Mental health has been defined as “a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”.Read More
Mr Phobal is the resident support tortoise at Coláiste Phobal Ros Cré. He calls into the school every day and students are free to come down and feed him, stroke his shell and rake his enclosure.Read More
It’s good to talk, but often it’s not easy. You could be judged, mocked, ignored or not believed.
Few areas are as stigmatised as our emotional wellbeing so there are risks involved in choosing to say a word. It’s been this way for decades, which explains so much of the silence that has oppressed and isolated people who needed support.Read More
A collection of Lenten ResourcesRead More
A collection of February resources.Read More
In my work as a school psychotherapist, I have been alarmed by the increasing number of students coming to me because they are experiencing difficulties in their personal life.
10am - 10pm 7 days a week
Providing support and assistance to people whose lives are affected by depression.
Turning the Tide of Suicide. Founded to raise awareness and funding to lower the suicide rates in Ireland through dedicated research, educational support and intervention in the problem of suicide in Ireland.
National Office for Suicide Prevention
Pieta House offers a specialised treatment programme for people who have suicidal ideation or who participate in self-harming behaviours.
Community Mental Health Movement
Grow runs groups for people with mental health difficulties.
Support for people affected by eating disorders.
A peer-support programme to assist children, youth and adults who are grieving a death, separation or other painful transition in their family.
Sometimes we can let things pile on top of us, it can be hard to figure a way out, talking may seem scary, but it helps when there's someone there to really listen. Whoever you are. Wherever you are from. Whatever the problem.
1800 833 634
Support, guidance and information on all aspects of being a parent.
Offers support and help to those who are faced with a crisis pregnancy.
National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church of Ireland.
Director: Mr Ian Elliott
01 505 3018
Youth Ministry and Prayer Resources:
www.veritasbooksonline.com – Veritas online resources
www.prayerandspirituality.com - Archdiocese of Armagh prayer resources
www.sacredspace.ie - Daily prayer online
www.pray-as-you-go.org - mp3 format daily prayers
www.joycerupp.com - Reflections, stories and poetry
www.catholicireland.net - News and links to live feeds
www.faceup.ie - Articles and resources
www.ceist.ie - News and resources
www.lecheiletrust.ie - News and resources
www.appleseeds.org - Inspirational quotes and stories
www.wingclips.com - Inspirational movie clips
www.2u.ie - Daily reflections and photographs
www.whycare.ie - Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice
www.trocaire.org - Trocaire - development resources
www.bothar.ie - Aid agency Bóthar
www.goalglobal.org - Development resources - Goal
www.svp.ie - St. Vincent de Paul resources (See also -‘Youth for Justice’ programme)
www.alustforlife.com - Encouraging mental fitness
www.headspace.com - Guided meditation app
www.goodnet.org - Inspiration for doing good in the world
www.3ts.ie - Resources - suicide prevention
This is an amazing overview of Pope Francis' primary concerns. “He preaches against gossip, reminds us to finish our meals, and even tells us not to fear marriage. Described as the “world's parish priest,” Pope Francis goes beyond abstract theology, and gives us advice we can use daily. What lessons from him can we bring into 2018?”
10 of the Pope's most memorable quotes in the form of New Year's resolutions. This is the Pope Francis list.
Don't gossip. It's one of our hobbies. For Francis, it's also one of the most evil activities. The Catholic leader denounces gossip as “murder.” He feels so strongly about it that in less than a year as pontiff, Francis has preached against gossip in at least 6 different instances. He says when we gossip, we “are doing what Judas did,” and “begin to tear the other person to pieces. Every time we judge our brother in our hearts or worse when we speak badly of them with others, we are murdering Christians,” Francis says. “There is no such thing as innocent slander.”
Finish your meals. No leftovers, please. Named after a 12th-century saint who lived in poverty, Francis slams a “culture of waste” that neglects the plight of the hungry. The Pope says: “We should all remember... that throwing food away is like stealing from the tables of the poor, the hungry! I encourage everyone to reflect on the problem of thrown away and wasted food to identify ways and means that, by seriously addressing this issue, are a vehicle of solidarity and sharing with the needy.”
Make time for others. Tending to 1.2 billion members, Francis seems too busy for anything else. That is, until he calls up strangers. Or entertains a random biker. Or sends a handwritten letter to a Jesuit he has never met. The Jesuit who got the letter, Fr James Martin, says “If the Pope can find time to be kind to others, if he can pause to say thank you, if he can take a moment make someone feel appreciated, then so can I. So can we.”
Choose the 'more humble' purchase. The Pope preaches against materialism. “Certainly, possessions, money, and power can give a momentary thrill, the illusion of being happy, but they end up possessing us and making us always want to have more, never satisfied. ‘Put on Christ’ in your life, place your trust in him, and you will never be disappointed!”
Meet the poor 'in the flesh.' “It is not enough to mediate this commitment through institutions, which obviously help because
they have a multiplying effect, but that is not enough. They do not excuse us from our establishing personal contact with the needy. The sick must be cared for, even when we find them repulsive and repugnant. Those in prison must be visited. Charity that does not change the situation of the poor isn't enough.”
Stop judging others. In the same way he denounces gossip, Francis condemns prejudice. He reminds “intolerant” Catholics, for one, to respect atheists. “If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good.”
Befriend those who disagree. “When leaders in various fields ask me for advice, my response is always the same: dialogue, dialogue, dialogue. It is the only way for individuals, families, and societies to grow, the only way for the life of peoples to progress, along with the culture of encounter, a culture in which all have something good to give and all can receive something good in return. Others always have something to give me, if we know how to approach them in a spirit of openness and without prejudice.”
Make commitments, such as marriage. The Pope says: “Today, there are those who say that marriage is out of fashion; in a culture of relativism and the ephemeral, many preach the importance of ‘enjoying’ the moment. They say that it is not worth making a life-long commitment, making a definitive decision, ‘forever,’ because we do not know what tomorrow will bring. I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes that you are incapable of responsibility, that you are incapable of true love. I have confidence in you and I pray for you. Have the courage ‘to swim against the tide.’ Have the courage to be happy.”
Make it a habit to 'ask the Lord.' “Dear young people,” he says, “some of you may not yet know what you will do with your lives. Ask the Lord, and he will show you the way. The young Samuel kept hearing the voice of the Lord who was calling him, but he did not understand or know what to say, yet with the help of the priest Eli, in the end he answered: 'Speak, Lord, for I am listening' (cf. 1 Sam 3:1- 10). You too can ask the Lord: What do you want me to do? What path am I to follow?”
Be happy. The true Christian, says the Pope, exudes great joy. He says keeping this joy to ourselves “will make us sick in the end. Sometimes these melancholy Christians' faces have more in common with pickled peppers than the joy of having a beautiful life.” Francis says, “The Christian sings with joy, and walks, and carries this joy." This joy, he reminds us, should translate to love of neighbour.
Jesus, I light this candle for my brothers & sisters: the kind, the brave, the tired, the scared, enfold your arms around them. So this Thursday morning, may they be blessed & bathed in love. Amen.
Adrian Porter was born and grew up in Bristol. He joined the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1978 and completed studies in Theology at Heythrop College, London (1980-83), and Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University (1985-87), and the postgraduate certificate of teacher training at Liverpool Hope University (1987-88). He was ordained priest in 1988. He has taught at Marquette University High School (USA, 1983-85) and St Ignatius College (London, 1988-94) and was Head Master of St Aloysius College (Glasgow, 1995-2004) and Wimbledon College (2004-2011). He is currently the Provincial Delegate for Education, responsible for supporting the eleven Jesuit schools in the UK and also working collaboratively to develop the identity and mission of Jesuit schools in Europe. He also works with state and independent schools of other religious congregations and in dioceses. His interests include philosophy, music and the performing arts.
Dublin, Ireland, has been chosen by Pope Francis to host the next World Meeting of Families from 21-26 August 2018, guided by the theme “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”.
Held every three years, this major international event brings together families from across the world to celebrate, pray and reflect upon the central importance of marriage and the family as the cornerstone of our lives, of society and of the Church. The event has at its heart the following key moments:
- 21 August 2018, a National Opening of WMOF2018, which will take place simultaneously in all the different dioceses of Ireland.
- 22 to the 24 August 2018, a three-day Congress. Each day will reflect on the theme “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World” chosen by the Holy Father and will include an enriching programme for adults of keynote speakers, workshops, talks, testimonies and discussions; an engaging and exciting programme for young people as well as fun activities for children. The Congress will also include daily celebration of the Eucharist, prayerful activities, exhibitions, cultural events and musical performances.
- Saturday 25 August 2018, a Festival of Families, comprising a reflective concert style event within a prayerful and joyful atmosphere, in which personal stories of faith will be shared by families from all continents.
- Sunday 26 August 2018, WMOF2018 will close with a solemn Eucharistic Celebration, that will gather thousands of people from Ireland and all over the world.
Loving God, give me courage as I begin this new school year.
Grant me wisdom to successfully negotiate my way forward.
Reassure me when I find life difficult. Grant me the courage to seek the support I need.
Give me the ability to respond positively to the opportunities that come my way.
The prayers of the School Chaplains'Association and it's members are with all students who are undertaking State Examinations this week. A candle remains lit for you as a mark of our solidarity and support.
Give me the spirit of calm to prepare well.
Give me the spirit of wisdom to choose the right questions.
Give me the spirit of reason to answer to the best of my ability.
Allow me do myself justice.
Help me be a source of encouragement for my classmates and friends.
Guide me through the days ahead and keep me always in your care.
Enter the Chaplain! Who is this person? What role is played by the chaplain in the school community? Is there a necessity for this person? Is a chaplain, lay or religious? Likely to force 'religion' down the throats of our young people? What will the chaplain do for my child? Perhaps the chaplain has nothing to do with us anyway?
Your life as parents begins with a little bundle of joy. As the first few years progress from babyhood to early childhood, this tiny infant depends on you totally. The process is one of learning, growing, and developing in an interactive way which affects both the child and parent. In the blink of an eye the first five years fly by and primary school beckons. Even if your child has attended nursery school, there is a tangible change between that and the child's formal education.
The school years
At primary level the change in your child becomes keenly apparent. All you seem to hear from your 'baby' is 'teacher says this' and 'teacher says that'. Suddenly you realise that you are sharing your child with someone else, someone who is also special to the child. Nonetheless, you have to let go and that can be hard. You must remember that this is a time of adventure and development for the child which demands adjustment on your part.
After the quickest eight years of parent/teacher meetings, sales of work, school trips, plays, sports days, first communion and, finally the 'big one', confirmation, you feel prepared for the next step - second level education, another chapter in all your lives. Yet, maybe you are not as ready as you thought. Instead of having just one teacher your child now has seven or eight excluding the guidance counsellor, remedial teacher and, if fortunate enough, the chaplain. Here you have people who are specialists in an array of subjects all mapping out your child's future. However, while all of these people claim a significant role in the life of your child, the chaplain is the one who might well have the most crucial part to play.
For example, the chaplain would have a greater awareness that some teenagers question the need for God in their lives. Many would seriously question institutionalised religion, finding it irrelevant and the liturgical practice of it boring. Religious parents often find their offspring rebelling against church teaching and authority, even to the point of finding attendance at Mass embarrassing because it is something that 'oldies' do. In this context, how many parents can indentify with the favourite modern teenage dictum, 'it's a waste of space'? Where the good chaplain comes in is to meet the young people on their terms. From a position of greater independence and objectivity, the chaplain is sometimes better able to provide the religious guidelines required for a life of faith. This can be very enlightening for a teenager. Yet, while pupils may get used to seeing the chaplain around on a regular basis, the parents, living and working in a different environment, are less likely to be aware of the everyday role of the chaplain.
So what part might the chaplain play at this significant stage of life for both parents and students? Perhaps the most important things is for the chaplain to encourage parents to take a further look at their own development. It might be possible for the chaplain to assist the parents in the discovery of their own hidden, inner abilities. In certain cases, sometimes at an early age, the talents of many parents were set aside or suppressed owing to the demands of parenthood. As a result many parents suffered from a lack of self-esteem. Where this has been neglected, they might now have the time and inclination to pay greater attention to their personal, social and educational needs. It may even be possible that the chaplain might be the one to harness the energy of these considerations to the good of the parents and the wider school community.
Accordingly, the chaplain might set up a Parents Resource Group. In time it would be possible for this group to run courses and programmes to suit the needs of other parents. For example, work done in areas such as drugs, peer pressure, bullying, personal awareness, assistance to teachers, bereavement, separation and home study timetabling, might accomplish great results. If parents were to be recruited annually to the resource group it would give the necessary injection of new ideas and energy. The success of the group would depend on the enthusiasm and interest of the chaplain, with the added advantage of leaving the chaplain free to explore fresh avenues of development for the future.
What is most encouraging for parents is that, in a society which places a great deal pressure on young people, the chaplain is a sensitive, caring, reliable and available resource for all connected with second level schooling. Where the chaplain works together the parents, it is possible that our teenagers will emerge well adjusted after five or six years of the school cycle. This working together will contribute to the self-esteem and confidence of the young people. In turn they will become persons who will be capable of giving to, rather than taking from society. I read once of the parent-child relationship that, 'our children are like arrows and we are the bows'. It is up to the parents to send the 'arrows' out into the world in good condition. Undoubtedly, it is up to the chaplain to remember that the 'bows' also need tending.
Pauline King (parent)
'Reflection of a parent - Pauline King' used with permission.
'The Chaplain: a faith presence in the school community', by Luke Monahan SM and Caroline Renehan.
Darkness Into Light (DIL) is Pieta House’s annual fundraising and awareness event. It started with approximately 400 people in the yellow DIL T-shirts walking the 5km course in Dublin’s Phoenix Park in 2009. This year, they will have roughly 150 DIL venues across Ireland and worldwide. Last year they had 130,000 people sharing the light and helping to promote suicide prevention and to tackle the stigma that leads people to the doors of Pieta House centres. Join in this Saturday 6th May!