March 2018

Post-Primary Diocesan Adviser R.E. News Blog

March 2018


Dear R.E Teacher/Chaplain,

Welcome to March’s issue of the R.E blog! I hope you are all refreshed after the mid-term and ready for this new term. I hope the blog is proving to be of use to you in planning and engaging your students. I would welcome any feedback so that I can continue to improve the resources. Irish resources will be available with the continued help of Sr. Mairéad Ni Bhuachalla. 

Le gach dea-ghuí,

Lily Barry


Feb 26th-March 11th            Fairtrade Fortnight 2018

Fairtrade Fortnight 2018 runs from 26 February to 11th March and this year they would like you to join them in supporting the farmers and workers who grow our food. With Fairtrade we have the power to change the world every day.


March 2nd                                       Major World Religions for Junior Cycle

For those of you teaching Hinduism as a major world religion for Junior Cycle World Religions, Section C: The Festival of Holi in 2018, is on March 2, with Holika Dahan on March 1.


March 2nd                                World Day of Prayer

World Day of Prayer is a global ecumenical movement led by Christian women who welcome you to join in prayer and action for peace and justice. This year the theme is All God’s creation is very good” (Genesis 1:31). The wisdom that runs through the text is hope. Hope proclaimed, affirmed, and experienced amid pain, the denial of life, and chaos. The beginning of creation is not evil or sin; creation is good. All beings created by God are good. Let us think and feel for a brief moment the prophetic and transforming strength in this statement: “And God saw that it was good.” For More information see:


March 10th                            RTAI Annual Conference

All  teachers  and  students  of  Religious  Education  are  invited  to  attend the RTAI Annual Conference which takes place on March 10th in the Hudson Bay Hotel. Places are limited and must be booked in advance by emailing

See for full details.


March 11th                            Mother’s Day/Laetare Sunday

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 also 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. As Christianity spread throughout Europe, Mother’s Day celebrations were held on the fourth Sunday of Lent and the celebrations were adapted to honour the Virgin Mary and also 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. For further resources see:


March 13th                            5th Anniversary of Pope Francis to the Papacy

On March 13, 2018, we will celebrate five years since Pope Francis was first elected—five years of a papacy full of mercy, joy, and hope. Loyola Press have produced a lovely short video and resources on their website.


March 17th                            St. Patrick

St Patrick is one of Christianity’s best known figures. Born in Britain to a wealthy family near the end of the fourth century, at the age of sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders. He was carried away to Ireland where he was held captive for more than six years. During his time as a slave, Patrick worked as a shepherd, attending the flocks of his master. Alone and homesick, Patrick prayed many times a day while in the pastures with the sheep.

In Patrick’s work, “Confessio”, he wrote, “the love of God and His fear increased in me more and more, and the faith grew in me, and the spirit was aroused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers, and in the night nearly the same, so that whilst in the woods and on the mountain, even before the dawn, I was roused to prayer and felt no hurt from it, whether there was snow or ice or rain; nor was there any slothfulness in me such as I see now, because the spirit was then fervent within me.”

Later Patrick joined St. Martin’s monastery at Tours, learning the Christian life, which would help prepare him for his future ministry amongst the Irish. Patrick evangelized in Ireland for many years.

St. Patrick used the shamrock, to illustrate the difficult understanding of the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish. To this day, the shamrock is a well-known symbol of Ireland. He founded many churches in Ireland and continued looking after them until his death on March 17, 493. Every year, on March 17, millions of people celebrate this annual feast day that celebrates St. Patrick, a patron of Ireland. For excellent resources on St. Patrick from Frank Brown, Parish Pastoral Worker, The Combined Catholic Parishes of Clondalkin, see:!AtJiw53tHyZ_gdlAIUR4zVXessA77A​


March 19th                            St. Joseph

St. Joseph is the patron saint of the Catholic Church, unborn children, fathers, immigrants, workers, Vietnam and the Philippines.

He was the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster father of Jesus. All we know about Joseph comes from the accounts of the nativity in the New Testament. He was a tradesman, commonly he is said to have been a carpenter, but it's possible he may have been a stone worker. He was said to have been a direct descendent of David, the great king of Israel. Since Joseph is not mentioned in any accounts of Jesus' public life, his crucifixion, or resurrection, it is thought that Joseph died before Jesus started preaching. For a short informational video and resources see


The theme for each World Meeting of Families is chosen by the Pope. In choosing The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World, as the theme for the ninth World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland, Pope Francis invites us to reflect on a theme that was central to the Synodal process that led to his post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia: On Love in the Family.  It was signed on 19 March 2016 on the Solemnity of St. Joseph. St. Joseph plays a central role in the Holy Family. As Pope Francis explains in the opening words of Amoris Laetitia¸“the Christian proclamation on the family is good news indeed” (AL,1). The Christian proclamation of the family is an indispensable part of the ‘Good News’ of the Gospel. God’s plan for the family, revealed in Sacred Scripture from the beginning, is joy for the world!   For information on the World Meeting of Families see


March 21st                 International Day of the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

The 2018 theme: Promoting tolerance, inclusion, unity and respect for diversity in the context of combating racial discrimination. Every person is entitled to human rights without discrimination. The rights to equality and non-discrimination are cornerstones of human rights law. Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. And based on Article 2, everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the Declaration, without distinction of race or any other kind. Yet racism, xenophobia and intolerance are problems prevalent in all societies, and discriminatory practices are widespread. Every day, each and every one of us can stand up against racial prejudice and intolerant attitudes. In the lead-up to the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in December 2018,  the United Nations organisation are asking us to join them in fighting racism and standing up for human rights!


March 22nd                           World Water Day

How can we reduce floods, droughts and water pollution?

By using the solutions we already find in nature.


The theme for World Water Day 2018 is ‘Nature for Water’ – exploring nature-based solutions to the water challenges we face in the 21st century. World Water Day, on 22 March every year, is about focusing attention on the importance of water.    For further information and resources see:


March 24th                            Oscar Romero

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.

He was assassinated on Monday March 24th 1980 as he was celebrating Mass in the chapel of the Divine Providence cancer hospital where he lived. Thirty five years later, he was declared a martyr of the Church, killed out of hatred of the faith, and was beatified on May 23rd 2015.

A study of Oscar Romero can be used in a variety of ways for the Junior Cert Religion Syllabus. See for ideas and further resources. Also The Archbishop Romero Trust have an excellent online resource bank of materials.  

Trócaire Romero Award is a student led awareness raising project that can be incorporated into a TY module, a CSPE project, or a RE topic. Prizes for most impressive entries and schools can register online at or contact for further details.



Other Dates /Important Notices

Emmanuel 26thFeb-1stMarch           *Cancelled Due to Adverse Weather*

                                                                         (To Be Rescheduled after Easter)

70 schools from different parts of the Diocese are in the process of taking part in Emmanuel across four nights (26/27/28 February and 1 March) from 7.30pm. 2400 students – 600 per night – will participate in a massed choir, accompanied by a full orchestra. We will have details and photos of this wonderful event in due course. Please support your local school!


Annual Trócaire Lecture 6th March

Remember to continue to support Trócaire in their Lenten campaign 2018. Excellent resources for schools available from

March 8th                              Workshop for Religion Teachers

Dr Fáinche Ryan Director of the Loyola Institute, Confederal School of Religions, Peace Studies and Theology Trinity College Dublin would like to invite you to attend a workshop for Religious Education teachers entitled Laudato si’ – Pope Francis and his love letter for the earth on Thursday 8th March, 5.00 – 6.45pm.

An invitation is attached below. Feel free to share this invitation with any RE Teachers you know who might be interested.

March 19th -24th                  Preparatory Meeting for Synod of Bishops on Youth

                                                    Pope urges youth to go online and give the Church an earful!

In his noontime Angelus address on Sunday, Pope Francis essentially invited youth of the world to go online and give the Catholic Church an earful, as part of an upcoming March gathering of young Catholics ahead of a Synod of Bishops on youth in October.

“A month from now, March 19 to the 24, around 300 youth from the entire world will come to Rome for a preparatory meeting for the synod in October... However, I strongly want all young people to be able to be protagonists of this preparation,”

Perhaps you could encourage your students to participate and have their voice heard! You can find information on the web site of the Secretary of the Synod of Bishops.

March 25th                            The Annunciation

PLEASE NOTE: The annual feast day of The Annunciation co-insides with the celebration of Palm Sunday this year so the date has been transferred to April 9th.