16 Sep 2018

16th September - Emmanuel Community - Emmanuel School of Mission

On this week's programme John is joined by members of the Emmanuel Community, Fr. Paul Glennon and Geraldine Creaton, who share their experiences of the Emmanuel School of Mission and the Emmanuel Community. We also have our regular saints of the week and Sunday gospel reflection.

Emmanuel Community - Emmanuel School of Mission

Fr Conleth Meehan (L) and Fr Paul Glennon (R) are Emmanual Community Priests for the Archdiocese of Dublin.
Back on 22nd June 2014 we had an interview with then deacon Paul Glennon, now Fr. Paul Glennon, who shared with us his on-going journey towards priesthood. Paul was then one of the 15 men ordained deacon in Maynooth on June 1st 2014 for the Archdiocese of Dublin. When Fr. Paul was ordained the Lord led him to become the chaplain to the Emmanuel School of Mission in New York. Geraldine and Fr. Paul both share their experiences of being members of the Emmanuel Community in Ireland (you can learn more about the community from our previous blog posts HERE) and their experience of Emmanuel Schools of Mission.

You can listen to the full programme podcast HERE.

You can listen to Fr. Paul and Geraldine speaking about the Emmanuel Community and Emmanuel Schools of Mission excerpted HERE

Gospel for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Mark 8:27-35

Jesus and his disciples left for the villages round Caesarea Philippi. On the way he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say I am?’ And they told him. ‘John the Baptist,’ they said ‘others Elijah; others again, one of the prophets.’ ‘But you,’ he asked ‘who do you say I am?’ Peter spoke up and said to him, ‘You are the Christ.’ And he gave them strict orders not to tell anyone about him.
    And he began to teach them that the Son of Man was destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and to be put to death, and after three days to rise again; and he said all this quite openly. Then, taking him aside, Peter started to remonstrate with him. But, turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said to him, ‘Get behind me, Satan! Because the way you think is not God’s way but man’s.’
    He called the people and his disciples to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.’
Reflections on this week's gospel:

Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
Sunday Reflections 
English Dominicans
Dominican Sisters of St. Joseph

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours: Psalter week 4

Saints of the week

17th September - St. Robert Bellarmine
18th September - St. Joseph of Cupertino
19th September - St. Januarius
20th September - St. Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang and Companions
21st September - St. Matthew
22nd September - St. Maurice


The annual Padre Pio Triduum will take place in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Newcastle West, Co. Limerick on Wednesday, September 19th, Thursday, September 20th and Friday, September 21st from 7.00pm to 9.00pm with devotions, Mass and blessing with the 1st Class Relic of St. Pio. Celebrant: Fr. John Mockler.

9 Sep 2018

9th September 2018 - The Examen: Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude

On this week's programme the SS102fm team discuss the Examen prayer as a way of cultivating an attitude of gratitude and truly living one's life reflectively in the light of God's grace. We have We have our regular saints of the week and Sunday gospel reflection as well as other odds and ends.

The Examen: Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude
This week's reflection on the Examen Prayer is based on an article by Jim Manney of Our Sunday Visitor entitled 'The Examen — the prayer that changes everything St. Ignatius’ Examen teaches us to see God in what we think, do and feel every day' and is available to read in full HERE.

John and Lorraine discuss the importance of cultivating an attitude of gratitude and how the Examen prayer of St. Ignatius Loyala can help us to be thankful for everything that God does for us, because everything we have is a gift from God. The Examen is a beautiful way of slowing down and taking the time each day to discern the ways in which God blesses us throughout the day, to identify and give thanks for what went well in our day and to identify and express sorrow for what went wrong while asking God to help us do better the following day. Lorraine brings us through Jim Manney's version of the Examen and gives an example of how this prayer might be prayed.

You can listen to the full programme podcast HERE.

You can listen to Lorraine and John's discussion on the Examen excerpted HERE

Gospel for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Mark 7:31-37

Returning from the district of Tyre, Jesus went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, right through the Decapolis region. And they brought him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they asked him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man’s ears and touched his tongue with spittle. Then looking up to heaven he sighed; and he said to him, ‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘Be opened.’ And his ears were opened, and the ligament of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly. And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they published it. Their admiration was unbounded. ‘He has done all things well,’ they said ‘he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.’
Reflections on this week's gospel:

Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
Sunday Reflections 
English Dominicans
Dominican Sisters of St. Joseph

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours: Psalter week 3

Saints of the week

10th September - St. Peter Claver
11th September - Bl. Dominic Dillon
12th September - The Most Holy Name of Mary
13th September - St. John Chyrsostom
14th September - The Exaltation of the Holy Cross
15th September - Our Lady of Sorrows

8 Sep 2018

The Birthday (Nativity) of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today we celebrate the beautiful feast of the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Why do we celebrate this feast? Mary is the Mother of the Son of God, and as such, is our Mother too. Just as we celebrate the birthday of our natural mother, it is fitting that as a Church we celebrate the birthday of our Mother in the order of grace.

What is the best gift we can give our Heavenly Mother (or to phrase it another way: what do you give to the Woman who has everything)? All our Heavenly Mother asks of us is our love and our time. She does not expect grand gestures and big presents. She would very much appreciate if we took the time to speak with her today and to speak with her Son too. She would love if we honoured her birthday by performing little acts with great love today. Love is at the heart of Christianity and at the heart of our veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She, like all of us, was created out of love and for love and as the Mother of God she loves us all equally and continues to intercede for us with her Son. What are you going to do for your Heavenly Mother today?

5 Sep 2018

A New Beginning - Bishop Brendan Leahy

On Saturday, September 1st Bishop Brendan Leahy encouraged us to 'begin again' in his homily for the annual retreat of the Syro-Malabar community. Here is the full text of Bishop Leahy's homily.

A New Beginning

It’s just a week since we had Pope Francis among us. I know many of you were present in Dublin or Knock.

I am pleased to be here today because, in a way, you are a sign of the new beginning the Catholic Church is experiencing in Ireland.  Until relatively recently, we were a homogenous group of Irish-born people who, practically speaking, took our being catholic for granted as almost part of a social package of being Irish.

Today, however, we have vibrant communities such as yours, the Syro-Malabar community, or the Polish community or the Filipino communities. Each group brings with it a new expression of being catholic. And that helps us imagine that the traditional way we thought of the Catholic Church is not set in stone.

One week on from the Pope’s visit, it is important to take steps not to let the significance of the visit begin to disappear from our minds and hearts.

We are inspired by that visit more than ever to make a new beginning, just as you have in coming to this country of welcomes.

I was hugely heartened by the hundreds of thousands who turned out for Pope Francis’ visit.  Those who lined the streets in Dublin, attended Croke Park, the Phoenix Park and, of course, that special morning in Knock. It was an affirmation of the deep faith of people, their love of God, their deep spirituality and their mercifulness towards a Church that has, while enriching them in many ways, failed them badly in a most shocking way.

There were many powerful moments along that all too brief 36-hour journey that touched us all; a mix of darkness and light and rightly so.

There were the apologies and acknowledgements throughout of abuse in the Church; Pope Francis’ own words, deep and heartfelt, at public engagements. His words at his meeting with victims confirming his horror over what happened.  Never has a Pope spoken with such passion using such strong words; never has a Pope connected on this level.

This was essential and there was more.  Like his reaching out to all on the margins, not least his meeting with the Capuchin brothers and the homeless – his words there very striking when he described their work as ‘they help you without taking away your dignity. That's the face of Jesus Christ’.

His joy at the depth of faith and celebration as people sang and danced through unforgettable hours at Croke Park. The beautiful mix of joy and solemnity of Knock and the Phoenix Park.  His silent prayer at Knock and the Pro-Cathedral. There was also the Taoiseach’s striking address. And the statements of protest at Tuam and in Dublin, which must also be acknowledged.

36 hours that reflected all about the Church in Ireland today.

It was not, of course, 1979 in terms of the numbers that celebrated.  But this is not Ireland of 1979, nor is it the Church of 1979.  Today it’s a Church that has gone through humiliation and purification.  There was a blindness in the Church then as to what was lurking within but today our eyes are open.

Yet one undeniable constant between now and 1979 was the sense of celebration of our faith.  It was everywhere I turned.  At a time when many have - for one reason or another, not least the scandals that have hit the church – shied away from public expressions of faith, people felt released from shackles for the weekend.  The freedom and joy as they celebrated being part of God’s kingdom was remarkable and not seen since 1979 in this country.  I can only imagine how much God saw it and thought it was good.

Clearly those who attended the ceremonies in Dublin and Knock have a deep love of their faith and we must continue to nourish that. It is our mission. The sins of the past cannot be allowed to cloud over that mission.

However, we also have an obligation to those who feel alienated, hurt and disavowed by the grave crimes committed by clergy and religious. We must continue to meet and reach out to them. We must repair the damage and pursue justice.

We must do more to encourage those who have been abused in any way but have not already come forward, to report their abuse. We must do this to support them, help with healing if possible, identify those responsible and bring justice.

As a community rooted in God’s love, fidelity and mercy, we can and are called to walk this road with them.

We can never accept that we are doing enough.

Huge strides have been made in safeguarding; the Church increasingly closer to being the sanctuary that God would want.

Recently, lingering doubts about Church transparency have been expressed. In the recent past, however, dioceses and religious orders have opened their doors both to the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church and to the HSE, who have issued audits. The Church must always co-operate fully with state authorities in this area.

As for those who have abused in the Church, we need to continue our pursuit of truth, justice and healing.  Most episodes of abuse stretch back into decades but if anyone has any information regarding anything relating to any member of clergy or religious, we need to know and, moreover, the authorities need to know.

If there remains any member of the clergy or religious who is hiding some dark secret or intention in the area of abuse of minors I plead with them to come forward immediately and own up to this, again to state and church authorities. Do not put yourself in a situation where the poison within can infect others. There is no place for this in God’s house.

Nonetheless, without ever eclipsing the acknowledgement of the negative, we need to be careful that we don’t pull ourselves down as a society, reading our past only in its negativity. That would be untrue to the past and not fair to the present and hamper future possibilities

I would make an appeal that, as a society, we do not quench or suffocate the possibilities of new beginnings that were enkindled last weekend.

And we do have a new beginning. It began last weekend, a real turning point on this every-lasting journey of following God. Everything good and bad set out before us.  And as it should be.

We move away from this most special time renewed and enriched by the joyful expression of faith by hundreds of thousands.  Also, by the knowledge that it is a Church that has taken enormous strides that would have been unimaginable four decades ago and beyond.  A Church that has faced the evil within, has worked tirelessly to cast it out and put stringent measures in place to protect against its return.

But above all, a Church that is still out there, reaching those on the margins, people fighting homelessness, ill-health, bereavement, poverty and so much more. A Church that is accompanying millions day by day in all kinds of ways – from baptisms to weddings to funerals, building local communities and offering horizons of consolation, meaning and hope.

I take all expressions, positive and negative, from this special time as an invitation; a collective voice that we must listen and respond to. The Pope has given us, as bishops in Ireland, a clear mandate to do this listening.

We have begun the process here in Limerick through our Synod of two years ago but we must now, renewed by the energy and honesty of last weekend, go forward with great hope. The words spoken over the past week and more have brought us closer. We now commit to action.

The future is an opportunity for doing things we have never done before. But we can only achieve this together.

One week on from the Pope’s visit, I make a humble plea to all who want to begin with us again in a new way, what the Taoiseach called a new covenant; let’s rebuild a Church at the service of Irish society.

I particularly speak to those who were walking away in the distance but had their heads turned at the weekend to see a shard of light from a familiar place.

That is the light of God and it is a light for all. We want to bring that light that breaks through the darkness with us and meet people where they are.

Let us then, in rebuilding this together, rekindle the flame from baptism, so it burns bright in all of us.

It's a flame that will unite us, lift our hearts and souls and give peace, bringing us closer to God’s idea for us all and making of us all one family united in love for one another.

I pray that the Spirit who heals will inspire us to repair and re-build our Church together. Your enthusiastic presence here today is a sign of hope for us.

Let us begin again!

The text is also available on the diocesan website HERE.

4 Sep 2018

Pope's Prayer Intention - September 2018 - Young People in Africa

Africa is a continent with enormous potential. It's young people are it's future. A future which, if it is accompanied by education and work possibilities, is splendid.

"Africa is a wealthy continent, and its greatest, most valuable resource is its young people.

They should be able to choose between letting themselves be overcome by difficulty or transforming the difficulty into an opportunity.

The most effective way to help them in this choice is to invest in their education.

If young people don't have the possibility of education, what future can they have?

If young people don't have a job, what future awaits them?

Let us pray that young people in Africa may have access to education and work in their own countries"

2 Sep 2018

2nd September 2018 - Humanae Vitae @ 50

On this week's programme the SS102fm team is joined by Dr. Tom Finegan from Mary Immaculate college to discuss the 50th anniversary of the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae published in July 1968 by Pope Paul VI. We have our regular saints of the week and Sunday gospel reflection as well as other odds and ends. 

Humanae Vitae @ 50
2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of the Encyclical Humane Vitae (on the transmission of human life) by Pope Paul VI. This week Shane and Dr. Finegan chat about the background leading up to the Encyclical, what is actually contained in Humanae Vitae, why it was prophetic in terms of sexual morality today and what we can still learn from Humane Vitae today. If you would like to read the encyclical it is available on the Vatican website HERE

You can listen to the full programme podcast HERE.

You can listen to Dr. Finegan's reflection on Humanae Vitae excerpted HERE

Gospel for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered round Jesus, and they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with unclean hands, that is, without washing them. For the Pharisees, and the Jews in general, follow the tradition of the elders and never eat without washing their arms as far as the elbow; and on returning from the market place they never eat without first sprinkling themselves. There are also many other observances which have been handed down to them concerning the washing of cups and pots and bronze dishes. So these Pharisees and scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not respect the tradition of the elders but eat their food with unclean hands?’ He answered, ‘It was of you hypocrites that Isaiah so rightly prophesied in this passage of scripture:

This people honours me only with lip-service,
while their hearts are far from me.
The worship they offer me is worthless,
the doctrines they teach are only human regulations.

You put aside the commandment of God to cling to human traditions.’ He called the people to him again and said, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that goes into a man from outside can make him unclean; it is the things that come out of a man that make him unclean. For it is from within, from men’s hearts, that evil intentions emerge: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within and make a man unclean.’
Reflections on this week's gospel:

Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
Sunday Reflections 
English Dominicans

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours: Psalter week 2

Saints of the week

3rd September - Pope St. Gregory the Great
4th September - St. Mac Nissi
5th September - St. Teresa of Calcutta
6th September - St. Bega
7th September - St. Cloud
8th September - Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

29 Aug 2018

General Audience after Ireland trip: The pope on World Meeting of Families and Sexual Abuse - Rome Reports

Vatican News - Pope Francis: Families an eloquent sign of God’s dream - At his General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis looks back on his visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families.

Best images from Pope Francis' trip to Ireland - Rome Reports

Upcoming Schedule on SS102fm and a mea culpa from your blog editor

Your humble blog editor has to issue a mea culpa for the delays on posting this weeks programme blog post (with its corresponding confusion on our podcast listing) and also the general lack of blog activity over the last few days. However, it is rather difficult to blog from 30,000 feet as your editor was in transit back to the Emerald Isle from far away places.

However, my sojourn here is only a temporary visitation as I will be heading off for a four week break and my colleague Lorraine will taking the reins of this enterprise until the end of September! 

As it happens, a lot of the SS102fm team will be away at various stages over the next few weeks but we wanted to give you an indication of the up coming programmes and how SS102fm is going to deal with the WMoF2018 and the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland.

  • 2nd September - Humane Vitae@50
  • 9th September - Reflecting with the Examen Prayer
  • 16th September - SS102fm catches up with the Emmanuel Community in Ireland
  • 23 September - WMoF (No 1) - Various talks, reflections and witness testimonies from WMoF2018
  • 30th September - WMoF (No 2) - The Pilgrims experience of WMoF2018 - volunteers and pilgrims share their experiences of WMoF2018
  • 7th October - WMoF (No 3) - The Papal WMoF2018: SS102fm reviews and reflects on what Pope Francis said during WMoF2018
  • 14th October - Mission Sunday and the Canonisation of Pope Paul VI and Bishop Oscar Romero.
Over the next couple of weeks we are going to go through the online coverage of WMoF2018 and bring to you various highlights from the event and Pope Francis visit to Ireland.

Thanks for staying with us as we come up towards our 10th anniversary and we appreciate all our listeners and readers.

SS102fm Team

26th August 2018 - WMoF2018 in Ireland

On this weeks programme SS102fm can't really compete with the Main Event in Ireland this weekend but we are conscious of all our listeners and readers!

So we have our usual visit to the saints of the week, a short reflection on this weeks Sunday gospel.

Given the weekend that was in it, we also had a WMoF2018 link. As part of the preparation for the World Meeting of Families 2018 and the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland, a 6-part television series has been commissioned by the World Meeting of Families to help explore the document written by Pope Francis on love in the family.

‘A Journey through Amoris Laetitia’ features a wide variety of well-known commentators, as well as families from all walks of life and from all over the world.  Contributors include President of Caritas Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, speaker and author Jeff Cavins, Bishop Robert Barron, John and Clare Gabrowski (Pontifical Council for the Family) and Primate of all Ireland Archbishop Eamon Martin.

Through the six episodes, presented by Wendy Grace, we reflect on what Amoris Laetitia has to say to families as they experience the ups and downs of family life and how Pope Francis addresses key themes like imperfection, mercy and wider society while also offering an uplifting vision for the family.

You  can find out more about A Journey through Amoris Laetitia tv series you can find out about it HERE.

You can listen to the full programme podcast HERE.

You can listen to A Journey through Amoris Laetitia excerpted HERE

Gospel - John 6: 60 - 69

Many of Jesus' disciples who were listening said,
"This saying is hard; who can accept it?"
Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this,
he said to them, "Does this shock you?
What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending
to where he was before?
It is the spirit that gives life,
while the flesh is of no avail.
The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.
But there are some of you who do not believe."
Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe
and the one who would betray him.
And he said,
"For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me
unless it is granted him by my Father."
As a result of this,
many of his disciples returned to their former way of life
and no longer accompanied him.
Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?"
Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.
We have come to believe
and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God."
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
Sunday Reflections 
English Dominicans

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours: Psalter week 1

Saints of the week

27th August - St Monica
28th August - St Augustine of Hippo
29th August - The Passion of St John the Baptist
30th August - St Fiacre
31st August - St Aidan of Lindisfarne
1st September - St Giles

22 Aug 2018

Can't get to Dublin for the WMoF2018 Congress?

Many of us can't get to the pastoral congress which is the main focus of the WMoF2018 being hosted in Dublin's RDS from 22nd - 24th August but there are some options online for you to participate!

WMoF2018 are delighted to announce the release of the #WMOF2018 APP! Navigate & access the Programme schedule, Pilgrim Guide, Pilgrim Walk, News & Blog section, Videos & Social Media, among other features directly from your phone or iPad. Available on Apple Store & Android Play Store.

Check out the social media accounts of WMoF2018 especially their Twitter feed, their Facebook page, and of course the official website.

One thing which had slipped by us on SS102fm is the fact that some of the sessions and discussions at the congress are actually going to be livestreamed HERE!

For coverage of the event which isn't directly linked to the WMOF2018 organisers check out Crux's coverage  or S+L which seems to be more balanced and knowledgeable as the Irish mainstream media maintains its usual negativity about anything related to Catholicism and the church.

Hash tags on Twitter to pay attention to:



Keep an eye on the Twitter feeds of @IrishCathNews; @CatholicBishops; @DublinDiocese; and @Crux.

REPOST - "The Future of the Irish parish: Lessons from around the world" (28th & 29th August 2018) - IIPS -MIC St Patrick's Campus, Thurles

The Irish Institute for Pastoral Studies at Mary Immaculate College is a new part of MIC which is based on the campus of St Patrick's College in Thurles. It is intended that Thurles will serve as a centre for theological, pastoral and spiritual renewal in the entire region.

Fr Eamonn Fitzgibbon joined the SS102fm team on our weekly programme on 29th July 2018 to introduce the IIPS-MIC to WL102fm listeners and also to promote an upcoming exciting conference to be held at IIPS-MIC in August immediately after the WMoF2018 in Dublin.

The conference has as its theme "The Future of the Irish parish: Lessons from around the world" which brings together sharing's and experiences from all corners of the globe about the changing nature and meaning of parish life both within the church but also as an external manifestation of identity.

Parish life in Ireland both urban and rural has been under going massive change over the last number of years but is still a key part of Irish self identity and understanding. It is not for nothing that often the first question an Irish person asks another is not who are you, but rather where are you from?

With the forth coming decline in the number of priests in active ministry, the challenge has been for the Irish church to get to grips with how we understand and celebrate parishes as vibrant, living expressions of lived communities of faith with a model which is no longer so centred on the role and identity of the parish priest. 

The aim of the conference is to look to examples of this from around the world and to remind ourselves of the words of Pope Francis that "the parish is not an out-dated institution" (E.G.28, Pope Francis).

Speakers and topics at the conference are:
  • Lessons from New Zealand, Launch Out: Lay Pastoral Leadership Roles, (Cardinal John Dew, Archdiocese of Wellington, New Zealand)
  • Lessons from South Africa, The Parish as a Community of Communities (Bishop Michael Wüstenberg, Bishop Emeritus, Aliwal, South Africa)
  • Lessons from Liverpool,  The Experience of Widnes as a Witness to Team Ministry (Rev. Matthew Nunes Episcopal Vicar for Formation, Archdiocese of Liverpool)
  • Lessons from Canada,  Rites and Responsibilities: The Role of the Clergy and the Laity in the Catholic Church, (Dr Margaret Lavin, Professor Emeritus at Regis College, Toronto)
  • Applying the Learnings, Facilitated by Martin Kennedy and Dr Jessie Rogers.
You can visit the website of the Irish Institute for Pastoral Studies HERE.

Register for the conference 28th and 29th August HERE which also includes the full schedule and back ground information on each of the presenters and facilitators.

You can listen to Fr Eamonn Fitzgibbons interview excerpted from the main programme on 29th July 2018 podcast HERE.

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

Exclusive Photos: Walking the “Dublin Camino” for the World Meeting of Families 
A Capital Camino
Papal visit: Ireland's Catholic Church in graphs
Pope Francis and the Church in Ireland
Countdown to Dublin: Pilgrimage to Ireland - Salt and Light Media
Pope can ‘hold a mirror’ to ask deeper questions 
Public to have chance to greet Pope in Dublin city centre
Why Does the Pope’s Arrival Provoke Such Bitterness?


’This morning at Mass, I witnessed something I have never seen…’ 
Pope Francis’s Failed Abuse Letter 
We can only move forward when we name the evil of clericalism
The End of the Imperial Episcopate
Would a female priesthood disrupt sex abuse?

It Had Been A Good Day 

The spirituality of rest

Riding the Wave of God’s Surprises

Christianity Is Not A Cure For Suicide 

I Was Wholly Unprepared

Ecumenical Patriarch: we desire ‘with all our heart’ the restoration of Ukrainian Orthodox unity 

Syria - The monastery of St. Tekla in Maalula reopens

Australia Senate Defeats Bill Legalizing Assisted Suicide

Finding silence and learning to listen amidst the noise of modern life

21 Aug 2018

Pope Francis sends video message to Ireland ahead of his visit

Pope Francis sent a video message to the families meeting in Ireland. He says that the World Meeting of families is a celebration of the beauty of God’s plan for the family.

In the video message sent ahead of his visit, Pope Francis hopes that this occasion will be a source of renewed encouragement for families from all over the world, especially those families who will be there in Dublin.

WMoF2018 begins today

An Opening Ceremony for World Meeting of Families 2018 is taking place simultaneously across all 26 Dioceses of Ireland on the evening of Tuesday 21 August, with the lead ceremony taking place in Dublin. 

The Opening Liturgy will be a full celebration of Evening Prayer. Entitled ‘Le chéile le Críost’ (Together with Christ), it will gather the Church as the family of families, and set us on the path of celebration for the entire World Meeting of Families that will culminate with the closing Papal Mass on Sunday 26th August. It is taking place in every diocese in the country.

We will begin remembering that we walk in the footsteps of the saints and those who have handed on the faith to us. We welcome Christ our unfailing light, we sing and pray hymns, psalms and canticles, burn incense and pray for the entire human family before our God and Father. 


You can watch at St John's Cathedral HERE.


Official Prayer of WMoF2018

God, our Father,
We are brothers and sisters in Jesus your Son,
One family, in the Spirit of your love.

Bless us with the joy of love.

Make us patient and kind,
gentle and generous,
welcoming to those in need.
Help us to live your forgiveness and peace.

Protect all families with your loving care,
Especially those for whom we now pray:

[We pause and remember family members and others by name].

Increase our faith,
Strengthen our hope,
Keep us safe in your love,
Make us always grateful for the gift of life that we share.

This we ask, through Christ our Lord,


Mary, mother and guide, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, father and protector, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, pray for us.

Hannon raises Liam to lift the weight of 45 years off a county's shoulders - Billy Keane, Irish Independent


If God ever made anything better than the hurling, he kept it for himself. Limerick take Liam at last after another epic poem of a match. Limerick at long last.

It was a day when thousands watched the silver screen in the open air cinema that was the Gaelic Grounds. This was a thriller.

The Children of The Sorrows rejoiced and paid homage to every clash of every ash, to every thundering Treaty thud, to every wristy flick of every Limerick stick, to every puck and every point, to every block and every stop and every treasury of every one of their three golden goals.

This is our game from time immemorial. This year's hurling championship is probably the most memorable in a long time and the last 20 minutes of this one was the most exciting game ever played.

Out there on Limerick's home pitch, Joe Canning's late goal was greeted with a sound no louder than a nun's sigh in the cloisters of a silent order. You could see the look of abject terror in Limerick eyes. Was it to be the same old sad story, all over again?

But then Graeme Mulcahy scored what turned out to be the winning point. The wait is over, Limerick is whole again, reborn and renewed.

Limerick did it for Joan Ryan and the many like her. Joan was dressed in a lovely green knitted cardigan. She is every bit the lady with the smile and the heart of a young girl. Joan never missed the pilgrimage to an All-Ireland with her husband Patrick. He's a Treaty Sarsfield's man. Patrick isn't well but Joan came to the Gaelic Grounds for her man and for her county. She gives a great hug.

Anne Reilly kept her Limerick name for the day. Her three kids were green from top to bottom.

There was a lovely moment when Anne's husband put his arm around her just after the national anthem. As a Mayo man knows the pain only too well and so it was he minded Anne.

Their little boy slept through it all. The cheering for Mulcahy's goal could have raised the dead and those that were there began to believe they would get to see Limerick win a Liam before they died. And maybe the little dreaming boy was dreaming of Limerick winning an All-Ireland at last. Dreams really do come true.

There was a treaty broken in Limerick in 1691 and a giant stone bears testimony to the treachery. These loyal Limerick supporters were glued to the giant screen and glued together by an unbreakable bond. They kept their word. Today in Croke Park as well. And the team kept their side of the treaty of communion.

So many stories of the long wait. Before the movie of The All-Ireland final we met John Leahy who taught hurling in Causeway Comprehensive. John was drenched in Croke Park back in'73 when Limerick last lifted Liam, and he too was ticketless. "All I ever wanted for the last 45 years was for Limerick to win an All-Ireland. And failing that, Tipp to be beaten."

Hurling lifts us and tells us we are indeed a people who can be rightly proud of who we are.

The heroes of Galway and Limerick emptied out every drop of passions pledge in our holy place, where sacrifices are made out of limb and sinew, muscle and bone, for home and fatherland.

Canning kept his head and scored seemingly at will, while all around were hitting wides. Aidan Harte from Gort kept on giving. James Skehill threw himself in front of a flying sliotar. He took a bullet for Galway. The Tribesmen died like All-Ireland champions should. Like men.

There was a sense of a wild and untamed Ireland and even pagan Ireland in those last few minutes.

Yes there are referees and don'ts but hurling is about dos and derring -dos. For no other game can set us free from the conventions of conformity.

Last week I met a young Kerry mother who was charged €50 to bring her 7-month-old baby in to the Galway game in Croke Park. I have involuntarily touched bellies with men with fat bellies on the way to my seat. These men and women with big handbags are a far greater risk to health and safety than a small baby. The good news was a Galway supporter gave the mother his own ticket for the baby.

This was a tax on motherhood but today was the greatest free show in Limerick since The Pope came here, back in 1979. Limerick City Council and Limerick GAA paid for all. They could easily have charged €20 a head but they didn't. There are some who never broke the treaty with their own people.

Limerick may not have corporate boxes or fancy restaurants or duck a la feckin orange ,but it has a heart and today thousands of hearts pounded as one.

In 1973 a young Limerick team won the All-Ireland and as Eamonn Grimes lifted up the cup on a rainy September day, hardly anyone present could possibly have imagined twoscore and four years would scroll by without a Limerick win.

There are new heroes now but the heroes of '73 will never be forgotten either. Nickie Quaid's Dad rests happy in heaven tonight. His boy is the Stephen Cluxton of hurling. It was a day for old ghosts and new heroes.

Declan Hannon from sweet Adare, led from the front. Declan raised the Liam MacCarthy Cup over his head, and in so doing he lifted the weight of 45 years off a county's shoulders.