Spotted Locally!

Below we have the starts of lists of birds, bees, trees and plants that you can find locally in the parish. Have you spotted anything from the list in your own garden, or better yet, do you have something that isn’t on our list? If you have, please share it with us!


Collared Dove – Streptopelia decaocto

Collared Dove


  • Average length of 32 cm (13 in) from tip of beak to tip of tail, with a wingspan of 47–55 cm (19–22 in), and a weight of 125–240 g (4.4–8.5 oz).
  • It is grey-buff to pinkish-grey overall, a little darker above than below, with a blue-grey under wing patch. The tail feathers are grey-buff above, and dark grey tipped white below; the outer tail feathers also tipped whitish above. It has a black half-collar edged with white on its nape from which it gets its name. The short legs are red and the bill is black. The iris is red, but from a distance the eyes appear to be black, as the pupil is relatively large and only a narrow rim of reddish-brown iris can be seen around the black pupil.

 Where it can be found:

  • Native to most of Europe, India and Northern China
  • Introduced to North America and Japan




Blackbird – Turdus merula



  • 5 to 29 centimetres (9.25 to 11.4 in) in length, has a long tail, and weighs 80–125 grams (2.8 to 4.4 oz).
  • The adult male has glossy black plumage, blackish-brown legs, a yellow eye-ring and an orange-yellow bill. The bill darkens somewhat in winter. The adult female is sooty-brown with a dull yellowish-brownish bill, a brownish-white throat and some weak mottling on the breast. The juvenile is similar to the female, but has pale spots on the upperparts, and the very young juvenile also has a speckled breast.

Where it can be found:

  • Europe, Morocco, South East Australia



Song Thrush – Turdus philomelos

Song Thrush 


  • 20 to 23.5 centimetres (8 to 9.25 in) in length and weighs 50–107 grammes (1.8 to 3.8 oz).
  • The sexes are similar, with plain brown backs and neatly black-spotted cream or yellow-buff underparts, becoming paler on the belly. The underwing is warm yellow, the bill is yellowish and the legs and feet are pink.
  • For its weight, this species has one of the loudest bird calls. Its distinctive song, which has repeated musical phrases, has frequently been referred to in poetry.
  • An individual male may have a repertoire of more than 100 phrases, many copied from its parents and neighbouring birds. Mimicry may include the imitation of man-made items like telephones, and the song thrush will also repeat the calls of captive birds, including exotics such as the white-faced whistling duck.

Where it can be found:

  • Europe, Scandinavia, New Zealand, and sporadically throughout Asia and the Middle East



Great Tit – Parus major



  • 5 to 14.0 cm (4.9–5.5 in) in length, and has a distinctive appearance that makes it easy to recognise.
  • It has a bluish-black crown, black neck, throat, bib and head, and white cheeks and ear coverts. The breast is bright lemon-yellow and there is a broad black mid-line stripe running from the bib to vent. There is a dull white spot on the neck turning to greenish-yellow on the upper nape. The rest of the nape and back are green tinged with olive. The wing-coverts are green, the rest of the wing is bluish-grey with a white-wing-bar. The tail is bluish grey with white outer tips.
  • The plumage of the female is similar to that of the male except that the colours are overall duller; the bib is less intensely black, as is the line running down the belly, which is also narrower and sometimes broken.
  • Young birds are like the female, except that they have dull olive-brown napes and necks, greyish rumps, and greyer tails, with less defined white tips.

Where it can be found:

  • Various species found throughout the world



Coal Tit – Periparus ater

Coal Tit


  • 10–11.5 cm in length
  • It has a distinctive large white nape spot on its black head. The head, throat and neck of the adult are glossy blue-black, setting off the off-white sides of the face (tinged grey to yellow depending on subspecies) and the brilliant white nape; the white tips of the wing covertsappear as two wingbars. The underparts are whitish shading through buff to rufous on the flanks. The bill is black, the legs lead-coloured, and irides dark brown.
  • The young birds are duller than the adults, lacking gloss on the black head, and with the white of nape and cheeks tinged with yellow.

Where it can be found:

  • Europe, Scandinavia, Japan, Russia, and sporadically throughout Asia and the Middle East




Blue Tit – Cyanistes caeruleus

Blue Tit


  • 12 cm (4.7 in), long with a wingspan of 18 cm (7.1 in) for both genders, and weighs about 11 g (0.39 oz).
  • A typical Eurasian blue tit has an azure-blue crown and dark blue line passing through the eye, and encircling the white cheeks to the chin, giving the bird a very distinctive appearance. The forehead and a bar on the wing are white. The nape, wings and tail are blue and the back is yellowish green. The underparts is mostly sulphur-yellow with a dark line down the abdomen—the yellowness is indicative of the number of yellowy-green caterpillarseaten, due to high levels of carotene pigments in the diet. The bill is black, the legs bluish grey, and the irides dark brown. The sexes are similar, but under ultraviolet light, males have a brighter blue crown. Young blue tits are noticeably more yellow.

Where it can be found:

  • Europe, Scandinavia, North Africa, and small parts of the Middle East



Green Finch – Chloris chloris

Green Finch


  • The greenfinch is 15 cm (5.9 in) long with a wing span of 24.5 to 27.5 cm (9.6 to 10.8 in).
  • It is similar in size and shape to a house sparrow, but is mainly green, with yellow in the wings and tail. The female and young birds are duller and have brown tones on the back. The bill is thick and conical.
  • The song contains a lot of trilling twitters interspersed with wheezes, and the male has a “butterfly” display flight.

Where it can be found:

  • There are various species found throughout the world including India, Vietnam, East Asia, Europe, North Africa, South West Asia and Thailand



Chaffinch – Fringilla coelebs

Cha Finch


  • 5 cm (5.7 in) long, with a wingspan of 24.5–28.5 cm (9.6–11.2 in) and a weight of 18–29 g (0.63–1.02 oz).
  • The adult male of the nominate subspecies has a black forehead and a blue-greycrown, nape and upper mantle. The rump is a light olive-green; the lower mantle and scapulars form a brown saddle. The side of head, throat and breast are a dull rust-red merging to a pale creamy-pink on the belly. The central pair of tail feathers are dark grey with a black shaft streak. The rest of the tail is black apart from the two outer feathers on each side which have white wedges. Each wing has a contrasting white panel on the coverts and a buff-white bar on the secondaries and inner primaries. The flight feathers are black with white on the basal portions of the vanes. The secondaries and inner primaries have pale yellow fringes on the outer web whereas the outer primaries have a white outer edge.

Where it can be found:

  • It is resident in Europe and moves to various locations during summer or winter, such as Scandinavia, North Africa and New Zealand.



Gold Finch – Carduelis carduelis



  • 12–13 cm (4.7–5.1 in) long with a wingspan of 21–25 cm (8.3–9.8 in) and a weight of 14 to 19 g (0.49 to 0.67 oz).
  • The sexes are broadly similar, with a red face, black and white head, warm brown upperparts, white underparts with buff flanks and breast patches, and black and yellow wings.

Where it can be found:

  • It is resident in Europe and moves to various locations during summer or winter, such as Scandinavia, North Africa and Western Parts of Russia.



House Sparrow – Passer domesticus

House Sparrow


  • 16 cm (6.3 in) long, ranging from 14 to 18 cm (5.5 to 7.1 in).
  • It is a compact bird with a full chest and a large, rounded head. Its bill is stout and conical with a culmen length of 1.1–1.5 cm (0.43–0.59 in), strongly built as an adaptation for eating seeds. Its tail is short, at 5.2–6.5 cm (2.0–2.6 in) long. The wing chord is 6.7–8.9 cm (2.6–3.5 in), and the tarsus is 1.6–2.5 cm (0.63–0.98 in). In mass, the house sparrow ranges from 24 to 39.5 g (0.85 to 1.39 oz).
  • Females usually are slightly smaller than males. The plumage of the house sparrow is mostly different shades of grey and brown.

Where it can be found:

  • It is native to Europe, Russia, Middle East, India, China and introduced to North and South America and Eastern Australia.



Siskin – Spinus spinus



  • The siskin is a small, short-tailed bird, 11–12.5 centimetres (4.3–4.9 in) in length with a wingspan that ranges from 20–23 centimetres (7.9–9.1 in). It weighs between 10–18 grams (0.35–0.63 oz).
  • The male has a greyish greenback; yellow rump; the sides of the tail are yellow and the end is black; the wings are black with a distinctive yellow wing stripe; its breast is yellowish becoming whiter and striped towards the cloaca; it has a black bib (or chin patch) and on its head it has two yellow auriculas and a black cap. The amount of black on the bib is very variable between males and the size of the bib has been related to dominance within a flock. The plumage of the female is more olive-coloured than the male. The cap and the auriculas are greenish with a white bib and a rump that is a slightly striped whitish-yellow. The young have a similar colouration to the females, with drab colours and a more subdued plumage.

Where it can be found:

  • It is native to Europe, Scandinavia, parts of Russia and China.



Wren – Troglodytidae



  • They range in size from the white-bellied wren, which averages under 10 cm (3.9 in) and 9 g (0.32 oz), to the giant wren, which averages about 22 cm (8.7 in) and weighs almost 50 g (1.8 oz).
  • The dominating colours of their plumage are generally drab, composed of grey, brown, black, and white, and most species show some barring, especially to tail and/or wings. No sexual dimorphism is seen in the plumage of wrens, and little difference exists between young birds and adults. All have fairly long, straight to marginally decurved bills.
  • Wrens have loud and often complex songs, sometimes given in duet by a pair. The song of members of the genera Cyphorhinus and Microcerculus have been considered especially pleasant to the human ear, leading to common names such as song wren, musician wren, flautist wren, and southern nightingale-wren.

Where it can be found:

  • It is native to Europe but quite widespread throughout the world.



Gold Crest – Regulus regulus



  • 5–9.5 cm (3.3–3.7 in) in length, with a 13.5–15.5 cm (5.3–6.1 in) wingspan and a weight of 4.5–7.0 g (0.16–0.25 oz).
  • It is similar in appearance to a warbler, with olive-green upper-parts, buff-white underparts, two white wing bars, and a plain face with conspicuous black irises. The crown of the head has black sides and a narrow black front, and a bright crest, yellow with an orange centre in the male, and entirely yellow in the female; the crest is erected in display, making the distinctive orange stripe of the male much more conspicuous. The small, thin bill is black, and the legs are dark flesh-brown.
  • Apart from the crest colour, the sexes are alike, although in fresh plumage, the female may have very slightly paler upper-parts and greyer underparts than the adult male.
  • The juvenile is similar to the adult, but has duller upper-parts and lacks the coloured crown. Although the tail and flight feathers may be retained into the first winter, by then the young birds are almost indistinguishable from adults in the field. The flight is distinctive; it consists of whirring wing-beats with occasional sudden changes of direction. Shorter flights while feeding are a mix of dashing and fluttering with frequent hovering. It moves restlessly among foliage, regularly creeping on branches and up and down trunks.

Where it can be found:

  • It is native to Europe, and travel throughout for winter or breeding season.







Family Corner

In the Family Corner, you will find a variety of resources, including music, images, prayers and conversation starters, to help you as a Family of Faith. Resources are both general faith resources, as well as resources for specific times of the year, such as Advent, Lent, Reconciliation, Confirmation etc. If you have anything of interest and we don’t already have it on the website, please share it with us.




Preparing for the Sacrament of Reconciliation

This year, the Sacrament of Reconciliation for children preparing to receive Eucharist for the First Time will take place in the parish over 3 nights as follows:

St Kilian’s Junior School – Wednesday, 4th March at 7:30pm in St Kilian’s Church.

St Kevin’s Boys School – Monday, 9th March at 7:30pm in St Kevin’s Church.

St Kevin’s Girls School – Tuesday, 10th March at 7:30pm in St Kevin’s Church.


Prayers for the Sacrament of Reconciliation

There a number of key prayers that your child will be learning in school and at home in preparation for receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time. The document attached includes those prayers and can be learnt with parents/guardians at home.

Prayers for the Sacrament of Reconciliation


Songs for the Sacrament of Reconciliation

Below are the videos to some of the songs they are learning this year, especially the songs for Reconciliation. You might like to play one at home and use the song as a prompt to a conversation about the Sacrament.

I’m Sorry God




Circle of Friends

The Apostles

Baptism Song

Gathering Song

Lay Your Hands

Gifts From God


The Gospel of St. Luke – the story of Zacchaeus

zacchaeus_12928cJesus went on into Jericho and was passing through. There was a chief tax collector there named Zacchaeus, who was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but he was a little man and could not see Jesus because of the crowd. So he ran ahead of the crowd and climbed up a sycamore tree to see Jesus, who was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to that place, he looked up and said to Zacchaeus, “Hurry down, Zacchaeus, because I must stay in your house today.”

Zacchaeus hurried down and welcomed him with great joy. All the people saw it and started grumbling, “this man has gone as a guest to the house of a sinner!”

At dinner, Zacchaeus stood up and said to Jesus, ‘Listen, sir! I will give half my belongings to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, I will pay back for times as much.’




5 Steps of Reconciliation

In school, the children will prepare for the Sacrament by discussing the good choices and bad choices that they can make in life. They will look at a number of scenarios and work out what is the best thing to do. They will use this as a basis for engaging with the story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19: 1-10). Zacchaeus will help them to see that you can say sorry/forgive others when something wrong is done. The children will apply the story of Zacchaeus to receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time. There are 5 steps, or stages, to the Sacrament of Reconciliation that they will learn about and they can be viewed below:

  1. Examination of Conscience – I realise that I’ve done wrong and feel sorry
  2. Confession – I am sorry
  3. Penance – I accept my penance and pray the Act of Sorrow
  4. Absolution – I am forgiven
  5. Resolving to Try Again – I try again

Below you can watch 2 videos on the stages of Reconciliation that the children will see in school to help in their preparation for the Sacrament:


Examination of Conscience

There are many types and texts of examination of conscience. Below is an example of one that can be used with the children to help them prepare to receive the sacrament.

  • Did you pray to God today?
  • Did you do as your teachers and family asked?
  • Were you kind to your brothers, sisters, friends?
  • Were you lazy?
  • Did you steal?
  • Did you share your things with others?
  • Did you always tell the truth?
  • Did you borrow anything without returning it?


Dialogue for First Confession – Step by Step (This is an example and it will vary)

Parent: Father, this is my daughter/son N.

Priest: N. you’re very welcome. (parents/guardian steps back) 

Priest: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Child: Bless me Father for I have sinned, this is my First Confession.

Priest: What ways have you not shown God’s love?

Child: I didn’t show love when….

Priest: Thank you (and he will say a few words of encouragement to your child) and now will you pray your Act of Sorrow?

Child: O, My God. Thank you for loving me. I am sorry for all my sins. For not loving others and not loving you. Help me to live like Jesus and not sin again. Amen.

Priest: N. God the Father forgives you and I absolve you of all your sins, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Priest: Congratulations, you have made your First Confession. (The Priest will shake your child’s hand and invite you to give your child a hug and then return to your seat.)



Videos from Brother Francis DVD

Below are some clips from YouTube on the DVD that the children were shown on the night of the preparation meeting and contain the key messages about the Sacrament of Reconciliation:

Brother Francis – The Sacrament of Confession

Brother Francis – I’m Loved by a Loving Father

Brother Francis – Confession

Brother Francis – God’s Guidelines

Brother Francis – Doctor Visit


All the information on the Brother Francis series can be found on the Veritas or on the designated Brother Francis website. 




World Youth Day 2019 – Panama


img_8987Follow the adventures of parish catechist, Natalie, and parishioner Kevin, as they travel to Panama city for World Youth Day 2019. The group from Dublin Diocese will be in Panama from 18th to 30th January. Please keep the group in your prayers and any updates during the trip will be posted below.



19th January 2019

We have arrived to Panama & the weather is ever so slightly hot! The journey was quite long but excitement & spirits were high. We had the most amazing reception at our host parish which included food, music, dancing & fireworks – the Panamanians know how to host a party! We were paired off with our host families and got to put the head down. Today, 19th January, Kevin headed to the Care for Our Common Home Congress, while Natalie was looking busy collecting pilgrim packs. We had a walk of the city & dinner together in the parish before Mass & bed.



Monday 21st January

Greetings from Panama! We’ve had a very busy few days. We had Mass in the parish yesterday & it was ever so slightly different to what we would get in Ireland! We had a traditional dance performance during Mass & dinner with everyone in the parish and all the nationalities. The Irish consulate in Panama joined us & we had a free afternoon & time for the festival. Today, we were joined by Bishop Donal McKeown & had a Mercy day working with Aid to the Church in need & the group split into 3 groups to do visitation to the sick, play sports with the local children & visit food to those that have none. We debriefed & shared what that experience was like. It was free time & enjoy the festival. The official programme for World Youth Day kicks off tomorrow. Stay tuned for more updates after the opening ceremony tomorrow!


Thursday 24th January

Greetings from Panama. We’re just about to start into all the Papal events. Keeping you all in prayer. Watch our short video below:


Sunday 27th January

After serious blistering heat, we made it out & back to all the Papal events. It was a struggle but it was worth it. We managed to have amazing vantage points for all events. The vigil was a noisy, spectacular festival, and while insect repellent was the main order of the day, it was an experience that can’t be put into words. This evening, tiredness it at a serious high & we’re taking it easy before a debrief & sharing in the morning. We’ll reflect on the catechesis sessions, opening Mass, welcome of Pope Francis, Way of the Cross, Vigil & Papal Mass – a lot to pack into a few days! We also need to plan for Portugal…. 😊 PS did you see us on RTÉ this morning?!??



Tuesday 29th January

Today, some of the pilgrims went to see the famous Panama Canal & now we’re spending our last night enjoying the last drop of Panama. We take flight tomorrow & travel a long 24 hours (or maybe 30, I’m not sure with various time differences!) and land Thursday. Myself & Kevin have really been lifted with the support from you all over the last 12 days & we can’t wait to share the experience with you as we Dared to Say Yes to World Youth Day, Panama… Hasta Mañana!




Prayer For Our Earth

Prayer For Our Earth

All powerful God,
you are present in the universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.

Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.

Fill us with your peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.

Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty,
not pollution and destruction.

Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature
as we journey towards your infinite light.





The Canticle of Creation by Saint Francis of Assisi

O Most High, all-powerful, good Lord God,
to you belong praise, glory,
honour and all blessing.

Be praised, my Lord, for all your creation
and especially for our Brother Sun,
who brings us the day and the light;
he is strong and shines magnificently.
O Lord, we think of you when we look at him.

Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Moon,
and for the stars
which you have set shining and lovely
in the heavens.

Be praised, my Lord,
for our Brothers Wind and Air
and every kind of weather
by which you, Lord,
uphold life in all your creatures.

Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Water,
who is very useful to us,
and humble and precious and pure.

Be praised, my Lord, for Brother Fire,
through whom you give us light in the darkness:
he is bright and lively and strong.

Be praised, my Lord,
for Sister Earth, our Mother,
who nourishes us and sustains us,
bringing forth
fruits and vegetables of many kinds
and flowers of many colours.

Be praised, my Lord,
for those who forgive for love of you;
and for those
who bear sickness and weakness
in peace and patience
– you will grant them a crown.

Be praised, my Lord, for our Sister Death,
whom we must all face.

I praise and bless you, Lord,
and I give thanks to you,
and I will serve you in all humility.






Our Parish Response

Our Impact

Climate Change is accelerated by each one of us and by the way we live. Our burning of Fossil Fuels is the biggest contributor to Climate Change. This, combined with our over-use of plastic, is polluting our water, our oceans, killing our animals, melting the ice-caps, and changing the weather conditions we experience (from extreme snow to drought).


Simple but conscious changes in our lifestyle can help slow down and combat climate change!


Where do you begin? Find out how your lifestyle impacts on the earth and begin to look at the steps you need to take to combat this. Take the short Footprint Calculator test at:

Footprint Calculator



The Pope’s Response: Laudato Si

In 2015, Pope Francis published a document called Laudato Si, which is on the care for our common home. We all live on earth so we should all treat it with respect and have it in good shape for future generations.




You can read Laudato Si by clicking Laudato Si Document




You can read and learn more information from Global Catholic Climate Movement.



D965DDBE-6512-4336-AE00-043E123DC2EFIn September 2018, Dr Lorna Gold who works with Trocaire published a book called “Climate Generation: Awakening to Our Children’s Future”. This book provides a road-map for what we can do to combat and work towards action to provide a better world for future generations. It is published by Veritas and can be purchased from the store or online: Climate Generation


You can read a copy of Fr Michael’s 2018 Christmas Letter which is on the topic of Climate Change: Christmas Letter 2018.


Screenshot 2018-12-22 at 13.32.35



For further information on helping the parish become an Eco Parish, please read this guide:

Eco-Parish Guide