‘Fr. Tom's Courier Column’ Notices


A Clean Slate for Christmas


This year the Season of Advent is the shortest possible as Christmas Eve is the fourth Sunday of Advent. How should we use these three weeks to prepare for Christmas?

No doubt one or two Christmas parties and dinners will be…

World Day of the Poor


At the close of the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis made the suggestion that a particular Sunday each year would be set aside as World Day of the Poor. On Sunday last, 19th November, two weeks before the beginning of…

Praying for the Dead – Why?


I am regularly asked in recent times, how is the Crematorium going in Shannon? On Thursday last, All Souls Day, I asked a staff member of the Crematorium for the latest statistics and as of that day 141 cremations have…

Missionaries: The Heartbeat of Our Christian Faith


Last July I was invited by the Provincial of the Society of African Missions to lead the annual retreat for their priests at their house in the beautiful setting of Dromantine in Newry, Co. Down. For five days 37 priests…

Matt Talbot Novena 2017


For the past 25 years, the people of God in Shannon and Kilrush have gathered together on Monday and Tuesday nights during the months of October and November to pray for all people who are suffering or sharing in the…

A Powerhouse of Prayer


I often ask the question, “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” For me it was last week when I was invited by the Poor Clare Sisters in Ennis to conduct their annual retreat. This…

God’s Power in Nature


As part of the celebration of Catholic Schools Week every year, the children of 5th class in St. Conaire’s School go on a pilgrimage to Cill Chonaire and explore the story of their patron saint. The pilgrimage begins in St.…

Nobody Gets to Heaven Without a Letter of Reference From the Poor


Last weekend, an emergency National collection was held in every Parish in Ireland, responding to the plight of 25 million people in East Africa, who require immediate emergency food aid. As we plan our holidays and short breaks, our biggest…

Great Happenings in Lourdes


On Monday 26th June, 400 pilgrims set out from the Diocese of Killaloe on the summer Pilgrimage to Lourdes. By Monday night everyone including our Bishop, Fintan Monhan, eight priests, 52 assisted pilgrims, nursing and hospitality staff, 48 youth helpers,…

Golden Jubilee of an Airport Parish


On 28th June 1966, Bishop Joseph Rodgers, Bishop of Killaloe, wrote a letter to Canon Patrick Barry, Parish Priest of Newmarket-on-Fergus, informing him that he proposed to canonically create a separate Parish of Shannon and appoint a Commission to mark…

First and Last Holy Communion


On Saturday last we concluded our last ceremony of First Holy Communion. In congratulating the children, we thank their teachers and schools for preparing another generation of children in receiving the Sacraments.

There are many reasons why parents of all shades…

The Story of Fatima


On Saturday May 13th, the Holy Father Pope Francis will visit a village in Portugal called Fatima to canonise Blessed Jacinta and Blessed Francisco Marto. Jacinta and Francisco, brother and sister, along with their cousin Lucia, are the three little…

Growing With God


Bishop Fintan Monahan began celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation with children throughout the Diocese last February. On 19th May we will welcome him to Shannon for the first of our three ceremonies. It is a special day for families, for…

An Seachtain Mór


We get tired, even tend to switch off, if we listen to the same story over and over again.  Unfortunately this can also happen with the story of Jesus’ passion and death.  We have listened to it so many times…

Ubi Caritas et Amor


Saturday last was a day of jubilation for Carrigoran House as the Sisters of the Incarnate Word celebrated 150 years since their foundation. The congregation was founded in 1866 by Claude Marie Dubois, a French Bishop who was the second…

Saints and Sadness


St. Patrick’s Day is the day when millions of people, even those without a drop of Irish blood, become honorary Irish for the day. The day itself has become traditionally associated with parades and the wearing of the green. Globally…

Reflect, Refocus and Repent


Today, Wednesday 1st March, is Ash Wednesday and for many it is an extraordinary day.  For this one day the boundaries of routine are broken.  It is a ritual we have practised and inherited since childhood, a moment of remembering who…

Tasting Heaven Here on Earth


As you read this edition of the Clare Courier I will be in Lourdes. I travel here every February for four days in my role as Diocesan Director of Pilgrimages. Pilgrimage Directors from around the world gather in Lourdes from…

Resolutions and Refugees


I recently had lunch with one of our religion teachers on her first day back to school. The conversation turned to her days work and I asked the question what she was doing in religious class on the first day…

Getting Ready for Jesus


Frequently we get warnings by email that a new computer virus could wipe out our hard drive or clear out a bank account.  Unfortunately, many people are getting warning letters in these difficult economic times about unpaid bills.  On the…

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