November 2017

Post-Primary Diocesan Adviser R.E. News Blog

Dear R.E. Teacher / Chaplain,

I hope you find some of the following information helpful for the weeks ahead.

November Resources Available

Just a note to say that the November remembrance slideshow are available on the November Remembrance page which can be found at:  You will also find more information including a prayer service for November to allow schools to remember those that have passed away, if your school has not done so.

FaithArts have some excellent material for November which is worth checking out also.


Advent Preparation

The advent resources are also available at .  Also, look at the Dublin Diocese YouTube link that have a video depicting the concept of waiting for the Lord over the upcoming advent period, “Waiting for Jesus”,  that can be used in the classroom -


 Young Church in Dublin Diocese

I attach details on Dublin Diocesan Young Church with outlines details on Retreats, Teenager Initiatives, Leadership for Young Adults – all of which could be of interest to teachers and pupils alike.  Please contact Siobhan Tighe for further information at .  These are excellent initiatives that are worth tapping into for R.E. teachers and teenagers in the Diocese.

2017-2018 Activities in the Archdiocese of Dublin 


Walking the Walk – Talking the Talk  ...

With Bono in hot water over the Paradise Papers – “Is Bono is a hypocrite ... and so is Ireland” – what does it say about our standards?

What about the Pope banning cigarette sales in the Vatican – is this a meaningless gesture or is he trying to offer change? ... what do your pupils think?


Catholic Schools Week 2018 – 28th January-4th February 2018

The theme is “Called to be a Family of Families” – are we ready for the grace filled week in our school?

Is there more we can do to highlight the schools’ tradition?

Maybe start planning.  Why not start thinking now?


 World Meeting of Families

As you are aware, it is hoped that Pope Francis will come to Ireland next Summer.  It is really important that he is supported in his endeavours to reach out to Irish families.  Recently he has reduced the age profile for the World Youth Day in Panama, requesting more teenagers and young adults in their 20’s to attend.  This is clearly a target area of concern for the Pope, so it is really important that R.E. teams start thinking and working about engaging young students in our schools.  This will only be a Grace-filled event for the Irish church, if substantial efforts are made.

Also check out resources in

There are four moments - One in November, one during Catholic Schools Week, one in Lent and then the fourth moment in April/May.  It would be important that each school does use this resource to tap into the preparation for World Meeting of Families.  Please don’t let the November Moment pass us by!

Catholic Schools Week 2018 Post Primary


Recent Ordinations

Two ordinations took place on Tuesday, 14th November 2017 in the Pro-Cathedral on the feast of St. Laurence O’Toole. 

Check out PowerPoint on St. Laurence O’Toole - 

Also, take the time to look at YouTube link:  and  where you can also see Philip Mulryne, ex Manchester United football player, being ordained into the priesthood (8th July 2017). 

Fr. Mulryne was also interviewed by Sean O’Rourke on RTE Radio 1, so have a listen to what he had to say about his decision to become a priest -

This may spark some discussion about leaving the life of football, fast cars, etc, for the priesthood.  Why do young men decide to take on this life commitment?  What is my commitment to the faith?


Feast of the Presentation Sister Nano Nagle

Today is the 21st November; it is worth checking out as a feast day of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Nano Nagle is also a great talking point at this time of year.  Check out


Evening Talk with Sr. Consilio and Ms. Bernadette Kinsella in Clonliffe

Many thanks to all who came along to our Ethos & Management talk on Monday, 23th October 2017.  I think everybody would agree that the talks on ‘Becoming Data Protection Ready for Schools in 2017 by Ms. Bernadette Kinsella, from the Joint Managerial Board; and ‘Catholic Formation and Impact from School to Later Life’ by Sr. Consilio, founder of Cuban Mhuire Addition Centre; were most informative.  If you would like to hear more from Sr. Consilio, please see the following link:   for more information.


“One More Person”

Check out  Looking at this clip in ‘Schindler’s List’, it reminded me of the selfless efforts of Oscar Schindler in the film.  He was less than perfect but he saved countless Jews and allowed generations to prosper.  But Oscar is still saddened that he couldn’t save more.  In the need to spread the faith, could this be a topic for discussion?  Bringing people to Christ ... is this important?  Evangelisation or saving of souls, is this important?  Saving lives and the present pro-life debate, does this give us food for thought?


The Kingdom of Heaven is Like ...

The goal of Christian hope is the Kingdom of God, that is, the union of world and man with God through an act of divine power and love.  The immediate aim that shows us the way and confirms the rightness of the ultimate goal is the perpetual presence of this love and this power that accompanies us in what we do and takes us up at the point where the potential of our own ability to act comes to an end ....

The aim of Christian hope ... is a gift, the gift of love, which is given us beyond all our activity: to vouch for the fact that this thing that we cannot control or compel and that is yet the most important thing of all for human beings does exist, and that we are not clutching at thin air in waiting insatiably for it, we have the interventions of God’s love in history, most powerfully in the figure of Jesus Christ in whom God’s love encounters us in person.

But this means that the product of the promise of optimism is something that we must ultimately produce ourselves, trusting that the blind process of development in connection with our own activity will finally lead to the right goal.  The gift of the promise of hope, on the other hand, is precisely that, a gift that is something already bestowed, something we await from him who alone can really give: the God who in the midst of history has already begun his age through Jesus.  This in turn means that in the first case there is in reality nothing to hope for, because what we are awaiting we must bring about ourselves, and nothing will be given us beyond what we can achieve ourselves.  But in the second case real hope does exist beyond all our potential and possibilities, hope in the unbounded love that at the same time is unbounded power ...

Human beings are by their nature directed toward the future.  We cannot live if this fundamental element of our being becomes void ...

The hope of faith, on the other hand, reveals to us the true future beyond death, and it is only in this way that the real instances of progress that do exist become a future for us, for me, for every individual.

Pope Benedict XVI


A Light Unto My Path - Generous in Sharing the Truth, But Ungenerous in Sharing Their Love

Some years ago, when I was rector of Mundelein Seminary, Cardinal Francis George spoke to the students.  He told them that he was proud of their devotion to the teaching of the Church, especially in the area of morality.  But then he added something that I will never forget.  He said, “You cannot simply drop the truth on people and then walk away, convinced that you’ve done your duty.  Rather, once you tell your people the truth, you must be committed to helping them integrate that truth into their lives.”

The Cardinal was repeating for our time what Jesus said regarding the official religious teachers of his day.  The scribes and the Pharisees, he explained, legitimately occupy the teaching chair of Moses, and therefore their doctrine is correct.  However, they tie up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them.  In other words, they are generous in sharing the truth, but ungenerous in sharing their love.

A professor mine, many years ago, made much the same point when he commented that we should be willing to criticise others for their moral behaviour precisely in the measure that we are willing to help them deal with the problem that we’ve identified.  Here is the bottom line: if you have no interest in walking with a fellow sinner, you should keep your criticisms to yourself.

Bishop Robert Barron


With best wishes for over the next few weeks, 


Declan Lawlor

Education Secretariat