On the feast day of St Macartan a special liturgy was celebrated in Clogher parish and the petitions placed by thousands of families in various parishes over recent months were entrusted to the five religious orders in the diocese.
The focus was on families and the forthcoming World Meeting of Families (WMOF) to be held in Dublin in August and which will be attended by Pope Francis. The petitions of families across all the parishes of Clogher diocese will be added to the prayers of the religious communities over the coming months, before they are taken to the closing Mass of the WMOF in the Phoenix Park on August 26, which will be presided over by the Pope.
The celebration was organised jointly by the diocesan group for the WMOF, the Diocesan Liturgy Commission and the Parish of Clogher. The Diocesan Administrator, Msgr Joseph McGuinness, presided.
The petitions were brought forward at the start of the liturgy by five families, representing different parts of the diocese.
The readings, psalms, prayer and music of the celebration reflected the themes of family and Pope Francis’ exhortation Amoris Laetitia – the Joy of Love.
These themes were reflected in the homily of Msgr McGuinness. Following the prayers of intercession, the petitions were entrusted to the five religious congregations: the Sisters of Mercy, the Sisters of St Louis, the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, the Passionist Fathers and the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
In his homily, Msgr McGuiness spoke about the petitions saying: “Each of these pieces of paper is a message of love.”
“Each one too is a unique expression of Christian faith and hope. Some will speak of the longing for healing for a sick family member or the liberation of one captive in the grip of addiction.
“Others may pray for the safety of loved ones far from home or the future success and happiness of the next generations. Others still may yearn for the gift of forgiveness and the mending of broken relationships. What all will speak of is the love and compassion which is at the heart of the families which make up our Christian community.”
He added that although the prayers were made for the benefit of others, they also bring blessing to those who wrote them.
“For in taking time and giving thought, we nurture the gift of love within ourselves. These simple acts of kindness and compassion make us more truly God’s chosen race, his saints. They make us better people.”
Elphin gears up for Family Picnic Fun Day
Bishop Kevin Doran is inviting families across the 37 parishes of the Diocese of Elphin to a family picnic fun day in Lough Key Forest Park, Boyle on Sunday April 22. The celebration is part of diocesan preparations for the World Meeting of Families which will take place this August.
Speaking at the event launch at the Forest Park Bishop Doran said: “This is a celebration of family in an atmosphere of fun, sharing and friendship. Families of other religious traditions and of none are our neighbours and friends and I want them to feel most welcome on this family day. The day will begin at 1pm and continue until 6pm with an official opening at 2.30pm.
Bishop Doran went on to say: “Lough Key Forest Park is a really beautiful location…a family picnic in the scenic location of Lough Key Forest Park is an opportunity for the wider family in the diocese to come together. To eat together, to renew and build friendships. The surroundings of Lough Key gives another moment to think about the environment and how we care for it.”
There will be face painting, dance workshops and outdoor games to play. Musicians, singers and choirs will share their gifts and create a family atmosphere. Families may choose to do some of the walks around the park and gain some insight into the history of Lough Key Forest Park. An opportunity will also be available to explore the beauty of creation and consider how we can care for our common home. They can also discover the Family Cube, a resource to help families on their journey of faith and love.
Admission to the event is free, with free parking. Families are encouraged to bring their own picnic or avail of Lough Key’s on-site catering. BBQ’s are permitted. Families are also invited to bring a bit of extra food for a sharing table.
Please note that the usual charges apply for Lough Key Forest Park’s own activities. You can find out more about the family picnic fun day on www.elphindiocese.ie