Lough Derg Pilgrimage path

Lough Derg Pilgrim Path Pilgrimage

16 July 2021

Walk the Pilgrim Path on our Lough Derg Lakeshore Pilgrimage

Sunday 25th July and Saturday 31st July 2021 

WATCH Fr La’s video invitation below:

Register your interest here

Friends, the Lough Derg Pilgrim Path on the Lakeshore is now open daily to those who wish to come and walk it in a prayerful pilgrim spirit. Leaflets are available at the Visitor Centre as a further resource, with suggestions on how to walk the Path in a prayerful spirit for those who wish to walk the path anytime.

The walk is mainly on forest paths and for much of the way pilgrims are within sight of Station Island. The Pilgrim Path is a moderate walk on gentle terrain, it will appeal to the casual as well as the serious walker. The entire walk stretches 12km, but a shorter 8km loop is possible, and several information boards highlight features of particular interest.

Last August/September we piloted a new experience of a guided Pilgrimage on the Lough Derg Pilgrim Path, and now we are delighted to invite you to join us on: Sunday 25th July and Saturday 31st July 2021.

On these dates pilgrims can join Fr La and our team members to walk the Path together, with a Mass outdoors, weather permitting. Gain an insight into the historical background to the Lough Derg Pilgrimage as you know it today and delight in the particular features along the way.
Highlights include: St Brigid’s Well, St Davog’s Seat and the point where pilgrims past used to cross to the monastery on Saints Island.

Advance booking is essential for our guided walks
You can register your interest here, (a member of the Lough Derg team will contact you to take your booking) or you can email info@loughderg.org / tel 0(035371) 9861518.

Further dates for these guided walks will follow for late August / September.

Fr La remarks about the guided walk next weekend: “Next weekend, for the first time this season, we are delighted to welcome pilgrims back to our Pilgrim Path walk here on the shore of Lough Derg. There are many echoes of our Christian past along the way in this diverse habitat and I look forward, once again, to helping make this walk a true experience of pilgrimage in the Lough Derg tradition. I would love for you to come and re-connect with the Lough Derg Pilgrimage in the nature setting along the lough shore.

“Slán go fóill.”

Fr La, Prior

Video Player

Croagh Patrick

Croagh Patrick chapel restored ahead of pilgrimage season – Irish Times report
Fri, Jul 2, 2021, 01:00

The small church at the peak of Croagh Patrick was restored to its former glory ahead of the 2021 pilgrimage season.

The annual Reek Sunday pilgrimage to the Mayo mountain was cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and accompanying Masses normally held in the chapel were also called off.

Located 764m above sea level, the building is exposed to the wild Atlantic elements. It has been struck by lightning countless times, and when the winter ice thaws it pulls with it large chunks of white paint, according to Westport parish priest Fr Charlie McDonnell.

A fresh coat is usually applied each spring but Covid-19 restrictions scuppered last year’s makeover.

“After two winters it looked absolutely awful . . . People thought it hadn’t been painted for 100 years, but the reality was it had only been two years,” said Fr McDonnell

The restoration job is no walk in the park, with a private helicopter required to deliver tools and paint to the mountain’s summit. The reek’s caretaker, John Cummins, and a painter ascend by quad bike to reach the canvas, which should be fully repainted by the end of this week.

“The budget for the reek is fairly tight,” said Fr McDonnell, adding: “We manage from year to year with people putting in bits and pieces.”

Cancelling Reek Sunday events when many local volunteers were cocooning during 2020 was a “no-brainer”, Fr McDonnell said. “This year we said people are going to come anyway and so let’s put the facilities in place. This is a spiritual thing, but also has huge mental health benefits.”

Nineteen Masses
To adhere to Covid-19 regulations on gatherings, it seems there is something to be said for saying another Mass. Instead of the usual eight sacraments at the mountain’s peak on Reek Sunday, 19 will be held across 19 days throughout July.

“The number one thing for us is that this must be safe for people. We are not doing anything to compromise Covid-19 guidelines and we cannot have this turning into a super-spreader event,” he said.

Fr McDonnell said the parish has received a good response from priests around the country offering to perform the additional Masses, which will be held outdoors from the conservatory of the chapel. The Masses will take place at noon on Wednesdays to Saturdays each week in July, weather and Government guidelines permitting. In general, the chaplains volunteering to say Mass at high altitude are young and fit, Fr McDonnell added.

The pilgrimage is organised by a full-time working parish, and 2021’s events are more logistically tricky than any previous year, currently requiring a full-time staff member, Fr McDonnell said, adding: “We are a small outfit; we are not Knock or the Galway races… We are hoping that it all works.”


Click on link below for a prayer booklet/guide for climbing Croagh Patrick


Nuns prediction for Roberto Mancini and Italian Football team

Will Victorious Italian Soccer Team’s Catholic Manager Robert Mancini Be a ‘Seed of Evangelization?’

Italian nun Sister Rosalina Rovasio predicted the Italian team’s victory in the European Championship 18 months ago, and suggested Mancini could become an instrument for spreading the faith.

Roberto Mancini, manager for Italy's European Championship-winning team, meets Sister Rosalina Rovasio in 2019.
Roberto Mancini, manager for Italy’s European Championship-winning team, meets Sister Rosalina Rovasio in 2019. (photo: Courtesy Riccardo Cascioli)

ROME — An Italian religious sister correctly prophesied that her nation’s soccer team would win the European Championship trophy last Sunday, telling the team’s Catholic manager 18 months ago his team would have Our Lady with them, and he could be a “seed of evangelization.”

Sister Rosalina Rovasio made the prescient prediction in December 2019 when Italy’s soccer manager, Roberto Mancini, visited her Queen of Peace Shalom Community in northern Italy.

“Roberto, you will win the European Championship because you have Our Lady with you and you can be a seed of evangelization,” Sister Rosalina said, according to the Italian Catholic daily La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana.

The newspaper’s editor Riccardo Cascioli, who was present at the Christmas party when Sister Rosalina made her remark, said Mancini is an old friend of the religious community.

Italy were crowned European champions in London on Sunday after a tense final in which they beat England on penalties following a 1–1 draw after extra time.

Its first European Championship title since 1968, Italy, with its victory followed the nation’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia — a major blow to the soccer-crazed nation. The victory also came after a very difficult 18 months for the country that has borne the brunt of some of the most serious effects of the COVID crisis.

At the time of Sister Rosalina’s prediction, the European Championships were due to be held in the summer of 2020 but had to be postponed due to the pandemic. The prospects at that time of the “Azzurri” (the colloquial term for Italy’s soccer team) winning the tournament seemed remote.


Deep and Simple Faith

Mancini, 56, has not been shy in talking about what Sister Rosalina calls his “deep and simple faith” — a faith that became stronger after he visited Medjugorje for the first time with his wife and daughter, on the Solemnity of the Annunciation in March 2012.

A month earlier he had been given rosaries, blessed at the Marian shrine, soon after which he had a dream of Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic, one of Medjugorje’s “seers” whom he had never seen before.

In the dream, Vicka was among a small group of people and began to look intently into Mancini’s eyes and then gave him a kiss on the forehead, Mancini has recalled in interviews.

“I really felt the sensation of physical contact but of a person whom I had never seen or known in my life,” he said.

During his visit to Medjugorje, he met the seer and told her about his dream.

“Vicka looked at me attentively and smiled as if she already knew everything and told me, ‘It is Our Lady who does everything, we open our hearts, and She tells us what to do.’ Then she began to pray over us, without ceasing and with great intensity,” the soccer manager told the Italian Catholic magazine, Famiglia Cristiana.

The soccer team he was managing at the time, England’s Manchester City, were eight points behind their historic rival Manchester United but overcame that gap to win the Premier League championship, courtesy of a dramatic last-minute victory on May 13 of that year — the anniversary of the first apparition of Fatima.

Born on Nov. 27, 1964, the commemoration of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Mancini left the Church in his youth but returned later with greater conviction. He told Famiglia Cristiana in January, “Faith has helped me a lot in life, not in work, because I believe that the Lord and Our Lady have many more important things to deal with. However, I am convinced that those who pray with faith receive help.”

Last year, he told Gazzetta dello Sport: “Faith helps you in times of difficulty, also to mature.”


Evangelizing Potential

Cascioli said that for Sister Rosalina, whom Mancini first met in 2005, the help the Italian manager has received is motivated by the fact that Our Lady sees in him a possibility of evangelizing through having “a faith that is not ostentatious but simple and profound.”

Mancini has returned to Medjugorje several times and makes periodic visits to Sister Rosalina’s Shalom Community where he offers his time to the young people there recovering from addictions.

Cascioli said the Italian manager has always kept in touch with the community.

“Sister Rosalina knows him very well and they spoke via video call on the eve of the semi-final match with Spain [on July 6],” Cascioli said. “On the eve of the final against England there was an exchange of messages in which Sister Rosalina reconfirmed the certainty of victory.”

Lough Derg 2021 – 3 day pilgrimage



Virtual 3 day Lough Derg pilgrimage

(from your home)

3rd to 5th July 2021


For more details, please visit:-



Contactable Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm on info@loughderg.org or 00353 (71) 9861518.

Diamond Jubilee – Congratulations Fr. Farrell

Feast day of St. Anthony

Have you ever asked St. Anthony for help? We say a prayer in thanksgiving today

When is the Feast day of St Anthony?

This feast day is always celebrated on 13th June. It is the Feast day of St. Anthony and commemorates his death in 1231.

History of the Feast day of St Anthony

Saint Anthony of Pauda (August 15th 1195 – June 13th 1231) was a Portuguese Catholic priest and Franciscan friar who became a saint in 1232 and made a Doctor of the Church in 1946.

Also known as Anthony of Lisbon, he is the patron saint of Portugal as well as the patron saint of people who lose things and of children.

St. Anthony of Padua was born in Lisbon, Portugal to a wealthy family; his father was a captain in the Royal army. He was ordained as a priest and became inspired after meeting five Franciscan friars who were on their way to Muslim Morocco to preach the Gospel. A few months later he discovered that the monks were martyred and he joined the Franciscan order to follow in their path, adopting the name of Anthony, after Anthony the Great, who was one of the first monks and noted for his travels in desert lands.

Anthony’s life was changed when he was almost accidentally forced into giving a sermon. This uncovered his great gift for making speeches which led to Saint Francis asking him to travel around Italy preaching the Gospel which he did. He converted many people and became famed for his sermons.

Many miracles are assigned to Saint Anthony and he is often referred to as the ‘The Saint of Miracles’ or ‘the Wonder Worker’.

He was canonized less than a year after his death by Pope Gregory IX on May 30th 1232. This is the second fastest canonization ever.

How is the Feast day of St Anthony celebrated?

In his hometown of Lisbon, festivities in his honour start in the evening of June 12th with a display of walking groups of singers and musicians, who parade along the Avenida da Liberdade. The celebration continues the next day with more processions and traditional dancing.

During his lifetime, Anthony was known for his skills at reconciling couples. This has led to him being known as a marriage saint. A custom on St. Anthony’s Eve (June 12th) is for young people to write letters asking Antonio for help in finding a partner. In Lisbon, it is the custom that 13 couples get married on Saint Anthony’s Day with all the expenses being paid by the city council.

He is especially invoked in prayer for help in recovering lost items. He is said to have got this role when someone stole a very important prayer book that had many of Anthony’s handwritten sermon notes in it. Anthony prayed so hard for the return of the book that the thief was struck with guilt and returned to Anthony’s monastery to give back the book. Since then, he’s been associated with finding lost or stolen items.

Santos Populares

In Portugal during the month of June, there are festivals related to three popular saints; Saint Anthony, Saint John, and Saint Peter. During the festivities are many weddings, traditional street dances, and fireworks.

Prayer to St. Anthony

Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints”
O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God and Charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me (request). O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. Amen.

Keash Church Renovation update

Update on renovations to St Kevin’s Church Keash.

Last September we began the renovation on the internal works in St Kevin’s Church Keash and as we are all aware Covid 19 restrictions prohibited work for a number of those months, especially since January until recently.

We were so blessed on September 7th 2020 Bernard C Dwyer (PHD Scaffolding Group) erected the Scaffolding inside the Church so that work could begin on the ceiling. This gift of Scaffolding from Bernard C Dwyer has saved the parish approximately €12,000 and we will be eternally grateful to him and his family for enabling us to carry out this work on what is now the oldest Church in its original form in our diocese, dating back to 1809.                On Wednesday and Thursday June 2nd & 3rd the Scaffolding was taken down by a team of Scaffolders that came from London and Sligo, along with John Dwyer, it was really amazing to watch all the Scaffolding being prepared for departure, so skilfully and meticulously placed and secured safely for the Lorry that came on Friday morning to take it back to England, all was overseen by Bernard C Dwyer on Friday morning, we certainly did get the Rolls Royce of Scaffolding, something we will not ever forget. I take this opportunity to once again thank Bernard C Dwyer and his family for all his help and assistance to date and with God’s help we will look forward to a day when the Chapel is completed.

When the Scaffolding was erected, great use was made of it, the electrician and his team began rewiring the Church, taking down the old lights, and running wires for lights, sockets and fire alarms etc. The wiring now is partly completed and the new lights will be hung after the Scaffolding comes down. The new lights will be hung in such a way as they can be released on a chain for servicing etc at future times as the need arises for maintenance.

When the old lighting was taken down the ceiling then needed to be repaired, plastered and painted. For this work to be carried out we had to take down the statue of the risen Lord over the Altar and just last week this was hung over the Tabernacle area.

The leak that appears to be coming from the gable window over the main door has also been attended too, this required to cover the sill on the outside with lead and hopefully this will work.

During the meeting we had about the renovations it was mentioned to insulate the ceiling, this was also carried out,  as a walkway and lighting was put in place in the attic so that the insulation could be fitted safely.

In addition, on ground level the sacristy was insulated with plaster board and currently it is being plastered along with the areas where the old heaters were in the Church.

The Co. Council also have laid a new culvert for the river that flows down by the Church and when this work was taking place the ducting to put the ESB wires was laid and please God soon the wires will be put underground.

It is now that we are able to proceed with the plumbing and heating works and complete the electrical work.

I would like to thank the Tradesmen who have worked on the Church to date, everyone who has made donations and most of all for all your good will and patience. The work to date is wonderful and the ceiling is absolutely beautiful, and we ask God’s continued blessing on the Tradesmen who have to complete their work.

Also, we have to be mindful in the interests of safety that the Church is a Building site and no unauthorised persons are allowed to enter. I do ask people to be as generous as you can be, as we want the church to be a fitting place for worship when it is completed. May God who has begun this good work bring it to completion. Amen.



Appointments 2021 – Letter from Bishop Paul

Appointments 2021

Dear friends,

Pope Francis in his homily on Pentecost Sunday reminds us that the Holy Spirit “does not mould isolated individuals, but shapes us into a Church in the wide variety of our charisms, into a unity that is never uniformity.”  Since coming to the Diocese last August, I can see how the Spirit has blessed the people, deacons, religious, and priests of our Diocese with a variety of charisms.  This is a source of great hope for the life and mission of the Church.

As we “walk together” as a community of disciples in Achonry, we are entering a time of discernment that will help us discover where the Lord is calling us.  The fundamental question is: how do we share the Gospel message of Jesus Christ in this changed and changing time?  In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis reminds us that: “Pastoral ministry in a missionary key seeks to abandon the complacent attitude that says: ‘We have always done it this way.’  I invite everyone to be bold and creative in this task of rethinking the goals, structures, style and methods of evangelization in their respective communities.” (33)  I hope we can be courageous enough to face this challenge posed by Pope Francis to be “bold and creative” in our approach.  This is something I will be encouraging in the coming months and years in our Diocese as the Irish Church embarks upon its synodal pathway.

As we reflect upon the bigger questions that face us as a Diocese, there are the day to day needs that require careful attention.  The appointment of priests is central to this.  As this is my first year as Bishop and conscious of the bigger questions we will need to look at in our planning for the future, I am making the minimum number of clergy changes this year.  These changes are as follows:

Fr. Vincent Sherlock PP, Kilmovee, to be PP of Tubbercurry.

Fr. Joseph Gavigan PP, Ballaghaderreen, to be PP of Kilmovee.

Fr. Paul Kivlehan CC, Cathedral Parish, Ballaghaderreen, to be Administrator, Cathedral Parish, Ballaghaderreen.

The appointments begin on the 15th August 2021, the Feast of the Assumption.

I express my deep gratitude to Fr. Vincent, Fr. Joe and Fr. Paul for their service and generosity.  I know from my own experience it is not easy to change parish or role.  I wish them every blessing and encouragement in their new appointments.  I express my thanks to the people of Tubbercurry Parish for their patience in awaiting the appointment of a new Parish Priest.  I also thank most sincerely Fr. Peter Gallagher and Fr. Dan O’Mahony for looking after Tubbercurry Parish in the absence of a Parish Priest.

When the new appointments begin in August, we will have one priest per parish.  In addition, we have some retired priests and those involved in education who so generously help out and provide cover, for this I am deeply grateful.  The Cathedral Parish of Ballaghaderreen will be served by one priest, having had three a few years ago.  This will involve changes to schedules that I hope parishioners can understand.

Pope Francis’ in his homily on Pentecost Sunday reminded us that the Spirit protects us “against the temptation to let ourselves be paralyzed by rancour or memories of the past, or by uncertainty or fear about the future.”  The present moment is where the Spirit has called us to be.  We do not need to be fearful about the future as there are opportunities at this time to renew the life of the Church in Achonry and we know in faith that the Spirit always provides.  In the light of this I ask that we continue to encourage and pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life and for the vocation of the lay faithful that we would be generous in responding to the Lord’s call to “go out into the deep” (Lk.5:4).

With kind regards and every blessing,

Bishop Paul Dempsey

Bishop of Achonry

Prayer for those sitting the leaving cert

Prayer at Exam Time

Leaving-Cert-PrayerEver loving and eternal God be with me as I prepare to sit my examinations.

Give me peace of mind and quietness of heart so that I may approach each exam with confidence and trust.

Open my heart to believe that with you all things are possible

and because you have created me I am worth much more than all the exams in the world.

Teach me Lord that there will be many opportunities for using my gifts and talents in the future.

Bless that future and be with me, my family and my friends especially when the road is difficult,

and when all is going well may I give thanks for your care and love through Jesus Christ our Lord. 



We are thinking and praying for you. Good luck. Before you were born, God already had his plan for you. “Ask and you shall receive”. Ask God in the form of the Holy Spirit to guide you through your exams.

Before you turn over your paper, close your eyes; asking the Holy Spirit for its guidance and help. Believe in the Power of the Holy Spirit that the paper will suit you and then turn it over.

Also never forget to prayer to your Guardian Angel for help