Archive for May, 2021



To stand up for truth or in the cause of defence of human rights has cost many people their lives.  Numerous people die and many are in prison for speaking and witnessing to the truth in love and justice. We have seen examples of this in the lives of St Oscar Romero, Jean Donovan and countless others. This is not a recent phenomenon.  People from time began, have stood up for what is right. The witness of the lives of the prophets in the Old Testament indicates this stance.

Today the reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 14:19-28) proclaims how there was continued aggression shown by certain Jews to the disciples. They stoned Paul in Antioch and Iconium for proclaiming the Good News. Those who stoned Paul thought they killed him, but he stood up and went back to the town to stay the night.  Next day, he and Barnabas set out for Derbe, where they preached the Good News again. On hearing and accepting the Good News, more people became disciples. Then Paul returned to Antioch and encouraged the disciples, giving them ‘a fresh heart.’ Paul truthfully told them the challenge of discipleship and said, ‘We all have to experience many hardships before we enter the kingdom of God.’ In the churches of those days, when a leader such as Paul and his colleagues gathered the flock, ‘they appointed elders, and with prayer and fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe.’ Then Paul moved on to Antioch. There Barnabas and he stopped off and continued their missionary work. They continued on to Pamphylia, Pergia and Attalia. Arriving at Attalia, they assembled the Church and gave an account of ‘all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith to the pagans.’

The road of discipleship is challenging and demands great sacrifices for the Lord. This is a constant theme addressed in the Acts of the Apostles. Jesus witnessed this in his own life to the point of his sacrifice of love on the cross.

The psalm response encourages the assembled people at Mass today to acknowledge their role as disciples. Together they respond, ‘Your friends, O Lord, shall make known the glorious splendour of your reign.’  Will we do that personally and collectively? Those who believe and love the Word of God with all the difficulties and challenges, God fills with joy and grace as they delight in sharing the Good News.

The Gospel (Jn 14:27-31) proclaims Jesus speaking to his disciples. He offers them his personal gift of peace. It is not the peace the world gives but the peace for doing God’s will and doing what one knows is right and just in the eyes of God. Jesus is preparing the disciples for his coming Ascension. He tells them he is going to his Father. He tells them not to be afraid and they ought to delight in his going. However, this is difficult for them to understand. Jesus confirms his love for the Father and that he is doing exactly what his Father wants him to do. Jesus’ desire for his disciples is that they live in peace.

Today the Church celebrates the feast of St Conleth. We believe Conleth came from the Wicklow area and that he lived as a hermit. Brigid persuaded him to minister to her community in Kildare. The church venerated Conleth as a great saint and Cogitosus, in his Life of Brigid calls him bishop and abbot of the monks of Kildare. His burial place is beside Brigid in the great church there.

Forming conscience and helping children to make good choices is a recurring theme in the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé religious education programme. The Holy Spirit helps people to make God’s choice. Children explore the online resources available on the website including the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé e-book accessible on the VERITAS Grow in Love website:



Password: growinlove



  • Read about Christian heroes and heroines such as St Oscar Romero and Jean Donavan

PRAY FROM Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé

  • Pray for mercy and peace by saying the prayer of the Mass Lamb of God/A Uain Dé
  • Pray the Act of Faith/ Gníomh Creidimh and Apostles’ Creed/Cré na nAspal
  • Pray the Gloria to say thanks to God
  • Pray the Prayer of St Francis/Paidir Naomh Proinsias Assisi


  • Offer a sign of peace to some member of your family today
  • Pray for peace in your heart
  • Find out more facts about St Conleth.


Sr Anne Neylon



Springtime brings new hope to peoples’ lives and hope brings joy. The world of nature unfolds with emerging shoots, birth of animals, spring flowers, increased daylight hours and more sunshine. However, grief, sadness, despair, loneliness and isolation abound in the world also, due to poverty and infringement of human rights. Never have these feelings been so pronounced worldwide, on such a large scale for a long time in history. The corona virus hit the whole world at one time and it recurs in one country or continent then another in these past months, bringing a sense of insecurity and vulnerability. Life is fragile. In such a climate, some people despair and some remain hopeful and trust for better times to come.

Today, the Church celebrates the feasts of Saints Philip and James. Philip was born at Bethsaida. He was formerly a disciple of John the Baptist and he became a follower of Christ.  St James was the son of Alphaeus and he was a cousin of our Lord. He ruled the Church at Jerusalem and lived a life of penance. He wrote an epistle (letter) and he converted many people to the faith and in the year 62 died by martyrdom.

The reading at Mass today (1 Cor 15:1-8) proclaims Paul speaking to the people of Corinth and he reminds them of the Good News. The news is good because it confirms the peoples’ hope in the resurrection. Paul tells them that he has passed on to them the teaching he received himself, ‘that Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the scriptures, that he was raised to life on the third day, that he appeared first to Cephas and secondly to the Twelve.’  He continues saying that he appeared to five hundred of the brothers, to James and to all the apostles. Paul acknowledges last of all he appeared to him. In this teaching, Paul presents the resurrection as a fact to them.  From this, there are consequences for our own resurrection. We know and believe because there are witnesses. This is our hope in life today. No matter what the circumstances Jesus is present. We too are witnesses.

The Gospel (Jn 14:6-14) proclaims Jesus conversation with Thomas and Philip. Jesus identifies himself, ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.’ Philip persists with Jesus and wants to see the Father. Jesus challenges him in his response and explains that he is in the Father and the Father is in him.  Jesus promises two things.  He says that if anyone believes in Jesus he/ she will do the same works (and even greater ones) that Jesus did.  He also promises that anyone who asks Jesus for anything he will do it.  Do we believe this Good News?

This Scripture fills followers of Jesus with hope. Disciples follow Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life. Disciples can live life to the full in times of joy and sorrow, as they pray and reflect on his word and his works. They pray in trust and with confidence that if he/she asks for anything in His name, Jesus will do it.

The Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé religious education programme supports the theme of hope and the resurrection with online resources including the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé Children’s e-book. These are available on the Grow in Love website available at:



Password: growinlove



  • In your Bible, find the letter of James in the New Testament. Read what he says about treating the rich and the poor equally (James 2:1-4).


  • Pray a decade of the Rosary today with a family member in honour of Our Lady this month of May. As it is Monday, you might choose on of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary.
  • Pray the Act of Faith/Gníomh Creidimh, Apostles’ Creed/Cré na nAspal


  • Look out your window or go for a walk and notice all the signs of Spring in the world of nature
  • May is the month of Mary. You might like to make a space in your house for a statue or an image of Mary, Mother of God. You might find some fresh spring flowers or blossoms to honour her.


Sr Anne Neylon