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Weekly Connect From: Dermot Cowhey dermot.cowhey@limerickdiocese.org

21st March, 2022:

Dear Chaplains/RE Teachers,

Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy has said that Irish people, in providing refuge to Ukrainians fleeing war in their native land, are echoing the great spirit of encounter, care and compassion handed down by St. Patrick. In his St. Patrick’s Day homily, Bishop Leahy said that for the past two St. Patrick’s Days, we put vulnerable people first and this one is no different as we welcome strangers under siege into our homes.

With 6,000 Ukrainian refugees already in Ireland, Bishop Leahy said it is impressive to see the offers of accommodation on the part of many. But this is our way as a people and on St. Patrick’s Day, in particular, the people of Ukraine are very much in our hearts.

“Mix blue and yellow and the colour is green and this is very much how it is today as we bring people of Ukraine into our homes and we wait to welcome more of them. And the people of Ukraine who are under siege and fear in their native land, we bring them into our hearts,” he said. “It is inspiring to note how many people all over Ireland have responded so generously to supporting humanitarian efforts in this crisis.  Many parish communities have already established links with charitable projects to support refugees and those remaining in Ukraine.”

Bishop Leahy singled out the Redemptorist community in Limerick, which has direct links with their confreres in Ukraine and has already been overwhelmed by the response of people in Limerick and beyond to its appeal.  He also cited other charitable initiatives such as Aid to the Church in Need, the Jesuit Refugee Service and Trócaire.  There is, he said, a call to help each other in this spontaneous wave of hospitality.

“The welcome offered is an outreach to people in need that the Irish feel instinctively. We do that piece well. After all, encounter and mercy, care and compassion were among the great characteristics of St. Patrick. To this day, we honour those characteristics.”

He continued: “Yes, prayer is important. And today we remember in prayer the people of Ukraine, also the Ukrainians in Ireland and those Russians in Ireland who are not responsible for the war. We must be careful not to hold them accountable for the massacres of a war they did not start.”



Lent 2022: The diocese continues its opportunities which you might like to avail of to nourish and inspire you as you journey through Lent.

  1. ‘Live, Love, Lent’ Campaign

We continue to invite you to our ongoing journey with us this Lent.  The pastoral outreach team (Fr Chris, Aoife, Rose, Dermot, Michael along with Sr Betty, Sr Phyllis and Sharon) have put together a programme to support you throughout Lent, this includes daily thoughts, images, reflections and prayers with a different theme each week.  These are posted daily on our Diocesan Facebook page; I want to reassure you that you do not need to have a Facebook account to access these resources.  Our Facebook page is set up so that it is accessible to people who are not on Facebook; you can access our Facebook page on this link: https://www.facebook.com/dioceseoflimerick.  Be sure to check in every day.  We will have an introductory video at the start of each week explaining the theme, each day at 7am we will post an image with prayers, food for thought and/or ideas for action.  Fr Chris will then host a review of the week each Sunday evening at 8:30pm live on Facebook where we can chat and share our experiences and learning.  Again, to remind you, you do not need to subscribe to Facebook to be able to access these resources and events.  Fr Chris explains everything in this video if you would like to know more: https://fb.watch/bwt2KoKwbU/

  1. Enviro-Lenten Films

Aoife and Betty are showing 3 films in the Diocesan Centre on 3 Saturday evenings, starting this Saturday 5th March evening at 7pm.  You will need to register for these films so we can manage numbers and catering.  I have attached a poster (Attachment 1).  You can register at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Enviro-LentenFilms

If you want to get sense of the films here are links to their trailers:

Here is a trailer for the ‘The Human Element’; https://youtu.be/k34FhplukXQ

Here is a trailer for ‘My Octopus Teacher’: https://youtu.be/3s0LTDhqe5A

Here is a trailer for ‘Living the Change’: https://youtu.be/x3d3rl6id_c

  1. Prayers of the Faithful Resources for Lent, International Women’s Day, Mother’s Day and Earth Day.

Sr Betty Baker has kindly compiled prayers of the faithful resources for Lent.  These include prayers of the Faithful from First Sunday of Lent to Corpus Christi and for International Women's Day (8th March), Mother's day (27th March), Earth Day (22 April).  I attached them to last week’s Weekly Connect. If you missed them, please contact me directly.

The Pope's Monthly Intentions for March, 2022:

For a Christian response to bioethical challenges …

We pray for Christians facing new bioethical challenges; may they continue to defend the dignity of all human life with prayer and action.


To watch the Pope Video - https://youtu.be/aJpxgGQywX8

Lenten Thought for the Day: We publish a Lenten ‘thought for the day’ every morning at 7am on the Diocesan Facebook page.

‘We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the capacity to forgive is devoid of the capacity to love.’ (Martin Luther King Jr.)



Liturgical Calendar

21st March: World Water Day

22nd March: World Earth Day

24th March: St. Oscar Romero

25th March: Annunciation of the Lord

26th March: Earth Hour (Google Earth Hour)

27th March: Mothers’ Day

10th April: Psalm Sunday

13th April: Spy Wednesday

14th April: Holy Thursday

15th April: Good Friday

16th April: Holy Saturday

17th April: Easter Sunday

A separate email for the March liturgical calendar with resources was sent last week. If you did not receive this, please contact me. As always, we are deeply grateful to Colette O’Doherty, DA Diocese of Ferns, for her generosity in sharing these resources.

Attachments –

  1. Poster for a workshop by Fr Jim Cogley on April 9 at Nano Nagle
  2. Sunday Afternoon Lenten Series at Glenstal Abbey
  3. Justice, Peace, Reconciliation power point (our thanks to Fr. Michael Collins, DA Killaloe for generously sharing this)
  4. 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 dermot.cowhey@limerickdiocese.org

To conclude … As we move towards the Annunciation of the Lord, two female poets reflect on that special moment. You might like to check out Denise Levertov’s ‘Annunciation’ and

Elizabeth Jennings’ ‘Annunciation’.