Bishop says the poor will lose out as war shatters European dream 

Bishop Brendan Leahy who will celebrate the Mass for St Padre Pio.

THE poor will yet again lose out in a war that has shattered the European dream, Bishop Brendan Leahy said of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In his homily today on the first Sunday of Lent, Bishop Leahy said that while we must continue to dream, we must now acknowledge reality. But reality is also about the potential always to build anew, he said.

“When a dream is shattered, there is grief. Europe’s dream has been shattered with the war in the Ukraine. 75 years after the Second World War, we had hoped the great dream of a Europe at peace had really taken hold. But that dream has been shattered,” he said.

“We’re seeing again how the powerful wage war, but the poor lose out. So many ordinary folk are facing questions of life and death. We can’t but feel our stomach churning at the sight of innocent young people on both sides whose lives are tragically cut short. And so many fleeing their native land.

“The ray of consolation is the incredible outpouring of small and big gestures of solidarity and generous donations from around the world.”

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Bishop Leahy said that all of this is happening just as we are entering the season of Lent which this year will have a focus on Ukraine through prayer and giving.

“Lent is very much associated with giving and giving is good for us in everyway. After all, we are created to give. It reflects what’s truly in our soul. Thankfully, in the face of horror, giving is still flourishing now.

“Limerick is a giving city and county and that’s very much reflected in the response to Ukraine. The wonderful response that has seen individuals such as Anna Mazeika, a young Polish woman, step forward courageously to commit to gathering a truck load of medical supplies from generous Limerick people for hospitals in Ukraine.

“There are many other examples and it keeps that light shining, a light of hope which will ultimately overcome darkness. Just as the Lenten experience.”

To mark Lent this year, the Diocese of Limerick pastoral outreach team has developed a ‘Live, Love, Lent’ programme that includes daily thoughts, images, reflections and prayers with a different theme each week.

Content will be posted daily on the Diocesan Facebook which is set up for Facebook and non-Facebook members to access at

There will be an introductory video at the start of each week explaining the theme, each day at 7am an image will be posted with prayers, food for thought and/or ideas for action. Fr Chris O’Donnell will then host a review of the week each Sunday at 8:30pm live on Facebook where people can chat and share experiences.