix of Irish weather (rain, hail, snow, thunder and lightning) forced the group to pick up and move their camp to inside. All were thankful to have this option and were conscious of those who don’t have that option in poor conditions. Come 6am, the clean up began before celebrating the break of the new day with Mass.
A huge thank you to all the participants of the Big Cathedral Sleep Out, to our wonderful volunteers, to Fr Peter McVerry for his input and to Fr Leo Creelman for leading Adoration and Celebrating Mass. It was wonderful to be able to welcome Bishop Larry for part of the evening too!
Together the group raised over €2000 to be forwarded to the Peter McVerry Trust. Our hope is that this will become an annual event in our Lenten calendar - keep an eye out for the Big Cathedral Sleepout 2020!!
It'll be the best thing you do each day!
Listen to the fantastic micro-podcast from the great Katie Prejean McGrady and her husband Tommy. Primarily created to accompany their new book, "Lent: One Day at a Time for Catholic Teens", it also can be listened to on it's own. A great chance to step out of the regular schedule of your day, to pray and reflect during this Holy Season of Lent as we journey towards Easter.
You can find all the podcasts at the link below:
*** UPDATE ***
We are very fortunate that Katie has sent a few copies of the book over to us...
if you'd like one get in contact with James - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pope John Paul II Award recognises young peoples commitment to faith and community. Making young people visible in their church, community & society.
Last night, we gathered to celebrate the achievements of the 9th group of young people in the Diocese of Clogher to receive their Pope John Paul II Award. According to our records, it was also the night to celebrate passing a milestone, now over 2000 young people in our Diocese have received the Award.
We were honoured to have Mrs. Elma Walsh, of the Donal Walsh #LiveLife Foundation join us as our guest speaker. Elma's son Donal, died in 2013 after a long battle with cancer. Throughout his suffering he wrote extensively. One of his writings on the issue of suicide - especially in young people gained him both national and international attention. Donal was interviewed on 'The Brendan O'Connor Show' on RTÉ, he used this opportunity to plead with his peers to reach out and seek help in times of hardship, distress and depression.
In total 176 young people from 21 parishes across the Diocese achieved their award. Bishop Duffy, in his remarks, expressed hope that the completion of the Award would not see the young people end their involvement in the life of their parish communities. He commended all of the volunteer Award Leaders who generously give so much in journeying and accompanying the youth in their parishes.
It was a joyous occasion in Saint Macartan's Cathedral today, as Monsignor Larry Duffy was ordained as Bishop of Clogher. The Diocese has been without a Bishop since October 2016, when Bishop Liam McDaid's early retirement was accepted by Pope Francis.
Read the newly ordained Bishop Duffy's address:
Dear Friends, I am so grateful for your presence here today, your presence and prayer.
With all new beginnings it is right that we pray for and with each other.
May God’s Love and presence always be with us as we journey together.
I am grateful for the presence of my brother bishops- many of whom have travelled long distances to reach Monaghan. I appreciated your correspondence very much.
A special word of welcome to Bishops Emeritus, Joseph Duffy and Liam Mac Daid, you have served Clogher with great generosity.
I thank Archbishop Eamonn Martin for his kindness and support in recent times and for being chief consecrator today.
Thanks too to Archbishop Jude Okolo, Apostolic Nuncio for his assistance and help in preparing for today.
It was fitting that Bishop Noel Treanor who was ordained with me should be co- consecrator.
I thank Mgr Joseph Mc Guinness for the time and attention he gave me in preparing for the day to day work of a Bishop. On Behalf of all in the diocese I thank Mgr Joseph for his generous service to the Diocese over the last two years.
I welcome Bishop John Mc Dowell, Archbishop Jackson and the members of other Christian Churches. I hope we can continue the friendship and good work that has gone on for many years now.
I appreciate the presence of Minister Humphreys and other civic dignitaries.
Welcome to my friends from Africa: Mgr Joseph Mwongela, Fr Peter Murea , and Sr Meki from Kitui Kenya. I thank Fr Matthews Semba, our dear friend from Malawi for joining us today.
The presence of so many young people here today is heart-warming. The work of Clogher don Óige and in our schools is so important and vital for the future.
In welcoming my family members, I thank them for their support and love over a life time.
When the Diocese of Clogher became vacant, I frequently prayed in public that the Holy Spirit would guide those responsible for choosing a Bishop, and that the one chosen would be God’s Choice.What a shock when I was invited to serve. The God of surprises surely has a sense of fun. All I can promise is to do my best.
Recent days has seen much packing and shredding. In the process I came across a letter/ reflection written by me in 1975- the night before diaconate.
In it I wrote:
“My view of what I am taking on could never be put into one sentence. I know that the more I trust in you, Lord, the less worry I will have.
You have called me, Lord, I am your instrument, use me in whatever way you will. I will not always understand your will as exercised through people and events. Lord, from here on in it is you who will take care of me. I fling myself with all my weaknesses into your lap.”
My prayer today could be no different
However, what my priesthood has shown is that we don’t work alone with God. God gives us friends, and companions to journey with us. In every parish I have encountered people of immense faith lived out in a spirit of kindness; and generosity. Our faith and parish life has been blessed and enriched by such individuals.
May I suggest that today celebration is a practical example of this. – So many people going out of their way to enhance this celebration.
I thank all involved: car park attendants, Liturgy commission, the organising committee, all involved in today’s liturgy, and of course the choir and musicians.
I would like to conclude by focusing our attention on God’s greatest Gift- His Son, Jesus Christ.
He is the one who extends the hand of friendship and compassion to everyone, regardless of their situation in life.
He is not so much interested in past sin as in the grace of the present moment.
He invites us to follow him, to launch out into the depths of God’s Love.
He is the one who says “Walk with me “and I will lead you to that place of peace and Joy.
My Dear friends, may that be your experience of our faith.
SAVE THE DATE!!!!
Friday 8th March @ 7pm
Saint Macartan's Cathedral, Monaghan
This 1st Friday of Lent, Clogher don Óige and young people from across the Diocese will be giving up a night of comfort and sleeping out at Saint Macartan’s Cathedral in Monaghan. They’ll be wrapping up in their winter woollies for a night to raise awareness of homelessness in our society today.
Young people age 15+ are welcome to join us. We will be hearing from Fr. Peter McVerry who works with the homeless in Dublin, find out more about the complex issues surrounding homelessness through simulations and activities, pray for healing for those in need and raise money for this worthy cause.
Participants are asked to undertake fundraising as part of this event. Funds raised will support the work of Clogher don Óige and The Peter McVerry Trust.
Registration for this event is now closed.
The Diocese of Limerick is a Catholic community of sixty parishes living and working together in service of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Its geographical area comprises the greater part of County Limerick, part of County Clare and one townland in County Kerry. Eighteen of its parishes are located in the Limerick metropolitan area and environs. Services include the co-ordination and support of ministry, diocesan archives, pastoral supports, youth ministry, schools advisory services and safeguarding across the Diocese in a changing environment.
The successful candidate will work as part of a two-person team to deliver on the objectives and actions of the Young People theme in the Diocesan Pastoral Plan.
The role will involve the creation, resourcing, delivery and support of youth ministry programmes and initiatives across the Diocese, working also with schools and parishes with a focus on building capacity in the local context.
Completed application form (see below) to be returned via post or electronic mail to:
Recruitment, Diocese of Limerick, Diocesan Centre, St. Munchin’s, Corbally, Limerick
or email: email@example.com
by the deadline of 12.00 noon on Friday, January 25th 2019.
Dates for next Summer are here!
We're busy planning for Summer 2019, and are able to release the dates for our three main events:
You can download a Summer 2019 Poster here.
Awarding Committee meets to assess & verify submissions.
The Diocesan Pope John Paul II Awarding Committee met last night to assess, verify and confirm the Awards for all record cards, presentations and projects submitted for 2017/18.
The committee were pleased with the continued high standard of submissions and the clear evidence of the different activities undertaken by participants in their parishes and communities.
All award participants and parish award leaders have been emailed their results. If you have not received an email, please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org. The Annual Award Ceremony will take place on Friday March 1st 2019, at the Slieve Russell Hotel. Parish Award Leaders have been sent all invitations for their group. We would be grateful if all those planning to attend could RSVP here.
All the team at Clogher don Óige would like to congratulate and thank our Parish Award Leaders on another successful year! We are constantly looking for volunteers to assist young people in our parishes in working towards the Pope John Paul II Award... is this something that interests you? Get in touch - email@example.com
*We have a new Bishop!!!
The news has just been announced that Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Larry Duffy, current Parish Priest of Carrickmacross, to be the next Bishop of the Diocese of Clogher!
We have been without a Bishop now for a little over two years since Bishop Liam McDaid's resignation on health grounds. We keep Bishop-Elect Larry in our prayers as he prepares to begin this new chapter of his priestly ministry. We look forward to working with him in the future and have lots of dates to be put in his diary!!