Icon of the Holy Family in Navan ***Update

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We welcomed the Icon of the Holy Family as we prepare for the World Meeting of Families and for the visit of Pope Francis. The Icon of the Holy Family arrives at St. Mary’s Church on Tuesday and will be with us until Friday afternoon.

We rejoice in being chosen to host the icon, and we look forward to welcoming parishioners from parishes all around Co. Meath.

All are welcome to join the evening ceremony to pray for the success of the World Meeting of Families, and for the intentions of your families.

photo from the opening night of the Icon’s visit to Navan. Fr Robert leads Evening Prayer accompanied by Fr Phil Gaffney.


Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday:
7:00pm: welcome, prayer path, petitions
8:00pm: Evening Prayer with a reflection on the Icon by Colette Furlong
    refreshments served afterwards.
10:00pm: Night Prayer

Wednesday & Thursday
   11:30am visit of Primary School children
5:30pm (Thursday) – Graduation ceremony for Cannistown pupils.

   10:00am: Mass of Thanksgiving

The Parish Shop will be open during the evening ceremonies.
WMOF2018 merchandise available, and souvenirs of the visit of the Icon.

REGISTRATION UPDATE: Online registration for tickets for the Papal Mass in the Phoenix Park will open tomorrow Monday 25 June. Registration via www.worldmeeting2018.ie.

Our parish WMOF office is open on Mon, Tues, & Wed from 9:30am – 12:30pm to arrange seats on one of the coaches which will travel daily from Navan.

Cemetery Devotions 2018

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Cemetery Devotions 2018
– please share with family, friends and neighbours.

St Finian’s Cemetery – Wednesday 27 June – 7:30pm
Cannistown Cannistown – Friday 29 June – 7:30pm
St Mary’s Church – Saturday 30 June – 6:00pm
St Mary’s Cemetery – Sunday 1 July – 3:00pm
Donaghmore Cemetery – Tuesday 3 July – 7:30pm
Old Athlumney Cemetery – Wednesday 4 July – 7:30pm
Dunmoe Cemetery – Thursday 5 July – 7:30pm
Our Lady’s Hospital Burial – Sunday 8 July after 9:00am Mass

Statement of Bishop Smith on the forthcoming referendum


In a few weeks time, the people of Ireland must make a decision that will have a profound impact on the kind of society we will be in the future. We will be asked to decide on whether to retain the 8th amendment in our Constitution by voting ‘No’ or to remove it by voting ‘Yes’. I wish to share with you my conviction about why it is essential to vote “No” if we are to build a truly compassionate society that values all life.

The choice before us has become even starker in the light of the recent judgment of the Supreme Court which stated that the only legal protection the unborn child has at present is the 8th amendment. If this is removed the unborn child up to birth becomes a non-person in Irish law. Do we want to say that the child in the womb has no rights whatsoever in our Constitution? This, I am sure, every mother would find impossible to believe from her experience of her child moving in the womb as he or she grows and develops. The Supreme Court judgment means that the child in the womb would have no constitutional right to treatment or support.

Despite suggestions to the contrary, the Church asks that all necessary medical treatment be given to a mother in pregnancy even if this were to result in the unintended death of the child. Highly respected medical and legal experts have made it clear that under the present law the best standards of care are available to mothers in a crisis pregnancy. All involved in caring for the pregnant mother in Ireland have to take pride in the fact that Ireland is one of the safest countries in which to be pregnant.

A compassionate society will do all in its power to support and love the mother and baby. The 8th amendment is a declaration of equality and respect for human life. It represents, at the very foundation and substructure of our laws, a conviction that all human life has to be cherished. Are we as a society to say to women experiencing a crisis in their pregnancy that the solution to their concern is to be found in abortion? Does this show compassion and care for women? The solution to a crisis pregnancy should be found in addressing the crisis, not in terminating the life of an innocent child. Abortion is a brutal act. There is no semblance of compassion involved in ending the life of the child in the womb. It is difficult to imagine how such an action could be compatible with the Catholic faith in any way.

The recent Supreme Court judgment means that, were the 8th amendment to be removed from the Constitution, the current government will legislate for unlimited abortion on demand up to 12 weeks, for unlimited abortion up to 24 weeks on the grounds of mental health, and for unlimited abortion up to birth in cases of life-limiting conditions. This prospect can only be described as horrifying. The appalling statistics of abortion rates in other countries should fill us with the dread of similar rates becoming normalised here. Are we to ignore the images, which technology makes available to us, of a child at 12 weeks who has a beating heart, a brain, eyes and ears, limbs, who is yawning, sucking the thumb, and who is clearly saying to us, “I want to live!”? To deprive the child of the right to life would be the gravest of injustices and by removing the 8th amendment we are doing just that.

It remains my hope that we can hand on to future generations a vision for society that is truly inclusive, which enshrines in its laws the equal right of every person to life, and which is capable of offering compassion and care to those in crisis. Our Constitution acknowledges that the right to life precedes all our laws, and our common humanity tells us that this is how it should be. The power to decide who lives and who dies should not belong to the individual. This can never be the foundation for a society that seeks to put compassion and care at its heart. Saving the 8th means that we do not have to choose between two competing rights. To choose life is to choose both.

A printed version of this statement is available for download here



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We welcome all parishioners who have travelled home to Navan to spend Christmas with your families. Christmas Eve Masses are being celebrated at 6:00pm and 8:00pm in both Churches of our parish.

Masses on Christmas Day are as on a Sunday.


Carols at the Crib will continue once again this year from 6:00pm – 6:30pm during the Twelve Days of Christmas. Thanks to parishioners and musicians who will keep the joy and freshness of Bethlehem alive during the Twelve Days of Christmas with carols near the Crib in St Mary’s.

The following is the provisional listing:

26 December – Polish Community (4:30pm)
27 December – Michael Moran & friends (6:00pm)
28 December – Sandra, Debbie & friends (6:00pm)
29 December – Marian Singers (6:00pm)
30 December – John Doyle & friends (6:00pm Vigil Mass)
31 December – Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament with carols
01 January – Beauparc Folk Group
02 January – Comhaltas Ceoltóirí na hUaimhe
03 January – Mercy Secondary Choir
04 January – Kilmessan Parish Choir
05 January – Kentstown Parish Choir

06 January – Diocesan Choir (Vigil Mass)

Hurricane Ophelia


Lenten Series 2017 *update


Our Wednesday evening reflections this Lent have been dedicated to the words of Christ “I have come so that you may have life.” We have explored various aspects of the value and dignity of life.

  • “Challenges to the Value and Dignity of Life” (Fr Louis Illah CC) 8 March
  • “God’s creation – blessed with life” (Fr Robert McCabe CC) 15 March
  • “Caring for those with Special Needs” (Fr Kevin Heery CC & pupils from St Mary’s Special School) 22 March
  • “Living with Suicide” (Fr Declan Hurley Adm) 29 March
  • “Four Tasks of Grief – a Map for the journey” (Fr Philip Baxter OFM Cap) 5 April

Two aspects of our Lenten reflections this year which have enriched our time of prayer have been the chanting of the psalms, canticle and the Magnificat. Thanks to Michael, John, Tom and Gemma for their help with the music.

We have also taken a text from the encyclical Evangelium Vitæ of Pope St John Paul. His prayer is addressed to Our Lady and invite as a focus point of prayer for life at all stages.

O Mary, bright dawn of the new world,
Mother of the living,
to you do we entrust the cause of life.
Look down, O Mother,
upon the vast numbers of babies not allowed to be born,
of the poor whose lives are made difficult,
of men and women who are victims of brutal violence,
of the elderly and the sick killed
by indifference or out of misguided mercy.

Grant that all who believe in your Son
may proclaim the Gospel of life
with honesty and love to the people of our time.

Obtain for them the grace
to accept that Gospel as a gift ever new,
the joy of celebrating it with gratitude
throughout their lives
and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely,
in order to build, together with all people of good will,
the civilization of truth and love,
to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life.


The series concluded with the monthly Padre Pio Mass during which Fr Philip Baxter (OFM Cap) explored “Four Tasks of Grief” which have been developed by Thomas Worden.

Through story and comment Fr Philip outlined a journey of recovery from grief that nurtures Christ-like presence in us. Worden suggests that on the very personalized journey that each one of us makes though grief, we will have four tasks to accomplish

  1. Accept the reality of the loss
  2. Work through the pain and grief
  3. Adjust to a new environment where the loved one is no longer present.
  4. Find an enduring connection with the deceased while moving forward with life.

If you are interested in reading some further materials which were offered by Fr Philip, please contact the parish office.

* updated 6 April 2017