30 Oct 2010

Some web browsing

Well as we approach All Hallows Eve and the beginning of November and the remembrance of our dead, there is a bit of a discussion about what is the meaning of Halloween in light of the feast of All Saints with one blogger making the suggestion for the day would be the praying of the Litany of Saints

The Anchoress notes that:
"the other thing I love about All Hallow’s Eve is the next day: All Saints Day. That is a holy day of obligation that I particularly love, because there is an intimacy to it. In blustery weather, usually damp and chill, the Catholics troop to mass and remember those who came before us. It’s like spiritually visiting the graves of our beloved. We remember the stories and remember where we have come from, and that helps us to remember who we are. It helps remind us that we want to keep walking the straight, narrow path that will unite us all before the throne! And there is something about coming out of that mass and looking around; there is at autumn in full swing – the leaves baring, showing upraised arms that look like our prayers of supplication; there are the busy people in busy cars, zooming by indifferently, and somehow I feel so connected to all of the trees and all of the people. I feel at one with them, privileged to have been able to stop, remember and pray, in and for a world so busy, so indifferent, and so nakedly needful. I step out of the All Saints Day mass and feel a oneness that makes me feel, for however briefly it lasts, a keen and wistful love for the whole world."
Bishop Kevin Farrell gives a small reflection on All Hallows Eve as does Fr Charles Pope and asks "How about Halloween?"

Patheos.com has a couple of interesting posts about Halloween. Christine Paintner posts Luminous Wisdom of Night: Reflections on All Saints and All Souls and Star Foster reflects on the Hallows Tide.

An interesting reflection from a regular fan of Sacred Space about the role of Art at the Service of the Liturgy and a living example of of art live in action. 

An question reflection about kneeling, "On our knees, we're the same height as our children..."

The Washington Post has a piece discussing how there is "Nothing unreasonable about religious belief".

It’s not often that an Iranian Ayatollah addresses a Synod at the Vatican – in fact, until last week, it had never happened. But on Oct. 14, Ayatollah Seyed Mostafa Mohaghegh Ahmadabadi, popularly known as Mohaghegh Damad, gave an intervention at the Synod on the Middle East currently taking place in Rome, becoming the first Iranian Shi’ite Muslim ever to do so. Speaking with him in interview shortly after his speech, he discussed his relationship with the Iranian government and his controversial views on Israel but he also expressed concerns that secularism is leading to godless societies without values. A genial and somewhat eccentric Islamic scholar, he has a doctorate in law from the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, and currently teaches law at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran. A co-founder of the Common Word initiative which is trying to foster closer Catholic-Muslim relations, he said he has personally invited the Pope to visit Iran.

29 Oct 2010

LIVE BROADCAST - 31st October 2010 - 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

This Sunday we are Broadcasting live from Newcastle West, Co.Limerick from 10am to 11am (Winter time GMT!!).

We will be in Studio for another Sacredspace Hour where we will play some inspirational music, read and reflect on the beautiful Gospel about Zacchaeus, Talk with Stephanie O'Donnell from Youth 2000 and review the Irish Catholic Newspaper and upcoming Programmes on EWTN TV & Radio.

We welcome all of our Blog friends from across the world - from Ireland to Australia, Columbia to India, Denmark to South Korea and Canada to Vietnam - Thank you for joining us.

We invite you to comment on the Programme through the comment box below or by emailing us at sacredspace102@gmail.com

Listen live at http://www.westlimerickradio.ie/ws/listen-live and let us know which country you are listening to the programme from.

For those who cannot join us 'Live' , please bear with us - we are close to putting up Podcasts of Programmes.


22 Oct 2010

24th October 2010 - Mission Sunday

This weeks show looks at the celebration of Mission Sunday and the need for mission starting with ourselves and our families, reflection on the gospel of the day as well as an extended visit to the Saints of the Week, the Irish Catholic and EWTN.

Mission Sunday

The theme for World Mission Sunday in Ireland this year is Together in Mission. This togetherness found a deep resonance during Mission Month last year when we were praying for the safety and speedy release of Fr Michael Sinnott, the Columban Missionary who had been kidnapped in the Philippines. His plight and the response to it was a fitting tribute to how we are truly together in mission - each of us involved according to our circumstances, contributing our gifts of prayer, the offering of our sufferings and whatever financial contribution we can make to bring about the Lord's kingdom of justice and peace.

In his letter for Mission Sunday this year, Pope Benedict XVI wrote, "Please support the Younger Churches by your prayers. In spite of present economic difficulties, please also give them material support. The Mission Sunday collection organised by the Pontifical Mission Societies, to whom I express my gratitude, will go towards the support of priests, seminarians, religious and catechists in distant missionary lands."

Diocese of Limerick - Prayers of our People

"What's Your Favourite Prayer?" was the Limerick Diocesan Youth Project in 2007/2008 and on 14th October 2010, the result of that project consisting of prayers from over 850 young people from the Diocese of Limerick as well as 13 parishes from neighbouring dioceses was launched at the Woodlands House Hotel in Adare, Co Limerick.

The great thing to come out from the project stressed by Fr Chris O'Donnell during the launch was the fact that despite all the negativity about the Church and young people that it demonstrated the prayerfulness of the people of the diocese and in particular the fact that the youth of the diocese were people of prayer from families of prayer.

The prayer book is available for €6 from Limerick Diocesan Pastoral Centre contactable at 061-400133 and all funds raised go to support youth ministry in the diocese of Limerick.

The Battle of the Prayers
 During the compilation of the book the following interesting facts were noted:

The top three favourite prayers of Limerick Diocese were

3. Our Father

2. Prayers to our Guardian Angels

1. Hail Mary

The "Memorare" and the "Hail Holy Queen" are two popular prayers to Our Lady; with the Memorare coming out on top as a firm favourite.

In terms of favourite saints, coming in as runner up to St Patrick, the young people of the diocese of Limerick's favourite saint is:

St Francis of Assisi

What are you Praying at?!(otherwise known as 'out of the mouth of babes')
And then there was a couple of times when it was hard to work out exactly what was being prayered by the youngsters in the diocese with some interesting interpretations on familiar prayers (which just goes to show, Irish adults should slow down saying their prayers, you never know what way it can be picked up!!!):

The correct prayer would be - "Our Father, who art in heaven"

Some people thought was:
  • Our Father who does art in Heaven
  • Our Father who worked in Heaven
  • Our Father who ark in Heaven
  • Our Father who aren’t in Heaven
'Hallowed be thy name'
  • Harold be thy name
  • hello be thy name
  • Halloween be thy name
  • How did ya know my name?
‘Thy Kingdom come’
  • Thy Kingdom Kong
  • Thy King don’t come
  • My Kingdom come
'Give us this day our daily bread’
  • Give us to stay our holy breath
  • Give us the state our Daly bread
  • Give us this day our staley bread

'Hail Mary full of grace' was interpreted as 'Hail Mary, full of grapes' 
'Blessed art thou amongst women' was interpreted as 'Bless it our doubt amongst women' or even 'Bless a dart down among women'
'Blessed is the fruit of your womb' was understood as 'Blessesd is the fruit of thy wound' or even 'Blessed is the fruit of thy moon'

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

Something to give you a pick-me-up, and I dare you not to laugh out loud at it! A  three year old conducting the 4th movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony

How would you descibe Christianity in one word? Eric Sammons tries and suggests communion

For those who feel that there is no hope, over at the catholic portal Summa This Summa That, Pat Gohn has a piece which she describes as one that you should "file this in the if-you-are-going-through-hell-keep-on-going file. Hope is often lurking just beneath the surface of our fears or challenges".
While Kathy Coffey reminds us of the Spiritulaity of Work  and Tim Muldoon looks at people who are adrift from the church.
Continuing on the articles about the wearing of the religious habit, Patheos.com continues a new series The Habit of Witness with two short articles here and here from women religious about their experences of wearing the habit,
Imagine the scene: a little café full of people, either bustling about or chatting at tables while warming their frozen hands around steaming cups of java. Two nuns walk through the door and it seems like all eyes turn their way. One patron calls out, “Sisters, you have made a lot of people happy today!”

We smiled our biggest smiles, the words warming our frozen cheeks. But what does one say to that?

I felt so small, so human, and so humbled that I just wanted to drop down on the floor and say, “I’ll try harder, I promise!”
Most nuns and sisters could tell numerous stories about people’s reactions to the habit — all good; all humbling; all manifesting how the habit speaks a universal language and points to the reality of God. People notice the wedding ring and wonder why I wear one, while children respond to the habit most perceptively, asking, “Are you God’s wife?” There are the smiles as people walk by, the waves from across the street.

But the habit is primarily a witness to the person wearing it.
It’s breast cancer awareness month, and the Anchoress has reprinted a piece written a couple of years ago by Pat Gohn, about her own breast cancer, and the a deep and faith-filled friendship that came like a balm and gift to counter the medical chaos:
Sometimes friendships blossom where we least expect them — like in foxholes. That echoes my relationship with Judi. I was in a battle, but lacked experience. As a cancer veteran, Judi helped me adjust my armor while pointing out weapons to fight my fear. She spoke about her own suffering and struggles with faith, what it means to deal with utter darkness and then choose to reach for the light. Walking me through that minefield, Judi was a one-woman support group and mentor rolled into one.
Months went by. My treatment and recovery period yielded an excellent prognosis. Conversations with Judi changed from cancer to other subjects. We had Christ and cancer in common, but slowly found more.
You’ll want to read it all, and if you know someone whose life has been touched by breast cancer, why not forward it to them? Especially if they’re feeling distanced from faith, because of it!

A couple of more reflections following on from the rescue of the Chilean (and one Bolivean) miners last week. Writing in the Huffington Post, Rabbi Elie Kaunfer notes how Chilean Miner Rescue, Celebration Gives New Meaning to Old Prayers and Edward Murray writes on how A Moment For Sacred Metaphors: How the Chilean Miners Helped To Rescue Us

In the world of ecclesial international politics this week, the Holy Father has announced his intention to create new members of the College of Cardinals, check out Rocco for the details and analysis of what it all means.

Given the context of Christian-Islam relations, an interesting reminder of some of the sacrifices made by Christians in the name of peace for people both Muslim and Christian.

And it seems that in the Eternal City, a Catholic pub opens in an historic Roman crypt.

Thank you

Just a quick thank you to all our visitors since we started our blog for Sacred Space 102fm. To date we have had visitors from:

  • Iraq
  • Lebanon
  • Mexico
  • Denmark
  • Bulgaria
  • Ukraine
  • Australia
  • Uganda
  • Madagascar
  • New Zealand
  • Kenya
  • UK
  • USA
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Canada
  • Columbia
  • Japan
  • Russia
  • Poland
  • Holland
  • Vietnam
  • Germany
  • India
  • Slovenia
  • Greece
  • Philippines

 To all our visitors, thank you very much!
One of the most popular pages that is visited is our podcast pages and we hope to have them up soon as we have begun finalising the issue of the music we broadcast on the show as well as some technical issues behind the podcasts themselves. Thanks for your patience.
Yours in prayer
John, Lorraine and Shane

17 Oct 2010

Quote of the Day - Unity

"Oh if the Church everywhere were only more united, not one bishop against another, one religious Order or branch against another, one community so jealous of another, if the causes of these things were but removed, or some remedies applied, then God might get more.....and a wicked world less."
- St Mary of the Cross MacKillop

Sanctus nobis.........

..... rather we have six new saints

  • Mary of the Cross MacKillop
  • Brother Andre - Canadian monk said to have been able to heal the sick
  • Stanislaw Soltys - 15th Century Polish priest
  • Giulia Salzano - 19th Century Italian nun who founded a convent near Naples
  • Camilla Battista da Varano - wealthy Italian who founded a convent in the 15th Century
  • Candida Maria de Jesus Cipitria y Barriola - Spanish founder of a 19th Century convent

But as Fr Paul Gardiner SJ the postulator for the cause of Mary MacKillop points out, canonisations are about holiness not miracles

16 Oct 2010

Patron Saints

One of the popular item on the programme is our Saints of the Week review where we discuss the upcoming feasts and memoria of our celestial companions. But have you ever considered the following:

1. Who are the patron saint's you are called after and when are their feast days?

2. Which saint's feast day is the date of your birthday?

3. Which saints feast day is the date of your baptism? (and how many of us even know that date???)

Also, Sacred Space 102fm Blog is looking for a patron saint! We have already had one suggestion but we are looking for a few more. Please follow the link and leave your suggestions for our celestial patron for our blog.

15 Oct 2010

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

One of the great photos of the uplifting event of the week! And following on from last Sunday's gospel about the need to remember to give thanks to God the whole world seemed to give thanks for the rescue of the 32 Chilean and 1 Bolivian miner. Interesting views and stories on the story during the week were how it was surely praying at their "makeshift shrine" that kept the Chilean miners sane. and how the first thing asked for by the miners when contact was made with them was a crucifix so that they could set up a small shrine down in the mine with many other makeshift shrines near the mine shaft.

David Quinn gives his opinion about the impact of faith during the crisis in his column in the Irish Independent - Why there were no athetists in the mine. And Nuala O Loan reminds us that despite what some people think, Religion is not a Problem.

And one of the great quotes of the week had to be:
"There are actually 34 of us, because God has never left us down here."
 - 19-year-old Chilean miner Jimmy Sanchez, in a letter sent up from the mine Tuesday. You can read more about Jimmy here.

At the same time, it also reminded us in Ireland that the element of folk religion, where it is part of the everyday fabric of our lives is something we need to rediscover with the example of the miners as they remembered to invoke their patron saint - St Lawrence (see pic)

And the Anchoress gives a quick reflection on the example of Mario Sepúlveda Espinace who returned from the depths bearing gifts....for others.
"[He]crested the top of a hole from which he thought he might never escape, and his first instinct was to give. That’s a thing worth writing about, and thinking about and praying about. I wish I had a picture of that moment! How huge and resilient is the human spirit?"

Back to the Synod about the Church in the Middle East, John Allen gives some interesting coverage and insight into the issues being raised by the Patriarchs and Bishops at the NCR blog with discussions about the role of the Eastern Churches in the universal church, the need to allow them to ordain their serving priests in Europe and North America as is their tradition and right, and interesting perspectives from Muslims and Jews about the relationship between the three Abrahamic faiths.

If you want to read more about the different Eastern Catholic Churches, CNEWA has a special magazine out this month with various articles about our Christian brethren in the Middle East.

The issue of tolerance and the role of Christianity in a secular society was sort of summed up during the week by Madeline L'Engle

"We do not draw people to Christ by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it."
In her regular Tuesday column, Elizabeth Scalia (aka The Anchoress) discusses how although we live in a tolerant society, for many of the social "lepers" around us, there is still a vast amount of intolerance.

Bishop Paul D Etienne reminds us on his weekly blog how we need to rediscover a centre or a
Core of Life to our everyday existence.

Of course, Sunday 17th is the Canonisation of Mary MacKillop and in case you missed me, Sacred Space 102fm has had a series of bits and pieces about Mary during the week which you can find
here. And make sure you tune in on Sunday morning for our interview with Sr Margaret O Sullivan about this great Australian Saint.

During the week we nearly forgot the memorial of Blessed John XXIII - Good Pope John and you can catch up on some reflections and favourite speeches of this beloved Pope
here. with a quick biography of him here and one his most famous impromptu speeches.
"When you head home, find your children. Hug and kiss your children and tell them: 'This is the hug and kiss of the Pope.' And when you find them with tears to dry, give them a good word. Give anyone who suffers a word of comfort. Tell them 'The Pope is with us especially in our times of sadness and bitterness.' And then, all together, may we always come alive -- whether to sing, to breathe, or to cry, but always full of trust in Christ, who helps us and hears us, let us continue along our path.”

In a challenge to the world, former Czech president and Nobel prize winner Vaclav Havel gave a speech in which he challenge the prevailing culture and predicted that the "First ‘atheistic civilisation’ is heading for catastrophe".

Holding onto faith can be difficult at times, but sometimes
people of faith should be thankful for doubt. And Pope Benedict XVI speaking in Rome during the week noted that "It is the faith of the simple that knocks down false gods"

An unusual journalistic endeavour this week on the Pat Kenny radio show, a journalists take on a pilgrimage to Knock.

Given our spiralling unemployment rate, the Anchoress gives us some inspiration in the form of a
Rosary for Jobseekers.

And through out it all, perhaps we need to remember that we need to live in the now,
struggle to live in the present moment and that sometimes it is important not to do anything,

Quote of the Day - St Teresa of Avila

Friday 15th October is the feast of St Teresa of Ávila who was a prominent Spanish mystic, Roman Catholic saint, Carmelite nun, and writer of the Counter Reformation, and theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer. She was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered to be, along with John of the Cross, a founder of the Discalced Carmelites

"Let nothing trouble you,
let nothing make you afraid.
All things pass away.
God never changes.
Patience obtains everything.
God alone is enough"

13 Oct 2010

Quote of the Day

"There are actually 34 of us, because God has never left us down here."

-- 19-year-old Chilean miner Jimmy Sanchez, in a letter sent up from the mine Tuesday

12 Oct 2010

17th October 2010 - 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

This weeks show is a bit different as the Sacred Space 102fm team are introduced to the newest saint on the block - St Mary of the Cross MacKillop!

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

Sr Margaret O'Sullivan RSJ (originally from Carrigkerry) tells us about the life, times and tribulations of Australia's first saint who is being raised to the glory of the altars by Pope Benedict XVI in Rome on 17th October 2010.  God creates saints and through the process of canonisation the Church gives official recognition to the holiness of individual Christians and offers them as witnesses and examples to the faithful. .

Mary MacKillop was born in Melbourne Australia on 15th January 1842 and died in Sydney on 8th August 1909. The years in between saw one of Australia's most remarkable women demonstrate incredible strength, devotion, inspiration and absolute trust in God.

Join us to hear about the trials and tribulations of this new saint as she battled the difficult social and physical conditions as well as overcoming church politics including excommunication to succeed in establishing her congregation to aid the poor of Australia and also hear about the Irish connections with the congregation which began when Mary left Dublin on 28th October 1874 with 15 young women who joined her in her mission around Australia right up to the present day and the pioneering work of the sisters as they return to their homeland in Ireland sharing their gifts and experience in ordinary ways among their own people.

As well as discussing Mary MacKillop here with us on Sacred Space 102fm, Sr Margaret also had a recent interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation which was held with Trevor Chappell which you can listen to here.

Mary MacKillop & Pain: The Woman Bent Double – Sr Marie Therese Foale rsj

A reflection on the gospel passage about the Woman Bent Over – Luke 13:1017, as given in Adelaide(1.3.97) by Sr Marie Foale rsj.

Mary MacKillop was a woman bent double with spiritual, physical and emotional pain. Suffering, the Cross, was always a part of her life. Yet, like the woman in the story, she let the pain flow through her. It did not possess her. She did not become embittered but remained faithful to her God even when all she could see was darkness. Then, at the word of Jesus, she was able to stand straight again, look into his eyes, and move forward with renewed courage. For her, the healing happened not once, but many times.

Mary once wrote that her life as a child was one of sorrows and her family home, when she had one, was most unhappy. However, she could add: 'Yet for all that, my good God watched over me and guarded me'. [1] As a young woman in Portland, she met her first real test of faith – when she was blamed unjustly for having been involved in the uncovering of headteacher Cusack's dishonesty. This storm raged for the last four months she spent in Portland. Rather than let it crush her, however, she let the suffering pass through her and, at its end, blessed God forthe care he took of her mind and heart during those months. She stated that the more these troubles pressed on her, the more the peace and love and gratitude of her good God filled her heart. [2]

The Spirit of Mary MacKillop Today

‘Wherever we are, whoever we are,

whatever we do, we are called to

relieve suffering and bring hope.

An invitation from the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart (the Josephites)

The canonisation of St Mary MacKillop as Australia's first saint on October 17th has a special significance for us in Ireland. Mary MacKillop's name is well known to many Irish families who gave their daughters to the life and mission of the Sisters of St Joseph in Australia and New Zealand. Mary MacKillop's visit to Ireland in 1874 saw the beginning of a significant contribution from Ireland to the people of God in Australia and New Zealand. For this they rejoice and give thanks!

The Sisters of St Joseph would be delighted if you could join them to give thanks for the life of St Mary MacKillop and those who joined her as Sisters of St Joseph from many parts of Ireland.

The Mass to celebrate the Canonisation of St Mary Of the Cross MacKillop at St John's Cathedral Limerick November 7th 2010 at 12 noon.

All Welcome

For further information contact: Kathleen Murphy 061-602885

Quote of the Day

"....we are but travellors here"

- Blessed Mary of the Cross MacKillop

11 Oct 2010

11th October - Feast Day of Blessed Pope John XXIII (Good Pope John)

Quote of the Day - Suffering

"And with this burning appeal of the Sacred Heart [of Jesus] came such a rushing of longing desire on my part to be Its lover and Its own true child that, in a glance, the falseness of the world appeared to me; the beauty, the pity, and the generosity of the Sacred Heart in this loving appeal could not be resisted. And in Its cause, since It designed to raise me to It, I have never known aught but true peace and contentment of heart. Its love makes suffering sweet, Its love makes the world a desert. When storms rage, when persecutions or dangers threaten, I quietly creep into Its deep abyss, and securely sheltered there, my soul is in peace, though my body is tossed upon the stormy waves of a cold and selfish world."
- Blessed Mary of the Cross MacKillop 

10 Oct 2010

Quote of the Day

"The Cross is my portion - it is also my sweet rest and support. I could not be happy without my cross - I would not lay it down for all the world could give. With the Cross I am happy, but without it would be lost."

- Blessed Mary of the Cross MacKillop

9 Oct 2010

A Leper's Thanksgiving

Ten men silhouetted along the low ridge called to the leader of a small band below: "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us."

Bartholomew glanced up. Lepers, he thought. Ragged, pitiable lepers. From the time their skin disease was diagnosed, they were cut off from society, forced to live on their own in caves or huts away from towns. A fortunate few had relatives who would leave food for them, but many had no one. They weren't allowed close enough to beg for a living. Ragged, thin, rejected. Lepers. Even the word spoke an icy finality. "Have mercy on us!"

Their pleading cut through Bart's thoughts. Jesus was cupping his hands now, and calling across the low valley which lay between the road and the ridge where the lepers stood. His voice rang out sharp and compelling in the stillness of the morning. "Go! Show yourselves to the priests!"

8 Oct 2010

UPDATED A bit of browsing........

Just a little pick-me-up to get things started this week above.

Singer Joan Osbourne had a hit single titled “One of Us.” It questioned: “What if God was one of us?” This is the cry of many human hearts today and, yet…Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into the world taking on the visage and form of a human person. It was and is the greatest plan to ever win over a single heart to God, and an even more magnificent strategy for the salvation of the world. To read more have a look here.

Of course we are heading towards the 17th October and the canonisation of Blessed Mary MacKillop and America magazine has an editorial about Australia's first official saint. At the same time 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 life 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.

This Sunday sees the start of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East in Rome with a papal Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, and runs through Oct. 24. The inestimable John Allen notes that this will be the 23rd synod since the institution was launched under Paul VI in 1967. They bring together roughly 250 bishops, priests, religious women and men, and lay experts to advise the pope on some topic, and whatever else a synod may be......Going in, one measure of success for this synod will be its ability to look beyond the usual bleak script about Christianity in the Middle East -- crisis, conflict, and the threat of extinction -- and also ponder the creative contributions the region can make to global Catholic reflection.

The theme of the synod is "The Catholic Church in the Middle East: Communion and Witness" and it is interesting Synod as it challenges us in our understanding of the meaning of the term "catholic" - especially here in Ireland. There are 23 churches which are in communion with the Successor of St Peter and 22 of them will send representatives to the Synod in Rome and they offer a wide diversity in liturgy and examples of prayer. But as well as that they also give evidence to the need for a secular society which values a place for religion.

"Properly organized, a healthy secular society means freedom for, not freedom from, religion. It offers space for a more “evangelical” form of Catholicism to develop, one not dependent on state sponsorship or legal privilege, relying instead on the attraction of the Gospel message and the boldness of those who proclaim... it.The positive Christian view of secularism boils down to this: Give us a fair and open marketplace of ideas and Christianity will be just fine.Christians in the West sometimes think of secularism as a threat to that open marketplace of ideas, but in the Middle East secularism tends to loom instead as its last, best hope. Perhaps by combining those experiences and outlooks, Catholicism can find something approaching balance."
Read more here. and here. 

UPDATE: Vatican Radio has numerous articles and podcasts which they are updating during the duration of the Synod if you want to follow what is happening in Rome.

UPDATE 2: If you are interested in finding out more about the different Eastern Catholic Churches you can read here and here.

Sandro Magister fills us in on the growth of Jewish Christians in the Holy Land

A reminder during the week of the struggles some Christians go through to practise their faith when Saudi police raided a secret Catholic mass in Riyadh last week and arrested a dozen Filipinos and a Catholic priest, charging them with prosyletising, a local daily reported on Wednesday.

There has been a lot of controversy in New York recently about the proposal to extend and renovate an existing mosque a couple of blocks from the site of the former World Trade Centre. For Catholics, we should pause and reflect on our own history before commenting given that in the fierce opposition to a Muslim centre, there are echos of an old fight.

Following on from last weeks post about the religious habit discussion, one sister blogs how her habit was of special assistance in a moment of crisis.

Faith and reason are often portrayed as uneasy bed fellows, despite the best efforts of writers including Pope John Paul II to show otherwise in Fides et Ratio. Elizabeth Scalia adds her opinion to the centuries old debate.

An odd discussion that came up in the blogosphere this week about "What will people wear to your funeral?" in the context of preparations for the month of the dead - November.

Over at Patheos, the discussion about "What do I really believe? continues this week with a focus on whether prayer makes a difference or not.
Sometimes our deepest convictions don't match what we have been taught to believe, and it's not always easy to share them with others. Here is your opportunity: say what you really believe, and do so anonymously.

An atmospheric and moody introduction to the Dominicans

And finally, in light of the discussion about Ireland's 166 clowns trying to run the country, have a look at what happened in Brazil.

7 Oct 2010

Sacred Space 102fm blog looking for suggestions...........

......for a blog patron saint or saints?

A common tradition among Catholic blogs is to seek the intercession of a patron saint for blogs so we are asking our readers and listeners for their suggestions please! Leave your comments and suggestions in the comments box please.

UPDATED 10th October 2010 - 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

This weeks show sees the return of our regular panelist Michael Keating telling us about the special relationship between the Rosary and the Shrine of Fatima, as well as our usual reflections on the weekly Sunday gospel, saints of the week and some local notices.

October - the month of the Rosary and Fatima

Michael leads us in a short reflection on the history of the Rosary as October is the month of the Rosary and the special connection between the apparitions at Fatima and the call to pray the Rosary. An ancient and ecumenical Christian devotion which has received the support of many Pope's down through the ages with the most recent being Pope Paul VI in Marialis Cultus, and Pope John Paul II in Rosarium Virginis Marie

For some more thoughts on the Rosary, here are some links from the premier Rosary troops,  the Dominicans here , here and here.

4 Oct 2010

Invitation from the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart

The canonisation of St Mary MacKillop as Australia's first saint on October 17th has a special significance for us in Ireland. Mary MacKillop's name is well known to many Irish families who gave their daughters to the life and mission of the Sisters of St Joseph in Australia and New Zealand. Mary MacKillop's visit to Ireland in 1874 saw the beginning of a significant contribution from Ireland to the people of God in Australia and New Zealand. For this they rejoice and give thanks!

The Sisters of St Joseph would be delighted if you could join them to give thanks for the life of St Mary MacKillop and those who joined her as Sisters of St Joseph from many parts of Ireland.

The Mass to celebrate the Canonisation of St Mary Of the Cross MacKillop at St John's Cathedral Limerick November 7th 2010 at 12 noon.

All Welcome

For further information contact: Kathleen Murphy 061-602885

2 Oct 2010

Some web browsing.....

The issue of belief and what we believe as Christians and as Roman Catholics seems to be a growing question as opposed to those who professed  that "God is Dead" but at the same time each of us should as ourselves individually "What do I really belief?" Pathos.com begins a series looking at what people really believe about some of the big questions: What really happens when we die? Does prayer really make a difference? Does it really matter how we act in this life?

At the same time alot of interest has been generated by the latest poll from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life which examined what Americans believe. Before we get into a paroxym of smugness on this side of the Atlantic perhaps we should take the survey and see how we get on. As Deacon Greg Kanda notes Catholics have nothing to shout about. For Catholics alarming results such as only 33 per cent of US Catholics can name the authors of the four Gospels, while barely half (55 per cent) can say what happens during the Sacrament of the Eucharist (the transformation of the bread and wine into the body, blood, soul and Divinity of Christ). Only 42 per cent can accurately name the first book of the Bible are causes for concern but when the Iona Institue did a survey in Ireland in 2008 did we do any better?

An interesting and reflective reminder of the beauty and dignity of each human person and the place of human dignity in Catholic Social Teaching as something of the Glory of God shines on your face.

During the week we had the feast of the Little Flower, St Therese of Lisieux, two different reflections of this saint can be found here (more traditional) and here (a bit more unusual view from a christian convert from the Far East).

1 Oct 2010

3rd October 2010 - 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

This weeks show begins Sacred Space 102fm's short series during the month of October focusing on the missions. The show has an interview with our own Shane Ambrose who speaks about his time volunteering in Uganda, our regular gospel reflection and a quick run though the saints for the week.

You can listen to this weeks programme HERE.

From Knockpatrick to Kiyinda - A VM's reflections on some time in Africa

Regular readers of the blog will have seen a series of recent posts in the last week from our regular panelist Shane Ambrose where he has written and reflected about his time in Uganda with a particular focus on presence, suffering, solidarity and friendship. Shane was a volunteer for 30 months in Uganda with the Volunteer Missionary Movement and speaks on this weeks show under a gentle "interrogation" from Lorraine and John about his experiences there. Some other VM's online are here.

Gospel Reflection

This weeks gospel of many parts talks to us about how the apostles pray for Jesus to increase their faith and the role of Christians to be willing to do what has to be done and not expect major kudos for it. It raises the questions do we try to manipulate our relationship with God seeking so that He "owes" us a favour? In the modern world we are all very aware of our rights, but do we place as much emphasis on our responsibilities? Do we have a proper attitude as servants of God where our relationship with Jesus is leading to greater trust in God as a response to the love of God.

Some more thoughts about this weeks gospel can be found here, here, here, here and here.

Saints of the Week

We just got a chance to run through our saints of the week this week to let you know whose liturgical commemoration is coming up:

3rd Oct - Blessed Columba Marmion OSB - obviously given that the 3rd falls on a Sunday this year, the memorial wont be observed, but Blessed Columba is one of Ireland's official Blessed's!
4th October - St Francis of Assisi and here
5th October - St Faustina (Apostle of the Divine Mercy)
6th October - St Bruno (Founder of the Carthusians)
7th October - Our Lady of the Rosary

Other News

We have been talking and talking about the podcasts since the blog started back at the beginning of September and we hope to have the podcasts up and running in about 3-4 weeks. We had a little technical difficulties but we hope to get them sorted soon. When we do get up and running,  the plan is to have podcasts going back to the start of July of the show online for you to listen back to and to let all your friends know about us.

Again, thanks for listening!

God bless

John, Lorraine and Shane

From Kiyinda to Knockpatrick - Part 5 - Friendships & Goodbyes

Friendships and Goodbyes

“I call you friends” (Jn 15:15)
“Parting is such sweet sorrow” - (Romeo and Juliet, Act 2 Scene II, 185)

I found this online not long after I came to Uganda but have never been able to find the blog I got it from again. Anyway as part of the tidy up I found it again amongst my own files so I said I would share it again:
"Before I came to Uganda
…I did not know earth. Earth so dry and red, baked hard by the heat of the day. Earth that holds that heat like kiln-burnt clay, warming weary feet as they journey home from a long day's work.
...I did not know the sun. Had never met this sun, whose rays could scald bare skin on a clear day, yet the tiniest cloud between it and you can bring much needed relief from it's scorching heat. Whose light is as important as air, everyone depending on it to see and work and play, to dispel the darkness and allow for life to unfold.
...I did not know rain. Rain that falls in torrents and buckets and waterfalls from the sky. Rain that means LIFE to plants, animals, and people alike. Rain that is caught in barrels and buckets, basins, bowls and open hands. Rain that is swallowed up by the parched earth so quickly that there is scarcely a puddle or spot of muck to prove it fell. Rain that throws all the vegetation into a kaleidoscope of sparkling green and raises every hand to heaven in thanksgiving praise.