30 Sep 2012

A busy October............

H/t to Blue Eyed Ennis: Phil over at Blue Eyed Ennis has done a round up of what is happening in October in the Church universal which we are going to shamelessly copy some of and then send you across to see the rest of it on her blog!

New Doctors of the Church
As we have noted a few times on this blog, St Hildegard of Bingen will be declared a doctor of the Church on 7th October by Pope Benedict XVI. Rome Reports has a short video explaining what it is all about:

XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
From 7th - 28th October 2012 around 300 Catholic Bishops from around the world will come together in Rome for the XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to reflect on the theme of "The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith".
A Synod is an international meeting of bishops. According to Pope Benedict XVI, the Synod is to be a moment to examine the journey that had been made in terms of spreading Gospel in the modern day and to resume with fresh impetus the urgent work still to be done in evangelising today’s world.

Reprentatives from the Irish bishops:
  • Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
  • Bishop Kieran O'Reilly (Bishop of Killaloe)
(The non-attendance by Cardinal Sean Brady is a point of note as usually the Irish attendees at Synods are the president and vice-president of the episcopal conference and in an Irish context that always means the archbishops of Armagh and Dublin).
From the press release following the Autumn meeting of the Irish episcopal conference:
The Synod will reflect upon the transmission of Christian faith, one of the great challenges facing the Church, and it will be examined in the context of the new evangelisation. New evangelisation is an expression of the internal dynamism of Christianity which wishes to make men and women of good will know the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of the mystery of God revealed in Jesus Christ; it is not a weary response to the crisis of faith and the challenges facing the Church in the modern world. The work of new evangelisation aims at a renewal of the ordinary pastoral activity of particular Churches while seeking, at the same time, to engage with people who have left the Church.

The Synod will open with the views of episcopal conferences which will analyse the need for new tools and new forms of expression to make the Word of God more understandable in our contemporary lives. The Synod will hopefully be an opportunity to discuss and compare points of view and practical experiences, to be shared in order to provide encouragement to leaders and particular Churches.

Of particular focus for the Synod will be the lack of vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life at the present time, an issue discussed at length by the bishops at their meeting. The work of the Synod will be enriched by its association with the Universal Year of Faith which begins on 11 October next.
As we have already noted there is a Limerick connection to the Synod this year with the appointment of Prof Rev Eamon Conway of Mary Immaculate College in Limerick as one of the theological advisors/experts to the Synod!

The Year of Faith 2012 - 2013

We have already spoken about this on the programme a number of times including letting you know what Limerick is doing for the Year of Faith so check out our links HERE. The Year of Faith begins on 11th October, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and it will end on the Solemnity of Christ the King on 24th November 2013. Blue Eyed Ennis also reminds us that it is also the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

During the Year of Faith, catholics are being asked to study and reflect on the documents of the Council (which you can access HERE) and the Catechism (which you can access HERE) so that they may deepen their knowledge of the faith.

29 Sep 2012

Some web browsing........

A reflection on the "meaning of the wedding ring".

As everyone knows, we didn't really have a summer in Ireland this year, but the Anchoress has a reflection on "the Summer's Darkling Rain".

October 11, 2012 will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. It is perhaps both a tribute to that council and a challenge to it, that Pope Benedict XVI has chosen that date to commence a “Year of Faith” which will continue until November 24, 2013, the Solemnity of Christ the King. The Anchoress reflects on the need for prayer in this Year of Faith.

Challenges to christianity in the world today - "Keep faith private or switch jobs".

John Allen also presents a summary of Playing politics with the global war on Christians.

In the midst of the suffering in our church today, sometimes we need to remember to say a Prayer for a grieving priest.

Still no white smoke over vacant Bishop of Limerick position - Limerick Leader

Take a trip up the Volga river in Russia and when you get to the small town of Kalyazin keep your eyes peeled for something unusual. There, in the middle of an artificial lake stands something a little perplexing. Is it a weird Russian form of lighthouse? Some weird folly built on an island?The answer is a resounding no. During the 1940s the then Communist government had big plans to make the turbulent river navigable all year around. So a cascade of dams and reservoirs was ordered on the Upper Volga. It gave the region the much needed transport artery and hydroelectricity in to the bargain. It also buried hundreds of years of history, of which the bell tower of the Makaryevsky Monastery is the only visible remnant above the waters of the Uglich reservoir. - The monastery under the lake.
From the BBC Worldservice - The man who turned his home into a public library

Emergency surgery in Kampala, Uganda, saved Gary Smith’s life. In the weeks following, he reflects on God’s presence and his call to be a Jesuit priest - Why was I delivered from death?

Over at Beginning to Pray, Anthony has a couple of reflections on St Hildegard of Bingen which are well worth a read and reflection on.

Continuing with the Hildegard of Bingen stories, over at Anamcara, a reflection on the first official feast day of the new saint and soon to be doctor of the church!

Over at Egregious Twaddle on Patheos, Joanne has been on pilgrimage to Portugal, Spain and France. Have a wander over and check out her pilgrim reflections........

A reflection on freedom.

Recently we interviewed Sr Louise O'Rourke about her congregation the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master. Sr Louise has gone to Canada for further studies and is blogging at Pilgrims Progress. Why don't you go over and say hello from us and have a read of her blog posts which have a lot of food for thought.

A reflection on Dorothy Day with a round up of links to other articles - Dorothy Day's dynamic orthodoxy

A reflection on our modern misconceptions of angels from Digital Nun - St Michael and All Angels

A Limerick connection to the Synod of Bishops being held in Rome in October 2011 to discuss the New Evangelisation - Pope appoints Irish priest as Synod advisor

The balance between conservation and sharing the gift that is the Sistine Chapel is discussed in "Restricted entry to Sistine chapel unthinkable"

Ever wonder about the problem of Yoga for Christians?

Up until 1970 the Doctors of the Church were all male. Only men were given this exceptional and solemn title for having contributed in a fundamental way to the couture and the doctrine of the Church. It was Paul VI who was the first Pontiff to give the title to two women, Catherine of Siena Teresa , giving them a leading role in our Church's tradition, culture and history; he recognizes in the Saint “infused wisdom, that is to say, lucid, profound and inebriating absorption of the divine truths and mysteries of the faith contained in the Holy Books of the Old and New Testaments”. Following the two. Therese of Lizieux were proclaimed. On 7 October, Benedict XVI will confer the same title on Hildegard of Bingen. - Continue reading Infused Wisdom

Christ is in our midst - a catholic christian pays a visit to a Russian Orthodox chapel in Bejing

Our Jewish neighbours recently celebrated the Jewish High Holy Days which concluded with Yom Kippur. Cardinal Dolan reflects on "Where is Our Catholic Yom Kippur?"

30th September 2012 - 26th Sunday in Ordinary time - Interview with a Missionary

On this weeks programme John has an interview with Fr John Ambrose MHM who celebrates 50 years since his ordination as a priest for the Society of St Joseph more commonly known as the Mill Hill Fathers. Fr John is from Shanagolden and was interviewed for the programme during the summer.

This weeks podcast is available HERE.

A Missionary's Story - Fr John Ambrose MHM

Fr John Joe Madigan (retired - Archdiocese of Washington, originally from Shanagolden), Fr John Ambrose MHM (Philippines - Golden Jubilarian 2012), Fr Jim Noonan SPS (CC Shanagolden/Foynes, Golden Jubilarian 2012), Canon Anthony O'Keefe (PP - Shanagolden/Foynes)

Fr John Ambrose joins the programme this week to discuss his vocation journey and shares some of his fifty years of service in the Philippines.

Gospel - Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

Reflections and resources for this weeks gospel:

Liturgical Odds and Ends

Psalter - Week 2

Saints of the Week
Popes Intentions for the month of October 2012

  • New Evangelization. That the New Evangelization may progress in the oldest Christian countries.
  • World Mission Day. That the celebration of World Mission Day may result in a renewed commitment to evangelization.

  • The Legacy of Vatican II - Talk series in Limerick

    Pobal Neasáin Pastoral Area is happy to host a Public Lecture Series

    The Legacy of Vatican II - Celebrating the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Opening of the Council

    (Each lecture costs €5 and will take place in The South Court Hotel. Lectures begin at 7.30p.m. except for the lecture by Cardinal Murphy O’Connor which begins at 6.30p.m.)
    Friday October 5th

    Vatican II: An Eyewitness Account,
    by Bishop Michael Smith
    Bishop Michael attended all 168 days of the Second Vatican Council. He and eleven other young priests prepared the official record, having been appointed as a recording secretary to the Council. Bishop Michael Smith will reflect on his time taking shorthand in Latin and working at the Second Vatican Council.
    Tuesday October 9th – 6.30p.m.:

    The Enduring legacy of the second Vatican Council,
    by HE Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor
    Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor is the Emeritus Archbishop of Westminster. He was Co Chairman of the Anglican and Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), one of the Apostolic Visitors to Ireland and he continues to serve on many Vatican dicasteries.
    Friday October 19th:

    Mediating God’s Revelation: Vatican II’s Teaching on the Role of Scripture, by Diane Corkery
    Diane Corkery is Head of Religious Studies in St Patrick’s College, Thurles. She lectures in Sacred Scripture and is a member of the Irish Biblical Association.
    Friday October 26th: The Noble Obligation: The Role of the Lay Faithful
    by Bishop Donal Murray
    Bishop Donal Murray lectured in Moral Theology in Mater Dei Institute and in Holy Cross College from 1969 to 1982. He was Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin from 1982 to 1996 and then Bishop of Limerick until 2009. He is now retired. Author of many books and articles; this year he published, Keeping Open the Door of Faith: The Legacy of Vatican II
    Friday November 2nd:

    The New Evangelisation – In Continuity with Vatican II?
    by Rev Professor Eamonn Conway
    Professor Eamonn Conway is a priest of the Tuam diocese; Doctorate in theology in 1991 and taught Systematic Theology at All Hallows College, Dublin; Head of Theology and Religious Studies at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick since 1999. Prof Conway served as President of the European Society for Catholic Theology 2009- 2011 and will be serving as a theological advisor at the Synod of Bishops in Rome during October 2012.
    Friday November 9th:

    From Peritus to Pope: Benedict XVI and the Council
    by Philip Cremin
    Philip Cremin lectures in Theology & Religious Studies with the Waterford Institute of Technology. His post-graduate research is on the writings of Joseph Ratzinger and recently his thesis was presented to Pope benedict by Fr Vincent Twomey at the annual 'Ratzinger Study Group' a gathering of the former doctoral and post-doctoral students of the then-Professor Joseph Ratzinger.

    Relics of St Therese of Lisieux in Limerick

    As noted in our weekly programme blog post, October 1st is the feast day of St Therese of Lisieux. In Limerick this week as part of a celebration to mark the completion of restoration and renewal of St Joseph’s Church, the relic of St Therese of Lisieux (The Little Flower) will be located there on the afternoon and evening of Sunday 30th September, and also on the morning of the Feast Day itself Monday 1st October.

    At 4 p.m. on Sunday 30th, the relic will be solemnly received into the church with a liturgy of welcome, and will be available for veneration before and after the 5.30 p.m. Mass, concluding with Vespers and Benediction at 8 p.m.

    On Monday morning 1st October, Mass for the Feast Day will be celebrated at 10.30 a.m., to coincide with the 33rd Anniversary of the memorable visit of Pope John Paul II to Greenpark Racecourse – located within the parish boundaries.

    St Joseph’s Church in Limerick has for many years had a special association with devotion to St Therese, and the forthcoming event is expected to be the source of significant interest from both near and far. Fr Willie Moran OCD, Prior of the Carmelite Community at Loughrea, Co Galway will lead the celebrations and will be guest preacher.

    All are welcome to participate in this unique and prayerful occasion.

    IEC2012 - Wondering what to do after the Congress?

    Looking for resources and ideas for the Year of Faith and/or how to continue to reflect on the 50th International Eucharistic Congress held in Dublin in June 2012?

    New resources for reflecting on the Eucharistic Congress have been released during the week. Stage 1-4 were offered by the IEC team over a 2 year periond before the Congress. Stage 5 is offered for this Autumn. Any parish or group can use the materials available HERE
    To quote the IEC team:
    "Stage 5 offers on the one hand the layout for a gathering of the parish community post IEC2012, which asks the question ‘what next?’ for a group who did follow the itinerary proposed by the first 4 Stages, while on the other it present first-timers with a gentle introduction to adult faith development.
    It is based on the events following the return of the 2 disciples from Emmaus, looking at how Christ was to be recognised in the assembled community and in the sharing of their faith in conversation with one another.
    This image from the gospel is well mirrored in the return of pilgrims from IEC2012, an Emmaus type experience, to their local Jerusalem and the community there with whom they live and worship.
    The structure presented here can be adapted to facilitate reflection and discussion of any aspect of the Christian life. Its starting point is the experience of those present which is brought into dialogue with faith, and concludes focused on attitudes and actions that are fruit of having encountered the Risen Christ and embracing His mandate for mission."
    Click HERE for more.

    Launch of the Year of Faith in Limerick Diocese - REMINDER

    It is an opportune time to reflect on what it is to be a Christian today. What do we believe, what do we hope for? It is a perfect time for us all to celebrate 'a year of faith' together.

    So, you are invited to a one day workshop
    to launch the Year of Faith in the Limerick Diocese!
    Dr Anne Francis and Fr Sean O Sullivan (Faith development, Cork & Ross diocese), will join us to launch the Year of Faith in the Limerick Diocese.

    Saturday, October 13th 2012
    Southcourt Hotel, Raheen, Limerick

    Join us to reflect on your own faith journey, and to consider how we might journey in faith as parish and diocese this year. A number of Christian publishers, programs and resources co-ordinators will join us so that you can meet them and see whats available to you and your parish this year.
    Not to be missed - a celebration and a renewal
    - all are very welcome to join us.

    Booking and information available form the Pastoral Centre. Tel 061 400133, email reception@ldpc.ie

    28 Sep 2012

    September 29th - Feast of the Archangels - Michael, Gabriel and Raphael (aka Michaelmass Day)

    On September 29th we honor the three archangels mentioned by name in Scripture, Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. Michael is mentioned in Daniel and Revelation, Gabriel in Daniel and Luke, and Raphael in the book of Tobit.

    Michael (Who is like God?) was the archangel who fought against Satan and all his evil angels, defending all the friends of God. He is the protector of all humanity from the snares of the devil. Gabriel (Strength of God) announced to Zachariah the forthcoming birth of John the Baptist, and to Mary, the birth of Jesus. His greeting to the Virgin, "Hail, full of grace," is one of the most familiar and frequent prayers of the Christian people. Raphael (Medicine of God) is the archangel who took care of Tobias on his journey.

    Read more about the feast day, who/what angels are as well as receipes and ideas for the feast day HERE.

    27 Sep 2012

    Quote of the Day

    H/t to Whispers in the Loggia.

    From VIS:

    “The solution to diocesan pastoral problems that arise should not be limited to organisational matters, important though they are, because there is a danger of emphasising a search for efficiency with a sort of ‘bureaucratisation of pastoral work’, focusing on organisations and programmes that can become self-referential, for the exclusive use of the members of such organisations. … Instead, evangelisation must start from an encounter with the Lord in a dialogue established in prayer, and then concentrate on witness in order to help our contemporaries rediscover the signs of God’s presence”.

    – Pope Benedict XVI
    Ad Limina Address to the Bishops of Western France
    Castel Gandolfo
    21 September 2012

    The Liturgy as a school of prayer - Pope Benedict XVI

    From VIS - 26 Sept 2012

    The liturgy as a school of prayer, as a "special place in which God addresses each one of us ... and awaits our response", was the theme of Benedict XVI's catechesis during his general audience, held this morning in St. Peter's Square.

    The Pope explained how, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "we read that the word 'liturgy' originally meant a 'service in the name of/on behalf of the people'. If Christian theology took this word from the Greek, clearly it did so thinking of the new People of God, born of Christ Who opened His arms on the Cross to unite mankind in the one peace of God; 'service in the name of the people', a people which exists not of itself but which has come into being thanks to the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ".

    "The Catechism also states that in Christian tradition, the word 'liturgy' means the participation of the People of God in the work of God". In this context Pope Benedict recalled how the document on the liturgy had been the first fruit of Vatican Council II. "By beginning with the issue of liturgy, light was very clearly thrown on the primacy of God, on His absolute precedence. ... Where the gaze on God is not decisive, everything becomes disoriented. The fundamental criterion for the liturgy is that it should be oriented towards God, in order to ensure we participate in His work.

    "Yet, we might ask ourselves", the Holy Father added, "what is this work of God in which we are called to participate? ... And what makes the Mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ, Who brought salvation, real for me today? The answer is this: the action of Christ through the Church and the liturgy; in particular the Sacrament of the Eucharist which causes the sacrificial offer of the Son of God Who redeemed us to be present; the Sacrament of Penance in which we pass from the death induced by sin to new life; and the other Sacraments which sanctify us".

    Quoting again from the Catechism of the Catholic Church the Pope affirmed that "a sacramental celebration is a meeting of God's children with their Father, in Christ and the Holy Spirit; this meeting takes the form of a dialogue, through actions and words'. Thus", he explained, "the first requirement for a good liturgical celebration is that it be prayer and dialogue with God, first listening then responding. ... Sacred liturgy offers us the words, it is up to us to enter into their meaning, absorb them, harmonise ourselves with them. ... One fundamental and primordial element of dialogue with God in the liturgy is concordance between what we say with our mouths and what we carry in our hearts", he said.

    The Pope then referred to a particular moment in which the liturgy calls upon us and helps us to find such concordance: the celebrant's invitation before the Eucharistic prayer: "sursum corda", meaning "let us lift up our hearts"; lift them up, that is, "out of the mire of our concerns and desires, our worries and our distraction. Our hearts, the most intimate part of us, must open meekly to the Word of God and join the prayer of the Church, in order to be oriented towards God by the very words we hear and pronounce".

    "We celebrate and experience the liturgy well", the Pope concluded, "only if we maintain an attitude of prayer, uniting ourselves to the mystery of Christ and to His dialogue of a Son with His Father. God Himself teaches us to pray. ... He has given us the right words with which to address Him, words we find in the Psalter, in the great prayers of sacred liturgy and in the Eucharistic celebration itself. Let us pray to the Lord that we may become increasingly aware of the fact that the liturgy is the action of God and of man; a prayer that arises from the Holy Spirit and from us; entirely addressed to the Father in union with the Son of God made man".

    Full address available here from Vatican Radio.

    24 Sep 2012

    September 24th - Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham

    September 24th is the feast day of the Blessed Virgin Mary under her title as Our Lady of Walsingham. The title derives from the belief that Mary appeared in a vision to Richeldis de Faverches, a devout English noblewoman, in 1061 in the village of Walsingham in Norfolk, England. Lady Richeldis had a Holy House built in Walsingham which became a shrine and place of pilgrimage. Back in May 2011 we had an interview with the director of the national shrine which you can read/listen to HERE.

    From Godzdogz:

    "Walsingham is also a place where English Christians seek unity. It is a place of pilgrimage for Catholics, Anglicans and Orthodox alike. Though the Anglican Church holds this feast on 15 October, as we celebrate this day let us continue to pray for Christian unity. Last year, the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was established to allow Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church while retaining many of their distinctive traditions.
    During his visit to the UK in 2010, Pope Benedict XVI said the Ordinariate 'should be seen as a prophetic gesture that can contribute positively to the developing relations between Anglicans and Catholics. It helps us to set our sights on the ultimate goal of all ecumenical activity: the restoration of full ecclesial communion in the context of which the mutual exchange of gifts from our respective spiritual patrimonies serves as an enrichment to us all'."

    Further information on this devotion and the history of the shrine and the fact that England is called "Our Lady's Dowry":
    To explain the image of Our Lady of Walsingham:

    22 Sep 2012

    23rd September 2012 - Interview with the Poor Clare Sisters in Galway

    On this weeks programme we have an extended interview with Sr Colette who is the abbess of St Clares Monastery in Galway City and she chats to Lorraine about St. Clare, their way of life and how it expresses itself in the 21st century, our relationship with God and turning to him in prayer in the poverty of our necessity.

    This weeks podcast is available HERE.

    Back in July Creedon's Cities on RTE1 featured the Poor Clare sisters from Nuns' Island, Galway which we covered here. The Poor Clares are an enclosed contemplative religious community, which means that as well as the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, they take a fourth vow of enclosure. This means that the Poor Clare sisters rarely leave the monastery. Does this mean that they are cut off from the world?  On the contrary, by withdrawing from the world, they have the time and vocation to carry the whole world in their hearts to God in prayer.

    Lorraine and Sr Colette discuss who St Clare was, and how this year is the 800th anniversary of St Clare leaving home to follow St Francis of Assisi in 1212. St. Clare, then called Clare Offreduccio, left her home on Palm Sunday to join St. Francis and his followers. To read more about St. Clare, click here

    Francis and Clare had a radical view of poverty inspired by St Paul's letter to the Philippians "though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human form" and they sought to imitate Jesus' extreme poverty of love by entering into the messiness of human history in time and space. This poverty particularly expressed in three particular ways the Crib, the Cross and the Eucharist. The powerlessness of Jesus expressed in this way which appealed to Francis and Clare. It was a joyful penance to allow them to live their lives.

    It is still a source of inspiration to the Franciscan wider family and how it is to be discerned and applied in a rapidly changing world in the 21st century which poses it own practical challenges.

    Sr Colette also explains the vows of Poverty, Chastity, Obedience and Enclosure and how they are also interlinked with the love of poverty as expressed and understood by Francis and Clare. She examines the meanings of the vows and how liberating they can be when freely entered into. 

    Sr Colette tells us the story of the history of the Poor Clares on Nun's Island in Galway which they have had a connection with since 1642. Details of their history and travails can be read here.

    She also shares her own vocation story and what attracted her to life and how she took the "scenic route" before entering the enclosure as well as her advice to people and especially women who are discerning their vocation in life.

    If anyone wants to write to the sisters for prayers or as part of discernment:

    Poor Clare Monastery
    Nuns Island

    For native Irish speakers, the website is www.clairinibochta.ie
    For English speaking visitors the website is here.

    20 Sep 2012

    Quote of the Day (h/t to Whispers)

    “You have a special place in my heart and in the whole Church, because the Church is always young! The Church trusts you. She counts on you! Be young in the Church! Be young with the Church! The Church needs your enthusiasm and your creativity! Youth is the time when we aspire to great ideals, when we study and train for our future work. All this is important and it takes time. Seek beauty and strive for goodness! Bear witness to the grandeur and the dignity of your body which “is for the Lord” (1 Cor 6:13b). Be thoughtful, upright and pure of heart! In the words of Blessed John Paul II, I say to you: “Do not be afraid! Open the doors of your minds and hearts to Christ!” An encounter with Jesus “gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.” In Christ you will find the strength and courage to advance along the paths of life, and to overcome difficulties and suffering. In him you will find the source of joy. Christ says to you, "My peace I give to you!" (Jn 14:27). This is the true revolution brought by Christ: that of love....
    Bring the love of Christ to everyone! How? By turning unreservedly to God the Father, who is the measure of everything that is right, true and good. Meditate on God’s word! Discover how relevant and real the Gospel can be. Pray! Prayer and the sacraments are the sure and effective means to be a Christian and to live “rooted and built up in Christ, and established in the faith” (Col 2:7). The Year of Faith, which is about to begin, will be a time to rediscover the treasure of the faith which you received at Baptism. You can grow in knowledge and understanding of this treasure by studying the Catechism, so that your faith can be both living and lived. You will then become witnesses to others of the love of Christ. In him, all men and women are our brothers and sisters. The universal brotherhood which he inaugurated on the cross lights up in a resplendent and challenging way the revolution of love. “Love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 13:35). This is the legacy of Jesus and the sign of the Christian. This is the true revolution of love!

    Christ asks you, then, to do as he did: to be completely open to others, even if they belong to a different cultural, religious or national group. Making space for them, respecting them, being good to them, making them ever more rich in humanity and firm in the peace of the Lord. I know that many among you take part in various activities sponsored by parishes, schools, movements and associations. It is a fine thing to be engaged with and for others. Experiencing together moments of friendship and joy enables us to resist the onset of division, which must always be rejected! Brotherhood is a foretaste of heaven! The vocation of Christ’s disciples is to be “leaven” in the lump, as Saint Paul says: “a little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Gal 5:9). Be heralds of the Gospel of life and life’s authentic values. Courageously resist everything opposed to life: abortion, violence, rejection of and contempt for others, injustice and war. In this way you will spread peace all around you. Are not “peacemakers” those whom in the end we admire the most? Is it not a world of peace that, deep down, we want for ourselves and for others? My peace I give to you! (Jn 14:27), Jesus says. He overcame evil not with more evil, but by taking evil upon himself and destroying it completely on the cross through a love lived to the very end. Truly discovering God’s forgiveness and mercy always enables us to begin a new life. It is not easy to forgive. But God’s forgiveness grants the power of conversion, and the joy of being able to forgive in turn. Forgiveness and reconciliation are the paths of peace; they open up a future.

    Dear friends, a number of you are surely asking in a more or less conscious way: What is it that God expects of me? What is his plan for me? Wouldn’t I like to proclaim to the world the grandeur of his love in the priesthood, in the consecrated life or in marriage? Might not Christ be calling me to follow him more closely? Think about these questions with confidence and trust. Take time to reflect on them and ask for enlightenment. Respond to his invitation by offering yourselves daily to the Lord, for he calls you to be his friends. Strive to follow Christ wholeheartedly and generously, for out of love he redeemed us and gave his life for each one of us. You will come to know inconceivable joy and fulfillment! To answer Christ’s call to each of us: that is the secret of true peace.
    --Pope Benedict XVI
    Meeting with Young People
    Apostolic Journey to Lebanon
    15 September 2012

    17 Sep 2012

    Blog Update!

    To our regular readers and listeners,

    As some of you may have noticed, our level of activity and posting on the blog has been low for the month of September which is a cyclical thing with the programme as the month of September tends to be a busy personal time for all concerned with the programme leaving little time for work over here.

    However, we will be posting and catching up on a few things over the next few days/weeks including the Pope's visit to Lebanon, as well launching our new resource page for the Year of Faith which begins on 11th October 2012. We will also have some reflections and interesting interviews coming up in October for the month of the missions, as well as a much delayed return of our "Some web browsing" column.

    Again, thanks for listening/reading.


    John, Lorraine and Shane and all the SS102fm team.

    16 Sep 2012

    16th September 2012 - Audit of Limerick Diocese by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church.

    On this weeks programme we are joined by Fr Tony Mullins (Limerick Diocesan Administrator) and Mr Ger Crowley (Director/Designated person for Safeguarding children in the Diocese) to discuss the publication of the audit of policies and procedures for Safeguarding Children in Limerick Diocese which was conducted by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland.

    This weeks podcast is available HERE.

    Audit of Limerick Diocese by NBSCCCI

    Lorraine and John discuss the report of the audit conducted on the diocese of Limerick  with Ger Crowley and Fr Tony Mullins this morning looking at why the report was needed, reviewing the areas where Limerick diocese was not in full compliance in 4 out of 48 areas and how they are being addressed, discussing the issue of the number of allegations against priests serving in Limerick diocese since 1975. They also go through the policies and procedures that are currently in place through out the diocese and where people can get more information.  

    Links for further information:

    National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland

    Limerick Diocese website with report and statements from Limerick diocese including letter from F Tony Mullins which was read at Masses on the weekend of September 9th 2012

    Limerick Diocese Safeguarding procedures and policies information

    14 Sep 2012

    Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

    The Exaltation of the Cross consists in the fact that "the event of the cross and Resurrection abides and draws everything toward life" (CCC 1085). We exalt Christ's cross whenever we freely take it up, filled with certainty that the ultimate meaning and fulfillment which we crave in life comes to us through this unending event. "With the cross we are freed from  the restraint of the enemy and we clutch on to the strength of salvation" (St Theodorus the Studite). For Salvation means escape from out own inability. At the same time, "we cannot produce or give any other fruit," writes St Catherine of Siena,"but the fruit we have taken from the tree of life". No wonder that "the sign of the cross makes kings of all those reborn in Christ" (St Leo the Great)

    - daily reflection from Magnificat

    13 Sep 2012

    The Exaltation of the Cross - Feast

    From CatholicCulture. org

    This feast was observed in Rome before the end of the seventh century. It commemorates the recovery of the Holy Cross, which had been placed on Mt. Calvary by St. Helena and preserved in Jerusalem, but then had fallen into the hands of Chosroas, King of the Persians. The precious relic was recovered and returned to Jerusalem by Emperor Heralius in 629.

    The lessons from the Breviary tell us that Emperor Heraclius carried the Cross back to Jerusalem on his shoulders. He was clothed with costly garments and with ornaments of precious stones. But at the entrance to Mt. Calvary a strange incident occurred. Try as hard as he would, he could not go forward. Zacharias, the Bishop of Jerusalem, then said to the astonished monarch: "Consider, O Emperor, that with these triumphal ornaments you are far from resembling Jesus carrying His Cross." The Emperor then put on a penitential garb and continued the journey.

    Listen to more HERE about the feast.

    To Lebanon as a messenger of peace - Vatican Radio

    From Vatican Radio:

    The Pope is going to Lebanon as a “messenger of peace” and the dramatically mounting tension that still today affects the entire region of the Middle East, “far from discouraging him have made his desire” to undertake this journey “even more pressing”. On the eve of Benedict XVI's departure, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone offers a key to interpreting the papal visit, describing it as “an invitation to leaders in the Middle East and to the international community to work with determination to find fair and lasting solutions for the region”.

    In an interview with Le Figaro, a French daily, published in today's issue, 13 September, the Secretary of State says that for the Pope the advancement of human rights – and first among them the right of religious freedom – “is the most effective strategy for building the common good”. And he reaffirms the Church's “crystal clear” position with regard to every form of violence, which, he says, “only leads to further violence” and “ injures for life not only bodies but also minds”. In this regard the Pope in Lebanon “intends to be a prophetic and a moral voice”, asking “all men and women of good will to ensure that religion is never an incentive for war and division”.
    The Cardinal believes that the Middle East today “is deeply indebted to the Christian presence”, which contributes to building a free, just and reconciled society”. The Church is therefore holding “out a hand to Islam, as a sign of dialogue and reconciliation”, aware that at stake is “working together to make this region a new cradle of civilization, culture and peace”. In the past few hours this conviction has also been expressed by Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Miqati in an interview with Aki-Adnkronos International, who said he was confident that the Pope's visit to a country which is a meeting point and a point of interaction between civilizations and cultures, will be “the beginning of true collaboration among the peoples of all the Middle Eastern countries."

    Continue reading HERE.


    Lebanon: Christian and Muslims hold vigil for Pope

    9 Sep 2012

    9th September 2012 - 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Upcoming Pastoral Events in Limerick Diocese and the Year of Faith

    On this weeks programme we are joined by Noirin Lynch from Limerick Diocesan Pastoral Centre we lets us know what is coming up in the diocese over the next few months and in particular the Limerick preparations for the Year of Faith called by Pope Benedict XVI which starts in October 2012. We have our regular reflection on this Sunday's gospel as well as some liturgical odds and ends.

    This weeks podcast is available HERE.

    Up coming events in Limerick Diocese

    We are joined on this weeks programme by Noirin Lynch from the Limerick Diocesan Pastoral Centre who gives us a run down on up coming events being organised in the diocese as we head into the Autumn and get back into the swing of things after the summer break.
    Pastoral Resources and Training

    Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist Pastoral Centre Sat 24th Nov. 10-4
    Reflection Evening: Min of Word & Eucharist Pastoral Centre Nov. 5th 7:30-9
    Music Ministry - Fr Liam Lawton Woodlands, Adare Oct 2nd 7-9pm
    Liturgy Resources - Advent Pastoral Centre Nov 7th 7:30-9 Newcastlewest Nov 14th 8-9:30

    Parish Ministry

    Baptism Team training, Cathedral Pastoral Area Milford Parish Oct. 10, 17, 24th  
    Bereavement Team evening Milford Care Centre Sat, Sept 22nd 
    Pastoral Leadership

    Training for new Pastoral Area teams takes place in September

    Parish Pastoral Council: 2 talks. St Bridget’s Hall, Limerick. Mon, Oct. 8, 15th

    Year of Faith - October 2012 to November 2013
    “In our days too faith is a gift to rediscover, to cultivate and to bear witness to” because the Lord “grants each one of us to live the beauty and joy of being Christians.” (Pope Benedict XVI, Jan 10th 2010)

    Pope Benedict XVI has called for a Year of Faith from October 2012 to November 2013 to encourage people to get back to the basics of our Catholic Christian faith - in a sense echoing the call of the second Vatican Council Fathers to go back to the sources and basics of our faith to renew of knowledge and faith in the person of Jesus Christ. As we mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the second Vatican Council, it presents each of us with a personal opportunity to take time to explore what does my faith mean to me and perhaps to take simple steps to explore our faith in new ways.
    Saturday 13th October launch of Year of Faith in Limerick Diocese at the South Court Hotel which is open to all people in the Limerick diocese. A one day workshop for Parishes and Pastoral Areas. Speakers, workshops, and a wide variety of resources from over 20 faith development programs, groups and networks. We will post more details on the blog during the week.

    International Conference discussing "Religion and the Public Good - Fifty Years after the Second Vatican Council". The Conference commemorates the opening of the Second Vatican Council and is being organised by the Dept of Theology at Mary Immaculate College. It will be held from October 10th & 11th, 2012 at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.

    Speakers will include:
    • Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor (UK);
    • Prof. Myriam Wijlens (Germany);
    • Prof. Mathijs Lamberigts (Belgium);
    • Dr Kevin Williams (Ireland);
    • Dr Leon Hooper SJ (USA);
    • Mgr Eamon Martin (Ireland);
    • Dr Anthony Towey (UK);
    • Ms Mary Kenny (UK),
    • Bishop Noel Treanor (Ireland).

    Further details from: Dr Patrick Connolly, E: patrick.connolly@mic.ul.ie or Ms Eileen Daly, E: eileen.daly@mic.ul.ie T: +353 61 204962

    Talks on the Legacy of Vatican II to be held during October at the Southcourt Hotel in Raheen.
    § Fri 5th Oct: Bishop Michael Smith 
    § Tuesday 9th Oct: Cardinal Murphy O’Connor
    § Fri 19th: Diana Corkery
    § Fri 26th Bishop Donal Murray
    § Fri 3rd Nov: Fr Eamonn Conway
    More details to follow

    Other resources available for the Year of Faith:
    • Resources for the Year of Faith are available from the international website HERE.
    • The Irish Bishops Conference will be adding Irish resources and events-links HERE.
    • Here are some Irish resources might be helpful to you and your parish as you consider the Year of Faith
      'Share the Good News' is the Irish catechetical directory and contains suggestions for faith formation for all groups, times of life, etc. More details HERE.
      iCatholic - a website of short, informative Catholic videos which can be watched by individuals and groups. These include talks from the Eucharistic Congress, Alpha information, etc. HERE.
    Further information and up to date information available from Limerick Diocesan Website including the calendar, timeline and weekly newsletter. The Limerick Diocesan Pastoral Centre can be contacted at 061-400133
    Gospel - Mark 7: 31-38

    This weeks gospel is a very timely gospel this week on a number of levels. We have Jesus curing a deaf man who has a speech impediment. The gospel reminds us that we are very much a people who depend on our senses to understand and communicate with the world around us. The miracle in this mornings gospel reminds us that perhaps we have a deafness in our lives to maybe people or events, is there times we don't really listen and communicate with each other.  Are we really listening? What am I deaf to in my life today?

    Other reflections on this weeks gospel:
    Sunday Reflections
    Word on Fire
    English Dominicans
    Centre for Liturgy
    Liturgical odds and ends
    Psalter - Week 3 - Divine Office
    September 10th - St Salvius of Albi
    September 11th - St Theodora of Alexandria
    September 12th - St Ailbe
    September 13th - St John Chrysostom
    September 14th - The Exaltation of the Cross
    September 15th - Our Lady of Sorrows