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

12th September, 2022:

Dear Chaplains/RE Teachers,

Statement of Archbishop Eamon Martin on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Like so many people here on the island of Ireland and around the world, I was saddened to hear of the death today of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  I express my sympathies to the new King, to the members of the Royal family and to all those who will grieve the loss of this much-loved and deeply respected monarch.  Since the Queen’s coronation in 1953, she has shown immense commitment, not only to her royal duties and responsibilities, but also to the wider common good.  What stands out for me is her dedication to faith, to family, and to peace and reconciliation.  I remember meeting Queen Elizabeth in Enniskillen in 2012, before I was ordained as bishop, when she took the courageous and historic step of visiting Saint Michael’s Catholic Church.  She came across as friendly and good humoured and took time to put everyone at their ease.  I have always admired Queen Elizabeth’s quiet dignity and calm nature despite living through very difficult times with much political, economic, social and family upheaval.  That was why ordinary people of all backgrounds and faiths could relate to her and held her in such affection.

I am grateful for Queen Elizabeth’s commitment to promoting better understanding and relationships between the Anglican Church and the Catholic Church.  During her reign, she met with five popes, including Saint Pope John Paul II in 2000 at the Vatican.  In Edinburgh, in 2010, Queen Elizabeth extended a wholehearted welcome to Pope Benedict XVI’s memorable visit to the United Kingdom.  We also recall her warm meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican in 2014. 

In the coming days much will be remembered and commented upon, but it is important for us to keep in mind that above all, Queen Elizabeth was a person of deep faith and love for Jesus Christ.  I pray that her faith in the Risen Lord will be of comfort to many people, and especially to her grieving family at this sad time. May she rest in peace.

Diocese of Limerick: Youth Ministry Coordinator

(Three-year fixed-term fulltime contract)

The Diocese is now recruiting a Youth Ministry Coordinator.  The successful candidate will work on the delivery of the objectives and actions of the Young People theme in the Diocesan Pastoral Plan, the vision of which is:  “ to create local opportunities for young people to meet their peers in the Eaglais Óg and replicate at local level, the success of the Youth Ministry at diocesan level and ensure that young people feel connected, involved and active in a multigenerational church whereby grandparents, parents and children minister to each other”.

The role will involve the creation, resourcing, delivery and support of youth ministry programmes and initiatives across the Diocese, including with parishes and schools with a focus on building capacity in the local context. It will also involve engagement with Youth Work and other relevant Organisations (Voluntary and Statutory) both Regionally and Nationally as appropriate.

An Application Pack with Job Description (PDF) can be download from this link. You can download an Application Form (Word) at this link. CVs will not be accepted. Please note that the closing date has been extended to Friday, 16th September 2022.

Please excuse the inclusion of material from last week’s Weekly Connect as this has been requested. Also, a gentle reminder to inform me of any changes of personnel in your schools.

The Pope's Monthly Intentions for September, 2022:

September: For the abolition of the death penalty …

We pray that the death penalty, which attacks the dignity of the human person, may be legally abolished in every country.


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

Thought for the Day:


Liturgical Calendar: September, 2022

Season of Creation 2022 :  September 1st to October 4th

September 13th St John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

September 14th  Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross / Féile Ghlórú na Croise Naofa

September 15th  Our Lady of Sorrows

September 21st  International Day of Peace / Lá Idirnáisiúnta Tiomanta don Síocháin

 September 21st  Matthew the Evangelist / Maitiú, Soiscéalaí

September 23rd   St. Padre Pio / Naomh Padre Pio

September 25th  St. Finbarr    

 September 27th Feast Day of St. Vincent de Paul / Féile Naomh Uinseann de Pól

 September 29th International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste

September 29th Feast of the Archangels / Féile na nArdaingeal

Season of Creation 2022 :  September 1st to October 4th

In this Season of Creation, this symbol of God’s Spirit calls us to listen to the voice of creation, to the voices of those who suffer the impacts of climate change, to the voices of those who hold generational wisdom about how to live gratefully within the limits of the land. These are voices of the Earth. The global Christian family is called to awaken to the urgent need to heal our relationships with creation and with each other and to encourage our parish communities to do the same, “for we know that things can change!” (Laudato Si’, 13).  

The diocese is organising the following:

  • On Wednesday 21st of September (7:30pm to 9pm) we will hold an Outdoor Prayer Workshop on Zoom for pastoral units/parishes, schools who would like to host an outdoor prayer/reflection during the Season of Creation.  This workshop will provide a template, resources, and ideas that you can adapt to your local context.  It is a wonderful opportunity to reach a wider audience, provide a new prayer experience and avail of the natural environment.  You can register for the workshop here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OutdoorPrayerWorkshop
  • On Monday 26th of September (7:30pm to 8:30pm), Bishop Brendan, Sr Betty Baker, Fr Chris O’Donnell along with the pastoral outreach and youth ministry teams will offer an opportunity for prayer and reflection on Facebook Live on the Season of Creation.  You are most welcome to join the session by clicking on our Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/dioceseoflimerick just before 7:30pm on the 26th.  You do not need to have a Facebook page to access this prayer service, our Facebook page is open to people who do not have a Facebook account.  Please spread the word to others who might like to participate.
  • On Saturday 8th October Dr Niamh Brennan (10am to 1:30pm) will deliver a reflective workshop on this year’s Season of Creation theme “Listening to the Voice of Creation” at the Don Bosco Centre, Milford, followed by outdoor prayer/reflection (weather permitting!) at the LCM Infinity Woodland Pathway adjacent to Milford Care Centre.  Places will be limited so please book your place here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VoiceOfCreation.  A €10 contribution requested for this workshop.

Resources from the Laudato Si’ Working Group

Resources are offered for use in dioceses, parishes, schools and in the home, during the Season of Creation 2022 contained in the Liturgical Calendar Attachment 1. As always, we are deeply grateful to Colette O’Doherty, DA Diocese of Ferns, for her generosity in sharing these resources.

New Prayer Book: ‘Occasional Prayers for the School Year’

An ideal book for busy teachers, chaplains, or anyone who often seeks a prayer or service for a particular event and finds themselves searching among a variety of sources for just ‘the right piece’. Working in a Jesuit school for over 2o years, where school gatherings are common and always prefaced with a prayer, the author has collated a number of prayers she has written over the years as a ‘go-to’ for those who lead prayers.

Gráinne Delaney received her Bachelor of Religious Science from the Mater Dei Institute of Education. Her role as Chaplain in Crescent College Comprehensive S.J. has fostered her interest in faith Formation. To order …


Diocesan Ministry Training & Reflection

  • The diocese is offering a training/reflection session for Ministers of the Word on Tuesday 4th October from 7:30m to 9pm in the Diocesan Centre (adjacent to St Munchin’s College).  This session is suitable for new Ministers of the Word and can also be a reflective opportunity for existing Ministers.
  • A training/reflection session for Ministers of the Eucharist will be held on Tuesday 11th October from 7:30pm to 9pm again in the Diocesan Centre.  Again, this session is suitable for new Ministers of the Eucharist or can also be a reflective opportunity for existing Ministers.

You can register for training for Ministers of the Word and/or Ministers of the Eucharist here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MinistryTrainingReflection

  • Two nights of training for Funeral/Bereavement Teams will be offered on 18th and 25th October from 7:30pm to 9pm in the Diocesan Centre.  The training will cover the practical steps involved in setting up and resourcing Funeral/Bereavement Teams in pastoral units/parishes.  Following these initial two nights, additional supports and resources needed will be considered and further training sessions will be developed.  Again, we would encourage people who have a sense of calling to this ministry area, as well as those already involved, to register for the two nights so we can learn from each other’s experiences.    You can register for the two nights of training here:
  • https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FuneralBereavementTeams

* Points to Note:

  • Individuals should liaise with their local priest(s) before registering for any of the Ministry Training programmes.   
  • We will be monitoring the level of demand for Ministry Training and Reflection programmes, depending on the demand and location of those interested, we will look at rolling out training sessions in other geographical locations in the Diocese.

Attachments –

  1. Liturgical Calendar for September, 2022, containing resources for the Season of Creation.
  2. Link for Planning an Outdoor Prayer Experience workshop, 21st September, 2022.
  3. Listen to the Voice of Creation Poster and link for reflective prayer 26th September, 2022.
  4. Listen to the Voice of Creation, Reflective Workshop, 8th October, details.
  5. 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 continue the season of creation, we pause to reflect on one person’s awareness, one hundred and forty five years ago …

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

      It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;

      It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil

Cr  Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?

G   Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;

      And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;

      And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil

Is   is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.


A   And for all this, nature is never spent;

     There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;

A   And though the last lights off the black West went

     Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —

Be Because the Holy Ghost over the bent

      World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

(‘God's Grandeur, Gerard Manley Hopkins)