Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
For the month of November, as always, we will be praying for the souls of children and young people who have died.
November is the month of the Holy Souls. It is a time when we
pray for our loved ones who have moved on to the next stage of their heavenly journey, their journey towards eternity with God. Our faith teaches us about the Resurrection of the body and life everlasting (Creed). So this month, let us pray for all children
and young people who have died. We also pray for all parents who have lost children and we intercede with our Blessed Lady for them as she too lost her son through a terrible death; and she knows their pain.
I would like to share a true story that I
witnessed this week. I visited a place called the Oasis of Peace in Collon. It is a house of prayer and blessing and it is located on the grounds of the monastery in Collon. A priest suggested that I should visit it and pray with the people there.
So last Tuesday I decided to go. On enterering the grounds I drove through a long wooded road until I came to a sign post for the Oasis. I followed the road until I came to a house. There was a friendly man directing traffic and he very soon
found a place for me to park and made me feel welcome. I made my way into a large room in the middle of the house where people had gathered for prayer. A priest recited the Rosary from the altar and after there was singing and sharing of Sacred Scripture.
Then Deacon John brought the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar in a Monstrance and people prayed before Jesus, truly present on the Altar. After some time Deacon John walked around to each person present, giving them a blessing with the Monstrance.
There was a small boy sitting beside me with his dad. This little boy took a fancy to the label on my jacket and began to play with it. I smiled at him and he smiled back and continued to play. As Deacon John approached the small boy who
was about 2 or 3 yrs old he took the boys hands and placed them on the cloth around the monstrance. The little boy stared at Jesus truly present in the small white host in the Monstrance. His eyes dazzled and his face was smiling and overflowing
with joy as he gazed upon Jesus. He kept smiling and just looking at the Monstrance. What an example and what joy this small boy had brought to those who witnessed his mighty prayer before his God. This boy prayed with his eyes, with his
smile. There were no words just a look that said it all. I know who you are and I love you.
What lessons children can teach us. The simplicity of a small boy as he gazed upon his Creator. May we too imitate little children and love
our Creator with their simplicity.
O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee
For the month of October we will pray for all children and young people around the world. We will not have any specific intention but we will place all God's children into the loving arms of His Blessed Mother Mary. Mary is the one who intercedes
with her Son Jesus Christ for all of us. Children and young people around the world need all the Divine help they can get. October is the month of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. It is the perfect time to place all children and young people
into her maternal heart. May Our Lady help us all, guide us all and lead us to her Son Jesus Christ.
Like a son comforted by his mother will I comfort you.
Thanks to Keenan Constanc of Unsplash for the use of their photo.
July 2022 Intention
This month we will pray for children and young people who suffer from mental illness, an awful cross for anyone to carry. It is
oftentimes a silent illness, going undetected - especially in a young person - while the individual is suffering terribly. Ireland is in the midst of a mental health epidemic, but it is children who are suffering most.[i]
I have seen what mental illness can do to some people. It can result in isolation, loneliness, and in some cases homelessness. The pain of mental illness is really only fully experienced by the person afflicted. Sometimes, doctors
are successful in treating the illness but in other cases, pain and suffering endure interminably. In certain tragic cases the pain becomes so unbearable that people turn to substance abuse, to numb the agony. But this only exacerbates the
situation. The inevitable outcome for some is to take their own lives, to end it, as they perceive, once and for all.
In times past mental illness was frowned upon and not talked about. Nowadays things appear to be more out in the
open, but acknowledging that there is a problem – by people in authority - while not being fully committed to solving it, still leaves people untreated. Ireland needs to spend more on mental health care, to provide the necessary support services,
beds, psychiatric nurses, not only to help the sick but also to prevent those providing the assistance already from burning out.[ii]
illness has always been a part of societies, often acknowledged in the Bible. Jesus healed many people while he lived on earth; some of these were suffering from mental illness. The pain that families endure from seeing a loved one suffer with
this illness, and in their own minds, being helpless to assist them, is a direct reflection of what the person experiences. Mental illness can also destroy families due to a lack of understanding, compassion, support and love. Parents
of children and young people with mental illnesses often tell you that they are waiting for the day when they will have to bury their children, with visions of their loved ones in coffins. Days of despair stretch ahead of them, with little sign of hope
for a cure.
As a nation, as a people, as a government, we can provide practical, financial support to improve medical and support services to help children and adults, and their families to resolve mental health issues. But it should never be
forgotten that prayer has the power to lighten burdens, by giving strength to a situation. The people carrying the cross of illness are given a Divine strength to cope, as are their family members. Jesus prayed to His father for all of
us. We too need to pray for all His children, for their protection and for their strength and safety. The use of Holy water and blessed religious objects in a home are so powerful and should be used. I once knew a lady whose young son refused
to get dressed for school. Each morning he would kick and scream and reduce her to tears. She asked me what she could do and I told her to bless him with Holy water. She did this each day until the child would willingly get dressed for school;
there was never a problem thereafter. This is just a small example of how the use of Holy water in the home can help.
I always say when a problem is greater than us, we give it to God. Our children are not ours; they are on
loan to us but ultimately, they belong to God. When a problem is greater than us, we give it to God. He created us and knitted us together in our mother’s womb; who knows and loves us better the He does.
This month let us remember in our prayers all children and young people who are suffering from Mental Illness.
Let us remember also their families and friends who suffer with them.
Let us pray for the doctors and medical staff who treat them.
Let us pray for the souls who refuse treatment and continue to suffer in isolation.
Let us ask God in prayer to help them and that His will may be done in all situations.
[i] Fiona Sherlock, Sunday Independent, 3.7.22 - Children stuck on merry-go-round of despair
[ii] Mental Health Commission’s annual
report published last week, also referred to by Fiona Sherlock
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
As always for the month of June we remember all those around the world who are sitting exams. Sitting school exams or indeed any exam can be an anxious time. God tells us not to worry but we are human and we do. Our prayers can be a source
of calm for students. Prayer gives us strength, and patience to deal with what we need to. So please if you can take some time to remember all students around the world in your prayers.
not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus
Let the little children come to me, do not stop them
For the month of May, the Month of our Blessed Lady, we give all the little children to Mary in prayer. We ask her to protect them all and to bring them to her Son Jesus Christ.
As so many parishes are receiving the Sacraments of First
Holy Communion and Confirmation still we have decided to continue with this intention for this month. On Saturday one church here in Drogheda had 90 children who received their First Holy Communion while another parish held a Confirmation ceremony.
All around the globe young people are receiving the Sacraments at this time so please continue to pray for all the young as they prepare and begin a journey of faith.
Our Lady of Knock, pray for all God's little one's. Amen.
Let the little children come to me, do not stop them.
This month of April, we will continue to pray for all children and their families who are affected by war. We will also pray for children who are busy preparing to receive their First Holy Communion.
As we approach Holy Thursday, the memorial of Jesus instituting the Eucharist at the last Supper, it is fitting that we remember all the children around the world who are preparing to receive Jesus in this wonderful Sacrament. This month we are writing
from Spain, from a little village on the East coast called Formentera del Segura. Since last October Catechists here have been busy, preparing children for their First Holy Communion; and will continue to do so until the end of May. Each week the
children go to classes an hour before Mass and then immediately after, they attend Mass. Fr. George, the local priest, does a homily on the Gospel which is child friendly; and he encourages the children to listen and to answer questions. A lot
of time and effort goes into preparing these little ones to meet Jesus on their first Holy Communion Day.
All over the world there are similar situations as children joyfully await the day, they will meet Jesus. Unfortunately, those children who
have to flee their country because of war, will have to wait an indeterminable period before they make their Communion. Perhaps. Covid was a war waged across the world, threatening the lives and health of every person: Lest we forget, it has not
ceased its attacks upon us. For months at a time, the world and many of its organizations shut down. These included religious institutions and their observances of the sacraments, like Holy Communion and Confirmation. Gradually, though, in
some cases tentatively, churches were permitted to open and the priests and religious permitted to resume their duties. Classes in preparation for First Holy Communion and Confirmation resumed, but not without difficulties, as we personally experienced.
Some children who were on the point of receiving their confirmation, before the declaration of the pandemic and all of its consequences, were now on the cusp of adulthood; they had grown impatient, disillusioned, frustrated. But the dedication and application
of the priests and the catechists, revived their thirst for the receipt of the Holy sacrament.
Christ said “Let the little children come to me, do not stop them”. Children are so close to God’s heart. If we remember
that, then those Catholic children who have now fled Ukraine, for example, will in time receive the necessary support and religious instruction in their lives, from those truly dedicated to the cause. Nationalities, even language barriers, are irrelevant
when it comes to imparting the knowledge of God and all of His gifts.
In this season of Lent, let us pray earnestly for all children, that they will come to know and love Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and that they will stay close to Him for the remainder
of their lives.
We pray for Children preparing for the Sacrament of First Holy Communion.
We pray for the people
preparing them to receive the Sacrament.
We pray for their parents that they will not stop their children from coming to Jesus.
We pray for world peace and an end to war.
We pray that this Easter will be Holy, happy and special for all of God’s Children.
“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God…”
Thanks to Chuanchai - Pund on Unsplash for the use of his photo.
March Intention 2022
This month of March, we will pray for children and young people who are affected by the violence of war.
Last month we prayed for the protection
of children and young people from bitterness. When Jesus came on this earth, he came to bring peace, a peace that would last. The evil one is the one who brings division and discord. At the time of writing, a violent war rages between Russia
and Ukraine. Many children and families have become refugees overnight. In fear of death and destruction, they have had to flee their homes just like Mary and Joseph did with the child Jesus when they made the journey to Egypt. (The flight into
Egypt). How many children and young people have been killed or maimed as a result of wars over time? far too many to be counted. Even if they survive these traumatic events, they will surely be scarred from the psychological effects of the conflict.
Who among us won’t be?
The general condemnation of Russia’s actions has generated a unified humanitarian effort from most countries, an outpouring of goodness and kindness from around the world in order to alleviate the terrible suffering
of a neighbour. It is at times like this that goodness can and should thrive. The Christian world is ‘celebrating’ the occasion of Lent, a time generally set aside for sacrifice and abstinence, to acknowledge a period of great tolerance
and trial in the life of Jesus. What we deny ourselves over the next 40 days or so, can now be donated to our fellow man in need. It will not match the ordeals of Jesus in the desert, or perhaps mirror his great fight with temptation; but in our
own way, we can acknowledge the struggles of other human beings in their war with the oppressor, who seeks to deny them freedom. So, we will provide clothes, medicines, food and comfort as a right and not as an obligation.
All of us, we
are told, will suffer to a certain degree because of one person’s ambition and disrespect for his fellow human beings. All of us, except those who will prosper from the suffering of many, including the oppressor. History has taught
us that it has always been so. Perhaps while they are considering sanctions as a means of curtailing aggression, governments might also consider that most people want only peace, love and security in their lives. Perhaps they might on this
occasion of rare unification turn towards the teachings of Christ once again and seek, finally, to put an end to all wars, to extend the hand of peace. Charity should not be used to bridge divides in times of war.
This month please pray for an end to war, an end to the needless suffering that children and families are enduring.
Please pray for those who cannot see past the subtleness of temptation
to evil. Pray that God may touch the hearts of these people and bring many conversions to peace and goodness.
Please pray that people will continue to help and share God’s goodness with
Please pray for the people of Ukraine and Russia that peace may prevail.
Please pray for the emergency staff who work to save
Prayer of St Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning
that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
O that today you would listen to His voice, harden not your hearts.
Protect us from Bitterness
This month begins with the Story of Saint Brigid, a young woman whose heart was full of love for God and her neighbour.
In Ireland on the first day of February each year, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Brigid. Children in schools make Saint Brigid Crosses, which represent the cross of Christ. It is said that people would put this cross made of reeds in
their homes to protect them throughout the year. This month, our prayer for children and young people is a prayer to protect them from Bitterness. One might ask, why choose this particular
topic for prayer? Having prayed on the subject and asked the Holy Spirit for inspiration, this is what came to mind. With all the talk in the news of a possible war in the near future between Russia and the Ukraine, we should pray for children
and young people in order that they do not have to suffer from bitterness in their young lives; and that they themselves may not become bitter.
Bitterness is a subject that I do not really give much thought to except when I encounter a truly nasty person.
It is a vice that can quietly smoulder in the best of us, turning into a form of hatred opposite to the love we should feel for one another. Christ commands us to love God and then to love our neighbour as ourselves. Evil calls us to despise God
and our neighbour, to be bitter and to be full of hatred. This is something we do not want for God’s children and young people. Little babies are born full of innocence, and respond to love. As the child grows and develops it learns
from what it sees, hears and experiences. If a child is brought up in a loving environment, then it will grow up in love; but if a child sees and experiences only bitterness and hatred from a young age it may well identify with and develop similar feelings.
Some young people, however, are lucky or even blessed when they are able to change behaviour learned in a dysfunctional family of origin; and become as they were born to be, full of love.
If one looks at the news today it is filled with bitterness
and unending conflicts. How many stories of love and goodness are reported? Look at past wars, and trace how many have their origins in seeds of bitterness resulting in a release of hatred and mass annihilation. Bitterness can seep into our very
soul without us even knowing. It can twist our minds and harden our hearts. In Psalm 94 we hear the words, “O that today you would listen to His voice, harden not your hearts”. Indeed, God desires that we do not harden
our hearts. Bitterness hardens one’s heart. The seeds of bitterness can often be planted in the hearts and minds of a child or young person in the family setting. Watching bitterness being practiced and lived out in the home can lead
a child to grow up knowing how to respond with bitterness.
One person’s bitterness is often directed towards another individual alone. It can still have disastrous consequences. When that person is in a position of power and
the feeling spreads throughout his or her followers or fellow countrymen, the consequences if acted upon can be terrifying and reach into the lives of all of us. Hitler’s bitterness and antagonism towards the Jewish people had simmered for many
years prior to the outbreak of World War II. Indeed, his may have been symptomatic of a collective in his country, since the ending of the first world war. Whatever its source, the terrible manifestation of its depths still horrifies to this day.
The terrorists’ attacks on the U.S.A. of 9/11 were another example of people’s demonstrated bitterness. A parent can be bitter with a neighbour and the child seeing this, can also harbour feelings of resentment towards that person.
There is always a source of bitterness. It is exclusively internalised and the person towards which it is directed may not be initially aware of it, until it is often too late. While these feelings are essentially a challenge
for the person bearing them to deal with, it does not help when the sources or sources of them continue to exist, or carry on regardless of the other person’s feelings. Knowing of them and their impact, and acting to further antagonise, or
escalate the degree of antagonism towards the point of confrontation, is morally and criminally wrong. It is important that we understand what the seed of bitterness can lead to. It is important that our children and young people do not have to
witness or live with this horrendous evil. It is even more important that we ask God’s help through prayer to rid us of this evil. Having a disposition of love, goodness and kindness are what are needed in the world today. Where these
things are lacking, there is greed, envy, jealousy, discrimination and many more vices. So, this month let us ask God to protect all children and young people around the world that they may not have to experience the evil of bitterness in their young
Pray for the embittered that they may find peace and forgiveness
Pray for the sources of bitterness that they may seek to restore peace, equality and good relations with those they have injured
all that they may find peace, love and kindness in their hearts.
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened
January 2022 intention
A new year, full of new beginnings and new possibilities but we can never forget that all is a gift: nothing is ours because all has been given to us. This year our prayer intention for January is for children and
young people who have not received or being deprived of the gift of sight; who suffer from eye disease and blindness.
I have often seen adds for children suffering from River Blindness and thought, how sad. Every day we encounter many adds for different
causes and they can be overwhelming at times, especially when in the form of letters through your letter box, almost daily, pleading for donations. And yet, it is only when life jolts you that you can fully realise what others are suffering.
of Calcutta said that if you want to know the poor you must first become poor. If we dig deep into our conscience, perhaps we believe that we can empathise with people who have suffered a loss of any kind. In some regards, yes, especially when we may have
experienced similar losses. We often recite that well-known prayer, quietly when we hear of a terrible misfortune: there but for the grace of God go I, perhaps in that moment realising just what graces we have received. To understand what people, especially
young children, with eye disease and blindness really suffer, then we too must first become blind.
For the past few months my eye-sight has deteriorated. I have gone from being short-sighted to being far-sighted, and then back to somewhere in between.
My sight is constantly changing and glasses are no longer any use because the changes occur too often, sometimes daily. Being able to see clearly has always been something I enjoyed, especially when it came to taking photographs of Creation and its immense
beauty; or simply gazing upon the faces of loved ones. Now everything is blurred. If I go grocery shopping, I cannot read the prices or any description on the items. When I look at people, I see outlines but not detail in their faces. It is so annoying having
something that I have had since birth taken away. It is also frustrating losing your independence to a degree, and having to rely on others to perform some basic tasks. However, from my exasperation has developed reminders of those adds about children who
suffer from river blindness.
Our sight like everything else we have, is a precious gift from God. God has taught me a good lesson this year and it is that everything I have, is a gift from Him; and I should never take anything for granted. River blindness
is caused from black-fly bites. It is something that can be fixed but because enough people don’t think about it (myself included) or its consequences for those suffering from it, things are not changing quick enough. Sadly, it is only one example of
impaired or lost sight. There are children and young people who were born with perfect sight but through accidents or illness they have become blind or partially blind. Imagine the difficult adjustments they have had to make. Then there are children and young
people who were born blind and live in a world where touch becomes their eyes and hearing paints a picture for them. We cannot help everyone but we can give assistance to some. Like the three Wise Men who came to seek the Child Jesus lying in a manger and
brought him gifts, we too can give a gift to children and young people by helping others, donating to a charity and by our thoughts and prayers.
This month please pray for children and young people suffering
with their eyes; and please give a small donation to help those who can be helped.
Please pray for the doctors and nurses who work with all those suffering from visual impairment.
Please pray that more people will gain an understanding of what those without sight suffer.
We wait in Joyful Hope.
Another December is here thank God. This month we pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our young people. We also pray for the protection of new life, from the unborn baby in the womb to the newborn infant. December is a special
time. It is the time of Advent, the time for waiting. Mothers wait for 9 long months as their unborn child develops in the womb. Advent is the time of waiting with Our Blessed Lady, the Mother of our Saviour Jesus Christ for the anniversary
of the Birth of our Lord Jesus who was born on Christmas Day. What joy there is when a new child comes into the world. A tiny baby so small and beautiful, and created by God. We pray that mother's to be will cherish and care for their unborn
child. We pray for all newborn babies and little children that they will be loved. In Advent we light a candle for the four weeks. The first candle is for hope, the second for peace, the third for joy and the fourth for love. May God give
hope, peace, joy and love to all his children this December.
Please continue to pray for God's little one's they need all your wonderful prayers.
I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me
Last month our intention was to pray for young people preparing to receive their Confirmation. We apologise for not being able to post.
This month we will pray for the souls of children and young people who have died. November
being the month of the Holy Souls is the time to remember our dead. Though they seem to have gone and we cannot see them they are still with us. Let us remember them all with great love in our hearts.
We have decided also to continue
to pray for young people and adults who are preparing to receive their Confirmation around the world.
Here in Spain in the our village and the neighbouring village young people and adults are busy preparing to receive this wonderful Sacrament.
We ask for your prayers that they will prepare well and that the day of Confirmation will be a holy, peaceful and joyful occasion.
Thank you for all your wonderful prayers.
Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
Today is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Today the church celebrates this wonderful feast dedicated to our Blessed Lady, the mother of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. No one understands suffering quite like Mary. She stood at the foot of the
cross and watched her Son being put to death by crucifixion. Today let us join with our heavenly Mother and pray for all suffering mothers around the world. Let us unite their pain to that of Mary's through our prayers.
Our Lady of Sorrows, help
all mothers, guide and protect them each and every day.
Out Of Egypt I Called My Son
Thanks to Walaa-Khaleel of unsplash for the use of the photo.
This month we will pray for children and young people who have to flee their homes due to unsafe conditions. The term “Refugee” has very
seldom been out of the news, even during a raging pandemic, but should any human being be but into a box and given a label? Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, was a child who had to flee the place of his birth for fear of death from a powerful ruler.
Having to run for your life, and leave all your friends and family behind to begin life in a strange country, is not a recent concept.
This morning I went to the small church in a village in Spain near our home. There
was a young mother with a crying child nearby as I was entering. I wanted to sit with Jesus in quiet prayer but the sounds of life in the busy square on which the church is built, kept interrupting my thoughts. Among them was the sound of
another crying child. I contemplated the two little children and how fortunate that they were, in a way, having mothers to reassure them and soothe their pain; and provide them with a home, food, family and friends. In contrast, I thought of all
the children, made orphans by dreadful circumstances beyond their doing or control, cast adrift, helpless, lost, dying. Even those who managed to survive with their parents or parent, may have had to abandon their homes, to ‘go on the road’,
with only the possessions they could carry, following in the footsteps of those, who might have some vague idea where to seek refuge. What must their cries be like? Who soothes their pain?
The main news story
of last week has been about the seizure of power, again, in Afghanistan, by the Taliban. Running parallel with that story has been the urgent plight of people including families to flee their country, in abject fear of reprisals from an organisation
with very rigid views on how people should live their lives. Time is running out. With a deadline looming in a matter of days, it is quite likely that many will fail in their efforts to ‘escape’ their greatest fears.
a war once more was creating thousands of refugees in one part of the world, Haiti suffered another catastrophic earthquake. With the effects on that country, of the last powerful force of nature still fresh in our minds, we wondered again how would
those effected, including thousands of little children, survive and somehow manage to pick up the pieces, to get on with a precarious existence.
Worldwide, nearly 33 million children have been forcibly displaced at
the end of 2019. This number includes some 12.6 million child refugees (including children among Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA), almost 1.5 million asylum-seeking children and an estimated 19.4 million children displaced within their
own country by violence and conflict. On top of those numbers come another 2.1 million more children living in internal displacement as a consequence of natural disasters.
Between 2005 and 2019, the global number of child refugees under UNHCR mandate
more than doubled from four million to around 10 million. In the period between 2010 and 2019 alone, the number of these child refugees shot up by 118 per cent. By comparison, during the same period the total number of child migrants rose by only 20 per cent.
Children are dramatically over-represented among the world’s refugees. Children make up less than one third of the global population, but they were 50 per cent of the world’s refugees in 2019.
Today, nearly 1 in 3 children living outside their countries of birth are child refugees; for adults, the proportion is less than 1 in 20.[i]
can We do?
We feel helpless in the face of powerful forces, whether of men or nature. There have been times in our lives [ii]when
perhaps we felt cut adrift, helpless. Even the most assured of us, have doubts occasionally. Who are we? Where are we going? What is it all for? Picture a person, alone on the streets, with some possessions in a bag, and the clothes
on their back. Up ahead is a refuge, a meal and perhaps a bed for the night. The most basic needs will be fulfilled in the short term. The good people in that area work tirelessly to ensure nobody goes hungry, unnoticed. They rely on
the generosity of the local community to respond, perhaps on the government to provide an annual grant. The provision of lasting solutions needs the big boys to come on board with finance, permissions, administration and long-term shelters. So
it is when people are fleeing oppression and/or devastation. Other countries respond, take people in, provide them with new homes, restore their dignity and a way of life. America is famous for its mix of nationalities under the one flag.
Arguably it led the way for the rest of us to follow. Ireland, certainly, has a greater mix of ethnic groups today, than it did fifty years ago, and it is a wonderful achievement to see 5000 people from 135 countries applying for Irish citizenship in
To escape starvation, tyranny, displacement and uncertainty, to become acceptable in the welcoming arms of a new family, a new country, might seem like a dream to most of the children fleeing from wars and disasters, their only immediate worry
finding a rock to duck behind, a place to hide, a bit to eat and drink. They need their mothers, like the children in a small village in Spain, to reassure them, take them to the bosom of their homes. Jesus understood all of this. He had
to hide, find shelter with his family, suffer torture and a brutal death. But his entire life was His legacy. His parents on earth were guided by the Holy Spirit and the Angels. Filled with the Holy Spirit and having witnessed His ministry
for themselves, his apostles and disciples travelled far, to spread his word. From their work, sprung the efforts of the missionaries, who established and revived communities, and sowed the seeds for future generations. Even in the depts of utter
despair, there will be a helping hand, a camp up ahead, a soup kitchen, a bed for the night, a plane to board, as a result, direct or otherwise, of the life and teaching of Jesus. To achieve Jesus’s ultimate message of love for all, we must pray
for the end to all wars. If we can achieve that, there will be more than enough to assist those, who suffer as a result of natural calamities. “God helps through his people, living here and now.
“Christ has no body
now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours
are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” Cf, (Saint Teresa of Avila)
Prayer of a
I am sitting here all alone, I'm lonely and I'm sad. My mom has died and my dad is gone and I feel abandoned and alone. Some strangers wash and dress me and even give me food,
but what I need most of all is a mighty great big hug. I need someone who will love me, just for who I am. I need a mommy and a daddy that I can call my own. I'd like a brother and a sister and we could play together. Oh God I am so lonely will you help
me find a friend.
- We pray for little children, displaced, made homeless and/or orphaned as a result of wars and natural disasters
- We pray for the provision of
shelter and homes for all those displaced, especially children and young people.
- We pray for the people working on the ground that they may have the strength to continue their great work.
- We pray for the heads of all Governments that God
will guide their decisions and choices.
- We pray for the end of all wars, and for peace in lands riven by dissent and persecution, so that people may live as Jesus intended
[i] Statistics provided by Unicef
The Journal.ie, March 2nd, 2020
Do not quench the Spirit
Protecting the Faith
Praying for Children, their safety and protection, in a world full of
temptation, danger and threats, is the raison d’étre of this site. Our faith and the faith of our children has suffered during the pandemic and remains under threat, not so much from a virus, but the government insistence that the “sacraments
of Christian initiation” remain locked-down, while our gastro and entertainment needs are catered for. The belief that a child’s faith is instrumental in providing a shield against the loss of its very humanity, to attacks from insidious resources,
is what inspires our prayers each month towards achieving the object under consideration. A child without belief in God, is a child without direction. Now, more than ever, we must not only pray for but insist on the defence of our beliefs and those of our
The importance of the “Sacraments of Christian Initiation”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) notes that: ‘Baptism, the Eucharist and the sacrament of Confirmation together
constitute the “sacraments of Christian initiation,” whose unity must be safeguarded. It must be explained to the faithful that the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. For ‘by the sacrament of Confirmation,
the baptized are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence, they are true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed (CCC, 1285).’ Jesus devoted
thirty years of His life to the family unit. He lived with His earthly parents until it was time to fulfil his heavenly Father’s mission to him. Imbued with a sense of family values, he understood the importance of protecting children, helping them,
shaping their characters. Of course, his every action was shaped in the wishes of His Heavenly Father. He was the epitome of the obligation to “spread and defend the faith by word and deed”. When he was warmly received by children, he rebuffed
attempts to dismiss them. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” In denying little children the sacraments of Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation, people are hindering
them from inheriting the kingdom of heaven.
This Summer, our government relaxed rules on indoor and outdoor dining and drinking, sports and audience participation/attendance at various events, weddings and funerals. Communions and Confirmations, however,
would continue to be locked down for the foreseeable future. Then it went on holidays.
It would appear that the government, acting on NPHET advice, is concerned about the ‘celebrations’ that take place, after the sacrament has been administered
in the church. One wonders about the extent of their troubled minds, as they view members of the public queuing up for vaccinations and tests, in complete contravention of distancing guidelines; or, if they happened to drop into our local open-air hostelry,
and viewed the extensive numbers in close proximity, while they cheered on further medal success for the Irish team in Japan; or considered why there are 1500 cases of Covid daily, even with three-quarters of the Irish population on double-jabs.
our opinion, even in times when there was no pandemic, the Catholic Church in Ireland should have long distanced the religious ceremony from the very lay-oriented celebratory functions, afterwards. The church does not organise celebratory meals, or event-plan
for any activities, once the sacrament is conferred, or served. These are the sole responsibility of the parents or guardians. Public masses have resumed very safely in Ireland for some months now, in the course
of which holy communion is served. The Church has ably demonstrated its adherence to the strict protocols for mass attendance.
Our government is well capable of ignoring NPHET advice, when permitting
indoor dining in pubs and restaurants for children, without specifying what the occasion might be. The total capacity at a table can be 15, including children of various ages. The Minister for Public Expenditure
and Reform, Michael McGrath, has stated that, ‘parents are well capable of deciding whether to bring their children into pubs and restaurants.’ Great! Minister, why not apply that way of thinking to First Communion and Confirmation celebrations?
Do not conform to the pattern of this world
…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
In the last few days, five, possibly six bishops have granted permission in their dioceses, for the resumption of preparations, for First Communion and Confirmation ceremonies. The Bishop of Elphin, Kevin Doran, was the first to ‘not conform’.
There are 26 dioceses in Ireland. Where are the other twenty? Our Taoiseach, with some exasperation, enquired if it was too much to ask, “that we wait another number of weeks, to get into a really strong protective situation”. Note that The Taoiseach
wasn’t specific on the waiting time. We all know, that, later in the year, things could disimprove quite rapidly.
Do not quench the Spirit.
At worst, the facts would suggest that there are nefarious
forces in play, at the highest levels of governance, to once and for all crush the Spirit of the Catholic Faith in Ireland, by continuously denying children and young persons access to the Sacraments of Initiation. At best, they would suggest a complete indifference
to the wishes of parents and children, whether their faith survives this latest attack on its existence. But there have been comforting stirrings from some of our church authorities; and these might not have materialised but for genuine concerns raised by
parents, children and parish priests, in their roles as protectors: protectors of the children and protectors of their children’s’ faith. Do not stop here, especially during summer months. Likeminded Parents and guardians, especially those trained
as catechesists, can do so much, by getting together and organising activities for children who either will receive, or have received the Sacraments of Initiation. We stand together in faith with them. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with
confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
We pray for the protection of our children, and our children’s
We pray for the full restoration throughout Ireland of the Sacraments of Initiation
We pray that Government leaders will do the will of God.
National Public Health Emergency Team on Covid-19
RTE News, July 30, 2021
1 Thessalonians 5:19
Will you pray for God's little children?
Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven
This blog invites you to pray for the protection of children and young people. Will you pray for God's little children, from the unborn baby in the womb, the new born baby, little children of all ages and young people. It could be your child you
want to pray for or just any child. You can pray before the Blessed Sacrament for one hour a week or before a tabernacle in your church. If you are not able to make it to a church you can pray in your own home. Please join us as we pray.
blog was set up under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ and our Blessed Lady are its patrons.
"JESUS SAID,'LET THE LITTLE CHILDREN COME TO ME, AND DO NOT HINDER THEM.' "
We place all children and young people in the hands of Our Blessed Lady
This July we will pray for the safety of all children and young people during the holiday season.
A Safe Summer
We went to a popular resort today, for some fresh air, and a picnic. While the sun failed to shine, most people there were in good spirits. Down on the beach, small children played, their parents or minders seated on blankets or chairs,
looking on. Family dogs joined in the fun. It was evident that the vast majority of the happy people consisted of children and young people. A typical, idyllic, summer setting, you might say, all of us free at last to embrace nature and to
enjoy a sense of freedom and release from Covid, pressures of work and school, and the usual dangers that exist in a modern society. But I’m afraid, as recent, too numerous reports suggest, the need for vigilance and the safety of children and
young persons, is especially relevant during the so-called ‘…lazy, hazy, crazy days of Summer.’
I do like to be beside the seaside
More than ever these days, people want to live by the sea. Whether they wish to admit it or not, they are acknowledging the wonder and attraction of God’s creation.
Where they occur along our coastline, beaches are a wonderful, natural resource, especially for families. The sea, however, is a powerful force of nature and must be treated with respect. Just five days ago, two young girls were rescued in Wicklow,
after their inflatable device took them far from the shore.[i] In May, a teenager was rescued from the sea by a young Jet Ski rider.[ii]
These reports have good endings, but as we know, there have been tragic outcomes. Along the east coast, there are good, long, flat, beaches which might lull you into a false sense of security. Never lose sight of your children on the beach, especially
crowded beaches, where they can so easily get lost, if not get into difficulty in the water.
Of course, some seaside resorts offer other attractions, including amusement
arcades and parks, shops, tantalising takeaways and restaurants. Perhaps it is to these, that a tiny, significant minority of our population are also lured. A recent report in one of our local papers described a mother’s anger as her teenage
son was brutally attacked by a ‘mob’ of youths on a popular beach in the area.[iii] In another incident, posted internet footage showed a large group
of young people fighting with weapons just yards from young children.[iv] You can also read about the lawless actions of young people in France[v]
and in Canada[vi] on the beaches.
Whether it be a day, a week or a holiday by
the beach, parents, know where your children have been and whose company they have kept, at all times.
The vast majority of us do not have Covid, and please God, never will. This is hopefully down to good discipline, obedience to the never-ending rules and genuine selflessness. We do our best to pass these virtues
on to our children when they are under our care. In our schools, our teachers substitute for us, in guiding the young along the right path. We would hope that society in general would behave as we would ourselves. Unfortunately, especially
in Summer, while some of us are at work, or otherwise occupied, our children and young people are out of our sight. They play, as they should, with their friends, usually not too far from home, perhaps on the greens in front of our houses. Occasionally,
though, there is a temptation to stray further afield, with greater numbers of their peers, even strangers. These times present the greatest danger, as a good upbringing and sound individual thinking, give way to ‘gang mentality’. Now,
while these situations are a breathing ground for all manner of temptations, increased socialising, without distancing and ‘masks,’ allow the pandemic to flourish, especially indoors. Parents, know where your children have been and whose
company they have kept, at all times.
Drugs and drink
As stated, socialising in
increasing numbers without regard to the rules of health and safety, the law or good, common sense, can lead one up some dark alleys. However, you don’t have to stray off the beaten path to encounter temptation. While on holidays years ago,
enjoying the ‘amusements’ in a packed outdoor park, near a well-known marina, I got a tap on the shoulder, followed by an invitation to buy some drugs. When I declined the offer, the man moved on to his next target. Our youngest daughter
was with us; we were surrounded by families. People were having a good time, on a balmy, summer evening. Do not be under any delusions. Gardai seized a record number of illegal substances in this country last year.[vii]
Despite the pandemic, some areas of ‘commerce’ mushroomed. There is no part of any town or the country free from the curse of drugs anymore. They will walk up to you and tap you on the shoulder; or you simply have to ask one or two
questions in the right areas. The dealers will sell to anyone with money, including our children. They will use children and young persons to move and sell the banned substances.
While the use of drugs is increasing, drinking and drunkenness will always be with us, even during a pandemic. It is worrying that so many images of adults drinking in crowded streets and recreational areas, in contravention
of all recommendations, designed to prevent the spread of Covid, are readily beamed into our homes each week. Even without the presence of a pandemic, this behaviour is hardly setting the right example for our children and young persons. If you believe
that there is an excuse for it, or that there is no harm in it, then read no further. But if, like the majority of very good people in this country, you believe that this is not right; that now,
more than ever, the beautiful minds of our children and young persons must be allowed to develop untainted by substance abuse and bad behaviour, you will continue to lead by good example and steer them towards a healthier, safer environment. Parents,
know where your children have been and whose company they have kept, at all times.
The need for prayer and vigilance
As the government threatens once more to deny our children the wonderful sacraments of Baptism, Communion and Confirmation, at a critical juncture in our lives and at a time of the year when most needed, parents and
community must, more than ever, continue their roles as guardians and role models to our children and young persons. If this pandemic has highlighted anything, it is that children and young people must have a safe, principled environment in which to
grow and develop, protected from the worst excesses and impacts of society. Jesus loved children. He stayed safe with his earthly parents for 30 years before he began his ministry. Today, he sits with his Father in Heaven. He knows
what trials and tribulations parents and children have to endure. He is with us each step of the way. Ask Him for his help to enjoy Summer with your children; and know where they have been and whose company they have kept, at all times.
- Parents, pray for a good Summer, which you can enjoy with your children, while
keeping them safe from harm.
- Communities, provide a safe environment for our children and young persons in which they can happily and safely play
- All others, do not do anything to harm, endanger or corrupt the minds of our children and young persons while they seek to enjoy Summer with their families.
[ii] Cf lifeboats rnli.org
[iii] Meath Chronicle.ie, June 4th 2021
[iv] Irish Mirror online, 31st May 2021
[v] Independent.ie, June 19th 2021
Paul Reynolds, RTE News, 2.7.2021
Child of God
We are delighted to post our new video on prayforchildren.net. Many thanks to Joanne Kieran, a well known Drogheda musician/composer who composed the wonderful song "Child of God" and who has given us her kind permission to use it. We hope you enjoy the video and continue to pray for God's little one's.
‘Soul signifies the Spiritual Principle in man.’
This blog is about praying for the protection of children and young people. Usually at this time of year we pray for children and young people preparing to receive the sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation, but Covid
19 restrictions have deferred the ceremonies to a later date. So, this month our prayer intention is for the protection of the soul of children and young people in the absence of the sacraments.
What is your Soul?
Since most of us can
remember, we have been told about the ‘body and soul’; or the ‘heart and soul’ of man. The heart exists in a physical sense – my doctor has shown me an image of my heart in action. Seeing it and the
work that it does on behalf of myself and my body, has put me even more in awe of creation. We are also very aware of our bodies. We see them every day. Some of us are better at taking care of them than others, especially as they age.
They are often neglected, to our detriment. Our lives may be shortened as a result. The medical world can assist us in our physical well-being. But I have also seen the power of prayer restore health to the sick.
How can we take care
of the entity that is our soul? More importantly, at this time, how can we as parents, family, priests and the community protect the souls of our children and young persons, as a raging pandemic denies them the opportunity to receive the beautiful sacraments
of Communion and Confirmation?
If we could see the ‘soul’, feel it, touch it, heal it, would it make our jobs any easier? Or would we neglect it, as we do our hearts and bodies? In Sacred Scripture the term ‘soul’
often refers to human life or the entire human person. But ’soul’ also refers to the innermost aspect of man, that which is of greatest value in him, that by which he is most especially in God’s image. ‘Soul
signifies the spiritual principle in man’. Cf (CCC 363).
Every spiritual soul is created immediately by God – it is not produced by the parents. The soul is immortal: It does not perish when it separates from the body at death; and
it will be reunited with the body at the final resurrection. Cf (CCC 366). The soul belongs to God and God alone. Something so precious must be prayed for. It cannot be neglected, or mistreated like our bodily organs. In fact,
as the host for our soul, the body should be treated with the same high regard.
How do we save our souls and those of our children?
Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour saw the need to pray for mankind. In His prayer to God the Father,
Jesus prays that mankind will not be led into temptation. Cf. (CCC 2846) And that mankind will be protected from the evil one. Cf. (CCC 2850). If Jesus Christ, God made man, saw the need to pray for God’s children, we as parents, family, friends,
the community must follow his example. Usually, we have the power of the sacraments to help us. At Baptism, parents and God Parents promise God that they will nurture the faith in the newly baptised infant. They promise to care for the soul
of the newly baptised child, all through their life, by their witness in life and good example. In fact, the whole ecclesiastical community bears some responsibility for the development and safe guarding of the grace given at Baptism. Cf. (CCC
In the sacrament of Communion, our children receive the gifts of His body and blood, given directly to us by Jesus. The preparation for this sacrament and the powerful symbolism connecting its receipt to the events of the Last Supper, instil
in our children the belief that through observance, of the sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion their sins will be forgiven and their souls shall be saved. The preparation for Confirmation and the bestowing of the belief in the descent of the
Holy Spirit upon them, confirms baptismal grace. The blessing with sacred oil is the sealing with gifts of The Holy Spirit,[i] and the ceremony is a reminder of
the apostles receiving the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, from whence they proclaimed the great works of God.
Those of us fortunate to have received these wonderful gifts have the power to proclaim God’s work and to protect our children, while they
await the sacraments. When we unite our prayer to that of Christ, the Father gives “another Counsellor, to be with you for ever the spirit of truth.” In the Holy Spirit, Christian prayer is a communion of love with the Father, not only
through Christ but also in Him. Cf. (CCC 2615).
In the 8th Station of the Cross, the women meet Jesus and are weeping. Jesus’ reply to their tears is profound, in fact it is the reason this blog exists. Jesus tells the women
not to weep for Him, but for their children and their children’s children. Jesus being God, knew the trials and temptations that children would face down through the centuries.
I love the line from Sacred Scripture, “The souls of the
virtuous are in the hands of God.” (Wisdom 3:1). This line is part of a reading usually used at funerals but I feel it should also apply to the living. Children and young people should be trained to live holy and virtuous lives by our witness
in life and good example; and not be permitted to suffer lives of fornication, substance abuse, lies, etc.. One way we can help our children is by praying to our Guardian Angel, asking them to go to our children’s Guardian Angels,
to help them.
Angels have been present since creation and throughout the history of salvation. Cf. (CCC 332). From infancy to death human life is surrounded by the watchful care and intercession of angels. Cf. (CCC 337). With their whole beings the
angels are servants and messengers of God. Cf. (CCC 329). Angels can see and go to places we cannot. St. Padre Pio had great devotion to the angels and often called upon them in times of need.
So, this month of June, let
us pray for God’s treasure of young souls.
By our witness in life and good example, may our prayers assist them in living holy and virtuous lives.
May their Angels guard and protect them at all times. Amen.
[i] St George Holy Catholic Church