Bishop Kevin's Christmas Message 2014

Bishop Kevin Doran’s Christmas Message 2014

Christmas is a time of many images; parcels and reindeer, candles and trees. The image that is always strongest for me, however, is the image of family. Christmas brings me face to face with the Holy Family of Nazareth, the family into which Jesus was born and grew to human maturity, nourished by the love of Joseph and Mary. At the same time, my childhood memories of Christmas are memories of family and so I find myself, each Christmas, giving thanks for the gift of my own family which was – and still remains – an important influence in who I am as a person. This year, of course, I have a new diocesan family and I very much look forward to celebrating the Birth of Christ here with you in the Diocese of Elphin.

Message from Accord

ACCORD, Catholic Marriage Care Service, is an Agency of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. It has centres located throughout the dioceses of Ireland. Its ministry is primarily concerned with supporting the sacrament of marriage by helping couples as they prepare for marriage and offering support to them in their marriage relationship. ACCORD’s aim is to promote a better understanding of Christian marriage and to help couples initiate, sustain and enrich their commitment to one another and to family life. ACCORD’s core services include Marriage Preparation, Marriage Counselling and Relationship and Sexuality Education (RSE) though its Schools Programmes. For further information phone your local ACCORD Centre, or ACCORD Central Office, or visit or if in Northern Ireland visit

The Meaning of Marriage

At a media conference today at Columba Centre, Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Bishop Liam MacDaid, chairman of the Council for Marriage and Family, along with Bishop Kevin Doran, Bishop of Elphin, officially launched the pastoral statement The Meaning of Marriage on behalf of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. The pastoral statement advises the faithful that “to redefine the nature of marriage would be to undermine it as the fundamental building block of our society. The Church seeks with others to reaffirm … that marriage should be reserved for the unique and complementary relationship between a woman and a man from which the generation and upbringing of children is uniquely possible.”

Bishops encourage everyone to read The Meaning of Marriage which is currently being distributed to over 1,300 parishes throughout the island. The pastoral statement can also be downloaded in the English, Irish and Polish language on

Marriage and the Common Good

Marriage and the Common Good
Address by Bishop Kevin Doran given at Iona Institute event, Roscommon, 27th November 2014 

The Good and the Common Good

One of my favourite spare-time activities is hill-walking. Usually I go with a friend but, from time to time over the years, I have organised pilgrim walks on St. Kevin's Way, which crosses the Wicklow Gap from Holywood to Glendalough. In the beginning I used to remind people to bring a “good pair of shoes”, but I very quickly realised that everybody has his or her own idea of what that means. In the mountains, that can make life difficult. Mostly, when we use the word “good” it is related in some way to the nature of the thing and the purpose for which the thing is intended. There are shoes for dancing; there are shoes for tennis. They are good, but they are not good for long walks in the hills.

I have been asked to talk about Marriage and the Common Good. Maybe I could just suggest that, somewhere in the back of your mind, you might hold onto that idea that “goodness” is in some way related to “nature” and to “purpose”.[1]

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