Category: Parenting

Dad’s Diary

Our minibus was packed to the gunwales with four children, furniture, bedding, tools, clothes and toys. Hundreds of miles of road and two sea crossings lay ahead of us. I felt like writing ‘Cork or bust’ on the side of the bus. With my wife on maternity leave, and with my having the opportunity to…

Faith in the Family

I recently organised some training to run parenting programmes. I also took part in the training myself and I am looking forward to getting out around the county and running these groups with parents. As part of my job I coordinate a lot of the parenting programmes that happen in Donegal and parents contact me to…

Dad’s Diary

The kids had ‘World War I day’ in school last week, to mark the centenary of the armistice of 1918. The teachers arrived in Edwardian costume, and the kids were dressed in old-fashioned clothes, or dressed as nurses or soldiers. Most of the boys came dressed as soldiers and, inevitably, some shooting games ensued. The…

A last gift for loved ones

A parent’s perspective   There’s something 
I like about November, tucked in between the beauty and colour of October and the hustle and bustle of December. November reminds me of the inevitability of death as the last few withered leaves lose their fragile hold on the branches, clinging on for one last flash of glory.…

Faith in the Family

You know it is a good homily when your 22-year-old daughter leans over and comments on it in the middle of Mass. We made a point of stopping to talk to our new curate, Fr Brendan, afterwards. What had struck Deirbhile was that Fr Brendan was connecting the readings to issues here and now. It…

A rich history of social justice

A Parent’s Perspective   My daughter is studying history for the Leaving Certificate and was quizzing me recently about the differences between communism and socialism. I was just about to settle down to watch a film so I took the easy option of playing a few YouTube videos and referring to George Orwell’s Animal Farm…

Dad’s Diary

It was a proud moment this week, watching my eight-year-old son tog out as captain of his school football team. He looked smart in his kit and even had an easy authority, as he casually directed his teammates, as he walked up to take the kick off. It seemed only yesterday that I was kicking…

Faith in the Family

Diarmuid is doing his Leaving Certificate this year and recently had a very interesting Irish essay for homework – ‘Will young people in the future have Faith?’. They were asked to explore a number of questions including the impact of the Pope’s visit, the scandals that continue to rock the Church and whether young people…

Dad’s Diary

In the deepest dusk, I found myself in a Hampshire woods, reading the names of Irish holy women from their graves. Many of these departed nuns were born in the 19th Century, and had lived through times of great upheaval, war and conflict. It moved me to see my compatriots buried in exile, many long…