May 26, 2015

Some web browsing..............

In his homily for Pentecost Sunday Pope Francis said: ''The world needs men and women who are not closed in on themselves, but filled with the Holy Spirit... The world needs the courage, hope, faith and perseverance of Christ’s followers. The world needs the fruits of the Holy Spirit: 'love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control' (Gal 5:22)." May the gifts of the Holy Spirit bear fruit in your life today and always.
Here is one suggestion of 50 things every man should be able to do.

The challenges of presenting the christian understanding of marriage presented in "What is marriage to evangelical millennials?

Modern public debate can be crude, vulgar and often comes across as being a dialogue of the deaf shouting past each other. So Carl Truman writes in praise of the dying art of civil disagreement.

In light of the Irish referendum result, the faithful must charitably but firmly engage in robust public debates on marriage, family and society - Sheila Liaugminas

The Irish Church’s failures have caused its people to choose secularism over faith - Mary O'Regan

Muslim daughters influence father's journey to priesthood

Cardinal Donald Wuerl discusses Being Catholic Today: Catholic Identity in an Age of Challenge 

Papal authority and Climate change - as we head into the summer and the approaching publication date of Pope Francis encyclical on the environment and climate change there is a lot of disquiet and opposition growing in certain quarters of the church - before we even see a word of the encyclical. Millennial writer Daniel DiLeo has a new article at US Catholic

The Jesuit Post - Pope Francis’s Ecology Encyclical – What Can We Expect?
Thinking Faith - Donal Dorr - ‘The fragile world’: Church teaching on ecology before and by Pope Francis
Crux - Pro-life anxiety over Pope Francis’ looming ecological manifesto
Catholic Herald - There’s no need to fear Pope Francis’s environment encyclical
NCR - Conservative corners have tepid take on Pope Francis' environment encyclical
The Guardian - How will the world react to Pope Francis's encyclical on climate change?
NCR - The Rollout of the Encyclical on the Environment

Beautiful, just beautiful: a wedding picture worth a thousand words - Photo of Marine Praying With Bride-to-Be Goes Viral.

As members of Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya Muslim community flee the Southeast Asian nation by boat, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo exhorted the nation’s Buddhist majority to have compassion.

Give God full access - Mags Blackie recently became aware of a pattern of behavior through prayer and she found it liberating. In the tradition of “Pray as you can, and not as you can’t,” she encourages: What we need to do is to give God full access. To open ourselves to the grace of God. Any prayer method can get us there, it is the intention that is important. What we discover may not always be pretty, but it will lead to freedom.

The New Yorker - Journey to Jihadi

Lourdes - Fr Patrick Brennan

A miracle brushes across the fabric of earth’ s time
Disturbing the air, announcing with an angelic chime
The meeting of pilgrimage, journey’s towards eternity
Sacred perfumed scents procure a perpetual serenity.
Bernadette is the simplicity of uncomplicated poverty
Devotion encouraged, through a dedication to humility.
Soothing, chanted prayer, floats across the Lourdes air
Weakened feeble limbs are treated with reverential care
Praying for a miracle, willing the healing of life’s memory
This moving assembly possesses the heavenly remedy
Torches light the darkening sky, processing prayerfully
Celebrating Mary, the crowning glory of healed humanity.

Fr Patrick Brennan © 2015 all rights reserved

May 23, 2015

24th May 2015 - Limerick Diocesan Synod 2015 Update - Solemnity of Pentecost

On this weeks programme the SS102fm team are joined by Fr Eamonn Fitzgibbon who is the director of Synod 2016 to give us an update on what has been happening around the process of Synod since last October and what is happening in the next few months.

We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel for this special Sunday as well as some quick liturgical odds and ends.

You can listen to the podcast of the full programme HERE.

Limerick Diocesan Synod 2016 Update

Fr Eamonn Fitzgibbon joins us on this weeks programme to give us an update on what has been happening since the publication of Bishop Leahy's pastoral letter stating his intention to convoke a diocesan synod back in October 2014. He fills us in what has been happening in terms of training and faith formation for the various lay delegates to the Synod, the different meetings and trainings that have been held and also the listening and parish discernment process which is currently drawing to a close in various parishes around the diocese. If you would like to see what training the delegates have been receiving and the resources made available to them check out the Synod website here.

As well as the training for the delegates there was a series of public talks and lectures as well as courses being organised by the diocesan pastoral centre which are still on going. You can learn more about the talks here and check out the diocesan website for the various courses which are being run by LDPC.

Fr Eamonn also discussed with John and Shane the Synod Questions which were posed to everyone around the diocese. For anyone that would still like to contribute to Synod the online questionnaire is still open and can be completed here.

You can listen to Fr Eamonn's interview excerpted from the main programme HERE.

Gospel - John 20:19-23

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’

Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy
Sunday Reflections
Ennis Blue tumblr

Previous posts from SS102fm on Pentecost including a reflection from Dom Patrick Hederman OSB and from Fr Michael Liston.

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 4; 8th Week in Ordinary time

Saints of the Week

May 25th - St Bede the Venerable
May 26th - St Philip Neri
May 27th - St Augustine of Canterbury
May 28th - St. Mary Ann of Jesus of Paredes
May 29th - Saint Gerald of Mâcon
May 30th - St Joan of Arc

Francis calls for prayers for persecuted Christians over Pentecost weekend - The Catholic Herald

Pope Francis has asked Catholics worldwide to show solidarity through their prayers for Catholics in China and for persecuted Christians over the Pentecost weekend. 
The World Day of Prayer for the Church in China is observed each year on the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, May 24, which this year falls on Pentecost. 
Catholics in China invoke Mary, venerated at the Marian Shrine of Sheshan, near Shanghai, each May 24, the Pope noted. 
“We, too, will ask Mary to help Catholics in China always to be credible witnesses of this merciful love among their fellow citizens and to live spiritually united to the rock of Peter, upon whom the Church is built,” he said. 
The Pope also underlined a prayer initiative of the Italian bishops’ conference inviting all Italian dioceses to pray for persecuted Christians on the vigil of Pentecost.
The vigil, which is using the social media hashtag #free2pray, is intended to “remember the many brothers and sisters exiled or killed for the sole reason that they are Christian”, said the Pope. “They are martyrs.” 
The Pope expressed his hope that the prayer vigil will “increase awareness” of the “drama of persecuted Christians in our day” and of religious freedom as an “inalienable human right,” as well as to “bring an end to this unacceptable crime”

Pope Francis letter to the beatification of Blessed Oscar Romero

From Vatican Radio:
Pope Francis has sent a letter to the Archbishop of San Salvador, Msgr. José Luis Escobar Alas, on the occasion of the beatification of Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero Galdámez. 
In the letter, the Holy Father says that “the voice of the newly Blessed continues to resonate today to remind us that the Church, a convocation of brothers surrounding their Lord, is the family of God, in which there should be no division.” 
He recalled Archbishop Romero's words as he wrote of the necessary to renounce “the violence of the sword, of hate” and to live “the violence of love, that left Christ nailed to the Cross, that makes each one of us overcome selfishness and so that there be no more such cruel inequality between us.” 
In so doing, those who invoke him as intercessor and protector will 'find in him the strength and courage to build the Kingdom of God, to commit to a more equal and dignified social order.'
You can listen to the report from Vatican Radio HERE.

Text of the letter below:
His Excellency José Luis Escobar Alas
Archbishop of San Salvador
President of the Episcopal Conference of El Salvador

Dear Brother:

The beatification of Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero Galdámez, who was Pastor of that dear Archdiocese is a cause for great joy for the Salvadoran people and for those who rejoice by the example of the best children of the Church. Archbishop Romero, who built peace with the strength of love, gave witness to the faith with his life, given to the extreme.

The Lord never abandons his people in difficulties, and has always shown Himself solicitous with your needs. He sees oppression, He hears the cries of pain of His children, and comes to their aid to free them from oppression and bring them to a new land, fertile and spacious, that “flows with milk and honey” (cf. Ex 3, 7-8). Equally he chose Moses one day so that, in His name, he would guide His people, He continues to raise up pastors according to His heart, who feed their flocks with knowledge and prudence (cf Jer 3, 15).

In that beautiful Central American land, bathed by the Pacific Ocean, the Lord granted his Church a zealous Bishop who, loving God and serving the brothers and sisters, converted into an image of Christ the Good Shepherd. In times of difficult coexistence, Archbishop Romero knew how to lead, defend and protect his flock, remaining faithful to the Gospel and in communion with the whole Church. His ministry was distinguished by a particular attention to the most poor and marginalized. And in the moment of his death, while he celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of love and reconciliation, he received the grace to identify himself fully with He who gave his life for his sheep.

On this feast day for the Salvadoran nation, and also for neighboring Latin American countries, we give thanks to God because he granted the martyred Bishop, the ability to see and hear the suffering of his people, and molded his heart so that, in His name, he could direct them and illuminate them, even making of his work a full exercise of Christian charity.

The voice of the newly Blessed continues to resonate today to remind us that the Church, a convocation of brothers surrounding their Lord, is the family of God, in which there should be no division. Faith in Jesus Christ, when understood well and its final consequences assumed, generates communities of that are builders of peace and solidarity. This is what the Church in El Salvador is called to today, in America and in the whole world: to be rich in mercy and to convert into the leaven of reconciliation for society.

Archbishop Romero invites us to sanity and reflection, to respect for life and harmony. It is necessary to renounce “the violence of the sword, of hate” and to live “the violence of love, that left Christ nailed to the Cross, that makes each one of us overcome selfishness and so that there be no more such cruel inequality between us.” He knew how to see and experienced in his own flesh “the selfishness that hides itself in those who do not wish to give up what is theirs for the benefit of others.” And, with the heart of a father, he would worry about the “poor majority”, asking the powerful to convert “weapons into sickles for work.”

May those who have Archbishop Romero as a friend of faith, those who invoke him as protector and intercessor, those who admire his image, find in him the strength and courage to build the Kingdom of God, to commit to a more equal and dignified social order.

It is a favorable moment for a true national reconciliation in front of the challenges we are facing today. The Pope participates in your hopes, and unites Himself to your prayers so that the seed of martyrdom may flourish and become entrenched in the true paths of the sons and daughters of that nation, which proudly hears the name of the divine Saviour of the World.

Dear brother, I ask of you a favor: that you pray and that you may pray for me, while I impart my Apostolic Blessing to all who united in various ways to celebrate the newly Blessed

Fraternally yours,


Vatican, 23 Mary, 2015

Re-dedication of St Mel's Cathedral in Longford

Belatedly SS102fm congratulates the diocese of Ardagh & Clonmacnoise on the re-dedication of the cathedral of St Mel in Longford on 17th May 2015 after a mammoth restoration following the 2009 Christmas fire which destroyed the cathedral. You can check out photos of the celebrations and the restoration on their Facebook page.

Songs for Mary's month - Mary did you know?

May 22, 2015

Songs for Mary's month - The Angel Gabriel from heaven came

"It's a basque carol...For me, this hymn shows Mary's transparent openness to Gods will. She trusted God, as simple as that, as humble as that. I simply love Mary's response to the Angel - 'To me be as it pleases God' she said, my soul shall laud and magnify his holy name' - in modern speak... 'whatever God wishes is ok by me and I'll thank him with all my heart for it'. And because of Mary, Gods love for me and for the entire world was given permission to be revealed in human reality with the coming of Jesus and this same God remains with us in every moment of our lives through the Holy Spirit poured into our hearts at our baptism. Absolutely fantastic, and absolutely true! In the interaction between Mary and the Angel Gabriel I see also something of the ways of God; he asks and doesn't push, God is gentle and respectful, he waits. Who could be afraid of One so gentle? 

In the moments of decision, in the crisis of confusion and helplessness, Mary, full of grace, hold us by the hand so that we, like you, may open our hearts to hear God speaking to us today, giving us guidance and direction, and offering to console our hearts with his love." 

Romero Excitement Builds - UPDATED I & II

Ahead of the ceremony of beatification on Sunday in El Salvador, excitement and column inches have been building in relation to the slain Archbishop Oscar Romero (as an aside this writer was at a priestly ordination during the weekend and Blessed Oscar was included in the Liturgy of the Saints!).


We will be posting links to articles over the next couple of days so check back to this post from time to time:
CNS - check out their Facebook page for photos from San Salvador
Zenit - Preparations Underway for Archbishop Romero's Upcoming Beatification
Zenit - other articles from archive about Romero
Jesuits in Britain - Blessed Oscar Romero - a faith that does justice
The New Yorker - The Beatification of Óscar Romero 
CNS - At Romero’s beatification, offertory includes document of war’s atrocities 
CNS - As violence spirals, Salvadorans look to Archbishop Romero as example
Catholic Herald - Caritas names Oscar Romero as patron saint
Crux - Beatification of El Salvador’s Oscar Romero a turning point for Catholicism
Salt + Light - will broadcast the beatification ceremony and also have links to other articles on their site
Ecumenical News - El Salvador in high spirits as Romero beatification draws near
ICN - CAFOD celebrates beatification of heroic Romero
NCR - Nuns who cared for Oscar Romero's relics wonder what will happen to them
NCR - Violence, culture of impunity still plague El Salvador


Catholic Herald - The final 24 hours of a martyr
America Magazine - Resources for Romero
Blessed Romero’s Feast Day will be March 24 
Huffington Post - Honoring Oscar Romero of El Salvador
Oscar Romero – Option for the Poor
Irish Conference of Bishops resources - Beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero


Community of San'Edigio - Beatification of Mons Oscar Romero
CNS - Archbishop Romero: Symbol of church leaders’ efforts to protect flocks
Jesuits in Ireland - ‘They will never silence us’
The Archbishop Romeo Trust (in the UK)
Crux - My doubts about Oscar Romero
Aleteia - Ending the Speculation About Oscar Romero, A Martyr for the Gospel
Catholic Herald - Why did Romero have enemies at the Vatican?
NCR - Does Romero's beatification signal where Francis is leading the church?
US Catholic - On the eve of his beatification, a song for Oscar Romero

May 21, 2015

Song's for Mary's month - Nous Te saluons, Couronnée d'étoiles (We salute you, Crowned with Stars)

One suggestion which is a song from the Emmanuel community is Nous te saluons, Couronnée d'étoiles (We salute you, Crowned with Stairs).

Warning, the video is a bit psychedelic but image is that of the Madonna of Guadalupe.

(courtesy of Google translate, the chorus)

We salute you
O thou Our Lady
Mary, Blessed Virgin, draped in the sun,
Crowned with stars with the moon under your feet
In you we are given the dawn of greeting


Nous te saluons,
Ô toi notre Dame
Marie, Vierge Sainte que drape le soleil
Couronnée d'étoiles, la lune est sous tes pas
En toi nous est donnée
L'aurore du Salut

1 - Marie Ève nouvelle et joie de ton Seigneur,
Tu as donné naissance à Jésus le sauveur.
Par toi nous sont ouvertes, les portes du jardin
Guide-nous en chemin, étoile du matin.

2 - Tu es restée fidèle, mère au pied de la croix,
Soutiens notre espérance et garde notre foi.
Du côté de ton fils, tu as puisé pour nous,
L'eau et le sang versés qui sauvent du péché.

3 - Quelle fut la joie d'Ève lorsque tu es montée,
Plus haut que tous les anges, plus haut que les nuées,
Et quelle est notre joie, douce Vierge Marie
De contempler en toi la promesse de vie.

4 - Ô Vierge immaculée, préservée du péché,
En ton âme en ton corps, tu entres dans les cieux.
Emportée dans la gloire, sainte reine des cieux,
Tu nous accueilleras, un jour auprès de Dieu.

May 20, 2015

Voting and the referendums on May 22nd

Here on SS102fm we don't cover politics; our view is that Sacred Space 102fm is a "sacred space" on the radio on a Sunday morning for our listeners and readers - if you want controversy and arguments early on Sunday morning tune in to RTE or another programme.

However, we do encourage people to get out and Vote - no matter what way you vote. For too long we fought for the right to vote in our own country and there are too many people around the world today who can't exercise their democratic franchise.

So inform your conscience, reflect on the issues and go exercise your franchise on May 22nd.

For those who may be voting for the first time or are a little rusty with the process the Irish Examiner did a Do's and Dont's piece today plus there is this handy checklist below:

Finding the man behind the blog - ReeltoReel profiles Rocco Palmo

Here on SS102fm we are BIG fans of the blog Whispers in the Loggia and its author Rocco Palmo. Reel to Reel does a profile of this very interesting writer whose blog has had 40 million hits in the past decade!

May 18, 2015

Limerick Diocesan Synod 2016 - Youth Page of now online

There's plenty happening across the diocese for Synod 2016.

Right now a new youth page and a children's page on the Synod website has gone live and we encourage you to have a look and share these.

There are lots of interesting videos and ideas - including the young people of Askeaton parish asking Bishop Brendan some challenging questions such as what is the role of a bishop? what is his view on women priests?

Check it out HERE.

Closer to home here on SS102fm Fr Eamonn Fitzgibbon, director of Synod2016 will be joining us on next weekends programme to give an up date as to what has been happening with Synod and what will happen between here and Christmas as we move forward towards April 2016

Four new saints for the Church including two Palestinians - Rome Reports - Two new Palestinian Saints: a sign of hope for the men and women of the Middle East - Pope Francis: Homily for Mass and Canonization
Time Magazine - Pope Canonizes First Saints From Holy Land Since Early Christianity
Crux - Explaining the Vatican’s perceived pro-Palestinian tilt

SS102fm congratulations to Fr Martin Browne OSB

Br Martin making his promise of obedience to his bishop
Yesterday on the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, in a musically beautiful liturgy, Br Martin Browne OSB was ordained priest by Archbishop Kieran O'Reilly in the church of St Joseph at Glenstal Abbey.
Br Martin or Fr Martin as he is now, is a friend of the blog and the radio programme and has been on with us a number of times.
We wish him every blessing and best wish as he journeys forward in his new ministry.
Dr Willie Walsh (bishop-emeritus of Killaloe), Dr Kieran O'Reilly (Archbishop of Cashel & Emly, ordaining prelate), Fr Martin Browne OSB, Dr Dermot Clifford (archbishop-emeritus of Cashel & Emly)
The photos above are from the Glenstal website by Andrew Hogan (3rd Year) and Br. Denis and more photos of the days liturgy can be viewed HERE.

UPDATE: You can see more photos and commentary on the Glenstal Abbey website HERE.

Ascension of the Lord

Ascension Exapostilarion
James Michael Thompson
O Christ, you were raised up to heaven in the sight of your disciples
You again were up to share in your Father's throne.
The angels who came to greet you at the heavenly gate cried out:
"Open your gates and lift up your lintels, so the King of Glory may come in,
for our King comes again to the Source of Light"

May 17, 2015

Songs for Mary's Month - The Lourdes Hymn

Limerick has a strong association with the pilgrimages to Lourdes, and here is one suggestion for "Songs for Mary's month" with a short reflection on it.


"The Ave Maria di Lourdes or the “Lourdes Hymn” as it is sometimes called. This is always sung as part of the torch light procession in Lourdes and always give me the best feeling in the world. A feeling of thanksgiving that we could get our invalids safety to Lourdes and see them all enjoy the torch procession which is a highlight for many of them. A feeling of pride when I see our fantastic volunteers caring to the invalids every need as we process around the sanctuary and finally a feeling of peace and serenity as the procession enters into the Rosary Basilica  Square."

May 16, 2015

17th May 2015 - Bishop Donal Murray: What does it mean to have an informed conscience? - Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

On this weeks programme John and the SS102fm team are joined with Dr Donal Murray, bishop-emeritus of Limerick to explore the understanding of what it means to have an informed conscience. We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as other liturgical odds and ends.

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks programme HERE.

You can listen to the discussion about informed conscience excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE.

What does it mean to have an informed conscience?

Dr Donal Murray joins the SS102fm team this week to explore and tease out what it means to have an informed conscience. "Freedom of conscience" is regarded as one the key human rights of the current age but what does it actually mean? What is conscience? Can a person be compelled to act against their conscience? How is a person to form his conscience so that it is not just their opinion but a considered and informed discernment?

You can listen to the discussion about informed conscience excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE.

Some links around the issue of conscience:

Catechism of the Catholic Church
Cardinal Newman and conscience - Birmingham Oratory
How Can We Hear the "Voice of God"? Blessed John Henry Newman and conscience Stephanie A. Mann The Catholic Answer 
EWTN - Catholic Conscience and Dissent

Gospel - Mark 16:15-20 - Ascension of the Lord

Ancient tradition held that Ascension fell 40 days after Easter but for various reasons, the Irish bishops moved the celebration of the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord to the Sunday following the traditional date which we celebrate this year on May 17th

"As he said this he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight. They were still staring into the sky when suddenly two men in white were standing near them and they said, ‘Why are you men from Galilee standing here looking into the sky? Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, this same Jesus will come back in the same way as you have seen him go there.’" (Acts 1: 1-11)

The Ascension of Jesus is the Christian teaching found in the New Testament when the resurrected Jesus was taken up to heaven in his resurrected body, in the presence of eleven of his apostles, occurring 40 days after the resurrection. An angel told the watching disciples that Jesus' second coming would take place in the same manner as his ascension. The Ascension of Jesus is professed in the Nicene Creed and in the Apostles' Creed. The Ascension implies Jesus' humanity being taken into heaven. The familiar account of Jesus ascending bodily into the clouds is given fully only in the Acts of the Apostles, but is briefly described also in the Gospel of Luke (often considered to be by the same author) at 24:50–53 and in the ending of Mark 16 at 16:19

In Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox theology, the Ascension is interpreted as the culmination of the Mystery of the Incarnation, in that it not only marked the completion of Jesus' physical presence among his apostles, but consummated the union of God and man when Jesus ascended in his glorified human body to sit at the right hand of God the Father. The Ascension and the Transfiguration both figure prominently in the Orthodox doctrine of theosis. The bodily Ascension into heaven is also understood as the final token of Christ's two natures: divine and human.

The Catholic Catechism summarizes three important theological aspects (with which most Christian churches agree) of the Ascension concisely:
Christ's Ascension marks the definitive entrance of Jesus' humanity into God's heavenly domain, whence he will come again (cf. Acts 1:11); this humanity in the meantime hides him from the eyes of men (cf. Col 3:3).

Jesus Christ, the head of the Church, precedes us into the Father's glorious kingdom so that we, the members of his Body, may live in the hope of one day being with him for ever.

Jesus Christ, having entered the sanctuary of heaven once and for all, intercedes constantly for us as the mediator who assures us of the permanent outpouring of the Holy Spirit (665-667).
Other thoughts and historical information and resources for the feast day available from

Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
English Dominican
Centre for Liturgy
Sunday Reflections
Carmelites weekly lectio divina

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours: psalter week 3; 7th week of Easter

Saints of the Week

May 18th - St John I 
May 19th - St. Theophilus of Corte
May 20th - St Bernardine of Siena
May 21st - Ss Christopher Magallánes & Companions
May 22nd - St Rita of Casica
May 23rd - Bl Oscar Arnulfo Romero