Author Archive



St Norbert, bishop

St Jarlath, bishop

Saturday Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary

‘The Lord’s is the earth and its fulness; come let us adore him.’ (Invitatory antiphon)

Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813-1853), founded the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) in France in 1833. The SVP is an international voluntary Christian organisation, the aim of which is, to help people who live in poverty. Once Frédéric asked, ‘Why are… poor people more ready to share their goods than rich people? The answer is easy: The poor have little to lose; the rich have more to lose and they are more attached to their possessions.’


The Gospel today (Mk 12:38-44) is proclaimed at Mass via the webcam or read in the New Testament.

Jesus continues to teach in the Temple. As the people listen, he speaks about being authentic, humble and true. While Jesus doesn’t use these words he warns his listeners about the scribes, teachers of the law who, ‘like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honour at banquets.’ In addition, he says, ‘they devour widow’s houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers.’ These people looked for notice and were attached to their possessions.

In Scripture we read that Jesus prayed alone and with the disciples, on mountain tops, beside the lake, in the garden, in houses, on the roadside, from the cross, and in lonely places. He accompanied people and reached out to those who were on the margins of society. He heard the cries of the sick, the poor, the lame, the hungry and he cared for them. He taught his disciples ‘those who are first will be last and those who are last will be first.’ (Mt 20:16). He told them he came among them ‘not to be served but to serve.’ (Mt 20:28). He also reminded them that they received without charge, they must give without charge (Mt 10:8).

Jesus then sat down and watched what was happening in the Temple. He saw many rich people putting money into the treasury. He noticed a poor woman putting in two small copper coins. At that point, he called his disciples and taught them a life-long lesson from this experience in a few words. He explained the rich people gave according to their abundance. The poor woman ‘out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.’

Jesus spoke to them of the importance of sharing and generosity. The woman had a heart of love and gave all she had to live on, showing self-sacrifice and her dependence on God and her love of God. How did this poor woman know from where her next pennies would come? She trusted in God and his Divine Providence.

In the reading of the second letter from St Paul to Timothy (2 Tim 4:1-8), St Paul offers his last words of advice to Timothy, pleading, ‘I urge you to preach the Word, in season and out of season, reproving, rebuking or advising, always with patience and providing instruction.’



Children could be invited to chat about some ideas in this Gospel (Mk 12:38-44). They might chat about prayer; about whom we talk to when we pray; about praying with a thankful heart; being sorry; asking for something they need; praising God; and ask Jesus to pray for them and for people who live in poverty. They might: name the prayers they know, say a prayer and chat; families might say a prayer together; chat about being able to pray everywhere and the importance of taking a moment to pray in silence; pray Pope Francis’ ‘Five Finger Prayer’; pray to Mary, Mother of God and our Mother.

From the experience of prayer, they are invited to share what they have with others, especially those in need. The Holy Spirit will prompt and inspire them when they are ready.

Children might talk about the Temple and the Church and about their parish church. In First Class/P3 the children are introduced to an adapted version of the Scripture, ‘The Woman Who Gave All’ (Lk 21:1-4 and Mk 12:41-44). They recognise the woman’s willingness to share.  Children might reflect on their ability to share.

On the Word of God, children recognise the Sacred Scripture.  They are taught about the Bible as the inspired Word of God and to be treated with reverence and respect. People of other faith traditions also have sacred texts. The Jewish people read from the Torah and the Muslims read from the Qu ‘ran.

To help the children respect the Bible, they pray a ‘Prayer on Opening the Bible’ and a ‘Prayer on Closing the Bible’. The Bible is left in a prayer space at home and in school. They are encouraged to hear the Word of God proclaimed and are encouraged to listen and to hear what God might be saying to them in their hearts. They are invited to pray with the Word of God. They might like to read their favourite Scripture passage.

Resources are accessible on the VERITAS website; including the Children’s e-book and accompanying resources to explore the person of Jesus, as one who listened to the Word of God and heard the cries of the poor.



Password: growinlove


READ from Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé:

‘The Woman who gave all’ (Lk 21:1-4, Mk 12: 41-44).

SING from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé:

‘ Bible Rap’, ‘ When Jesus was a Boy’, ‘Circle of Friends’, ‘Gathering Song’,’ The Servant Song’, ‘Spirit Filled Day’, ‘Love’, ‘The Summons’, ‘Hymn to St Brigid’, ‘They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love’, ‘Whatsoever You Do’, ‘Trust in the Lord (Psalm 37)’, ‘The Great Commandment’, ‘Use What You’re Given’, ‘Parish Anthem’, ‘Magnificat’, ‘Christ Be Our Light’, ‘The Beatitudes’,’ Care for the Earth’, ‘We Come To Your Feast’.

PRAY from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé:


After the Readings

Reader: The word of the Lord.

People: Thanks be to God.


I ndiaidh na Léachta

Léitheoir: Briathar an Tiarna.

Pobal: Buíochas le Dia.


Bless me, O God, so that

in opening this Bible

I may open my mind and heart

to your Word.

May it nourish me

as it nourished Jesus. Amen.


Beannaigh mé, a Dhia, ionas

nuair a osclaím an Bíobla seo

go n-osclóidh mé m’intinn agus

mo chroí

do do Bhriathar.

Go gcothaí sé mé

faoi mar a chothaigh sé Íosa.



‘My lips will proclaim your intervention and tell of your salvation all day, little though it is what I can understand.’(Psalm 70:15)

‘Give your light, Lord, to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.’(Benedictus antiphon)

‘We give you thanks, O God; we give thanks to you the one and true Trinity, the one and highest God, the one and all-holy Unity.’ (Magnificat antiphon)

St Norbert, pray for us.

St Jarlath, pray for us.

O Mary conceived without sin; pray for us who have recourse to thee.


‘Besides, we know that approximately one-third of all food produced is discarded, and ‘whenever food is thrown out it is as if it were stolen from the table of the poor.’(Laudato Si’, no. 50)

Sr Anne Neylon



‘Give thanks to the Lord, for his great love is without end.’ (Invitatory antiphon)

St Boniface, bishop and martyr

Edgar Dale (1900-85), an American educator once wrote, that ‘people remember 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, 50% of what they see and hear, 70% of what they discuss with others, 80% of what they personally experience and 95% of what they teach others.’

The Gospel today (Mk 12:28-34) is proclaimed at Mass via the webcam or read in the New Testament.

A distinct phrase stands out in today’s Gospel (Mk 12:28-34). It reads, ‘many people came to Jesus, and listened to him gladly’. Jesus was a teacher. He taught the Good News not only in words, but also by example. He witnessed to God’s love. He didn’t act on his own accord but listened and acted on the will of his Father. Jesus taught people to pray by praying; to love by loving; to share by sharing; to forgive by forgiving; to serve by serving; to be inclusive by being inclusive of others. Jesus was a popular person though, not liked by everyone. On many occasions in the Gospel, people tried to catch him out. At one stage they intended throwing him over the cliff, but ‘he slipped through the crowd and walked away.’ (Lk 4:30).

Today we are invited to come to Jesus and to stand with those people who ‘listened to him gladly’. As a teacher, Jesus used the experiences of life and the images of the day to teach those who listened. If the people listened ‘gladly’, they might have liked what they heard and they were surely challenged.

In the reading of the second letter from St Paul to Timothy (2 Tim 3:10-17), St Paul praises Timothy because he has ‘closely followed my teaching’. St Paul continues to encourage Timothy in learning the Scripture because ‘it is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, refuting error, for correcting and training in Christian life.’ St Paul finally adds, ‘Through Scripture the man of God is made expert and thoroughly equipped for every good work.’  One wonders did Timothy hear these words gladly.


The children are introduced to Jesus as a teacher from their earliest years in school. They learn that Jesus was born into the Jewish faith, that he lived with his family, prayed, heard and read stories from the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) and that he worshipped in the synagogue. They also hear that he celebrated Jewish festivals and feasts.  They hear that Jesus’ teachings are written down in the Bible and Jesus continues to teach us every day. Some people believed in Jesus and some did not believe in him. In first-century Palestine a teacher who taught in the synagogue was called a Rabbi.

The first time Jesus spoke publicly to the people was when he read the words from the Book of Isaiah (Lk 4:18-19). Jesus reveals himself as the anointed one, the Christ, the promised Messiah for whom people have been waiting. This is the one of whom John the Baptist foretold. This passage (Lk 4:18-19) tells what Jesus is about, his mission. He announces himself as a teacher and a healer.

As a teacher, Jesus proclaimed the Good News of the Kingdom of God.  When children are introduced to the Kingdom of God, they are taught that this is not a specific location or related to a physical place. It refers to the type of world that God’s people shape when they live according to the values Jesus taught. The Kingdom of God is a reality in our world when God’s people live together in a community of justice, peace and love. God’s people invite the help of the Holy Spirit to discern good choices.

Through the various class levels, children are introduced to many of the parables. A parable is a simple, easy-to-understand story that is used to teach something important. Jesus often told parables to teach people about the Kingdom of God.

Jesus taught his followers how to pray the Our Father. He taught them also; about love; about faith; about hope; about discipleship; about God his Father; about his mother, brothers and sisters; about inclusion; about serving; about being good stewards of God’s creation; about love of neighbour; about attitudes; about forgiveness; the importance of prayer, fasting and almsgiving in their lives; about God’s love for children; about the joy of eternal life; about sending the Holy Spirit to help them; and about his promise to be with them until the end of time.

Resources are accessible including the Children’s e-book and accompanying resources to explore Jesus’ life as teacher, on the VERITAS website:



Password: growinlove


READ from Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé:

‘The Great Commandment’ (Lk 10:27); ‘The New Commandment’ (Jn 13:34); ‘The Golden Rule’ (Lk 6:31), ‘The Beatitudes’ (Mt 5:1-12), ‘The Parable of the Mustard Seed’ (Lk 13;18-19), ‘The parable of the Good Samaritan’ (Lk 10:25-37), ‘The Lost Coin’ ( Lk 15:8-10), ‘The Parable of the Widow and the Judge’ (Lk 18:1-8), ‘The parable of the Yeast’ (Mt13:33), ‘The Parable of the Hidden Treasure’ (Mt 13:44), ‘The Parable of the pearl’ (Mt 13:45-46).

SING from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé:

‘Trust in the Lord (Psalm 37)’, ‘Parable Song’, ‘The Great Commandment’, ‘Use What You’re Given’, ‘Parish Anthem’, ‘Magnificat’, ‘Christ Be Our Light’, ‘The Beatitudes’,’ Care for the Earth’, ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’.

PRAY from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé:


God our Creator, you have given us

the earth, and the sky and the seas.

Show us how to care for the earth, not

just for today but for ages to come.

Let no plan or work of ours damage

or destroy the beauty of your creation.

Send forth your Spirit to direct us to

care for the earth and all creation. Amen.


A Dhia ár gCruthaitheoir, thug tú an

talamh, an spéir agus na farraigí dúinn.

Taispeáin dúinn conas aire a thabhairt

don domhan, ní hamháin don lá atá inniu ann,

ach do na haoiseanna atá

le teacht freisin.

Ná milleadh aon phlean ná obair

againne áilleacht do chruthithe.

Seol do Spioraid chugainn chun

cabhrú linn aire a thabhairt don

domhan agus don chruthú ar fad.


‘Lovers of your law have found great peace; nothing can make them stumble; not even distress.’(Psalm 118:165)

‘The Lord has visited his people, he has come to redeem them.’(Benedictus antiphon)

‘The Lord has come to help us, his servants; he has remembered his mercy.’ (Magnificat antiphon)

‘Environmental education should facilitate making the leap towards the transcendent…. It needs educators capable of developing an ethics of ecology, and helping people, through effective pedagogy, to grow in solidarity, responsibility and compassionate care.’(Laudato Si’, no. 210)

St Boniface, pray for us.

Sr Anne Neylon



‘Come, let us adore the Lord, for he is our God.’ (Invitatory antiphon)

St Charles Lwanga and Companions, martyrs

‘What the world needs now is love sweet love, It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of, What the world needs now is love sweet love, No, not just for some but for everyone.’ The lyrics of this song highlight the sentiments expressed by David Brophy, conductor of his unique choir made up of family carers, based in Wexford.

David’s new challenge is to ‘highlight and celebrate’ the ‘invaluable and often overlooked role of carers in modern Irish life.’ David Brophy’s ‘Unsung Heroes’ demonstrate how family carers ‘selflessly care for their loved ones around the clock, by choice or more often, by necessity’. The challenge of the carer is increased during this restricted Covid-19 time.

St Paul’s words in the first letter to the people of Corinth (1 Cor 13: 4-13) describes the virtue of love.  He says, ‘Love is patient, kind, without envy. It is not boastful or arrogant. It is not ill-mannered nor does it seek its own interest. Love overcomes anger and forgets offences. It does not take delight in wrong, but rejoices in the truth. Love excuses everything, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love will never end….Now we have faith, hope and love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.’

This familiar Scripture text is used at many liturgical celebrations, including the celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage.

In the first letter of St John (1 Jn 4:8), we read that God is love. If we believe God is love then we can replace the word love in each phrase with God’s name. This helps to reflect on the attributes of God.

A disciple is invited to replace the word ‘Love’ in St Paul’s text (1 Cor 13:4-13), with his/her name. A good exercise for self-reflection!

The Gospel today (Mk 12:28-34) is proclaimed at Mass via the webcam or read in the New Testament.

Love is the theme and God is the first to love and be loved, primarily in the person of Jesus. Jesus witnessed to God’s love to the point of death. Jesus gave up his life to save us on the cross. He is our Saviour and Redeemer.

To ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart’ means loving God with all one’s heart and longing for God and God’s ways. This calls the disciple only to seek what God wants.

To love God with one’s mind involves trying to understand the beauty and extent of God’s unconditional and everlasting love. Praying with God’s word and reflecting on it, the Holy Spirit inspires the disciple to seek God’s love and witness to it in the way of Jesus.

To love God with one’s strength means understanding one’s weakness and depending only on God’s help to strengthen us to accomplish God’s will. To love God with all one’s soul is to love with one’s entire being.

To love one’s neighbour is the second commandment because it cannot be fulfilled without first loving God. God asks us to look at our neighbour as if they were our brothers and sisters.


God is the author of life. God created the world and God saw all was good and indeed, very good. In the first Chapter of Genesis children read the story of Creation. God wants to share love always.

The children experience God’s love in their lives by reflecting on the love of their families, friends and teachers. God’s love is reflected in the beauty of the world about them. It is also reflected in their joy and in the consolation they receive in times of sadness.

Jesus taught the apostles about love and he witnessed to God’s love by sharing the Good News, by praying, healing those who were sick, freeing those who were imprisoned and forgiving those who sinned.

Children learn the new commandment that Jesus gave his friends at the Last Supper (Jn 13:34). The children are familiar with the text of the Great Commandment from the Gospel today. They read and recognise Jesus’ teaching in the New Commandment, the Great Commandment, the Golden Rule and the Beatitudes. Chatting with family, teacher and priest, children reflect on their giving and receiving love in the concrete experiences of their own lives in the light of Sacred Scripture.

As the children use their gifts, talents and abilities for their own growth and for their own well-being and that of others, they show gratitude to God. They learn to give glory, praise and thanks to God in prayer as they take a moment to reflect. They explore situations where they can promote and advocate justice.

Reading the lives of the saints and Christian heroes/heroines will help them to see how people witnessed to Jesus’ love by living lives of holiness. They read the story of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux who invites them to practise her little way of love where she did extraordinary things with great love.

In preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation, they are taught that love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

It is hoped that by reflecting on their own lives and reading Sacred Scripture that each child will grow in the desire to follow Jesus by relating with others in loving, peaceful, inclusive and non-discriminatory ways.

Resources for the theme of love are available on the VERITAS website. The Great Commandment is taught in Fourth Class/P6 with e-book and accompanying resources.



Password: growinlove


READ from Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé:

‘The Great Commandment’ (Lk 10:27); ‘The New Commandment’ (Jn 13:34); ‘The Golden Rule’ (Lk 6:31), ‘The Beatitudes’ (Mt 5:1-12).

SING from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé:

‘Trust in the Lord(Psalm 37’, ‘Parable Song’, ‘The Great Commandment’, ‘Use What You’re Given’, ‘Parish Anthem’, ‘Magnificat’, ‘Christ Be Our Light’, ‘The Beatitudes’, ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’.


PRAY from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé:


I believe in God,

The Father almighty,

Creator of heaven and earth,

And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our


who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died and was buried;

He descended into hell;

on the third day he rose again from

the dead;

He ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of God

the Father almighty,

from there he will come to judge the

living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy Catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and life everlasting. Amen.


A Spioraid Naoimh, ba mhaith liom an rud ceart a dhéanamh.

Cabhraigh liom.

A Spioraid Naoimh, ba mhaith liom maireachtáil mar a mhair Íosa.

Treoraigh mé.

A Spioraid Naoimh, ba mhaith liom

guí mar a ghuigh Íosa.

Múin dom é.

‘Teach me your ways, O Lord: make known to me your paths.’(Psalm 24:4)


Let us serve the Lord in holiness, and he will deliver us from the hand of our enemies.’(Benedictus antiphon)

‘The Lord brought down the mighty from their seats and raised up the lowly.’ (Magnificat antiphon)

‘Saint Thérèse of Lisieux invites us to practise the little way of love, not to miss out on a kind word, a smile, or any small gesture which sows peace and friendship.’(Laudato Si’, no. 230)

St Charles Lwanga and companions, pray for us.

Sr Anne Neylon



St Kevin, abbot,

‘Let us adore the Lord, for it is he who made us.’(Invitatory antiphon)

Today, the Church celebrates the feast of St Kevin. One can only imagine what it must be like this morning in this hallowed place of Glendalough.  God is alive in the beauty of nature, bird-song, the sun, the mist and rain, scent of summer flowers and hedgerows, the colour, the stirring of so much life; all reflected in the memory of St Kevin and those who lived in early Christian Ireland.  These are all signs of hope and the living God.

Today, the Church remembers St Kevin as a hermit who came from Kilnamanagh, to settle in Glendalough (the Glen of Two Lakes), Co Wicklow. This is a renowned place of retreat and a huge tourist attraction as well as a place of pilgrimage. From earliest times people began to flock to Glendalough to see where Kevin lived. Being a hermit, each day Kevin went to and fro to the face of a cliff high above the Upper Lake, pulling his rope ladder up behind him so he wouldn’t be disturbed. Today, this is called St Kevin’s bed.

Many young men wanted to live like Kevin so he built a large hut where he prayed with the men. In time this building became a monastery, and included a school, a chapel and a house for people who were sick. The place grew so crowded that Kevin settled twelve miles away in a place called Cnoc Rua.

During the Viking era, AD 800 to 1000, a round tower was built in the monastery grounds as a protection for the people against raids on the community.

In Ireland as part of our sacred tradition, pilgrimages hold a significant place.  Pilgrims annually visit St Kevin’s, Glendalough, the Marian Shrine at Knock, St Patrick’s Purgatory, Lough Derg. There are also pilgrimages to local wells, shrines and other sacred places where pilgrims seek silence to pray and reflect.

This year, because of Covid-19, many pilgrimages to these places are cancelled. However, with technological advances, creativity and the determination of organisers, it has been possible to organise virtual pilgrimages. One such virtual pilgrimage is to Lough Derg, Sanctuary of St Patrick, Co Donegal. Pilgrims are invited to participate from 27-29 June, 2020 in a virtual pilgrimage ‘from wherever they are’. They will be accompanied on pilgrimage by the Prior and members of the Lough Derg Pastoral team. Details are available on the website.

Today’s readings (2 Tim 1:1-3) and the Gospel (Mk 12:18-27), will be proclaimed via the webcam or may be read in the New Testament.

In the reading from Paul to Timothy (2 Tim 1:1-3), we hear St Paul’s words to Timothy, ‘I invite you to fan into a flame the gift of God you have received.’ This is how St Kevin responded to God’s call  as he accepted God’s gift to fan the flame of faith and prayer in his life which lives on in Glendalough.

In the Gospel on this occasion the Sadducees, came to Jesus to challenge him about the resurrection. They did not believe in life after death.  The resurrection, Jesus explained, points not something a person lives after death but ‘a transformation and raising up of our whole person’ after he/she dies. This is God’s work. It is impossible for us to understand or perceive the ‘new heavens and the new earth’ as recorded in Sacred Scripture (Is 65:17; Rev 21:1-4).

When he speaks to the Sadducees, Jesus recalls the story of Moses and the event at the burning bush. God revealed Godself there as God of the living, not of the dead.


Children through the Grow in Love programme and in their history, are introduced to life in early Christian Ireland. They explore the strong sense of the natural world to be a source of revelation of the power and beauty of God as Creator. Through praying Psalms 104 and 148, they come to praise and lovingly thank God for the world in which they live. God’s work of Creation continues and God’s people are co-creators with God.

Children grow in awareness and gratitude of the gifts and talents that God gives them. Therefore, they are encouraged by the words of St Paul, ‘to fan into a flame the gift of God.’

Children will also be familiar with the story of Moses at the burning bush where God revealed Godself to him (Ex 3:1-6). God called Moses and told him not to come near and to take off his shoes for he was standing on holy ground.  God said, ‘I Am who Am’.

From the life of St Kevin the children explore the simplicity of a hermit’s life and how he prayed and praised God for the beauty of the work of his Creation. God called St Kevin to this way of life and Kevin responded faithfully in love.  Children explore life in a monastery and spending life outdoors.

A lesson on St Kevin is available with accompanying resources  in Grow in Love, Third Class/ P5 to help the children understand the stories, legends, the environment and life of St Kevin. Check out the website for the e-book, the poster and  icon of St Kevin, the videos and also helpful resources for adults. This content of this lesson can be integrated with Laudato Si’.



Password: growinlove



READ from Grow in Love /I nGrá Dé

‘God Calls Moses’ (Ex 3:1-16)


SING from Grow in Love: ‘Celtic Blessing’, ‘When Creation was Begun’, ‘A Mhuire Mháthair’, ‘Christ Be beside Me’, ‘Use What You’re Given’, ‘Take off your Shoes’., ‘Care for the Earth’.

Pray from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé


In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


In ainm an Athar, agus an Mhic agus an Spioraid Naoimh. Áiméan.


Glóir don Athair,

Agus don Mhac,

Agus don Spiorad Naomh,

Mar abhí ó thús,

Mar atá anois

Agus mar a bhéas go brách,

Le saol na saol. Áiméan.


Críost liom.

Críost romham.

Críost I mo dhiaidh.

Críost ionam.

Críost ar mo lámh dheas.

Críost ar mo lámh chlé.

Críost I mo chuideachta is cuma cá dtéim.

Críost mar chara agam, anois go buan. Áiméan.

‘Show us your mercy, O Lord; remember your holy covenant.’(Benedictus antiphon).


‘The Almighty has done great things for me; holy is his name.’ (Magnificat antiphon).


‘To you I lift up my eyes, to you whose throne is in heaven.’(Psalm 122:1).


‘Popular piety enables us to see how the faith, once received, becomes embodied in a culture and is constantly passed on…  In the Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, Pope Paul VI gave a decisive impulse in this area… he stated that popular piety “manifests a thirst for God which only the poor and the simple can know” and that “it makes people capable of generosity and sacrifice even to the point of heroism, when it is a question of bearing witness to belief” (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 123).


St Kevin, pray for us.

Sr Anne Neylon



Ss Marcellinus and Peter, martyrs.

‘The Lord is a great king: come, let us adore him.’ (Invitatory antiphon)

Parents/ guardians sometimes experience their children testing their patience, by being manipulative, demanding, nagging, confronting and putting them and their authority to the test. Some succeed in pushing their parents/guardians to the limit.  This type of behaviour can happen in other relationships between people also, from time to time.

Today’s Gospel (Mark 12:13-17), may be heard proclaimed via webcam or read from the New Testament.

There is a confrontation between the Jews and the authorities. The Pharisees and the Herodians put Jesus to the test hoping to catch him out. They place him in an awkward situation by asking questions about whether taxes should be paid to the Romans. The enemies of Jesus are trying to start a fight with him. They want to show Jesus up in front of the crowd. So their tactic is to ask two loaded questions, ‘is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor or not? Should we pay them, or should we not? If Jesus says ‘yes’ he is observed as being on the side of the Romans. If Jesus says ‘no’ he could be accused of being insubordinate to them. Jesus doesn’t enter into a discussion but asks for a coin. In asking a question, he let them know they were putting him to the test. Jesus then asked, ‘Whose head is this, and whose title?’ They answered him. Jesus told them to pay. However, Jesus was more interested in telling them, ‘to give to God the things that are God’s.’ He was telling them to act with justice, integrity and honesty.


In the Grow in Love programme, the children will not read this Gospel (Mk 12:13-17,) but they will notice from time to time as Jesus relates with people, and in his ministry that he is put to the test. They will chat about Jesus’ answer to the crowd, ‘Give to God the things that are God’s.’ They chat about ‘what does belong/ does not belong to God in my life?’  In the ‘Our Father’ children pray, ‘Thy will be done’, ‘Lead us not into temptation’, and Deliver us from evil’. They chat about what this means in their personal life.

Children also reflect on times that they too have been tempted and put to the test to choose the right thing to do in life circumstances. They pray to choose God’s way of love. They recognise Jesus’ teaching on love and his witness to love.

In Sacred Scripture they read how Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert and tempted by the devil (Mt 4:1-11). Jesus too felt weakness but he never gave into temptation. He made sacrifices by giving up his own will and trusted his Father. He invites his disciples to do the same. He will help them along the way of love. Jesus understands our weakness and the times when we fall. He is always ready to forgive and wants us to start anew by his grace.

Children reflect on the prayers they say and their personal communication with God.  Sometimes we too, put God to the test by making demands or manipulating God.  People recognise God as all powerful but they belittle God by saying, ‘why did God let this happen?’ That has been said in this time of Covid-19. Acting in this way, we are setting down conditions for our way of being a disciple. We want to control God; to play according to our rules.

Pope Benedict reminds us that when we do this we are ‘placing ourselves above God.’ Children are taught to recognise this attitude as they explore the story of Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:4-3:24).  This is how the devil tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. The devil said, ‘Eat this apple, and you will be like God.’

In prayer, children learn at their appropriate level, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit that Jesus was true to himself right to the end of his life. He was single-minded in doing God’s will.

Building sound and healthy relationships are key to a person’s life. God desires that we grow in love with God, God’s people, ourselves and with the environment. This is life-long learning and God plants seeds in hearts that are open and free.

Resources are available on the VERITAS Grow in Love website to help children and families deepen their knowledge of Jesus and the call and challenges to discipleship.



Password: growinlove


SING: ‘Jesus Remember Me When You Come into Your Kingdom’, ‘O Lord hear my Prayer’, ‘The Summons’.


READ: ‘The Temptation of Jesus (Luke 4: 1-13).

PRAY with Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé


O my God, I believe in you

and in all that your holy Church teaches

because you have said it

and your Word is true.

You are the Christ,

the Son of the living God.

Lord, I believe; increase my faith. Amen.


O my God, I put my hope in you

because I am sure of your promises.

Deliver us, Lord, from every evil and

grant us peace in our day,

as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Saviour,

Jesus Christ, Amen.


O my God,

I love you with all my heart,

with all my soul, and with all my strength.

Lord, increase our love.

Help us to love one another. Amen.

‘The Lord has raised up a mighty saviour for us, as he promised through the lips of his prophets.’ (Benedictus antiphon)


‘My spirit exalts in the Lord God, my Saviour.’ (Magnificat antiphon).


‘Lord, you have been our refuge through all generations.’ (Psalm 89:1).


‘ The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth… beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish.’ ‘These problems are closely linked to a throwaway culture which affects the excluded just as it quickly reduces things to rubbish.’(Laudato Si’, no. 21-2).


Ss Marcellinus and Peter, please pray for us.

Sr Anne Neylon



The Blessed Virgin Mary Virgin, Mother of the Church, Memorial.

‘Let us come before the Lord, giving thanks.’ (Invitatory antiphon).

Christy Oglesby, senior producer at CNN commented on the recent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. George’s final moments in the custody of the police were captured as he screamed ‘Mama’. Floyd, handcuffed and held to the ground, pleaded with the officers, one of whom held a knee to George’s neck. Floyd couldn’t breathe. George Floyd’s mother is deceased. But in his cry-‘Mama’, Christy Oglesby heard a call of ‘hope and horror’. ‘Hope because in that moment Floyd hoped the person who gave him life could save him even in death’: And ‘horror because that’s never how a black mama wants to hear her sacred title.’

‘Mama’ is an ‘unwavering declaration of faith’, whatever age a child. Children shout out ‘Mama’ when they are ‘excited, proud, threatened, or in pain’. The child is certain of and waits the response.

Today’s Gospel (Jn 19:25-34) can be heard proclaimed via the webcam or read from the New Testament.

This Gospel reading is also one of horror and hope. To pause and reflect on the Passion of Jesus is a scene of horror. Mary, his Mother and a few others, including John, gazed on Jesus as he was crucified. Mary stood with a broken heart, helpless at the foot of the cross. Before Jesus died, Jesus said to Mary, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ To John, Jesus said, ‘Here is your mother.’ Jesus entrusted Mary to his disciples as their mother.  He entrusted the disciples to Mary as her children. That is our hope, to have Mary as our Mother.

Imagine how Mary felt when she heard Jesus say on the Cross, ‘I am thirsty.’ She longed to give him a drink. Instead Jesus ‘got a sponge full of wine on a branch of hyssop held to his mouth.’ After this, Jesus said, ‘It is finished’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Mary is our Mother. We read in Sacred Scripture that Mary and the disciples ‘together gave themselves to constant prayer. With them were some women and also Mary, the Mother of Jesus and his brothers.’ (Acts 1:12-14). Mary is crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth, the one to whom we can entrust ourselves and those who suffer to her care. Disciples can pray with Mary.


Mary, Mother of God and Our Mother, has a central place in the Grow in Love programme. She is the first disciple and leads the disciples to her Son Jesus. Mary and Joseph loved Jesus. Children recognise the family as the Holy Family of Nazareth. They explore the Jewish culture in which Jesus grew up. They witness Jesus as reaching out in love to all people and one who loves  God and God’s people unconditionally.

The Four Strands of the Catholic Preschool and Primary Religious Education Curriculum for Ireland (2015) include Mary, Mother of God.  From Level 2 in the RE Curriculum, ‘Mary’ is included as one strand unit. This ensures that every aspect of Mary’s life is encompassed, especially her deep love and trust in God and her virtuous way of life.

Children experience family life and they begin to appreciate the role/s and love of their parents/guardian. They appreciate that Mary was chosen to be the Mother of Jesus at The Annunciation. She accompanied Jesus through his life. Mary declared herself at the Annunciation as servant of the Lord. She surrendered herself to God’s will. Mary acknowledged the great things God did for her in ‘The Magnificat’.

Children learn to pray to Mary.  When they learn the Mysteries of the Rosary they are introduced to the events in Jesus’ life. Using their Rosary beads throughout the years at school, children pray the Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary and the Mysteries of Light. Children identify the Sacred Scripture associated with each decade of the Mysteries of the Rosary.

Mary, Mother of God is celebrated throughout the Liturgical Year and there are special feasts dedicated to pray in her honour. Mary, Mother of God and Our Mother intercedes for us with Jesus. Families are invited to pray to Mary at home.

Children relate to Mary Mother of God and as their Mother. In prayer, as they take a moment they can ask Mary to pray to Jesus to help them.

Today’s feast day is Mary, Mother of the Church, which encourages the faithful, the People of God, to honour Mary in prayer and with love. Jesus gave us Mary as Mother of the Church. We thank Mary for her faithfulness.

Mary was specially preserved by God from all sin. (The Immaculate Conception).

Today if our local parish church is open, we are invited to visit there, say a prayer and light a candle. In many churches there are shrines dedicated to Mary. We are also invited to light a virtual candle on the VERITAS Grow in Love website.

Mary has appeared in many places throughout the world over centuries. Her appearances are called apparitions. These places are called Marian shrines where pilgrims go and pray. Some of these images of Mary are accessible in the various e-books with accompanying videos on the website.

The children also reflect on Mary’s virtues: woman of faith, joy, fidelity, obedience, patience, gentleness, wisdom, humility, trust and prayer.

Children might identify Mary’s suffering with all parents/guardians who suffer today because their children are bullied, murdered, discriminated against or subject to violence of any kind.

In the Grow in Love programme, children explore life stories of people who stand/ stood up for human rights and against violence and discrimination. Such people might include, Pope Francis, Ruby Bridges, Jean Donovan (1953-80), Fr Edward Flanagan (1886-1948), Samantha Smith (1972-85), St John Paul 11 (1920-2005) and St Oscar Romero (1917-80).

Resources are accessible including the Children’s Grow in Love e-book to read about Mary, Mother of God.  Online videos and interactive activities are also helpful.



Password: growinlove


SING:  ‘When Creation was Begun’, ‘A Mhuire Mháthair’, ‘The Bells of the Angelus’, ‘The Magnificat’, ‘Regina Coeli’.

PRAY with Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé


Hail Mary, full of grace,

the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou among women,

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,


Holy Mary, Mother of God,

pray for us sinners,

now and at the hour of our death.



‘S é do bheatha a Mhuire,

atá lán do ghrásta,

tá an Tiarna leat.

Is beannaithe thú idir mhná,

agus is beannaithe toradh do bhroinne,


A Naomh Mhuire,

a Mháthair Dé,

guigh orainn, na peacaigh,

anois agus ar uair ár mbáis. Áiméan.

‘Blessed be the Lord, our God.’ (Benedictus antiphon).

‘My soul magnifies the Lord, since God has had regard for my humble state.’ (Magnificat antiphon).

‘May my prayer come to you; incline your ear to my cry for help.’ (Psalm 87:3).

‘Mary, the Mother who cared for Jesus….now cares for this wounded world. Just as her pierced heart mourned the death of Jesus, so now she grieves for the sufferings of the crucified poor and for the creatures of this world laid waste by human power.’ (Laudato Si’, no. 241).

‘O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.’

Sr Anne Neylon



‘Alleluia, the Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world. Come let us adore him, alleluia.’ (Invitatory antiphon)

The fifty days of Easter conclude with the celebration of Pentecost Sunday, the day the Holy Spirit first came upon the disciples in the form of tongues of fire (Acts 2:1-11).  Hence, fire is one of the symbols of the Holy Spirit.

When Paul arrived in Ephesus, he met some disciples who had ‘not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’ (Acts 19:2).

One way to identify the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity is to observe its influence on a person. One such person was St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582).  On the eve of Pentecost 1563, the Holy Spirit appeared to her in the form of a brilliant dove with wings like mother of pearl.  She describes this experience in her autobiography.  In 1614, the Flemish painter, Peter Paul Rubens painted St Teresa of Avila with ‘the Holy Spirit fluttering over her as a dove’.  ‘According to St Teresa and as she experienced in her spiritual life, the function of the Holy Spirit is to transform the person to that marvellous love of God.’(Emmanuel Kaniyamparampil OCD).

St Louise de Marillac (1591-1660) co-foundress of the Daughters of Charity with St Vincent de Paul in 1633, also experienced the Light of the Holy Spirit in a profound way.  Louise was a married woman with one son Michel.  In 1623, between the Feast of Ascension and Pentecost, Louise was plagued by three doubts which caused her great suffering.  One doubt was that she should leave her husband, ‘to have greater liberty to serve God and my neighbour’.  Secondly, she doubted her ‘capacity to break the attachment I had for my spiritual director’ and thirdly, ‘the doubt she experienced concerning the immortality of the soul’.  Louise wrote, ‘On the Feast of Pentecost, during Holy Mass or while I was praying in the Church, my mind was instantly free of all doubt.’ (SW, A.2)  This freedom Louise experienced was a life changing moment for her and also for the life of the Church.

The Gospel proclaimed at Mass today (Jn 20:19-23), may be heard via webcam or read in the New Testament.

This Gospel presents an image of the terrified apostles locked in a room because of their fear of the Jews.  In the twinkle of an eye, their fear was turned to joy because Jesus came and stood among them.  He said to them, ‘Peace be with you’.  Then he showed them his hands and his side.  The apostles were filled with joy because they saw the Lord.  A second time, Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then, he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’ He gave them the power to forgive sins.

Jesus wanted to give his apostles the gift of joy, peace, and the power to forgive sins when he said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’  The gifts were freely given. The disciples were full of joy on seeing the Lord.

We pray on this feast of Pentecost for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the world. May our hearts be open to receive the love, the freedom and the joy of the Holy Spirit.


From Junior Infants/P1 upwards the children are introduced to the person of the Holy Spirit.  They gather in prayer to say, ‘In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.’

Children chat with their families about their Baptism and discover how they received the gift of the Holy Spirit and in faith belong to God’s family. The Story of Jesus’ Baptism reveals how the Holy Spirit came on Jesus and acted in his life.

Through the loving experiences of their own lives, they gradually recognise that the Holy Spirit is the One who teaches them to love, to pray and live like Jesus.

The Holy Spirit prompts a person to love God, themselves, one another and the environment.  Exploration of the lives of saints and Christian heroes/heroines help the children to identify people who lived lives of holiness.

By reciting the Apostle’s Creed, children state their belief in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

During the celebration of the Eucharist, the assembly are invited to pray for peace, a fruit of the Holy Spirit; and they offer one another a sign of peace. The Holy Spirit helps to bring reconciliation and unity. They recognise that, at the Consecration, which happens during the Eucharistic Prayer, how ordinary bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ, through the action of the Holy Spirit.

In identifying the events of the life of Jesus, his Passion, Death and Resurrection; children hear of Jesus’ promise to send the Holy Spirit to the apostles on his return to the Father.  Jesus fulfills the promise. He remains with them always.

After Pentecost, in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:41-47), children read the account  on the life of the First Christians.

In the Annunciation (Luke 1: 28-38), the children hear the promise of God as the angel said to Mary, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you.’

Children identify the symbols of the Holy Spirit as wind/ breath, fire, water and the dove. In Sacred Scripture, they read that Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and received his mission. (Lk 4:16-22). They also read from the Old Testament of David being anointed as leader.

In the sacrament of Confirmation, children recognise the role of the Holy Spirit in giving them the sevenfold gift which bears fruit in their lives. They experience anointing and being sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit helps children in their formation of conscience and gives them the freedom, guidance and the grace to make good choices for life. In prayer, they take quiet moments to invite the Holy Spirit into their hearts. They learn to seek and ask for guidance.

There are many resources on the VERITAS website, including songs, prayers, poems, activities and stories including the Children’s Grow in Love e-books to help families understand the person of the Holy Spirit and the transforming power of the love of the Holy Spirit in the lives of disciples.


READ in Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé

The Coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2: 1-13); Life among the First Christians (Acts 2:41-47); The Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3: 13-17); The Spirit of the Lord (Luke 4:16-22).

SING: ‘Tar Anuas, a Spioraid Naoimh’, ‘Spirit Filled Day’, ‘Welcome Holy Spirit, Welcome,’ ‘Send Forth Your Spirit’, ‘Spirit Anthem’, Veni Creator Spiritus’

PRAY with Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé


In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


In ainm an Athar, agus an Mhic agus an Spioraid Naoimh. Áiméan.


Holy Spirit, I want to do what is right.

Help me.

Holy Spirt, I want to live like Jesus.

Guide me.

Holy Spirit, I want to pray like Jesus.

Teach me.


A Spioraid Naoimh, ba mhaith liom an rud ceart a dhéanamh.

Cabhraigh liom.

A Spioraid Naoimh, ba mhaith liom maireachtáil mar a mhair Íosa.

Treoraigh mé.

A Spioraid Naoimh, ba mhaith liom

guí mar a ghuigh Íosa. Múin dom é.


Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.

Enkindle in us the fire of your love.

Send forth your Spirit and we shall be


And you shall renew the face of the earth.

O God, who has taught the hearts

Of the faithful

By the light of the Holy Spirit,

Grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise

And ever to rejoice in his consolation,

Through Christ our Lord, Amen.


Tar, a Spioraid Naoimh, líon croíthe

na bhfíréan.

Agus las ionainn tine do ghrá.

Cuir amach uait do Spiorad agus

cruthófar muid,

Agus déanfaidh tú aghaidh na talún a


A Dhia, a mhúin croíthe na bhfíréan

Le solas an Spioraid Naoimh,

Deonaigh dúinn sa Spiorad céanna a bheith críonna go fíor,

Agus gairdeas a dhéanamh I gcónaí ina shólás,

Trí Chríost, ár dTiarna. Áiméan.

‘Receive the Holy Spirit. Those whose sins you forgive will be forgiven them, alleluia.’ (Benedictus antiphon)

‘This is the day of Pentecost, alleluia; today the Holy Spirit appeared to the disciples in the form of fire and gave to them his special gifts; he sent them into the world to proclaim that whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, alleluia.’ (Magnificat antiphon).

‘When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and the face of the earth is renewed.’ (Psalm 103:30).

‘Holy Spirit, by your light you guide this world towards the father’s love and accompany creation as it grows in travail. You also dwell in our hearts and inspire us to do good. Praise be to You!’ (Laudato Si’ no. 246).’

Sr Anne Neylon



‘Christ the Lord has promised us the Holy Spirit: come, let us adore him, alleluia.’ (Invitatory antiphon).

‘Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!’ (Anne Frank).

A prayer journal might be an opportunity for a person to write their story of life. In deepening a person’s relationship with Jesus, one might record happy and sad moments, doubts and certainties, events, feelings, relationships, times when Jesus was close or absent from one’s life. Sometimes Jesus’ presence is tangible, other times not so. The gentle voice of God might be audible in calling a person by name or God’s voice maybe heard as offering consolation, peace or a word of challenge to discipleship.

As Scripture says, ‘For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.’ (Hebrews 4:12).

On writing the prayer journal the writer might experience a hint of how the Gospel ends today, ‘If all were written down, I think the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.’

Today at Mass, the end of the Gospel according to St John is proclaimed (Jn 21: 20-25). This may be heard via the webcam or in the New Testament.

The dialogue continues between Jesus and Peter. Jesus last words in the Gospel are spoken to Peter. He says, ‘Follow me’. Being a follower meant believing in the person of Jesus to the point of wholly loving him all the days of one’s life and giving up everything for him alone. In T.S. Eliot’ words; ‘costing not less than everything.’  The Scripture tells us that Peter looks back, sees John, the Beloved disciple following Jesus and Peter talks to Jesus about him. Jesus doesn’t engage with Peter’s question at that point. He says to Peter, ‘Follow me.’ John was the last of the witnesses to Christ. Finally, we hear that ‘Jesus did many other things.’ Jesus continues to work today through his disciples. God is always present and creating anew.


As children work through the Catholic PreSchool and Primary Religious Education Curriculum for Ireland, in the Grow in Love Religious Education programme, they are helped to understand that God loves them unconditionally. It is not the child’s love for God that is important but their understanding of God’s unique, personal and unconditional love for him/her. Children appreciate this love firstly, through the love of family and friends and subsequently they grow in God’s love by keeping close to God and Jesus.

The dialogue between Jesus and Peter in the Gospel (John 21: 1-25) models the dialogue that Jesus desires with his disciples. Jesus was eating breakfast with his friends and afterwards he spoke to Peter. He asked Peter, ‘Do you love me?’ On hearing Sacred Scripture, children encounter Jesus in dialogue with his followers. In prayer, these chats become very much part of children’s’ own reflection. Children are invited to listen and to chat to Jesus and God in their own words as they take a moment in prayer. They learn to listen and to ask God for their needs. In prayer, a child grows in trust and love of God. Jesus speaks directly and simply.

Children hear Jesus saying to Peter ‘Follow me.’ They recognise the call of Jesus to follow him as an invitation to become a disciple. They explore the freedom they have to respond to the call.

Children from Junior Infants/P1 upwards participate in recording activities and writing prayers at age and ability appropriate levels. In Fifth Class/P7 and Sixth Class, children engage in ‘JOURNAL EXERCISES’. Thoughts, prayers and reflections from their pondering on the ‘BIG QUESTION’ might be a subject of invitation for their journaling. Other entries to the journal may be from their engagement with ‘Lectio Divina’ (Sacred Reading) or ‘Visio Divina’ (Sacred Seeing) as introduced in Fourth Class/P6. Journal activities may take the form of a diary, doodling or drawing in their journal. The important fact about the prayer journal is that it gives each child a unique and blessed space, to express thoughts and feelings and to record anything the Lord might bring to mind in prayer.

There are many journal activities in the Grow in Love e-books accessible on the VERITAS website:



Password: growinlove


READ IN Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé or in the Bible

Mt 18: 21-35, Jn 14:6-12, Jn 2:1-10,

Mt 26:20-30, Jn 21:1-14, Jn 8:1-11,Lk 15, 11-32.

SING with Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé

‘The Summons’, ‘Tar Anuas, a Spioraid Naoimh’, ’Spirit-Filled Day’, ‘Welcome Holy Spirit’, ‘Welcome’, ’Send Forth Your Spirit’.

PRAY with Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé


Holy Spirit, I want to do what is right. Help me.

Holy Spirt, I want to live like Jesus.

Guide me.

Holy Spirit, I want to pray like Jesus.

Teach me.


A Spioraid Naoimh, ba mhaith liom an rud ceart a dhéanamh.

Cabhraigh liom.

A Spioraid Naoimh, ba mhaith liom maireachtáil mar a mhair Íosa.

Treoraigh mé.

A Spioraid Naoimh, ba mhaith liom

guí mar a ghuigh Íosa. Múin dom é.


O my God,

I love you with all my heart,

with all my soul, and with all my strength.

Lord, increase our love.

Help us to love one another. Amen.

‘Behold, I am with you all days, even till the end of the world.’ (Benedictus antiphon).

‘Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of your love; though the peoples spoke different tongues you united them in proclaiming the same faith, alleluia.’ (Magnificat antiphon).

‘For the Lord is righteous; he loves justice. The upright will see his face.’ (Psalm 10:7)

‘…now we shall try to outline the major paths of dialogue which can help us escape the spiral of self-destruction which currently engulfs us.’  (Laudato Si’, no. 163).

Sr Anne Neylon



‘Christ the Lord has promised us the Holy Spirit: come, let us adore him, alleluia.’ (Invitatory antiphon).

In daily life, people engage in countless chats and encounters. Pre Covid-19, meetings and conversations were of a different nature than what they are presently. People spend an increased time communicating through technological devices. Many miss face to face communication. Even with two metre physical distancing it is less easy to hold a conversation. A zoom meeting or a video conference etc, are altered experiences of dialogue. Perhaps citizens will have to customise themselves to this form of meeting for longer than they might desire. Does technology allow for a true dialogue between persons?

The Gospel proclaimed at Mass today (Jn 21:15-19), is the dialogue between Jesus and Simon Peter at the lakeshore of Tiberius. In this post resurrection event, Jesus and the apostles had just finished breakfast when Jesus began a conversation with Simon Peter. Three times Jesus asked Simon Peter did he love him. Three times Peter said yes. Each time Peter declared his love for Jesus, Jesus answered him saying, ‘Feed my lambs…Look after my sheep…Feed my sheep’. Peter was a bit put out when Jesus asked him the question for a third time.

Jesus entrusts the Church to Peter, as shepherd of the flock. The first condition for Peter is to love Jesus and to give himself wholly to be leader of the flock. With Peter as leader, the disciples were called to obey his authority. The authority was given to Peter and handed on through the Church so that its mission would continue.

Jesus continues to ask disciples daily ‘do you love me?’ We are invited to ponder his question in the silence of our hearts and express that love in doing God’s will in showing compassion, mercy and generosity.


This Gospel passage (Jn 21:15-19) focuses on hope. The apostles thought that there was no hope after Jesus died. But with Christ’s Resurrection came new life. Sometimes in the midst of family difficulties, sickness and trauma it is difficult to find hope. Through the exploration of difficult life situations, children discover the hope that comes from trust in God, thier own strength and in the support and love of other people. In Grow in Love 8, Sixth Class, children are faced with the ‘Big Question’, ‘Is there always hope, in every situation?’ There is always hope because Jesus is alive.

Jesus was truly alive at the lake and he ate breakfast with them. From today’s Gospel, children might recall times Jesus shared a meal with people. They may remember the Last Supper and its memory in the daily celebration of the Eucharist.

The Gospel also focuses on Jesus giving authority to Peter to lead the flock. Jesus wanted an assurance that Peter loved him.  Children reflect on the loving encounters with family, friends, teachers and neighbours. They recall Jesus’ love for his disciples when he chose them, called them, taught them and shared his mission with them. Children identify themselves as Jesus’ disciples and they are prompted to hear the still small voice of Jesus asking the question, ‘Do you love me?’

I wonder if children might ask ‘Why did Jesus ask the same question three times of Peter? Might they ask, did Jesus not believe Peter when he said he loved Jesus?

The images of shepherd and sheep are familiar to children in the context of the ‘Parable of the Lost Sheep’ and Psalm 23.

In Third Class/P5, children explore their belonging to a local parish community. Through activity, chat, reading Scripture, church visits, lighting candles, singing, belonging to a parish community, attending Mass and the sacraments they recognise what active participation in the Church means. From concrete experiences of helping, they recognise the importance of the service role in the Church.

Children and families respond to God’s call to serve in the Church in a variety of ways to build community and God’s kingdom. The Holy Spirit who first came at Pentecost helps disciples to continue Jesus’ mission. When the disciples were praying with Mary in the upper room the Holy Spirit came. Soon the Church will celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost. Our Baptism calls us to share the Good News.

In Fifth Class/P7, pupils recall their experience of parish life. They research their own diocese and bishop in the hope that it will deepen their sense of belonging to the Body of Christ. They explore the role of the bishops and priests. One way men choose to serve the church is through the Sacrament of Holy Orders by which a man is ordained as deacon, priest or bishop.

In the context of today’s Gospel, children hear how Jesus appointed Peter as leader of the people. St Peter became the first Pope. In earlier Grow in Love programmes children were introduced to former popes, St John XX111, St John Paul 11 and Pope Benedict XV1. Children hear about Pope Francis’ vocation story and his teaching throughout Grow in Love.

From Junior Infants/P1 children listened to and read the accounts various accounts of the resurrection and the post resurrection stories in the four Gospels.

Many of stories are available online in the various Grow in Love e-books, with additional resources on the VERITAS website.



Password: growinlove


READ in Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé

Jn 21:1-15, 1 Corinthians 11: 23-25, Luke 24:13-35, Luke 4: 16-22,

SING with Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé

‘They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love’; ‘Spirit- Filled Day’; Christ  Be Our Light’; ‘Connected’; ‘Wherever You Go’; ‘Grow in Love’; ‘Creation Story’; ‘Use What You’re Given’, ‘Come Holy Spirit’, ‘Trust in the Lord’, ‘The Summons’, ‘Love’,’ Alleluia’, ‘This is the Day’ ,’The Parish Anthem’

from ‘The Summons’, .

Will you come and follow me

if I but call your name?

Will you go where you don’t know

and never be the same?

Will you let my love be shown,

will you let my name be known,

will you let my life be grown

in you and you in me?

PRAY with Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé


Lord, make me an instrument of your peace

where there is hatred, let me sow love

where there is injury, pardon

where there is doubt, faith

where there is despair, hope

where there is darkness, light

and where there is sadness, joy

O Divine Master, grant that I may

not so much seek to be consoled as to console

to be understood, as to understand

to be loved, as to love

for it is in giving that we receive

and it is in pardoning that we are pardoned

and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life



Críost liom.

Críost romham.

Críost I mo dhiaidh.

Críost ionam.

Críost ar mo lámh dheas.

Críost ar mo lámh chlé.

Críost I mo chuideachta is cuma cá dtéim.

Críost mar chara agam, anois go buan. Áiméan.

‘Jesus Christ died and has risen from the dead; he sits at the right hand of God where he lives for ever, making intercession for us, alleluia.’ (Benedictus antiphon).

‘They all persevered together in prayer with Mary, the mother of Jesus, alleluia.’ (Magnificat antiphon).

‘The Lord has set his throne in heaven; he rules, he has power everywhere.’ (Psalm 102:19)

‘The biblical texts are to be read in their context… they tell us to “till and keep” the garden of the world (cf. Gen 2:15). “Tilling” refers to cultivating, ploughing or working, while “keeping” means caring, protecting, overseeing and preserving. This implies a relationship of mutual responsibility between human beings and nature.’ (Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, no.67)

Sr Anne Neylon



‘Christ the Lord has promised us the Holy Spirit: come, let us adore him, alleluia.’ (Invitatory antiphon).

Traditionally, the week of prayer for ‘Christian Unity’ is celebrated annually from 18–25 January, between the feasts of St Peter and St Paul. Christians come together to pray for their unity.  The theme for 2020 was ‘Unusual Kindness’.  The reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 27:27-28:5) was the text chosen for Week of Prayer 2020.

As noticed in this Sacred Scripture, the hospitality shown was a means to Christian unity. We are called to a spirit of greater generosity to those in need. While on a jouney, Paul and his companions were shipwrecked in a storm. The people who helped them did not yet know Christ. It was through this ‘unusual kindness’ shown at the time of need that brought these divided people closer together.   Our own Christian unity will be realised ‘through loving encounters with those who do not share our language, culture or faith.’

The Gospel (Jn 17:20-26) proclaimed at Mass today may be heard via webcam or read in the New Testament.

This Good News (Jn 17: 1-26), is Jesus’ prayer to the Father for ‘the new holy people’ and is a model for all prayer.

In the Gospel proclaimed today (Jn 17: 20-26), Jesus prays for the apostles and for all who will believe in him. Jesus prays to the Father, and asks that the world will know that God sent Jesus; that they will be all united in God; that they will be where Jesus is; and that they will know they are loved. Jesus promises those who believe that he will continue to reveal God’s name to them.


One of the skills taught to children in the Grow in Love programme is to explore the structure of the Prayer of the Faithful read at Mass. Then, the children are invited to write a prayer possibly for the celebration of Eucharist. Jesus’ prayer in St John’s Gospel provides a model for this (Jn 17: 26). For example, Jesus prays for the disciples that they may be one; that they may be united; that they might have joy; that they may be delivered from the evil one; that they may be consecrated in the truth; that they may know that God sent Jesus and that they may know they are loved. The structure of the Prayer of Faithful lies in praying ‘for’… ‘that’ something may happen. We can see that Jesus had many requests for the Father. Families too have many requests in prayer.

In Level 3 of the Catholic Preschool and Primary Religious Education Curriculum for Ireland (2015), under the Christian Faith Strand and Strand Unit, The Mystery of the Church /Kingdom, the curriculum outlines the, ‘Introduction to other Christian churches present in the local community: e.g. Church of Ireland; Methodists and Presbyterians, Orthodox Christians, Evangelical Christians, and Easter Rite Churches.

Children in Fourth Class/P6 are introduced to these five Christian Churches: the Catholic Church, the Church of Ireland, the Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church and the Orthodox Church. Resources are available specifically in Grow in Love Fourth Class/P6, Theme 8, Lesson 4.

In Fifth Class/P7, Theme 4, Lesson 4, pupils explore how Christmas is celebrated among Christians in a variety of ways. They explore the Coptic Christians celebration of Christmas.

In Grow in Love 8, Sixth Class, Theme 6, Lesson 4, the children are introduced to the main Christian denominations currently in Ireland. They explore the beliefs that are common to all Christians. Through exploration of the work of ecumenism, they see how the Church through dialogue and co-operation seeks unity among all Christians, as Jesus willed for the Church.

Children from five Christian Churches are interviewed on the VERITAS Grow in Love website:


Email: trial

Password: growinlove

Children pray in school each day and many pray at home. With a concrete experience of praying, they explore Jesus’ teaching on prayer. When a disciple asked Jesus to teach him and his friends to pray, Jesus taught them the ‘Our Father’ (Lk 11:1-4). As the children are introduced to the Sacred Scripture they will discover the teachings of Jesus on prayer and discipleship.

Children recall by chatting with their parents, priests and deacons, pastoral workers and teachers about the gift of faith they received at Baptism, helping them to believe in God. Prayer is integral to the Grow in Love programme. Children take a moment ‘to listen to the voice of God as they become ‘quiet and still’. They recognise God’s presence in their hearts and in the world around them, in the beauty of creation and most especially in the person of the poor. They are called by God to ‘listen to the cry of the earth and the poor’. They listen to Pope Francis’ teaching on care of our common home in Laudato Si’. They pray the prayers of St Francis, ‘Praised Be’ and ‘Prayer of St Francis’. They take time to meditate on God’s Word.

Through the love of parents/guardians, extended family, friends and teachers, children experience God’s love. They appreciate and thank God for the love and the encounter they have with Jesus. They share the love with others and the Holy Spirit helps them to do this. Every day, the Holy Spirit invites the children and teaches them to know God as they pray and reflect on their lives in the light of Gospel values. The Church celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.

God’s love is for everyone. Jesus told his disciples, ‘Freely you have received; freely give.’ (Mt 10:8).


READ in Grow in Love or in the Bible

1 Corinthians 12:12, 15-16, 18-20, 25-27, Isaiah 9: 2-3, 6, Ephesians 4:5-7.

SING with Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé

‘They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love’; ‘Spirit- Filled Day’; Christ  Be Our Light’; ‘Connected’; ‘Wherever You Go’; ‘Grow in Love’; ‘Creation Story’; ‘Use What You’re Given’, ‘Come Holy Spirit’, ‘Trust in the Lord’,

PRAY with Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé


After the Readings

Reader: The word of the Lord.

People: Thanks be to God.


I ndiaidh na Léachta

Léitheoir: Briathar an Tiarna.

Pobal: Buíochas le Dia.


Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come,

thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass

against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil. Amen


Ár nAthair atá ar neamh,

Go naofar d-ainm,

Go dtaga do ríocht, go ndéantar do thoil ar an talamh

Mar a dhéantar ar neamh.

Ár narán laethúil tabhair dúinn inniu,

Agus maith dúinn ár bhfiacha,

Mar a mhaithimindne dár bhféachúna


Is ná lig sinn i gcathú,

Ach saor sinn ó olc. Áiméan.

‘Go into the world and teach all people; baptise them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, alleluia.’ (Benedictus antiphon).

‘When the Spirit of Truth comes he will teach you the whole truth; he will reveal to you things that are to come, alleluia.’ (Magnificat antiphon).

‘Keep me safe O God, for in you I take refuge.’ (Psalm 15:1)

“Now, faced as we are with global environmental deterioration, I wish to address every person living on this planet.’ (Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, no.3)

Sr Anne Neylon