A National Day of Prayer for the ongoing Synodal Process was held at the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock on Wednesday 31 May last in response to Pope Francis’ request to seek the interceding presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Mother of the Church and Mother of all those who are companions and disciples of her Son.
The Day, which coincided with the Feast of the Visitation and the last day of the Marian month of May, was organised by the National Office of the Synodal Pathway of the Catholic Church in Ireland and was part of a worldwide event.
A number of members of the Northern Pastoral Network were in attendance.
Pictured above are Sharon Dunne (NPN Co-Treasurer and Armagh Diocesan Pastoral Worker), Archbishop Francis Duffy of Tuam, Seán Coll (NPN Chair and Director of the Kilmore Diocesan Pastoral Centre), Paula McKeown (NPN Member, Director of the Down & Connor Living Church Office and Deputy Chair of the Irish Synodal Pathway Steering Committee), Martina Gilmartin ( NPN Co-Treasurer and Kilmore Diocesan Director of Pastoral Development & Faith Formation); Bishop Michael Router (Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Armagh), and Janet Forbes (NPN Member, Armagh Diocesan Youth Coordinator and member of the Irish Synodal Pathway’s Task Group)
A new, and regular update highlighting the current work of the Northern Pastoral Network.
As we celebrate the wonder of Christmas, we ask our caring God to help us to listen, to the whisper of the hopeless, the plea of the forgotten, the cry of the anguished.
This booklet, produced by the Northern Pastoral Network, provides us with a series of reflections following the feasts of the twelve days of Christmas.You may want to use it in your private prayer or gather your family each day for a short time of prayer and reflection.
We pray this Christmas that, as we rejoice and give thanks with family and friends, each of us will rediscover the meaning of Our Lord’s Nativity and the great hope that it proclaims for the world.
January 4th 2023
10th Day of Christmas
January 5th 2023
11th Day of Christmas
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
Happy Christmas. Once again, as with last year, our celebration of Christmas happens in a time of pandemic. While we are not subject to the same level of restrictions that we faced into last Christmas, we are still not out of the woods, so to speak. This Christmas we are facing into uncertain times, but the central meaning of Christmas has not changed; we still celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Incarnation of God with us.
This Christmas we hope that people will be able to connect with their Parish Church. For some that will be gathering for a celebration of Mass over the Christmas Season and for others it may simply be a time of quiet prayer, lighting a candle or visiting the crib.
Visiting the Crib is a prayerful activity that we can encourage and the NPN have produced some resources to support Parishes. The resources connect to Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter ADMIRABILE SIGNUM reflecting on the meaning and importance of the nativity scene.
*For parishes who wish to professionally print any of these resources, versions that are professional print ready can be found below:
Members of the NPN have compiled and created a resource to support prayer at home during the Season of Advent.
"The Church has many seasons. Advent is a season of preparation for the great feast of Christmas. In the 4 weeks of Advent we have a time to prepare spiritually for Christmas marking the arrival of the Son of God to a stable in Bethlehem...
We invite you to use this resource through each of the four Sundays of Advent. Week by week, may the candles on our Advent wreaths dispel the darkness as we journey towards Christmas and the arrival of the Light of the World, Jesus Christ. "
*Please note that the last page of the document is editable to allow parishes to add local information regarding times of Masses, Prayer Services, Mass and other information for parishioners during Advent and Christmas.
Praying at Home.
November a month to remember.
This booklet could be printed and distributed to parishioners particularly those who are housebound.
If parishes wish to use a commercial printer this separate file should be used, indeed Parishes may wish to collaborate on printing this booklet across their Vicariate.
Parish liturgy resources for November.
This is a booklet of resources containing a service for remembering our dearly departed, prayer for visiting a church or graveyard and a series of prayers and quotes from our Saints. You may wish to select items to place into your Parish Bulletin during the month of November.
Each day during November we will share on Social Media a prayer to encourage people in their daily prayer. These prayers will be on specific themes e.g. Praying for Deceased mothers and also incorporate specific dates within the Church Calendar e.g World Day for the Poor, and Red Wednesday where we pray for Persecuted Christians.
As we approach the season of Lent - a time of reflection, repentance and renewal - members of the Northern Pastoral Network have been preparing numerous resources within their dioceses to support the prayer, devotion and spiritual life of the Faithful.
We have centrally compiled these resources that have been submitted by NPN members.
This is a five session programme that includes a Gospel Reading, Reflective Prayer and Scriptural Rosary. The resource has been designed to be used in a variety of ways and this is outlined in the attached leader’s guide.
- You can record and broadcast over your Parish Webcam or Social Media Platform during the Lenten Season. If you broadcast this liturgy the collaboration of clergy, lay readers and music ministry will add to the richness of the experience and allow those viewing at home to connect with the wider Parish Community.
- You can distribute the participants leaflets for Parishioners to use in their own homes. This will allow people to read the Gospel at home and engage with the Lenten Mission during the course of the week in a time of private prayer. Indeed posting this resource to those who are housebound will be a good outreach.
- You can use the content of these leaflets for your social media. Over this last year people have become more adept in accessing social media and as an evangelising people we ought to ensure that the message of Christ is proclaimed in all the spheres in which we are active.
The leader’s guide and participant leaflets are below.
Diocese of Clogher Liturgy Commission
An Act of Spiritual Communion in Lent
Lord Jesus, you are my Lord and Saviour.
I turn to you, already present in my heart.
To acknowledge your presence in this moment
brings me strength and comfort.
I recall the words you used in the desert
when you faced the Tempter,
and I know I cannot live on bread alone.
Keep your Word alive and fruitful in me.
*You have given me the gift of life.
In this time of Lent, revive my spirit
and nourish me in my inmost self
on my journey towards Easter
*In all the circumstances of my life,
help me to know the Father’s will
and to trust his plan for me, even in times of trial,
confident that he desires only my highest good.
*Confirm in me your Spirit of love and service.
Help me to see the good that I can do
and give me the will to do it.
May our communion in this moment of grace
become at last the communion of heaven,
with Mary and Joseph,
and with all who have gone before me
into the fullness of risen life
with you, Lord Jesus,
and with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
for ever and ever.
*For a shorter version one or other of
these paragraphs may be used alternately.
Plain (Altar Version)
Derry Diocese - Derry Catechetical Centre
This booklet, produced by the Northern Pastoral Network, provides us with a series of reflections following the feasts of the twelve days of Christmas.
On each of the twelve days we invite you to spend time with scripture, reflection and prayer. You may want to use this booklet in your private prayer or find a time to gather each day with your family.
We pray this Christmas that each of us will rediscover the meaning of Our Lord’s Nativity and the great hope that it proclaims for the world.
May you have a happy, holy, safe and peaceful Christmas and New Year.
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Optimum version for sharing via email etc:
Version created for use by commercial printers, with crop marks and bleed:
For Those Who Have Died
Prayer At The Crib
Praying At Home
The Domestic Church