28 Oct 2011

30th October 2011 - 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - All Hallows (All Saints and the month of the Holy Souls)

On this weeks programme, our regular contributor Michael Keating reminds us of November being the month of the All Saints and the Holy Souls, we also have our regular Sunday gospel reflection, saints of the week and local notices.
This weeks podcast is also now available.

November: All Saints and All Holy Souls

Next week we head into Winter (at least here in the northern hemisphere) with the start of November and in the liturgical calander we have two days set aside to remember the entirity of the church through time and space which in catholic theology is called the Communion of Saints.

St John on Patmos (writing the Book of Revelation) [Source: Wikipedia]
Michael takes us through a discussion of the importance of the two days when we celebrate all the Saints in heaven (officially canonised and unofficial saints), and all the Souls in Purgatory. The communion of saints (in Latin, communio sanctorum), when referred to persons, is the spiritual union of the members of the Christian Church, living and the dead, those on earth, in heaven, and, for those who believe in purgatory, those also who are in that state of purification.We are all part of a single "mystical body", with Christ as the head, in which each member contributes to the good of all and shares in the welfare of all.The word "sanctorum" in the phrase "communio sanctorum" can also be understood as referring not to holy persons, but to holy things, namely the blessings that the holy persons share with each other, including their faith, the sacraments and the other spiritual graces and gifts they have as Christians. Belief in the communion of saints is affirmed in the Apostles' Creed.

For those that might like to read what the Catechism of the Catholic Church which explains the Communion of Saints.

Gospel Reflection - Matthew 23: 1-12

The Law of Mosese was meant to free the people of God to live in communion with their God, not be a burden and act as a deterient to living in that communion of love and was to interpretated by scribes and pharisees as guides for the general population but in some ways the power had gone to their heads. Jesus challanges the scribes and pharisees as to why they are not living out the practise of that freeing law of love, why do they place obstcles in the way of those who want to live in the way of love.

This weeks gospel is a harsh one for us in our modern world with its call to humility and to practise what we preach! It reminds us that again and again we must remember that we are accountable for our actions from our faith and that just obeying the letter and not the spirit of the law is not enough. Our faith should not start when we enter the church on Sunday and finish as we leave. It should infuse our actions through out our lives. In our world - in our communities, our Church, our country, politicians, bankers etc , people who "sit in the chair of Mosese" who sit in places of authority and rightly from that authority can direct our lives are also themselves to be held to account for the charge that is given to them.
Ultimately the gospel reminds us we are called to be humble, not lording it over our neighbours but rather brothers and sisters walking the in Way of the Lord to our place in the Kingdom.
Other reflections on this weeks gospel:

Saints of the Week

October 31st - Blessed Dominic Collins, Martyr
November 1st - All Saints (Solemnity)
November 2nd - All Souls (Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed)
November 3rd - St Malachy
November 4th - St Charles Borromeo - First Friday
November 5th - St Zachary and St Elizabeth

Local Notices

Bereavement Support Programme: - Newcastle West Bereavement Support Group is facilitating a bereavement support programme under the guidance of a number of qualified counsellors. The support programme takes place in Newcastle West Parish Centre (the building in the grounds of the church car park) on Thursday nights at 8pm for the next four weeks. For your personal care, support with your loss, to talk or just to listen - please join us. If you have any queries, phone 087-6740879.

November 1st Liturgy: - The Limerick Diocesan Pastoral Centre are continuing the tradition of offering a prayerful parish liturgy on November 1st in St. Michael's Church, Limerick from 7pm to 8pm. All are welcome and there is no charge. Copies of the liturgy are available after the service for those who wish to take it home and/or use this material in their own parish during November.

27 Oct 2011

The Fellowship of the Unashamed

I am part of the "Fellowship of the Unashamed.
The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line.
The decision has been made.  I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is in God's hands.
I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colourless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, frivolous living, slefish giving, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, the best, recognised, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith. I lean on Christ's presence. I love with patience, live by prayer, and labour with the power of God's grace.

My pace is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear.

I cannot be bought, compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won't give up, shut up, let up, or slow up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and spoken up for the cause of Christ.

I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till he comes, give until I drop, speak out until all know, and work until he stops me.

And when he returns for his own, he will have no difficulty recognising me. My banner is clear: I am a part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed.

The authorship of this is disputed.

24 Oct 2011

Reflection on Irish faith from the Brothers of Taize

One of the brothers of the community was in Ireland in September-October 2011. He shares some of his impressions.

Over the space of ten days my trip to Ireland took me to four corners of the island, beginning in Dublin, then with stops west, in Ennis, south, in Cork and New Ross and finally north, in and around Belfast. Each evening a meeting and prayer brought together people from the surrounding area. In a number of these places, prayers with Taizé songs are held on a regular basis. The days were spent speaking with young people in schools and university chaplaincies as well as parishes.

The hospitality and generosity of the Irish are well-known but astounded me nonetheless at each step of my journey. Again and again I met people who were happy to be giving their time and whatever they have for others, whether it was the students of a school in East Belfast raising money to support famine victims in east Africa, pastoral workers in county Clare who accompany the young, university students in Galway working on a telephone hot-line for children at risk, or people in the ministry for the deaf in Dublin.

Crises in Church and society have rocked the country in recent years and have provoked much soul-searching for many. And yet everywhere I went I found people who were grateful to be living out their faith, however they could. I was reminded of Saint Paul’s words when he described how faith leads us to live not for ourselves but for the one who gave himself for us. Throughout the past, the Irish have drawn life from the Gospel and done so much to communicate that life to others, and this in the face of adversity and even far beyond their shores. No doubt today’s challenges are new and formidable, but from what I saw I would say that a fire burns in the midst of them.


23rd October 2011 - Mission Sunday 2011 - "Together in Faith"

On this weeks show we have our regular prayer space, an interview with Sr Sarah Hogan to mark Mission Sunday about her time in Australia, our regular gospel reflection and saints of the week.

Podcast of the show is now available.

Mission Sunday - Sr Sarah Hogan

Source: Kandle.ie
Continuing on with our coverage of Mission Sunday which falls this year on October 23rd. The theme of the Mission Sunday is "Together in Faith". The focus of this togetherness is on the newly independent Republic of South Sudan and our poster shows, catechist Pio Lokuru Kodee from Kapoeta, Torit Diocese in South Sudan. Pio has been an inspiration to his people and has also been a teacher to our missionaries. He has survived imprisonment and torture - with his people telling the army they couldn't kill him because "he was a man of God". The good news has brought life and hope to Pio and his community even as they have had to suffer for their faith over the years due to the political situation in Sudan. In his message for Mission Sunday this year, Pope Benedict XVI, wrote, "Missionary activity renews the Church, revitalizes faith and Christian identity, and offers fresh enthusiasm and new incentive. Faith is strengthened when it is given to others!" And he goes on to add, "It is in commitment to the Church's universal mission that the new evangelization of Christian peoples will find inspiration and support".

We have an interview this week with Sr Sarah who is a member of the congregation of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart (Josephites or Brown Joey's) which was founded by St Mary of the Cross MacKillop. She tells us of her formation as a sister and how she then travelled onto Australia to work on the mission. She reflects on her mission and her work with the Aboreginals but also what it means for all baptised to be missionaries for Christ.

Gospel - Matthew 9:1-8

Source: Pickleloaf.com
This weeks gospel is not the regular gospel for the Sunday of the year, but rather that chosen for Mission Sunday.In the gospel, we see the people follow Jesus and bring him a paralytic. He tells the man that his sins are forgiven and the scribes attack him. But the encounter reminds us that the love of God, the forgiveness and the healing of God are always available to us. It is the Mission of the Church to bring this healing, forgiveness and love to all people through knowledge of Jesus Christ.

The theme of Mission Sunday 2011 is "Together in Faith" with the focus in the gospel on the friends of the paralytic who bring him to Jesus in faith for Jesus to cure him. Are we those friends for our families and neighbours? Are we those supporting friends for the young church's and the persecutecd church's around the world?

Timothy Radcliffe has made the observation that poverty and being poor is so different from one society to another, depending on the nature of family ties, the type of economy and the social supports available. He has observed that poverty is not just an economic condition, the lack of food and clothing and employment. For many what it means is a terrible life of just surviving from day to day, meal to meal; where every day is almost a violent struggle to exist, where there appears to be no hope for people and they have given up trying to overcome the boredom, the insecurity and the dependence. The scandal of poverty is that it rips apart what Christ has made one. It tears apart the human family. It alienates us from our sisters and brothers. Lazarus at the door of the rich man’s house is not merely excluded from sharing his food but from sitting at his table as his brother. When you pray the creed this week, can you truly pray for one holy, catholic and apostolic church if your brother and sister is in poverty and want?

Saints of the Week

October 24th - St Anthony Claret
October 25th - Blessed Thaddeus MacCarthy
October 26th - St Cuthbert of Canterbury
October 27th - St Otteran
October 28th - Ss Simon and Jude - Apostles
October 29th - St Colman

16 Oct 2011

On being a Missionary: Getting into Deep Water

On being a Missionary: Getting into Deep Water
by Fr Peter Major MHM

[Fr. Peter Major is a Mill Hill Missionary who comes from Upper New York State. He has spent over thirty years working in the Sudan. He also spent some time working with Sudanese refugees in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya. He is now back working in Malakal, Sudan, doing chaplaincy work in the hospital and the prison, and also helping street children. The following reflections are from a piece that he wrote while on a Sabbatical which were published in the Autumn 2011 "St Joseph's Advocate" - published with permssion]

When I was a boy growing up in Skaneateles, New York State, I used to hear voices, "Go out to the deep water, go out to the deep water." But I was always afraid of deep water. Old logs and seaweed on the bottom of Skaneateles lake (near my home) always frightened me, and yet I felt a strange urge to dive in, as if there was a hidden treasure there. I felt somehow that in the deep water, I would find my own soul, the meaning of my existence.

‘Deep Water’ – Being a Missionary

I think "Deep water" is what being a missionary is all about. For me, the call to the deep water took me to Borneo and Beirut, Cairo, and the Sudan. Now that my hair is getting grey, I realize that deep water is not necessarily far away. Deep water is everywhere, even in Syracuse and Skaneateles, New York. Wherever there is pain, suffering, heartbreak and wounded people, this is the deep water; it is the place we fear to enter, yet it is here in the deep water that we find Christ. "I was hungry, did you give me to eat? I was in prison, did you visit me, I was a refugee, did you welcome me in?"

Deep water is not a one-way street. Mission is a two way street. I remember once in a ‘pagan’ longhouse in Borneo teaching the people about God and Jesus Christ. I told them that "God is the creator of heaven and earth." And they all agreed. Then I told them that Jesus said to "love God and love your neighbour." And they all agreed. Then one old warrior raised his hand and said to me, "Father, we people living here in the rain forest say that not only are people our neighbours, but all of God's creation is our neighbour. The air we breathe is our neighbour. The water is our neighbour. The trees, the forest, the birds and animals in the forest are our neighbours."

I'm a missionary priest. But that day, an old man in a ‘pagan’ Longhouse in Borneo taught me something about "Love your neighbour." It's like Jesus told us: "The Spirit of God blows where it will" - even amongst the ‘pagan’ people in the rain forests of Borneo.

I found myself in very deep water

And yes, even among the Muslim people of the Sudan, the Holy Spirit is alive and well. In August 1998, I was living in Khartoum, the capital city of the Sudan. One evening at around 9 p.m. we heard several loud explosions. "What was that?" After an hour, an announcement came over the radio, "The United States of America has launched a missile attack on the Islamic Republic of the Sudan”. It was true too. President Clinton had ordered a missile attack on an alleged ‘Chemical weapons plant’ located in the city.

Just imagine this situation: I'm the only white person in the whole area. All my neighbours are Muslims. Many of them know that I'm an American priest, whose country just attacked their own country. Get the picture? I'm in very deep water! Any minute there will be a lynch mob banging down my door. I waited and waited. But nothing happened. No one came. They didn't drag me out of the house and cut my throat. In fact even when I got enough courage to go outside the next day nothing happened. Not one person even cursed me!

Everything is upside down

In the deep water everything is upside down. Muslims in a ‘Terrorist country’ teach a Christian the meaning of non­violence. An old ‘pagan’ man teaches a priest about God. Mission is a two way street. We give and we receive. The same Spirit in me is also in them. The Spirit lifts the veil from our eyes to see the stranger as our friend.

Of course, having lived in the Sudan for so many years, I'm not so naive as to believe the Holy Spirit is the only Spirit blowing in the wind. I'm not the only missionary in Africa. The Devil is also preaching there… And many people hear his call and follow him down the wide road to self-destruction.

The countless refugee camps throughout Africa are the fruits of the Devil's labour. In Kakuma Refugee Camp alone there are 86,000 refugees, all innocent victims of civil war and hunger in the Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, and the Congo. For me, these victims, these refugees are the light to the world.

Deep Water – Following God’s Dream

Deep water is when we follow God's dream and not our dream. In God's dream, every child has the right to eat, money or no money. Every child has the right to drink clean water, money or no money. Every child has the right to sleep in a house and not on the street, money or no money.

Deep water is about The Truth. It's about looking deep down inside ourselves to discover the real truth about our faith. As Jesus said, "The truth will set you free." And the truth is that every person, good or bad, black or white, Muslim or Christian, is a temple of the Holy Spirit. That's why we are called to respect every person. That's why we believe every person can change and become a new person. Deep water is believing in the transforming presence of the Holy Spirit.

The Mill Hill Missionaries are St. Joseph’s Missionary Society is a missionary Society founded by Cardinal Herbert Vaughan in the late 19th Century. Over the last 160 years, missionaries coming from Europe, and more recently from Africa and Asia, have joined ranks to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world. The history of the Mill Hill Missionaries is closely linked to the story of its founder, Cardinal Herbert Vaughan and his vision for a college to train missionaries to go overseas to proclaim the Gospel. From the motherhouse at St. Joseph’s College, Mill Hill, and later on, from various other places, missionaries have continued to live out this vocational calling

To read more about the Mill Hill Missionaries HERE.

To read more Missionary Stories HERE.

St Joseph's Advocate is the magazine of the Irish Mill Hill Missionaries and is published quarterly. It keeps all friends and supporters in touch with the work of the Irish MHM's in the Third World and publishes articles of spiritual, church and general interest.

It is published from the MHM house in Kilkenny, four issues per year with a calendar at Christmas. If you would like to support the work of the MHM and become a member please contact Fr Director, Mill Hill Missionaries, Waterford Road, Kilkeny.

15 Oct 2011

16th October 2011 - 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - Mission Sunday 23rd October 2011

On this weeks programme we discuss Mission Sunday which falls this year on October 23rd. We also have our regular reflection and discussion on this weeks Sunday gospel, as well as some local announcements and saints of the week.

Programme podcast now available.

Mission Sunday - "Together in Faith" (October 23rd 2011)

Source: www.kandle.ie
Mission Sunday is on 23rd October this year. Each year it takes place on the second last Sunday of October, the traditional month of universal mission since 1926.

On Mission Sunday a collection is taken up and is organised annually by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and is celebrated in every Church throughout the world, including the poorest.

World Mission Sunday provides Catholics with the opportunity to unite with their missionary sisters and brothers, and to recommit themselves to the Church's missionary activity, through prayer, sacrifice and financial contribution. Funds raised are used to assist Young Churches and missionaries in helping communities in need, both spiritually and materially.

In October 2010, Irish Catholics contributed more than €2.2 million. Limerick diocese contributed €64,703.  The Mission Sunday collection is made available, in its entirety, to be distributed to as many as 1,100 young Churches who are supported by the generosity of Churches that are better off through the Society of Propoganda Fide, Society of St Peter the Apostle and the Society of Missionary Children.

Contributions will be used to build simple mission churches, to educate seminarians and to assist in the formation of lay leaders. The Mission Sunday gift will also be used for the building of health clinics for children, emergency aid in times of war or natural disaster and to assist missionaries in their efforts to care for refugees.
The theme for World Mission Sunday in Ireland this year is Together in Faith. We celebrate the heroic faith of Pio Lokuru in South Sudan (read the story behind the poster) and of his fellow catechists throughout the world, who welcome our 1,762 missionaries, teach them and work with them in building up the Church. We thank God for them, for all who support them in our own country and for our togetherness in faith.

In his message for Mission Sunday this year, Pope Benedict XVI, wrote, "Missionary activity renews the Church, revitalizes faith and Christian identity, and offers fresh enthusiasm and new incentive. Faith is strengthened when it is given to others!" And he goes on to add, "It is in commitment to the Church's universal mission that the new evangelization of Christian peoples will find inspiration and support"

Further information about Mission Sunday from World Missions Ireland.

Gospel - Matthew 22: 15-21

Source: American Illiterati

Matthew presents another challanging gospel to us this week with the oft quoted phrase which is used to define the Church's place in society.

We have another frosty interaction between Jesus and the Pharisees which was an almost dangerous question which was proceded by a case of damning by faint praise - a back handed compliment. Do we ever do that to our neighbour? How do we respond? Do we react or repond as Jesus did? Or how would we repond if Jesus called us a hypocite? Standing in the shoes of the pharisees, does it cut us to the heart? Do we know moments when we could be accused of being a hypocrite?

Rendering unto God what is God's is a reminder that everything comes as a gift from the love of God into our own hearts and lives. Our lives are a sharing in the Divine as they are gifts from God. The message of scripture is that all creation is a gift from God but that we must contribute to a fair and just society but that a balance needs to be maintained between the two.

Other reflections on this weeks gospel:

From Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical "Deus caritas est":

"Fundamental to Christianity is the distinction between what belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God (cf. Mt 22:21), in other words, the distinction between Church and State, or, as the Second Vatican Council puts it, the autonomy of the temporal sphere. The State may not impose religion, yet it must guarantee religious freedom and harmony between the followers of different religions. For her part, the Church, as the social expression of Christian faith, has a proper independence and is structured on the basis of her faith as a community which the State must recognize. The two spheres are distinct, yet always interrelated.

Justice is both the aim and the intrinsic criterion of all politics. Politics is more than a mere mechanism for defining the rules of public life: its origin and its goal are found in justice, which by its very nature has to do with ethics. The State must inevitably face the question of how justice can be achieved here and now. But this presupposes an even more radical question: what is justice? The problem is one of practical reason; but if reason is to be exercised properly, it must undergo constant purification, since it can never be completely free of the danger of a certain ethical blindness caused by the dazzling effect of power and special interests.

Here politics and faith meet. Faith by its specific nature is an encounter with the living God—an encounter opening up new horizons extending beyond the sphere of reason. But it is also a purifying force for reason itself. From God's standpoint, faith liberates reason from its blind spots and therefore helps it to be ever more fully itself. Faith enables reason to do its work more effectively and to see its proper object more clearly. This is where Catholic social doctrine has its place: it has no intention of giving the Church power over the State. Even less is it an attempt to impose on those who do not share the faith ways of thinking and modes of conduct proper to faith. Its aim is simply to help purify reason and to contribute, here and now, to the acknowledgment and attainment of what is just.

The Church's social teaching argues on the basis of reason and natural law, namely, on the basis of what is in accord with the nature of every human being. It recognizes that it is not the Church's responsibility to make this teaching prevail in political life. Rather, the Church wishes to help form consciences in political life and to stimulate greater insight into the authentic requirements of justice as well as greater readiness to act accordingly, even when this might involve conflict with situations of personal interest. Building a just social and civil order, wherein each person receives what is his or her due, is an essential task which every generation must take up anew. As a political task, this cannot be the Church's immediate responsibility. Yet, since it is also a most important human responsibility, the Church is duty-bound to offer, through the purification of reason and through ethical formation, her own specific contribution towards understanding the requirements of justice and achieving them politically.

The Church cannot and must not take upon herself the political battle to bring about the most just society possible. She cannot and must not replace the State. Yet at the same time she cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice. She has to play her part through rational argument and she has to reawaken the spiritual energy without which justice, which always demands sacrifice, cannot prevail and prosper. A just society must be the achievement of politics, not of the Church. Yet the promotion of justice through efforts to bring about openness of mind and will to the demands of the common good is something which concerns the Church deeply."

Saints of the Week

October 17th - St Ignatius of Antioch
October 18th - St Luke the Evangelist
October 19th - St Paul of the Cross
October 20th - St Aidan of Mayo
October 21st - Blessed Charles of Austria
October 22nd - St Mary Salome

Local Notices

Preparing for Advent 2011 for Parish Liturgy Groups

Workshop offered in Newcastlewest (18th) and Limerick city (19th), at only 5 euros per person. This workshop will look at the scripture of the 4 Sundays of Advent, at themes for your parish this Advent, and will offer resources for liturgy – including reconciliation and carol services
Further information available HERE.

Lourdes - The Musical
Lourdes - The Musical” is a celebration of the spirit and talent of the young people who have been part of the Lourdes Youth Pilgrimage over the last five years. Based on the music of Lourdes, our closing liturgies and even song contexts; we plan to stage the show in Mary Immaculate’s new state of the art Theatre in March. Rehearsals will begin every Thursday from 6-8pm starting on January 26th. We will be holding an Information Evening on Friday, November 18th in the Pastoral Centre to give you a better sense of what’s involved and so that we have an idea of how many people would be interested in taking part. We want to involve as many people as possible to make this a really special and unique event, so if you have travelled to Lourdes as a youth pilgrim or been involved in any capacity with the pilgrimage we would love you to take part. If you know young people who were in Lourdes PLEASE pass on this invitation to them!!!

More information HERE.

Rome Reports - Exploring Russian Icons in Rome

15th October - St Teresa of Avila

Source: Wikipedia
Saint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada, (March 28, 1515 – October 4, 1582) 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.

Read more about this saint here.

Let nothing disturb thee;
Let nothing dismay thee:
All thing pass;
God never changes.
Patience attains
All that it strives for.
He who has God
Finds he lacks nothing:
God alone suffices.

11 Oct 2011

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

We haven't done a round up of interesting articles and pieces from around the Internet for a few weeks so you might want to consult with Mrs Doyle (go on), put the kettle on for a cuppa (go on, you know you want one) and put the feet up for the next while................

Over at Patheos, Elizabeth Scalia (a.k.a. The Anchoress) is winnowing through the catholic blogosphere like a miner searching for gold and like the Angels at the end of time in the Book of Revelation is gathering many bloggers into the big barn that is Patheos.com. Keep an eye on the great additions over there such as YIM Catholic, the Crescent, Mark O'Shea and a whole lot of excellent bloggers and columnists are being welcomed to the Patheos stable. As soon as they have sorted out the various moves, hung up the curtains in the new place and dusted it out, we will update our links in the blogroll.

Given October is the month of the Rosary, we decided to start with Sarah Reinhard's reflection on years of pondering the Annunciation encouraging her to keep trying to say "yes" even when "no" would be so easy - Learning to say yes, Today.

The family of Limerick priest Fr Jerry Roche brutally murdered in Kenya in December 2009 have reiterated their opposition to the execution of his killers.

A friend of SacredSpace 102fm, the creative and thoughtful Blue Eyed Ennis has a post of short videos of the late Br Roger of Taize.

Fr Dwight Longnecker over at Standing on my Head has a piece asking Why Catholics should build beautiful Churches.

A fairly recent arrival on the Irish blogging scene is The Thirsty Gargoyle who has some excellent pieces looking at the Taoiseach's speech and a fair and balanced analysis of the issue of child sexual abuse in Irish society as well as some not so heavy and serious pieces. Comes with a high recommendation!

Parenting can be a tough job especially for the under 5's but Emily Senderstrand gives some encouragement to parents who are in The Tunnel of Parenthood.

Digitalnun reflects on fraternal correction and forgiveness from the Rule of St Benedict and how it applies to our lives outside the monastery walls.

Ever feel like time is running away from you? Well two pieces that caught our eye discussing our use of time and perception of time -
  1. From the Guardian - Now more then ever we need to cherish our simple pleasures and
  2. From Msgr Charles Pope - Does anybody really know what Time It Is? A Consideration of the Western Notion of Time, and How It is Different from Most of the World.
The news that a person has been diagnosed with cancer can rarely be turned to a positive, but one priest from Iowa in the USA who is dying from cancer shares his journey with cancer and how it is turning into the greatest homily of his life, and he shares it with everyone he meets

SacredSpace 102fm is a fan of the Irish Catholic newspaper which we cover on the programme from time to time, but the Irish Catholic also has a limited online presence. Recently Garry O'Sullivan and Cliona Bryne looked at how Vocations [are] more radical as the recession bites.

Pat Gohn provides two moments of reflection on the Monstrance and the Sanctuary Lamp. Beautiful, take your time to read them.

The irreverent, challenging and humorous Max Lindemann casts an acerbicbic eye over the canonisation process and the call to make it more "democratic" - Santo! Subito! Per Tutti?

"Because our love has grown cold" - a pointed reminder from a Byzantine Catholic over the first requirement for true ecumenism, the need to be filled with love for our fellow Christians.

Pat Gohn reflects on 9/11 2001 and how Christ is ever present in the midst of suffering and tragedy, no matter where we are on the tragic continuum, God is deliberately near to each soul and profoundly in tune with our sufferings - 9/11 and the Ever present Christ.

By the way if you are reading this blog you're Way Above Average. A Recent Study Shows Some Startling Data Regarding Catholic Internet Sites.

Douglas Murray says that we are betraying persecuted Christians in Muslim lands - After Regensburg the silence is deafening.

Did you ever wonder where the money for the parchments with the Papal wedding blessings was used for? - Vatican Diary - the pope's alms and other curiosities.

Did you know that Pope Benedict made a state trip to Germany in September? If you were relying on Irish media sources you would be forgiven for saying no to that question. If you would like to get a feel for the coverage of the visit and some of the challenging speeches and addresses given by Pope Benedict during the visit:
Loving someone until death is as hard as it is beautiful. It is sacrifice, but also a well of deep, refreshing joy. Pat Gohn reflects on Exquisite and Excruciating: The Life of Married Love.

Reports of the demise of religious life, to paraphrase Mark Twain, are greatly exaggerated, theologian Sr. Sandra M. Schneiders said in a Sept. 24 speech, drawing applause from the audience at St. Mary’s College here for the line, “I come to praise this life, not bury it.” - Prophetic future ahead for women religious.

With the death recently of Steve Jobs, the creative genius behind Apple, the BBC had asked the question before his death whether the iPad made us anti-social? The Irish Independent noted that in the 10 years since its launch, the iPod has transformed the way we listen to music -- but not for the better. The Washington Post noted how Apple is a new religion, and Steve Jobs was its high priest.

Joseph Susanka reflects on how "I'm more "dialed in" now than I've been at any other point in my life, but I am less connected than ever". - Seeing the faces behind Facebook.

AggieCatholic examines the reasons given in recent study in the USA as to why young people leave the Christian churches.

Donald Cardinal Wuerl responds to that age old charge against the church that it is just not with it.

And finally for today, Frank Weathers reminds us that Life is Like an Epic Poem (Not a Report Card).

11th October - Good Pope John XXIII

A reminder from Catholic Culture:

Today is the feast of Blessed John XXIII, pope from 1958-1963, best known for convening the Second Vatican Council. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 3, 2000. His feast is assigned to the day on which the first session of Vatican II opened in 1962. His feast is not on the General Roman Calendar, but can be celebrated locally.

"Everyone remembers the image of Pope John's smiling face and two outstretched arms embracing the whole world. How many people were won over by his simplicity of heart, combined with a broad experience of people and things! The breath of newness he brought certainly did not concern doctrine, but rather the way to explain it; his style of speaking and acting was new, as was his friendly approach to ordinary people and to the powerful of the world. It was in this spirit that he called the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, thereby turning a new page in the Church's history Christians heard themselves called to proclaim the Gospel with renewed courage and greater attentiveness to the "signs" of the times. The Council was a truly prophetic insight of this elderly Pontiff who, even amid many difficulties, opened a season of hope for Christians and for humanity. In the last moments of his earthly life, he entrusted his testament to the Church: "What counts the most in life is blessed Jesus Christ, his holy Church, his Gospel, truth and goodness". -- John Paul II          

To read about the life of Pope John XXIII and to read his writings and encyclicals 

"Consult not your fears but your hopes and dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what is still possible for you to do". - Pope John XXIII 

From Rocco over at Whispers in the Loggia he gives us one of Pope John XXIII famous speeches to the people of Rome called the "Discourse under the Moon" delivered by Papa Roncalli spontaneously from his apartment window following a torchlight prayer-vigil for the Council's success.

Dear sons and daughters,

I feel your voices! Mine is just one lone voice, but it sums up the voice of the whole world.

And here, in fact, all the world is represented here tonight. It could even be said that even the moon hastens close tonight, that from above, it might watch this spectacle that not even St Peter's Basilica, over its four centuries of history, has ever been able to witness.

We ask for a great day of peace. Yes, of peace! 'Glory to God, and peace to men of goodwill.'' If I asked you, if I could ask of each one of you: where are you from? The children of Rome, especially represented here, would respond: ah, we are the closest of children, and you're our bishop. Well, then, sons and daughters of Rome, always remember that you represent 'Roma, caput mundi' ['Rome, the capital of the world'] which through the design of Providence it has been called to be across the centuries.

My own person counts for nothing -- it's a brother who speaks to you, become a father by the will of our Lord, but all together, fatherhood and brotherhood and God's grace, give honor to the impressions of this night, which are always our feelings, which now we express before heaven and earth: faith, hope, love, love of God, love of brother, all aided along the way in the Lord's holy peace for the work of the good. And so, let us continue to love each other, to look out for each other along the way: to welcome whoever comes close to us, and set aside whatever difficulty it might bring.

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.

--Pope John XXIII
"Moonlight Speech"
Window of the Apostolic Palace
11 October 1962

10 Oct 2011

Blessed John Henry Newman

October 9th is the feast day of Blessed John Henry Newman, but as it fell on a Sunday this year, it is omitted. However as Rocco reminds us over at Whispers, we can still acknowledge the day.

Rome Reports - An Irish monk to Jerusalem

The solemn entrance of Dom Gregory Collins OSB as the new Abbot of the Abbey of the Dormition in Jerusalem. Dom Gregory is formerly a monk of Glenstal Abbey who was elected abbot by the community in July 2011.

9th October 2011 - 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Rvd Deacon Nick Donnelly

In a slightly different format to our usual programme format, this week's programme featured an hour-long interview with Reverend Nick Donnelly. Rev Nick Donnelly is a permanent deacon of the Diocese of Lancaster,and an author for the Catholic Truth Society. He holds a BA Divinity in Theology and is studying for his Masters at the Maryvale Institute. He is also on the Editorial Team of The Catholic Voice of Lancaster, the newspaper of the Diocese of Lancaster.

He is also the founder of www.protectthepope.com, a website thatwas set up in the run up to Pope Benedict’s state visit to the UK in September 2010 as a direct response to the unprecedented level of hostility, ridicule and ill-will from certain public figures, sections of the press and blogs against the Holy Father and the Catholic Church.

Deacon Nick shares some of his incredible story with us... how his faith had helped him cope with chronic pain and illness from an early age and how despite his ill-health he was able to study theology with Maryvale Institute at the same time as preparing to be ordained as a married Permanent Deacon for the Church. Deacon Nick tells us why he set up the Protect the Pope website and the importance of honest dialogue on matters of the faith. He shares with us the lead up to the beatification of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman in the UK last year and how, through God's grace, and the intercession of Blessed Cardinal Newman and Blessed Pope John Paul II, he was healed. Deacon Nick speaks of the Catholic understanding of suffering and healing and especially of persevering in prayer.
Podcast is now available.

2 Oct 2011

Sacred Space 102fm Update

Regular blog readers will have noticed a slight decline in activity on the blog over the last few weeks as the Sacred Space 102fm team have had a busy September outside our work for the programme. However, as life settles back into more of a normal routine, we will be back to regular posting on the blog including our regular Some web browsing, links and videos to things happening in the Catholic world as well as some interesting posts and reflections on WYD, November as the month of the dead. We will be catching up on recent talks and addresses by Pope Benedict as well as other bits and pieces we come across.

Also up coming on the programe  in the next few months, we are going to be looking at the revised translation, Misson Sunday on October 23rd, prepartion for Advent, a series on the sacraments and also looking at the up coming International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in June 2012.

As always thanks for listening and reading and if you have any suggestions for us on how we can improve the programme or the blog, please do not hesitate to contact us via the comments, email or even ordinary mail to the radio station.

Thanks again

Sacred Space 102fm Team.

2nd October 2011 - 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) - Society of Children of Latin America

On this weeks programme, we catch up with the Society for Children of Latin America who update us on their fundraising activities in support of the work of the late Fr John Cribbin OMI in Brazil as well as their tribute to Fr John, our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel and a quick run through the sainst of the week and some local notices.
The weeks podcast is now available. 

Society for Children of Latin America (SCoLA)

Rachel Lenihan and Fr Richard Keane update us on their work and fundraising activities over the last year on behalf of the Society for Latin America especially their most recent endevour which was a parachute jump in aid of their fundraising activities. To date the skydive has raised €6,000 and funds are still coming in and which will continue the work begun by Fr Cribbin.

Rachel and Fr Richard also gave their tribute to the late Fr John Cribbin and his work in Rio de Janeiro.

Gospel - Matthew 21:33-43

This weeks gospel is one which needs to reflect and read on and to engage with in your imagination. There is great linkages across all the readinsg from this Sunday especially from the first reading which is taken from the prophet Isaiah.

One of the themes is the examination of the the relationship between God and the People of Israel demonstrated by the landowners looking after the vineyard with protection from the world in the Law (the hedge) and guidance provided to the Chosen People (and to us)

To bring the passage back to us and our own lives, if we stand into the story, which character are you in today's gospel? If we pose a few questions to ourselves what would your answer be?

Are we cooperating with the Lord's work in his vineyard - in our lives? Are we open to the message of the Lord be it through the Church or people who open moments in our lives to the Divine?

The gospel also reminds us that the Lord looks after his vineyard - we are never alone. While we may feel abandoned, it is at times like that we should turn to God and ask for his help. He will never abandon us and is always there waiting for us to turn to him in prayer.

Finally, if we stand in the place of the tenant, and we are questioned by the landowner who gave his vineyard over to us how would we be able to respond? We don't own our own lives, we don't own our world or our church. They come from, belong to and return to God and we are just stewards of our creation and our church. The gift of the vineyard to each of us is our life in this creation of the Lord. He will ask each of us indiviudally; How did you respect the gift that was given to you? How did you answer my call to love in the vineyard? Did you answer the call that I made to you in your heart?

Other reflections on this weeks gospel:

Saints of the Week

October 3rd - Blessed Colomba Marmion
October 4th - St Francis of Assisi
October 5th - St Faustina Kowalska (Apostle of the Divine Mercy)
October 6th - St Bruno
October 7th - Our Lady of the Rosary (First Friday)
October 8th - Blessed Ambrose Sansedoni OP of Siena

Local Notices

This week we had a number of updates in relation to activites and workshops being run by the Limerick Diocesan Pastoral Centre including choir training for the revised translation, and up and coming scripture courses for Advent.

To find out the details of the various courses and to keep up to date with what is happening in the diocese check out Limerick Diocese online and sign up for the Pastoral Development newsletter.