Liturgical & Social Justice Calendar for October 2023


Overview of Liturgical Calendar for September 2023

(click on names below to access further information on Saints listed below}


Ordinary Time




 26ᵗʰ Sunday in Ordinary Time



 The Holy Guardian Angels




 Tuesday in the 26ᵗʰ Week in Ordinary Time

 Blessed Columba Marmion, priest



 Saint Francis of Assisi, religious




 Thursday in the 26ᵗʰ Week in Ordinary Time

 Saint Faustina Kowalska, virgin




 Friday in the 26ᵗʰ Week in Ordinary Time

 Saint Bruno, priest



 Our Lady of the Rosary



 27ᵗʰ Sunday in Ordinary Time




 Monday in the 27ᵗʰ Week in Ordinary Time

 Saint Denis, bishop, and companions, martyrs

 Saint John Henry Newman, priest

 Saint John Leonardi, priest



 Tuesday in the 27ᵗʰ Week in Ordinary Time




 Wednesday in the 27ᵗʰ Week in Ordinary Time

 Saint Canice, abbot

 Saint John XXIII, pope



 Thursday in the 27ᵗʰ Week in Ordinary Time



 Friday in the 27ᵗʰ Week in Ordinary Time




 Saturday in the 27ᵗʰ Week in Ordinary Time

 Saint Callistus I, pope and martyr

 The Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday



 28ᵗʰ Sunday in Ordinary Time




 Monday in the 28ᵗʰ Week in Ordinary Time

 Saint Gall, abbot

 Saint Hedwig, religious

 Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, virgin



 Saint Ignatius of Antioch, bishop and martyr



 Saint Luke, evangelist




 Thursday in the 28ᵗʰ Week in Ordinary Time

 Saint John de Brébeuf, Saint Isaac Jogues, priests, and companions, martyrs

 Saint Paul of the Cross, priest



 Friday in the 28ᵗʰ Week in Ordinary Time




 Saturday in the 28ᵗʰ Week in Ordinary Time

 The Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday



 29ᵗʰ Sunday in Ordinary Time




 Monday in the 29ᵗʰ Week in Ordinary Time

 Saint John of Capistrano, priest




 Tuesday in the 29ᵗʰ Week in Ordinary Time

 Saint Anthony Mary Claret, bishop



 Wednesday in the 29ᵗʰ Week in Ordinary Time



 Thursday in the 29ᵗʰ Week in Ordinary Time




 Friday in the 29ᵗʰ Week in Ordinary Time

 Saint Otteran, monk



 Saint Simon and Saint Jude, apostles



 30ᵗʰ Sunday in Ordinary Time



 Monday in the 30ᵗʰ Week in Ordinary Time



 Tuesday in the 30ᵗʰ Week in Ordinary Time


Global Social Justice & Awareness Days for October 2023

Click on any of the Observation days to bring you to the UN websute


International Day of Older Persons (A/RES/45/106)                                                01 Oct

World Habitat Day (A/RES/40/202 A)                                                                           02 Oct

International Day of Non-Violence (A/RES/61/271)                                                  02 Oct

World Space Week, 4-10 October (A/RES/54/68)                                                      04 Oct

World Teachers’ Day [UNESCO] ((27 C/INF.7))                                                           05 Oct

World Cotton Day (A/RES/75/318)                                                                               07 Oct

World Post Day (UPU/1969/Res.C.11)                                                                         09 Oct

World Mental Health Day [WHO]                                                                                    10 Oct

International Day of the Girl Child (A/RES/66/170)                                                   11 Oct

International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (A/RES/64/200)`                           13 Oct

World Migratory Bird Day [UNEP]                                                                                                                                                            14 Oct

International Day of Rural Women (A/RES/62/136)                                                 15 Oct

World Food Day [FAO] (A/RES/35/70)                                                                          16 Oct

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (A/RES/47/196)                         17 Oct

Global Media and Information Literacy Week, 24-31 October (A/RES/75/267)           24 Oct

United Nations Day (A/RES/168 (II))                                                                             24 Oct

Disarmament Week, 24-30 October (A/RES/S-10/2 (p. 102))                                 24 Oct

World Development Information Day (A/RES/3038 (XXVII))                                   24 Oct

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage [UNESCO] (UNESCO 33/C/Resolution 5)           27 Oct

International Day of Care and Support (A/RES/77/317)                                          29 Oct

World Cities Day (A/RES/68/239)                                                                                 31 Oct

October / Deireadh Fómhair

The Month of the Rosary / Mí na Corónach Mhuire

How Are You Observing The Month Of The Holy Rosary?

The month of the Holy Rosary is October and this entire month is dedicated to the Rosary. The feast day of the Holy Rosary in particular is October 7th. The feast of the Rosary is held in memory of the glorious and triumphant victory at the battle of Lepanto in 1571. That battle was the most convincing military victory that proved without a doubt the great power of the Rosary

  • Watch a 2min video in picture form of the Rosary from Busted Halo check HERE
  • To watch a video of the historical battle of Lepanto click HERE the video is 3.25 minutes long and provides an overview of the battle using art and background music along with a good commentary and demonstrates why October 7th is dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary
  • Fr Columba is well worth checking out as he has just a brilliant way of explaining things in a fun, relatable way. Check out his video HERE on devotion to Mary also in the description is provided a breakdown of the video if you only want to click into certain sections. The video is 10 minutes long. For further great videos be sure to add Called to More YouTube Channel to your ‘go to’ for all sorts of wonderful themes!


Some info about the Rosary

The rosary is a living prayer form and continues to develop even in recent times. An invocation known as the Fatima Prayer was commonly added in the early 20th century. In 2002 Pope John Paul II added a new set of five reflections called the Luminous Mysteries which encourage additional meditations on the life of Jesus. The rosary is an invitation to experience the grace of Mary’s spiritual motherhood as she leads us to her Son, Jesus. For this reason, it has been an invaluable source of countless spiritual graces for the saints. The month of October is a good time to commit to praying the Rosary every day. 

“One day through the Rosary and the Scapular I will save the world.”
-Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Dominic

Click HERE to print out a fab lesson plan from Waterford Lismore on praying the Rosary.

October Deireadh Fómhair

Pope Francis’s Intentions for the Month of October

“Let us pray for the Church, that she may adopt listening and dialogue as a style of life at every level, allowing herself to be guided by the Holy Spirit towards the world’s peripheries.”


Ctrl & Click on the image for the video (1.49mins) accompanying Pope Francis’s prayer intention for October.



October 1st  

Feast Day of St. Thérèse of Lisieux / Féile Naomh Treasa as Lisieux

Today is the memorial of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, more popularly known as “the Little Flower.” Shining brightly among the little ones to whom the secrets of the kingdom were revealed in a most special way is Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, a professed nun of the order of Discalced Carmelites. Therese of Lisieux is a young person. She reached the maturity of holiness in the prime of youth. As such, she appears as a teacher of evangelical life, particularly effective in illumining the paths of young people, who must be the leaders and witnesses of the Gospel to the new generations. During her life Therese discovered “new lights, hidden and mysterious meanings” and received from the divine teacher that “knowledge of love” which she then expressed with originality in her writings. She has made the Gospel shine appealingly in our time; she had the mission of making the church, the mystical body of Christ, known and loved.

  1. In the darkness of her final days, when she was dying of Tuberculosis and feeling spiritually deserted, St Therese displayed a bold confidence in God. With her feast day coming up this Saturday (October 1st), Fr Columba dives deep into these final days, and even reads some passages from the “Yellow Notebook”. To see his 10 min video click HERE
  2. Billy Swan of Wexford Parish writes a wonderful piece on the significance of St Therese and you can find that here : HERE
  3. For other useful websites on St Therese click HEREand HERE
  4. To view a very interesting (because he makes it interesting) 9min video on St Therese by Fr Columba click HERE
  5. A lesson plan on St Therese can be accessed HERE




October 2nd:

Feast of the Guardian Angels / Féile na nAingeal Coimhdeachta

The Guardian Angel | Marcantonio Franceschini

Devotion to the angels is, at base, an expression of faith in God’s enduring love and providential care extended to each person day in and day out. Angels are servants and messengers from God. “Angel” in Greek means messenger. In unseen ways, the angels help us on our earthly pilgrimage by assisting us in work and study, helping us in temptation and protecting us from physical danger.

For the 20 things that our Guardian Angels do for us, check out a very good article based on scripture of the many things that Angels actually do for us HERE


It might be a bit of fun to divide the class into groups and see if they can come up with a list of 20 things and then check and see what groups got the closest to the list!

Also an interesting article on ten things you should know about your Angel Guardian click HERE

Fr Malachy shares stories about how as a kid he fell out of a tree twenty-five feet and walked away with just a bump on his head, and another time he fell from a waterfall with rocks and boulders — also twenty-five feet — and got nothing but a scar on his elbow. He believes it must have been his guardian angel who prevented his serious harm or even death on both occasions. Ctrl & Click on image.


October 2nd

International Day of Non-violence: Gandhi’s birthday. / Lá breithe Gandhi: Lá IdirnáisiúntaTiomanta don Fhrith – Fhoréigean


“Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.” – Mahatma Gandhi

  • Today we celebrate the birthday of a man who helped bring forward the notion of “non-violence,” and the tremendous impact this form of social response has had all over the world in the last century. On the International Day of Non-Violence, created by the United Nations in 2007, we look back on the influence of an Indian activist born Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi but known the world over as Mahatma Gandhi. The International Day of Non-Violence honours how Gandhi’s work and legacy has impacted global, non-violent protest. Gandhi’s commitment to India’s independence  and his methods have been the cornerstone of civil and human rights initiatives all over the world. Put simply, Gandhi saw it as completely irrational to use violence to achieve peace, but rather, “just means lead to just ends.” This is a lesson we can all take to heart. A 3 minute well-presented video on the life of Mahatma Gandhi.  HERE  
  1. Read up on Gandhi

Gandhi was one of the world’s greatest and most influential leaders in the last century and there’s plenty we can learn from him. Here are two of his most beloved quotes. “There are many causes I would die for. There is not a single cause I would kill for.” “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”

  1. Find or organize an event

The UN hosts official events around the world to commemorate the resolution of 2007, but there are also innumerable events on Gandhi’s birthday dedicated to celebrating the life of the leader.

  1. Go for a random act of kindness

Go out of your way to be kind.  Make a list of simple things that can make someone’s life better., in the words of Gandhi, “be the change you wish to see in the world.”



Unlike some other observances, the International Day of Non-Violence does not have a specific theme for 2023



October 4th 

Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi / Féile Naomh Proinsias as Assisi

Most people know Francis as a middle-ages ascetic who loved animals. The complete story is even more interesting. St Francis was born in 1181 in Assisi in Italy. In his youth, he spent money lavishly on fine clothes and having fun. He fell ill twice and then realised he was wasting precious time and that he should be serving Jesus instead. Often he gave his clothes and money to the poor and served the sick in hospital. He felt he should do more and went around in rags while fasting. His father was disgusted with his behaviour and took his inheritance from him. St. Francis had to depend on the kindness of people for food and shelter. He begged sinners to convert and return to God. He had the great power of working miracles. He loved all creatures and the animals obeyed his commands.

Francis’ final years were filled with suffering as well as humiliation. Praying to share in Christ’s passion he had a vision in which he received the stigmata, the marks of the nails and the lance wound that Christ suffered, in his own body. He died on October 4, 1226 at the age of 45. Francis is considered the founder of all Franciscan orders and the patron saint of ecologists and merchants.


  1. Click HERE for a lovely lesson plan on St Francis. It provides a background to this wonderful Saint as well as embedded videos, quizzes and posters.
  2. A lovely wholesome animation (5.21mins) on the story of St Francis, most suited to 1st years but explains the journey so well. Click HERE
  3. A more modern day video (18mins) which really keeps the attention can be found HERE


October 5th 

St. Faustina / Naomh Faustina


Sister Faustina was a young, uneducated nun in a convent of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Poland during the 1930s. She came from a poor family that struggled during the years of World War I. She had only three years of simple education, so hers were the humblest tasks in the convent, usually in the kitchen or garden. However, she received extraordinary revelations — or messages — from our Lord Jesus. Jesus asked Sr. Faustina to record these experiences, which she compiled into notebooks. These notebooks are known today as the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, and the words contained within are God’s loving message of Divine Mercy.

Though the Divine Mercy message is not new to the teachings of the Church, Sr. Faustina’s Diary sparked a great movement and a strong and significant focus on the mercy of Christ. Saint John Paul II canonized Sr. Faustina in 2000 making her the “first saint of the new millennium.” Speaking of Sr. Faustina and the importance of the message contained in her Diary, the Pope called her “the great apostle of Divine Mercy in our time.”

Today, we continue to rely of St. Faustina as a constant reminder of the message to trust in Jesus’ endless mercy, and to live life mercifully toward others. We also turn to her in prayer and request her intercession to our merciful Saviour on our behalf.

  • For more information click: HERE And HERE
  • To watch an ETWN report on St Faustina and Divine Mercy click HERE
  •  A documentary was recently completed on the search for the original Divine Mercy Image. This documentary can be viewed on demand HERE  can costs €6.46 but for free you can watch the overview of the documentary in it’s trailer HERE
  • For a lovely lesson plan all about St Faustina and Divine Mercy, full of videos, information, song, prayers, just click HERE

October 5th

World Teacher’s Day / Lá Domhanda Tiomanta do Mhúinteoirí

Being a teacher provides the unique opportunity to make a transformative and lasting impact on the lives of others, contributing to shaping sustainable futures and offering personal fulfilment. However, the world faces an unprecedented global teacher shortage exacerbated by a decline in their working conditions and status.


With the theme “The teachers we  need for the education we want: The global imperative to reverse the teacher shortage”, the 2023 celebrations will aim to put the importance of stopping the decline in the number of teachers and then starting to increase that number at the top of the global agenda. Through various activities, they will advocate for a dignified and valued teaching profession, analyse their challenges, and showcase inspiring practices to attract, retain and motivate teachers and educators. It will also examine the ways in which education systems, societies, communities, and families recognise, appreciate, and actively support teachers.


The Diocese of Ferns wants to support the wonderful Religion Teachers working tirelessly throughout the Diocese.  We look forward to running two RE Seminar’s this year the first taking place in Bunclody on the 24th of this month.  Some save the  dates to watch out for which we would love our teachers to join us in.

Dear Lord, we thank you for the gift of education and for the dedication of our teachers. We pray for guidance and wisdom for all educators as they guide and inspire their students. We ask that you grant them patience, understanding, and a love for their students. Help them to be positive role models, and to create a safe and nurturing learning environment for all.



October 7th   

The Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary / Cuimhneachán ar Mhuire na Corónach

“The whole purpose of the Rosary is to lead to this deep experience of Our Lady, who together with Jesus breathes the Spirit into us.”

October is the month in which Mary Most Holy, Queen of the Holy Rosary, is venerated.  Pope John Paul II invited us to pray this Marian prayer, possibly every day, for peace, “so that the world can be preserved from the wicked scourge of terrorism.”   This feast, focussed on the intercessory power of our Blessed Lady, was instituted by Pope Saint Pius V in thanksgiving for the great naval victory of a Christian fleet over the Turks at Lepanto on October 7, 1571, a favour widely attributed to intense recitation of the Rosary. Pope St. Pius V and all Christians had prayed the Rosary for victory.

In modern times successive popes have urged the faithful to pray the Rosary regularly, as a form of contemplative prayer focussed on the life of Christ. It calls prayerful attention to the saving mysteries of Christ and Mary’s close association with her Son in his mission. Pope St John Paul II called the rosary a “Christocentric prayer” containing the Gospel message in its entirety. The Rosary invites us to reflect on the great mysteries of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

  1. For loads of info just click HERE
  2. A 2 minute video with good visuals and commentary can be viewed HERE
  3. A lesson plan can be sourced HERE



October 10th

World Mental Health Day / Lá Domhanda Tiomanta do Mheabharshláinte



This year’s theme enables us to re-double our efforts to ensure that everybody should receive quality mental health care and that the human rights and well-being of people with mental illness are respected in all parts of the world so that every person with a mental health difficulty has:

  1. The right to be protected from known harms to mental health; a universal right which applies to the entire population, but especially the vulnerable including children, minorities and the displaced peoples.
  2. The right to access quality and affordable care when a person is struggling with their mental health.
  3. The right to freedom and dignity, including the right of choice.

The 2023 World Mental Health Day theme ‘Mental Health is a Universal Human Right’ provides us with an opportunity to re-kindle our efforts to make the world a better place.

To learn more and participate, download the WMHD 2023 Campaign Toolkit HERE


  1. The Diocese have developed a Box of Hope which contains a 5 class room plans and enables young people to connect with themselves and their faith providing that much need space.  This is available to all teachers from the Diocese of Ferns by contacting
  2. The Diocese is organising a Donal Walsh Live Life Tour for 5th/6th years in February 2024. This trip will act as a template for any schools or want to organise same in the future.  The focus is to support our students in recognising their self worth and how to truly live life to the full.




How Faith Can Help Mental Health

Some people find that religion and faith has a positive impact on their physical and mental health.


One practice that has received a lot of attention is contemplative prayer and meditation. Many people have found that 10-20 minutes of meditation is beneficial to their mental well-being.

Other have found relaxation through other contemplative practices. The daily ritual of praying with rosary beads, for instance, can invoke a meditative response.


Religion offers other supports for mental health as well. One of the most popular ways to interact with the community is to attend congregational gatherings such as Mass, prayer meetings, etc.

These group religious opportunities provide structured social activities that cause relatively little anxiety and benefit our health directly. Places of worship may also offer a number of resources and social activities that can encourage and support people living with a mental health condition and their families, providing additional benefits through community connections

A Sense Of Understanding

For some, the most important aspect of religion is that it offers ways to understand our experiences. The major world religions each offer explanations of why suffering exists in the world. Turning to these explanations brings comfort to many people confronting illness. The “why me?” question can never be answered entirely by medical science, and some people find the answers they seek in religion.

Helping Others

Volunteering and participating in our communities can have positive impacts on our health and well-being. Most religious organizations provide opportunities to help others, which can improve our mood and reduce anxiety.


October 15th  

Feast Day of St. Teresa of Avila / Féile Naomh Treasa as Avila

St. Teresa of Ávila, a sixteenth-century Spanish saint and mystic, was very aware that every Christian has a role to play in making Christ present in the world.  St. Teresa (1515-1582) was born in Avila and died in Alba, Spain. When only a child of seven, she ran away from home in the hope of being martyred by the Moors; in this way, she said she could come to see God.  At the age of eighteen, she joined the Carmelite Order and chose Christ as her heavenly Spouse. With the help of St. John of the Cross, she reformed most of the Carmelite convents and founded new ones.  She reached the highest degree of prayer and through prayer obtained such knowledge of divine things that in 1970 Pope Paul VI named her the first woman Doctor of the Church.  This was a great honour, especially for a woman of her time.  She was canonized in 1622.

  • For more info check Teresa of Avila click HERE
  • Also for a very good informative 11 min video about St Teresa of Avila click HERE


October 16th 

UN World Food Day / Lá Domhanda na Náisiún Aontaithe atá dírithe ar Sholáthar Bia

World Food Day 2023: a global call for water action for food

FAO Headquarters, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. CET TBC, Monday, 16 October 2023

We’ll be kick-starting the World Food Day global events at FAO headquarters with the annual ceremony. The Heads of the Rome-based UN agencies and other special guests will be invited to attend the ceremony, which will feature special messages from Pope Francis and the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres and as well as the presentation of the FAO Achievement Award.

Register to watch the live webcast.  

Webcast             Programme

October 17th 

Saint Ignatius of Antioch /Naomh Iognáid as Aintíoch

St. Ignatius is one of the great bishops of the early Church. He was the successor of St. Peter as Bishop of Antioch. He was condemned to death by wild beasts during the Emperor Trajan’s persecution. On his way to Rome, he wrote seven magnificent letters, which we still have today, concerning the Person of Christ, his love for Christ, his desire for martyrdom and on the constitution of the Church and Christian life.

00:00 Introduction

01:03 Religious Conversation

02:43 4th Century AD

03:37 3rd of Antioch

03:59 Ignatius of Antioch

06:05 How did Ignatius die?

07:56 The Epistles and Letter of Ignatius




Toward the end of the first century AD, Ignatius became the third overseer, or “bishop,” of the churches in Antioch at the northeast corner of the Mediterranean Sea . His bishopric also included the churches in the region of Syria. There was no central church building in Antioch or Syria. The church was made up of a series of house churches around town and throughout the countryside.


According to Ignatius, the most important thing for the churches to do to maintain unity was to treat their own leaders with honour. The bishop of each city’s churches should be honoured and obeyed like God Himself, the elders should be honoured and obeyed like the apostles, and the deacons should be treated with honour too.


Although it was important for every Christian to honour one another, honouring and obeying church leaders was important to the unity of the church.


Source: Theology Academy is an EdTech organization dedicated to enhancing religious literacy through accessible media and outreach. Learn more about Theology Academy at:

October 17th

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty / Lá Idirnáisiúnta atá Tiomanta do Dhíothú  Bochtaineachta


The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is held annually on 17 October to provide:

  • an opportunity to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty;
  • a chance for them to make their concerns heard; and
  • a moment to recognize that poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty.

The Irish theme for this year’s United Nations International Day for the Eradication of poverty is: Respecting the Dignity of all Humanity: End Persistent Poverty


Little Acts, Big Difference

Little Acts, Big Difference is a youth programme – made up of six modules – that introduces the life-changing work of Mary’s Meals and invites you to become a part of this vibrant global family which helps to feed millions of children a day.


Through short films and stories, you’ll be transported to different countries and meet some of the amazing people who are working together to realise Mary’s Meals’ vision that every child receives one daily meal in their place of education.


You’ll also hear from some children who receive Mary’s Meals in school and see that, while they are often facing many obstacles, their lives are being improved through community action and education.

We’d love for you to join us! Please complete this simple form to access your free youth programme pack, containing:

  • A teacher/youth leader guide, with six lesson plans
    • Complementary resource containing excerpts from the bestselling book The Shed That Fed A Million Children
    • Certificate to present to those who complete the programme




October 18th 


Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist / Féile Naomh Lúcás, Soiscéalaí

St. Luke, the inspired author of the third Gospel and of the Acts of the Apostles, was a native of Antioch in Syria and a physician, and one of the early converts from paganism. He accompanied St. Paul on a considerable part of his missionary journey. He was also his companion while in prison at Rome on two different occasions. His account of these events, contained in the Acts, is first-hand history. Luke’s Gospel is, above all, the Gospel of the Merciful Heart of Jesus. It emphasizes the fact that Christ is the salvation of all men, especially of the repentant sinner and of the lowly. Today, especially during these difficult days of the pandemic, ask your students to pray for doctors and those who care for the sick, through the intercession of St. Luke, who is patron of physicians.

For further information on St Luke just click HERE and HERE


October 20th  

Mission Sunday / Domhnach na Misean

World Mission Sunday is the Holy Father’s annual appeal for spiritual and financial support so that the life-giving work of overseas mission and missionaries can continue. It always falls on the second last Sunday in October, meaning this year it will be celebrated over the weekend of Sunday 22nd October.

The theme for this year’s celebration of Mission Sunday is: “Hearts on Fire, Feet on the Move” (Luke 24: 13-35).

To see the Pope’s full speech on this theme HERE


Every year to enhance World Mission Sunday celebrations we prepare the Mission Month Pack. These resources are designed to help individuals, parishes and communities celebrate not just World Mission Sunday, but the entire month of October.



World Mission Sunday Mass English & as Gaeilge

Mission Sunday Poster English

Poster as Gaeilge

Mission Month Toolkit

Children’s Mission Month Resource



Alternatively, for a physical pack, or additional resources such as posters please call Fiona on +353 (0)1 497 2035 or email Please note we have a limited number of packs, but we’ll do our best to facilitate you!


“Let us set out again with burning hearts, with our eyes open and our feet in motion,” the pope said. “Let us set out to make other hearts burn with the word of God, to open the eyes of others to Jesus in the Eucharist, and to invite everyone to walk together on the path of peace and salvation that God, in Christ, has bestowed upon all humanity.”

Pope Francis for Mission Sunday 2023

October 22nd  

St. John Paul II / Naomh Eoin Pól 11

Today we celebrate the feast day of St. John Paul II the great defender of life and the family of our times. The Church has chosen to celebrate his feast not on the date of his death which was on April 2nd, 2005 but on the anniversary of his formal installation as Universal Pontiff on October 22nd, 1978. St. John Paul’s words offer consolation to us, even more in these challenging times, than ever before.


Saint John Paul II’s Papal Visit to Ireland


Papal visits were relatively rare before the papacy of John Paul II. During his long pontificate, he travelled to 129 countries at least once and became a global personality. His visit to Ireland in 1979, the first by any pope, stands as one of the great public events in the history of Irish Catholicism.


An estimated 2.7 million people greeted him over three days between 29 September and 1 October amid, as one newspaper put it, ‘outpourings of joy and fervour’.Footnote1 Ireland was the new pontiff’s third journey during his inaugural year but, as Peter Hebblethwaite, Vatican commentator and biographer of Popes John XXIII and Paul VI, noted, it was John Paul’s first freely chosen one.Footnote2


  • Each year the Diocese promotes the Pope John Paul II Awards which were inspired by and developed as a direct result of his visit to Ireland on the 29th of September 1979. This video captures that excitement and if you get a chance on this day you might show your students so that they can get a glimpse of how special Saint Pope John Paul II was.  Click on this 4.33min video HERE


  • For more information on Saint Pope John Paul II click HERE






October 28th

St. Jude & St. Simon / Naomh Símón agus Naomh Iúd

Image: San Simón | Jusepe de Ribera/Image: Saint Jude Thaddeus | Georges de La Tour

Today the Church celebrates the feast of Saints. Simon and Jude whose names occur together in the Canon of the Mass and are also celebrated on the same day. Possibly this is because they both preached the Gospel in Mesopotamia and Persia where it is said they had both been sent, but in actual fact we know nothing for certain about them beyond what is told us of their being called as Apostles in the New Testament. St. Jude is the author of a short Epistle which forms part of the New Testament.


As in the case of all the apostles except for Peter, James and John, we are faced with men who are really unknown, and we are struck by the fact that their holiness is simply taken to be a gift of Christ. He chose some unlikely people: a former Zealot, a former (crooked) tax collector, an impetuous fisherman, two “sons of thunder,” and a man named Judas Iscariot.

It is a reminder that we cannot receive too often. Holiness does not depend on human merit, culture, personality, effort, or achievement. It is entirely God’s creation and gift. God needs no Zealots to bring about the kingdom by force. Jude, like all the saints, is the saint of the impossible: Only God can create his divine life in human beings. And God wills to do so, for all of us.

For more information on Saint Simon and Saint Jude just click HERE and HERE  



October 29th 

Blessed Chiara Badano / Ciara Badano, Beannaithe


Sometimes we’d prefer that our lives be a story than the one God seems to be writing.  In our fragile existence it doesn’t take much to turn a romance into a drama, or an adventure into a tragedy.  Briefly, the story of Chiara Badano—an only child conceived after 11 years of marriage, who died at 18 after a bout with a painful form of bone cancer—looks like an empty tragedy, but not from the perspective of the Divine Author.

Chiara seemed to have everything going for her as a teen.  She had a loving, holy family and a rock-solid faith that was nurtured by retreats and youth ministry programs.  She was popular amongst her friends and was liked by boys.  It’s not hard to see why.  She was beautiful.  Chiara loved to hang out in coffee shops.  She was great at tennis, swimming and mountain climbing.  Her outgoing personality and adventurous spirit made her dream of becoming a flight attendant.  Chiara Badano was a modern teenager: She liked to sing, dance, play tennis and skate. She was a member of the Focolare Movement, founded in Italy by Chiara Lubich in 1943. Chiara had a bright life ahead of her. One day while playing tennis, Chiara experienced excruciating pain in her shoulder.  Shortly afterwards she was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma.  She watched her bright future slip away.  But it’s here that the real story of her life begins—the story of heroic virtue. This is a beautiful and inspiring story to share with your students.

Chiara is now Blessed Chiara Badano (the step before becoming a Saint). She was beatified on 25th September 2010. Her feast day is celebrated on 29th October. She is blessed because of the good life she led and because of a miracle that happened through her prayers. Read her story and share her story with your students through a power point presentation and resources:

  • For information on Chiara Badano just click HEREand HERE
  • A 5 min video by Busted Halo provides a very interesting and informative video on How does the Catholic Church declare official Saints you can view that video HERE
  • For a Lesson Plan on being a Saint which includes videos, questions, exercises and loads more just check out HERE