Sharing the Good News

Issue 47 – December 2017

Bishops appeal to members of the Oireachtas regarding human life

The Winter General Meeting of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference took place on 5 & 6 December last. Bishops appealed to each member of the          Oireachtas Committee examining the Eighth Amendment to consider how     society can best respond topersonal needs of women within a legal and constitutional framework which acknowledges the right to life of the unborn, together with the equal right to life of the mother.Bishops once more affirmed that Article 40.3.3 has a particular vision based on respect for the life of every person and that its removal can have no effect other than to expose unborn children to greater risk.

During their meeting, bishops discussed the sanctity and innate dignity of every human life, from conception to natural death, as a value for the whole of         society, rooted in reason as well as faith.The faithful are invited to read the bishops’ submission in March to the Citizens’ Assembly Two Lives, One Love, as well as their recent ‘Day for Life’ message Fostering a Culture that Protects Life and Respects Women. These documents are available, together with other pastoral and spiritual resources, on the website

Other topics discussed at the meeting included: Homelessness and the housing crisis; update on preparations for the World Meeting of Families 2018; Advent 2017; Northern Ireland and Brexit; and Catholic Schools Week 2018. See full statement on



Pope Francis appoints Bishop Brendan Kelly as the new Bishop of Galway

On 11 December, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Brendan Kelly, Bishop of Achonry, as the new Bishop of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora, succeeding Bishop Martin Drennan who retired in July 2016.

Following the announcement, Bishop Kelly said, “Having settled happily in     Achonry, I never expected I never expected to be asked to take on the shepherding of another diocese. , the fact that it is my own native diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora makes it much easier to say yes to this appointment with which Pope Francis has chosen to honour me. am very grateful to the Holy Father for his trust. it is good to be coming home.”

Bishop Brendan’s ‘Installation Ceremony’ will take place in the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and Saint Nicholas on 11 February 2018, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.



Bishops express gratitude for €5m Church collection in aid of east-African hunger crisis

Bishops expressed their deep gratitude to the people of Ireland for their very generous contributions to the national Church collection in July which was taken up in response to the food crisis in affected parts of South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. This collection raised €5m for Trócaire’s emergency response.This money will enable Trócaire to expand its feeding programmes and deliver vital aid – including food, water and medicine.

Bishops encourage people to support Trócaire’s Christmas appeal to help the organisation’s life-saving work around the world.The theme of this year’s Trócaire’s appeal is ‘Until Love Conquers Fear’, highlighting the fear felt by families who are displaced, hungry or at risk of violence this Christmas. See


News Snippets          

  • On Sunday 3 December, Bishop Brendan Kelly celebrated Mass in the RTÉ studios, Dublin, to mark the launch of An Leabhar Aifrinn Rómhánach, the Irish language translation of the Roman Missal.
  • World Meeting of Families 2018 have produced a special Christmas card for family homes. The card is based on the ‘Icon of the Holy Family’ and will be distributed at Christmas Masses across Ireland. See
  • The World Day of Prayer for Peace will take place on 1 January 2018. Pope Francis’ message will be published on
  • The World Day of Migrants and Refugees will take place on 14 January.
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Produced by the Catholic Communications Office of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference