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Weekly Connect From: Dermot Cowhey dermot.cowhey@limerickdiocese.org

9th January, 2023:

Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI: With sadness in our hearts and total submission to the Will of God, the death has been announced of Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI at Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, Vatican City. May the Angels lead him to Paradise. 

Eternal rest grant unto him oh Lord and let the perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace, Amen!


Please visit the diocesan website at www.limerickdiocese.org for a full obituary and opportunity to sign the book of condolences.

Dear Chaplains/RE Teachers,

As we begin a new year and a new term and reflecting on Pope Francis’ January prayer for educators, we are reminded that as true education ‘is a preparation for the whole of life, education must aim at helping students to explore their inner world and to discover true values there, values that will sustain them through struggles that inevitably lie ahead. Christian – and specifically Catholic – education aims at helping young people to discover for themselves the values proclaimed by Jesus Christ: compassion for those in need, tolerance for those who are different, justice in society and in the Church, commitment to the service of the other. The classroom will always be the focus of such education but it must never be limited to the classroom; rather, it must permeate all facets of school life, from the playing field to the chess club to the informal contacts that take place within the school community. Because it aims at being transformative, true Catholic education is, as Pope Francis has said, ‘always an act of hope’.’ (Paddy Carberry S.J. ‘Living Prayer 2023’)

The Pope's Monthly Intentions for January 2023:

January: For Educators …

We pray that educators may be credible witnesses, teaching fraternity rather than competition and helping the youngest and most vulnerable above all.

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (PWPN) has development a number of sites to assist in publicising the Holy Father’s monthly intentions related to the challenges that humanity faces. The PWPN website is www.popesprayer.va

To watch a short video message of Pope Francis’s intention, please see www.thepopevideo.org

Click to Pray invites participants in a network of millions of people seeking a new world of peace, justice and fraternity. It is prayer in action linking the whole world, please see https://clicktopray.org

Thought for the Day:

We publish a thought for each day on the diocesan site. See  


‘A candle loses nothing  by lighting another candle.’ (Italian Proverb)

Annual Diocesan In-Service: The annual diocesan in-service will take place on Thursday  26th January, 2023, during Catholic Schools Week. Detailed schedule is to follow.

Catholic Schools Week 2023: Catholic Schools Week will be celebrated from 22nd to 29th January 2023. Please ignore the date on the link, these are for 2023. Please click on the link below for the resources for post primary schools:-


The theme for Catholic Schools Week 2023, ‘Walking Together in Faith & Love’, draws on three features of the Synodal Pathway: Communion, Participation and Mission.  Across Ireland, CSW 2023 will run from Sunday 22nd January to Sunday 29th  February, and it will be anchored on the memoria of Saint John Bosco on 31 January.  CSW resources will reflect the theme of the week ‘Walking Together in Faith & Love’, which is dedicated to celebrating the gift of Catholic education and recognizing the love and generosity of the entire school community: student, staff and home.  CSW resources will draw on scriptural reflection on journey, prayer, student voice, and (spiritual) wellbeing, with the following daily emphases:

Monday:         Walking Together in Faith

Tuesday:         Walking Together in Love (In our school community, themes of inclusion)

Wednesday:    Walking Together to Celebrate – Grandparents’ Day (Celebrating those who help us on the journey of faith, themes of inclusion of the elderly in society Pope Francis’ Message for the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly 2022)

Thursday:        Walking Together to Transform our World (Themes of environment - Laudato Si’ – and Mission)

Friday:            Walking Together in Hope

Liturgical Calendar for January: Please see Attachment 1 for the liturgical calendar for January 2023. Once again, Once again, Colette O’Doherty, Director of Religious Education & Youth Ministry, Diocese of Ferns, has attached for your information the Liturgical Calendar for January which also includes some other Social Justice key dates, etc. There is excellent material therein as it is packed with lesson plans, videos, liturgical resources, etc. and it is hoped that it is a source of support to you during the year.  You will be able to access PDFs, PowerPoints and Videos directly from the attached which should make life a little more convenient.  Just a reminder not to post on a website but emailing to teachers is perfect.

1st January – Solemnity of Mary, Holy Mother of God

1st January – World Peace day

3rd January – St. Munchin (Mainchin) patron saint of the Diocese of Limerick

6th January – Epiphany of the Lord

15 January – World Religion Day

16th January – Martin Luther King Day

18 – 25th January – Christian Unity Week

24th January – St. Francis de Sales

25th January – Conversion of St. Paul

26th January – Saints Timothy and Titus

28th January – Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas

29th January – Holocaust Memorial Day

30th January – Feast of St. Aidan of Ferns

31st January – Feast of St. John Bosco

Attachments –

  1. Liturgical Calendar for January 2023
  2. Attachment containing the usual links and resources. No change from last week. If you can add to this list, please forward all information to me  

If you are accessing this from the diocese website and would like to have these resources, please email dermot.cowhey@limerickdiocese.org  

As we reflect on a month where education is being highlighted and a month that contains the feasts days of two great educators, St. Thomas Aquinas (patron saint of students) and St. John Bosco (Don Bosco, patron saint of school children) we conclude …

Grant me, O Lord my God,

a mind to know you,

a heart to seek you,

wisdom to find you,

conduct pleasing to you,

faithful perseverance in waiting for you,

and a hope of finally embracing you. Amen. (Prayer of Saint Thomas Aquinas)

(A prayer of St Thomas Aquinas