31 Aug 2012

RIP - Cardinal Martini

Regular listeners and readers of the blog will know that before we reflect on the Sunday gospel we generally invoke the Holy Spirit on our lectio divina using a prayer composed by Cardinal Martini, archbishop emeritus of Milan. Sadly this evening comes news from Italy of the death of Cardinal Martini.

May he rest in peace.

Message of Pope Benedict XVI (from Communio):
The typical protocol is for the Pope, often through the Secretary of State, to send a telegram on the death of a churchman, or on the occasion of another significant event. In the case of cardinals, a pope sends a more personal message. Pope Benedict knew Cardinal Martini well, and even saw him in June when he was in Milan. The pope writes...
B16 and Carlo Maria.jpgHaving heard with sadness the news of the death of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini after a long illness, which he lived with a tranquil soul and with confident abandonment to the will of the Lord, I wish to express to you and to the entire diocesan community, as well as to the family of the late Cardinal, my profound share in their sorrow, recalling with affection this dear brother who served the Gospel and the Church so generously. I recall with gratitude the intense and profuse Apostolic work of this zealous, spiritual child of St. Ignatius, an expert teacher, an authoritative biblical scholar, and a beloved Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University and of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, and a wise and diligent Archbishop of the Ambrosian Archdiocese. I think also of the competent and fervent service he gave to the Word of God, always opening to the ecclesial community the treasures of the Sacred Scriptures, especially through the promotion of Lectio Divina. I raise fervent prayers to the Lord that, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, He will receive His faithful servant and worthy shepherd into the heavenly Jerusalem; and upon all those who mourn his death, I warmly impart the comfort of the Apostolic Blessing. 

25 Aug 2012

26th August 2012 - 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) - Knock

On this weeks programme Michael Keating makes a welcome return and leads a discussion about the apparition at Knock, we have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as some other bits and pieces including the saints of the week.

This weeks podcast is available to listen to HERE.


Michael Keating tells us of the story of the Apparitions of Knock this morning and leads a panel discussion with John, Lorraine and Shane around the significance of the apparition. While the shrine at Knock is mainly viewed as a Marian shrine, Michael reminds us that the focus of this silent apparition was actually on the Lamb of God on the Altar before the Victorious Cross and how Mary once more is pointing the way to her Son and not to herself.
Gospel - John 6: 60-69

Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.’

Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
Sunday Reflections
English Dominicans
Blue Eyed Ennis

Liturgical odds and ends

Divine Office - Psalter - Week 1

Pope's Intentions for September 2012

General Intention
  • Prisoners - That prisoners may be treated with justice and respect for their human dignity.
Mission Intention
  • Youth Witness to Christ - That young people, called to follow Christ, may be willing to proclaim and bear witness to the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

Saints of the Week

August 27th - St Monica
August 28th - St Augustine of Hippo
August 29th - The Beheading of John the Baptist
August 30th - St Fiacre
August 31st - St Aidan of Lidensfarne

20 Aug 2012

Cistercian Communities in Ireland

As today is the feast of St Bernard of Clairvaux, we list below the Irish communities of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (aka Trappists).

Cistercian nuns of Glencairn

Cistercian monks have communities at:

Mount St Joseph's Abbey Roscrea Co Tipperary

Mellifont Abbey Collon Co Louth

Bolton Abbey, Moone Co Kildare

Our Lady of Bethleham Abbey, Portglenone, Ballymena, Co. Antrim

Mount Melleray Abbey, Co Waterford

Dom Eamon Fitzgerald ocso
Of course on Sacred Space 102fm we always look for the Irish connection, and the current head of the worldwide Cistercian community is Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, formerly the Abbot of Mount Melleray Abbey, who was elected Abbot General of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance, commonly known as Trappist monks in September 2008.

19 Aug 2012

St Bernard of Clairvaux

August 20th is the feast day of St Bernard of Clairvaux who is a saint I am supposed to be getting to know a bit better this year as he was my 2012 patron of the year. Alas, after some New Years enthusism Bernard and I had parted company (mea culpa,mea culpa, mea maxima culpa) but as there are still a number of weeks to go before the end of the liturgical year, we will begin again.

To all Cistercians and Trappists (and their Benedictine cousins); happy feast day!

However, for various family reasons this particular sermon of St Bernard on the Song of Songs is very timely and is the second reading from tomorrows Office of Readings for the feast day:

I love because I love, I love that I may love
Love is sufficient of itself, it gives pleasure by itself and because of itself. It is its own merit, its own reward. Love looks for no cause outside itself, no effect beyond itself. Its profit lies in its practice. I love because I love, I love that I may love. Love is a great thing so long as it continually returns to its fountainhead, flows back to its source, always drawing from there the water which constantly replenishes it. Of all the movements, sensations and feelings of the soul, love is the only one in which the creature can respond to the Creator and make some sort of similar return however unequal though it be. For when God loves, all he desires is to be loved in return; the sole purpose of his love is to be loved, in the knowledge that those who love him are made happy by their love of him.
The Bridegroom’s love, or rather the love which is the Bridegroom, asks in return nothing but faithful love. Let the beloved, then, love in return. Should not a bride love, and above all, Love’s bride? Could it be that Love not be loved?
Rightly then does she give up all other feelings and give herself wholly to love alone; in giving love back, all she can do is to respond to love. And when she has poured out her whole being in love, what is that in comparison with the unceasing torrent of that original source? Clearly, lover and Love, soul and Word, bride and Bridegroom, creature and Creator do not flow with the same volume; one might as well equate a thirsty man with the fountain.
What then of the bride’s hope, her aching desire, her passionate love, her confident assurance? Is all this to wilt just because she cannot match stride for stride with her giant, any more than she can vie with honey for sweetness, rival the lamb for gentleness, show herself as white as the lily, burn as bright as the sun, be equal in love with him who is Love? No. It is true that the creature loves less because she is less. But if she loves with her whole being, nothing is lacking where everything is given. To love so ardently then is to share the marriage bond; she cannot love so much and not be totally loved, and it is in the perfect union of two hearts that complete and total marriage consists. Or are we to doubt that the soul is loved by the Word first and with a greater love?

18 Aug 2012

19th August 2012 - 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sr Louise O'Rourke and the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master (PDDM)

Sr Louise and Sr Santina
On this weeks programme we are joined by a longtime friend of Sacred Space 102fm Sr Louise O'Rourke PDDM. Sr Louise has been contributing to the programme for the last few years behind  the scenes as our Rome Correspondent, IEC 2012 Correspondent and one of the prayer supports of the programme. Sr Louise shares her own vocation story as well as introducing us to the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master who are celebrating 50 years of their foundation in Ireland in Athlone and Dublin.

This weeks podcast is available HERE.

Sister Disciples of the Divine Master

'I can't, You must, I'm yours, lead me'

Founded by Blessed James Alberione, in Alba on February 10, 1924, liturgical memorial of St. Scholastica, the Disciples of the Divine Master, is the third institute of the Pauline Family. The first group of disciples was composed of 8 young women with Orsola Maria Rivata assigned as sister-in-charge. She would later take the religious name Sr. M. Scholastica on the day of her religious clothing. The eight sisters were given the name Pie Discepole del Divin Maestro (literally, Pious Disciples of the Divine Master).

They are part of the Pauline Family which is a family of priests, religious and lay people whose mission is: ‘to live and give Jesus Master to the world’. The community are born of the Eucharist, open to the newness of the Spirit and inserted within our socio-ecclesial context. They are an international Congregation of religious women.

Irish delegation of the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master
Their consecrated life is centred on the Eucharist– a life of prayer and intercession for all of humanity. The communities have a strong contemplative-apostolic lifestyle of loving and active silence. In their apostolic activity they seek to make the Eucharistic Jesus known, loved and adored.

They promote liturgical formation and animation in various ways among the clergy and laity. This is done through the production and distribution of sacred art, liturgical furnishings and vestments, together with an active participation in the life of the Church.  They are associated with the ministry of the priest, just as Mary was with Jesus. In this aspect, they offer a space of prayer and hospitality through Bethany House in Dublin which reaches out in a particular way to priests in need of rest and spiritual renewal through community support, and prayer.

Their charism is lived out in missionary and multicultural communities of which they have two in Ireland, one community in Dublin and another in Athlone. They are in the five continents and in 31 nations where they have Chapels of Perpetual Adoration. There they are known as the ‘apostles of the Eucharist.’
Links to Sister Disciples of the Divine Master:

Gospel Reflections - John 6:51-58

I am the Bread of Life
Links to various sites for reflections on this weeks gospel as we didn't get to it on this weeks programme:

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflections
English Dominicans
Deacon Greg Kandra
Blue Eyed Ennis
Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical odds and ends

Psalter - Week 4 - Divine Office

August 20th - St Bernard of Clairvaux
August 21st - Pope St Pius X
August 22nd - The Queenship of Mary (Memoria)
August 23rd - St Rose of Lima
August 24th - St Bartholomew (Apostle)
August 25th - St Louis IX

15 Aug 2012

National Novena in honour of Our Lady of Knock 2012

Theme: Eucharist and Life
Knock Shrine 14th – 22nd August, 2012

Twice daily: Afternoon 3.00 pm, Evening 8.30 pm

You can watch the live stream at 3pm each day HERE.

The talks given at the Novena are being posted HERE.

Tuesday 14th August: The Legacy of the Eucharistic CongressFr. Pat Farragher,
Castlebar, Co. Mayo

Wednesday 15th August:
The Assumption
Fr. Benny McHale, CC,
Athenry, Co. Galway

Thursday 16th August:
Living a Eucharistic Faith Today
Baroness Nuala O’Loan
Retired Police Ombudsman in Northern Ireland

Friday 17th August:
What makes a School Catholic?
Fr. Michael Drumm, Chairperson of the Catholic Schools Partnership, Maynooth

Saturday 18th August:
The Eucharist as Prayer
Most Rev. Philip Boyce, (OCD), DD,
Bishop of Raphoe (Raphoe Diocesan Pilgrimage)

Sunday 19th August:
Eucharist Forms Community
Most Rev. Christopher Jones, DD,
Bishop of Elphin (Elphin Diocesan Pilgrimage)

Monday 20th August:
The Eucharist – A Project of Solidarity for All
Mr. Justin Kilcullen,
Director of Trócaire

Tuesday 21st August:
Eucharist and Renewal
Fr. Richard Gibbons,
P.P. Knock

Wednesday 22nd August:
The Future of the Church in Ireland
H.E. Archbishop Charles Brown,
Apostolic Nuncio

The Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven

Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Source)

"[A]fter we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.
Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith."

 "Munificentissimus Deus" - Pope Pius XII 1950

On your right stands the queen, in garments of gold.
The daughters of kings are among your loved ones.
On your right stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
Listen, O daughter, give ear to my words:
forget your own people and your father’s house.
On your right stands the queen, in garments of gold.
So will the king desire your beauty:
He is your lord, pay homage to him.
They are escorted amid gladness and joy;
they pass within the palace of the king.
On your right stands the queen, in garments of gold.
"In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart. And that you may obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps. With her for guide, you shall never go astray; while invoking her, you shall never lose heart; so long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception; while she holds your hand, you cannot fall; under her protection you have nothing to fear; if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary; if she shows you favor, you shall reach the goal."
- St Bernard of Clairvaux
Other reading:
Catholic Culture - here and here
The Moon is Sleeping - First Things
Vatican Radio - Our Lady's Dormition

11 Aug 2012

12th August 2012 - 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Monica Brown and Hilary Musgrave

On this weeks programme, we are joined by Monica Brown and Hilary Musgrave to share abit about  their creative ministry through art, sacred clowning and music. We have our regular saints of the week update and on the blog this week we also provide some links to help reflect on this Sunday's gospel.

This weeks full podcast is available HERE.

Monica Brown and Hilary Musgrave - Emmaus Productions.

Source: Sr Hilary Musgrave and Monica Brown
We are joined this week on the programme by Monica Brown and Hilary Musgrave who talk to us about their ministry which creatively encourages people to make space for the divine in their everyday lives.

Monica is a composer, teacher, facilitator, story teller and community animator. "Her workshops, retreats, faith celebrations and concerts leave people wanting more of the God she somehow manages to make real and tangible through her songs and creatively integrated presentations. By maintaining an empowering link to the Christ of Scriptures, Monica has pioneered a creative approach to spirituality, bringing on board mime, story, ritual and imagery, to embody the Jesus that truly liberates."

Monica has composed and recorded 16 collections of songs for children, youth and adults (including the universally appealing "One People One Land") and has written and produced videos and other resources in the area of faith formation, liturgy and ritual. Monica is the founding director of Emmaus Productions and is also the creator and editor of Emmaus Productions liturgy websites www.liturgyplanning.com and www.liturgyplanningimages.com which provide images, creative rituals, liturgies and meditations for schools, parishes and communities.

Hilary Musgrave is a Sister of Charity from Ireland. She has worked in Education both as a teacher and a principal for many years. In more recent years, following her studies in a Masters degree in Pastoral Ministry and Spirituality, at Boston College, Hilary works as a facilitator in creative spirituality and integrates sacred clowning into her ministry. She also uses photography and imagery by way of engaging people in their appreciation of the sacred in their lives. Hilary is currently the Director of Croi-Ruah Creative Spirituality Centre, Dublin

Excerpted podcast of the interview with Monica available HERE.

Monica's interview with iCatholic during the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in June.

Further information is available at Monica's website.

To make further enquiries about Monica's work or Croi Nua:
Emmaus Productions

 3 Main Street
County Waterford
Phone: 353 51391784

Gospel - John 6:41-51

Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
English Dominicans
Blue Eyed Ennis - I am the bread that came down from heaven
Sunday Reflections
Centre for Liturgy

Saints of the Week

Psalter - Week 3
August 13th - St Fachtna
August 14th - St Maximilian Kolbe (priest and martyr)
August 15th - Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Holy Day of Obligation in Ireland) Also know as the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary
August 16th - St Stephen of Hungary
August 17th - Our Lady of Knock (Irish feast - Knock Shrine website)
August 18th - St Jeanne de Chantal

9 Aug 2012

Olympic Faith - UPDATED

From CatholicIreland.net:

"Irish boxer Katie Taylor thanked God just minutes after winning a fight at the Olympics that guarantees at least a bronze medal.

“Thanks be to God,” said the openly Christian Taylor in a post-fight RTÉ interview. “He [God] is my strength and my shield.”

Katie is a born-again Christian who regularly attends St Mark's Pentecostal Church on Dublin's Pearse Street. On the red boxing robe that she wore at her first fight she has written, “The Lord is my shepherd and my shield.”

Katie not only scored highest in the ring at the ExCel boxing arena with a 26-15 win, but the cheering of her fans reached a decibel level of 113.7, the highest recorded at London 2012 so far. The noise of a jet engine is around 140 decibels.

Katie is not the only Christian at the Olympics to speak openly about their faith. Last week a young Spanish hockey player told his country’s national newspapers that he plans to join the seminary after this Olympics.

Carlos Ballve plays defence on the Spanish field hockey team, but as soon as the games end, he plans to go to a Belgian seminary to begin the process of becoming priest.

He told his story to the Spanish daily El Pais, stating that even though he always considered himself a believer, it was only in 2005 that he became aware of the importance of God in his life. In the summer of that year, everything began to change while he competed at the under-21 World Championships.

“We began the competition terribly. It was so bad that one Sunday I went to Mass and made a deal with God: I told him that if he fixed that championship, I would go to Medjugore with my father. We made history. Never before had a U-21 team won a medal, and we came in third,” he said.

Ballve kept his promise and visited Medjugore. However, he said his life still did not change, as he continued, “to go to parties with girls, spend money left and right, and had little or no intention of praying.” He added that even though he was free to do anything he wanted he was not happy. He was at the top of his game, but decided to quit again and go in search for God.

His life began to change, and he only asked the Lord to let him fulfil his dream of playing in the Olympics.

Ballve called his time at the games so far, “an incredible and precious experience.”

He said he hopes, “not only to win, but to grow in my living of the faith, sharing this with people from so many parts of the world,” the newspaper reported."


From Vatican Radio:

"Who would have thought that the London Olympics could offer the perfect opportunity to put New Evangelisation into practise? The Catholic Church of England and Wales- that’s who, and in particular the network of Christian Churches and communities in the host city: “I am delighted to be able to report that aside from there being three masses celebrated everyday within the athlete’s village itself, specifically for the athletes and officials, the highest attendance at any of the religious services is at daily Mass. There are a number of athletes and officials from various nations who are coming there every day and they are placing Christ at the beginning and the centre of all they do”, says James Parker, Catholic Executive Coordinator for the 2012 London Games."

Continue reading HERE.

5 Aug 2012

Saints of the Week

As our regular programme didn't have space this week for Saint of the Week, we said we would post them seperately for our regular readers and listeners. We have a couple of 'heavy hitters' this week as well as some friends of the blog; in fact we are going to have a little difficulty trying to work out which feast day we will honour on Aug 8th!

August 6th - Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord

August 7th - St Cajetan

August 8th - St Dominic - founder of the Dominican Orders

August 8th -  also St Mary of the Cross MacKillop (friend of this blog and radio programme)

August 9th - St Theresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)(Virgin, Martyr)

August 10th - St Lawrence (Deacon)(Martyr)

August 11th - St Clare of Assisi - founder of the Poor Clares and patron saint of television

4 Aug 2012

5th August 2012 - An interview with Bishop Michael Lenihan - From West Limerick to Honduras

Bishop Michael Lenihan - Source
On this weeks programme John has a recording of a recent visit to by Abbeyfeale native Bishop Michael Lenihan OFM who was on a visit home from his diocese in Honduras. Bishop Michael was only appointed a bishop back in December 2011.

On December 30, 2011 Pope Benedict XVI erected the new Diocese of La Ceiba in Honduras, with territory taken from the diocese of San Pedro Sula, making it suffragan of the Archdiocese of Tegucigalpa, and appointed Rev. Fr. Michael Lenihan, O.F.M. former Vicar General and Pastor in the Diocese of Comayagua Honduras as first Bishop of the new Diocese of La Ceiba.

Rev. Fr. Michael Lenihan, O.F.M, was born on September 22, 1951 in Abbeyfeale, in the diocese of Limerick (Ireland). After his primary and secondary studies, he entered the Franciscan novitiate in 1972, he studied philosophy at the National University of Galway, Ireland (1973-1976), and theology in Rome at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (1976-1979), and at the Pontifical Gregorian University (1979-1980). He made his solemn Profession in the Order of Friars Minor on 17 September 1977 and was ordained a priest on July 12, 1980. He belongs to the Franciscan Province of the Friars Minor of Central America and Panama.

After ordination, he has held the following positions: 1980-1982: Director of the Spiritual College Multyfarnham, Ireland; 1982-1984: Vicar of the Convent, Wesford, Ireland; 1984-1989: Parish Vicar of the Parish of St. Francis in Gotera, Morazán, diocese of San Miguel, El Salvador; 1989-1997: Guardian and Pastor of the Parish of St. Francis in Gotera, Morazán, diocese of San Miguel, El Salvador; 1997-2000: Guardian and Parish Vicar, La Palma, Chalatenango, El Salvador; 2000-2009: Guardian and Pastor of the Parish of Santos Martires, Comayagua, Honduras; 2004-2008: Provincial Councilor of the Region of Honduras; 2001-2009: Vicar General of the diocese of Comayagua; since 2009: Guardian of the Fraternity of St. Bonaventure of the Provincial Curia of the Friars Minor and Vicar of the Parish of the Parish Inmaculada Corazón de María, Guatemala.

The new diocese of La Ceiba (nom. lat. Ceiben/sis/), includes 2 civilian Departments Atlantida and Islas de la Bahia, with 12 municipalities. It is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Tegucigalpa. San Isidro Labrador Parish Church of La Ceiba becomes the Cathedral of the new diocese.

Bishop Michael was consecrated bishop on 11th February 2012 by Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriquez and his co consecrators Bishop Angel Garachana of San Pedro and the Apostolic Nuncio, Monsignor Luigi Bianco

This weeks podcast available HERE.

Coverage about Bishop Michael:

Limerick Leader
Weekly Observer

 Photos of the ordination ceremony from Irish Franciscans.