31 Jul 2013

"Us Jesuits" - Papa Francesco on the feast of St Ignatius of Loyola

St Ignatius of Loyola
"Ignatius was a mystic who loved God with an intensity rare even for saints. He wasn’t a renowned scholar like Augustine or Aquinas, not a martyr like Peter or Paul, and perhaps not a beloved personality like Francis or Therese. But he loved God and loved the world, and those two things he did quite well."

- Fr. James Martin, SJ, "My Life with the Saints"

Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass on Wednesday morning, marking the Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, the Order to which the Pope belongs. The Church chosen for the celebration was the Jesuits’ Mother Church in Rome, known simply as the “Gesù”.

Pope Francis: Once a Jesuit, always a Jesuit?

You can read full text of his homily HERE

Rocco over at Whispers has coverage HERE

Check out Blue Eyed Ennis for links and reflections on the feast day.

Ireland to be Consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Our Lady of Knock
Golden Rose
Queen of Ireland
Ireland will be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on August 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The consecration will take place at Knock Shrine, during the annual Novena to Our Lady of Knock. 

Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland will lead the Act of Consecration. Archbishop Eamon Martin, Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh will be the principal celebrant and preacher at the Mass on that day. Bishops, priests and people from across the country will be in attendance.
The Prayer of Consecration will entrust families, homes and the dioceses of Ireland to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary and call on her to watch over the young people of Ireland. As the universal Church is currently celebrating a Year of Faith, it is fitting that the Act of Consecration calls to mind the woman of faith par excellence and asks for her prayers for the people of this country.
Commenting ahead of the Consecration Cardinal Brady said: “In his recent encyclical for the Year of Faith, Pope Francis invited us to turn to Mary, Mother of the Church and Mother of our Faith. I am very pleased that the Irish Catholic Bishops decided at their June meeting to consecrate Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I am looking forward to being at our National Shrine in Knock on the 15 August to ask Mary’s maternal blessing on the people of Ireland. The Feast of the Assumption is one of the biggest days of the year in Knock, with bishops, priests and people present for the opening of the Novena. I invite the people of Ireland to come along to Knock on the day or to join in this beautiful devotional act by praying the prayer of entrustment in their homes and parish churches.”
Background information
  • Consecration to Our Lady is well-attested to in the tradition of the Church.
  • Consecration is understood as referring to “entrusting” the person consecrated to Our Lady. Consecration “is a conscious recognition of the singular role of Mary in the Mystery of Christ and of the Church, of the universal and exemplary importance of her witness to the Gospel, of trust in her intercession, and of the efficacy of her patronage, of the many maternal functions she has, since she is a true mother in the order of grace to each and every one of her children.”
  • The act of consecration is made “to the Father, through Christ in the Holy Spirit, imploring the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom we entrust ourselves completely, so as to keep our baptismal commitments and live as her children.”
You can also find out more at the website of the Steering Committee for the National Consecration of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

You can find out more about the Consecration HERE and HERE.
Prayer for the Act of Consecration
Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Refuge of Sinners, we entrust and consecrate ourselves, our family, our home and our Dioceses to Jesus through your Immaculate Heart. As your children, we promise to follow your example in our lives by doing at all times the will of God.

O Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, we renew today the promises of our Baptism and Confirmation. Intercede for us with the Holy Spirit that we may be always faithful to your Divine Son, to his Mystical Body, the Catholic Church, and to the teachings of his Vicar on earth, our Holy Father the Pope.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, our Queen and our Mother, we promise to uphold the sanctity of marriage and the welfare of the family. Watch over our minds and hearts and preserve our youth from dangers to the faith and the many temptations that threaten them in the world today.

We ask you, Mary our Advocate to intercede with your divine Son. Obtain for our country the grace to uphold the uniqueness of every human life, from the first moment of conception to natural death.

O Blessed Mother, Our Life, our Sweetness and Our Hope, we wish that this Consecration be for the great glory of God and that it lead us safely to Jesus your Son.

A Naomh-Mhuire, a Mháthair Dé, guigh orainn na peacaigh, anois agus ar uair ár mbáis.

This prayer has been approved for use by the National Centre for Liturgy and by Cardinal Seán Brady.
Prayer to Mary, Mother of the Church and Mother of our faith

Madonna and Child
Book of Kells
Source: Wikipedia

Mother, help our faith!

Open our ears to hear God’s word and to recognise his voice and call.

Awaken in us a desire to follow in his footsteps, to go forth from our own land and to receive his promise.

Help us to be touched by his love, that we may touch him in faith.

Help us to entrust ourselves fully to him and to believe in his love, especially at times of trial, beneath the shadow of the cross, when our faith is called to mature.

Sow in our faith the joy of the Risen One.

Remind us that those who believe are never alone.

Teach us to see all things with the eyes of Jesus, that he may be light for our path. And may this light of faith always increase in us, until the dawn of that undying day which is Christ himself, your Son, our Lord!


Bostons 1060AM - The Good Catholic Life - Interview with Limerick's Fr David Costello about the Missionary Society of St James

(H/T to Limerick Diocesan Weekly Newsletter for the information!)

Some of our listeners and readers may remember a programme we did back in June 2011 on the Limerick-Peru Mission and  the diocesan support of the Missionary Society of St James the Apostle. Currently we have two men serving with the society - Fr Derek Leonard and Fr David Costello.

Back in May 2013, Fr David Costello was elected to a three year term as the Director of the Missionary Society of St James the Apostle and he was interviewed on Boston 1060AM on their programme The Good Catholic Life.

Fr David Costello, programme presenters Scott Landry and Fr Chris O'Connor
You can listen to Fr David's interview with the team from The Good Catholic Life HERE where he speaks about his life in Ireland, vocation and the call with a call to become a missionary as well as telling people about the work of the Society of St James.

Ever wonder what the Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours) is?

Habemus Episcopum for the Kingdom!


Ad multos annos to our neighbouring diocese in Kerry on the consecration and installation of their new bishop Rev. Ray Browne!

Laying on of hands by Archbishop of Cashel & Emly, Dr Dermot Clifford
You can read about the happy occasion on the Kerry diocesan website HERE and videos and photos HERE (scroll to the bottom) and HERE.

27 Jul 2013

WYD 2013 - Irish pilgrims in Rio talk to Vatican Radio

From Vatican Radio:

One of the most enthusiastic delegations at World Youth Day is the one from Ireland.

“It’s a small delegation because of the expense of people coming here,” said Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who is leading a group from Dublin.

Archbishop Martin admitted there is one thing which has made this World Youth Day different than any other he has attended.

“It’s rained much more! We had the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, and we fought against the rain, and there’s a certain sense in which the initial reaction is ‘Oh, Dear! It shouldn’t be like this!’ But it’s probably the thing everybody will talk about for years afterwards: ‘Do you remember when we were in Rio?’ and it has a way of building up solidarity,” he said.

Archbishop Martin told Vatican Radio this solidarity is the most important aspect of these international events.

“As always, the experience for our young people is meeting young people from different parts of the world – in an Ireland in which it’s not necessarily cool and popular to be a young Christian and a young Catholic – for our young people to see that there are many others experiencing the same experience and to go away strengthened in their faith,” he said.

You can listen to the archbishop's interview HERE.
Among the many thousands of pilgrims who have made the journey to World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro is a group of young Irish people.

Katie O'Toole, is a teacher and Bill O'Shaughnessy, is a seminarian. Our Correspondent Seàn Patrick Lovett asked them about their impressions of World Youth Day and what they will be telling people back home

You can listen to the interview HERE.

28th July 2013 - Interview with the Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Charles Brown - Part 1 of 2

On this week's programme, Lorraine, John and Ann are joined by His Excellency, Msgr Charles Brown, Archbishop of Aquileia and Papal Nuncio to Ireland for an interview about his life and work with the church as pastor, curia worker in Rome and now as Papal nuncio.
The first part of the interview is broadcast this week with the second part to be broadcast next week. You can listen to the podcast of this week's full programme HERE.
Archbishop Charles Brown
We are joined this week by a special guest, Archbishop Charles Brown who is the current papal nuncio to Ireland representing the Holy See to both the government of the Republic of Ireland and the Roman Catholic Church on the island of Ireland.
Originally from New York, Archbishop Charles joins Lorraine and John in studio this week. Archbishop Charles shares with us on various parts of his life including his vocation journey; the various roles he has worked in in the Roman curia including his experience of working with then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. He explains the role of papal nuncio and outlines some of the challenges facing the church in Ireland today.
Despite the challenges facing the church in Ireland, Archbishop Charles' view is that we are beginning to see the light at the end of a dark and stormy two decades and while it is not the case of business as usual, the emergence of a new church in Ireland is underway particularly with the appointment of a new generation of pastoral bishops in the last few years.
But despite these "green shoots" one of the main challenges highlighted by the papal nuncio is the stark problem of vocations to religious and priestly life in Ireland and the impact this will have on the church in the future. He shares with us some of his views on the need for renewed prayer as the corner stone for vocations but also the need to be able to encourage men who would consider a vocation in the church.

The archbishop also explains to us the need to challenge what St Maximilian Kolbe, who died at Auschwitz, called the “the spiritual disease of our times as indifferentism . . . that it really doesn’t matter too much what a person believes” in some ways echoing the voice of Pope Benedict.

He also poses the question that Irish Catholics need to ask, why it was that “prior generations were able to pass on their faith in situations of extreme hardship – in times of persecution, famine and even forced emigration – while, in our own time of relative comfort and ease, the faith is not always being handed on”.....“Some would say that this was because prior generations were more ignorant than we are or that they held on to their faith because they had nothing else. I have real problems with that kind of explanation.” and outlines how previous generations were contemplatives in action whilst not being aware of it as it was natural to them in their daily lives where despite not being "theologically literate" or aware, they were more in tune with time and space for God.

Some other interviews the papal nuncio has done:
Gospel - Luke 11:1-13

Imagine the scene ....

Petitioner: "Our Father which art in heaven........"

God: "Yes?
Petitioner: Don't interrupt me. I'm praying.
God: But you called me.
Petitioner: Called you? I didn't call you. I'm praying. "Our Father which art in heaven.......
God: There, you did it again.
Petitioner: Did what?
God: Called me. You said, "Our Father which are in heaven." Here I am....what's on your mind?
Petitioner: But I didn't mean anything by it. I was, you know, just saying my prayers for the day. I always say the Lord's Prayer. It makes me feel good, kind of like getting a duty done.
God: All right. Go on. ....

.... from a play by Andy Lund. Continue the reflection HERE

Reflections on this weeks gospel:
Word on Fire
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy
Blue Eyed Ennis
Liturgical odds and ends
Liturgy of the Hours - Week 1, 16th week in ordinary time
Saints of the Week

July 29th - St Martha
July 30th - St Leopold Mandic
July 31st - St Ignatius of Loyola
August 1st - St Alphonsus Liguroi
August 2nd - St Peter Julian Eymard (First Friday)
August 3rd - St Nicodemus
Popes Intentions for August 2013

  • Parents and Teachers. That parents and teachers may help the new generation to grow in upright conscience and life.
  • The Church in Africa. That the local Church in Africa, faithfully proclaiming the Gospel, may promote peace and justice

  • WYD 2013 - Via Crucis (The Way of the Cross)

    From Vatican Radio:
    Pope Francis prayed the Via crucis on Friday evening with [an estimated 1.5 million] pilgrims gathered for World Youth Day celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Nearly 300 artists and volunteers from several countries including the United States animated the popular devotion. The meditations accompanying each of the 14 stations depicting the principal episodes of Christ’s Passion, death and burial focused on a theme of particular significance in the life of contemporary youth, including: mission, conversion, community, and vocation; others involved pressing social challenges and existential issues such as suffering, illness and mortality. The texts of the meditations were prepared by a pair of Brazilian priests, Fr. José Zezinho and Fr. João Joãozinho, both of whom are well known in their native country for their work with young people.

    In remarks to the pilgrims, Pope Francis spoke of the Cross of Christ as the source of hope, to which anyone and everyone can and ought to bring his deepest joys, sufferings and failures. The Holy Father also spoke of Christ’s Cross as a challenge to all of us: an invitation to allow ourselves to be smitten by his love, as well as a lesson and a reminder to us always to look upon others with mercy and tenderness – especially the suffering, and those we meet who are in distress and need help, whether in the form of a word of encouragement, or a concrete action that could take us beyond ourselves
    You can read full text of Pope Francis address HERE.

    Photos from Vatican Radio Facebook page HERE.

    Vatican Radio's correspondant Sean Lovitt has been covering WYD all week and his personal commentaries have been excellent. Read/listen to his report from the Via Crucis last night HERE.

    Quotes from the address:

    .... Jesus, with his Cross, walks with us and takes upon himself our fears, our problems, and our sufferings, even those which are deepest and most painful. With the Cross, Jesus unites himself to the silence of the victims of violence, those who can no longer cry out, especially the innocent and the defenceless; with the Cross, he is united to families in trouble, those who mourn the loss of their children, or who suffer when they see them fall victim to false paradises, such as that offered by drugs. On the Cross, Jesus is united with every person who suffers from hunger in a world where tons of food are thrown out each day; on the Cross, Jesus is united with those who are persecuted for their religion, for their beliefs or simply for the colour of their skin; on the Cross, Jesus is united with so many young people who have lost faith in political institutions, because they see in them only selfishness and corruption; he unites himself with those young people who have lost faith in the Church, or even in God because of the counter-witness of Christians and ministers of the Gospel.

    .....What has the Cross given to those who have gazed upon it or touched it? What has it left in each one of us? It gives us a treasure that no one else can give: the certainty of the unshakable love which God has for us. A love so great that it enters into our sin and forgives it, enters into our suffering and gives us the strength to bear it. It is a love which enters into death to conquer it and to save us. The Cross of Christ contains all the love of God, his immeasurable mercy. This is a love in which we can place all our trust, in which we can believe.....

    .......the Cross of Christ invites us also to allow ourselves to be smitten by his love, teaching us always to always look upon others with mercy and tenderness, especially those who suffer, who are in need of help, who need a word or a concrete action which requires us to step outside ourselves to meet them and to extend a hand to them....

    ....Dear friends, let us bring to Christ’s Cross our joys, our sufferings and our failures. There we will find a Heart that is open to us and understands us, forgives us, loves us and calls us to bear this love in our lives, to love each person, each brother and sister, with the same love. Amen!......

    WYD 2013 - Fr James Martin SJ talks - Prayer

    The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops invited Father James Martin, SJ, editor at large at America, to address the English-speaking youth during World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, in a series of videos. In this video, Father Martin speaks about prayer. What can happen when you pray? He looks at how God can communicate through emotions, desires, insights, memories and feelings.

    The Digital Nun - The Sunday Edition CBC Radio One

    Sister Catherine Wybourne is a nun, a cloistered Benedictine nun. Which makes it all the more remarkable that she has conquered the internet. Sister Catherine blogs, she tweets and from her tiny monastery - composed of two nuns and a dog - she has an enormous global digital reach. In fact, she is widely known as the Digital Nun.

    Called to the faith more than 30 years ago, she was quick to spot the potential of the internet for religion. A former banker, and "jill of all trades" - including poultry keeper, cook and printmaker - she tackled digital language with the same spirit with which she learned Hebrew.
    She developed the website for her monastery, offering a virtual five minute retreat, among other services. To her the internet is a sacred space.Now traditional religions of every "brand" are hoping to grow virtual communities, as real attendance declines in bricks and mortar places of worship. But the internet is a consumer supermarket, where the real thing and the fakes can be difficult to separate. These are concerns for Sister Catherine, and naturally, she blogs about it.

    Laura Lynch spoke to Sister Catherine Wybourne, prioress of the Holy Trinity Monastery in Howton Grove, Herefordshire, England.
    You can listen to the interview HERE.

    WYD 2013 - Fr James Martin SJ talks - A Jesuit Pope

    The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops invited Father James Martin, SJ, editor at large at America, to address the English-speaking youth during World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, in a series of videos. In this video, Father Martin speaks about our Jesuit pope. What does it mean to have a Jesuit pope? And how does Pope Francis's Jesuit background and Ignatian spirituality influence his papacy?

    25 Jul 2013

    On this weeks programme............

    ....Lorraine and John catch up with one busy man at the moment, His Excellency, Monsignor Charles Brown, Archbishop of Aquilea , Papal nuncio to the Republic of Ireland and Dean of the Irish Diplomatic Corps. Tune in on Sunday to hear the interview.

    WYD 2013 Talk - Fr James Martin SJ - Discovering your vocation - Discovering what God wants you to be

    The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops invited Father James Martin, SJ, editor at large at America, to address the English-speaking youth during World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, in a series of videos. In this video, Father Martin speak on the topic of vocation. How can we know what we are called to do, and whom we are called to be?

    Some thoughts from Pope Francis

    “Christians cannot be pessimists! They cannot look like someone in constant mourning. If we are truly in love with Christ and if we sense how much he loves us, our heart will 'light up' with a joy that spreads to everyone around us. As Benedict XVI said: 'the disciple knows that without Christ, there is no light, no hope, no love, no future.” - Papa Francesco


    "We need saints without cassocks, without veils. We need saints with jeans and tennis shoes. We need saints that go to the movies, that listen to music, that hang out with friends.

    We need saints who put God in first place, ahead of succeeding in any career. We need saints who look for time to pray every day and who know how to be in love with purity, chastity, and all good things. We need saints, Saints of the 21st century with a spirituality appropriate to our new time.

    We need saints that have a commitment to helping the poor and to make the needed social change. We need saints to live in the world, to sanctify the world and to not be afraid of living in the world by their presence in it.

    We need saints that drink Coca-Cola, that eat hot dogs, that surf the internet and that listen to their iPods. We need saints that love the Eucharist, that are not afraid or embarrassed to eat a pizza or drink a beer with their friends.

    We need saints who love the movies, dance, sports, theater. We need saints that are open, sociable, normal, happy companions. We need saints who are in this world and who know how to enjoy the best in this world without being callous or mundane. We need saints".

    - John Paul II and Benedict XVI - this quote has gone viral over the last few days and initially was accredited to Pope Francis but the internet sleuths are not sure who did write it but it most certainly was quoted by JP2; it may be like the prayer of Romero - not written bit "attributed" to the man.

    "Our Father" - Russian Orthodox

    ".........it is important to be able to make people welcome; this is something even more beautiful than any kind of ornament or decoration. I say this because when we are generous in welcoming people and sharing something with them – some food, a place in our homes, our time – not only do we no longer remain poor: we are enriched. I am well aware that when someone needing food knocks at your door, you always find a way of sharing food; as the proverb says, one can always “add more water to the beans”! And you do so with love, demonstrating that true riches consist not in material things, but in the heart!

    And the Brazilian people, particularly the humblest among you, can offer the world a valuable lesson in solidarity, a word that is too often forgotten or silenced, because it is uncomfortable. I would like to make an appeal to those in possession of greater resources, to public authorities and to all people of good will who are working for social justice: never tire of working for a more just world, marked by greater solidarity! No one can remain insensitive to the inequalities that persist in the world! Everybody, according to his or her particular opportunities and responsibilities, should be able to make a personal contribution to putting an end to so many social injustices. The culture of selfishness and individualism that often prevails in our society is not what builds up and leads to a more habitable world: it is the culture of solidarity that does so, seeing others not as rivals or statistics, but brothers and sisters.

    I would also like to tell you that the Church, the “advocate of justice and defender of the poor in the face of intolerable social and economic inequalities which cry to heaven” (Aparecida Document, 395), wishes to offer her support for every initiative that can signify genuine development for every person and for the whole person. Dear friends, it is certainly necessary to give bread to the hungry – this is an act of justice. But there is also a deeper hunger, the hunger for a happiness that only God can satisfy. There is neither real promotion of the common good nor real human development when there is ignorance of the fundamental pillars that govern a nation, its non-material goods: life, which is a gift of God, a value always to be protected and promoted; the family, the foundation of coexistence and a remedy against social fragmentation; integral education, which cannot be reduced to the mere transmission of information for purposes of generating profit; health, which must seek the integral well-being of the person, including the spiritual dimension, essential for human balance and healthy coexistence; security, in the conviction that violence can be overcome only by changing human hearts.

    Dear young friends, you have a particular sensitivity towards injustice, but you are often disappointed by facts that speak of corruption on the part of people who put their own interests before the common good. To you and to all, I repeat: never yield to discouragement, do not lose trust, do not allow your hope to be extinguished. Situations can change, people can change. Be the first to seek to bring good, do not grow accustomed to evil, but defeat it. The Church is with you, bringing you the precious good of faith, bringing Jesus Christ, who “came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10).......... I say: you are not alone, the Church is with you, the Pope is with you. I carry each of you in my heart and I make my own the intentions that you carry deep within you: thanksgiving for joys, pleas for help in times of difficulty, a desire for consolation in times of grief and suffering."

    ".......Today, looking forward to the World Youth Day which has brought me to Brazil, I too come to knock on the door of the house of Mary – who loved and raised Jesus – that she may help all of us, pastors of God’s people, parents and educators, to pass on to our young people the values that can help them build a nation and a world which are more just, united and fraternal.......

    ..............Always know in your heart that God is by your side; he never abandons you! Let us never lose hope! Let us never allow it to die in our hearts! The “dragon”, evil, is present in our history, but it does not have the upper hand. The one with the upper hand is God, and God is our hope! It is true that nowadays, to some extent, everyone, including our young people, feels attracted by the many idols which take the place of God and appear to offer hope: money, success, power, pleasure. Often a growing sense of loneliness and emptiness in the hearts of many people leads them to seek satisfaction in these ephemeral idols. Dear brothers and sisters, let us be lights of hope! Let us maintain a positive outlook on reality. Let us encourage the generosity which is typical of the young and help them to work actively in building a better world. Young people are a powerful engine for the Church and for society. They do not need material things alone; also and above all, they need to have held up to them those non-material values which are the spiritual heart of a people, the memory of a people......................

    .........God always surprises us, like the new wine in the Gospel we have just heard. God always saves the best for us. But he asks us to let ourselves be surprised by his love, to accept his surprises. Let us trust God! Cut off from him, the wine of joy, the wine of hope, runs out. If we draw near to him, if we stay with him, what seems to be cold water, difficulty, sin, is changed into the new wine of friendship with him....................

    ...........Dear friends, we have come to knock at the door of Mary’s house. She has opened it for us, she has let us in and she shows us her Son. Now she asks us to “do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5). Yes, Mother, we are committed to doing whatever Jesus tells us! And we will do it with hope, trusting in God’s surprises and full of joy............"

    Like Il Poverllo, Francis embraces those who society sees as lepers
    reminding them, they are not alone.

    "To embrace – we all have to learn to embrace the one in need, as Saint Francis did. . There are so many situations in Brazil, and throughout the world, that require attention, care and love, like the fight against chemical dependency. Often, instead, it is selfishness that prevails in our society.........We all need to look upon one another with the loving eyes of Christ, and to learn to embrace those in need, in order to show our closeness, affection and love. To embrace someone is not enough, however. We must hold the hand of the one in need, of the one who has fallen into the darkness of dependency perhaps without even knowing how, and we must say to him or her: You can get up, you can stand up. It is difficult, but it is possible if you want to........... You have to want to stand up; this is the indispensible condition! You will find an outstretched hand ready to help you, but no one is able to stand up in your place. But you are never alone! The Church and so many people are close to you. Look ahead with confidence. Yours is a long and difficult journey, but look ahead, there is “a sure future, set against a different horizon with regard to the illusory enticements of the idols of this world, yet granting new momentum and strength to our daily lives” (Lumen Fidei, 57). To all of you, I repeat: Do not let yourselves be robbed of hope! And not only that, but I say to us all: let us not rob others of hope, let us become bearers of hope"

    Deus meus adiuva me
    Tabhair dom do shearch,a Mhic ghil Dé
    Tabhair dom do shearch,a Mhic ghil Dé
    Deus meus adiuva me.

    Domine da quod peto a te,
    Tabhair dom go dian a ghrian ghlan ghlé,
    Tabhair dom go dian a ghrian ghlan ghlé,
    Domine da quod peto a te.

    Domine, Domine, exaudi me,
    M'anam bheith lán de d'ghrá, a Dhé,
    M'anam bheith lán de d'ghrá, a Dhé,
    Domine, Domine exaudi me.

    My God, help me. Give me love of thee, O Son of my God. Give me love of thee, O son of my God. My God, help me.

    Into my heart that it may be whole, O glorious King, swiftly bring love of thee. Glorious King, swiftly bring love of thee into my heart that it may be whole.

    Lord, give what I ask of thee -- give, give speedily, O bright and gleaming sun - give, give speedily, O bright and gleaming sun - Lord, give what I ask of thee.

    This thing which I hope and seek, love of thee in this world, love of thee in that, love of thee in this world, love of thee in that, this thing which I hope and seek.

    Love of thee, as thou wishest, give me in thy might (I will say it again). Give me in thy might (I will say it again) love of thee, as thou wishest.

    I seek, I beg, I ask of thee that I be in Heaven, dear Son of God. That I be in Heaven, dear Son of God, I seek, I beg, I ask of thee.

    My Lord, hear me. May my soul, O God, be full of love for thee. May my soul, O God, be full of love for thee. My God, help me.

    Source: Gerard Murphy, Early Irish Lyrics: Eighth to Twelfth Centuries, (repr. Dublin 1998), 52-59

    24 Jul 2013

    WYD2013 - The Church is Alive! The Church is Young!

    WYD 2013 - Kick off at Copacabana !

    Massive crowds gathered on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro July 23 to celebrate the beginning of World Youth Day 2013

    Vatican Radio:

    Copacabana beach was the place to be on Tuesday evening as thousands of people flocked to the famed spot to be part of the Mass celebrating the opening of World Youth Day. Vatican Radio correspondent Seàn Patrick Lovett was there and sends this report

    Photos of the events from the opening cermonies:

    WYD2013 - "I have neither silver nor gold, but I bring with me the most precious thing given to me: Jesus Christ! - Pope Francis arrival in Brazil

    "I have learned that, to gain access to the Brazilian people, it is necessary to pass through its great heart; so let me knock gently at this door. I ask permission to come in and spend this week with you. I have neither silver nor gold, but I bring with me the most precious thing given to me: Jesus Christ! I have come in his name, to feed the flame of fraternal love that burns in every heart; and I wish my greeting to reach one and all: The peace of Christ be with you!"

    "I have neither silver nor gold, but I bring with me the most precious thing given to me: Jesus Christ! I have come in his name, to feed the flame of fraternal love that burns in every heart; and I wish my greeting to reach one and all: The peace of Christ be with you!"

    Pope Francis address at the formal welcome reception on arriving in Brazil

    Full text available here.


    22 Jul 2013

    WYD 2013 in 2 minutes - Busted Halo

    WYD 2013 - Pope Francis arrives in Rio and other WYD odds & ends

    Pope Francis boards Al Italia flight to Rio
    Pope Francis has arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to take part in the XXVIII World Youth Day to be attended by an estimated two million young people.

    This visit marks the first foreign journey of this Latin American Pontiff. Originally planned for his predecessor the See of Peter, Benedict XVI, Pope Francis has added his own touches to the trip, including a visit to the Marian Shrine of Aparecida.

    Upon his arrival in Rio, Pope Francis will go by open air popemobile to the Guanabara Palace for the official Welcoming Ceremony. There he'll be received by the President of Brazil, Dilma Vand Rousseff Linhares, the Governor of Rio State, Sergio Cabral Filho, and the Mayor of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes.

    Pope Francis will then spend the night at the hillside residence of Sumaré, home to the Archbishop of Rio de Janerio, Monsignor Orani Tempesta. (S0urce: Vatican Radio)


    From CNA:

    Room where Pope Franis will stay in Rio
    The Pontifical Council for Social Communications has posted a series of photos of the room where Pope Francis will stay during his visit to Brazil for World Youth Day, which will take place July 23-28.

    The accommodations are located at the Sumare House in Rio de Janeiro, where Blessed John Paul II also stayed in October, 1997. The late pontiff had traveled to Brazil for the Second World Meeting of Families.

    The room where Pope Francis will stay has a simple bed, a night stand with a telephone, and a small desk. A crucifix hangs on the wall over the bed.

    The room reflects the simplicity and humility that has characterized his pontificate and his prior ministry as archbishop of Buenos Aires.

    Other pictures available HERE.


    For those of us unable to make it to Rio, Pope Francis has asked for our prayers for WYD. And if you want to follow the liturgies and join in the Morning and Evening Prayer of the festival of faith the
    english version of the booklet is available as a pdf.

    Follow WYD during the week: 
    Salt + Light


    WYD 2013: Rio reminds me that the Church is truly universal - Catholic Herald coverage

    Jesuit Post

    Vatican News

    Pope2You website including videos and other links

    20 Jul 2013

    21st July 2013 - A chat with the Cistercian nuns of St Mary's Abbey, Glencairn Co Waterford - Part 1 of 2

    On this weeks programme, we have part one of a two part special programme on the Cistercian nuns of St Mary's Abbey, Glencairn Co Waterford. Lorraine has a discussion about the Cistercian life and what it means to be an enclosed nun in Ireland today with Sr Sarah Branigan (Vocation Directoress) and Sr Michelle Slattery (Novice Mistress).

    You can listen to the podcast of the programme HERE.

    The Abbey's website is HERE and Facebook page HERE.

    UPDATE: Part 2 was broadcast on 20 October 2013.

    St Mary's Abbey - Glencairn

    The Cistercian Community of St Mary's Abbey Glencairn
    St Mary’s Abbey, Glencairn is the only Cistercian monastery for women in Ireland.  The monastery is located in the Blackwater Valley, about 3 miles upstream from Lismore, County Waterford.
    "At the heart of the monastic life is the search for God; here at Glencairn, we seek God and follow Christ in a life of prayer and community, solitude and simplicity, work and hospitality. We follow the Rule of St Benedict, an ancient source of monastic wisdom that continues to guide many people in search of an authentic spiritual path in today’s world."
    As the sisters outline the Cistercian Order arose as a reform movement within the Benedictine tradition in the 12th century who were seeking for a simpler way of life - a return to the deserts of the world to seek a space for God. 

    The first Cistercian monastery was established in Citeaux, France in 1098 by Saints Robert, Alberic and Stephen and Sr Sarah tells us of the history of the early foundations. Early in the Cistercian tradition, women sought the Cistercian way of life and the first Cistercian monastery for women was in Tart, France, a daughter house of Citeaux, founded by St Stephen in 1125. St Malachy brought the Cistercians to Ireland in 1142, to Mellifont, County Louth. St Mary’s Abbey, Glencairn is the first Cistercian monastery for women in Ireland since the Reformation, founded in 1932 by Holy Cross Abbey, Stapehill, England. Today, there are 37 Cistercian nuns in the community of St Mary’s Abbey, Glencairn.

    The life of the Cistercians is under pinned by a number of foundations including
    • a zeal for the Opus Dei (the Work of God) which is the Liturgy of the Hours (a.k.a. the Divine Office) which is one of the focus' of St Benedict
    • the ethos of simplicity which defined Citeax with its emphasis on poverty, simplicity in liturgy, manual work and a guarded interaction with the secular world so as not to displace the main focus of their lives as being a constant search for God.
    • St Bernard and other writers of the Cistercian tradition have emphasised experiential quality of monastic life; effective spirituality stressing relationship with Christ; stressing fraternal communion and also a strong Marian devotion with the order and each abbey of the order under the patronage of Mary.

    Sr Michelle takes us through the life of a novice as women discern whether they are called to the life of a cistercian nun with the community in Glencairn including what daily life is like, the study and prayer life undertaken. Sr Sarah then continues to share with is the meaning of the monastic vows stability, obedience and conversion of life as well as the day to day life at the abbey.

    From the Abbey's website:

    What is Cistercian Spirituality?

    “Cistercian nuns seek God and follow Christ under a rule and an abbess in a stable community which is a school of mutual love”. These words, from the Constitutions of our Order, point to some key elements in our spirituality.

    Cistercian: “Cistercian” comes from the word Cîteaux, in Latin Cistercium, which means “marshy place” or “swampy place”. Cîteaux, in France, is where the Cistercian movement began in 1098, as a reform within the Benedictine monastic tradition.

    Nuns and monks: there are both men and women Cistercians. We live in single-sex communities, but the two branches form one Order. There are Cistercian communities on all five continents: they follow the same lifestyle, adapted to local situations.

    Seek God: the heart of monastic life is seeking God. From earliest times, some Christians have felt called to go apart to lead a life more intensely focused on God. They separated themselves from the distractions of regular society, and went away to a remote or isolated place more conducive to prayer and consciousness of God. There they devoted themselves to seeking God and union with God. The first people to practise this kind of lifestyle went literally into the desert, in Egypt. We follow in their footsteps, and so do not engage in any outside apostolate. The purpose of a Cistercian is to seek God.

    Follow Christ: Cistercian life is a way of living the Gospel. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ is fundamental in each sister’s heart. Christ is our model: we strive to be conformed to him in his obedience, humility, patience and poverty. He is our King, whom we try to serve. And he is our Beloved: we seek intimate union with him in prayer.

    Under a Rule…: this means the Rule of St Benedict, as interpreted by Cistercian tradition and contemporary understanding. There are three key elements in the monastic day according to this Rule:

    (1) Liturgy: Seven times a day we meet in the church to celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours, consisting of psalms, Scripture readings, and prayers. By this we offer praise to God, we ourselves are sanctified, and we intercede for all people. We celebrate the Eucharist daily; it is the source of our communion with Jesus Christ and with one another.

    (2) Lectio divina: quiet, meditative reading of the Word of God in Scripture, which leads to contemplative prayer and shapes us to live by the Gospel.

    (3) Work: Through our work we support ourselves, and have something to share with the poor. In Glencairn we produce eucharist bread and greeting cards for sale, and we have a farm which is now mostly dedicated to tillage (barley) with some cattle. Other work includes care of the sick and guests, the upkeep of the monastery, administration and formation work, gardening, and many other tasks.
    Living “under a Rule” means that our life is disciplined. The purpose of this discipline is to make us free: free from selfishness and unhealthy desires, free from things that do not help us on our journey to God; free to have hearts open to give and receive genuine love.

    …and an abbess: the abbess is a central figure in the monastery. She is believed to act as Christ’s representative, and so ministers to the whole community with pastoral care, teaching the sisters by word and example, and encouraging them in their monastic vocation.

    Community: Cistercians maintain a balance between solitude on the one hand, and community living on the other. Solitude and silence provide us with a climate for prayer and encounter with God. Community relationships are the place where love is put into action. Unity of spirit, sharing of goods, and bearing one another’s burdens are hallmarks of a Spirit-filled community.

    Stability: we make a vow of stability, which means that we commit ourselves to live always in this particular community, and will not normally move to another one. Stability is the “for better, for worse” of monastic life. Our other vows are fidelity to monastic life, and obedience.

    School of love: St Benedict called the monastery a “school of the Lord’s service.” The early Cistercians called it a “school of love”. On our spiritual journey we are always pupils. Learning to love with the heart and mind of Christ is an ongoing task, which will occupy us all the days of our life.


    Some external Youtube videos on Glencairn.


    An investigation by U.S. television producer Phil O'Connor into the decline of the Irish Church brought him, together with the Religion and Ethics team and camera crew to Ireland in late May of this year where they made a further television feature on contemporary monastic life as lived here at St Mary's Abbey.

    Originally broadcast in the U.S. Sunday a.m. 24 July 2011 on PBS television on Religion and Ethics Newsweekly.

    An audio slideshow by Irish Times photographer Bryan O'Brien featuring images of Theresa Kottayail from Kerala, India as she took her first vows as a junior professed sister in the enclosed Cistercian community of nuns at St Mary's Abbey, Glencairn, Lismore, Co.Waterford, Ireland in December 2011. She took the name Sr Robert and was the first sister from India to complete her novitiate in the rural Irish Abbey.