News & Events
Pastoral Letter 2018

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Bishop Alan McGuckian, SJ has written a Pastoral Letter called "Right to LIfe".

it is availbale by click on the links:

English copy of Pastoral Letter

Irish version of Pastoral Letter

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A new website is under construction at present.

this site may not be up to date.

Thank you!

Christmas Message 2017

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Christmas Message 2017

Most Rev Alan McGuckian, SJ, Bishop of Raphoe

Christmas and the Scandal of Christianity

‘The Word became flesh and lived among us’ must be the sentence that encapsulates more powerfully than any other the shocking presumption of Christian faith. For non-believers who give the Christian claim any serious thought it has to seem at best ridiculous and at worst scandalous. It is indeed really shocking; the eternal God chose to become one of his own creatures and share our lot.

Since He took on human flesh then human flesh can never be looked on in the same way again. As human beings we all , without exception, have something in common with the Son of God. For that reason, all of our lives have infinite value. Because of Christmas it is simply not permissible to disdain any human life, my own or my neighbour’s. We all have a brother in common and he is the Son of God. We have a brother in common with the families who have suffered repossession of their house during this year, with the Rohingya people who have been driven from their homeland, with victims of crime and with criminals. We have a divine brother in common with the member of our own family from whom we are estranged.

Christian Solidarity and the Family

The reach of Christian solidarity is infinite. It includes the tiny innocent waiting to be born and the soul that has grown hard and bitter with the stresses of life. Our lives are a constant invitation to grow into the solidarity that Christmas signifies.

The place where we first begin to learn about this solidarity is in our families. During the coming year we in Ireland will have opportunities to reflect on the importance of family, culminating in the World Meeting of Families in Dublin from 22nd to the 26th of August.

It is my prayer in my first Christmas in Raphoe that we will all open our hearts to the shocking, scandalous, truth of Christmas and learn to make our families, with all their weaknesses and strengths, centres of that solidarity that Jesus came to establish on earth.

Towards Peace

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Christmas and New Year is often a time when we are reminded of our deeper selves and deepest hopes, and deepest pain. The vision of Towards Peace is to provide a safe supportive space for people who have been affected by abuse in a Church context, and who are seeking to explore the spiritual impact of the abuse. If you have been abused and would like a space to reflect on the impact of the trauma of abuse on your own relationship with God and spirituality, Towards Peace is here for you: / 01 505 3028.


World Meeting of Families 2018

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Prayer Petition Box in the Parishes of the Diocese

  • Calendar for Petition Box going from parish to parish enclosed.
  • Please collect the Box from the last Parish on the Monday of your assigned week.
  • Up to each Parish to share the Box with other churches in the parish during your week.
  • Limited amount of petition papers came with the box - please copy if you need more for your parish
  • Please remove your petitions before you hand the Box on to the next parrish; put them in an envelope, write the name of your Parish on the envelope, and forward it on to the Diocesan Office.
  • All petitions from the Diocese will be forwarded to the WMF Office in Dubin and distributed to comtemplative Orderrs who will remeember the intentions in their prayers.

Petition Box Parish calendar for Raphoe Click here

Holy Family Icon on Tour

In the Diocese of Raphoe from 1st to 11th June:

              1st to 3rd:     Franciscan Friary Rossnowlagh

              4th to 6th:    Capuchin Friary in Ards

              7th to 11th: St Eunan’s Cathedral— for the Feast   of St Colmcille on the 9th June.


Christmas Day

Parishes will have already received copies of the Holy Family Icon from the WMOF office — a large Icon for each of the Churches of the Parish and a small copy for every family for distribution to those attending Christmas Masses. More copies of the Icon can be ordered on line.


Volunteers Needed

5,000 Volunteers needed for the running of the World Meeting of Familes. Over a 1,000 have already enrolled. Parishes are asked to encourage more people to consider volunteering. Parish groups, clubs, friends or family me.mbers may register as a group. Volunteers will have to be Garda Vetted and need two references.

Information and registration on


Icon of The Holy Family of

Jesus, Mary and Joseph

¨Written by Iconographer Mihai Cucu from Romania, assisted by the Redemptoristine Sisters, Iona Road, Dublin.

¨The design of the Icon takes the form of a triptych which looks, from the outside, somewhat like a house with front doors.

¨Outside doors: Archangels Michael (left) and Gabriel (right) with “Amoris Laetitia”, ‘The Joy of Love’ - Pope Francis’ exhortation on love in the Family, the source of our reflections during WMF.

¨Inside centre Panel: Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, seated at table sharing a meal (Passover meal). Their faith was celebrated in their home. As in Rublev’s Trinity, the Holy Family have a place at table for us.

¨Inside Left Panel: The Raising of Jairus’ Daughter.  Jesus’ compassion for a family with a sick child.

¨Inside Right Panel: The Wedding Feast of Cana. Mary sees the couples’ need. She trusts that Jesus can do something and tells the servants: “Do whatever he tells you.’

For a detailed Explanation of the Icon and for Relfections on it go to the WMF2018 Website.



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