‘Fr. Tom's Courier Column’ Notices


World Meeting of Families 2018


The talk in recent weeks has been of the forthcoming Papal visit of Pope Francis to Ireland in August and many peoples’ memories of the last Papal visit 39 years ago have been brought to life once again. I had…

Life Giving


I believe in donating blood as it is life giving and it is a privilege to be able to give life and sustain life. I will never know the day I myself might need blood and I will be grateful…

Three Great Days


There is something to be learned from the fact that many Churches are thronged on Good Friday for the celebration of the Lord’s Passion.  The pubs may be legally opened for the first time this year on Good Friday, but…

The Miracle of Lourdes


World Day of the Sick takes place each year on 11th February. It was on this date in 1858 that Mary, God’s Mother, first appeared to St. Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes in the South of France. Ever since people have…

More Questions than Answers


At our Pastoral Council meetings we always devote time for a reflection and a member volunteers to lead the reflection on any issue they choose.  The reflections vary and are most inspiring and occasionally I find myself asking the member…

Tough but Wonderful


In recent days a parishioner described Christmas to me as “Tough but wonderful” For many people and families, the Christmas period can be a time of struggle rather than a time of celebration. Nearly everyone is under pressure to have…

His Christmas Presence


Many people will be without a home this Christmas, others will be at home but separated from family members by death, divorce, or some other unhappy circumstances; some will spend Christmas in hospital or prison, others will find themselves a…

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…

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