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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.

Prayers for September 2021

Deuteronomy 32:2
‘Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants.
Loving Lord,
We ask you to pour your blessings on all schools
as pupils and staff return to the classrooms.

Give joy and curiosity to all children;
that they may discover new talents,
grow in knowledge and confidence,
and learn to respect and value everyone equally.

Give wisdom and patience to the teachers;
that they may inspire and instruct the young minds in their charge,
encouraging the success of all their students,
and finding both fulfilment and contentment in their work.

Give vision and good judgement to all principals and head teachers;
that in these challenging times they will keep all those in their care safe
will be positive and enthusiastic leaders,
efficient administrators and fair disciplinarians.

Give to all students, teachers and school staff a sense of your love,
that they may feel your presence throughout the school year and for evermore.
We ask all this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

Dear MU members and friends

As those who have been following this website regularly over the past few months will know, I have been spending some time walking across the dioceses in Ireland – my “staycation” – not a word I particularly like but it does portray aptly the concept that many of us have had to adopt this year, as to travel beyond this island may not have been practical, comfortable or even feasible. I have really enjoyed the opportunity to visit areas of Ireland which I did not know, in order to tackle the locally-planned 7km walks, part of my personal “21 in 21” challenge to support the Mums in May Fund.  These have covered some of the most beautiful and interesting areas of this island and I have also been privileged to spend time – either walking or socialising - with MU members on their “home turf”. It has been great to chat with members and find out, at the grass roots, what spurs them to continue to support our beloved organisation. The two factors, which have been constantly highlighted in this very unscientific survey, are their faith and their love of the fellowship MU brings with similarly-minded people.

Three other things I have been involved with over the summer months have also brought these aspects of MU into focus for me. The first was participating in a working group, ably chaired by Hilary Dring (DP of Cork Diocese), which produced a fourpage leaflet entitled “Reconnecting” which gives advice to branches about re-opening after the Covid-19 pandemic. This was endorsed by the All-Ireland Trustees and, in addition to practical advice, stresses the need to comply with government and church regulations and offers suggestions about how to re-engage members with Mothers’ Union at a local level.

The second area is on-going – it is a working group chaired by Lady Christine Eames, which is aiming to focus on loneliness among our members, and in our parishes and communities, and signpost ways in which we can address this problem. This is not a new phenomenon – loneliness was always an area of concern but it has been exacerbated over the last 18 months by the pandemic. We are planning to prepare and print a leaflet for wide distribution before the end of 2021 in the hope that this will highlight the issue and make everyone think about how they might ameliorate the associated problems.  

My third focus over the summer was on the celebrations for the life and witness of our founder in Ireland – Annabella Hayes. Everyone can read about the central events, held on 14th and 21st August, elsewhere on this website and watch the videos recorded on both days. We had a coffee morning where those attending - by zoom, of course - learned so much about Annabella’s life and witness. On the following Saturday, her grave was rededicated by the Archbishop of Dublin and a memorial service held in All Saint’s Parish Church, Raheny where she founded the first MU branch in Ireland.  These excellent events were all organised by a working group comprised of members from the Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough and other AI Trustees with specialist skills; they also have to be congratulated o successfully applying for a grant from the Heritage Council which allowed the very dilapidated grave of Annabella and her husband, Canon Francis, to be remodelled.

The refurbished grave of Annabella Hayes
21st August 2021

It has occurred to me that the common denominator of all three areas is kindness. This commodity has not always been to the fore in our communities in the recent past. I feel that there has been a growing tendency towards selfishness in our material world and while some – I hope myself included – have maintained their inherent trait to be kind towards others, this had slipped for many people. However, the Covid19 pandemic has demonstrated that the skills of neighbourliness and kindness have been rejuvenated – whether that has been people physically helping those who have had to isolate or simply phoning those who live alone or taking time to speak to neighbours to find out how they have been coping with our changed world.  I have to say that MU members have been particularly kind in all these ways over the past 18 months.

In thinking about returning to MU meetings, reconnecting with our MU friends, considering how we might better help those who are lonely or just pondering on how Annabella Hayes learned from her friend Mary Sumner about founding a branch of Mothers’ Union in Raheny to encourage parishioners to reach out towards the young mothers and others there - the common denominator is kindness. How we can all help others, stretch out a hand when someone is in need - such a simple thing to do.

My grandmother used to say, in her rather stern Victorian voice slightly misquoting Matthew C7 V12: “Do on to others as you would have them do unto you” and I think that is still the kernel of kindness. When we practice kindness – either towards others or even just being kind to ourselves - we can experience positive mental or physical changes through lowering stress levels and increasing the body’s production of “feel good” hormones such as dopamine and serotonin.  
There are many examples of kindness in the bible, especially in the life and miracles of Jesus, but one of my favourites is the story of Ruth. At the beginning of the Book of Ruth, we see that Naomi has gone through some hard times - she has suffered a famine, moved to another country, lost her husband and her sons. However, although she tells her friends this has made her bitter, it does not stop her from being kind to others. Naomi shows kindness to her daughters-in-law when she releases them from any obligation towards her and particularly towards Ruth by giving her advice to ensure she is safe and will be taken care of in the future. Ruth also shows kindness towards Naomi by staying with her, working in the fields and sharing food with her, rather than going to find a better life elsewhere.

In the Middle East in those times, widows were often abandoned and left desolate if they couldn’t look after themselves. This is not God’s way. He made provisions in his word for the care of the helpless, including widows and foreigners, such as Naomi and Ruth.

Later Boaz tells Ruth that he has heard about the kindness she has shown Naomi: The Lord  (will) repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!”. Ruth 2:11-12. Also Boaz showed his kind heart as he protected Ruth from harm and made sure all the necessary steps had been taken in order for him to ‘redeem’ her and marry her.

The great thing we see in the story of Ruth is that all the main characters focussed on the needs of the others. They were kind. During normal or difficult times, all of us can show kindness towards others and offer support and friendship to those who may be struggling.

I will end with a poem on kindness by W. Lomax Childress which I read recently:

Let us be kind;

The way is long and lonely,
And human hearts are asking for this blessing only—
That we be kind.
We cannot know the grief that men may borrow,
We cannot see the souls storm-swept by sorrow,
But love can shine upon the way to-day, to-morrow—
Let us be kind.

With love and blessings


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 view
The Midday Prayers and Sharing Session with
Sheran Harper at All-Ireland Council

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)

Click on the image above to download the
Mothers' Union Prayer Diary
for 2021

For lots of Resources on the main website click on the link below
Mothers' Union Services from Christ Church Cathedral

Please note that the Mothers' Union services from Christ Church Cathedral are continuing on the first Thursday of every month. We are very grateful to our All-Ireland chaplain, Canon Robert Deane, for leading these services. Services may now be attended by members. The next service is on Thursday 2nd September @ 11.15a.m. (Down & Dromore with Cork, Cloyne & Ross)

We are also very grateful to Dean Dermot Dunne for giving permission to live stream the services (click on the image of Christ Church to view live). The services are now also uploaded and available to view on our All-Ireland YouTube Channel.

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
All entries were very interesting, reflecting a very high standard of commitment to the task, a great breath of variety and ideas, with many from a personal perspective.

It really was very difficult to pick a winner in each category, and those highly commended were not too far behind at all.
But to each one who took the time to enter the competition may I say thank you, and I commend you for your passion and industry.
And thank you to Margaret Jacob for coordinating the competition so seemingly easily.
Robert Deane

Our thanks to our All-Ireland Chaplain, Canon Robert Deane, for agreeing to judge this competition.
Result of Hymn Competition:
Yvonne Woods (Milltown Mothers’ Union) ~ Armagh Diocese
Hymn: “Come unto me”
Tune: Martyrdom [ICH, Hymn 607 “As pants the hart for cooling streams”]

Highly Commended:
Joan Robinson (Dungiven and Boveagh Mothers’ Union) ~ Derry & Raphoe Diocese
Hymn: “Have you troubles, strife and sorrow”
Tune: St Nicholas (Redhead No. 143) [ICH, Hymn 584 “Jesus calls us! O’er the tumult”]
Margaret Rowlandson (Templemore Mothers’ Union) ~ Derry & Raphoe Diocese
Hymn: “Counting my blessings”
Tune: Bunessan [ICH, Hymn 58 “Morning has broken”]
Dean Tom Gordon (Leighlin Mothers’ Union) ~ Cashel, Ferns & Ossory Diocese
Hymn: “God who is Father of infinite goodness”
Tune: Faithfulness [ICH Hymn 80 “Great is thy faithfulness”]
Violet Lockhart (Ballisodare Union Mothers’ Union) ~ Tuam, Killala & Achonry Diocese
Hymn: “O Lord our God, we thank you now”
Tune: Amazing Grace [ICH Hymn 642 “Amazing grace (how sweet the sound!)”]

Result of Prayer Competition:

Phyllis Grothier (Tullow Mothers’ Union) ~ Cashel, Ferns & Ossory Diocese

Highly Commended:
Joyce Buttimer (Clonakilty Mothers’ Union) ~ Cork, Cloyne & Ross Diocese
Sylvia Wheatley (Newbridge Mothers’ Union) ~ Meath & Kildare Diocese
Gill Mc Cullough (Aghadowey Mothers’ Union) ~ Derry & Raphoe Diocese
Linda Hughes (Christ Church, Culmore, Muff and St Peter’s Mothers’ Union) ~ Derry & Raphoe Diocese

"Come unto me" ~ The Winning Hymn

Yvonne Woods (Milltown Mothers’ Union) ~ Armagh Diocese

Come unto me, I am the door
Our faithful Lord did say
We can go in, and pastures find –
He is the only way.

I am the way, the truth, the life
God calls us, let us hear –
So we might know of his great love;
To trust and not to fear.

His Peace is like a calming stream –
And faithfulness is sure,
His grace and love and mercy great;
As long as life endures

From darkness into glorious light
Whoever follows him,
His life he gave that we might live;
To rescue us from sin.

So let us now, all with one voice –
Sing praises to our King,
The hills and valleys shout for joy;
Our thanks to God we bring.

Tune: Martyrdom [ICH, Hymn 607 “As pants the hart for cooling streams”]

The Winning Prayer
Phyllis Grothier (Tullow Branch ~ CFO)

Loving Lord, I bring my prayer to you  through faith in your love and mercy.

Father forgive and help me to do better: for the times when I  cause hurt either through my words or actions; when I do not recognise you in the face of my neighbour, when I see another human being as different or of less value. Teach me to show love and mercy.

Father forgive and help me to do better: for the times when I see need and do not respond, hear hurtful words and do not call them out, am deaf to the cries of the hungry, hurt and abused. Teach me to show love and mercy.
Father forgive and help me to do better; for the times when I treat your creation as a personal possession  rather than a fragile resource to be nurtured and valued . Teach me to show love and mercy.

Teach me to remember always that, while  faith, hope and love abide, the greatest of these is love. Inspire  me with the confidence to live this truth in my daily life both in word and action, knowing that all I am or can be is based on the strong foundation of God’s saving love.   In Jesus’ name I pray.

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:

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.

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.
Mothers’ Union All-Ireland

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