St Eugene's Cathedral - Annual Little Way Novena

DATE: 7th to 15th May 2022
LOCATION: Online/Derry

The Annual Little Way Novena in honour of St Thérèse of Lisieux.
St Eugene's Cathedral.


We pray for the elderly, who represent the roots and memory of a people; may their experience and wisdom help young people to look towards the future with hope and responsibility.


Christian Radio Station


The Joy of the Gospel – Reflection 4


Celebration of the Life and Legacy of St. Colmcille/Columba


The Joy of the Gospel – April 29th

Pictorial Thought for Today

Pictorial Thought for Today

Aug 18 - St Helen (c. 250–330) mother of Constantine

helen1Summary: Saint Helen, also known as Helena of Constantinople (c. 250–330) was the wife of the Roman Emperor Constantius (250-306), and the mother of Emperor Constantine I. She is traditionally associated with finding the relics of the true cross in Jerusalem.

Patrick Duffy traces her story.

British princess or a tavern maid from Asia Minor?
An English legend would claim that Helen was a British princess, the daughter of Old King Cole, but this is untrue as Constantius her husband had divorced her long before he ever set foot in Britain.

Birth of Constantine
Flavia Iulia Helena was most probably born in the city of Drepanum - later renamed Helenopolis - in Bithynia (modern north-eastern Turkey) in 248/9 AD, the daughter of innkeepers. St Ambrose of Milan (De obitu Theodosii 42) says she was a stabularia, a maid in a tavern or inn. Around the year 270 she met Constantius Chlorus and a few years later gave birth to their son Constantine at Nish in Serbia.

Constantius divorces Helen
But when in 292 Constantius became Caesar to the Augustus Maximian in the West in the newly formed tetrarchy that ruled the Roman empire, he divorced Helena for political reasons and married Theodora, Maximian's daughter. From then until Constantine became emperor, Helena's life was spent in relative obscurity and was probably deprived of the company of her son. Perhaps because of this she is seen as a patron of those undergoing divorce proceedings.

At Constantine's court in Trier and Rome
Around 306, after the troops of Constantius proclaimed Constantine the successor of his father at York, Helena joined Constantine's court, probably first at Trier and later at Rome. There are frescoes in the imperial palace in Trier, on which Helena is possibly depicted. When in 312 Constantine had defeated his rival Maxentius in the famous battle at the Milvian Bridge near Rome, Helena probably came to live in Rome. Perhaps to console her for the years of neglect when she was repudiated by her husband Constantius, Constantine gave her as her residence the Sessorian Palace at the south-east corner of the city, part of which survives today as the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. From this time onwards she held a prominent position at the imperial court and in 324 Helena received the title of Augusta.

Helen's pilgrimage to Jerusalem
Constantine's popularity probably suffered severe damage from the murder in 326 of his son Crispus and his wife Fausta in a palace intrigue. So we find Helen now almost eighty years of age heading off to the East and to Jerusalem in the years 327-328, possibly on a goodwill political visit. Ecclesiastical historian Eusebius, however, describes Helen's journey as a pilgrimage (Vita Constantini 3.42-47), pointing out its religious aspects, showing Helen as full of religious enthusiasm, visiting the places where Christ's had walked, caring for the poor and needy and generous in endowing churches to be built on the holy places.

Icon of Ss Constantine and Helen provided by Athanasios Clark and used with permission.

The tradition is that while Helen was in Jerusalem in the years 327-8 she discovered the true cross. She ordered that the 200 year-old Temple of Venus built in the time of the emperor Hadrian be torn down and it was here that the tomb of Jesus and the relics of three crosses were found. Over this she built the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre.

Veneration of the Cross
he Sermons of Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem, record that remains of the Cross were already venerated in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at the end of the 340s. Today within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre there are 29 steps leading down to the Armenian Chapel of St Helena, where the relics of cross were said to have been located. The remains of the cross were relocated to Rome, and are on display in the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.

Bethlehem and the Eleona
Helen also went to Bethlehem where she built another church over the cave where Jesus was born. Also back in Jerusalem, she built a third basilica on the Mount of Olives where Jesus ascended into heaven. Constantine financed this building project and called the Ascension church "the Eleona" in honour of his mother.

[caption id="attachment_84559" align="alignleft" width="180"]Ss Marcelinus and Peter's Church, Via Labicana. Rome Ss Marcelinus & Peter's Church,Via Labicana. Rome 95

Helen's death
Shortly after her journey to the East, Helen died. She was buried in Rome in a mausoleum Constantine built for her near the Church of Saints Marcellinus and Peter on the Via Labicana.

The porphyry sarcophagus which contained her remains is now in the Vatican Museum.
Liturgical Readings for: Thursday, 18th August, 2022

Thursday of 20th week of Ordinary Time, Year 2


A reading from the book of the Prophet Ezekiel             36:23-28
I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you.

new heart 1The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, I mean to display the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned among them. And the nations will learn that I am the Lord - it is the Lord who speaks - when I display my holiness for your sake before their eyes. Then I am going to take you from among the nations and gather you together from all the foreign countries, and bring you home to your own land. I shall pour clean water over you and you will be cleansed; I shall cleanse you of all your defilement and all your idols.

I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead. I shall put my spirit in you, and make you keep my laws and sincerely respect my observances. You will live in the land which I gave your ancestors. You shall be my people and I will be your God.

The Word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm        Ps 50
Response                             I shall pour clean water over you and all your sins will be washed away.

1. A pure heart create for me, O God,
put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
nor deprive me of your holy spirit.                   Response

2. Give me again the joy of your help;
with a spirit of fervour sustain me,
that I may teach transgressors your  ways
and sinners may return to you.                        Response

3. For in sacrifice you take no delight,
burnt offering from me you would refuse,
my sacrifice, a contrite spirit.
A humble, contrite heart you will not spurn.Response

Gospel  Acclamation        Ps 118: 27
Alleluia, alleluia!
Make me grasp the way of your precepts, and I will muse on your wonders.
Alleluia !

Or                                            Ps 94: 8
Alleluia, alleluia!
Harden not your hearts today' but listen to the voice of the Lord.
Alleluia !


A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew    22:1-14
Invite everyone you can find to the wedding.

weddingJesus began to speak to the chief priests and the elders of the people in parables once again, 'The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a feast for his son's wedding. He sent his servants to call those who had been invited, but they would not come. Next he sent some more servants. "Tell those who have been invited" he said "that I have my banquet all prepared, my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, everything is ready. Come to the wedding." But they were not interested: one went off to his farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his servants, maltreated them and killed them. The king was furious. He despatched his troops, destroyed those murderers and burnt their town. Then he said to his servants, "The wedding is ready; but as those who were invited proved to be unworthy, go to the crossroads in the town and invite everyone you can find to the wedding". So these servants went out on to the roads and collected together everyone they could find, bad and good alike; and the wedding hall was filled with guests. When the king came in to look at the guests he noticed one man who was not wearing a wedding garment, and said to him, "How did you get in here, my friend, without a wedding garment?" And the man was silent. Then the king said to the attendants, "Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth." For many are called, but few are chosen.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Gospel Reflection          Thursday       Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time              Matthew 22:1-14

In today’s parable Jesus speaks of the kingdom of God as a wedding feast to which people are invited. The great feast is a frequent image of the kingdom of God in the gospels. It is an image which suggests God’s gracious and generous hospitality. The Eucharist can be understood as an anticipation of the banquet in the kingdom of heaven. At the Eucharist we not only look back to the Last Supper but we also look forward to the banquet of eternal life. At the Last Supper Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom’. In the parable in today’s gospel reading, many of those who had been invited to the wedding banquet and who had already agreed to come turned down the invitation at the last minute, just when everything was ready. Even some of those who did respond to the invitation did not take the event seriously as was clear from their inappropriate dress. God invites and he persistently invites, even after many refusals. Yet, it is up to us to respond. Our presence at the Eucharist is a sign that we are responding to the Lord’s invitation. Yet, we have to keep clothing ourselves in the right way, clothing ourselves with Christ, as Paul says. We are send out from the Eucharist to put on Christ, to put on the one whom we have received and who desires to live in and through us.


The scripture readings are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and used with the permission of the publishers.  http://dltbooks.com/The Gospel reflection comes from WEEKDAY REFLECTIONS 2019-20: The Word of God is Living and Active by Martin Hogan and published by Messenger Publications  c/f www.messenger.ie/bookshop

Liturgical Readings for: Thursday, 18th August, 2022

Sliocht as Leabhar Ezícéal, Fáidh.          36: 23-28
Tabharfaidh mé croí nua daoibh fosta agus cuirfidh spiorad nua ionaibh.

new heart 1Tháinig briathar an Tiarna chugam: Naomhóidh mé m’ainm mór a truaillíodh i measc na gciníocha, a thruailligh sibhse ina measc. Agus tuigfidh na ciníocha gur mise an Tiarna – an Tiarna Dia a labhraíonn – nuair a naomhóidh mé mé féin ionaibh os comhair a súl. Bainfidh mé amach sibh as na ciníocha agus baileoidh sibh le chéile ó na coigríocha go léir agus tabharfaidh mé sibh abhaile chuig bhur dtír dhúchais. Croithfidh mé uisce glan oraibh agus beidh sibh glan; scagfaidh mé sibh ó bhur salachar uile agus ó bhur n-íola uile. Tabharfaidh mé croí nua daoibh fosta agus cuirfidh spiorad nua ionaibh; bainfidh mé an croí cloiche as bhur gcorp agus tabharfaidh croí feola daoibh ina áit. Cuirfidh mé mo spiorad ionaibh agus tabharfaidh oraibh siúl de réir mo reachtanna agus mo dheasghnátha a chomhlíonadh go beacht. Cónóidh sibh sa tír a bhronn mé ar bhur n-aithreacha; beidh sibh in bhur bpobal agam agus beidh mise i mo Dhia agaibh.

Briathar Dé.  

Salm le Freagra              Sm 50
Freagra                             Croíthfigh mé uisce glan oraibh agus glanfar sibh ó bhur salachar uile.
1. Cruthaigh ionam croí glan, a Dhia,
agus cruthaigh spiorad daingean as an nua ionam.
Ná díbir amach as do radharc mé
agus ná beir do naomhspiorad uaim.                 Freagra

2. Tabhair ar ais dom áthas do shlánaithe
agus tabhair spiorad na díograise mar thaca dom.
Múinfidh mé do shlite do lucht na hurchóide
agus fillfidh na peacaigh ar ais chugat.              Freagra

3. Óir ní bhfaigheann tú taitneamh in íobairt
agus an loiscíobairt a dhéanfainn ní ghlacfá.
M’íobairtse, a Dhia, an croí aithríoch;
ní eiteoidh tú, a Dhia, croí brúite uiríseal.        Freagra

Sliocht as an Soiscéal naofa de réir Naomh Matha            22: 1-14
Cibé daoine a chasfar oraibh, tugaigí cuireadh chun na bainise dóibh.

weddingSan am sin chuir Íosa chun labhartha i bparabail leo arís: “Is iad dála ríocht na bhflaitheas,” ar seisean, “mar a bhí ag rí a rinne bainis dá mhac. Chuir sé a chuid seirbhíseach uaidh ag glaoch orthu seo a fuair cuireadh chun na bainise, ach níorbh áil leo teacht. Ansin chuir sé seirbhísigh eile uaidh agus dúirt leo a rá leo siúd a fuair an cuireadh: ‘Feach, tá an féasta ullamh agam, mo chuid mart agus méithe maraithe, agus gach aon ní i gcóir: tagaigí chun na bainise.’ Ach ba chuma leo é, ach imeacht, duine acu chun a fheirme agus duine eile i mbun cheannaíochta, agus an chuid eile acu rug siad ar a chuid seirbhíseach, thug siad easmailt dóibh agus mharaigh siad iad. Tháinig fearg ar an rí, agus chuir sé a shaighdiúirí amach gur chuir siad na scriosadóirí chun báis agus gur loisc siad a gcathair. Ansin dúirt sé leis na seirbhísigh: ‘Tá an bhainis réidh, ach an dream a fuair an cuireadh, níorbh fhiú iad é. Mar sin, téigí sibhse i mbéal na mbóithre poiblí, agus cibé daoine a chasfar oraibh, tugaigí cuireadh chun na bainise dóibh.’ Chuaigh na seirbhísigh sin amach ar na bóithre agus bhailigh siad ar casadh orthu, olc agus maith, go raibh halla na bainise lán de chuideachta. Ghabh an rí isteach ag féachaint ar an gcuideachta, agus chonaic sé fear ann nach raibh aon éadach bainise air. Dúirt sé leis: ‘Cad a thug isteach anseo thú, a chara, gan éadach bainise ort?’ Ach ní raibh focal as. Ansin dúirt an rí leis an lucht freastail: ‘Cuirtear ceangal cos agus lámh air agus caítear amach sa dorchadas é: is ann a bheidh gol agus díoscán fiacla.’ Óir tá glaoite ar mhórán ach níl tofa ach beagán.”

Soiscéal Dé

© An Sagart
Liturgical Readings for: Sunday, 21st August, 2022

A reading from the Book of Isaiah          66:18-21
Theme: They will bring all your brothers from all the nations.

Jesus final comingThe Lord says this:

I am coming to gather the nations of every language. They shall come to witness my glory. I will give them a sign and send some of their survivors to the nations: to Tarshish, Put, Lud, Moshech, Rosh, Tubal, and Javan, to the distant islands that have never heard of me or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory to the nations.

As an offering to the Lord they will bring all your brothers, on horses, in chariots, in litters, on mules, on dromedaries, from all the nations to my holy mountain in Jerusalem, says the Lord, like Israelites bringing oblations in clean vessels to the Temple of the Lord. And of some of them I will make priests and Levites, says the Lord.

The Word of the Lord          Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm       Ps 116
Response                            Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News.
or                                           Alleluia!

1. O praise the Lord, all you nations,
acclaim him all you peoples!          Response

2. Strong is his love for us;
he is faithful for ever.                        Response

A reading from the letter to the Hebrews       12:5-7
Theme: The Lord trains the one that he loves.

ave you forgotten that encouraging text in which you are addressed as sons? My son, when the Lord corrects you, do not treat it lightly; but do not get discouraged when he reprimands you. For the Lord trains the ones that he loves and he punishes all those that he acknowledges as his sons. Suffering is part of your training; God is treating you as his sons. Has there ever been any son whose father did not train him? Of course, any punishment is most painful at the time, and far from pleasant; but later, in those on whom it has been used, it bears fruit in peace and goodness. So hold up your limp arms and steady your trembling knees and smooth out the path you tread; then the injured limb will not be wrenched, it will grow strong again.

The Word of the Lord          Thanks be to God.

Gospel  Acclamation     Jn 14: 23
Alleluia, alleluia!
If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him.

Or                                         Jn 14: 6
Alleluia, Alleluia!
I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, says the Lord;
no one can come to the Father except through me.


The Lord be with you.              And with your spirit
A reading from the Gospel according to Luke 13:22-30          Glory to you, O Lord
Theme: People from east and west will come to take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.

Jesus & JerusalemThrough towns and villages he went teaching, making his way to Jerusalem. Someone said to him, 'Sir, will there be only a few saved?'
He said to them,
'Try your best to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed.

'Once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you may find yourself knocking on the door, saying, "Lord, open to us" but he will answer, "I do not know where you come from". Then you will find yourself saying, "We once ate and drank in your company; you taught in our streets" but he will reply, "I do not know where you come from. Away from me, all you wicked men !"

'Then there will be weeping and grinding of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves turned outside. And men from east and west, from north and south, will come to take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.
'Yes, there are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last.'

The Gospel of the Lord          Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.


For homily resources for this Sunday's Gospel click here:  https://www.catholicireland.net/sunday-homily/

Taken from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, published and copyright 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House Inc, and used by permission of the publishers.
Liturgical Readings for: Sunday, 21st August, 2022

Sliocht as  Leabhar Íseáia, Fáidh         66:18-21
Tabharfaidh siad leo bhur muintir go léir go dtí mo shliabh beannaithe.

Jesus final comingSeo mar a deir an Tiarna:
Tá mé ag teacht chun ciníocha na n-uile theanga a chruinniú le chéile. Tiocfaidh siad a bhreathnú ar mo ghlóir. Tabharfaidh mé comhartha dóibh agus cuirfidh mé cuid dár tháinig slán díobh amach chuig na náisiúin: chuig Tairsís, Pút, Lúd, Móiséic, Róis, Túbal agus Iáván, i dtreo insí na farraige i gcéin nár chuala trácht orm agus nach bhfaca mo ghlóir.

Agus ar ais as na náisiúin uile, ina dtabhartais don Tiarna, tabharfaidh siad leo bhur muintir go léir – ar muin capaill, i gcarbaid agus ar eileatroim, ar mhiúileanna agus ar chamaill rásaíochta – go dtí mo shliabh beannaithe in Iarúsailéim, a deir an Tiarna, ar nós mar iompraíonn clann Iosrael an tabhartas i soithí glana go teampall an Tiarna. Agus cuid acu, déanfaidh mé sagairt agus Léivítigh díobh dom féin, a deir an Tiarna.

Briathar an Tiarna     Buíochas le Dia

Salm le Freaga        Sm 116
Freagra                      Imígí faoin domhan uile; fógraígí an dea-scéal.
Malairt freagra       Alleluia!

Molaigí an Tiarna, a chiníocha uile;
moladh na náisiúin go léir é.                                     Freagra

Óir is daingean é go deimhin, a bhuanghrá dúinn;
maireann a dhílseacht go brách.                               Freagra


 Sliocht as Litir  chuig na Eabhraigí       12:5-7
Óir is ar an duine a bhfuil grá aige air a chuireann Dia smacht.

A bhráithre, tá dearmad déanta agaibh ar na briathra spreagúla a labhraítear libh mar chlann mhac Dé: “A mhic liom, ná déan neamhní den smacht a chuireann Dia ort, ná bíodh lagmhisneach ort nuair a cheartaíonn sé thú. Óir is ar an duine a bhfuil grá aige air a chuireann Dia smacht agus sciúrsálann sé gach duine a nglacann sé leis mar mhac.” Bígí buanseasmhach, mar sin, ionas go ndéanfar sibh a oiliúint; is mar chlann mhac atá Dia ag caitheamh libh. Cá bhfuil an mac nach gcuireann a athair smacht air? Nuair a chuirtear smacht orainn, ní ábhar áthais dúinn é ag an am ach ábhar dóláis. Ina dhiaidh sin, áfach, tugann an smacht an tsíocháin agus an fhíréantacht uaidh mar thoradh do na daoine a oileadh tríd. Dá bhrí sin, “teannaigí bhur lámha faona agus bhur nglúine laga agus déanaigí cosáin réidhe do bhur gcosa.” Ar an gcuma sin in ionad an chos leonta a chur as alt is amhlaidh a leigheasfar í.

Briathar an Tiarna          Buíochas le Dia

Alleluia Véarsa             Eo 14:5, 6       
Alleluia, alleluia!
'Is mise an tSlí, an Fhírinne agus an Bheatha,' a deir an Tiarna:
'Ní thagann aon duine go dtí an tAthair ach tríomsa.'


Go raibh an Tiarna libh.           Agus le do spiorad féin
Sliocht as Soiscéal naofa de réir Naomh Lúcás    13:22-30      Glóir duit, a Thiarna.
Tiocfaidh siad anoir is aniar ann, aduaidh is aneas, agus beidh siad ina suí chun boird i ríocht Dé.

SJesus & Jerusalemeo mar a bhí Íosa ag gabháil trí chathracha agus trí bhailte ag teagasc, ar a bhóthar dó go Iarúsailéim. Dúirt duine éigin leis:
“A Thiarna, an ea nach mbíonn slánaithe ach an beagán?”
Dúirt sé leo:
“Déanaigí lándícheall ar dhul isteach tríd an doras cúng, óir beidh mórán, deirim libh, ag iarraidh dul isteach agus ní fhéadfaidh siad é. Tar éis d’fhear an tí éirí agus an doras a dhúnadh, agus go dtosóidh sibhse, in bhur seasamh amuigh, ag bualadh an dorais ag rá: ‘A Thiarna, oscail dúinn!’ déarfaidh seisean libh do bhur bhfreagairt: ‘Níl a fhios agam cad as daoibh!’ Beidh sibh á rá ansin: ‘Bhímis ag ithe agus ag ól i do láthair, agus is inár sráideanna a rinne tú teagasc.’ Ach déarfaidh sé: ‘Deirim libh, níl a fhios agam cad as daoibh. Beirigí uaim, sibhse uile a dhéanann an éagóir!’

Is ann a bheidh an gol agus an díoscán fiacal, nuair a fheicfidh sibh Abrahám agus Íosác agus Iacób agus na fáithe uile i ríocht Dé agus gur tiomáineadh sibh féin amach. Agus tiocfaidh siad anoir is aniar ann, aduaidh is aneas, agus beidh siad ina suí chun boird i ríocht Dé.

Agus féach, tá daoine ar deireadh a bheidh ar tosach, agus tá daoine ar tosach a bheidh ar deireadh!”

Soiscéal an Tiarna.          Moladh duit, a Chriost

© An Sagart