Welcome / Fáilte Romhat!

The Franciscan Abbey in Multyfarnham was founded in 1268 and continues to be an active centre of Franciscan mission in Ireland.  The only Franciscan Abbey in Ireland still standing on the footprint of its original foundation, the Franciscan fraternity continues its commitment of service from this special place.

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Temptation and Testing

In his reflection this week, Fr Kieran takes a deep look at the text from the Gospel of the first Sunday of Lent, the journey of Jesus into the desert for forty days, which marked the beginning of his public ministry, and which would lead, on Good Friday, to his death on a Cross as the overwhelming expression of His love for us.

The Gospel speaks of temptation, which can be defined as, “the desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise.” Well, no doubt Satan would have wanted Jesus to do just that. But was it temptation? Or was it ‘trial’ or, ‘testing?’ After all, Jesus was about to embark on the mission given to him by the Father, to begin a life of public ministry and He was to bring the word of God to all those around him, to make real, in the lives of the people, the Kingdom of God to which we are all called.

And so this time of testing, this time of getting ready.

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Touching and Being Touched

During Covid-19, we were all warned about the dangers of touch. Those many moments of touch that never needed words but which, nonetheless, said all that needed to be said, were impossible! It could be as simple as a handshake, that touch of hand to hand or an embrace that expressed a warmth without ever needing to be verbalised and yet, what was unsaid was understood. It could be to express sympathy, or pleasure at meeting, or congratulations, but whatever it was, touch conveyed so much.

And only when it was gone, did we realise how much touch was important in our lives.

In his reflection, Fr Kieran reflects more deeply on the significance of touch – in the story of the woman with a haemorrhage who wished only to touch to cloak of Jesus to be healed, of the intimacy of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples with his own hands, of Jesus touching the leper and making him clean. We have much to think about!

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Open Space – Thursday, February 22

Our next meeting of the Open Space group will take place this coming Thursday, starting at 8:00pm in the Bistro.  The entrance is to the right of the main door into the Friary. Our topic this week is "Lent - is this now out of fashion?" Most of us, in our growing...

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Latest Updates

The arrival of Oliver Cromwell in Ireland -1649

Following the rebellion of 1641 and the assertion that was it conceived in the Friary of Multyfarnham, it was no surprise the friary would suffer in its aftermath and in particular, during the Cromwellian campaign in Ireland (1649 to 1653.) Since 1641, the English...

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Participating online via our webcam

We invite you to join us via our webcam for all of our services here in the Friary church.  These include our weekday Mass with the Franciscan Community, Sunday Mass (and Vigil Mass on Saturday evening) and our very popular Novena Mass to St Anthony, which is...

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News

“What do you do?”

Last Sunday (October 1), the friary hosted a group from the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association in the Diocese of Meath, who spent an afternoon of recollection, mainly in the church, but also in glorious warm sunshine praying the outside Stations of the Cross. There...

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Post-Chapter thoughts

Archbishop Eamon Martin is pictured with Br Massimo (Minister General) and Br Aidan (Minister Provincial) Last week, beginning on Saturday evening, the Franciscans of the Irish Province were joined by representatives of the Franciscans in England and Scotland,...

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A new Heaven AND a new Earth!

This week I would like to share a reflection on a highly significant passage from St Paul’s Letter to the Romans, which was the second reading in last Sunday’s Mass. It is Romans 8:18-23, an inspiring text, which confirms the infinite value of God’s Creation, seen in...

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“Climb, for all you’re worth!”

Over the past three weeks, the Book of Genesis has featured prominently in the daily liturgy, speaking to us especially of the great Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as their wives, not to mention a host of secondary characters who still play important...

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Remember Lot’s wife

Reflecting on the daily readings at Mass from the Book of Genesis, women do not come out smelling of roses! Take Abraham’s wife Sarah, for instance. She is childless but lacks the patience to wait for God to keep his promise to provide that longed for baby. She uses...

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From the desk of Fr Kieran OFM

Temptation and Testing

In his reflection this week, Fr Kieran takes a deep look at the text from the Gospel of the first Sunday of Lent, the journey of Jesus into the desert for forty days, which marked the beginning of his public ministry, and which would lead, on Good Friday, to his death on a Cross as the overwhelming expression of His love for us.

The Gospel speaks of temptation, which can be defined as, “the desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise.” Well, no doubt Satan would have wanted Jesus to do just that. But was it temptation? Or was it ‘trial’ or, ‘testing?’ After all, Jesus was about to embark on the mission given to him by the Father, to begin a life of public ministry and He was to bring the word of God to all those around him, to make real, in the lives of the people, the Kingdom of God to which we are all called.

And so this time of testing, this time of getting ready.

read more

Touching and Being Touched

During Covid-19, we were all warned about the dangers of touch. Those many moments of touch that never needed words but which, nonetheless, said all that needed to be said, were impossible! It could be as simple as a handshake, that touch of hand to hand or an embrace that expressed a warmth without ever needing to be verbalised and yet, what was unsaid was understood. It could be to express sympathy, or pleasure at meeting, or congratulations, but whatever it was, touch conveyed so much.

And only when it was gone, did we realise how much touch was important in our lives.

In his reflection, Fr Kieran reflects more deeply on the significance of touch – in the story of the woman with a haemorrhage who wished only to touch to cloak of Jesus to be healed, of the intimacy of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples with his own hands, of Jesus touching the leper and making him clean. We have much to think about!

read more

What time is it?

In this part of the world, it is often the case that we can use terms or phrases in English which, to someone for whom English is not their native language, can be difficult to understand. Often, it is because they are difficult to translate and instead, we have to explain the concept behind the phrase and not just the words. There is many a non-English speaker who has looked perplexed when they put the phrase, “catching a bus” into Google translate!

Fr Kieran points to an example of this in his reflection when he explores the theme of time as recorded in the New Testament, especially in the Gospel reading and second reading for the Third Sunday in Ordinary time (there’s that word again!).

The Greek’s differentiated between ‘chronos’ time – that which is tracked by clocks and watches – and Kairos time, those moments when we are at a point of a critical decision, a make or break, on which so much that follows might depend.

Kieran links this Kairos time of the Gospel with the call to repent, a critical moment, not just to confess our sins but to quote from the final lines of Robert Frost’s famous poem, “The Road Not Taken,” to go in a different direction:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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Bishop Patrick Tyrrell, OFM

In this latest addition to his recounting the history of the Franciscans in Multyfarnham, Paschal Sweeney tells us the story of Bishop Patrick Tyrrell, who died in 1692.

Bishop Tyrrell joined the Franciscans in Multyfarnham in or around 1647 / 1648. Due to later persecutions of Catholics in Ireland and of the Franciscans in Multy, he was the last clothed in the brown habit of the Friars for a very long time.

Tyrell went on to become one of the most prominent members of the Irish hierarchy. He served as Bishop at the same time as now Saint Oliver Plunkett was in Armagh.

Read Paschal’s story here for the rest of the story.

Multyfarnham Friary in the years 1669 to 1687

Our local historian, Paschal Sweeney, takes us further along the path of Multyfarnham’s history, this time looking at the years 1669 to 1687 and at all the key events during this time.

Paschal’s insights tell us not just of the events but go beyond just the dates to what was actually happening at the time.

Enjoy this next instalment from Paschal and learn a little more of the hundreds of years of history embedded in the very stones of the Friary church!

The Friars at Knightswood

Our history of the Friary continues in this latest segment from Paschal Sweeney.

A return to the friary at Multyfarnham wasn’t immediately possible. Restoring the Friary from the damage caused to it was an expensive task. Hence, through the generosity of Sir Thomas Nugent, the found a home at Knightswood and here, once again, the Franciscan charism and mission flourished.

In this segment, Paschal writes of the friars time in Knightswood, including a report by Saint Oliver Plunkett to Rome about the presence of the Friars in this place.

Events following Cromwell’s death

The historical story of the Friary at Multyfarnham continues when Paschal Sweeney, our ‘resident historian’ takes us through the years that followed the death of Oliver Cromwell in 1658.

With anti-Catholic sentiment easing, the friars could take tentative steps towards a return to their ministry in Multyfarnham.

In this segment, Paschal takes us through the developments in the years from 1658 through 1670.

The arrival of Oliver Cromwell in Ireland -1649

In his latest instalment of the history of Multyfarnham Friary, our historian, Paschal Sweeney, chronicles the events happening here during the time of Cromwell’s time in Ireland, a sad a terrible time for Ireland and for the Franciscans at Multyfarnham.

An Evening of Beautiful Music in the Friary

Some buildings lend themselves, naturally, to having good acoustics and the Friary church can count itself among those. And when music is played and sung here, the tones of the voices and of the played music combine with the very stones themselves to deliver a sound that cannot be replicated in any other place. In every sense, it is a unique experience, both for the artists and for their audience.

And so it was last Sunday evening when The Lynn Singers from Mullingar, the Irish Concert Orchestra Quintet, and Vocative, a small six-man group of singers visited us to perform their Winter Concert. An audience of just over 300 people were treated to a beautiful evening of perfect singing, and magnificent and uplifting music. The first half of the evening was given over to The Lynn Singers, Vocative and the ICO Quintet performing “Magnificat” from St Luke’s Gospel (LK 1:46-55). Few of us can say that we have not heard the amazing words of Mary’s prayerful response to the Angel sung. However, Sunday’s performance was one with which few would be familiar. In an arrangement by Kim André Arnesen, a young Norwegian classical composer from Trondheim in that country, the performance of “Magnificat” was quite simply, beautiful. How such a sound could be obtained from so few voices is a mystery and the individual performances were so perfect, that the soprano voices were like the voices of angels filling the Friary church. This arrangement was sung in Latin and while this might, at first, risk disconnecting the audience from the magnificence of the words, having the Latin and English, side-by-side on the back page of the accompanying programme, allowed us to engage with the prayer. A spectacular performance, with Musical Director, Dervilla Conlon skillfully encouraging every note and pause to deliver an impeccable performance.

This was followed by the ICO Quintet with a performance of three pieces, two by Arthur Duff (“Windy Gap” and, “Meath Pastoral”) before concluding with McAnanty’s Reel. Kenneth Rice led the quintet in a spirited uplifting, toe-tapping, rendition of this well-known reel and at times, it seemed that Robin Panter on Viola was going to step forward, put his viola down, and break into the reel itself. Joyful!

The evening concluded with three songs, again from the The Lynn Singers, with Vocative and the ICO. First, we had Moonset, by Don McDonald, a thoughtful piece, followed by Blackbird, a Lennon and McCartney icon to an arrangement by Kenneth Rice of the ICO Quintet, and the evening finished with a song that seldom fails to bring to mind old friends, the Parting Glass, again to a Kenneth Rice arrangement with Audrey Snyder.

Evenings such as this are as rare as they are special, and it will take a few weeks for the last echoes of music from the evening to fade away. It is evenings such as this that remind us of why the Friary church in Multyfarnham has a special place in the hearts of all of us.

T. Gerard Bennett