Cashel, Ferns, Ossory Mothers' Union

Cashel, Ferns, Ossory Mothers' Union
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Welcome to the Cashel, Ferns, Ossory Mothers' Union website. The website will carry news, articles and photographs of Mothers' Union events throughout the United Diocese and also All-Ireland news.

The website will be regularly updated and if any Branch wishes to have an event, article or photograph published on the website please forward it to our Diocesan Secretary, Margaret Jacob. Email:

Please ensure that you have permission from any person who is going to be named in a photograph before sending it in to appear on the website.

All photographs and articles will remain copyright of the website and may not be copied. (See the Data Protection statement at the bottom of the Home Page)

Also please join our facebook page for all the latest news and daily reflections.

News Updates

The Rolling Spinner below can be used to advertise events and meetings in your Area or Branch.

Holding your mouse over the spinner will stop it

If you would like to advertise an event on the Spinner please contact The Diocesan Secretary, Margaret Jacob.
(Contact details are available on the home page)

Click on Symbol to Access Our BLOG  



Cashel, Ferns, Ossory

For further information please contact:

Diocesan Secretary: Margaret Jacob

Lesley Bayley
The Diocesan President of
Cashel, Ferns, Ossory Mothers' Union

A Letter from the Diocesan President ~ Lesley Bayley

Dear fellow members,
I hope you all had a good Christmas and I pray that as we enter into 2021 we will all be safe and well.
What a strange year 2020 was, a year that in the years to come the children of our nation will read about in their history books and with medical advances will probably be amazed that a simple virus could have such an impact on the whole world. We will all be part of that history, although I suppose most of us would rather not be.
It has been a hard and sometimes lonely year for us all, but as we move into 2021 with its theme of ‘rebuilding hope and confidence’ let us hope that once again we will be able to come together at meetings and gatherings, and in the days to come let us place our confidence in God that the MU will go from strength to strength.
Happy New Year to you all, keep well and stay safe.
Lesley xxx
P.S. This month we hear from our Finance and Central Services Unit Coordinator, Joan Blake.

Abbreviations’ they’re everywhere. But do we always understand them? Mothers’ Union: MU; Finance & Central Services: F&CS; Fund Raising & Communications: F&C; Away From It All: A.F.I A.; Date of Birth: D.O.B, just some examples.

Many years ago as a newlywed trying to impress the neighbours I made lovely scones. All went well until the first taste, when the neighbour’s face turned crimson, and her eyes seemed too big and too bright. I had misread the abbreviations and added a tablespoon of bread soda instead of a teaspoon.

I’m still in the housekeeping department, but this time it’s the Mothers’ Union housekeeping, as Unit Coordinator of Finance and Central Services for our diocese.

New government and charity rules and regulations must be adhered to. And I know all branches understand and deal very well with their responsibilities: Risk assessment (checking hall before meetings, and listing all present), Safeguarding Trust, Elections, GDPR, insurance and accounts.

For 2021 only the subscription is being offered at a reduced rate of €30.00, due to 2020 being a year with little or no activity in branches. However, Mothers’ Union work continued overseas and at Mary Sumner House. So our money is still needed!
The subscription for 2021 is broken down as follows: €22.50 General Fund, €6.20 Diocese, and €1.30 Diocesan Project. All accounts along with member subscriptions to be sent in by mid-February please.

February, spring will arrive with all its new life, new energy, new bloom and new birth. The snowdrops and daffodils will rise from their beds and lift our heart and give us hope. And incidentally our MU theme for 2021 is ‘Rebuilding Hope and Confidence’.
We have all enjoyed the Autumn and Winter competitions, of poetry and card making, and we look forward to a craft focused competition early next year….watch this space.

I’ll finish with a Limerick I wrote during COVID-19 lockdown:

COVID times didn’t worry animals on the farm.
Calves and lambs were born with no harm.
Silage made, green fields flourished.
Yellow gorse bushes where bees nourished.
 All beautiful, all calm, no alarm.

December Newsletter for Members

Click on the image above to access the December Newsletter
from Lesley

Mary Sumner Day Service

The Service went live on Sunday 9th August at 9a.m. and can be asccessed from our website or our Facebook Page. Our thanks to everyone who participated in the service, to Bishop Michael for facilitating the service in the Bishop's House Garden and to Margaret Hawkins for all her work in fiulming and editing the service.

Click on the image to find out more about this appeal
The appeal is available to key workers in Ireland as well as the United Kingdom

The latest edition of Focus is available to download on

Mothers' Union Video

Click on the Mothers' Union emblem below to see the video highlighting the work of Mothers' Union which was filmed at the Triennial Conference in Termonfeckin in March 2017

The video features members of Mothers' Union from around Ireland telling all about the organisation and the many different projects supported by Mothers' Union both here at home and in Third World Countries.

One of the clips features our very own Joan Blake who can be seen knitting a matinee jacket and talking about the Mothers' Union Knitting Project

Click on the image below to bring you to a message from
Sheran Harper ~ Worldwide President

Below also is a link to the main Mothers' Union
Facebook Page

The All-Ireland Facebook Page

*  MU Enterprise Stall  *

If anyone wishes to order items from Phyllis Foot from the Mothers' Union Enterprise Stall please contact

Click on the image to bring you to the All-Ireland site which has
Information and Resources for the
Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence.

Click on the image above to read
Sheran Harper's Indoor Member letter for Christmas

Click on the image above to access the Mothers' Union Service of
Nine Lessons & Carols
(One of the carols features Naomi Besanson & Tania Hanan from our own Diocese)

You can also download the service sheet
The service will be available on the MU Facebook Page & YouTube Channel

Wishing all Mothers' Union members a very
Happy Christmas
and every blessing for 2021

The Big Give

I hope by now that all our members will have received the new Annual Prayer Diary and with it some information about this year’s Christmas Appeal for an excellent literacy project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is wonderful that this year Mother’s Union has been accepted as a partner by The Big Give, which through monies already pledged will be able to double our on-line giving during the period from 1st until 8th December.

The Appeal letter tells us how our generosity can make a significant difference to the lives of the women of DRC not only by educating them but consequently educating their communities and combating gender inequality and also gender-based violence(GBV)

What you may not know, is that it is the generosity of Mothers’ Union in Ireland which has made this entire appeal possible.  We have held over “Mums in May” contributions since 2018 - €13,000 had been allocated to DRC to support a project on GBV but the  MU infrastructure there at that time was erratic and we were advised by the central charity that funds should and would not be forwarded. However, you will see from Marte’s letter with the appeal that things have improved considerably in DRC and that some education programmes have now commenced. However, many more are needed.

The All Ireland  MU Trustees recently agreed to release our “ring-fenced” MIM donation  to this project and it is great that by pledging it though The Big Give that it has already been doubled by another trust fund. The aim is to double the funds now held to £52,000 through this week’s appeal to support the DRC project.  So, if you are able, I would ask you please  to consider giving - either on line or by the using the freepost envelope -  to this wonderful project which has been in hearts of Mothers’ Union members in Ireland for a number of years. In this way, we can demonstrate our Christian care and concern for the women of DRC.

Thank you so much

The Big Give
Christmas Challenge

To  donate and read more about the "Big Give" in conjunction with Mothers'  Union, and the projects that will be supported through it, click on the  picture above.

All money donated through the "Big Give" website between noon 1st and noon 8th December will be doubled and will be used to finance MU projects in DR Congo.

Rebuilding Hope and Confidence
Living with Covid-19
Zoom Breakfast ~ Saturday 6th February 2021

The proposed "Women's  Getaway" which was planned for 5th - 6th February 2021 in the  Springfield Hotel in Leixlip has been cancelled due to ongoing concerns  as to how it can be safely organised with the ongoing restrictions to  try and stem the spread of Covid-19. The organising committee instead  has planned a "Zoom Breakfast" for Saturday 6th February.

A  poster is available to download : To register email:

The planned schedule for the morning is as follows:

  • 10.00a.m. - 10.15a.m. ~ Welcome
  • 10.15a.m. - 10.45a.m. ~ Speaker - Lydia Monds
  • 10.45a.m. - 11.00a.m. ~ Activity
  • 11.00a.m - 11.15a.m. ~ Comfort Break
  • 11.15a.m. - 11.45a.m. ~ Speaker - Karen Grey
  • 12.00p.m. - 12.30p.m. ~ Midday Prayers including Annabelle Hayes Celebration

Click on the poster to Download
and more information

Congratulations to Inga Hutchinson, daughter-in-law of Marion Thompson, Secretary of Cashel Branch, who won first prize in the Category "Something that made me smile"
Click on the image below to bring you to the gallery page on The All-Ireland Website

Inga's Prize Winning Photograph
All-Ireland Mothers’ Union Poetry Competition Results
WINNING POEMS (in alphabetical order)
 Blue Hands
Olive Thorpe, New Ross /Fethard-on-Sea MU, Cashel, Ferns & Ossory
Valerie Reilly, Belfast Cathedral MU, Connor

Click on the image below to access all of the winning, highly commended and commended poems:


I walk unyielding pavements by the roads
past nature clipped, pruned, mown, confined
by hedges, fences, walls and wire
past soaring trees with tarmac round their roots
their seeds adrift on stony ground.

I think about a dark brown path
through leafy gaps in beech and thorn
soft underfoot
that leads me up the hill through lush wild woods
the brackish ponds
the smell of green all round
the sun that spotlights curling ferns
and then legs aching
breathing short
the top is reached,
the fallen tree its roots exposed,
the bench nearby
and there
the open country stretched away
and Strangford gleaming in the mist-filled light.
A car goes roaring past too fast
exhaust fumes linger, air is stale
I turn for home on dusty paths.

Valerie Reilly, Belfast Cathedral MU


She stood beside the bed – blue from head to toe;
Her wide, brown eyes peeping out from the blue
Swimming in glistening tears that dropped silently on
blue gloved hands, holding feeble hands of love.
She knew it would be the last time her hands were held;
She knew it would be the last time to hold these hands;
Where did all the time go to – why was she always so busy?
Why were we always so busy?  always trying to catch up
Catch up on what?
Never did a hand feel so good and never did it feel so bad;
She closed her eyes, a small smile appeared on her wrinkled face
Brown eyes wept quietly, while the blue hand
gently touched the face of love one last time.

Olive Thorpe, New Ross /Fethard-on-Sea MU
Cashel, Ferns & Ossory

Painting by Nadia Corridan
(By kind permission)
Christmas Card Competition
Congratulations to Ethel Lonney of Kilkenny Branch who won first prize in the section of "A Christmas Card suitable for a child".

Click on the Christmas card to bring you to the Home Page of the All-Ireland Website to see all of the winners
Congratulation to Marjorie Bailey from Leskinfere, Ballycanew, Monamolin Branch who received Highly Commended in the section "A Christmas Card suitable for a Child"

Click on the image above to bring you to the Gallery Page of the All-Ireland site to see a slideshow of all of the cards submitted for judging at All-Ireland level

Thoughts & Prayers

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone at this difficult time. It is indeed a challenging time for everyone but we hope and pray that you all keep safe and well.

As the latest restrictions do not permit church services Rev. Ian Cruickshank has produced a prayer leaflet for use during "quiet prayer time" in Killanne, Killegney, Rossdroit and Templeshanbo churches.

Please click on the image on your right to access the leaflet and feel free to print it off and give to anyone who may like to have a copy.

MULOA is a new initiative from Mothers' Union
which aims to look at Mothers' Union going forward.
You will be hearing a lot about it at Branch Level in the coming months.
Click on the MULOA symbol to see a short video about this initiative.
Mother's Union at Synod 2019

Many members from the Diocese attended the General Synod in the Millennium Forum, Derry/Londonderry, 16th – 18th May. Some of our members appear in the picture on the left at the Mothers' Union stand at Synod, along with the All-Ireland President, June Butler. The Mothers' Union stand is always very popular and does a great deal to promote the work of Mothers' Union at home and abroad.

We were delighted that our website was awarded the runners-up prize for websites in "The Affiliated Associations" section. Lesley Bayley, our Diocesan President, was present at a function in The Guild Hall to collect the award.
The winning website in this section was Dublin/Glendalough Mothers' Union.

The judges had the following to say about the website:

‘… a website packed with information about the work of the Mother’s Union. It is kept up to date and gives a good sense of the identity and the work of the organisation.’

We pray that our God will make us fit for what he’s called us to be,
that he’ll fill our good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy
so that it all amounts to something.

As our lives honour the name of Jesus,
may he honour us, by his grace; our God giving himself freely,
the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely. Amen

Based on 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (The Message)
Mothers' Union Theme 2021

Rebuilding Hope & Confidence

Charity Number:

Republic of Ireland:
Mothers’ Union in Ireland is recognised as a Charity by the Revenue Commissioners, 5161.

Registered Charity Number - 20007331 (Charities Regulatory Authority).

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Cashel, Ferns, Ossory Mothers' Union

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