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Raphoe Faith Gathering Pictures



The Raphoe Faith Gathering was opened on Saturday morning last by the Papal Nuncio to Ireland Archbishop Charles J Brown. The Archbishop is an engaging and friendly man eager to stop and chat with people, keen to listen to what they have to say. In his own keynote address on Saturday morning he spoke of how his own great grandparents had left Ireland in poverty bringing little with them to America other than their strong Catholic faith. He urged all those present to nourish their faith through study, reception of the sacraments, prayer and an active living out of their faith in daily life. Such encouragement was very fitting given the context. This was the beginning of the Raphoe Faith Gathering and over the two days the participants – numbering about 200 – engaged in workshops, prayer, liturgy and lively conversation. Fr Silvester O Flynn on Scripture – Praying with the Word of God and Fr Paul Farren on Confession – Looking into the eyes of God together with Sr Rosemary Gallagher on The God of Everyday Life and Mairín O’Sullivan on Studying the Catechism proved to be the most popular workshops. In the Exhibition Space people browsed stands from Lough Derg, Veritas, Mary’s Meals, Accord, The Pastoral Centre, Trócaire and many more. The centre piece of the Exhibition space was a beautiful wooden boat together with a great selection of bright 3D fish which were blank on the back. Participants were invited to choose a fish, write a comment on their experience of the weekend and throw the fish into the waiting net. Messages were left by many including the Papal Nuncio and John McAreavey who presented the Pope John Paul II Awards to students after the 7.30pm vigil mass in the Cathedral. During Saturday afternoon 40 young people enjoyed great conversation, challenging questions and wonderful music with the Elation Ministries team in the Youth space. Throughout the weekend there was a buzz of energy and positivity. The Faith Gathering finished on Sunday evening with the keynote speaker Colette Furlong urging each person to take up the challenge of making something concrete happen - whether at the level of the individual, family, parish or diocese - as a result of the weekend. At the end of the closing prayer the participants were each invited to come forward and choose a fish from the net to take home with them as a reminder of the weekend. In good biblical fashion there were just enough fish to go around and the message on the last one in the net summed up the feeling of those present – Thank you God!


Below are some photgraphs of the events opening day. 


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 Raphoe Faith Gathering



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Elation Ministries Youth Space at the Raphoe Faith Gathering

By Caoimhe Ní Chathail

 “I know the plans I have in mind for you … to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 Those were the words of scripture which were used to inspire the reflections and discussions of the Elation Ministries’ Youth Space as part of the Raphoe Diocese Faith Gathering on Saturday last.

Forty young people aged 15-25 gathered in Loreto Convent Letterkenny, equally interested and intrigued by the opportunity to express and explore their faith. Fiona Moss, from the Stranorlar parish discussed her wishes at the beginning of the afternoon to “meet new people”. There was no shortage of introductions and conversations as the session began with an ice-breaker of Human Bingo. Having now discovered who was left-handed and who played a musical instrument, everyone was at ease with each other and prepared for an afternoon of retreat.

The afternoon’s proceedings were full of the use of song. Elation Ministries have achieved great success as a result of their musical abilities and their choice of upbeat songs of worship were greatly welcomed by all the young people present as everyone sang and clapped along.

The main themes and ideas present throughout the reflections and group discussions were the idea of happiness and the plan God has set out for all of us. “Happiness is becoming a who not a what!” struck a chord with all present and those words were embodied by the testimonies given by Elation Ministries’ members. Both discussed their search for themselves and for happiness and the help that God provided them with. To Anna Foy, “The testimonies really meant a lot.”

Everyone left with an energised sense of spiritual wellbeing, as together they had experienced an opportunity to reflect on their faith; a common interest among so many in the Raphoe Diocese this weekend.












Consecration of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

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Consecration of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Ireland will be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on August 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The consecration will take place at Knock Shrine, during the annual Novena to Our Lady of Knock.

Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland will lead the Act of Consecration. Archbishop Eamon Martin, Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh will be the principal celebrant and preacher at the Mass on that day. Bishops, priests and people from across the country will be in attendance.

The Prayer of Consecration will entrust families, homes and the dioceses of Ireland to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary and call on her to watch over the young people of Ireland. As the universal Church is currently celebrating a Year of Faith, it is fitting that the Act of Consecration calls to mind the woman of faith par excellence and asks for her prayers for the people of this country.

Commenting ahead of the Consecration Cardinal Brady said: “In his recent encyclical for the Year of Faith, Pope Francis invited us to turn to Mary, Mother of the Church and Mother of our Faith. I am very pleased that the Irish Bishops decided at their June Conference to consecrate Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I am looking forward to being at our National Shrine in Knock on the 15th August to ask Mary’s maternal blessing on the people of Ireland. The Feast of the Assumption is one of the biggest days of the year in Knock, with bishops, priests and people present for the opening of the Novena. I invite the people of Ireland to come along to Knock on the day or to join in this beautiful devotional act by praying the prayer of entrustment in their homes and parish churches.”

Background information:

Consecration to Our Lady is well-attested to in the tradition of the Church.

Consecration is understood as referring to “entrusting” the person consecrated to Our Lady. Consecration “is a conscious recognition of the singular role of Mary in the Mystery of Christ and of the Church, of the universal and exemplary importance of her witness to the Gospel, of trust in her intercession, and of the efficacy of her patronage, of the many maternal functions she has, since she is a true mother in the order of grace to each and every one of her children.”

The act of consecration is made “to the Father, through Christ in the Holy Spirit, imploring the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom we entrust ourselves completely, so as to keep our baptismal commitments and live as her children.”

The National Centre for Liturgy has assisted in drawing up the text to be used in the consecration.


Act of Consecration

Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Refuge of Sinners, we entrust and consecrate ourselves, our family, our home and our Dioceses to Jesus through your Immaculate Heart.  As your children, we promise to follow your example in our lives by doing at all times the will of God.

O Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, we renew today the promises of our Baptism and Confirmation.  Intercede for us with the Holy Spirit that we may be always faithful to your Divine Son, to his Mystical Body, the Catholic Church, and to the teachings of his Vicar on earth, our Holy Father the Pope.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, our Queen and our Mother, we promise to uphold the sanctity of marriage and the welfare of the family.  Watch over our minds and hearts and preserve our youth from dangers to the faith and the many temptations that threaten them in the world today.

We ask you, Mary our Advocate to intercede with your divine Son.  Obtain for our country the grace to uphold the uniqueness of every human life, from the first moment of conception to natural death.

O Blessed Mother, Our Life, our Sweetness and Our Hope, we wish that this Consecration be for the greater glory of God and that it lead us safely to Jesus your Son.

A Naomh-Mhuire, a Mháthair Dé, guigh orainn na peacaigh, anois agus ar uair ár mbáis.


This prayer has been approved for use by the National Centre for Liturgy and by Cardinal Seán Brady.



Prayer to Mary, Mother of the Church and Mother of our faith (from the encyclical Lumen Fidei of Pope Francis)

Mother, help our faith!

Open our ears to hear God’s word and to recognise his voice and call.

Awaken in us a desire to follow in his footsteps, to go forth from our own land and to receive his promise.

Help us to be touched by his love, that we may touch him in faith.

Help us to entrust ourselves fully to him and to believe in his love, especially at times of trial, beneath the shadow of the cross, when our faith is called to mature.

Sow in our faith the joy of the Risen One.

Remind us that those who believe are never alone.

Teach us to see all things with the eyes of Jesus, that he may be light for our path. And may this light of faith always increase in us, until the dawn of that undying day which is Christ himself, your Son, our Lord!


This prayer is taken from Lumen Fidei,  the recent Encyclical of Pope Francis

Ordination to the Priesthood

Rev Jonathan Flood, a native of Ballintra was Ordained to the Priesthood for the Diocese of Raphoe on Sunday 30th June 2013.

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Fr Jonathan Flood was ordained by Bishop Philip Boyce, OCD in St Eunan's Cathedral, Letterkenny. Fr Jonathan was joined by his family and friends on this joyfilled day. Many priests of the Diocese attended the Ordiantion Mass.

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On Monday 1st July Fr Jonathan offered his First Holy Mass in St Bridget's Church, Ballintra afterwards imparting his First Blessing to all present.

Fr Jonathan Flood is welcomed in the Diocese of Raphoe and is wished many happy years ministering to the Faithful people of the Diocese.

Vocations Sunday

 Full information and resources for Vocations Sunday can be obatined from the Irish Bishops' Conference website


Vocations Sunday resources available by clicking here


Vocations Sunday Poster available here

Apostolate of Eucharistic Adoration

All Parishioners are invited to a special Pilgrimage to Knock Shrine on Saturday 20th April.

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