Extraordinary and joyful days captured for eternity


The first papal visit to Ireland in almost 40 years and some 38 years after the then Fr Bergoglio spent three months in Dublin as a Jesuit priest, this spectacular book offers a fabulous photographic diary of the Pope Francis’ two-day intensive pilgrimage and covers the day-to-day events of the WMOF from August 21-26, offering in-depth reporting from the journalists of The Irish Catholic.

Starting with the tour of the Icon of the Holy Family and the various family celebrations held in dioceses across the island in preparation for WMOF, this colourful souvenir brings readers on a journey through the national opening ceremonies, the pastoral congress, Pope Francis’ arrival and his diplomatic and pastoral tour of Dublin, the Festival of Families in Croke Park, the papal visit to Knock Shrine and the closing Mass in the Phoenix Park.


The book also explores who Pope Francis is as an international leader and what his visit means for the Irish Church and people, including an introduction from renowned papal watcher, Fr Michael Collins.

Above all it captures the faithful Catholic people of Ireland who turned out in their tens of thousands to see their Pope, and commemorates those extraordinary and joyful few days in August which gave the Irish Church a much-needed boost of energy.

Pope Francis in Ireland retails at €24.99 and is available to order on 01-6874096, sales@columba.ie or online atwww.columbabooks.com

An Autumn Prayer

Autumn Praise

I praise you, Lord, for autumn:
for falling temperatures and morning chill,
trees turned gold and red, brown and orange,
falling leaves and blowing leaves,
the smell of burning leaves,
the joy of leaf-pile jumping.

I praise you, Lord, for autumn:
the interplay of outside temperatures
and inside warmth,
the promise of cider and pumpkin bread,
the blessing of blankets and sweaters.

I praise you, Lord, for autumn:
the beauty and hope in the change of season,
the promise that the coming of autumn
heralds another ending,
a new beginning,
and the wonder of another winter,
another spring,
another summer,
yet to come.

Prayer for Students

Under thy patronage, dear Mother, and calling on the mystery of thine Immaculate Conception, I desire to pursue my studies and my literary labors: I hereby solemnly declare that I am giving myself to these studies chiefly to the following end: that I may the better contribute to the glory of God and to the promotion of thy veneration among men. I pray thee, therefore, most loving Mother, who art the Seat of Wisdom, to bless my labors in thy loving-kindness. Moreover I promise with true affection and a willing spirit, as it is right that I should do, to ascribe all the good that shall come to me therefrom, wholly to thine intercession for me in God’s holy presence. Amen

‘Do not walk through time without leaving worthy evidence of your passage’ – Pope John 23rd

‘Do not walk through time without leaving worthy evidence of your passage’ – Pope John 23rd

All of us are aware just how precious time is. As the ‘Back to School’ promotions hit us in many shops, many people are remarking just how quickly the summer months went. We are encouraged to use our time well and to leave a positive mark in our world each day. No matter how small or trivial this mark may seem to us, it has immense value and potential, especially with God. There may be some who are determined to leave negative marks around us. But these people should not bully us into doing the same. We need to hold our heads up high, be proud of our best efforts and be willing to keep doing our best. We don’t have to account for others but we have total control over our mark in this world.


Thoughts on Pope Francis and the upcoming visit to Ireland

As we prepare to welcome pope Francis I reflect on what will be the fruits of his visit?. Millions will both see and hear him speak a message that I am sure will both comfort inspire and challenge. How will the church and by church I mean all Catholics respond.


The more I reflect the more certain I become that nothing less that a profound conversion is called for. We must return with fresh ears to the message and mission of Jesus Christ. To be servant of all and least of all. Human nature even for a Christian desires power position respectability but read can have no place in our church. How we arrive at this place I don’t know.

I am a conservative at heart but I believe Francis has been chosen to lead by word and example to a new place where many of our certainties are challenged our position on the margins and our hope and faith tested, I pray for women and men lay and religious young and old gay and straight who will show us the way. To finish I have hope and excitement for the journey God is leading on.

Fr. Pierre Pepper

Prayer for the Unborn

Thank You Father for the little baby that is about to be born. Lord we pray that you would protect this little infant that is being knit together in his mother’s womb and we pray Lord that You would undertake for a safe delivery at the right time.

Thank You that You know every intimate detail of this little life and we pray that by Your grace You would open the best path for this little one to take. May this baby grow up to know and love the Lord Jesus, which will make him wise unto salvation.. as did the young Timothy who was taught the holy Scriptures at the knee of his mother and grandmother.

We pray Your protection and grace for this little baby who is shortly to take his place in the world and ask that he may grow in wisdom and understanding – finding grace and favor with man and God.

Guard and protect both mother and child as the day for delivery draws ever closer and keep them from all the perils and dangers of this life – looking to Jesus in Whom is life and light and help and wholeness. We ask this in Jesus name,



 Spirit of God, grant me: The gift of wisdom To see the world through your eyes,

The gift of counsel To make difficult decisions,

The gifts of knowledge and understanding

To use my mind to know you and to love you,

The gift of fortitude

To have the courage to live in the faith

Despite the difficulties and disappointments,

The gift of piety To be able to express my special love And commitment to you,

And the right kind of awesome fear

That makes me pause to wonder and revere God’s Love. Amen.

Happy Easter from St Rynaghs Church

Wishing you and your family a very happy Easter. May you be blessed with home filled with harmony, joy and love. Easter brings fun, Easter brings Happiness, Easter brings God’s endless blessings, Easter brings love and the freshness of spring.







Easter Prayer

Resurrection Prayer



Dear God,
Thank you that you make all things new. Thank you for the victory and power in your Name. Thank you that you hold the keys over death, that by your might, Jesus was raised from the grave, paving the way for us to have new life with you. Thank you that you had plan, that you made a way.

We confess our need for you…fresh…new…again. We ask that you renew our hearts, minds, and lives, for the days ahead. We pray for your refreshing over us.

Keep your words of truth planted firm within us, help us to keep focused on what is pure and right, give us the power to be obedient to your word. And when the enemy reminds us where we have been, hissing his lies and attacks our way, we trust that your voice speaks louder and stronger, reminding us we are safe with you and that your purposes and plans will not fail. We ask that you will be our defense and rear guard, keeping our way clear, removing the obstacles, and covering the pitfalls. Lord, lead us on your level ground.

Catholic faith an influence for New England Patriots’ assistant coaches

For a block of time each Saturday evening before a home game, several New England Patriots’ coaches break away from the task of finalizing game plans.
They attend Mass together along with other members of the Patriots’ staff. Monsignor Mike Foley, a priest from the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts, comes to celebrate the Mass for any players, coaches and staff who want to attend.
“He’s been a fantastic friend. I’ve really grown to appreciate his willingness to be there with us,” said Patriots’ special teams coach Joe Judge regarding Foley.
Defensive line coach Brendan Daly said it’s a time in their week he looks forward to.
“It definitely is something that I like to do before we go to the (stadium) on Sundays,” Daly told The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. “It’s something that allows me to focus, take some time, be at peace and get away from the game element of it. It’s also time where I kind of reflect on the other aspects of my life, if you will, in terms of family and faith and those things, which is something I think we all need to do more of.”
Wide receivers’ coach Chad O’Shea also sees it as part of finding that balance between the demands of coaching in the NFL, living the faith and having a family.
“It’s difficult, but if you do have faith and you have a great family that believes in the same things that I do and you do have strong faith, you’re able to do it,” O’Shea said. “It’s not easy at times, but at the end of the day, I think it’s important to be able to balance those.”
O’Shea, Daly, Judge and company had plenty to balance with the demands of Super Bowl week, leading up to the Feb. 4 game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The team had a schedule full of travel, extended media sessions, team meetings and practices. Though each of the three coaches have Super Bowl experience already with the defending champion Patriots, they did not see the preparation as automatic.

“Every year, as we always say, is different just like every day is different,” O’Shea said. “You’ve got to approach that that way. The challenges, regardless of what they are, are going to be there, and it’s our job as coaches to kind of provide some answers to those challenges and put our players in the best position possible.”

Last year’s win marked the fifth Super Bowl title for the Patriots. O’Shea, Judge and Daly have been part of the past two Patriots’ championship teams.

“I’m blessed to be a part of this organization and just appreciative and grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to work with such great people and great players,” O’Shea said.

Before the coaches’ time, the Patriots won their first two Super Bowls on game-winning kicks. None of the past five Patriots’ Super Bowl appearances has come down to a special teams play like that, but Judge wants the special teams units ready for such high-pressure situations.

“My job is make sure the players are as prepared as they can be going into the end of the game, make sure they’re alert for whatever situation that may come up and know how to handle it and to make sure we practice executing all of our techniques, so they have a chance to execute them under high pressure,” Judge said.

He enjoys the role where he has contact with every player on the team as each one has a special teams role.

“It’s great because you get to know every player, you get to know how to coach every different player,” said Judge. “They all have their own individual personalities, and they have their different learning styles. It allows you to build relationships with the entire locker room and allows you to really have influence in the entire locker room.”

Faith helps Daly recognize the difference between what he can control and what he can’t whether on or off the field. That has included the Patriots facing injuries on defense this season and having other players step up.

“A couple of things that I lean on is handling the mental grind and also focusing on the things that you can control and leaving the things that are out of your control to whoever it is that can control it,” Daly said. “Having the faith and the trust that those things will work themselves out however it is that they’re meant to be.”

Judge indicated that Saturday night Mass together can really be an off-field highlight for the members of an NFL team.
“Any time you get to go to Mass or a church service with people you respect and are close with, that’s really special,” Judge said.
Davis is on the staff of The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.