November 29th / Mí na Samhna        

First Sunday of Advent /An Chéad Domhnach den Aidbhint

The first day of Advent heralds the beginning of the Catholic Church’s new year.  Advent (from ‘ad-venire’ in Latin or “to come to”) is the Church season encompassing the four Sundays and weekdays leading up to the celebration of Christmas.  Advent is a time of spiritual preparation for the Lord’s coming at Christmas.  Advent also prepares us for the second coming of Christ at the end of time.


The Irish Catholic Bishop’s Conference have an excellent resource for advent. In the form of an online interactive Advent Calendar, they ask you to journey with them through the season and offer daily reflections, audio clips, readings and ideas to help you prepare and guide your students in spiritual preparation for the Lord’s coming at Christmas. The theme of the Advent Calendar this year is Hope.   Now in its seventh year, the online Advent Calendar is offering resources for the parish, school and the home which are available behind a virtual door each day during the Season of Advent.  Behind each door there will be content aimed at assisting people to pray and to reflect on how best we can keep Christ at the centre of our Christmas preparations during this special liturgical season. 


“It has been a difficult year for so many people as we faced the consequences of a global pandemic. We are inviting people to journey with us this Advent Season by #SharingHope through acts of kindness and charity that all of us are encouraged to undertake during the month of December”.

Resources for creating your own advent wreath, Jesse Tree, Advent services and many other ideas for use in the classroom can be found at:


December 1st / Nollaig 1 ú                                      

Saints of this Day                              

Blessed Charles de Foucauld / Séarlas Beannaithe de Foucauld                       

Blessed Charles Eugène de Foucauld was a French Catholic religious and priest living among the Tuareg in the Sahara in Algeria at the turn of the 20th century. He was assassinated in 1916 outside the door of the fort he built for the protection of the Tuareg and is considered by the Catholic Church to be a martyr. His inspiration and writings led to the founding of the Little Brothers of Jesus among other religious congregations. He was beatified on November 13, 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Blessed Charles died a century ago but lived in times much like our own so his call to each of us to “remain loving even if the individual sins, commits evil, or misbehaves” was as much a challenge for him in his time. What might it take for you to take up that challenge and seek to live by it: to love at all costs?


St. Edmund Campion / Naomh Éamann Campion

One of many Catholics to suffer at the hands of the English government in the wake of Henry VIII’s separation from the Church of Rome, Saint Edmund Campion could have led a privileged life as a renowned scholar but could not follow the newly-founded Anglican faith. He was forced to flee Britain because of his beliefs and, when he returned to his homeland less than a decade later as a missionary, he was executed for them.

Campion was eventually arrested by a spy while at Lyford in Berkshire and was taken to the Tower of London. He spent more than four months imprisoned there, during which time he was offered freedom should he renounce his faith and, when he refused, was tortured on the rack. He was tried in court and found guilty of treason. As punishment for his crime, Campion, together with two other priests, was hanged, drawn, and quartered before a crowd. He was only 25 years old. He was beatified in 1886 and canonised as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales in 1970.


St. Eligius / Naomh Eligius

St. Eligius was a seventh-century saint who lived in France. He was born around 588 AD in France, near Limoges. Eligius founded the monastery of Solignac, which followed the joint rules of St. Columban and St. Benedict. He began missionary work into central Europe and cared for the poor and sick wherever he went. St. Eligius died on December 1, 660. St. Eligius was a widely venerated saint during the middle ages throughout Europe.

He provides an admirable model of how a Christian can work in and with the material world and yet continue to always serve God.

December 3rd           

Memorial of St. Francis Xavier / Cuimhneachán ar Naomh Proinsias Xavier


Saint Francis Xavier’s Story

Jesus asked, “What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” (Matthew 16:26a). These words were repeated to a young teacher of philosophy who had a highly promising career in academics, with success and a life of prestige and honour before him.

Francis Xavier, 24 at the time, and living and teaching in Paris, did not heed these words at once. They came from a good friend, Ignatius of Loyola, whose tireless persuasion finally won the young man to Christ. Francis then made the spiritual exercises under the direction of Ignatius, and in 1534, joined his little community, the infant Society of Jesus. Together at Montmartre they vowed poverty, chastity, obedience, and apostolic service according to the directions of the pope.  

Reflection / Machnamh

“All of us are called to “go and preach to all nations—see Matthew 28:19. Our preaching is not necessarily on distant shores but to our families, our children, our husband or wife, our co-workers. And we are called to preach not with words, but by our everyday lives. Only by sacrifice, the giving up of all selfish gain, could Francis Xavier be free to bear the Good News to the world. Sacrifice is leaving yourself behind at times for a greater good, the good of prayer, the good of helping someone in need, the good of just listening to another. The greatest gift we have is our time. Francis Xavier gave his to others”. For more information see:


December 6th                           

Second Sunday of Advent / An Dara Domhnach den Aidbhint

“As the journey of Advent continues, as we prepare to celebrate the nativity of Christ, John the Baptist’s call to conversion sounds out in our communities. It is a pressing invitation to open our hearts and to welcome the Son of God Who comes among us to make divine judgement manifest.  The ‘voice’ of the great prophet asks us to prepare the way for the coming Lord in the deserts of today, internal and external deserts, thirsting for the water of life which is Christ.” — Benedict XVI


December 6th      

St. Nicholas of Myra / Naomh Nioclás as Myra

Not much is known about this 4th century bishop, but that does not diminish his popularity around the world, both in the East and West. It is known that Nicholas was born in Lycia in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) and died in 352 A.D. as the Bishop of Myra. All other stories that surround Nicholas illustrate that he practised both the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. He was generous, strove to help the poor and disadvantaged, and worked tirelessly to defend the faith. St. Nicholas provided for the poor and sick and is the basis for the popular character of Santa Claus.

Saint Nicholas, bishop of Myra, is undoubtedly one of the most popular saints honoured in the Western world. He is primarily considered as the patron saint of children.


December 7th                                              

St. Ambrose / Naomh Ambrose 

St. Ambrose (340-397) was born at Treves in Gaul, a territory which embraced modern France, Britain, Spain, and part of Africa. He studied in Rome and later became governor of Liguria and Aemelia with residence at Milan. While supervising the election of a new bishop of Milan in 374, he himself was suddenly acclaimed the bishop. He was only a catechumen at the time and was ordained a priest and consecrated a bishop on December 7. He wrote much on the Scriptures and Fathers, preached a homily every Sunday, resisted the interference of the secular powers with the rights of the Church, opposed the heretics, and was instrumental in bringing about the conversion of St. Augustine. He composed many hymns, promoted sacred chant, and took a great interest in the Liturgy.

Ambrose exemplifies for us the truly catholic character of Christianity. He is a man steeped in the learning, law, and culture of the ancients and of his contemporaries. Yet, in the midst of active involvement in this world, this thought runs through Ambrose’s life and preaching: The hidden meaning of the Scriptures calls our spirit to rise to another world.


December 8th   

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception / Solúntas Ghiniúint Mhuire gan Smál

  The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated today and is a holy day of obligation. The Immaculate Conception means is that God filled Mary with grace and preserved her free from all stain of original sin. Many people believe that the feast celebrates Jesus’ conception, but in fact it celebrates Mary’s Immaculate Conception; the fact that Mary was, from the very first moment of her existence (her conception), without sin, and chosen to be the Mother of Jesus.

 8 Things to Know About the Immaculate Conception can be found here:

 December 10th                                

Human Rights Day / Lá Tiomanta do Chearta Daonna  


Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights

This year’s Human Rights Day theme relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and focuses on the need to build back better by ensuring Human Rights are central to recovery efforts.

Under UN Human Rights’ generic call to action “Stand Up for Human rights”, we aim to engage the general public, our partners and the UN family to bolster transformative action and showcase practical and inspirational examples that can contribute to recovering better and fostering more resilient and just societies.


December 12th           

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe /Féile in onóir do Mhuire Guadalupe

In 1910 Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared Patroness of Latin America, and in 1945 Pope Pius XII declared her to be the Empress of all the Americas. She appeared to an Indian convert named Juan Diego on December 9, 1531. She left a marvellous portrait of herself on the mantle of Juan Diego.

This miraculous image has proved to be ageless and is kept in the shrine built in her honour, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

In these days when we hear so much about God’s preferential option for the poor, Our Lady of Guadalupe cries out to us that God’s love for and identification with the poor is an age-old truth that stems from the Gospel itself.

December 13th                     

 Third Sunday of Advent / An Triú Domhnach den Aidbhint

“Rejoice: The Lord is coming.”

Today, the third Sunday of Advent is called ‘Guadete Sunday’ which means ‘Joy’ or Rejoice. The opening antiphon for today’s liturgy asks us to Rejoice is the Lord always. Indeed, the Lord is near. 

Today, on our Advent Wreath we light our pink candle to mark this day of joy. As Christmas draws near, the Church emphasises the joy which should be in our hearts over all that the birth of our Saviour means for us.

Many examples can be named, to illustrate God’s blessing in our lives: reasons to be joyful. Like the northern Irish writer C.S. Lewis, we too can be “surprised by joy,” and re-discover gladness and meaning in life.           

 December 14th        

Memorial of St. John of the Cross / Cuimhneachán in onóir d’Eoin na Croise            

St. John of the Cross (1542-1591) was born and died in Spain. In 1563 he offered himself as a lay brother to the Carmelite friars, who, however, perceiving his unusual talents, had him ordained a priest. When he was about to join the more severe Order of the Carthusians, the saintly Teresa persuaded him to remain and help her in the reform of the Carmelite Order. This reform of his order caused him such sufferings and brought him many trials. However, his sufferings served only to detach him from creatures. He had a great devotion to Our Lord’s Passion and voluntarily sought out humiliations. When Our Lord asked him, what reward he would ask for his labours, John answered: “To suffer and to be despised for Thee.” He died of a cruel disease, embracing the crucifix. Because of his profound treatises on mystical theology Pope Pius XI proclaimed him Doctor of the Church.

December 20th              

Fourth Sunday of Advent / An Ceathrú Domhnach den Aidbhint

“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”  / “‘Sé do Bheatha, a Mhuire!  Tá an Tiarna leat.”

This is the last Sunday of our preparation for Christmas, the anniversary of Christ’s birth. The story of the Annunciation calls to our attention God’s wondrous action in human history. God chose a human person to give birth to his Son so that all humanity would know God’s salvation. Mary, already full of God’s grace, was able to cooperate in this great plan for our salvation. Thus, Jesus was born as one of us, fully human and also fully divine. This is the mystery we prepare to celebrate at Christmas, the mystery of the Incarnation. In the model of Mary, we pray that we will be people of faith who recognise God’s saving plan for us and are able respond with obedience.

“Today is a suitable occasion to look right into our hearts, to see how we stand with God. During the week we shall be keeping the feast of Christmas. The Baby in the manger will remind us of what God has done and is still doing for us. What are we doing in return? Have we shown our gratitude by living as true followers of Christ? If most of us must answer: “no,” this is the time to change our course and return to the right road once more. God is asking this of us today. Will our answer echo Mary’s: “behold here I am Lord, your humble and grateful servant, let it be done to me according to your word”?

 May the Christmas season fill your home with joy, your heart with love and your life with laughter.

Wishing you a blessed Christmas and we look forward to working with you in 2021!

Free Catholic eBooks

 Liturgical Year 2020-2021, Vol. 1 Advent and Christmas by Jennifer Gregory Miller and Darden Brock (editors)

Nutrition for the Soul / Cothú don Anam

Excellent resources available from Pat Murphy, including reflections, posters, and badges for your students.  See

Combined Parishes of Clondalkin / Frank Brown

Frank Brown, Parish Pastoral Worker from the Combined Catholic Parishes of Clondalkin has excellent resources for Advent, including “A Busy Person’s Retreat” programme which can be downloaded and printed off for your students.

Download the resources from – And we will be adding to these as the month goes on!

Resources as Gaeilge

Resources in Irish are available on the Archdiocese website. Below find two services from Sr. Mairéad Ni Bhuachalla.



Searmanas Aidbhinte

Fleasc Aidbhinte


Fáilte agus Míniú


Cinnire:   Ní fada uainn and Nollaig anois, breithlá Íosa Críost.  Bíonn tréimhse ullmhúcháin don Nollaig againn ar a dtugtar an Aidbhint.  Nós Aidbhinte is ea  Fleasc Aidbhinte a dhéanamh as duilleoga glasa agus í a mhaisiú le coinnle, corcra agus bándearg. 

Seo í an Fhleasc Aidbhinte.  Tá cuma chiorclach uirthi, siombail den tsíoraíocht agus de ghluaiseacht na séasúr.  Comhartha dóchais is ea na duilleoga glasa agus seasann na coinnle i gcóir cheithre Dhomhnach na hAidbhinte.  Dath corcra atá ar thrí cinn, dath an aithreachais agus comhartha áthais is ea an bándearg. 

Ciallaíonn Aidbhint (Advenio sa Laidin) “Teacht” i.e. teacht Chríost ar an saol.  Bhí muintir Iosrael ag fanacht le teacht Chríost ar feadh ceithre mhíle bliain agus sin é an fáth a mbíonn ceithre Dhomhnach san Aidbhint.


Lasadh na gCoinnle


An Domhnach seo chugainn an chéad Domhnach den Aidbhint agus anois lasadh an scoláire is óige sa rang coinneal amháin, coinneal chorcra agus canfaimis:


Déan gairdeachas, a Iosrael, mar béarfar duit Imeánúéil.


Lasfar  coinneal bhreise gach seachtain as seo go Nollaig.




  1. A Íosa, is tú an Slánaitheoir a gheall Dia dúinn. Guímis do bheannacht ar gach aon duine anseo i láthair agus sinn ag ullmhú don Nollaig.


  1. A Íosa, is tú Solas an Domhain.  Beannaigh an scoil seo. Líon ár laethanta le do ghile, téigh ár gcroí agus bí ag lonrú inár saol ionas go dtabharfaimid breis ghrá duit-se agus dár gcomharsana as seo amach. 


  1. A Íosa, a Sholas an Domhain, bí i do sholas againn i rith na bliana seo romhainn agus i gcónaí.


Veni Imeánúéil


Tar chugainn, tar, Imeánúéil,

Is scaoil ó ghéibheann Iosrael

Atá ar díbirt chásmhar ag caí

Go bhfoilsítear Mac Dé arís.

Déan gairdeachas, a Iosrael,

Mar béarfar duit Imeánúéil.


Tar chugainn, a Réalt na Maidine, tar,

Tabhair sólás dúinn is tú ag teacht.

Ó! díbir oíche is néalta dubha,

Is uafás ciar na hoíche uainn.

Déan gairdeachas, a Iosrael,

Mar béarfar duit Imeánúéil.


Aistriúchán go Gaeilge:  Lil Nic Dhonnchadha

Fonn:  “O Come Emmanuel”,   Veritas Hymnal  60



Crann  Ieise


Seo é Crann Ieise, crann teaghlaigh, nó crann ginealaigh Íosa Críost.  Léiríonn na pictiúir seo sinsir Íosa i.e. na daoine a chuaigh roimhe ó Ádhamh agus Éabha go dtí Muire, máthair Íosa.  Duine díobh siúd ba ea Ieise.


An Crann Nollag


De réir an traidisiúin, ba é Naomh Bonaifeas a chruthaigh an tsiombail seo sa Ghearmáin breis is 1,200 bliain ó shin.  Mhaisigh sé crann síor-ghlas, siombail na beatha, le coinnle lasta, mar chomhartha dóchais i ndorchadas an gheimhridh. Is siombail an Crann Nollag d’Íosa, Solas an Domhain, a thagann chugainn um Nollaig chun dóchas a thabhairt dúinn i lár an gheimhridh. 




Searmanas  ag  an  gCró  Nollag


Cinnire:   Tá an Nollaig buailte linn arís, séasúr speisialta den bhliain.  Gabhaimis buíochas le Dia mar gur thaispeáin sé a ghrá dúinn trína mhac Íosa Críost a thabhairt dúinn mar Shlánaitheoir. 


Scéal  na  Nollag


(Bunaithe ar Lúcas  2 : 1-16)


San am sin d’ordaigh Impire na Róimhe, Caesar Ágastas, do gach duine in Iosrael clarú ina chathair féin  (chun a chinntiú go n-íocfaidís cáin!).

Chuaigh Iósaf go Beithil in éineacht lena bhean chéile, Muire, a bhí ag súil le leanbh.

Nuair a shroich siad Beithil ní raibh áit dóibh sa teach ósta agus b’éigean dóibh an oíche a chaitheamh i stábla.  Rugadh Íosa, mac Mhuire an oíche sin agus chuir sí ina luí i mainséar é.

Bhí aoirí ag faire a dtréada agus go tobann chonaic siad solas geal agus aingeal ó Dhia a dúirt leo gur rugadh Slánaitheoir, Críost, an Tiarna, agus go raibh sé ina luí i mainséar.  In éineacht leis an aingeal bhí slua na bhFlaitheas ag canadh:

“Glóir do Dhia sna harda agus síocháin ar talamh.”

Nuair a d’imigh na haingil chuaigh na haoirí go Beithil agus fuair siad Muire agus Iósaf agus an leanbh ina luí sa mhainséar.


An  Cró  Nollag


Tá an Cró Nollag againn le beagnach ocht gcéad bliain.  Naomh Proinsias as Assisi san Iodáil a chuir tús leis an gCró Nollag san Eoraip.  Sa bhliain 1220 thug sé cuairt ar Bheithil agus thaitin an tslí inar ceiliúradh an Nollaig ansin go mór leis.  Nuair a d’fhill sé abhaile rinne sé mainséar as uaimh.  Chuir sé íomhá chloiche den leanbh Íosa isteach inti agus chuir sé ainmhithe beo timpeall uirthi.  Bhí na daoine an-sásta leis an gCró Nollag agus d’fhás an nós as sin.    


Cinnire:   Tá an Cró Nollag ullamh agus tá Muire agus Iósaf ag fanacht.

Anois cuireadh an scoláire is óige sa rang an Leanbh Íosa sa mhainséar.


Canaimis :


Oíche Chiúin


Oíche chiúin, oíche Mhic Dé!

Cách ’na suan, dís araon,

Dís is dílse ag faire le spéis,

Naíon beag gnaoi-gheal ceannann tais caomh:

Críost ’na chodladh go séimh,

Críost ’na chodladh go séimh!



  1. A Íosa, is tú mac Dé.  Cabhraigh linn cur leis an ngrá atá againn dár muintir i rith na Nollag.


  1. A Íosa, is tú mac Mhuire.  Beannaigh gach teaghlach atá ag súil le leanbh agus beannaigh gach leanbh agus páiste.


  1. A Íosa, is tú a thug dea-scéal do na bochtáin.  Cabhraigh linn a bheith fial flaithiúil leo siúd nach bhfuil dóthain bia, éadaigh ná dídine acu.


  1. A Íosa, leigheas tú na heasláin.  Cabhraigh linn sólás a thabhairt do dhaoine atá tinn agus do dhaoine atá uaigneach.


  1. A Íosa, is tú Prionsa na Síochána.  Cabhraigh linn síocháin a scaipeadh sa bhaile, sa scoil agus i measc ár gcairde.


  1. I rith na bliana seo romhainn go raibh deireadh le gach cogadh.



Oíche chiúin, oíche Mhic Dé!

Aoirí ar dtús ’chuala an scéal:

Alleluia, aingil ag glaoch,

Cantain suairc i ngar is i gcéin:

Críost ár Slánaitheoir féin,

Críost ár Slánaitheoir féin!


Focail: Traidisiúnta

  1. Gruber Beo go Deo 6



Suantraí na Maighdine


Adhraim mo leanbh beag tagtha ar an saol;

Codail, a leanbh, go sámh.

Adhraim a laige is a loime nocht fhaon;

Codail, a leanbh, go sámh.

Inis, a ghrá liom, id’ luí sa mhainséar,

Inis cén fáth duit bheith sínte sa bhféar.

Is tú coimhde na ngrást agus Íosa Mac Dé;

Codail, a leanbh, go sámh.


A Mhuire, a mháthair, is a bhuime mhín tséimh;

Codail, a leanbh, go sámh.

Is mé coimhde na ngrást agus Íosa Mac Dé;

Codail, a leanbh, go sámh.

Ach go beo bocht a thánag le mian ar an saol

Chun deoraithe fánacha a shaoradh ón éag,

Is nuair a chrochfar in airde mé claonfaid chugam féin;

Codail, a  leanbh, go sámh.


Focail:   Traidisiúnta

Ceol:  Seán Óg Ó Tuama 

In Caelo 118, tiomsaithe ag Liam Lawton, Veritas



Don Oíche Úd  i  mBeithil


Don oíche úd i mBeithil beidh tagairt faoi ghrian go brách,

Don oíche úd i mBeithil go dtáinig an Briathar slán;

Tá gríosghrua ar spéartha is an talamh ’na chlúdach bán;

Féach Íosagán sa chliabhán, is an Mhaighdean in aoibhneas grá.


Ar leaca lom an tsléibhe is ea a ghlacann na haoirí scáth,

Ar oscailt gheal na spéire tá teachtaire Dé ar fáil.

Céad glóir anois don Athair i bhflaitheasaibh thuas go hard,

Is feasta fós ar talamh d’fhearaibh dea-mhéin’  síocháin.


Traidisiúnta, Veritas Hymnal  66




Colette O’Doherty

Director of Religious Education & Youth Matters

Ferns Diocesan Centre

St Peter’s College



Co Wexford

Tel: 053 9145511