New Years Day Message, 2020 from Bishop Fintan

New beginnings invariably capture our attention and imagination.  The feeling of novelty, freshness and difference is appreciated so much.  On this new years day, with joyful anticipation we greet the new year that is 2020 in all its newness and hope of opportunity and possiblity and dreams and blessing and hope for peace.


Past and Future

Last night new years eve was a time for looking back on the year gone past with gratitude in our hearts for the good times and also to salute the challenges that we had in 2019.


Highlights of 2019

2019 had many landmark and memorable moments some positive and some challenging:


  • People flocking to Clare for the Irish Open in Lahinch
  • Ongoing success at local level with tidy towns and civic awards
  • The visit of the President of the US to our county


  • Closure of more and more local enterprises
  • Rural areas continuing to go into decline
  • ongoing weather extremes
  • caring for the earth along with the inspiration and lead from young people in this area
  • the never ending issue of Brexit and the associated fall-out
  • the ongoing campaign to ensure that all or our citizens and visitors have a roof over their head and a home to go to


along with many other issues and highlights.


Hope offered by Young Poeple

One of the most hopeful things I can sense is the spirit and character of many young people I have come into contact with in the past year.  Many of them through schemes like Gaisce, John Paul II awards, Garda Awards, Community Games display great idealism, altruism, resilience, determination and grit in facing challenging situations.


Looking forward to 2020

Today however, we look forward with anticipation to the new year and pray that God will journey side by side with us and grant us and those in need good fortune and many blessings.


Blessing of Numbers

What better way to mark new beginnings than with the care and prayers of a mother.  On this feast of Mary, Mother of God, World day of Prayer for Peace  we pray the famous blessing of Numbers from the Old Testament :


May the Lord bless you and keep you. 

May heaven’s light shine on all that you do. 

May health and happiness come your way and love fill your heart throughout each day.


Blessings for 2020

May that blessing of peace, happiness and contentment be yours and the lot of your loved ones in 2020 and always.  Happy New Year!  Bliain nua faoi shéan is faoi mhaise agus go mbeirimid beo an t-am seo arís agus gura seacht fearr a bheas muid ar an lá seo sa bhliain úr 2020 amach anseo!