29 Jun 2011

The Paradox of Holiness and Communion

Over at Beginning to Pray, Dr Lilles has an excellent post about the Paradox of Holiness and Communion:

"To be holy is to be set apart. To be in communion is to be in solidarity with one another. Prayer both sets us apart and establishes us in a deeper communion. It is a paradox. Although this mystery is not completely solvable, one hint is the relational dimension of prayer. It is ordered to a real friendship with the all holy God." 

Interesting read, take a walk over and have a look.

28 Jun 2011

Limerick Diocese celebrates a priestly ordination

Rev. John O'Bryne will be ordained at St. John's Cathedral, Limerick City on Sunday 17th July 2011 at 2 p.m. by the Most Rev. Dr. Dermot Clifford, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly.

Rev. John O'Byrne will celebrate his first mass at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church at 7p.m. on Monday, July 18th 2011.

Televised Mass from Moyross, Limerick City

RTE wil broadcast Mass from Moyross on Sunday July 3rd 2011

Solemnity of St Peter and St Paul - 60th Jubilee of Ordination for Pope Benedict XVI

From Catholic Culture - Veneration of the two great Apostles, Peter and Paul, has its roots in the very foundations of the Church. They are the solid rock on which the Church is built. They are at the origin of her faith and will forever remain her protectors and her guides. To them Rome owes her true greatness, for it was under God's providential guidance that they were led to make the capital of the Empire, sanctified by their martyrdom, the center of the Christian world whence should radiate the preaching of the Gospel.

St. Peter suffered martyrdom under Nero, in A.D. 66 or 67. He was buried on the hill of the Vatican where recent excavations have revealed his tomb on the very site of the basilica of St. Peter's. St. Paul was beheaded in the via Ostia on the spot where now stands the basilica bearing his name. Down the centuries Christian people in their thousands have gone on pilgrimage to the tombs of these Apostles. In the second and third centuries the Roman Church already stood pre-eminent by reason of her apostolicity, the infallible truth of her teaching and her two great figures, Sts. Peter and Paul.

Continue reading about the feast over at Catholic Culture.


On the same day, Pope Benedict will celebrate Mass at St Peter's and impose the pallium on the newly created metropolitan archbishops gathered in Rome for the occassion. The pallium is an ecclesiastical vestment originally peculiar to the Pope, but for many centuries bestowed by the Pope on metropolitans and primates as a symbol of the jurisdiction delegated to them by the Holy See. The pallium is a narrow band, "three fingers broad", woven of white lamb's wool from sheep raised by Trappist monks, with a loop in the centre resting on the shoulders over the vestments of an archbishop and two dependent lappets, before and behind; so that when seen from front or back the ornament resembles the letter Y

Pope Benedict will also celebrate (with his older brother Georg) the occassion of his 60th anniversary of priestly ordination.

Over at News.Va, a reflection on the occassion taken from this weeks edition of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano about the celebration for the Ratzinger brothers who were ordained together - The most important moment of my life - Sixty years ago, 29 June 1951, Joseph Ratzinger was ordained a priest

From USCCB - As part of the celebrations Catholics worldwide are asked to mark the sixtieth anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s ordination to the priesthood with sixty hours of Eucharistic prayer for vocations.

The pope will celebrate his anniversary June 29, the Solemnity of St. Peter and Paul. In honor of his anniversary, the Vatican Congregation for Clergy suggested Catholic clergy and faithful be invited to participate in Eucharistic Adoration with the intention of praying for the sanctification of the clergy and for the gift of new and holy priestly vocations.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, highlighted the importance of this celebration.
“An increase in number and sanctity of the priests in service to our dioceses is a sign of health and vitality in the Church,” he said. Prayer for vocations is “a worthy intention” and an appropriate spiritual sacrifice “in gratitude for the example and service of Pope Benedict XVI,” he wrote in a May 17 letter to bishops.
For this occasion, the USCCB Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations has designed a prayer card that can be downloaded from www.foryourvocation.org. The prayer card can be linked to diocesan or parish websites, printed in parish bulletins, and used for dioceses or parishes.

Moving Vatican communications into the Social Media Age...........

Last week we blogged how Limerick Diocese has rre-launched its new and improved diocesan website. This evening in Rome, the Holy See took a step forward into the 21st century with its communications with the launch of a new website dealing with news from the vatican called News.Va.

To launch the new website, Pope Benedict sent his first tweet:

Over at Whispers in the Loggia, Rocco has pictures and videos of this evenings events.

26 Jun 2011

Reflection for Corpus Christi - Rathmines Parish International Mass

Rathmines Parish International Mass 2011
Solemnity of Corpus Christi
26th June 2011

When I was asked if I would help out with this evening's celebration, I hadn't quite planned on giving a reflection. Being what we would call at home in west Limerick a "blow-in" to the parish of Rathmines, I wasn't 100% sure how I was going to approach the task but then I realised that this evenings celebration occurs on the evening of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi - the Body and Blood of Christ.

Corpus Christi reminds us that Jesus once walked amongst a community just like ours; that He is still present in this assembled community in and through its members and also that He is present in a special way in the Eucharist to support and nourish us.

The feast is one of my personal favourites. The songs, prayers and procession traditionally associated with it are almost a common international language for catholics, here in Ireland, or Europe or even in Africa where I lived for 30 months.

It also reminds me how catholic the parish of Rathmines is. Catholic in its truest sense of the word, not the historical sectarian mis-understanding but rather in its universal sense. And I think in that context we can all agree that Rathmines is universal in terms of its membership as evident from the many nationalities present here this evening.

But it is also universal in its outlook and concern of which I myself am a beneficiary with the support received for the maternity unit at Bukulammuli in the diocese of Kiyinda-Mityana in Uganda.

The feast and our celebration this evening area a public manifestation of what was given to us at the Last Supper which we recalled and celebrated at Easter. This gift of communion and love which we as a parish share with all believers is centred on the Eucharist - we are a Eucharistic community.

The Eucharist units us to Christ; it also opens us to others making us members of one another, reminding us again of Pentecost where we as a community must share the Good News of God's love with all peoples. Those who recognise Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, recognise their brother and sister who suffers, who is hungry and thirsty, who is a stranger, naked, sick, imprisoned and they are attentive to every persons need. (Pope Benedict XVI - Corpus Christi June 2011)

But what is Rathmines parish? Who are we gathered here this evening?

We are a prayer community gathered around the alter of the Lord to participate in what we call the mysteries of faith. Together as community - that is people in communion with each other - we gather to break open the Word of God which guides and sustains us in our daily life journey.

Together as community, we break open the Body of Christ, the Bread of Life. Not just the physical bread but also ourselves for as St Paul reminds us in todays second reading from Corinthians, "we form [that] single body because we all have a share in eth one loaf."

As a parish community, we must be open to being transformed, being broken open. As the parish mission statement reminds us, "we aspire to work for the Kingdom of God by building a caring and inclusive community of faith". Such a mission implies that like the wheat grain that dies to grow again, then to be crushed into flour to produce the Bread of Life; or like the grapes that are crushed to produce the wine that becomes our Spiritual Drink, we must be open to being transformed even when that might cause us pain.

On Thursday night during the Corpus Christi procession in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI reminded us that in the Eucharist, we are not trying to change Jesus into us, but rather we are being changed into Him.

26 June 2011 - Solemnity of Corpus Christi

On this weeks show, Fr Phonsie Cullinan takes us through a reflection on Corpus Christi, John and Shane then reflect on the Sunday gospel and go through the Saints of the upcoming week.

The programme is now available as a

Corpus Christi
Fr Cullinan is the chaplain at Limerick Institute of Technology and is also the Limerick diocesan co-ordinator for the International Eucharistic Congress 2012. Fr Cullinan takes us through the meaning of the feast and highlights the need to be aware of the feast focus's in a special way is on what is before us, the Body and Blood of Christ. He reminds us of the importance of public witness through the procession. He also tells us of the Eucharistic miracle of Orvieto and the institution of the feast.

Gospel Reflection - John 6: 51-58

We draw to the end of an intensive period of liturgical celebration with the feast of Corpus Christi which we celebrate today. The Feast owes its existence to Blessed Juliana of Liege, who began devotion to the Blessed Sacrament in around 1230. Largely through her insistence, in 1264 Pope Urban IV commanded its observance by the universal church.

The Feast sums up three important things about our Faith. First is that God became physically present in the person of Christ, true God and true Man - the Incarnation. Secondly, God continues to be present in His people as they form the Mystical Body of Christ in his church - the community of people who gather every Sunday around the alter of the Lord. Thirdly, the presence of God under the form of bread and wine is made available to us on the altar at Mass and preserved there for our nourishment and worship.

Michael de Vertueil reminds us that we may find the metaphor of eating his flesh and drinking his blood as being very strange, but we should try to enter into it so that it becomes part of our prayer. Remember that in Bible meditation it is not sufficient to get the message of a passage; you must get into the words themselves and grow to love them so that you feel moved to repeat them many times. The metaphor has its origins in "flesh and blood", a biblical expression that means the reality of a human being with special stress on his or her weakness or limitations. For example, when in Matthew 16 Peter made his act of faith, it did not come from "flesh and blood," but as a gift from God. So too St Paul warned the Ephesians that their struggle was not merely against "flesh and blood", but against heavenly forces.

Jesus is still with us completely, his love for us is still there all encompassing to embrace us.
Christ embraced the world by opening his arms on the cross.
Paul reminds us that to receive communion we have to be in communion with our community and our God. To be christian is to be in communion in community otherwise we are cut off from a true understanding being part of the Body of Christ. 

The gospel reminds us today that there is also real nourishment available to us to give us real food in our lives. But it is also not enough to say that the communion is there if you want to come back on our terms. Community means we must be willing to be transformed which means we have to reach out to those who have been excluded from communion and seek to invite them back to full participation in the Body of Christ.

Other reflections on today from:

Saints of the Week
June 28th - St Irenaeus
July 1st - Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (First Friday. Usually celebration of St Oliver Plunkett)
July 2nd - Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (First Saturday)

A Musical Reflection for Corpus Christi

24 Jun 2011

Corpus Christi in Rome

Courtesy of Rocco here's the Vatican's English rendering of B16's homily at yesterday's traditional outdoor Mass for Corpus Christi at St John Lateran.

* * *

Dear brothers and sisters!

The feast of Corpus Domini is inseparable from the Holy Thursday Mass of in Caena Domini, in which the institution of the Eucharist is also celebrated. While on the evening of Holy Thursday we relive the mystery of Christ who offers himself to us in the bread broken and wine poured out, today, in celebration of Corpus Domini, this same mystery is proposed to the adoration and meditation of God's people, and the Blessed Sacrament is carried in procession through the streets of towns and villages, to show that the risen Christ walks among us and guides us towards the Kingdom of heaven. Today we openly manifest what Jesus has given us in the intimacy of the Last Supper, because the love of Christ is not confined to the few, but is intended for all. This year during the Mass of Our Lord’s Last Supper on Holy Thursday, I pointed out that the Eucharist is the transformation of the gifts of this land - the bread and wine - intended to transform our lives and usher in the transformation of the world. Tonight I would like to return to this point of view.

Everything starts, you might say, from the heart of Christ, who at the Last Supper on the eve of his passion, thanked and praised God and, in doing so, with the power of his love transformed the meaning of death which he was about to encounter. The fact that the Sacrament of the altar has taken on the name "Eucharist" - "thanksgiving" - expresses this: that the change in the substance of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is the fruit of the gift that Christ made of himself, a gift of a love stronger than death, love of God which made him rise from the dead. That is why the Eucharist is the food of eternal life, the Bread of life. From the heart of Christ, from his "Eucharistic Prayer" on the eve of his passion, flows the dynamism that transforms reality in its cosmic, human and historical dimensions. All proceeds from God, from the omnipotence of his love One and Triune, incarnate in Jesus. In this Love the heart of Christ emerges, so He knows how to thank and praise God even in the face of betrayal and violence, and thus changes things, people and the world.

This transformation is possible thanks to a communion stronger than division, the communion of God himself. The word "communion", which we use to designate the Eucharist, sums up the vertical and horizontal dimension of the gift of Christ. The beautiful and eloquent expression "receive communion" refers to the act of eating the bread of the Eucharist. In fact, when we carry out this act, we enter into communion with the very life of Jesus, in the dynamism of this life which is given to us and for us. From God, through Jesus, to us: a unique communion is transmitted in the Holy Eucharist. We have heard as much, in the second reading, from the words of the Apostle Paul to the Christians of Corinth: "The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ"(1 Cor 10:16-17).

Saint Augustine helps us to understand the dynamics of Holy Communion when referring to a kind of vision he had, in which Jesus said to him: "I am the food of the mature: grow, then, and you shall eat me. You will not change me into yourself like bodily food; but you will be changed into me"(Confessions, VII, 10, 18). Therefore, while the bodily food is assimilated by the body and contributes to its maintenance, the Eucharist is a different bread: we do not assimilate it, but it assimilates us to itself, so that we become conformed to Jesus Christ and members of his body, one with Him. This is a decisive passage. Indeed, precisely because it is Christ who, in Eucharistic communion, transforms us into Him, our individuality, in this encounter, is opened up, freed from its self-centeredness and placed in the Person of Jesus, who in turn is immersed in the Trinitarian communion. Thus, while the Eucharist unites us to Christ, we open ourselves to others making us members one of another: we are no longer divided, but one thing in Him. Eucharistic communion unites me to the person next to me, and with whom I might not even have a good relationship, but also to my brothers and sisters who are far away, in every corner of the world. Thus the deep sense of social presence of the Church is derived from the Eucharist, as evidenced by the great social saints, who have always been great Eucharistic souls. Those who recognize Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, recognize their brother who suffers, who is hungry and thirsty, who is a stranger, naked, sick, imprisoned, and they are attentive to every person, committing themselves, in a concrete way, to those who are in need. So from the gift of Christ's love comes our special responsibility as Christians in building a cohesive, just and fraternal society. Especially in our time when globalization makes us increasingly dependent upon each other, Christianity can and must ensure that this unity will not be built without God, without true Love. This would give way to confusion and individualism, the oppression of some against others. The Gospel has always aimed at the unity of the human family, a unity not imposed from above, or by ideological or economic interests, but from a sense of responsibility towards each other, because we identify ourselves as members of the same body, the body of Christ, because we have learned and continually learn from the Sacrament of the Altar that sharing, love is the path of true justice.

Let us return to Jesus’ act in the Last Supper. What happened at that moment? When He said: This is my body which is given to you, this is my blood shed for you and for the multitude, what happened? Jesus in that gesture anticipates the event of Calvary. He accepts his passion out of love, with its trial and its violence, even to death on the cross; by accepting it in this way he transforms it into an act of giving. This is the transformation that the world needs most, because he redeems it from within, he opens it up to the Kingdom of Heaven. But God always wants to accomplish this renewal of the world through the same path followed by Christ, indeed, the path that is Himself. There is nothing magic in Christianity. There are no shortcuts, but everything passes through the patient and humble logic of the grain of wheat that is broken to give life, the logic of faith that moves mountains with the gentle power of God. This is why God wants to continue to renew humanity, history and the cosmos through this chain of transformations, of which the Eucharist is the sacrament. Through the consecrated bread and wine, in which his Body and Blood is truly present, Christ transforms us, assimilating us in him: he involves us in his redeeming work, enabling us, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, to live according to his same logic of gift, like grains of wheat united with Him and in Him. Thus unity and peace, which are the goal for which we strive, are sown and mature in the furrows of history, according to God's plan.

Without illusions, without ideological utopias, we walk the streets of the world, bringing within us the Body of the Lord, like the Virgin Mary in the mystery of the Visitation. With the humble awareness that we are simple grains of wheat, we cherish the firm conviction that the love of God, incarnate in Christ, is stronger than evil, violence and death. We know that God is preparing for all people new heavens and new earth where peace and justice prevail - and by faith we glimpse the new world, that is our true home. Also this evening as the sun sets on our beloved city of Rome, we set out again on this path: with us is Jesus in the Eucharist, the Risen One, who said: "I am with you always, until the end of world "(Mt 28:20).

Thank you, Lord Jesus! Thank you for your loyalty, which sustains our hope. Stay with us, because the evening comes. "Jesus, good shepherd and true bread, have mercy on us; feed us and guard us. Grant that we find happiness in the land of the living". Amen.

23 Jun 2011

Corpus Christi

While in Ireland the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ has been moved to Sunday, in Rome this evening Pope Benedict XVI will lead the traditional Corpus Christi procession after Mass at the Basilica of St John Laterans up along the Via Merulana to the Basilica of Mary Major for Benediction.

A hymn traditionally associated with the feast is Tantum Ergo for which we have two examples of here:

22 Jun 2011

19th June 2011 - Trinity Sunday

Better late than never!

Last Sunday's show didn't go out on air as the station was off air until after noon. However, this weeks programme will go out in our usual repeat slot on Thursday night. And of course it is available on podcast.

Programme summary

On this weeks programe, we had an interview with Fr Adrian Egan CSsR about Limerick's Solemn Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, our usual gospel reflection as well as our Saints of the Week. 

Limerick's Solemn Novena

We had previously blogged about the solemn novena in Limerick and posted Fr Egan's interview about the novena which can be read here.

Trinity Sunday

Trinity Sunday, officially "The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity," is one of the few feasts of the Christian Year that celebrates a reality and doctrine rather than an event or person. On Trinity Sunday we remember and honor the eternal God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The Trinity is one of the most fascinating - and controversial - Christian dogmas. The Trinity is a mystery. By mystery the Church does not mean a riddle, but rather the Trinity is a reality above our human comprehension that we may begin to grasp, but ultimately must know through worship, symbol, and faith. It has been said that mystery is not a wall to run up against, but an ocean in which to swim. The common wisdom is that if you talk about the Trinity for longer than a few minutes you will slip into heresy because you are probing the depths of God too deeply.

Further reflection on the history and theology of the Trinity available from churchyear.net.

The feast while encouraging us to reflect on our understanding of God could be summed up as a feast of Love, the divine love between God the Father and God the Son which is expressed as the Holy Spirit.

It is a feast which encourages us to reflect on the formulations of our faith as expressed in the creeds which sometimes we dont reflect on enough.

The gospel reminds us that God loved us so much he sent his only Son and after the world had rejected him, God sent his Spirit, the spirit of love. After a couple of liturgically heavy weeks it is a moment to pause and reflect.

The inner relationship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in such a way that each of them is fully and equally God, yet there are not three Gods but one is incomprehensible to the human mind. It is a mystery.

The story is told of St Augustine of Hippo, a great philosopher and theologian who wanted so much to understand the doctrine of the Trinity and to be able to explain it logically. One day as he was walking along the sea shore and reflecting on this, he suddenly saw a little child all alone on the shore. The child made a whole in the sand, ran to the sea with a little cup, filled her cup, came and poured it into the hole she had made in the sand. Back and forth she went to the sea, filled her cup and came and poured it into the hole. Augustine went up to her and said, "Little child, what are doing?" and she replied, "I am trying to empty the sea into this hole." "How do you think," Augustine asked her, "that you can empty this immense sea into this tiny hole and with this tiny cup?" To which she replied, " And you, how do you suppose that with this your small head you can comprehend the immensity of God?" With that the child disappeared.

Like Augustine we may not be able to understand the how of the Trinity but I think it is very important to understand the why. Why did God reveal to us this mystery regarding the very nature of the Supreme Being? The importance of this doctrine lies in this: we are made in the image of God, therefore, the more we understand God the more we can understand ourselves. Experts in religion tell us that people always try to be like the God they worship. People who worship a warrior God tend to be warriors, people who worship a God of pleasure tend to be pleasure-seeking, people who worship a God of wrath tend to be angry people, etc. Like a God, like the worshipers. So the more important question for us to ask today is: What does the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity tell us about the kind of God we worship and what does this say about the kind of people we should be?

God does not exist in isolated individualism but in a community of relationships. In other words, God is not a loner or a recluse. This means that a Christian in search of Godliness (Matthew 5:48) must shun every tendency to isolationism and individualism. The ideal Christian spirituality is not that of flight from the world like that of certain Buddhist monastic traditions where the quest for holiness means withdrawal to the Himalayas away from contact with other people and society. 

Further reflections on the feast available from:
Saints of the Week

June 20th - Blessed Irish Martyrs
June 21st - St Aloysius Gonzaga SJ
June 22nd - Ss John Fisher and Thomas More, Martyrs
June 23rd - St Joseph Cafasso
June 24th - Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist
June 25th - Ss John and Paul, Martyrs of Rome

Limerick Diocese new website goes live!

A word from Sacred Space 102fm's panelist Noirin Lynch:

"The Limerick Diocese website is live and available for all to see!!

It has been made available to all to see over the summer in order that we can get your feedback about the content and layout! Then we will have a launch in September, please God, of a tried and tested website that is a resource to the people of Limerick and beyond. 

So, please go and have a look at it, ask friends and family in Limerick and abroad to have a look, check your parishes details and pictures etc etc."

If you have any comments or suggestions drop Noirin an email with your opinions, comments, questions or suggestions.

WEBSITE: www.limerickdiocese.org
EMAIL your comments to Nlynch@ldpc.ie

We really hope that this will be a valuable resource for everyone, so that information and support is at your fingertips all year round!

Praying the Psalms: the book of prayer par excellence - Pope Benedict XVI

VATICAN CITY, 22 JUN 2011 (VIS) - Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis during this morning's general audience to what he described as "the book of prayer par excellence, the Book of Psalms". The audience was held in St. Peter's Square in the presence of 10,000 people.

The 150 Psalms of the Book of Psalms "express all human experience", said the Pope. "All the truth of the believer comes together in those prayers, which first the People of Israel and later the Church adopted as a special way to mediate their relationship with the one God, and as an adequate response to His having revealed Himself in history".

"Despite the many forms of expression they contain", the Psalms "can be divided into two broad categories: ... supplication associated with lamentation, and praise. These two dimensions are related, almost indivisible, because supplication is animated by the certainty that God will respond, and this opens the way to praise and thanksgiving; while praise and thanksgiving arise from the experience of salvation received, which presupposes the need for help expressed in the supplication. ... Thus, in the prayer of the Psalms, supplication and praise intertwine and fuse together in a single song which celebrates the eternal grace of the Lord as He bows down to our frailty".

"The Psalms teach us to pray", the Holy Father explained. "In them, the Word of God becomes the word of prayer. ... People who pray the Psalms speak to God with the words of God, addressing Him with the words He Himself taught us. ... Through these words it is also possible to know and accept the criteria of His actions, to approach the mystery of His thoughts and His ways, so as to grow and develop in faith and love".

"By teaching us to pray", the Pope went on, "the Psalms also teach us that at times of desolation, even in moments of suffering, the presence of God is a source of wonder and consolation. We may weep, plead and seek intercession, ... but in the awareness that we are advancing towards the light, where praise will be unending".

"Equally important and significant are the manner and frequency in which the words of the Psalms appear in the New Testament, where they assume and underline that prophetic significance suggested by the link of the Book of Psalms with the messianic figure of David. In His earthly life the Lord Jesus prayed with the Psalms, and in Him they reach definitive fulfilment and reveal their fullest and deepest meaning. The prayers of the Book of Psalms, with which we speak to God, speak to us of Him, they speak of the Son, image of the invisible God Who fully reveals the Father's face to us. Thus Christians, by praying the Psalms, pray to the Father in Christ and with Christ, seeing those songs in a new perspective which has its ultimate interpretation in the Paschal Mystery".

Having completed his catechesis and delivered greetings in various languages, the Pope recalled the fact that tomorrow is the Feast of Corpus Christi. He invited everyone in Rome, residents and pilgrims alike, to participate in the Mass he will celebrate at 7 p.m. tomorrow in the basilica of St. John Lateran, and in the subsequent procession along Via Merulana to the basilica of St. Mary Major. "I invite you", he said, "to join this act of profound faith towards the Eucharist, which represents the most precious treasure of the Church and of humankind".

Nóirín Ni Riain - Theosony: Towards a Theology of Listening

21 Jun 2011

Some web browsing........

A selection from recent web browsing to share:

Pentecost in Jerusalem

20 Jun 2011

Here I am Lord, to do your will

On a sunny June Sunday afternoon (June 19th) on the banks of the majestic Shannon river, in the parish church dedicated to Ss Peter and Paul, Sr Louise O'Rourke made final perpetual profession as a Sister Disciple of the Divine Master in the presence of Bishop Christopher 'Christy' Jones, her family, sisters in religion, members of her home parish as well as many friends and well wishers. 

On the liturgical feast dedicated to Divine Love expressed in the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, in a liturgy full of symbolism and simplicity culminating with the invocation of the Holy Spirit and the intercession of the saints, Sr Louise made her final public step on a journey culminating in her professing the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience.
Her journey to religious life has been a journey of exploration of love and the call to service. Previously we posted an article written by Sr Louise about her journey  - Wasted Life? - A reflection on religious profession - and in advance of the profession, the Westmeath Independent carried an interview with Sr Louise about her vocation experience. 

Regular listeners will know Sr Louise as our former Rome Correspondent who kept us informed of things roman during her time in the Eternal City.

In praise and glory of the Most Holy Trinity,
who consecrated me in Baptism and now calls me
to follow more closely Jesus Master,
Way, Truth and Life as his disciple,
I offer myself totally to God.
In your hands, Sr. Kathryn Mary Williams,
delegate of the Superior General,
before you, sisters and brothers,
I Sr. Mary Louise O’ Rourke, in full liberty,
make my vows of chastity, poverty and obedience
for my entire life according to the Rule of Life
of the Disciples of the Divine Master.
In communion with my sisters,
I commit myself to live in the Church, the charism of Fr. James Alberione
at the service of the Eucharist, the Priesthood and the Liturgy
for the coming of the Kingdom of God in the world.
I entrust myself to the intercession of Mary, Queen of Apostles,
of Saint Paul the Apostle and to the prayer of my sisters.
May God bring to fulfilment the work he has begun in me.

Ad multos annos Sr Mary Louise O'Rourke PDDM

18 Jun 2011

Novena to the Sacred Heart

At the beginning of June, we had a post about the fact that June is dedicated as the month of the Sacred Heart. This year (as Easter has fallen so early), the Feast of the Sacred Heart is falling on July 1st.

In preparation for the feast, a Novena to the Sacred Heart is taking place in Robertstown Church, in the parish of Shanagolden-Foynes-Robertstown (on the N69 between Askeaton and Foynes) from June 23rd to July 1st 2011.

The Novena is nightly at 8pm and the preachers during the Novena are:
  • Fr Alphonsus Cullinan, Limerick Institute of Technology
  • Fr Noel Kirwin, Limerick Diocesan Pastoral Centre
  • Ms Noirin Lynch, Pastoral Co-ordinator, Limerick Diocese

Novena will include
  • Corpus Christi procession after 8pm Mass Saturday June 25th
  • Mass in Robertstown cemetery on Sunday 26th June at 10.30am
  • Blessing of the Sick - Thursday 30th June
  • Eucharistic Adoration - Thursday 30th June from 9pm to midnight
  • Concluding Mass Friday morning, July 1st at 7am

19th June 2011 - Trinity Sunday - Live Programme

Tomorrow morning John is going live again with the programme from station HQ in Newcastle West as we are still having a little teething difficulty with technical issues at the station. The line up of the programme includes an interview with Fr Adrian Egan CSsR about the novena in Limerick and our usual reflection on the Sunday gospel and the liturigical celebration of the day.

Your blog editor is attending a joyous event tomorrow for a good friend of the programme so it may be a bit later then usual before the programme summary and podcast are blogged for your attention, but we will get there at some stage tomorrow.

In the meantime two very different pieces for you..........

16 Jun 2011

Limerick Solemn Novena 2011 - Interview with Fr Adrian Egan

This year Limerick's Solemn Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help is being held at Mt St Alphonsus Church from 17th to 25th June 2011 inclusive.

We have a short podcast with Fr Adrian Egan CSsR about this years novena.

"The theme for the Solemn Novena this year is "Eucharist: Food for Life". Each day will focus on a different moment in the celebration of the Eucharist, looking in depth at its meaning and significance. It is an opportunity for us, in the build up to the Eucharistic Congress, to think more deeply about the Mass and its implications for us as individuals and as a community, how it shapes our lives and relationship with God and one another. It is a chance to deepen or reawaken our sense of awe and wonder at the amazing event that takes place every time we gather round the Lord's table."

Further information in relation to the Novena, the daily prayers and homilies and the times of the various sessions are available here. The website also has live streaming available of the sessions during the novena.

14 Jun 2011

Dominican Vocations Video

The English province of the Dominicans recently produced a short video about their life and as means of promoting their way of life. The Irish Dominicans also have an online web presence at Dominicans Interactive where they promote the Gospel using modern media techniques.

For anyone interest in contacting the Irish Dominicans in relation to discerning a vocation or finding out about the Order, their vocations blog is Irish Dominican Vocations.

Limerick's Solemn Novena - 17th to 25th June 2011

This year Limerick's Solemn Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help is being held at Mt St Alphonsus Church from 17th to 25th June 2011 inclusive.

"The theme for the Solemn Novena this year is "Eucharist: Food for Life".  Each day will focus on a different moment in the celebration of the Eucharist, looking in depth at its meaning and significance. It is an opportunity for us, in the build up to the Eucharistic Congress, to think more deeply about the Mass and its implications for us as individuals and as a community, how it shapes our lives and relationship with God and one another. It is a chance to deepen or reawaken our sense of awe and wonder at the amazing event that takes place every time we gather round the Lord's table."

Further information in relation to the Novena, the daily prayers and homilies and the times of the various sessions are available here.

Further information about the icon of the Mother of Perpetual Succour

12 Jun 2011

Pentecost - in the East amongst the Russian Orthodox

This year because of the way Easter fell, Latin and Orthodox Christians are celebrating Pentecost at the same time. Over at New Liturgical Movement they have some video to  show a bit of the feast of Pentecost from the Byzantine East. The video shows Russian Orthodox Patriarch, Kirill, at the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius in Moscow yesterday evening where he celebrated the all night vigil for Holy Trinity-Pentecost.

12th June 2011 - Pentecost Sunday - (including a reflection on St Anthony of Padua)

This weeks show is now available as a podcast!

On this weeks show we had our regular prayer space, a reflection by Michael Keating on St Anthony of Padua, our regular gospel reflection as well as some notices and Saints of the week.

St Anthony of Padua

Michael takes us through the life of St Anthony of Padua whose feast day falls on June 13th every year. St Anthony is more famous for being known as the saint whose intercession is sought for lost things!

From Catholicireland.net the summary of the saints life:

"Born into a noble family beside the cathedral in Lisbon and baptised Fernando, he was educated at the cathedral school and joined the Augustinian Abbey of St Vincent at the age of fifteen. Here he became well-versed in the classical writers, the Scriptures and the Fathers of the Church. As friends were constantly coming to visit him, he asked to move to the Santa Cruz monastery at Coimbra, then the capital of Portugal. After ordination 1219 he was put in charge of hospitality and in this role came in contact with five Franciscans who were on their way to Morocco to preach to Muslims there. Next year these five Franciscans were martyred in Morocco and their relics brought back to Portugal. Fernando was so taken with the heroism of these five Franciscans that he asked to join the Franciscan order. He was received and given the name Anthony after the great hermit of Egypt (251-256). Soon after this he sailed with another brother to Morocco to preach to the Muslims. However, he soon became sick and had to return home. But a storm blew his ship off course and, instead of going back to Portugal, he landed in Sicily. Here he joined with some Franciscans who were heading to Assisi for a general meeting of the order. He met Francis and was appointed to a hermitage at Montepaolo where he served as a priest to the hermits there. No one knew of his considerable learning and Anthony was happy to carry out the most menial tasks for the hermits and devote himself to prayer. Around this time (1222) he accompanied the provincial to an ordination of some Franciscans and Dominicans at Forli. When the Dominican preacher did not turn up, Anthony was asked to say a few words. Beginning tentatively, it soon became clear that here was a man of extraordinary knowledge, eloquence and enthusiasm. But it was his holiness that really moved those present. As a result he was asked to preach more widely. Francis wrote to him appointing him as the order's first lector in theology. The tone of the letter shows Francis was quite cautious about learning and theology. It said: "It pleases me that you read theology to the friars, provided that this pursuit will not quench the spirit of holy prayer and devotion according to our rule. Farewell". Anthony taught and preached first in northern Italy and then in the south of France, where he went to assist in the crusade against the Albigensian heresy, preaching and teaching in the churches and market-places of Le-Puy, Toulouse, Montpellier and Arles. The power of this preaching earned him the nickname malleus haereticorum, "the hammer of heretics". Anthony spoke in a loud, clear voice. He had a winning manner and a wonderful memory. Although he spoke out against luxury, greed and tyranny, he did so positively by presenting the beauty of the Christian way. He returned to Italy in 1226 and became provincial of the Franciscans in northern Italy. Around Easter in 1228, he went to Rome, where he preached before Pope Gregory IX and discussed with him the Rule and Testament of Francis. He spent his last years at Padua where he had extraordinary influence both in the religious and civic life of town, reducing crime, denouncing usury, freeing debtors from prison and reconciling enemies. He died in Padua aged only 36 and was canonised by Pope Gregory IX less than a year after his death. A large Renaissance basilica built over his tomb has become an international shrine visited by over 5 million pilgrims annually. Since the 17th century people have being praying to St Anthony to recover lost articles. This stems from the story that a novice borrowed Anthony's psalter without permission and had to return it because of a fearful apparition of Anthony looking for his psalter!

Gospel Reflection - John 20: 19- 23

Colin and John discuss and reflect on  this weeks gospel and the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

"My Peace I give you" - no matter what the challanges and trails that beset us in our lives. The Holy Spirit within us is the power and love of God who is alive in us and sustained in us through the grace of the sacraments. God and God's Spirit is within us, called into us at Baptism and Confirmation. Where ever Jesus gives us his peace he also gives us His Joy. Our lives are not supposed to be dark and dreary, our faith is supposed to be life giving.

We should strieve to invoke the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit each day in our lives to strengthen us so that we can live in holiness on a daily basis.

Some reflections for the Feast from

Pope Benedict XVI during his homily today noted that Pentecost shows the Holy Spirit created the Catholic Church for all people. “From the first moment, in fact, the Holy Spirit created (the Church) as the Church of all people. It embraces the entire world, transcending the boundaries of race, class, nation - it breaks down all barriers and unites people in the profession of the Triune God. From the beginning, the Church is one, catholic and apostolic".

Article from CNA and text of homily here.

Saints of the Week

June 13th - St Anthony of Padua
June 14th - St Davnet and St Dympna
June 15th - St Vitus
June 16th - St Germaine
June 17th - Martyrs of Rome
June 18th - St Juliana Falconieri

11 Jun 2011

12th June 2011 - Pentecost Sunday - Live Programme

Due to a technical problem at West Limerick 102fm HQ, we weren't able to record this weeks programme as usual on Thursday evening, so instead John will be going live on Sunday morning at our usual time of 10am to 11am. We will post our usual programme summary when the programme is over and our link to the podcast as soon as it becomes available.

But to get us into the moment for the Finale to the Easter Season:

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,
and in our hearts take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heav'nly aid,
To fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

O Comforter, to Thee we cry,
Thou heav'nly gift of God most high,
Thou Fount of life, and Fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above.

O Finger of the hand divine,
the sevenfold gifts of grace are thine;
true promise of the Father thou,
who dost the tongue with power endow.

Thy light to every sense impart,
and shed thy love in every heart;
thine own unfailing might supply
to strengthen our infirmity.

Drive far away our ghostly foe,
and thine abiding peace bestow;
if thou be our preventing Guide,
no evil can our steps betide.

Praise we the Father and the Son
and Holy Spirit with them One;
and may the Son on us bestow
the gifts that from the Spirit flow.

V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us Pray
O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Ghost: give to us, in the same Spirit, to know what is right, and ever rejoice in His consolation. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who with Thee livest and reignest in the unity of the same Holy Spirit, God. World without end.

Some reflections for the Feast from:

9 Jun 2011

A Prayer for Exam Students

As we invoke the Great Comforter and commemorate Her coming on the first Pentecost, we invoke the Paraclete's intercession on those doing exams at the moment.

Prayers for Students Taking Exams

Loving God
be with me now,
as I prepare for my exams.
Thank you for the many talents and gifts you have
given me and for the opportunity of education.
Calm my nerves and anxiety, help me
to remember all that I have studied,
to express it clearly and to answer the questions
the very best that I can.
Holy Spirit, sit with me in my exam
- and always.
In Jesus’ name 
Other suggestions for prayers here.