Weekly Connect From: Dermot Cowhey firstname.lastname@example.org
13th September, 2021:
Dear Chaplains/RE Teachers,
As we begin the new academic year, we pray for our teachers, leaders and all involved in the service of the young people in our care. Bishop Brendan, in his welcome video to all schools (see https://www.limerickdiocese.org/), focused on the solidarity of schools which was resilient in the darkest days of the recent past stating ‘The school is you, the community’.
He concluded ‘Love one another – may that be the motto for the year ahead.’ In that light we begin with a prayer:
Prayer: For my friends:
I bring before you my dear ones, my friends
and the particular person whom I love above all others.
Protect them from all evil
and guide them safely on their journey.
Help us to know what unites us
and what divides us;
what sustains our friendship
and what oppresses us.
and who we can, or cannot, be for one another.
Enlighten our sight,
strengthen our hearts,
bless our friendship
guide our steps,
and let us remain in your love. Amen.
The Pope's Monthly Intentions for September, 2021:
Let us pray that we all will make courageous choices, the choices necessary for a simple and environmentally sustainable lifestyle, taking inspiration from our young people who are resolutely committed to this,”
Thought for the Day: We publish a ‘thought for the day’ every morning at 7am on the Diocesan Facebook page.
‘You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.) (Jane Goodall)
14th September Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
15th September Our Lady of the Sorrows*
21st September – Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
17th September – St. Robert Bellarmine, bishop and doctor
16th September – Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)
21st September - International Day of Peace / Lá Idirnáisiúnta Tiomanta don Síocháin
21st September – World Alzheimers Day
23rd September - St. Padre Pio / Naomh Padre Pio
24th September – World Maritime Day
25th September - St. Finbarr
27th September - Feast Day of St. Vincent de Paul / Féile Naomh Uinseann de Pól
29th September – Ss Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels
* The Seven Sorrows of Mary:
- The prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:25-35)
- The flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15)
- Loss of the Child Jesus for three days (Luke 2:41-50)
- Mary meets Jesus on his way to Calvary (Luke 23:27-31; John 19:17)
- Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:25-30)
- The body of Jesus being taken from the Cross (Psalm 130; Luke 23:50-54; John 19:31-37)
- The burial of Jesus (Isaiah 53:8; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42; Mark 15:40-47)
Programmes on Offer:
This year I am hoping to introduce you to three programmes. The ‘Look Up!’ programme is for Transition years and details are included below. Alpha Ireland Youth Programme is a free programme which could be used for classes from third year upwards. Training etc. is provided for teachers and I would recommend it. Finally, The Backpack programme, which focuses on human development through spirituality, will be introduced over the next few months. You may have plenty material to work with but these programmes may also offer you an alternative. More details to follow.
The Season of Creation
The Season of Creation began on the 1st of September and will run through to the 4th of October. The theme this year is “Restoring our common home”.
This a great opportunity to raise awareness in our schools of the importance of caring for our common home and acting at the local level. The scale of the challenges we are facing are immense and sometimes overwhelming, it is good to remind ourselves that every step we take at the local level will have a ripple effect. No step we take is too small, Vincent Van Gogh said “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”
Plant a Tree initiative
Bishop Brendan is inviting parishes and schools to engage their new Sixth Class/First Year pupils in a tree planting initiative as part of the Season of Creation, linking it in with Confirmation.
The proposal is to invite parishes/schools to involve their Sixth Class/First Years in planting a tree on the 4th of October, the feast of St Francis. A letter of invitation from Bishop Brendan is attached and includes details of supports available. See Attachment 1.
Season of Creation Resources
The Laudato Si’ group of the Bishop’s Conference have put together a series of resources for the Season of Creation.
The resources include the following:
- Sunday Liturgy Notes for the Season of Creation
- A weekday Prayer Service
- Practical Actions for Parishes/Schools
- Tree Planting Resource
The resources can be accessed here:
Bishop Brendan In Conversation with John Lannon who is the CEO of Doras Luimneach, a Limerick-based human rights and migrant support non-governmental organization. https://www.limerickdiocese.org/
Look Up: Programme for Transition Year: Veritas is delighted to launch this exciting new Religious Education programme for Transition Year students.
Key features of Look Up!
· The key content for students is presented on PowerPoint slides, to be shown on the class whiteboard.
· The information on the slides is supplemented by artwork that spans a variety of media and traditions.
· The accompanying Teacher Notes, which may be viewed in the ‘Presenter Notes’ viewing panel on the teacher’s own screen, include commentary and discussion questions on each slide, as well as additional activities and exercises to supplement and support the information on the slides. These notes also contain resources for the guided prayer reflections that are offered at the close of each lesson.
· Videos, music and interactive content can be accessed directly from the slides.
· The content covered is inclusive of all the major world religions.
· The teacher resources are provided on a USB stick.
· The accompanying student journal is designed to accommodate students’ personal reflections on content studied. It also contains worksheets and a Glossary of key terms.
Teacher USB stick and sample Student Journal is available from Veritas at a cost of €30. For more information on Look Up! contact Veritas (01) 8788177 or email email@example.com
Online Course on Islam
The Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland has designed this course specifically with the needs of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) students and primary and post-primary teachers in mind. It would be delighted to welcome teachers from Catholic schools to support teachers in schools and classrooms and it comes with a padlet containing lots of classroom-friendly materials and ideas designed to enable teachers both to support Muslim students in diverse educational contexts and to educate all students about Islam in Ireland. The course will run in autumn 2021 and it will offer participants multi-media resources and lots of opportunities to ask questions and dialogue with the course tutors. If you would like further information about this course, please see Attachment 2.
- Plant a Tree Invitation
- Online Course on Islam
- Attachment containing the usual links and resources. If you can add to this list, please forward all information to me.
If you are accessing this from the diocese website and would like to have these resources, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
To conclude …
Praise the Lord! Across the heavens, from the heights, all you angels, heavenly beings, sing praise, sing praise!
Sun and moon, glittering stars, sing praise! Highest heavens, rain clouds, sing praise, sing praise.
Let there be praise; from the depths of the earth, from creatures of the deep.
Fire and hail, snow and midst, storms, winds, mountains, hills, fruit trees and cedars, wild beasts and tame, snakes and birds.
Praise God’s splendour above the earth, above the heavens, as it gives strength to all nations and to all peoples.
Scripture (Psalm 148:1-4, 7-10, 13-14)
We ask God to help us become more aware of the world around us, to help us to see the beauty of his creation, to care for our common home, to watch over our planet, to protect it and to share the beauty of creation with all around us.
Loving God, may the beauty of your creation be a source of refreshment and renewal as we make our journey to you.