Carols at the Crib

St Joseph’s Mercy 12 Days of Christmas Navan from Robert McCabe on Vimeo.

Thanks to parishioners and musicians who kept the joy of Bethlehem alive during the Twelve Days of Christmas by leading carols near the Crib in St Mary’s. Special thanks to the following groups:

26 December – Polish Community
27 December – Indian Community
28 December – John, Michael & Male Voice Choir
29 December – Marian Singers & Andrew Gavin
30 December – Beauparc Folk Group & musicians
31 December – Vigil of the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
01 January – African Catholic Community
02 January – Comhaltas Ceoltóirí with Sandra & Deborah
03 January – Youth Choir & friends
04 January – Mercy Secondary Choir
05 January – Diocesan Vocations Team & Lithuanian Community
06 January – Mass for the Feast of the Epiphany

Advent 2016


The priests of the parish propose a set of Advent Talks on the first three Tuesdays of Advent. They will explore the theme “a voice cries in the wilderness” –
becoming a person of faith and courage today. 

Tues 29 November 8:00pm:
Fr. Kevin Heery: being a person of faith and courage in Ireland today. 

Tues 6 December 8:00pm:
Fr. Louis Illah: an African perspective on people of faith and courage. 

Tues 13 December 8:00pm:
Fr. Declan Hurley: models of faith and courage in the Scriptures. 

All talks will take place in the Parish Room, St. Anne’s Resource Centre, at 8:00pm.

Evening Prayer & Benediction,

every Sunday of Advent in St. Anne’s Chapel at 6:00pm.

Morning Prayer of the Church:

weekdays, 10 minutes before 9:15 and 10:00 Masses.

Service of Penance & Reconciliation

Tuesday 20 December in St. Mary’s, 8:00pm.
led by Fr. Robert McCabe.
Visiting confessors will be available to assist

Carol Service

Sunday 18 December in St. Mary’s 4:00pm – 5:15pm.

All Saints Party 2016

All Saints Party 2016

Our annual All Saints Party was another great time of family, faith and fun in the parish centre from 4:30pm – 6:00pm.

We thank the parents and godparents who supported the Legion of Mary in organising the event and all who found time to make costumes and outfits. We also thank the parents who entered into the spirit of the evening with their own outfits!

Thanks to the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal for their music and support and to all who continued the energy of the evening with prayer for families in Syria. #PeacePossible4Syria

Click here to view a photo album of the evening!

DayforLife2016 RTE Mass

Parishioners and Choir from St Mary's at the RTÉ studios on #DayForLife2016

Parishioners and Choir from St Mary’s at the RTÉ studios on #DayForLife2016

Fr Robert’s homily from #DayForLife2016

The gifts which we place on the altar on Sundays are fruit of the earth and work of human hands. Farmers grew the wheat and grapes; they gathered, crushed and delivered them to others who “were only doing their duty” as they changed them from flour and juice with time and skill into bread and wine. Other signs and symbols remind us of the gifts of God’s creation: we use candles – the work of bees; we bless with water – a sign of life; we use the smoke of incense to venerate; we use the oil of olives to anoint and heal.

In the words of St Paul to Timothy today, these gifts of creation remind us that our faith and are lives are a precious gift which needs to be fanned into a flame. Sunday Mass is a time when we are “only doing our duty” – as parents, godparents, children, godchildren, choir and musicians!

Pope Francis too is also merely a servant “doing his duty” when he reminds us that everything in God’s creation is connected. We are called by Pope Francis to be consistent, respectful and generous to human life and to the world around us. In this way, all in God’s creation – like the mustard seed – will be able to reach their potential.

Sadly, at the same time that society is developing a more urgent sense of the need to care for our planet, we hear many slogans emerging which seem determined to remove some rights including the right to life of unborn human beings.

On this Day for Life which is being celebrated around Ireland, our bishops – like Pope Francis – are inviting us to celebrate the fact that every unborn child is not just “a potential human being” but is already a human being with potential.

rte-broadcast-massIn the 1980s, I was in school in Mullingar in St Finian’s long before the days of Green Flags in schools which led to an awareness of the environment. Our geography teacher Mr McNamara spoke to us about the destruction of nearby Lough Sheelin by pollution and by so many fertilizer products. For us, he connected so much in nature with human behaviour and our responsibility for each other. Thankfully two decades later after plenty of hard work, by locals and by Government agencies, Lough Sheelin is back to its excellent stocks of trout and is the envy of many in Europe.

Years after the deaths and damage to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we can remember clearly the the impact of Chernobyl. Thankfully the reaction of Irish communities was to welcome children from Chernobyl and surrounding regions, to protect them, to proclaim their dignity and to help them – like the mustard seed – to discover their God-given potential.

The psalmist today speaks of hardness of heart. In a world where hearts have been hardened by cynicism, comfort, and greed we could echo the psalmist’s prayer to soften our hearts and to protect the heartbeat of the unborn and of all who are vulnerable.

Everyone in Ireland invests in this tender care for life – not just those who are charged as heads of Departments of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Health; Children and Youth Affairs; Communications, Climate Action and Environment!

We see how government policy is designed to get the very best, to care for and to cherish creation. So too with human life! Nine months before we were born we were not even the size of a mustard seed. We grew and grew in a safe, protected environment of care. We were wonderfully comfortable until a dramatic moment which we do not remember – but our mothers so. All was going just fine for us until the waters broke!

Since then, nobody has been able to equal the quality and constancy of care during pregnancy. No advances in communication or technology can replace umbilical care and sense of connectedness of those nine months.

Today’s Day for Life enables us to admire the many layers of potential in God’s creation. This is the day on which we remember that God rested after His work. He saw that all was good. Sunday is the day when we have extra time for re-creation with our own families and parish communities.

eucharistic-prayerI’d suggest also that this Day for Life could be a perfect opportunity to speak about the birds and the bees! We’re told that the number of beehives in Europe is falling because of the amount of pesticide sprays and agriculture products. Bees which up until recently have provided valuable support to our crops and fruit trees and plants. In other parts of the world we lament the extinction of bird species, of wildlife or of fish because of excess pollution or because of plastic poisoning them in their rivers.

Could I propose on this Day for Life that we draw some help from the feasts and the saints whom we celebrate at this time of year? Tomorrow the Michaelmas Law term begins. The archangels whom we celebrated last Thursday remind us of God’s care for us. Michael protects and defends life. Gabriel heralds new life to Our Lady and proclaims life; Raphael is the one who restores life and health.

We celebrate today and every 2nd of October the Feast of our Guardian Angels. On Tuesday we will celebrate St Francis – an apostle of life, an apostle of creation.

Shortly like St Francis we will receive the Holy Eucharist which reminds us of our connectedness and of God’s wish to connect with us.

Christ will be close to our hearts as we were to our own mother’s heart before we were born. May this Holy Mass help us all to “do our duty as servants” who protect, proclaim and heal like the archangels. We are called to protect like Michael, to proclaim like Gabriel and to heal like Raphael … and to witness like St Francis to the many rich and beautiful layers of life in all of God’s creation.

Rev Robert McCabe CC

Celebrating our Care Givers *update*



A gathering for all who provide care to people in our community was  held in St Mary’s Church, Navan on Saturday 24 September at 3:00pm.

The Parish Pastoral Council have organised this ceremony to mark the Holy Year of Mercy by highlighting the very many ways in which mercy is practiced in our community.

Many people in our community give humble and quiet care to a family member or neighbour in their own homes while others through their work, profession or the organisations to which they belong give invaluable care and assistance to so many people in our parish.

Helping and caring for others is a beautiful example of God’s closeness in times of need and His living mercy active in our lives. As a parish we wish to celebrate these examples of God’s love shown through our Caregivers during this Jubilee of Mercy.

m_lysterThe ceremony in St Mary’s Church, Navan at 3pm on Saturday 24th September, will be a celebration of thanksgiving for the work of care-giving and a prayer of blessing. It will be followed by an opportunity to meet together and enjoy refreshments in the Parish Community Centre.

Michael Lyster, of RTÉ’s The Sunday Game spoke about on his recent experience of illness and the care he received that helped him make his journey back to health and to our TV screens.

All parishioners who are in a caring role, both professional and casual are warmly invite to this celebration to offer thanks and to pray God’s blessing on your work.

Speaking on behalf of the Parish Pastoral Council, Michelle Egan said

“This is a wonderful opportunity to recognise so many people in our parish who give so much of themselves for other people, to recognise their work and contribution to building up a caring community, and to show our appreciation”.

Tara-Slane walk 2016 *update*

Bealach an tSolais 2016 – starting from the Hill of Tara

Tara is a symbol of our pagan past and Slane, according to tradition, is the site where St. Patrick lit the Paschal Fire for the first time in Ireland. The walk is therefore a journey towards the Light of Christ, a symbol of our faith journey through life. The walk is 15 miles (24 kms) long and winds along country roads through Skryne, Walterstown and Beauparc before crossing the Boyne at Slane.

Skryne AbbeyA photo album from Bealach an tSolais 2016 is available here

Date and time: The walk will depart from the Hill of Tara at 9am sharp on Saturday 27th August. Estimated time of arrival on the Hill of Slane is 4.30pm with conclusion of pilgrimage by 5pm.

Getting to and from: Participants may wish to “team up” by leaving one car at Slane and another at Tara. Alternatively, you might arrange for a family member or friend to leave you at Tara and collect you later at Slane.

Mass: We will celebrate Mass in Slane at 3:00pm approx. Due to a wedding in the parish church, we will use the parochial hall.

Registration Form available for download here – closing date for applications in Thursday 25 August so that adequate preparations can be made for the pilgrimage.

More information from the sacristies, the Parish Office and the Parish Bookshop.


My Healthy Parish 2016

Some of the first hospitals and centres of excellence in Ireland were located in the monastic settlements of the Boyne Valley. Many of the local placenames (e.g. Canon Row or Abbeylands) still bear witness to our heritage. These centres of care, learning and prayer provided guidance and support to our ancestors. Skills in farming, medicine, learning and craftwork were shared in these monastic communities.

Fr Robert has written to the organisers of the forthcoming Healthy Town initiative. His letter highlights the various ways in which the life of our parish contributes to the health of the community. An edited version of his letter to the organisers is available for download here. We welcome the comments and suggestions of parishioners.

Our parish community has inherited many layers of support which encourage individuals to develop health in body, soul and mind. Our framework for considering health is based on Matthew 22:37 – loving the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind and our neighbour as ourselves. 

The proposed Healthy Town initiative which will run during September and October 2016 allows us to showcase how the Corporal and Spiritual works of Mercy are lived out and developed in many generous ways around the parish of Navan.

Chief among the Corporal works are the Meals on Wheels, the Active Retirement Group, the Parish Bingo gatherings. A great number of parishioners benefit from these parish outreaches and gatherings.

Less obvious but equally valuable are the many Spiritual works. Some of these include – Hospital visits, Quiet Prayer, Marriage Preparation, Al Anon gatherings, visits to the Nursing Homes, Bereavement counselling.

May Bradley (Connolly Avenue) & Kathleen Swan (Longwood) are pictured receiving their Healthy Town Ireland prizes from Fr Robert at tonight’s Bingo.
Thanks to our generous sponsors: Pat & Mary in Clarke’s Fresh Fruit for the 2 marvellous hampers, Sandra and staff in Earls Kitchen for the fresh bread and scones, staff in Specsavers, Navan for two valuable vouchers and Joe (and Mayo supporters) in Staunton’s Pharmacy, Navan for the supplies of Cod-Liver Oil.

We assure all parishioners of our care, prayers and support.

Bígí linn!