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Queen of Ireland

When we are wearied with speculation and uncertainty in regard to what is happening in our beloved Church, let us take the time to watch and pray in silence at the liturgical shrine at Knock. Our Blessed Mother has been assumed body and soul into heaven and it is in her glory as Queen that she has revealed herself here. “The brightest splendours of the Lamb’s redemption fall on her. Immaculate – radiant white she stands, flooding the still amazement … Read More

Looking for the Positives in Restrictions

It seems like a contradiction to say some positive effects arose from the various restrictions we endured while helping to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Those faithful people who did their best as far as possible, to attend Mass, were overjoyed when eventually they were permitted to be present actually and not virtually, for the Sunday celebration in their own parish. One priest reported that the congregation spontaneously joined together in singing “Queen of the May” at the end … Read More

Mass And The Snowflake Generation

Due to the restrictions arising from the Covid 19 Pandemic, the sacraments of First Penance, First Holy Communion and Confirmation have been delayed. However many parishes are now beginning to celebrate these sacraments with the months of July, August and September being for the first time the months when children will receive the sacraments. When we take a look at their religion books and the things some children say, we might have some concerns as to what these boys and … Read More

What is the Church?

Is the Church to be understood like a great department of spiritual welfare? Is it where we go when we need the kind of nourishment that can’t be obtained elsewhere? This is now the time when we Catholics should know how to talk about Holy Mother Church when so many simply understand her as an institution and when she is so prone to being criticised. Like government departments and the Health Service Executive, we recognise our dependence on these institutions … Read More

An Irish Catholicism?

Recent years have seen a renewed interest in what is sometimes called “Celtic Christianity.” This is however, a very ill-defined term. In Ireland, where Christianity generally meant Catholicism, it seems to mean a brand of religion that has its roots in a spirituality that identifies with the natural world in the sense that the ancient druids did. This identification is always suspect as being pagan because, according to what we have learned about the druids, they were believed to have … Read More

Band of Brothers

Hazardous journeys, persecution, imprisonment, miraculous escapes, shipwreck, conversions, rejections, adulation of crowds and assaults by crowds – just some of the elements making up the thrilling adventure story of the early Church, all happening under the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit. Since Easter we have been hearing in the Acts of the Apostles, the narrative of a band of brothers specially commissioned by Jesus Christ to carry his mission to the furthest ends of the known world. Who … Read More

Heirs to the Kingdom

We have all heard the jokes about the soul arriving at the pearly gates who has to get past St. Peter and enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whether the jokes are humorous, offensive or rude, they have one thing in common. St. Peter is not the one to be convinced of a person’s suitability for the kingdom. That work needs to have been carried out much earlier, because after death it is just too late. Certainly, St. Peter holds … Read More

Irish – A Blessed Language

“Oh the word of my Lord, deep within my being…” is a familiar hymn based on the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah could say this because when he tried to evade the mission the Lord put before him, he was told not to be afraid. “I then said, ‘Ah, Lord Yahweh; you see, I do not know how to speak: I am only a child!’ But Yahweh replied, ‘Do not say, “I am only a child,” for you must go to all … Read More

Alas, Poor Foolish People

“Alas, poor foolish people, what will you do now? Who will take care of you in your trouble?” Archbishop Saint Laurence O’Toole. Ireland in the late 12th century was seriously in need of Church reform. Devastation rendered by the Norse invasions had left most of the monasteries in ruins and many people were Catholic only in name. Some new monasteries had been established and others, including Clonmacnoise, had recovered, but the great centres of learning that had earned Ireland the … Read More

SUNDAY IS THE ONLY DAY I DON’T GO TO MASS

Fulfilling the Obligation of Mass AttendanceIn the parish coffee shop a discussion developed regarding the present-day regulations for fulfilling the obligation of Mass attendance. There was quite a divergence of opinion, with some people holding the view that it is no longer necessary to go to Mass on holy days. In fact what the holy days actually are was also a subject for disagreement, with Christmas Day and St. Patrick’s Day being the only ones that everyone was sure about. … Read More

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