30 Sep 2010

From Knockpatrick to Kiyinda - Part 4 - Solidarity


“Africa wants a hand up, not a hand out”.

Brother Roger of Taize said in one of his talks to pilgrims, “Today more than ever before, a call is arising to open paths of trust even in humanity’s darkest hours…More and more people throughout the world are becoming aware of how urgent it is to come to the aid of the victims of poverty, a poverty that is constantly on the rise. This is a basic necessity to make peace on earth possible”.

Letting ourselves be penetrated by the thirst for God does not detach us from the concerns of the world....St Ambrose said, "It is not your property that you distribute to the poor, you are simply giving back to them what is theirs" .

A consistent theme in Catholic Social Teaching is option or love of preference for the poor. Today this preference has to be expressed in worldwide dimensions, embracing the immense numbers of the hungry, the needy, the homeless, those without medical care, and those without hope . Solidarity is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all .
The promotion of justice is at the heart of a true culture of solidarity. It is not just a question of “giving one’s surplus” to those in need but of helping entire people presently excluded and marginalised to enter the sphere of economic and human development. For this to happen, it is not enough to draw on the surplus goods which in fact our world abundantly produces; it requires above all a change of lifestyles, of models of production and consumption, and of the established structures of power which govern societies. The development we speak of here cannot be restricted to economic growth alone. To be authentic, it must be well rounded; it must foster the development of each man and of the whole man. As an eminent specialist on this question has rightly said: "We cannot allow economics to be separated from human realities, nor development from the civilization in which it takes place. What counts for us is man—each individual man, each human group, and humanity as a whole.'' Each man is also a member of society; hence he belongs to the community of man. It is not just certain individuals but all men who are called to further the development of human society as a whole. Civilizations spring up, flourish and die. As the waves of the sea gradually creep farther and farther in along the shoreline, so the human race inches its way forward through history. We are the heirs of earlier generations, and we reap benefits from the efforts of our contemporaries; we are under obligation to all men. Therefore we cannot disregard the welfare of those who will come after us to increase the human family. The reality of human solidarity brings us not only benefits but also obligations . Now in this matter one standard should hold true for all. What applies to national economies and to highly developed nations must also apply to trade relations between rich and poor nations. Indeed, competition should not be eliminated from trade transactions; but it must be kept within limits so that it operates justly and fairly, and thus becomes a truly human endeavour.

Solicitudo Rei Socialis §42
Solicitudo Rei Socialis §38

Centesimus Annus §58
Populorum Progressio §14
Populorum Progressio §17

Part 1 - Introduction
Part 2 - Presence
Part 3 - Suffering
Part 5 - Friendships and Goodbye

29 Sep 2010

From Knockpatrick to Kiyinda - Part 3 - Suffering

“The choice is between the mystery and the absurd. To embrace the mystery is to discover the real.” (Basil Hume, The Mystery of the Cross)
“The joys and the hopes, the grief’s and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the grief’s and anxieties of the followers of Christ.” (Gaudiem et spes,).

The sounds of daily life in Kiyinda begin each morning around 5.30am with the Muslim call to pray ringing out from the minarets of the local mosques (provided that there is power),

Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar.
Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar.
Ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allah.
Ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allah.
Ash-hadu anna Muhammad-ar-Rasoolullah.
Ash-hadu anna Muhammad-ar-Rasoolullah.
Hayya 'alas-Salah. Hayya 'alas-Salah.
Hayya 'alal-falah. Hayya 'alal-falah.
Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar.
La ilaha ill-Allah.

And almost like a plug has been removed or someone has un-muted the mute button, everything seems to burst into life, because almost as soon as the prayer has finished you start hearing life beginning to stir in Mityana.

Voices of excited children going for water, the clang of the school tyre (bell!) waking up the sleepy heads in the boarding sections, their shouts and laughter ringing through the duskiness of the Ugandan dawn, the horns of the first Kampala-Fort Portal express buses of the day blare out warning people to get off the road or else, the bleats of the goats waiting to be released from their pens and the squeals of pigs waiting to be fed join in the cacophony set off by our troop of cockerels who seem to take delight in announcing the arrival of a new day outside my bedroom window.

Into that orchestra of life steps the bird calls of the various inhabitants of the trees overshadowing my house, some of them as sweet and gentle upon the ear, others that only their Creator could love as they call seems to go through you no matter the time of the day.

28 Sep 2010

From Knockpatrick to Kiyinda - Part 2 - Presence

“Listen, O daughter, give ear to my words; forget your own people and your father’s house......” (Psalm 44(45): 10)

Over the last thirty months, I have heard this psalm again and again recited in choir by my neighbours the Carmelite Sisters of Kiyinda and gradually, like the drip of water on a stone, the psalmist’s advice has come to sums up some aspects of my life as a VM.

Like all missionaries, you are reminded to forget your own people as you “work and live side by side with the people sharing our talents, friendship and love. This pre-supposes an openness to the needs of others and the humility to meet them wherever they are at. It calls for a spirit of confidence and poverty which is ever ready to listen and respond to others” (VMM Spirit & Lifestyle). It could almost be a motto for a VM as you head overseas. It means being a listener, “being a witness where it can easily be seen that God's Spirit is so strong within us that it is visible in our lives and actions. Christ was available to all, and reached out to the poor, the sick and the rejected. His mission is now ours. It is a call to be wherever there is injustice of any kind.
"Wherever there are people in need of food and drink, clothing, housing, medicine, employment, education; wherever people lack the facilities necessary for living a truly human life, are afflicted with serious distress or illness, or suffer exile or imprisonment, there Christian love should seek them out and find them." (Apostolate of the Laity, para 8.4)
The majority of our world lives in hunger and want deprived of the most basic necessities to live a decent human life. Impelled and driven by the Spirit of Christ, we should not stand by unresponsive to the needs of our brother and sisters. They must have the tools to enable them to develop and be free. They need the skills and the expertise to bring out their own resources and gifts. It is not simply a matter of handing out money, food or equipment. It calls for more than that. Our response is to share who we are as well as what we have” (VMM Spirit & Lifestyle).

But we can only be credible bearers of the good news if we are fundamentally, if not always, joyful. And joy has been one thing that the people of Uganda have taught me, the simple joys of life and a rediscovery of the joys of faith and celebration. Radcliffe described the joy as being, “a deep joy that…… is deeply linked with sorrow and even with anger. Our vocation summons us to share not just the passion of Christ, but also his passions, his joy and sorrow and anger. These are the passions of those who are alive with the gospel.”

Like the parable of the man who finds the treasure of great worth and sells all he has to possess it, it is almost like that for the missionaries that I have met. They have given their all for the people that they serve and seemed to have discovered a treasure of great worth in those viewed as the outcasts of the world.

From Knockpatrick to Kiyinda - A VM's reflections on sometime in Africa - PART 1 - Introduction

“The most terrible of crimes is to collaborate in the uprooting of others in an already alienated world, but the greatest of virtues is to up root oneself for the sake of ones neighbours and of God. “It is necessary to uproot oneself. Cut down the tree and make a cross and carry it forever after.” - Simone Weil, "Waiting for God"

Beara Penninsula Co Cork - Nessa Quille
 Life can often be viewed as a journey with many stops and stages, sometimes with the journey itself being more important as a transforming process then the final destination –often unknown - aimed at. It is hard to believe how fast the thirty months went after I touched down in Entebbe airport in September 2007, where after working for four years with KPMG Ireland, my journey involved leaving Ireland and travelled to Uganda to work as a volunteer through the Volunteer Missionary Movement (VMM) as the Chief Accountant for the diocese of Kiyinda Mityana (KMD). Well, whatever about the work side of things, I brought home some fond memories of some great times, some wonderful people and a small town called Mityana in a beautiful place called the Pearl of Africa - Uganda.

"But memory is shady, an aspect that only increases with time. At a distance, what we would hold onto, what we would pull into the light, slips from us like smoke through the fingers. In the end, we’re left with shuttering pictures rather than fluid narratives, a stutter-and-stop nickelodeon rather than an arch of seamless progression, five acts and a clear denouement. So we have to make the best of these rough shards, pronounce what seems true of them and move on, accepting what we vaguely see now as the best catalogue of what we truly saw then".

But occasionally, when things settle down there’s the luxury of greater reflection. It may come on long car trips, or plane rides, or waits at the dentist’s office. At such times, we struggle against the truncated, long-seen pictures that our memory trots out for us, like a bad school yearbook; instead, we demand to see something more substantial . And we try to make sense of what has happened.

The following series of short posts are taken from a last letter/email that I sent from Uganda as I approached the end of my time as a VM. Hopefully they will give you some idea about life in Uganda as a visitor, VM, lay missionary and ultimately as a person who feel in love with the country and the wonderful people there.

Part 2 - Presence
Part 3 - Suffering
Part 4 - Solidarity
Part 5 - Friendships and Goodbye

Prayer through the Intercession of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop

God of Compassion,
You filled the heart of Saint Mary MacKillop with a deep trust in Your Providence and trust in Your Will.
Help me like her to renew my trust in Your loving plan for me. Deepen my faith, so that like her I may bear the Cross and follow her example of kindness.
Through her intercession I pray especially for ____________________.
I make this prayer through Jesus, my Way, my Truth, my Life.

25 Sep 2010

Some web browsing for you............

Some reaction to the Pope's visit to the UK with his call for an empowered and faith-educated laity, and John Allen provides his analysis of the pro's and con's from the Popes visit and the coverage of the Church in the press in the last week and how every cloud has a silver lining. The Catholic Herald editorial in the UK has an interesting view on the Pope's visit where the "Pope exposed the very heart of the Catholic faith for all to see".

Did you realise just how historic Pope Benedicts visit to the UK really was? I hadn't until I read this from Deacon Greg.

Following on from the beatification of Cardinal Newman, today we had the beatification of a young woman who died aged 18 years old and who was very much of this century.Also here and here.

CatholicIreland.net has some interesting articles this week with a Limerick connection to Blessed John Henry Newman, an interesting sentence with a penitential twist from a judge for a man who abused a Garda, and Trocaire has called for the introduction of a tax on financial institutions that it says would generate hundreds of billions of euro every year, which would help eradicate global poverty.

No more hiding from God - or from ourselves - A reflection by Rabbi Or Rose about the Jewish High Holy days which have just come to a close with the feast of Yom Kippur - the Day of Atonement.

Some good news from the Irish Church with the the first profession of eleven Dominican novices on 15th September last and the reception of two men into the novitiate in Cork on 14th September.

An inspiring story from the USA about young christians seeking intentional community among the poor.

Recently on the programme Lorraine mentioned an article that Sacred Space 102fm's own Shane Ambrose wrote for the Irish Catholic about his time in Uganda.

Continuing an African theme, this article about when a Catholic priest said Mass in a Muslim home is an interesting insight to inter-religious dialogue among neighbours but also poses questions for us in Ireland about our extremely poor liturgies.

Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI poses the question this week, how large is your heaven?

And finally this week we thought you might find this reflection from Googling God interesting especially in the context of the debate about our older citizens and how we need to face up to the need for caring for an aging population:

This past Sunday I attended the 8:30 AM mass at my parish and one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen was at communion.

There was a middle aged woman who was the eucharistic minister nearest me. I happened to look up at one point and saw her hands. They were shaking, presumably from some kind of tremor, usually brought on by Parkinson’s or some other neurological disorder. The tremors are brought about when the dopamine producing nerve cells begin to die that send messages to the parts of the brian that produce movement.

She held the tiny ciboria in her open palm shaking ever so slightly, relishing in giving what she could, while she still could. She held Jesus as best she could and handed the body broken of Christ to us with a broken body herself.

Talk about a thanksgiving moment. It was a moment so beautiful and so simple and yet it comes from such a place of dis-ease, for her presumably and for those who can visibly see her tremor.

Continue reading here

UPDATED Blessed Mary of the Cross MacKillop.......Patroness of Whistleblowers?

Previously we have blogged about the one of the up and coming new saints on the block, Blessed Mary MacKillop from Australia who is to be canonised by Pope Benedict XVI on 17th October 2010. To celebrate the event, Sacred Space 102fm will be broadcasting an interview with Sr Margaret O'Sullivan about the life, times and tribulations of Mary MacKillop and  the ongoing work of her congregation the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart and here online we will be posting various links, reflections and quotes from Australia's new saint around the time of the canonisation.

But an interesting development has been reported by the uber-blogger Rocco Palmo on his blog Whispers in the Loggia where "in the run-up to the historic day, the backdrop to one of the more intriguing angles of MacKillop's journey to sainthood has come to light with a revelation that, given the tenor of these times, is bound to make her final ascent even more high-profile than it's already been".

Five years after her establishment of the Sisters of St Joseph, alleging that the foundress had incited her community to "disobedience and defiance," Bl Mary -- then all of 29 years old -- was excommunicated by the bishop of Adelaide, who retracted the sentence five months later on his deathbed... and in a documentary slated to air on Oz's state broadcaster a week before the 17 October canonization, the context behind the move emerges.
While serving with the Sisters of St Joseph, MacKillop and her fellow nuns heard disturbing stories about a priest, Father Keating from the Kapunda parish north of Adelaide, who was allegedly abusing children.

They told their director, a priest called Father Woods, who then went to the Vicar General. The Vicar General subsequently sent Father Keating back to his home country of Ireland, where he continued to serve as a priest.

Father Paul Gardiner, who has pushed for MacKillop's canonisation for 25 years, says Father Keating's fellow Kapunda priest Father Horan swore revenge on the nun for uncovering the abuse.

For more about it, catch up with Rocco here.


We should give some coverage to the correction that needs to be made about the media story that Mary MacKillop was excommunicated because she exposed a priest who abused children, with the postulater of her cause, Fr. Paul Gardiner (the postulator is the person who has to examine in detail the lofe and writings of any prospective saint and present their case for canonisation to the church) considered the foremost authority on the history of MacKillop, said his words had been twisted to suit the "ill will" of media outlets. "There was a long chain of causation. Somehow or other, somebody typed it up as if to say I said Mary MacKillop was the one to report the sex abuse," Father Gardiner said. "I never said it - it's just false - it's the ill will of people who are anxious to see something negative about the Catholic Church. There's already enough mud to throw, though."

You can read more about it here and here.

23 Sep 2010

UPDATED 26th September 2009 - 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

On this weeks show we are (re)introduced to Limerick Diocesan Pastoral Centre (LDPC) by Noirín Lynch and she highlights some of the up coming courses and events being organised in the diocese, our regular prayer space for your thoughts and intentions, our weekly reflection on this weeks Gospel, a quick highlight of this weeks Saints and of upcoming things on EWTN.

Limerick Diocesan Pastoral Centre

We have a brief discussion with Noirín Lynch from the Limerick Diocesan Pastoral Centre. Noirín is the Pastoral Coordinator from the centre and mainly works in supporting parishes. Her role involves being a resource person to the parishes of the diocese as they work. During her discussion she talks about the work and support offered by LDPC more information on which is available on the LDPC's website and also through its semi-annual programme magazine Eolas which can be got free of sharge from the Pastoral Centre at 061-400133 or downloaded from here. Some up coming things being organised by the Pastoral Centre which Noirín highlights in the next few weeks:
  • The launch of a new Prayerbook celebrating the faith of the people of the Diocese of Limerick.  The book entitled Diocese of Limerick - Prayers of Our People has been compiled as the result of a Diocesan Youth Ministry Project entitled “What’s Your Favourite Prayer?”  where young people were asked to collect the favourite prayers of their families, neighbours and friends. Over 850 young people from the Diocese of Limerick as well as 13 parishes from neighbouring Dioceses submitted prayers which we have put together in this unique collection. It is a strong possibility that a prayer chosen by you, or someone you know and love will feature in this book so it would be great to see you on the night. All proceeds from the sale of this book will go towards Youth Ministry in the Diocese of Limerick. The launch will be held at the Woodlands House Hotel Adare on Thursday October 14th at 7pm.
  • The annual Autumn conference organised by LDPC for members of parish pastoral councils and those in parish ministry with the theme this year of "We are gathered as a Eucharistic Community" which will be held at the Pastoral Centre on Saturday 23rd October 2010 from 10.30am to 4pm with various workshops and moments of reflection to support those in ministry in their various parishes through this difficult time.
At the sametime LDPC is looking at the work it has carried out over the last five years especially in the area's of support to parish councils and those in ministry and Noirin and Fr Noel Kirwin are looking for feedback from Pastoral Areas and individual Parish Pastoral Councils about the support and effectiveness of the effort being made by the teams working through LDPC. All feedback is gratefully received and the team at the centre can be contacted on 061-400133 or nlynch@ldpc.ie

Gospel Reflection

This weeks gospel from St Luke focus's on the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. It is a challenging gospel about our relationships with others and our awareness of them - who well do we "see and hear" our neighbours, how often do we really "notice" those in need around us? At the sametime, following on from last weeks gospel about the bad steward and the discussion about the role of money in life,  this week we are shown again how riches in themselves are not a bad thing, but rather what we do with them that sets us apart as being true "children of light". Further thoughts on this weeks gospel are available here, here, here and here.

 Saints of the Week

Mon 27th Sept - St Vincent de Paul (Priest)
Tue 28th Sept - St Wenceslaus (Martyr) or Saints Laurence Ruiz and his Companions, (Martyrs)
Wed 29th Sept - Feast of the Archangels - Sts Michael, Gabriel and Raphael
Thurs 30th Sept - St Jerome (Priest, Doctor of the Church)
Fri 1st Oct - St Therese of the Child Jesus (St Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower) (Virgin, Doctor of the Church) - First Friday
Sat 2nd Oct - Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels

And as always, thanks for listening

John, Lorraine and Shane

22 Sep 2010

Up and coming on Sacred Space 102fm

Just to give you our listeners (and readers) an idea what is coming up in the next few weeks on the show as we head into the end of the Autumn in October, the end of one liturgical year and the beginning of another.

One of the up coming highlights is our interview with the Josephite Sisters about the canonisation of Australia's first native saint, Blessed Mary MacKillop, which we blogged about previously. We hope to broadcast around the time of the canonisation in Rome on the 17th October 2010.

October is the month which is dedicated to the Rosary and also to the Missions with Mission Sunday taking place on 24th October 2010 with the theme this year of "Together in Mission". Sacred Space 102fm is going to have a number of interviews with various missionaries during the month, both lay and religious, with interviews with members of the Volunteer Missionary Movement, and VIDES Erin who give a lay perspective on the changed understanding of mission in this era of declining religious vocations. We will also have a discussion about mission and the Pope Benedict  XVI's message for Mission Sunday and a reminder about the Pontifical Missionary Societies in Ireland known as World Mission Ireland on Mission Sunday itself.

We also continue our series of interviews with priests and religious this month focusing on the Salesian Family with interviews with Fr Koenraad Van Gucht SDB, chaplain at University of Limerick and Sr Dympna Clancy FMA about her work in and around Limerick city and with VIDES Erin.

Coming up in the following weeks after that, we will have an interview with John Pridmore who speaks to us about his journey from gangland to promised land, secondary teacher and avid walker John McCrohan introduces us to the Camino de Santiago (The Way of St James) in northern Spain and we have up coming pieces about the mystic Julian of Norwich and an introduction for Irish listeners to the shrine of Our Lady of Walshingham in England.

Of course we will continue with the central focus of our programmes, our weekly reflection on the Sunday Gospel reading; as well as some inspirational music, chat, what’s on locally and not so locally including radio and tv, Sacred Space 102fm's recommended books from Irish publishers Veritas and Columba all presented by John Keily, our regular panelists and invited guests.

Looking forward to you joining us each Sunday morning between 10am and 11am on West Limerick 102fm and online.

Thanks for listening!

John, Lorraine and Shane

What is the point of being a Christian? - Timothy Radcliffe OP - An extended book review

Veritas – truth – is the motto of the Dominican Order, and the truth of Christianity is the challenge posed to and by the Dominican author of this extremely enjoyable, and thought provoking book.
When challenged about the point of Christianity, Radcliffe realises that if “the point of religion is to point to God who is the point of everything…it makes no sense to ask whether belief in God is relevant, because God is the measure of all relevance,”[1] and “if Christianity is true, then it does not have a point other than to point to God who is the point of everything”[2]. In our post-modern, even post-Christian world, in which the appeal to authority and tradition is no longer sufficient to convince people of the validity of ones belief and the appropriateness of religion in general, the rediscovery of the phenomenon that is the message of Christianity is presented as the way to re-introduce the truth of Christianity to the modern world.   

19 Sep 2010

Bl John Henry Newman - The Mission of my life

God has created me to do him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission-I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments.

Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain; He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends, He may throw me among strangers, He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide the future from me-still He knows what He is about.

Bl John Henry Newman

Praise to the Holiest in the Heights

“The Dream of Ge­ron­ti­us,” 1865.

The ed­it­or of The Month: An Il­lus­trat­ed Mag­a­zine of Lit­er­a­ture, Sci­ence and Art asked New­man if he could con­trib­ute some­thing, and Blessed John Henry New­man sub­mit­ted this po­em. These lyr­ics ap­peared in hymn­als short­ly there­af­ter.

Praise to the Holiest in the height,
And in the depth be praise;
In all His words most wonderful,
Most sure in all His ways.

O loving wisdom of our God!
When all was sin and shame,
A second Adam to the fight
And to the rescue came.

O wisest love! that flesh and blood,
Which did in Adam fail,
Should strive afresh against the foe,
Should strive and should prevail.

And that a higher gift than grace
Should flesh and blood refine,
God’s Presence and His very Self,
And Essence all divine.

O generous love! that He, who smote,
In Man for man the foe,
The double agony in Man
For man should undergo.

And in the garden secretly,
And on the Cross on high,
Should teach His brethren, and inspire
To suffer and to die.
Praise to the Holiest in the height,
And in the depth be praise;
In all His words most wonderful,
Most sure in all His ways

16 Sep 2010

UPDATED - 19th September 2010 - 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time - Year C

This weeks show has a brief discussion about Pope Benedict's visit to the UK on a State visit as well as a discussion about Cardinal John Henry Newmans beatification, our weekly reflection of  the Sunday Gospel, a quick review of the Irish Catholic and a review of Timothy Radcliffe's OP book "What is the point of being a Christian?".

Popes Trip to UK and the beatification of  John Henry Newman
The offical website of the visit is here and we posted a introduction to John Henry Newman earlier in the week here. The article that Shane and Lorraine discuss on the show from First Things is here and check out the blog of The Anchoress which is posted in our blogroll on the right hand side.


If you want to read the text of the various addresses, homilies and comments of the Pope during his visit to the UK, the Vatican website has them all available here.

Update 2:

All the coverage by the National Catholic Reporter including various pieces about Blessed Newman available here.

Update 3:

All the coverage by the Catholic Herald in the UK can be found here.

Gospel Reflection
This weeks gospel from Luke 16:1-13 is the parable of the unjust steward where we are challanged to be prudent and yet be careful not to let the attractions of this world distract us from the next. It is a difficult passage this week so we decided to post some other links with reflections and viewpoints for you to look at, reflect on and pray over here, here, and here and as the week progresses and we find some more we will post those extra links.

Update 4:

From Msgr Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington an interesting few thoughts on the gospel of the day or from Fr .Philip Neri Powell, OP who blogs at Domine, da mihi hanc aquam. 

Book Review
A new feature of the show is begun this week with our monthly book review. The intention is to share books with our listeners that they may be interested. We will try to vary the type of book we review and do a selection from those that will provide you with some "mental meat" to chew on, encouraging and challanging you, to those that aid in reflection and prayer and everything in between.

This weeks books is What is the point of being a Christian? which comes with a high recommendation from Lorraine and Shane although it is a very challanging book which needs to be ruminated over as you progress through it with a lot of food for thought from Timothy Radcliffe OP.

Saints of the Week
We ran out of time on air to discuss the liturgical events of the coming week but we decided to give you the dates and information about our celestial guides for the upcoming week below:

Mon 20- Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Priest, and Paul Chong Hasang, and their Companions, the Korean Martyrs
Tue 21 - Saint Matthew, Apostle, Evangelist
Thu 23 - Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio), here and here ; and St Adomnán (9th Century Abbot of Iona)
Fri 24 -
St Theodore of Canterbury (Bishop)
Sat 25 - St Finbar (Bishop) - Patron of the Diocese of Cork (and Cork City), here and here

And as always, thanks for listening!

John, Lorraine and Shane

Cardinal Newman: A new Blessed for the Church

On Sunday, Pope Benedict will beatify John Henry Newman and the following video will give you some information about this new Blessed.

Some more information is available at The Oratory in Birmingham which was set up by Newman and the official website of Pope Benedicts visit to the UK and if you want to read some of the writings of Newman.

A couple of interesting articles about Newman including from the British Jesuits,  and an article by Tony Blair in this weeks L'Osservatore Romano.

10 Sep 2010

I never had the time

I knelt to pray but not for long,
I had too much to do.
I had to hurry and get to work
For bills would soon be due.
So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,
And jumped up off my knees.
My Christian duty was now done.
My soul could rest at ease.
All day long I had no time.
To spread a word of cheer.
No time to speak of Christ to friends,
They'd laugh at me I'd fear.
No time, no time, too much to do,
That was my constant cry,
No time to give to souls in need.
But at last the time, the time to die.
I went before the Lord, I came,
I stood with downcast eyes.
For in his hands God held a book;
It was the book of life.
God looked into his book and said
"Your name I cannot find.
I once was going to write it down...
But never found the time"

Podcasts of the Show

We are busy working on getting our podcasts of the show online so that you can listen back to the show when you want and hopefully within the next few days that should be up and running.

In the meantime alot of people have asked us if the programme can be repeated especially for those of our listeners out there who may not be so "net" friendly. We are encouraging you to contact the station asking for repeats of the programme - we are after all a community radio station and have to respond to our community's needs! Contact information for the station is in the sidebar on the right!

Thanks again for listening!

John, Lorraine and Shane

Teach us to pray

"Lord, teach us to pray.” Are there any words in the Gospel more poignant than these? Here is a phrase that pulls us to the very core of belief—a request that cries out for consolation, instruction, guidance and hope. Throw us a lifeline, Jesus. We need help. Teach us to pray! After two millennia, this plaintive call continues to echo in the human heart. Give us the words. Help us find a way to express what we feel, honestly and humbly, and maybe—just maybe—allow us to glimpse the face of God. Teach us. Please.
I have struggled with prayer for most of my life. For some, it comes naturally, like a sneeze or a smile. Not for me. I have a hard time escaping the fact that I am inadequate to the task. I cannot help feeling that God is peering over my shoulder as I try to pray, and shaking his head in disbelief. You must be kidding, God says to himself. You call that praying? Give me a break!

Lectio Divina III – Scripture as transforming personal prayer

"Lord, teach us to pray" has been the cry of the followers of Christ from the time of the apostles to today; both a prayer and an exhortation, a longing which was expressed by St Augustine as that restlessness that exists at the centre of the human person where "our hearts know no rest until it may repose in thee". We are constantly seeking to pray, where we recognise that prayer is a relationship with God. But "the wonder of prayer is revealed beside the well where we come seeking water: there, Christ comes to meet every human being. It is he who first seeks us and asks us for a drink. Jesus thirsts; his asking arises from the depths of God's desire for us. Whether we realise it or not, prayer is the encounter of God's thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him." "Prayer is the living relationship of the children of God with their Father who is good beyond measure, with his Son Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit. The life of prayer is the habit of being in the presence of the thrice holy God and in communion with him".

9 Sep 2010

12th September 2010 - 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

This weeks show to go out on Sunday morning at 10am had a discussion with Stephanie O'Donnell from Youth 2000 Ireland about one of the "gigs" of the summer held at Clonmacnoise, our regular discussion about this weeks Gospel, a reminder of our celestial guides for the coming liturgical week and an introduction to our new blog.

Youth 2000

Stephanie O'Donnell came back for a return visit to the show to tells us about what Youth 2000 Ireland got upto for the summer with their Youth Festival at Clonmacnoise where up to 1000 young people from all over Ireland attended the alternative summer festival

Youth 2000 is an international movement of young people called to spread the Good News of the Catholic faith and share this experience with other young people. They have around 40 weekly prayer groups around the country, 16 to 18 weekend retreats throughout the year, a summer festival, an annual ball and various other social events - all organised by young people, for young people. Their motto is "Youth leading youth to the heart of the Church."

Local regular Youth 2000 meetings are held at the following places:
  • Abbeyfeale - every month on the second Saturday - the next one is 9th October 2010 
  • Dominican Priory on Glentworth St., Off O'Connell St. every Wednesdays @ 8.15 pm
  • Lixnaw Convent Chapel, Tralee Co. Kerry every Thursdays at 7.30pm


This week’s gospel reflected on during the show is the short version of the set gospel for this week and focuses on the two parables of the shepherd seeking the lost sheep and the woman seeking the lost coin. These parables have been called the parables of God's mercy and viewed as the distilled essence of the Gospel emphasising the extravagant love of God.

Saints of the Week
13th Sept - St John Chrysostom, Bishop, Doctor of the Church
14th Sept - The Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Feast)
16th Sept - St's Cornelius (Pope) and Cyprian (Bishop), Martyrs
17th Sept - St Robert Bellarmine, Bishop, Doctor of the Church

Lectio Divina II - A New Spiritual Springtime

Excerpts from the address of Benedict XVI delivered in the courtyard of the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, on Sept. 16, 2005 to 400 participants in the international congress on "Sacred Scripture in the Life of the Church." The Sept. 14-18 congress, in Rome, attracted 400 experts, including about 100 bishops. The initiative commemorated the 40th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's dogmatic constitution on divine Revelation, "Dei Verbum."

"We are grateful to God that in recent times, and thanks to the impact made by the Dogmatic Constitution "Dei Verbum" the fundamental importance of the Word of God has been deeply re-evaluated. From this has derived a renewal of the Church's life, especially in her preaching, catechesis, theology and spirituality, and even in the ecumenical process. The Church must be constantly renewed and rejuvenated and the Word of God, which never ages and is never depleted, is a privileged means to achieve this goal. Indeed, it is the Word of God, through the Holy Spirit, which always guides us to the whole truth (cf. John 16:13).
In this context, I would like in particular to recall and recommend the ancient tradition of "Lectio divina": "the diligent reading of Sacred Scripture accompanied by prayer brings about that intimate dialogue in which the person reading hears God who is speaking, and in praying, responds to him with trusting openness of heart" (cf. "Dei Verbum," n. 25). If it is effectively promoted, this practice will bring to the Church -- I am convinced of it -- a new spiritual springtime.
As a strong point of biblical ministry, "Lectio divina" should therefore be increasingly encouraged, also through the use of new methods, carefully thought through and in step with the times. It should never be forgotten that the Word of God is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path (cf. Psalm 119[118]:105).

Australia's new saint - Blessed Mary MacKillop

Brave, courageous, determined.....some of the words used to describe the first canonised saint from Australia, Blessed Mary MacKillop. The canonisation will take place on October 17th 2010.

Blessed Mary co-founded the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart with Julian Tenison Woods in 1866 know affectionatly as the Brown Joey's. We congratulate our local Josephite sisters and look forward to speaking with them in the near future closer to the canonisation in Rome.

To visit the website dedicated to Blessed Mary MacKillop go here which includes testimonials to this amazing woman.

To ask the Sisters of St Joseph in Ireland to pray for your concerns and intentions through the intercession of Blessed Mary MacKillop - email - marymackillopireland@gmail.com

Lectio Divina I

by Fr. Luke Dysinger, O.S.B.


A very ancient art, practiced at one time by all Christians, is the technique known as lectio divina - a slow, contemplative praying of the Scriptures which enables the Bible, the Word of God, to become a means of union with God. This ancient practice has been kept alive in the Christian monastic tradition, and is one of the precious treasures of Benedictine monastics and oblates. Together with the Liturgy and daily manual labor, time set aside in a special way for lectio divina enables us to discover in our daily life an underlying spiritual rhythm. Within this rhythm we discover an increasing ability to offer more of ourselves and our relationships to the Father, and to accept the embrace that God is continuously extending to us in the person of his Son Jesus Christ.

7 Sep 2010

5th September 2010 - 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

This weeks show had a short tribute to the great Irish actor Mick Lally, an interview with Carol Harnett about the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham, a reflection of the Gospel for the day, Saints of the Week and a quick gallop through some of the catholic media.

Maryvale Institute

An interview was done with Carol Harnett who is the Catechists Course Coordinator at Maryvale who introduce the Maryvale Institute to our listeners and explained about the various courses and opportunities for further education with the Institute both on-site and by distance learning.

Further information about the two year Certificate in Catechesis is available here and general information about the Maryvale Institue here

Gospel Reading

Luke 14: 25-33

Saints of the Week

Sept 8th - Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Sept 9th - St Ciarán of Clonmacnoise, Abbot

Media Roundup

Review of the Irish Catholic newspaper and EWTN TV.

3 Sep 2010


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