Office: 028-22828, Open: Tues, Wed, Thurs from 10.00am to 12.00.

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Catholic Faith Communities of Skibbereen, Rath and the Islands


Pilgrimage to Fatima on 28th Sept to 4th Oct. 

6 nights. Flights from Cork. €609 if booked before Feb 1st (€50 discount).  Price includes trips to Eucharistic Miracle of Santarem, St Anthony's birth place in Lisbon, and Blessed Alexandrina Da Costa in Balasar. 

Spiritual Director Fr Marius O'Reilly.  Limited places! 

Contact Damien on 087 204 9048

Saints this week

15th: St Ita is the patroness of Munster, often  called 'foster-mother of the saints of Ireland' and a natural organizer.

Ita, also known as Deirdre and Mida (Mo-Ída) is the patroness of Munster. Next to Brigid, she is the foremost woman saint in Ireland. Although of the royal family of the Déise, Ita is associated with with the parish of Killeedy (Cill Íde = Ita’s church) in south-west Co Limerick. Patrick Duffy tells what is known about her.

Originally from the Déise. Ita (originally called Deirdre) belonged to the royal family of the Déise (present-day Co Waterford). Her father was not a Christian and made an arranged marriage for her with a young nobleman. But from an early age she wanted to consecrate herself to God and serve him in another location. In her youth, Ita dreams that an angel gives her three precious stones. So, struck is she by the significance this, she awakens to puzzle over the symbolism. Thankfully, inspiration is at hand in the form of another celestial visitor who explains in a vision, that throughout her earthly life, Ita will experience dreams and visitations. The stones in the dream signify the gifts of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to whom she dedicated her life.

A natural organizer. Ita seems to have been a natural organizer: she travelled about the district, taking part in the affairs of her clan. She bred horses. Her community became skilled in herbal medicine and visited the sick.  Killeedy became known as Cluain Chredal, the holy meadow, and they made another foundation at nearby Kilmeedy (from Cill Mo Íde: Mo Íde – = “my Ita” – is a more intimate form of her name).

A school for boys, As well as educating those who joined her community as nuns, Ita also set up a school for boys. She taught them: “faith in God with purity of heart; simplicity of life with religion; generosity with love”

Some of these later became famous, among them St Brendan – whether Brendan the Navigator or Brendan of Birr is not clear. In a poem of Alcuin Ita is called “the foster mother of the saints of Ireland”.

Death and influence. Ita died around the year 570. Many church dedications and place-names recall her, even in her place of origin. Oengus calls her ‘the white sun of the women of Munster’.

Fo-ráith már n-gur n-galar,
carais már tromm tredan,
in grían bán ban Muman
Íte Chluana Credal.

16th: St Fursa was born in Ireland and became one of the great monastic missionaries abroad. He went first with his brothers Foillan and Ultan to live the monastic life in East Anglia. Bur as great numbers continued to visit him there he left Foillan as abbot ana sought refuge in France around 644. A patron gave him a hermitage at Lagny on the Marne. He died about 650 at Mezerolles and was buried in Peronne, which became a great centre of devotion to him.

17 : St Anthony, died 356, 'Father of monasticism,' lived a life of solitude but also attracted many others to form communities of hermits.


Theme: Justice and only justice you shall pursue (Deut 16:18-20)

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2019 has been prepared by Christians from Indonesia. With a population of 265 million, about 10 per cent of Indonesians are Christian from various traditions. There is a great diversity of ethnicity, language and religion. There are also tensions affecting politics, business, justice, wealth and poverty. Christian communities in such an environment become newly aware of their unity as they join in a common concern and a common response to an unjust reality. At the same time, confronted by these injustices, we are obliged, as Christians, to examine the ways in which we are complicit. Only by heeding Jesus' prayer 'that they all may be one' can we witness to living unity in diversity. It is through our unity in Christ that we will be able to combat injustice and serve the needs of its
victims. Moved by these concerns, the Christians of Indonesia found that the words of Deuteronomy, 'Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue' (see Deut 16:18-20) spoke powerfully to their situation and needs. As individual Christians and communities, we are called together to form a united witness for justice and to be a means of Christ's heeling grace for the brokenness of the world.

Resources are published by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches

Ministers of the Word meeting: Thursday 24th January, Cathedral at 7.00 p.m. We continue to explore our ministry. Please come! Better still, bring someone - a current reader or anyone who is interested in joining us. The more the merrier!!!

St Ita

Lectio Divina Wednesday 16th 7.30 - 9.00 in the Presbytery

National Volunteer Strategy: Give your view: 14th January at the Cork Volunteer Centre. Free; book call Cork Volunteer Centre on 021- 425  1572, or

 Ageing Well - 6 week health promotion programme aimed at addressing the effects of ageing facilitated by HSE Occupational Therapists in Skibbereen. Classes will run weekly for 2 hours Wed. 6th  Feb through to Wed 13th of Mar. Free for over 60s. (028) 40520 for more info. 

Skibbereen Geriatric Society are extending their Meals on Wheels service to the Baltimore area commencing Monday 28th January. Please contact Cara House office on 028 22269 or Linda Shannon on 086 4093114 for further information.

Skibbereen Parish Assembly had  their Christmas dinner last Thursday night in Benedict’s Café. A great time was had by all!

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The AGM of the Skibbereen Branch of the Irish Red Cross will take place at the Vincent de Paul Rooms, Market Street on Sunday 20th January at 3.00 p.m. New members welcomed.

GROW Community Mental Health support group meetings are run every Thursday evening, 8.00pm, at Myross Wood, Leap, MSC Grounds, For further information contact Finola on 086 7702807, or Website:

The Skibbereen Conference of the St Vincent de Paul Society are very grateful for the most generous response to the appeal for food and resources during the Christmas season. All these resources will be put to good use within West Cork area, and already we have distributed well over 100 Christmas food hampers, besides having supplied many needy families with food and supplies. A very big Thank You!