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Theme 2021 ~ Rebuilding Hope and Confidence

Mothers' Union is an international Christian charity that seeks to support families of all faiths and none through practical outreach, prayer and advocating family friendly policies within both government and public life. By supporting marriage and family life, especially through times of adversity, we tackle the most urgent needs challenging relationships and communities.
Our members are not all mothers, or even all women, but are single, married, parents, grandparents or young adults who are just beginning to express their social conscience. For all 4.1 million members in 83 countries what Mothers' Union provides is a network through which they can serve Christ in their own community through prayer, financial support and actively working at grassroots level in programmes that meet local needs.

The Spring edition of FOCUS is available to
download on the Publications Page


Mothers'  Union Annual Gathering 25th September 2021. This will be a virtual event
More details to follow

Shopping online?
A quick reminder that Amazon
will donate 0.5% to Mothers’ Union if you shop through
smile.amazon.co.uk and select Mothers’ Union
as your preferred charity to support.

If you don’t shop at Amazon but shop at M & S, Argos, and Next etc.,
you can also support Mothers’ Union on your next shop.

The brilliant Axel Scheffler has produced a book about Covid-19 Coronavirus just for children

Do  you know of somebody who is cocooning or caring for someone vulnerable,  Age Action and the Irish Red Cross are giving grants to people in the  Republic of Ireland to help ease the problems faced by those who have to  social distance. Spread the word

The Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland has put together a super comprehensive booklet providing advice for people who have experienced a bereavement during the COVID-19 pandemic period.

Two other booklets are also available in this series – one dealing with practicalities and the other a children’s story helping children to cope with the death of a loved one.

Click on the symbol below to access our BLOG.
This contains all our latest news.

The Administrative Officer
The Mothers' Union Office
St. Michan's Church
Church Street
Dublin 7

Tel: +353 1 873 5075

               Public          Group


FOOD,  a basic necessity for all of us and during the current crisis we all  want to do our best to ensure we provide for our families.

Unfortunately,  not all families can afford to stock up in case of emergency, in fact  for 1000s of families across Ireland, north and south, daily food poverty is a harsh reality.

Breakfast clubs and free school meals, where they are available, are a lifeline for many of these families.

However  with the closure of schools and colleges in the South and the likelihood that Northern Ireland will follow suit these families have been plunged into a totally unexpected crisis. They need our help now  more than ever!

How can you help? ~  Keep donating to community food banks; help local initiatives in your area to distribute food packages to those in need or if you can’t find such an initiative in your area maybe consider starting one!

When we all find ourselves facing the unknown, the smallest act of kindness can mean the world to someone in despair.

Prayer for December

You challenge us this Advent time
This season of preparation
To put aside our pride
And understand our need
For repentance
And mercy
Less of self
More of you
Preparation for our journey
To the stable and beyond.
Purify our hearts
Sanctify our lives
That we might serve you
Faithfully this day and all days. Amen

Commissioning of June Butler
All-Ireland President Mothers' Union
Letter from June ~ All-Ireland President ~ December 2021

Hello MU members and friends, in Ireland and elsewhere

It has been such a mild November here in Ireland, I cannot believe that the Advent season is upon us. As “they” say, it will make the winter seem shorter and, after all, it is less than a month until the days are “on the turn.”

The autumn has certainly flown by and, thankfully, I was able to finish my sponsored walks across all the dioceses before the end of October. I set myself the challenge of walking 21 kms in each of the 12 dioceses in Ireland in 2021 in order to raise money for our “Mums in May” Fund. Even by my basic calculations that means I walked over 250kms in completing these 36 walks (3 routes of 7kms in each diocese) or about 160 miles. The editor of The Gazette has asked me to write about the walks for an edition early in 2022 so I will do proper calculations for that based on the journal which I maintained throughout my travels.  However, one lasting memory from the last walks in Meath and Kildare and Dublin and Glendalough was the fabulous autumn russets and yellows of the trees viewed across and reflected in stretches of water as I walked beside the River Boyne and on the shores of the Blessington Lakes.

Last week I attended five consecutive daily meetings of the Mothers’ Union Worldwide Trustee Board - my final session representing All Ireland. My term as our Zonal Trustee has ended - it has been a great privilege to work with senior MU members from across the world on this first triennium of the reconstituted Board, with the added bonus that I have made many new friends. From January, Iris Suitor will assume the role of our Zonal Trustee and we wish her God’s richest blessings as she moves into this responsible position of participating in the management and governance of MU worldwide. Iris will be a superb advocate for us in Ireland!

One part of our final week was a wonderful Service of Thanksgiving, which was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and streamed from Lambeth Palace. As is the way in these Covid times, the majority of us joined the service by zoom from our homes across the globe. That did not diminish the atmosphere or importance of the service for all we participants. The readings were from Psalm 89 and Mathhew Chapter 28, focusing on walking in the light of God’s presence and being assured that He is always with us. Archbishop Justin spoke about the importance of women in our world, especially their role when there is discord and disagreement. He also touched on the dedication of the members of MU worldwide and their importance to the whole Anglican communion.

At the end of the service I was invited by the WW President Sheran to speak about our work in Britain and Ireland on gender-based violence - it was such a privilege to be able to do that before the Archbishop and I did stress how, with our practical work and advocacy, we in Ireland were leaders in this field. I also, of course, referred to the “16 Days of Activism” which, as I write this, is just beginning. We received grants to republish our Prayer Diary and copies have been given to every parish throughout Ireland.  Hopefully our clergy will use the prayer pointers to emphasise the importance of everyone speaking out about this dreadful scourge in our midst. Also, I do hope you have all used the diary to help you focus your prayers to end violence against women. There is great information about our campaign on this website and many resources, both here and on the main Mothers’ Union website.

It is also the beginning of Advent - that time of hope and light.  Below Patsy Devoy, one of our All-Ireland Vice Presidents who frequently leads the MU Midday Prayers broadcast daily from Mary Sumner House, gives a short personal reflection about Advent and the light it brings to us all. I will also end on this theme.  One of the prayers in the service of Thanksgiving with Archbishop Justin   particularly resonated with me as it brought together three strands - my trait of optimism, my love of walking and the theme of light. Of course it also reflects our current MU theme - Rebuilding Hope and Confidence.

God of sure and steadfast hope
We look forward with confidence;
Trusting in your faithfulness,
As we walk in the light of your presence. Amen
My prayer is that, as we prepare to welcome the Christ Child, your advent season will be filled joy and hope - and light, as we prepare to receive the Christ Child afresh into our hearts and move from the recent darker times into the future with Him leading, and lighting, our way.
With love and Christmas blessings to you all and to those whom you love


Reflection by Patsy Devoy, All Ireland Vice-President.

Last night was one of those nights!  I went to bed rather late and very tired…fell asleep at once but woke at 1 am – and that was that!  You maybe know those nights!  I’m now writing early in the morning…so excuse the informality.

In the deep darkness and quiet, I began to think a little about Advent – the coming of Christ as the Light into the world -and I thought about his coming into my own life…and those of people I know.  

I remembered a talk given by Bishop Roy Warke (and I know I’ve mentioned this before in various places, so forgive repetition!) – when he said that there are two ways to welcome the morning light.  Some people leave their curtains open, so the sunlight gradually filters into the room, and others have the curtains closed – opening them in the morning so the light floods in suddenly.  He said it’s the same with letting the Light of Christ into our lives.  Some of us have seen the Light gradually appearing throughout our lives – and others have a moment when the Light suddenly floods in.  The end results are the same.  

I’m definitely the gradual type – though I’ve always secretly envied people who had a dramatic experience!

In our parish we’ve just published Ordinary People 4 – the fourth edition of a book of faith stories of ‘ordinary’ people in our parish and community.  The generosity and courage of the people sharing their stories is one thing that strikes me – and the other thing is how encouraged I am.  It’s lovely to read of how the Light of Christ has dawned and is dawning in our world today.

So, in the middle of so much darkness and so many difficulties that people are facing – in our families and communities and right across the globe – we can continue to pray for the Light to dawn – and give thanks that it will.  

Click on the image of Sheran to read her
Christmas Reflection 2021

The Big Give 2021

This Christmas help us support women suffering from Gender-Based Violence across Africa (in Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa).
We are proud to announce we are part of the Big Give Christmas challenge for the second year running! Any donations made to our appeal between 30th November and 7th December will be doubled!
Click on the link above to read more.

Bishop Hall Speers, a child of Derry & Raphoe, is currently Bishop of Mahajanga in Madagascar. Having spent an elongated Covid stay at home, he recently returned to Mahajanga.  He describes his recent MU adventure following his return….  Click on the image above to read his account.

Click on the image above to find more information
about this initiative
(The Scheme is available for key workers in the United Kingdom
and Ireland)

For lots of Resources on the main website click on the link below
Christmas Reflection 2021

In the last offering when reflecting about Autumn, I wrote:

“Autumn is a transitional time of year, when we put away the paraphernalia of summer, and prepare for winter. In the church’s calendar, we also note a transition … from the season of Trinity, to the five Sundays before Advent, to the four Sundays of Advent. And it’s in the Season of Advent we make preparation again for God’s wonderful initiative over two-thousand years ago! Yes … I’m referring to the “C” word! … but more of that again.”

Well, it's now “that again”, and we’re in that season of Advent, and it’s full steam ahead, with preparations well advanced to celebrate that wonderful initiative of God … the Christmas event … the Birth of Jesus. There it is … writ large … the “C” word … “Christmas”!
Who doesn’t enjoy Christmas? Quite apart from the warm fuzzy feelings Christmas can bring, there’s all the busyness of present making/buying/organising, sending Christmas Cards, receiving Christmas Cards, whether there’s a bottle or two to assist with the celebrations, perhaps the ordering of the turkey and ham and all the other provisions and treats. All of that is fine and good.
But not everyone enjoys Christmas the way marketing suggests Christmas should be enjoyed … buy, buy, buy. Not everyone is in a position to spend, spend, spend.

Of course … we don’t really need to be told how much Christmas costs and how many just can’t afford it.
Of course … we don’t really need to be told how many will be homeless, fearful, tearful, alone, lonely this Christmas.

Mention was made about grandson last time … he’s coming along fine, thank you, getting bigger and stronger day by day! But it’s the eyes that can capture … they stare and search … looking for what? … a familiar face, who’ll give him his next feed/a cuddle/a smile.
The capturing eyes of the world’s deprived stare and search in a similar way … what do they look for? … a familiar face, who’ll give him the next feed/a cuddle/a smile, quite apart from shelter, warmth or even a Covid 19 vaccination. Please, don’t forget to get yours when offered.
All this is not to put a dampener on Christmas for you and yours … we need to celebrate, and it is right and proper so to do … and more especially as we face another Christmas with Covid with all the restrictions that implies. For those less fortunate, we can and will do what we can in so many countless different and imaginative ways. And that is good, right and proper … it’s part of our Christian duty.
But perhaps the emphasis at Christmas-time should be shifted more to be about what God has done for us and less what we might want done for ourselves. With that emphasis, we can “raise our eyes above the narrow horizon of this present time and glimpse the things eternal in the heavens, wherein is laid up for us an inheritance that fadeth not away”, as one prayer puts it.
God in the Christ-child of Bethlehem came into the life of the world in the same three-dimensional way all babies come, and showed the world the essence of what Christmas and life are … … Love.
Let’s join with Tiny Tim and say, “God bless us everyone.”
A Prayer

Heavenly Father, your Son our Saviour was born as a child among us.
Renew your Church as the Body of Christ.

There was no room for your Son in the inn.
Protect with your love those who have no home and all who live in poverty.

Mary, in the pain of labour, brought your Son to birth.
Hold in your hand all who are in pain or distress.

Your Christ came as a light shining in the darkness.
Bring comfort to all who suffer in the sadness of our world.

The angels sang ‘Peace to God’s people on earth’.
Strengthen those who work for peace and justice in all the world.

Shepherds in the field heard good tidings of joy.
Give us grace to preach the gospel of Christ’s redemption.

Heaven is come down to earth, and earth is raised to heaven.
Keep in safety all who have passed through death in the hope of heaven.

Christians the world over celebrate Christ’s birth.
Open our hearts that he may be born in us today. Amen.

Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given,
and his name shall be called the Prince of Peace.   (Isaiah 9.6)

The peace of the Lord be always with you and yours. Amen.

(Canon Robert Deane, All Ireland Mothers’ Union Chaplain, 4/10/21)

Christ Church Cathedral

Click on the image above to access
the live stream from the cathedral
Mothers’ Union Holy Communion Service
2nd December 2021.
Dear Friends,
Given the high prevalence of Covid transmission at present,  Mothers’ Union memberswere requested not to be present in Christ Church Cathedral on Thursday 2nd December for the monthly service of Holy Communion.
This particular service proceeded on-line with a special focus on the Mothers’ Union 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence Campaign, which runs annually from Thursday 25th November to Wednesday 10th December.
You may access a recording of the service on-line through the link below.
Those who will be present will be actively participating in the service … and by restricting that number to eight, and acting responsibly by employing social distancing and face-mask wearing, we hope that we brought you to a service worthy of the occasion, in the hope it will be of comfort to some.

Click HERE to access the service sheet.
May I take this opportunity to thank you for your understanding and cooperation, and may this service be one of special blessing for us all.
Robert Deane
(All Ireland Mothers’ Union Chaplain)

Annabella Hayes
Founder of Mothers' Union in Ireland

Click on the image to bring you to a
web page dedicated to Annabella
ZOOM Coffee Morning
14th August 2021

The Zoom Coffee Morning to celebrate the life of Annabella Hayes, founder of Mothers' Union in Ireland, and the refurbishment of her grave,was held on Saturday 14th August and  is now available to view on the All-Ireland YouTube Channel.

Our thanks to everyone who contribute to and supported this event.

To view the video click on the link below:

" 21 in 21"
Mums in May Fundraiser 2021

Follow the events for our Triennial Fundraiser for "Mums in May" 2021 on our dedicated page. Please support this fundraiser which raises money to support some wonderful projects in every Diocese throughout Ireland.
Click on the image below to bring you to the webpage.

I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.
Leviticus 26:12

2012 - 2015 – 2018
It’s 2021

Three years have flown and here we are again,
Dreaming dreams, nurturing hope and confidence

As we weave and wander, pause and ponder,
Mums In May paves the path to the realisation of inspirations …..
AFIA, Book Schemes, Resourcing new homes ………
Literacy in Ethopia, Gender Based Violence in DR Congo……..
16 Days outreach at home, Loneliness initiatives, Tackling Child Poverty ……
Girls Nights Out, Getaway Weekends….
The sky is the limit ………

Loving Lord, we praise you for who and what you are,
For all the ways you journey with us
enhancing hope and confidence.
We marvel at your great goodness,
the love and care, mercy and forgiveness
you so faithfully show to us;
the strength, support, guidance and inspiration
you so freely give us.

Companion Lord, make us mindful of your will for us,
as we journey towards rebuilding a future embedded in your love
and dedicated to the growth of your Kingdom and the glory of Christ.
We look to the future with hope and confidence,
trusting that you, Lord, will continue to guide and inspire.  
Faithful Lord, this Mums In May,
Guide our feet as we walk in your paths,
Encompass us with your love and lead us by the hand.
Be with us in our ventures, be in our hearts for caring,
And be our good news for sharing. Amen

Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.
Psalm 25:4
Mums' Marvellous Meals

The Mothers' Union Cookbook, "Mums' Marvellous Meals", was launched at our Special Council meeting on 22nd June. Copies will be delivered to the Dioceses over the next couple of months.

The Cookbook contains recipes from members from all over Ireland and is divided into different sections ~ Starters, Main Courses, Desserts and Traditional Irish Recipes.


The Cookbook will go on sale for £ 5 or € 5 and all proceeds will go to the "Mums in May" fund.

Click on the image to view a video promoting the Cookbook
Reconnecting ~ A Guideline for Branches on Re-Opening

A Committee from All-Ireland has put together an excellent leaflet to guide branches in re-opening. We hope that this leaflet will give branches clear and precise guidelines on meeting up again and give them the confidence to move forward.

A big thank you to Hilary, June, Iris, Sophia and Lesley for all of the thought and effort they put into providing branches with thse guidelines.

Click on the image to download the Leaflet
Mothers' Union during Lockdown

All Mothers' Union meetings and services have had to be put on hold due to the restrictions imposed on movements with Covid-19. Mothers' Union members and Branches , however, have not been idle and many have been busy sewing scrubs and masks, organising food parcels and finding new inovative ways of keeping in touch with each other and helping those in isolation.

Dioceses have held zoom meetings, recorded festival services and many Branches have used various forms of technology and media to keep in touch with members.

Click on the image to read all about an initiative in which Down & Dromore was involved ~ Mini Bootcamp and Lunch Giveaway in Cregagh

https://www.mothersunion.org/resources-support-us-challenging-times ~ has resources for use during these challenging times
Mini Bootcamp and Lunch Giveaway in Cregagh

The Irish Hospice Foundation Bereavement Support Line is a national freephone service
1800 80 70 77
It is available from 10am to 1pm, Monday to Friday.
Many people have experienced and will experience the death of someone they love during the COVID-19 pandemic. It may have been a COVID-related death or a death from other causes. People may also be finding a previous bereavement more difficult at this time. While we may be seeing reductions in the number of deaths connected to COVID-19, we know that people’s pain and grief does not diminish as quickly. In the face of such loss and trauma, the Irish Hospice Foundation Bereavement Support Line, in partnership with the HSE, has been launched to provide connection, comfort and support in these exceptional times. COVID-19 restrictions have changed the traditional ways we mark our grief. For the moment, it is not possible to come together as we did traditionally, resulting in additional challenges for those who are bereaved.

Click on the images to download a poster and information sheet & leaflet:

Reference and administrative information

Republic of Ireland:
Mothers’ Union in Ireland is recognised as a Charity by the Revenue commissioners, 5161.
Registered charity number- 20007331 (Charities Regulatory Authority).

Northern Ireland:
Not registered with The Charity Commission NI as a single entity.
Instead individual diocese have been registered separately.
The Mothers’ Union Prayer

Loving Lord,
We thank you for your love so freely given to us all.
We pray for families around the world.
Bless the work of the Mothers' Union
as we seek to share your love
through the encouragement, strengthening and support of marriage and family life.
Empowered by your Spirit, may we be united in prayer and worship,
and in love and service reach out as your hands across the world.
In Jesus' name.

Portrait of
Mary Sumner
The Mary Sumner Prayer

Written in 1876 by Mothers' Union founder, Mary Sumner

All this day, O Lord,
let me touch as many lives as possible for thee;
and every life I touch, do thou by thy spirit quicken,
whether through the word I speak,
the prayer I breathe,
or the life I live.

Mothers’ Union All-Ireland

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