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

4th May, 2021:

Dear Chaplains/RE Teachers,

Reason to be satisfied by resumption of ceremonies but ‘COVID complacency’ the enemy – Bishop Leahy

Sunday 2 May 2021:  Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy said that it is right to have a feeling of deep satisfaction over the resumption of public ceremonies but said that COVID complacency will be the enemy and we must not allow it to undo the good work.

Welcoming the resumption in a statement today, the Fifth Sunday of Easter, Bishop Leahy also asked the public to think of the people of India as COVID sweeps with devastating consequences through their nation and asked the public to engage in a “marathon of prayer” that COVID passes. 

Said Bishop Leahy:  “The resumption of public ceremonies in churches from May 10th onwards is deeply satisfying in so many ways. It’s just great to feel we can be gathered as one, albeit with number limited, seeing each other, listening together to God’s Word, expressing ourselves as a community and taking part in the Mass that contains the great gift of the Eucharist.

“Not everyone will understand the significance of it, but many people of faith see this as very, very positive in terms of their spiritual health and personal wellbeing.”

Bishop Leahy expressed confidence, thanks to track record of already having managed a reopening, that public celebrations will be appropriately and carefully handled but he said that we cannot at any stage drop our guard.  And he paid tribute to priests and parish volunteers for their work.

“Of course, we’ve been here before. We know how resumption of public ceremonies works. We have experience and are confident that the good measures put in place last summer will continue again this time.  But confidence crumbles and is worthless under complacency so we must at no stage let up.  COVID complacency is the enemy and we must redouble our efforts, not least we have come so far already.

“I am extremely grateful to all the priests and parish volunteers for their commitment to ensuring safety and good orderly arrangements for attendance at religious ceremonies. We all need to be careful because the virus is still with us.”

Speaking on the COVID crisis in India, he said:  “In this United World Week, while we look forward in hope to the coming weeks and months as more and more people get vaccinated, we need to keep in mind the tragic developments in India that is seeing so many being struck by the pandemic and so many dying. Let’s try to do whatever we can to help.”

Continuing, he said:  “I would also invite people to take part in a ‘marathon’ of prayer that Pope Francis has launched for the month of May, a month we traditionally associate with Mary and prayer of the Rosary. The purpose of the marathon of prayer is to ask God for an end to the pandemic and that normal social and work activities can resume. 

“One of the main Marian shrines of the world will lead this prayer each day. The Knock shrine will take this lead on May 10th with a focus in its prayer for people with disabilities. Many are generously doing virtual marathons for good causes these days. It would be great if many could join this spiritual marathon by committing themselves to saying all or some part of a Rosary each day.”

The Pope's Monthly Intentions for May, 2021: The World of Finance

Let us pray that those in charge of finance will work with governments to regulate the financial sphere and protect citizens from its dangers.


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



‘We don’t have to agree on anything to be kind to one another.’ (The Celtic Christian Tradition)



The Role of Women in Church Leadership: From Rose O’Connor of the Diocesan Pastoral Outreach Team: During the Synod, a proposal was put forward under the theme of New Models of Leadership to establish a working group to explore the role of women in Church leadership.  This group was established and has produced a report which was recently presented to the Bishop’s Conference, where it was well received. 


A webinar will be held on Monday 10th May at 7:30 pm where Bishop Brendan will launch the report and I will present an overview of the findings and the recommendations.   We are delighted to be joined by Sr Patricia Murray, Executive Secretary of the International Union of Superiors General and Consultor to the Pontifical Council for Culture, Austen Ivereigh, Writer, Journalist, Biographer of Pope Francis, Co-author with Pope Francis of 'Let us Dream' and Jessie Rogers, Dean of Theology, Lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth for this event.  It will be an interesting discussion on a very important topic.


You can register at this link:



Further information on the webinar and a copy of the working group report can be downloaded from our website on this link:



I would be grateful if you could share details of this event with your contacts.  I am also attaching a poster for the webinar. I hope you can join us on the 10th of May. See Attachment 4.


Catholic Youth Ministry of Ireland (CYMI) As the Irish Bishops begin their journey towards a Synodal Pathway, Catholic Youth Ministry Ireland (CYMI) are hosting a series of Zoom Webinars on the theme of Synod and Youth Ministry with speakers from around the world.


The second webinar, in a series of three is on Wednesday 5th May at 2pm and will feature Paul Jarzembowski from the USA who is the Assistant National Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry and then the week (Wednesday 12th May at 10am)  after we will have Malcolm Hart, the Director of the National Centre for Evangelisation in Australia who will speak about the Australian experience.

Register here - https://www.cymireland.org/member-events/srnathaliebecquart


Please feel free to forward this information to others in your organisation who may also be interested in attending. 


Slí Chun Dé Book Launch: Mairead works in Coláiste Mhuire, a Gaelcholáiste in Dublin.

'When I began there were no prayer resources as Gaeilge available and when I mentioned that to the D.A. she suggested that I write my own. I did that, and a collection, entitled Slí Chun Dé was published in 2009. With the passing of time it became obvious that the book needed to be updated.The enlarged, illustrated, updated, e-version of Slí Chun Dé will be launched on Thursday, May 6th. I am attaching an invitation to the launch below. Le meas agus mór-bhuíochas, Mairéad Ní Bhuachalla. See Attachments 1,2.


2. John Magee works in Millstreet CS and created a video with his students to celebrate diversity - 

It's called Our School One World - Culture and Diversity in Millstreet Community School.  There are country presentations relating to students in our school and a bit of music that some of the students did with Garry McCarthy (GMC Beats) and Stevie G.  We also got a few contributions from outside the school including Dr Niall Muldoon and the Polish Ambassador to Ireland.  Here's the Youtube link https://youtu.be/tghRsSM9iKE


The past week in the ministry of Pope Francis.  A five minute summary.  



School Chaplains' Association – Pray, Reflect, Share: 'Give us this day our daily bread' is an opportunity to gather as a group on the morning of May 9th at 10.30am for about 45 mins to pray, reflect and share. We will focus on the topic of 'caring for ourselves and our faith' in the role of school chaplaincy.

If you would like to join other SCA members for this short gathering, a link will be sent for a Zoom call to you by email on Saturday 8th and you will be given access to the meeting. Only members who request the link will receive the email. Contact: contact@schoolchaplaincy.ie


Liturgical calendar

1st May - Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, International Workers’ Day

2nd May – Fifth Sunday of Easter

5th May – Blessed Edmund Rice

5th May - International Day of the Midwife

8th May, World Red Cross Day

9th May – Sixth Sunday of Easter

12th May – International Nurses Day

13th May - Our Lady of Fatima

16th May – Ascension of the Lord, St. Brendan, Feast (Kerry & Clonfert)

22nd May - St. Rita

24th May – Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church

27th May- St. Augustine of Canterbury

30th May – Trinity Sunday

31st May – Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary




  1. Attached is the Slí Chun Dé book launch invite from Lily Barry.   You are welcome to forward it to whomever may be interested. A hard copy of the book is available once people cover postage – that money will be donated to Mary’s Meals!


  1. Above invite as gaeilge


  1. PowerPoint on the month of May, Mary’s Month, courtesy of Fr. Gerard Condon, Cloyne


  1. Women in Church Leadership Webinar


  1. 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 enter the month of May, Mary’s month we reflect …


Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –         

   When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;         

   Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush         

Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring         

The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;

   The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush         

   The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush         

With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.         


What is all this juice and all this joy?         

   A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning

In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,         

   Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,         

Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,         

   Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning. (Gerard Manley Hopkins)