Bishops launch online Advent calendar

Irish Catholic bishops use the internet to reach the masses

The Irish bishops have launched a specially commissioned 2014 Advent calendar.

The online calendar can be found on the Irish Catholic bishops’ website,

A new feature on this year’s Advent Calendar is an audio ‘Thought for Today’ which is voiced by a different contributor each of the days of Advent and will reflect themes of the Advent season.

Contributors include Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin; Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin; Fr Michael Drumm, Chair of the Catholic Schools Partnership, as well as seasonal reflections by staff from the councils, agencies and offices of the Bishops’ Conference for example Accord and Trócaire, and by individual students from Catholic primary and secondary schools.

These audio recordings will be available on the pages of the Advent Calendar on as well as on

The 2014 Advent Calendar includes:

The words of Pope Francis taken from his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), his daily homilies from Casa Santa Marta and his Twitter feed;

  • Mass readings of the day;
  • Advent videos: blessing of the crib in the home, blessing of the advent wreath in the home, prayer when lighting the lights on the Christmas tree, family table prayer;
  • Advent music;
  • Information on saints during Advent such as Saint Nicholas on 6 December;
  • Video and text reflections from Pope Francis and Irish bishops (the Creed, the Liturgy)
  • Family prayers (mother and child, children, grandparents, parents and godparents);
  • Prayers for the season: for families in need, for those suffering neglect and violence, for Irish emigrants, for those in prison, for those who are sick, for Christians suffering in the Middle
  • East and Iraq and for those in difficulty here in Ireland;
  • Tweets from individuals, parishes, Irish Church agencies and from the Vatican;
  • Resources for Advent and Christmas from Veritas;
  • Events in dioceses and parishes;
  • Information on Trócaire’s Global Gifts for 2014;
  • Food bank appeals from around the country such as Crosscare in Dublin and information on the work of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul;
  • Christmas messages from Irish bishops.

Capuchins launch 'virtual cafe'

The Franciscan Capuchin friars have launched a new website featuring a unique virtual café which they hope will help them reach out to people.

They are inviting people to visit the online Café Cappuccino to have a chat and pray with them.

The new website is accessible at

The order has added lots of other interesting features such as CapChat, Pray with us, Friary Profiles and a vocations blog.

There is also a Franciscan spirituality section which will be filled up over the coming months with seminars, video interviews and existing and newly produced podcasts.

The Capuchins are encouraging people to check it out and if you have any comments or suggestions, e-mail their provincial communications team at

Tweets from Pope Francis (@Pontifex)

  • When we meet a person truly in need, do we see the face of God?
  • Let us seek to live in a way that is always worthy of our Christian vocation.
  • There is so much noise in the world! May we learn to be silent in our hearts and before God.
  • A Christian brings peace to others. Not only peace, but also love, kindness, faithfulness and joy.
  • War destroys, kills, impoverishes. Lord, give us your peace!