The Pope’s Monthly Intentions for March 2023:

For Victims of Abuse

We pray for those who have suffered harm from members of the Church; may they find within the Church herself a concrete response to their pain and suffering.

As a constituent member of the Catholic Church in Ireland, we in the Diocese of Ferns recognise and uphold the dignity and rights of all children, are committed to ensuring their safety and well being, and will work in partnership with parents/guardians to do this.  We recognise each child as a gift from God, and we value and encourage the participation of children in all activities that enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual and social development.

All Church personnel (including clergy, religious, staff and volunteers) have a responsibility to safeguard children through promoting their welfare, health and development in a safe and caring environment that supports their best interests and prevents abuse.

If you have a child/vulnerable adult safeguarding concern or wish to raise a matter from the past you may contact:

Emma Fitzgerald – Director of Safeguarding / DLP:

Call: 053 917 4972 or 087 718 5541 or email:






 Wednesday in the 1ˢᵗ Week of Lent


 Saint David of Mynyw, bishop




 Thursday in the 1ˢᵗ Week of Lent




 Friday in the 1ˢᵗ Week of Lent




 Saturday in the 1ˢᵗ Week of Lent


 Saint Casimir




 2ⁿᵈ Sunday of Lent




 Monday in the 2ⁿᵈ Week of Lent




 Tuesday in the 2ⁿᵈ Week of Lent


 Saint Perpetua and Saint Felicity, martyrs




 Wednesday in the 2ⁿᵈ Week of Lent


 Saint John of God, religious


 Saint Senan, bishop




 Thursday in the 2ⁿᵈ Week of Lent


 Saint Frances of Rome, religious




 Friday in the 2ⁿᵈ Week of Lent




 Saturday in the 2ⁿᵈ Week of Lent


 Saint Aengus, bishop and abbot




 3ʳᵈ Sunday of Lent




 Monday in the 3ʳᵈ Week of Lent




 Tuesday in the 3ʳᵈ Week of Lent




 Wednesday in the 3ʳᵈ Week of Lent




 Thursday in the 3ʳᵈ Week of Lent




 Saint Patrick, bishop




 Saturday in the 3ʳᵈ Week of Lent


 Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, bishop and doctor of the Church




 4ᵗʰ Sunday of Lent (Laetare)




 Saint Joseph, husband of Mary




 Tuesday in the 4ᵗʰ Week of Lent


 Saint Enda of Aran, abbot




 Wednesday in the 4ᵗʰ Week of Lent




 Thursday in the 4ᵗʰ Week of Lent


 Saint Turibius de Mongrovejo, bishop




 Friday in the 4ᵗʰ Week of Lent


 Saint Macartan, bishop




 The Annunciation of the Lord




 5ᵗʰ Sunday of Lent




 Monday in the 5ᵗʰ Week of Lent




 Tuesday in the 5ᵗʰ Week of Lent




 Wednesday in the 5ᵗʰ Week of Lent




 Thursday in the 5ᵗʰ Week of Lent




 Friday in the 5ᵗʰ Week of Lent

MARCH 1st   St. David of Wales

St. David of Wales/Naomh Dáiví na Breataine Bige   

Among Welsh Catholics, as well as those in England, March 1st is the liturgical celebration of Saint David of Wales. St. David is the patron of the Welsh people, remembered as a missionary bishop and the founder of many monasteries during the sixth century. 

David was a popular namesake for churches in Wales prior to the Anglican schism, and his feast day is still an important religious and civic observance.

Although Pope Benedict XVI did not visit Wales during his 2010 trip to the U.K., he blessed a mosaic icon of its patron, and delivered remarks praising St. David as “one of the great saints of the sixth century, that golden age of saints and missionaries in these isles, and thus a founder of the Christian culture which lies at the root of modern Europe.”

  • For further information please click HERE
  • Prayer to St David, click HERE


The origins of World Day of Prayer date back to the 19th century when Christian women of United States and Canada initiated a variety of cooperative activities in support of women’s involvement in mission at home and in other parts of the world. 

 I Have Heard About Your Faith

Ephesians 1:15-19

The theme of the WDP 2023 program is based on Ephesians 1:15-19, the letter sent to a faith community to express gratitude. Paul gave thanks to God for the Ephesians living out their love and faith, and prayed that they could see these three truths: the hope to which God has called the disciples, the riches of God’s glorious inheritance among the saints, and the immeasurable greatness of God’s power. 

 The artist, Hui-Wen HSAIO, used several motifs that highlight Taiwan’s best-known features to express how the Christian faith brings peace and a new vision to Taiwan.

The women in the painting are sitting by a stream, praying silently and looking up into the dark. Despite the uncertainty of the path ahead, they know that the salvation of Christ has come.

The Mikado pheasant and the Black-faced Spoonbill, two endangered species, are both of unique significance to the Taiwanese people. Their distinctiveness symbolize characteristics of the Taiwanese people–confidence and perseverance in times of difficulty.

The green grass and Phalaenopsis (Butterfly) orchids stand out against the dark background. They are the pride of Taiwan, which has a worldwide reputation as the “Kingdom of Orchids.” Green grass represents the Taiwanese as simple, confident, strong and under God’s care.


“The subjects of my art always depict the relationship of mothers, women, and people. In my exhibitions, I compose my artwork to express my observation, gratitude, and faith.”

  • For more information, resources and activities click HERE
  • See PDF attached for a youth programme and numerous activities that can be completed with the class.


MARCH 8th St. John of God/Naomh Eoin le Dia

 Saint John of God’s Story

Having given up active Christian belief while a soldier, John was 40 before the depth of his sinfulness began to dawn on him. He decided to give the rest of his life to God’s service and headed at once for Africa where he hoped to free captive Christians and, possibly, be martyred.

He was soon advised that his desire for martyrdom was not spiritually well based and returned to Spain and the relatively prosaic activity of a religious goods store. Yet he was still not settled. Moved initially by a sermon of Saint John of Avila, he one day engaged in a public beating of himself, begging mercy and wildly repenting for his past life. Committed to a mental hospital for these actions, John was visited by Saint John, who advised him to be more actively involved in tending to the needs of others rather than in enduring personal hardships. John gained peace of heart, and shortly after left the hospital to begin work among the poor.  He established a house where he wisely tended to the needs of the sick poor, at first doing his own begging. But, excited by the saint’s great work and inspired by his devotion, many people began to back him up with money and provisions. Among them were the archbishop and marquis of Tarifa.

Behind John’s outward acts of total concern and love for Christ’s sick poor was a deep interior prayer life which was reflected in his spirit of humility. These qualities attracted helpers who, 20 years after John’s death, formed the Brothers Hospitallers, now a worldwide religious order. John became ill after 10 years of service but tried to disguise his ill health. He began to put the hospital’s administrative work into order and appointed a leader for his helpers. John died on the 8th of March 1550 aged 55. He was canonised in1690. A few years after his death those who were his followers were recognised as a religious order and called the Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God. Today the work which John began in a porch in Granada continues in 52 countries in the world and covers a wide range of care for those with physical and learning disabilities, the homeless and poor, those with mental health problems and the elderly.


  • For Reflection click HERE
  • For further information, prayer to and litany of St John of God click HERE



International Women’s Day 2023

 International Women’s Day 2023 –  #BreakTheBias

Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.

International Women’s Day provides an important opportunity to educate and inspire children and young people about gender equality. Teachers, parents, and caregivers can play a key role in raising awareness about barriers that impact the advancement of women and girls. They can also help educate about challenging stereotypes and bias. Additionally, they can inspire future generations by celebrating role models and highlighting the wide range of women’s achievements. They can also reinforce the diversity of women overall.

  • For more information, resources and activity packs for young people click HERE
  • For a brief insight into 10 Catholic Women in history who changed the world click HERE



Why not ask students what women inspires them.  They can fill out the attached pdf form that gets them thinking about a Hero in their lives and also about the qualities that they admire in their Hero.  Give examples Mother, Grandmother, Aunt, Friend, Sister, etc


MARCH 13th

10th Anniversary of Pope Francis to the Papacy/Cothrom 8 mbliain ó toghadh an Pápa Proinsias ina Phápa

 On March 13th 2023, his Holiness Pope Francis marks the 10th anniversary of his election by the papal conclave as Bishop of Rome and leader of the Catholic Church. 

Meet Pope Francis!

Pope Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, in Buenos Aires Argentina on December 17, 1936. He felt the call of God and was ordained a Jesuit priest on December 13, 1969. A Jesuit means that he belongs to the order known as the Society of Jesus, founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola. Jesuits are known for traveling the world to spread the word of God and being missionaries who serve the poor and fight injustice.

He became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 and was made a cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II. Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on February 28th, 2013, a papal conclave elected Bergoglio as his successor on March 13th. He chose Francis as his papal name in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas and the first from the Southern Hemisphere.

In Rome, Pope Francis, or Francisco, is known as il Papa, which means Father. The pope is the Bishop of Rome and the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. He lives in Vatican City, which is a municipality inside the city of Rome. In his time as pope, Francis has shared a vision of Church that emphasizes hope, mercy, and care for each other. Pope Francis is the first Jesuit pope.  


Name:               Jorge Mario Bergoglio

Born:                  December 17, 1936

Hometown:     Buenos Aires, Argentina

Family:              He is the eldest of five children, born to Italian emigrants who settled in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Likes:                 Favourite Soccer Team is the San Lorenzo de Almagro football club

Previous Occupation: He once worked as a bar bouncer and a janitor before joining the


Ordained:         December 13, 1969

Order:                The Society of Jesus, the Jesuits.

Elected Pope:  March 13, 2013

  • Click HERE for printable versions of a Prayer for Pope Frances and some nice thought-provoking activities to make students think about their faith.
  • Click HERE to watch a 6 min video on the run up to the Pope’s election 10 years ago.

MARCH 17th St Patrick / Naomh Pádraig

 Turning to Patrick, a crucial figure in Irish memory since the seventh century, memory’s headlines run like this: a young British boy from a well-off clerical family was carried off into slavery in Ireland; he later escaped, eventually became a bishop, and returned to Ireland as a missionary. He so effectively preached the Gospel that soon the whole island was Christian, and he did the job so well that within a century Ireland was a powerhouse of faith, with monasteries, scholars, and missionaries of her own. And we know more about Patrick than any other fifth-century individual from these islands owing to his two surviving letters: one is now known as his ‘confession’, and the other is a letter excommunicating the soldiers of the slaver Coroticus. These writings are seen as a rugged witness to his simple holiness. Patrick is, therefore, the father of Irish Christianity, the ‘apostle of Ireland’, the ‘patron of the Irish’.


  • Further information can be found HERE
  • For a short film on the biography of St. Patrick, which can be shown in one class period, Click HERE
  • Ireland’s Patron Saint! Click on the following links for PowerPoints which you can use to inform your pupils about St. Patrick and his amazing legacy: ENGLISH version and IRISH version
  • Click HERE for a prayer service for St. Patrick’s Day from the Dublin Diocesan website (Thanks to Association of Catholic Teachers).

MARCH 19th : MOTHERS DAY/Laetare Sunday/Lá na Máithreacha/Domhnach an áthais

The Fourth Sunday of Lent is also known as ‘Laetare Sunday.’ Laetare is the Latin word for ‘rejoice’ and so this Sunday is a day of joy in the middle of Lent. In some churches priests wear rose pink vestments instead of the purple ones that are worn on the other Sundays of Lent.

As Christianity spread throughout Europe, Mother’s Day celebrations were held on the fourth Sunday of Lent – Laetare Sunday or ‘mid-Lent’ Sunday – the celebrations were adapted to honour the Virgin Mary and the ‘Mother Church’. Customs began to dictate that a person visit the church of his/her baptism on this day. People also attended the mother church of their parish, laden with offerings. Mother’s Day used to be called Mothering Sunday and we have celebrated this special day in Ireland for hundreds of years.

  • For more information click HERE


From the Gospel of Matthew: Matthew describes Joseph as “a man of honour “. When he learned of Mary’s pregnancy, he had already chosen the option of mercy and compassion when he decided not to divorce her publicly, but following some kind of encounter with God (“the angel of the Lord”) over the matter, he sensed God was asking him to take Mary into his home as wife, to treat the child as his own and to give him the divinely designated name, Jesus, thus indicating that “he would save his people from their sins” (Mt 1:18-21).  Matthew’s readers will understand this to mean that Jesus fulfils the function of the atonement sacrifices of the temple.

Matthew (chapter 2) infers Joseph’s protection of the child Jesus against Herod, the flight into Egypt and subsequent return to, and re-settling in Nazareth. Also, in Mt 13:55, Jesus is referred to – somewhat with contempt – as “the carpenter’s son”, without naming his adoptive father, as if Jesus were someone who had risen above his station and as if carpentry were a somewhat dishonourable profession. Joseph was a man of insightful creativity

 For further information please click HERE

  • Click HERE for a resource pack on this great saint from the Association of Catholic Teachers.
  • Click HERE to follow the incredible story of the staircase or if you are further intrigued watch the film based on this story HERE It is a most entertaining film and I would recommend all teachers watch it first.

MARCH 21st  : International Day of the Elimination of Racial Discrimination/Lá Idirnáisiúnta tiomnaithe do dhíothú Idirdhealú Ciníoch

 The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is a day organised by the United Nations which aims to stop people being discriminated against because of their race.

The event is held on this day because on the 21st of March 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa against the apartheid “pass laws”. Pass laws were an internal passport system that was designed by the South African government to prevent the freedom of movement of Black people. This controlled where people could work, live, and travel inside the country.

Whilst it is important to recognise the amazing work that has been done to start putting an end to Racism, we cannot ignore the facts. Many people throughout the world are still racially abused daily. In 2020 alone, there were several racist attacks on ethnic minority groups. It has become even more evident that days like International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination are necessary as the fight against racial discrimination goes on.

What Can We Do to Help Eliminate Racial Discrimination?

  • Recognise and teach that no matter what our skin colour, accent, the language we speak or where we are from, we are all equal and deserve the same rights and treatment.
  • Make sure everyone feels included and welcome in any given situation.
  • Encourage people to tell someone if they feel they are being discriminated against because of their race.
  • If you think you see racism happening, tell a responsible adult and get help.
  • For further information click HERE
  • For additional resources click HERE


Come, Holy Spirit, show us your beauty,
reflected in all the peoples of the earth,
so that we may discover anew
that all are important and all are necessary,
different faces of the one humanity
that God so loves.

 MARCH 22nd  : World Water Day/Lá Domhanda Uisce

 This World Water Day is about accelerating change to solve the water and sanitation crisis.  And because water affects us all, we need everyone to take action. 

That means you!

You and your family, school and community can make a difference by changing the way you use, consume and manage water in your lives.  Your commitments will be added to the Water Action Agenda, to be launched at the UN 2023 Water Conference – the first event of its kind for nearly 50 years.   This is a once-in-a-generation moment for the world to unite around water. 

Play your part. Do what you can.

To download your activation kit just click HERE

MARCH 24th  : Feast Day of Oscar Romero 

 Oscar Romero “Aspire not to have more, but to be more.” – Saint Oscar Arnulfo Romero

Image: Saint Oscar Romero at the Trevi Fountain in Rome, 1977 | Archdiocese of San Salvador

Born on August 15th, 1917, Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez was sent to study for the priesthood in Rome and was ordained in April 1942. He embraced a simple lifestyle; he was a popular preacher who responded with real compassion to the plight of the poor.  He gave dedicated pastoral service to the diocese of San Miguel for 25 years. He was ordained Archbishop of San Salvador in 1977.

Over the years, the social and political conflict in El Salvador intensified, and from his Cathedral pulpit, Archbishop Romero became the voice of the voiceless poor. There, in a society of cover-up and lies, he spoke the truth of what was happening in the countryside; he denounced the killings, the torture and the disappearances of community leaders; he demanded justice and recompense for the atrocities committed by the army and police, and he set up legal aid projects and pastoral programmes to support the victims of the violence.

On 24 March 1980, in El Salvador, Archbishop Oscar Romero was murdered while e celebrating Mass. Recognizing him as “a martyr for the faith”, Pope Francis canonized him in 2018, he was beatified on 23 May 2015 in San Salvador. 

  • For more information click HERE
  • For a 11 minute video on the story of Oscar Romero click HERE

 MARCH 25th  : Feast of the Annunciation/Teachtaireacht an Aingil

A tradition, which has come down from the apostolic ages, tells us that the great mystery of the Incarnation was achieved on the twenty-fifth day of March.

It was at the hour of midnight, when the most holy Virgin was alone and absorbed in prayer, that the Archangel Gabriel appeared before her, and asked her, in the name of the blessed Trinity, to consent to become the mother of God. The feast of the Annunciation of the Lord celebrates Angel Gabriel’s appearance to the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26-38) and his announcement that she had been chosen to be the mother of the saviour of the world.

Also being celebrated during this feast was Mary’s fiat, which means “let it be” in Latin—her willing acceptance of the news.

Mary, in her selflessness, was open to the angel´s visit. She recognized who was speaking. She listened, received, and responded. In so doing, she shows us the way to respond to the Lord’s call in our own lives. God initiates a relationship, and we respond in surrender to Him. This dynamic, this heavenly road, leads to a dialogue, a conversation, a way of life. By saying Yes, through our own Fiat, we are set apart. Consecrated.  Made holy.  Mary shows us that way.

The Annunciation, which means “the announcement,” is observed almost universally throughout Christianity, especially within Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Catholicism, and Lutheranism.

  • For further information on the Feast of the Annunciation click HERE
  • To watch a short clip (4 mins) on the Annunciation click HERE
  • Check out Busted Halo’s 3 minute video entitled ‘What is the deal with Mary’ HERE