Liturgical & Social Justice Calendar  April 2023








 Saturday in the 5ᵗʰ Week of Lent


 Saint Ceallach, bishop




 Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion




 Monday of Holy Week




 Tuesday of Holy Week




 Wednesday of Holy Week

Paschal Triduum





 Holy Thursday of the Lord’s Supper




 Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion




 Holy Saturday

Easter Time





 Easter Sunday of the Lord’s Resurrection




 Monday in the Octave of Easter




 Tuesday in the Octave of Easter




 Wednesday in the Octave of Easter




 Thursday in the Octave of Easter




 Friday in the Octave of Easter




 Saturday in the Octave of Easter




 2ⁿ Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy)




 Monday in the 2ⁿᵈ Week of Easter




 Tuesday in the 2ⁿᵈ Week of Easter


 Saint Laserian of Leighlin, bishop




 Wednesday in the 2ⁿᵈ Week of Easter




 Thursday in the 2ⁿᵈ Week of Easter




 Friday in the 2ⁿᵈ Week of Easter


 Saint Anselm, bishop and doctor of the Church




 Saturday in the 2ⁿᵈ Week of Easter




 3ʳᵈ Sunday of Easter




 Monday in the 3ʳᵈ Week of Easter


 Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, priest and martyr




 Saint Mark, evangelist




 Wednesday in the 3ʳᵈ Week of Easter




 Thursday in the 3ʳᵈ Week of Easter


 Saint Asicus, bishop




 Friday in the 3ʳᵈ Week of Easter


 Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort, priest


 Saint Peter Chanel, priest and martyr




 Saint Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church




 4ᵗʰ Sunday of Easter



Pope’s Monthly Prayer Intention for April 2023

For Non-Violent Culture – Prayer of the Month

Prayer of the Month



 “I rose up and am still with Thee.”

Easter is the feast of feasts, the unalloyed joy and gladness of all Christians. Easter means, then, Redemption obtained — sin destroyed, death overcome, divine life brought back to us, the resurrection of our body which is promised immortality. With such a certitude, we should banish all trace of sadness! “This is the day which the Lord has made.” Christ has promised that He will come again with glory to take us with Him into the kingdom of His Father. Through His Cross He entered into the possession of eternal glory. Christ has gained the crown of victory; through Christ humanity also win their crowns of victory. “He is risen.” The resurrection of Christ is a pledge of our own resurrection. It is the foundation upon which our faith rests. It is the guarantee of our redemption and God’s assurance that our sins are forgiven and that we are called to eternal life. “This is the day which the Lord hath made; let us be glad and rejoice therein”. Alleluia! Alleluia!

  • A powerful song about the Passion by Kari Jobe can be watched HERE it is 12 minutes long but very uplifting.

 April 16:   Divine Mercy Sunday

This Sunday is popularly known as Divine Mercy Sunday. Between 1930 and 1938 Christ appeared to Sister Faustina, a Sister of Mercy in Poland who initiated the Divine Mercy devotion. She was canonized on April 30, 2000, the Sunday after Easter, the Feast of Divine Mercy. On Good Friday, 1937, Jesus requested that Blessed Faustina make a special novena before the Feast of Mercy, from Good Friday through the following Saturday. Jesus also asked that a picture be painted according to the vision of Himself as the fountain of mercy. He gave her a chaplet to be recited and said that it was appropriate to pray the chaplet at three o’clock each afternoon (the Hour of Great Mercy).


  • Click here for a link to a PowerPoint presentation (24 slides) on the life of St. Faustina and the call of Jesus to each one of us to trust in Him and His mercy.
  • Even though this youtube link is a trailer on the documentary behind the Divine Mercy Image it gives a great overview of the Image and the history behind it – well worth checking out! It is 4.21 minutes long. Click HERE (If class is interested you can actually rent the full documentary for €6.46 the link in the in description of the video.)


     Click the PDF for a lovely lesson plan developed by Waterford & Lismore on Divine Mercy Sunday.

 APRIL 16:   Feast Day of St Bernadette Soubirous

 Bernadette Soubirous was born in 1844, the first child of an extremely poor miller in the town of Lourdes in southern France. The family was living in the basement of a dilapidated building when on February 11, 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette in a cave above the banks of the Gave River near Lourdes. Bernadette, 14 years old, was known as a virtuous girl though a dull student who had not even made her first Holy Communion. In poor health, she had suffered from asthma from an early age.

There were 18 appearances in all, the final one occurring on the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, July 16. Although Bernadette’s initial reports provoked skepticism, her daily visions of “the Lady” brought great crowds of the curious. The Lady, Bernadette explained, had instructed her to have a chapel built on the spot of the visions. There, the people were to come to wash in and drink of the water of the spring that had welled up from the very spot where Bernadette had been instructed to dig.

According to Bernadette, the Lady of her visions was a girl of 16 or 17 who wore a white robe with a blue sash. Yellow roses covered her feet, a large rosary was on her right arm. In the vision on March 25 she told Bernadette, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” It was only when the words were explained to her that Bernadette came to realize who the Lady was.

Few visions have ever undergone the scrutiny that these appearances of the Immaculate Virgin were subject to. Lourdes became one of the most popular Marian shrines in the world, attracting millions of visitors. Miracles were reported at the shrine and in the waters of the spring. After thorough investigation, Church authorities confirmed the authenticity of the apparitions in 1862.

During her life, Bernadette suffered much. She was hounded by the public as well as by civic officials until at last she was protected in a convent of nuns. Five years later, she petitioned to enter the Sisters of Notre Dame of Nevers. After a period of illness she was able to make the journey from Lourdes and enter the novitiate. But within four months of her arrival she was given the last rites of the Church and allowed to profess her vows. She recovered enough to become infirmarian and then sacristan, but chronic health problems persisted. She died on April 16, 1879, at the age of 35.

Bernadette Soubirous was canonized in 1933.

  • For further information please click here: HERE
  • For the film on St Bernadette, I find the old ones are the best and this is no exception: The Song of Bernadette can be found free on YouTube HERE


As a young boy in Aosta, Italy, Anselm thought of being a priest. His father, angered by this desire, introduced his son to court life. Anselm forgot about his vocation. But in 1060, Anselm learned of Lanfranc, the leader of monasticism in Normandy, France. Anselm entered Lanfranc’s monastery at Bec. Three years later, Anselm became a prior, or head, and began to publish his writings on the existence of God.

Anselm was unanimously elected abbot in 1070, when Lanfranc was made bishop of Canterbury, England. When Lanfranc died in 1089, the English clergy wanted Anselm as their bishop. But Rufus, the son of William the Conqueror, would not approve. For four years, there was no bishop of Canterbury. Then, Rufus suddenly became mortally ill. In fear of hell, Rufus appointed Anselm archbishop of Canterbury.

Rufus recovered and fell into his former sins: taking Church lands and attempting to appoint his own bishops. Frightened over conflict between the archbishop and the king, the bishops and priests abandoned Anselm. The king then exiled him. In exile, Anselm wrote treatises and took part in the Council of Bari (1098). After the death of Rufus, Anselm returned to England. Henry I, brother of Rufus, was then the king. Like his brother, Henry wanted to appoint bishops. Anselm refused to accept his appointment from the king. Again Anselm was exiled to Rome. Pope Paschal worked out a compromise between the king and the bishop.

Until his death in 1109, Anselm remained in England, defending the faith. Canterbury came to be recognized as the major see in England. In 1720, Anselm was given the title Doctor of the Church and Father of Scholasticism because he analysed and taught the truths of the faith by the aid of reason.

  • For further information click HERE


  • Through Anselm’s efforts, the National Council at Westminster (1102) passed a law prohibiting the sale of people. Discuss what bishops do today to promote social justice.
  • Anselm’s method of teaching used parables drawn from life. Share something from your life that has drawn you closer to God.

April 22nd : World Earth Day

 World Earth Day

Earth Day is annually commemorated on April 22. The theme for 2023 is:


For Catholic health ministries, this is an opportunity to reignite our commitment to stewardship of the resources entrusted to us and to more greatly consider the role of environmental in our justice efforts and as we address the social determinants of health. For this event, CHA is pleased to provide several resources each year, as well as highlighting additional sources of inspiration and education on the topic of environmental responsibility and climate change. Read about the history of Earth Day

The link for a variety of Earth Day resources can be found HERE

See below the 2022 prayer resources as they have not yet been updated but are still very useable.

2022 Resources

Prayers and Additional Reflections:

     Click onto the PDF to download a Lesson Plan on Earth Day 2022 which provides video, discussion questions and finally a template for sustainable ideas.  Excellent resource.


     Click on the PowerPoint to view an in depth look at the story of the Earth through the lens of Care of the Earth by Br Anthony Mark McDonnell.

April 25th

Feast Day of St. Mark St. Mark’s Story

 Most of what we know about Mark comes directly from the New Testament. He is usually identified with the Mark of Acts 12:12. When Saint Peter escaped from prison, he went to the home of Mark’s mother.

Paul and Barnabas took him along on the first missionary journey, but for some reason Mark returned alone to Jerusalem. It is evident, from Paul’s refusal to let Mark accompany him on the second journey despite Barnabas’s insistence, that Mark had displeased Paul. Because Paul later asks Mark to visit him in prison, we may assume the trouble did not last long.

The oldest and the shortest of the four Gospels, the Gospel of Mark emphasizes Jesus’s rejection by humanity while being God’s triumphant envoy. Probably written for gentile converts in Rome—after the death of Peter and Paul sometime between A.D. 60 and 70—Mark’s Gospel is the gradual manifestation of a “scandal”: a crucified Messiah.    

Like another Gospel writer Luke, Mark was not one of the 12 apostles. We cannot be certain whether he knew Jesus personally. Some scholars feel that the evangelist is speaking of himself when describing the arrest of Jesus in Gethsemane: “Now a young man followed him wearing nothing but a linen cloth about his body. They seized him, but he left the cloth behind and ran off naked” (Mark 14:51-52).

Others hold Mark to be the first bishop of Alexandria, Egypt. Venice, famous for the Piazza San Marco, claims Mark as its patron saint; the large basilica there is believed to contain his remains.

A winged lion is Mark’s symbol. The lion derives from Mark’s description of John the Baptist as a “voice of one crying out in the desert” (Mark 1:3), which artists compared to a roaring lion. The wings come from the application of Ezekiel’s vision of four winged creatures to the evangelists.

  • For further information please click here: HERE           
  • Also a short video about St Mark (2.46 mins) can be found here : HERE
  • Also if you get a chance do look at the series The Chosen which provides a unique way of getting to know Jesus through his disciples. The series is free and can be found : HERE


The value Catherine makes central in her short life and which sounds clearly and consistently through her experience is complete surrender to Christ. What is most impressive about her is that she learns to view her surrender to her Lord as a goal to be reached through time.

She was the 23rd child of Jacopo and Lapa Benincasa and grew up as an intelligent, cheerful, and intensely religious person. Catherine disappointed her mother by cutting off her hair as a protest against being overly encouraged to improve her appearance in order to attract a husband. Her father ordered her to be left in peace, and she was given a room of her own for prayer and meditation.

She entered the Dominican Third Order at 18 and spent the next three years in seclusion, prayer, and austerity. Gradually, a group of followers gathered around her—men and women, priests and religious. An active public apostolate grew out of her contemplative life. Her letters, mostly for spiritual instruction and encouragement of her followers, began to take more and more note of public affairs. Opposition and slander resulted from her mixing fearlessly with the world and speaking with the candor and authority of one completely committed to Christ. She was cleared of all charges at the Dominican General Chapter of 1374.

Her public influence reached great heights because of her evident holiness, her membership in the Dominican Third Order, and the deep impression she made on the pope. She worked tirelessly for the crusade against the Turks and for peace between Florence and the pope.

In 1378, the Great Schism began, splitting the allegiance of Christendom between two, then three, popes and putting even saints on opposing sides. Catherine spent the last two years of her life in Rome, in prayer and pleading on behalf of the cause of Pope Urban VI and the unity of the Church. She offered herself as a victim for the Church in its agony. She died surrounded by her “children” and was canonized in 1461.

Catherine ranks high among the mystics and spiritual writers of the Church. In 1939, she and Francis of Assisi were declared co-patrons of Italy. Pope Paul VI named her and Teresa of Avila doctors of the Church

in 1970. Her spiritual testament is found in The DialogueConsider Catherine’s advice. If you can’t start by being brave about everything, identify one thing. Resolve to spread the light.

  • For further information please click here: HERE

April 30th

Saint Pius V       

Pope Pius V was from a poor Italian family and had entered the Dominican order at age 14. A teacher, a master of novices, a bishop, and finally a cardinal, he was a strict and honest man, as well as a zealous reformer. He wept when he was told in 1566 that he had been elected pope. The 18-year-long Council of Trent had ended 3 years before, and he, as Holy Father, had the task of implementing it.

  • For further information please click here: HERE

 Life is for living. Do it boldly with these 10 verbs.

 With so much advice out there in the world—Franciscan Media bring us ten lovely verbs to live by!

“Life is about living, right? COVID-19, its restritions, and how it all changed our world has certainly taught us that. But to live and to be fully alive requires action. And that means adding more verbs to our vocabulary”.

 Never stop being curious. Every day offers discovery. Shake off the lethargy and explore the world around you. God can be found everywhere you look.

  1. Life is serious, but living it is supposed to be fun. If the last year has taught us nothing, it’s that we need laughter, joy, and levity to lift our battered spirits. Don’t feel about wanting to feel better.
  2. No one knows everything—thank goodness! Questions are not only OK; they’re the key to learning and growing. Be curious. Ask questions. Never stop moving forward.
  3. It’s often hard to do, but it’s worth the effort. In Ephesians 4:32 it reads: “And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.”
  4. Try. It wasn’t very popular in a galaxy far, far away, but it’s popular with us. If we didn’t try new things, we’d all still be in onesies and kid shoes. God loves our efforts!
  5. Help. It’s easy to feel that there’s too much to do, that there are too many problems to solve. But even the least confident among us can usually agree there’s some way we can help—somebody, something, somewhere.
  6. Create. Making something from scratch—whether it’s a meal or a piece of art or an essay—is essential to a fulfilling life. It’s a participation in God’s work of creation. It keeps us from getting stuck in a rut of living someone else’s story.
  7. Take time on a regular basis to stop whatever you’re busy doing and look at the big picture. Think, pray, write in a journal, talk to a friend. Find one of a hundred ways that works for you.
  8. Gratitude, love, and humility all are intertwined. God, our friends, our family, our co-workers—there is always someone deserving of a “thank you.”
  9. Before we can love someone, we have to know that person. To know someone, we have to listen. And sometimes the best listening we do comes through prayer.
  • For further information please click here: HERE