May 2018

Post-Primary Diocesan Adviser R.E. News Blog

May 2018   Bealtaine 2018


Dear R.E Teacher/Chaplain,

Welcome to May’s issue of the R.E blog!  I hope you are all keeping well and minding yourselves as we approach the final few weeks of exams and graduations!  I hope the blog is proving useful and I would love to get feedback/suggestions from you so that I can continue to improve it.  Also, I would be more than happy to receive any contributions you may wish to share with fellow Chaplains and R.E teachers.  Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you who have welcomed me into their schools and sent me good wishes as I began my new role here as Post-Primary Diocesan Advisor.  I hope to visit many of you in the new academic year, and look forward to continued collaboration as we work to promote the faith of the young people in our care.

We will continue to add resources as Gaeilge with the assistance of Sr. Mairéad Ni  Bhuachalla. 

Le gach dea-ghuí,

Lily Barry


May 1st               Month of Mary the Mother of our Lord

                           Mí na Maighdine Muire

“The gift of the Mother, the gift of every mother and every woman, is most precious for the Church, for she too is mother and woman.”

May is traditionally known as the ‘Month of Mary.’ May when the earth blooms in springtime beauty, is an ideal time for our thoughts and sentiments to be directed towards Mary.

At the start of the new year, Pope Francis said that having a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary isn’t just something that is nice or good to do, but is an obligation in the life of a Christian.

“Devotion to Mary is not spiritual etiquette; it is a requirement of the Christian life… If our faith is not to be reduced merely to an idea or a doctrine, all of us need a mother’s heart, one which knows how to keep the tender love of God and to feel the heartbeat of all around us.” Pope Francis. For full text of the Popes speech see:

Excellent resources on Mary can also be found on the following websites: 

May 1st                Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker

                           Naomh Iosef, Oibrí

May is the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, a day on which the Church encourages us to celebrate the value of work, and the dignity and rights of workers. "May Day" has long been dedicated to labour and the working man. It falls on the first day of the month that is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pope Pius XII expressed the hope that this feast would accentuate the dignity of labour and would bring a spiritual dimension to labour unions. It is eminently fitting that St. Joseph, a working man who became the foster-father of Christ and patron of the universal Church, should be honoured on this day. For more resources see:


May 3rd               Feast of Saint Philip and James, Apostles

                              Naomh Philib agus Naomh Séamus, Aspail

We celebrate both saints on the same day because their relics were brought to Rome together on the same day in early May. They rest there still, in the Basilica of the Holy Apostles. They are considered two of the favoured witnesses of our Beloved Jesus' Resurrection. Sts. Philip and James, bear testimony to us that their Master is truly risen from the dead, that they have seen Him, that they have touched Him, that they have conversed with Him (1 John 1: 1), during these forty days.


May 3rd               World Press Freedom Day

                               Lá Domhanda Saoirse na Meán Cumarsáide

"On World Press Freedom Day 2018, I call on governments to strengthen press freedom, and to protect journalists. Promoting a free press is standing up for our right to truth." — António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General

It is an opportunity to: celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess the state of press freedom throughout the world; defend the media from attacks on their independence; and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty. For further resources see:

In a recent powerful address to journalists, Pope Francis defended the principle of freedom of the press, while calling on journalists to avoid the “sins” of fake news and sensationalism. “I would like, then, to invite everyone to promote a journalism of peace. By that, I do not mean the saccharine kind of journalism that refuses to acknowledge the existence of serious problems or smacks of sentimentalism. On the contrary, I mean a journalism that is truthful and opposed to falsehoods, rhetorical slogans, and sensational headlines. A journalism created by people for people, one that is at the service of all, especially those – and they are the majority in our world – who have no voice. A journalism less concentrated on breaking news than on exploring the underlying causes of conflicts, in order to promote deeper understanding and contribute to their resolution by setting in place virtuous processes. A journalism committed to pointing out alternatives to the escalation of shouting matches and verbal violence.”


May 5th               Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice

                              Naomh Iognáid Rís Beannaithe

“Let us do ever so little for God, we will be sure He will never forget it, nor let it pass unrewarded."

Blessed Edmund Rice, religious (1762-1844) came from Callan, County Kilkenny. After his young wife’s early death, he sold his possessions and dedicated his life to the education of the poor. To advance the work, he gathered together other like-minded men who took religious vows to work for the Catholic education of boys. He is a model of patient and cheerful acceptance of the sufferings God sends, a true lay apostle and a deeply committed religious. An inspirational Christian Brother of today; Br. Anthony Mark McDonnell, shared the following resources: Care of the Earth & the Story of Creation PowerPoint which may prove useful in linking the story Blessed Edmund and the work of the brothers today.


May 5th                       African World Heritage Day

                                      Lá Domhanda Oidhreacht na hAifrice

“On this International Day, I call upon all African stakeholders, States, civil society and local communities to assume the protection of the unparalleled richness of Africa’s heritage.”

Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO

African World Heritage Day is the ideal time to teach students to respect differences among people in their community and around the world and to raise awareness among the general public about the urgent need to protect African heritage. Irina Bokova declared that “today more than 23 African sites are on the List of World Heritage in Danger (…); all are threatened and are at risk of disappearing if we do not act quickly. We each have a role to play.”  

You can guide students through a cross-cultural experience, enhance their understanding and create in-depth discussions about the importance of diversity by celebrating this day. Resources are available from:


May 10th               The Festival of Wesak

                                 Féile Wesak

For those who are teaching Buddhism as a major world religion for the Junior Cycle this might be a good opportunity to explore one of its most important festivals.

Wesak is the most important of the Buddhist festivals and is celebrated on the full moon in May. It celebrates the Buddha's birthday, and, for some Buddhists, also marks his enlightenment and death.

Wesak (Vesakha) is an annual holiday observed traditionally by Buddhists and sometimes informally called "Buddha's Birthday". It actually encompasses the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Gautama Buddha.


May 13th                     The Ascension of the Lord: Sunday

                                      Deasgabháil an Tiarna

Ascension Day is traditionally celebrated on a Thursday (10th May 2018), the fortieth day of Easter. However, it is usually observed the following Sunday.

The Ascension of Our Lord, which celebrates the day on which the risen Christ, in the sight of His apostles, ascended bodily into Heaven (Luke 24:51; Mark 16:19; Acts 1:9-11), is a moveable feast.  It occurred 40 days after Jesus Christ rose from the dead on Easter, is the final act of our redemption that Christ began on Good Friday. On this day, the risen Christ, in the sight of His apostles, ascended bodily into Heaven.


May 16th                International Day of Light 

                               Lá Idirnáisiúnta an tSolais

The International Day of Light is held on May 16th every year, the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser in 1960 by physicist and engineer, Theodore Maiman. The laser is a perfect example of how a scientific discovery can yield revolutionary benefits to society in communications, healthcare and many other fields.


May 20th                Pentecost Sunday

                                  Domhnach Cincíse

Pentecost is a Christian holy day that celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit 50 days after Easter. Roman Catholics consider it the birthday of the Christian church and celebrate it as such. Pentecost (Whitsunday), with Christmas and Easter, ranks among the great feasts of Christianity. It commemorates not only the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and Disciples, but also the fruits and effects of that event: the completion of the work of redemption, the fullness of grace for the Church and her children, and the gift of faith for all nations. For a lovely power point on Pentecost and other resources to use with students see:


May 21st               World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

                                 Lá Domhanda le haghaidh Éagsúlacht Cultúrtha agus le haghaidh Agallaimh agus Forbartha

The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is an occasion to promote culture and highlight the significance of its diversity as an agent of inclusion and positive change. It represents an opportunity to celebrate culture’s manifold forms, from the tangible and intangible, to creative industries, to the diversity of cultural expressions, and to reflect on how these contribute to dialogue, mutual understanding, and the social, environmental and economic vectors of sustainable development.

All are invited to join in, and promote the values of cultural diversity, dialogue and development across our globe.


May 22nd                St. Rita

                                  Naomh Ríta

May 22nd  is the feast day of St. Ritaan Augustinian nun from 14th century Cascia, Italy. She is the patroness of impossible causes and hopeless circumstances because of her difficult and disappointing life. Through her trials God used her in remarkable ways, not only while she lived, but now from heaven she assists those who plead for her intercession for their own seemingly impossible and hopeless circumstances.


May 22nd               International Day for Biological Diversity

                                   Lá Idirnáisiúnta le haghaidh Éagsúlacht Bitheolaíochta

For more than 70 years, UNESCO has been working to foster scientific knowledge and cooperation on biodiversity and ecosystems, such as tropical forests, oceans, mountains. In recent years, the effect of human activities -- magnified by population growth and global climate change -- has reduced deeply biodiversity in ecosystems around the world. We need to join forces and find new ways to protect and promote biodiversity as our shared heritage, and a condition for a sustainable future for all.


May 25th               African Day/Week   -  Africa Week to focus on youth

                                 Lá/Seachtain dírithe ar Ógánaigh na hAifrice

 On the occasion of Africa Day, celebrated every year on 25 May, the African Member States group at UNESCO is organizing the African Week. This Week dedicated to reflection and intellectual exchange also highlights the diversity of Africa's cultural and artistic heritage.


May 27th                Trinity Sunday

                                 Domhnach na Tríonóide

“The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity and is at work with the Father and the Son from the beginning to the completion of the plan for our salvation” Catechism of the Catholic Church 686.

Celebrated on the first Sunday after Pentecost, Trinity Sunday is a Feast Day celebrated by Christians all over the world. The purpose of this holiday is to celebrate the symbolic nature of the Trinity – which is God, the father; Jesus, the son; and the Holy Spirit.

Also known as Holy Trinity Sunday, Trinity Sunday honours the most fundamental of Christian beliefs—belief in the Holy Trinity. The human mind can never fully understand the mystery of the Trinity, but we can sum it up in the following formula: God is three Persons in one Nature. There is only one God, and the three Persons of God—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—are all equally God, and They cannot be divided.


Other Dates/Information:

Dátaí Eile/ Eolas

On Tuesday 24th April 2018 at St Paul’s Church, Arran Quay the Pope John Paul II Awards Ceremony took place. The Archdiocese of Dublin congratulated 82 amazing young people who each received their Pope John Paul II Award.  The awards are dedicated to the memory of St Pope John Paul II, who showed a great love and confidence in young people.  Christian leadership and service in the community are at the heart of what the awards are about.

Very Rev. Kieran McDermott, Episcopal Vicar for Evangelisation and Ecumenism, presented the awards to 82 young recipients from 12 parishes and schools working together throughout the diocese.  31 young people reached the accolade of the gold award, 15 reached the accolade of silver and 30 received the bronze award.  Six young people received the Papal Cross Award. See for a list of all the schools and students who participated.


Emmanuel 2018

The postponed Emmanuel concerts will resume on the rescheduled dates of Tuesday 1st and Wednesday the 2nd of May at 7.30 p.m. in the Helix.

30 schools comprising 1200 students (600 per night) from different parts of the Diocese are participating in a massed choir accompanied by a full orchestra. Tickets €12 available from phone 01 7007000 or contact


World Youth Day Panama 2019 

Lá Domhanda na nÓg i bPanama 2019     

After Easter 2018 the Office for Evangelisation and Ecumenism will begin to accept bookings and deposits for WYD:

  • If you would like to secure a place on our pre-booking list - you can send a deposit of €250 non- refundable to the WYD -Office for Evangelisation & Ecumenism, Holy Cross College, Dublin 3 - Cheques payable to Archdiocese of Dublin. 
  • We hope to have an online payment option in place towards the end of April. This will include an option to pay in full, monthly options, or a planned schedule of payments. This option will accept digital payment and cheque payment.
  • Our cost proposal is that WYD Panama will not exceed €2000, however this is variable and full cost will be published once our online option is live.
  • Online registration does not imply acceptance to travel. All those who are booked must sign up to our code of conduct. 
  • You can keep checking back to this page. 

To indicate your interest or any questions that you might have. You can email or contact Watch the official video for WYD 2019 here

 Has your school volunteered for the WMOF 2018?

An mbeidh do scoil páirteach i gCruinniú Domhanda na dTeaghlach 2018?


Pope Francis: On 21 March 2018, speaking at his first General Audience in Rome after St Patrick's Day, Pope Francis announced that he will be travelling to Ireland to take part in the concluding events of World Meeting of Families 2018. His visit will bring great joy to Irish Catholics and others, as we prepare to welcome Pope Francis and thousands of families from all over the world to Ireland for this great event. Please read our new section on Pope Francis here for all the latest news.

Graduation Resources are available from our website:

A new one has been added for 2018 entitled: Diversity, Unity, and Community.  Kindly shared by Celine Donohoe (Chaplain of Pobalscoil Neasain, Baldoyle).

Connect, Share and Build a Better World!

Nasc, Roinn agus Tóg Domhan Bisithe!

Xt3 is an award-winning, interactive social media platform, bringing you the latest Catholic videos, podcasts, article & more! Featuring live webcasts, youth ministry resources and Smartphone Apps for Lent and Advent, Xt3 will keep you in touch with Church news and events, the latest hot topics, as well as updates from WYD2019. Xt3 - Christ in the Third Millennium.


May 20th-27th              Ecumenical Bible Week

                                          Seachtain Idirchreideamhach bunaithe ar an mBíobla

“I handed on to you what I myself received…”1 Cor 11:23

Ecumenical Bible Week is an exciting and successful venture which is now in its fifth year. It includes parish-based events around Dublin and surrounding areas. For 2018, our topic will be “Handing on Faith – Crisis, Challenge and the Great Commission”.  There’ll be debate, talks, music and (we hope) lots of participation.

Other good/resources pages to follow ( On Twitter:

  • @Pontifex -The official Twitter Page of Pope Francis with regular updates teaching us about God and the love of God.
  • @YSInow – For all things Young Social Innovators.
  • @rechatie – A brilliant Twitter and Facebook feed set up for all teachers of Religious Education in Ireland
  • @MsKeleghan – The Creator of Rechatie for more on Religious Education in Ireland.
  • @ScoilnetPostPrimary -Irelands resource sharing hub. Check out our new feature too!
  • @ailis_t – Ailis Travers a teacher and lecturer of Religious Education and textbook author.
  • @edmatters- For all news and information in Irish Education.
  • @ICREMDI – The Irish Centre for Religious Education supporting innovation in the field of Religious Education.
  • @PDST_Ireland – The official twitter account of the Professional Development Service for Teachers
  • @ceist1- The official Twitter of Catholic Education, an Irish Schools’ Trust

This is by no means a prescriptive list of people you may like to follow on Twitter. If you are following or have found any other people that you think may be of interest to other Religion teachers please tweet us their names on our Twitter @RtaiReligion.

On Facebook:

  • Teaching Religious Education
  • Nation Religious Education Congress Ireland
  • The Religion Teacher
  • HuffPost Religion


The very best of luck to all final year students undertaking their exams to become the next generation of religion teachers and educators. We wish you every success as you begin your exams and in search of teaching positions for September.

 A Teacher's Prayer

Paidir do Mhúinteoirí

Help me to be a fine teacher, to keep peace in the classroom, peace between my students and myself, to be kind and gentle to each and every one of my students.

Help me to be merciful to my students, to balance mercy and discipline in the right measure for each student, to give genuine praise as much as possible, to give constructive criticism in a manner that is palatable to my students.

Help me to remain conscientious enough to keep my lessons always interesting, to recognise what motivates each of my students, to accept my students' limitations and not hold it against them.

Help me not to judge my students too harshly, to be fair to all, to be a good role model, but most of all Lord help me to show your love to all of my students.


A Teacher's Prayer

I want to teach my students how
To live this life on Earth.
To face its struggles and its strife
And to improve their worth.

 Not just the lesson in a book
 Or how the rivers flow,
 But how to choose the proper path
 Wherever they may go.

To understand eternal truth
And know the right from wrong,
And gather all the beauty of
A flower and a song.

For if I help the world to grow
In wisdom and in grace,
Then I shall feel that I have won
And I have filled my place.

And so I ask your guidance, God,
That I may do my part.
For character and confidence
And happiness of heart.
    (James J. Metcalf)


Paidir do Mhuinteoirí

A Dhia, cabhraigh linne bheith mar dhaoine comhbhácha i bpobal na scoile seo.  Go raibh tionchar grámhar, grástúil againn ar shaol agus ar spioraid na ndaoine atá faoinár gcúram.

Go raibh ard-chaighdeán mar aidhm againn i gcónaí inár dteagasc féin agus go spreagaimid ár ndaltaí chun fiúntais a aimsiú ina bhfuil ar siúl acu.

Sin é ár nguí chugat trí Chríost ár dTiarna,