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.

Headlines

Friend or foe? Who’s to know?

In his reflection, Fr Kieran encourages us to look deeper at who is my enemy, and who is my friend.

In our day to day lives, we can react badly to those who challenge us, who call out the error of our ways. We can be like King Ahab in the reading from the first book of the Kings that Kieran takes for his theme. Our instinct can be to see those who challenge us as our enemy and all too often, we don’t wish to either see them nor hear them! But are we too quick to see ‘enemy’ when we might be looking at ‘friend?’

When we read or listen to Scripture, all too often we can find ourselves challenged, asked to account for our thoughts and actions. But surely we would never see those words as coming from the ‘enemy’ but instead see beyond the human reaction to go further, to see the error of our ways, and to change; to be transformed.

read more

A Prayer for Tents – Spiritual Communion June 10

See Fr Kieran’s latest prayer for Spiritual Communion, which takes, as its theme, the presence of tents in our cities, accommodating those in our society who are homeless, whether because of being refugees, fleeing places of conflict, or those from our own country who do not have a bed to call their own.

read more

Your health is your wealth – but of which ‘health’ do we speak?

Some proverbs are universally known, understood, and accepted for a depth of insight that their brevity belies! And surely this phrase, “your health is your wealth” qualifies as being in this category.

In his reflection, Fr Kieran is not thinking so much about health in the ordinarily understood sense of that phrase, i.e., our physical and mental wellbeing. No. He takes this to another critical area of our lives, or more importantly, our lives in God, when he takes us through a reflection on spiritual health.

Most of us tend to care for our physical and mental health but do we think enough (and do enough) for our spiritual health? We spend thousands on physical health, whether in healthy living, staying fit, dieting, etc. Why – because it is important and we want to live long.

But what about our spiritual health? Don’t we want to live with God for all eternity?

Read Kieran’s reflection on this key topic!

read more

Latest Updates

Keeping Up Appearances

The Gospel readings for Easter Week focus on an empty tomb, but even more on the appearances of Jesus to his followers, the first witnesses to his Resurrection. Strangely, however, the Church’s liturgy does not stress the apostles, but gives us stories on Monday and...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

News

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

From the desk of Fr Kieran OFM

Friend or foe? Who’s to know?

In his reflection, Fr Kieran encourages us to look deeper at who is my enemy, and who is my friend.

In our day to day lives, we can react badly to those who challenge us, who call out the error of our ways. We can be like King Ahab in the reading from the first book of the Kings that Kieran takes for his theme. Our instinct can be to see those who challenge us as our enemy and all too often, we don’t wish to either see them nor hear them! But are we too quick to see ‘enemy’ when we might be looking at ‘friend?’

When we read or listen to Scripture, all too often we can find ourselves challenged, asked to account for our thoughts and actions. But surely we would never see those words as coming from the ‘enemy’ but instead see beyond the human reaction to go further, to see the error of our ways, and to change; to be transformed.

read more

Your health is your wealth – but of which ‘health’ do we speak?

Some proverbs are universally known, understood, and accepted for a depth of insight that their brevity belies! And surely this phrase, “your health is your wealth” qualifies as being in this category.

In his reflection, Fr Kieran is not thinking so much about health in the ordinarily understood sense of that phrase, i.e., our physical and mental wellbeing. No. He takes this to another critical area of our lives, or more importantly, our lives in God, when he takes us through a reflection on spiritual health.

Most of us tend to care for our physical and mental health but do we think enough (and do enough) for our spiritual health? We spend thousands on physical health, whether in healthy living, staying fit, dieting, etc. Why – because it is important and we want to live long.

But what about our spiritual health? Don’t we want to live with God for all eternity?

Read Kieran’s reflection on this key topic!

read more

The Forgotten Father

In these days of equality of the sexes, one might assume that, as we celebrate the feast of Our Lady as “Mother of the Church” then so too, should we have a feast day of “Father of the Church?”

At least, that is the question that underpins Fr Kieran’s reflection. However, while it is not a question that we have heard asked, Kieran posits the question so as to encourage us to reflect on God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. With the impending feast of Trinity Sunday around the corner, it is probably no coincidence that we should be thinking about it at this time.

As Catholics, we know that the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as one – is one of the mysteries of our faith. As Kieran says, there was a time when the Holy Spirit was the ‘forgotten’ one of the Trinity but that has changed. Is it now the case that in fact, it is God the Father who may be the forgotten one of the Trinity?

While Kieran therefore suggests that a feast for Father of the Church would not be completely out of place, perhaps it is we who can sometimes forget the God the Father that was ever-present in the words of Jesus.

read more

Multyfarnham Friary: The life of the friars in the 17th and 18th Centuries.

Paschal Sweeney has completed the next phase in telling the history of the Franciscan Friary in Multyfarnham.

In this chapter, Paschal outlines the life of the friars during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Although still not free from oppression, nonetheless, they continued their service, preaching the Gospel at all times, and sometimes, using words!

Mary II and William III

in this latest chapter in the history of the friars at Multyfarnham, Paschal tells of of the years during the William and Mary (Queen Mary II and her husband, the infamous King William III of Orange, famous in Irish minds, for the Battle of the Boyne) 1689 – 1702.

These were difficult times for Catholics in Ireland and especially for priests, Bishops, friars, monks, and their many associates and friends.

Here, Paschal tell us something of this time in Ireland and the effect on the Franciscan fraternity in Multyfarnham.

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.

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