Down and Connor Diocesan Newsletter
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Apostolic Nuncio 

The Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland His Excellency The Most Rev Charles John Brown visited St. Patrick's Parish on Thursday 5th March. Archbishop Brown celebrated Mass to mark the 200th Anniversary of the Parish.Afterwards he met with Parishioners, along with Bishop Treanor, Bishop Farquhar and Fr Michael Sheehan.
The Spring 2015 General Meeting of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference concluded on the 11th March 2015 in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth. The full statement is available here
Our Church is Alive!
Parishioners in the Parish of Ramoan and Ballintoy are currently engaged in the process of working towards the formation of a Parish Pastoral Council. There has been an excellent response to the call by Fr. Brian Daly to become involved in a more active way in the Parish.

As Catholics we are asked to be Disciples of Christ, and the parishioners of this parish, together with many others in the Diocese are responding to the call with fervour and faith. The Spirit is clearly at work, and as the following pictures show, there is a palpable sense of hope evident in the participation of those who are present.
Each session is facilitated by a member of the Living Church team, and as the work continues across the Diocese, the words of Pope Francis echo:
How needed pastoral councils are! A bishop cannot guide a diocese without pastoral councils. A parish priest cannot guide the parish without the parish council. This is fundamental!
To watch the video of Cardinal Peter Turkson's speech in St Brigid's Parish on Wednesday 4th March 2015, please click here.

"Lough Derg is an island of pilgrimage set in calm lake waters, offers no distraction, no artificialities or interruptions. Instead you are warmly welcomed and cared for: there are no strangers here. The island, made holy by the prayers of millions of pilgrims over the centuries, continues to provide a safe haven for rest, reflection and renewal to all who wish to ‘Come away to a quiet place and rest a while’, Mark 6:31"

The island pilgrimage will open on the 2nd May, the first day of the one day retreats.

Above is a full list of their one day retreats and three day pilgrimages.

For more information email: or phone: 028 6863 2391

Trócaire Fundraising

Congratulations to Thérèse Clarke, her sister Chiara Clarke and cousins Emma Loughrey and Rachel Loughrey for raising £600.40 in aid of Trocaire and their work on human trafficking.

The girls achieved this incredible amount after hosting a bun sale in the Sacred Heart Parish, Belfast. Thérèse has said that she hopes that this will inspire other Parishes to do the same.

Thérèse started the bun sale when she was P5 and it is now in its 6th year. The girls also wanted to thank all of their family, friends and the parishoners who supplied the treats for the day as well as to everyone who donated funds after Mass in the Parish.

(L-R:Thérèse Clarke and her sister Chiara Clarke who presented a cheque to Trócaire on Monday 16th March)

Congratulations to Bishop Anthony Farquhar who celebrated his Gold Jubilee to the Priesthood. Excerpts from Bishop Farquhar's homily is available here.
Holy Week Reflection

By: Fr. Conor McGrath
Every year we solemnly read the journey of our Lord from his entry into Jerusalem to his death on the Cross. We are not simply revisiting the events of long ago, rather we are reminding ourselves that we too are part of this story, His story. On Holy Thursday, I am  the betrayer, at times placing money, power and personal gain before God. On Good Friday I am the bystander, often neglecting my brother in need or indifferent to my sister's suffering. However, on Easter Sunday I am the believer, called to witness to the joy of the Resurrection in our world today. 
This year's Habitat Ethiopia Gala Ball is taking place on Friday 17th April in The Tullyglass House Hotel, Ballymena. Tickets £40pp/£400 per table. Copy of ticket is attached along with a launch photo including Kiera O'Neill from Living Youth. Please check out full details on facebook or log on to here

This year Habitat for Humanity has come of age after 21 years of building hope in Northern Ireland. 2015 also marks the 10th anniversary of our partnership with Habitat's transforming work in Ethiopia. The Gala Ball is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate these two landmark dates - a great night out for a great cause! Please join us if you can and help build houses and hope in Ethiopia. 
Upcoming Events March 2015
Habitat NI Gala Ball Friday 17th April at 7.00pm in the Tullyglass House Hotel. Info on to purchase tickets is available here
Music Ministry Day with DCF Saturday 25th April in St Bernadette's Parish, Belfast. Contact Living Youth to register.
Living Youth Summer Pilgrimage Fund Raising Quiz  Friday 1st May Lansdowne Hotel, Belfast at 8.00 pm
Lough Derg One Day Retreat Season Saturday 2nd May to September 20th 2015. Link to the online brochure here.
Ordination of Deacon Andrew Black Sunday 3rd May 2015
Down and Connor Diocesan Liturgy Seminar : 'Closer to Christ in the Eucharist' Saturday 9th May, 1.00pm to 4.30pm in St. Brigid's Parish Hall
Lough Derg Three Day Pilgrimage Season 29th May to 13th August 2015. Link to the online brochure here.
Annual Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2015
7 nights
10th -17th July, £625* pps.
Accommodation Hotel Jeanne d’Arc
(*a single room supplement of £25 per night applies) Full details here
Annual Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2015
5 nights
11th-16th July, £570* pps.
Accommodation: Hotel Jeanne d’Arc, Hotel Alba, Hotel Mediterannee
(*a single room supplement of £25 per night applies) Full details here
Annual Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2015
5 nights
11th-16th July, £450 pps.
Accommodation: Accueil Notre-Dame (for pilgrims requiring medical, nursing and/or personal care and assistance) Full details here
SAVE THE DATE Faith and Life Convention 2015 Saturday 26th September 2015 at Our Lady and St Patrick’s College Knock.
Diocese of Down and Connor
Diocese of Down and Connor
Diocese of Down and Connor
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