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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

The National Shrine At Knock

The apparition which occurred in Knock in 1879 has particular significance in Ireland of the present day and testifies to eternal truths in a time when as never before, these truths are being attacked. The Liturgical Richness of the Apparition.This is the time of year when thousands of pilgrims make their way to Ireland’s National Shrine to honour Our Lady and to pray for many intentions. While the focus is on the novena prayers we should take time to really … Read More

WHAT IS LICIT AND WHAT IS ILLICIT?

“Every liturgical celebration because it is an action of Christ the priest and of his Body which is the Church is a sacred action surpassing all others.” There exists a great amount of bewilderment about what is licit and what is illicit in the celebration of the sacred liturgy. When we see a young child taking up the collection during Sunday Mass it might be hard to see anything wrong in this. However according to the General Instruction of the … Read More

Advice from the Church Fathers

The early Fathers did not know the crisis in the Church as we know it, but they give clear direction on fundamental matters. Why would anyone want to study the Fathers of the Church?Learning about the early Church Fathers was something I had always believed I needed to do. Apart from a little about St. Augustine, I did not know much about these men, many of whom were martyred for the Faith. Ignatius of Antioch was one I had read … Read More

Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus Imperat.

The Triumph of the Risen Christ.The moving of the day celebrating the solemnity of Corpus Christi from Thursday to Sunday brought about changes, perhaps unforeseen. This applies particularly to the procession historically associated with Corpus Christi. In the past every school child was familiar with this great feast which meant not alone a free day, but very different things were happening involving the entire town or village. The Catholic Church is renowned for processions. There is a long history attached … Read More

Pentecost – The Birthday of the Catholic Church

WHITSUNTIDENo doubt there are some Catholics who remember the beautiful season known as Whitsuntide. This began with Pentecost, also known as Whit Sunday, followed by Whit Monday and Whit Tuesday. Certain beliefs and practices associated with this time, though not necessarily spiritual, had nonetheless the benefit of focussing attention on the significance of the entire season of Pentecost. This liturgical season is preceded in importance only by Easter and Christmas. Before the reform in the liturgical calendar, every Sunday was named as a Sunday after Pentecost – the time we … Read More

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