26 Oct 2013

27th October 2013 - 30th Sunday in Ordinary time (Year C) - The Rosary

On this weeks programme John and Ann are joined by Fr Phonsie Cullinan to reflect on the Rosary in this month of the rosary. We have our reflection on the gospel of the Sunday and our usual liturgical odds and ends.

Last weeks programme which was the second part of the interview with the Cistercian nuns of Glencairn Abbey didn't go out on air as planned due to some technical difficulties at WL102fm HQ. However, due to requests from our listeners who had been waiting to hear the interview, with the cooperation of station management, we are going to have a 2 hour Sacred Space 102fm next Sunday. From 9am, prior to our normal programme, we will re-broadcast our programme from 23rd October with the Cistercian nuns which will be followed by our normal Sunday morning programme at 10am! Please pass the word around!

Meanwhile you can listen to this weeks full programmes podcast HERE.
The Rosary
October is the month of the Rosary and on this morning show John and Ann are joined by Fr Phonsie Cullinan from Rathkeale parish to speak about the Rosary explaining its history, origins and how it has developed over the centuries until it was codified by Pope Pius V.

You can find out more about the history of the Rosary HERE and HERE

The Rosary is a profound prayer yet a very simple prayer suitable for all ages. It is both a meditation and mantra with its parts very much based on scripture - Our Father (Mttw 6:9-13), the Angelic salutation (Luke 1:28) and Elizabeth's greeting (Luke 1:42) to Mary which together make up the Hail Mary (Luke - Hail Mary), Mysteries based on the events in the life of Christ and his ministry.
You can listen to Fr Phonsie's reflection HERE.
You can find other posts on the blog about the Rosary HERE.

Gospel - Luke 18:9-14

"He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, `God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.' But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, `God, be merciful to me a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."

This week we are invited to consider the Pharisee who sits up front and thanks God that he is not as bad as others, and the tax collector who stays back and prays 'God be merciful to me, a sinner'.

We are not one man or the other - we are all, at varying times, a bit of both!

We get smug, we get humble, ...

we assume, we realise, ...

we take for granted, we recognise Gods mercy ....

"Holiness is not something one can achieve on one’s own through perfectionist practice, however earnest such practice may be. Holiness—justification before the One who calls us to be holy as God is holy (Leviticus 19:2)—is lived in love alongside other flawed, struggling human beings who seek to know something of the sacred. And it is lived in solidarity with the suffering poor. A radical call indeed!"
- Pope Francis

Some reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy
Sunday Reflections

Liturgical odds and ends

As the clocks change and the evenings draw in, we head into Samhain (November) and the dark days of Winter here in Ireland. As the earth heads into hibernation and rebirth, the ancient Celts saw this time as a "thin place" between this world and the next. All Hallows Eve (Halloween) is a reminder to us that our nearest and dearest who have died are not really that far away and that we honour and pray for and with each other in the Communion of Saints especially at this time of the year.

Whilst you remember your own loved ones at this time, also remember to pray for those that are mourning. While time may change the pain of loss, it can never be said to truly go away; remember those who mourn and feel that pain at this time too especially for those who have lost loved ones in the last twelve months.

"For centuries the church has confronted the human community with role models of greatness. We call them saints when what we really often mean to say is 'icon,' 'star,' 'hero,' ones so possessed by an internal vision of divine goodness that they give us a glimpse of the face of God in the center of the human. They give us a taste of the possibilities of greatness in ourselves." 
— Joan D. Chittister in A Passion for Life

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter Week 2, 30th week in Ordinary time

Saints of the Week

October 28th - Ss Simon and Jude (Apostles)
October 29th -St Colman
October 30th - St Alphonsus Rodriguez
October 31st - Bl Dominic Collins SJ (martyr) (also All Hallows Eve)
November 1st - Solemnity of All Saints - All blog posts on the feast HERE. In Ireland it is a Holy Day of Obligation.
November 2nd - Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed (All Soul's). All blog posts on the commemoration are HERE.

Indulgence for November for the Holy Souls

"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints."

"An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin." The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead.83 (
CCC 1471)

In the communion of saints, "a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth. between them there is, too, an abundant exchange of all good things."87 In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others. Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin. (CCC 1475)


1. From 12 noon on Nov 1 to midnight on Nov 2nd all who have confessed, received Holy Communion and prayed for the Pope’s intentions (one Our Father & Holy Mary, or any other prayer of one’s choice), can gain one plenary indulgence by visiting a church or oratory, and there reciting one Our Father & the Apostle’s Creed. This indulgence is applicable only to the souls of the departed. Confession may be made any time within the week preceding or the week following Nov 1. Holy Communion may be received on any day from 1 November to 8 November.

2. The faithful who visit a cemetery and pray for the dead may gain a plenary indulgence applicable only to the Holy Souls on the usual conditions once per day from Nov 1st to 8th. The conditions mentioned above, apply also for this.

23 Oct 2013

How to pray

How to pray: a sermon about prayer, given to university students; and in particular about the importance of setting aside a small amount of time each day for personal prayer.

The secret of prayer is to pray.

From Jericho Tree:

November: In Memoriam - Limerick Diocese parish project to celebrate priests, who have served, blessed and led us.

From Limerick Diocese:

November: In Memoriam

A parish project to celebrate priests, who have served, blessed and led us.

In working through our Diocesan Archive, it has become clear that we have very few pictures of our priests from across the last hundred years. Many men didn’t want fuss, others didn’t have a photograph to pass on. So we have the very real problem of not being able to see, and be reminded, of those who served us so well.

One place where photos do remain are in Memoriam cards – those prayerful reminders of someone who has died. These cards - often in people’s homes, prayer-book’s or bedsides – are often the last link in a chain of memory and prayer.

This November we are inviting you to keep the chain of memory and prayer alive.

We would like you to search out and share any Memoriam cards you have of Limerick priests and religious. We don’t want to take them from you, but rather we would like to make a copy of any Memoriam cards that you have. We are also of course delighted to take care of any Memoriam cards that you wish to donate to the Diocesan Archive.

A personal invite:

Do you have Memoriam Cards of Limerick priests or religious? These might be in a family prayer book, by a bedside or in a drawer. Would you allow us to scan (copy) these so that we develop a digital diocesan archive

Just call Noirin (061400133), or David (061315856) to arrange to call in with your cards. We
will copy the cards there and then and return them to you safe and sound.

If you wish to donate cards to the Diocesan Archive, call David on 061315856

A parish invite:

Why not create a display this November celebrating those who have left this parish to serve, within the diocese or beyond. Ardpatrick Community Council, working with Bishop John Fleming, have created a beautiful book on this theme.

You might have a display case of Memoriam cards in the church porch or in a prayer space – including a book for people to add names of those they want remembered, and a prayer for those who served.
A joint initiative of the Diocesan Archive and Pastoral Development teams.
061 400133/NLynch@ldpc.ie 061315856/David@ldo.ie

30,000 welcome relics of St Anthony to Limerick

From Limerick Diocese:

Great affirmation of faith as estimated 30,000 welcome Relics of St. Anthony to St. John’s Cathedral

Young and old flock to Cathedral from not just Limerick but from across Mid-West and South

Limerick became a crossroads for a vast faithful yesterday as they flocked in endless droves throughout the day to St. John’s Cathedral to venerate the relics of the world’s most popular saint, St. Anthony of Padua.

An estimated 30,000 people visited the Cathedral from 9am yesterday morning through to 10.30pm last night, many queuing in rain outside the Church for long periods to get their chance to venerate the sacred relics.

The relics were welcomed to St. John’s as part of a six-location visit to Ireland to mark the 750th Anniversary of their discovery by St. Bonaventure.

The Cathedral was packed to capacity for both Masses – at 10am and 7pm – while there was a constant flow of people, frequently out onto Cathedral Place, throughout the day as they queued, often in rain, for their chance to venerate the relics of the much loved saint. Large numbers of volunteers also gave their time throughout the day and night to keep the celebration running smoothly.

Reflecting on what he described as a ‘humbling affirmation of faith’, Bishop of Limerick Dr Brendan Leahy, who concelebrated the 7pm Mass, said that the numbers that turned up at St. John’s was way beyond what was expected.

“When we accepted the kind invitation from the Franciscans to welcome the relics to Limerick, we knew instantly the privilege this would be for the faithful. What we didn’t expect, however, was that they would turn out in the numbers they did. It was way beyond our expectations and a great lift for all involved in the Church. It was an edifying, humbling and comforting reminder to us that people’s faith is still so precious and strong.

“It was so heartening to see not alone the huge numbers but the great mix of generations as well. We had the very old down to the very young, in some cases infants just a few weeks old. We also had very big numbers of schoolchildren, particular in the evening after school finished, and then a very large mix of young people for our 7pm Mass. We had people not just from the Limerick Diocese but from Clare, Kerry, Tipperary, Cork and Kilkenny.

“So many people reach out at a spiritual level to St. Anthony on a daily basis and this was their opportunity to have a tangible moment with the Saint. They came here to worship, to make petitions and, for many also, to simply say thanks. It really was such a wonderful day of celebration and created such a great buzz in the City itself.”

Bishop Leahy also expressed his appreciation to the Franciscan’s for the privilege. “Limerick is just one of six locations across the island that the relics will visit on this tour. We were delighted and very grateful when they offered us this opportunity as when the Franciscan’s closed here in Limerick, the weekly Tuesday novena was moved to St. John’s, as was the statue of St. Anthony. And we also have the annual Novena here as well.

“The fact also that we had the relics here of one of the very first followers of St. Francis at the beginning of the current pontificate is also not lost on us given, of course, that the Pope chose the name of Francis.

“We must also thank everyone who made this event happen, the Franciscans, of course, the team at St. John’s, and the volunteers who helped out on the day and helped make this a really special moment for everyone who turned up. We also thank the media for helping us publicise this event as without this many, many people would missed this very special opportunity to celebrate this great moment in Limerick,” said Bishop Leahy.

The relics were accompanied by Fr Mario Conte, OFM Conv, Editor of the Messenger of St Anthony magazine (international edition). Addressing the faithful, Fr Conte said that while St. Anthony is widely revered as the Saint who helps find lost things or people, we can also come to St. Anthony asking God’s help when we lose work, lose hope, lose direction or any aspect of our life that needs replenishing.


Coverage from Limerick Leader and Live 95FM

19 Oct 2013

20th October 2013 - 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) - Cistercian Nuns of Glencairn (Part 2)

On this weeks programme, we have part two 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 Mother Marie Fahy, Sr Mairead McDonagh and Sr Clothilde Anamizu.

You can listen to this weeks programme podcast HERE.
Cistercian Nuns of 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."

We had part 1 of a two part interview with the nuns broadcast on 21st July and on this weeks programme we have the second part of that interview. Our blog post from 21 July had details of the Cistercian way of life and also some videos and photos as well which can all be viewed HERE.

Mother Marie Fahy reflects on her current role of abbess which is at the service of the community. She discusses the gift and challenge of monastic culture to our more secular culture holding out its gift of stability, witness, conversion and simplicity.

Sr Mairead tells us of her "late vocation" and the journey to Glencairn. She also tells us about the sisters work of producing a range of greeting cards for all occasions in both Irish and English are designed and produced in their Card Department here in Glencairn. Our range of cards also includes personalised cards and a selection of individually handcrafted cards with pressed flowers grown in our monastery gardens. Mortuary cards are also produced in a range of sizes designed to meet customer specifications.

Sr Clothilde Anamizu speaks to Lorraine of her journey and challenges to becoming a christian in Japan and then her further journey to joining the Cistercians in Japan and ultimately to joining the community in Glencairn.

You can listen to this weeks programmes podcast HERE.

The music on this weeks programme is taken from the Abbey's most recent CD Laudamus which  you can get HERE.
Gospel - Luke 18:1-8 - Mission Sunday

Today is Mission Sunday and we covered it on the programme a couple of weeks back with an interview with Fr Derek Leonard about mission and his experience of mission in Peru. You can see all our blog posts about mission HERE.
And he told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man; and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, `Vindicate me against my adversary.' For a while he refused; but afterward he said to himself, `Though I neither fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming.'" And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
 Pray without ceasing - don't lose heart! A simple poem today to aid your reflection on this Sundays Gospel. (H/t Limerick Diocese Weekly Newsletter)

 A life without purpose is barren indeed
There can't be a harvest unless you plant seeds
There can't be attainment unless there's a goal
A man's but a robot unless there's a soul

If we send no ships out
No ships will come in
and unless there's a contest
nobody can win
For games can't be won unless they are played,
and prayers can't be answered unless they are prayed.

So whatever is wrong with your life today,
you'll find a solution if you kneel down and pray.
Not just for pleasure, enjoyment and health,
Not just for honours, prestige and wealth

but pray for a purpose to make life worth living.
And pray for the joy of unselfish giving
for great is your gladness and rich is your reward
when you make your life's purpose the choice of the Lord
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Sunday Reflections
Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
English Dominicans

Liturgical odds and ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter Week 1 29th Week in Ordinary time

Saints of the Week

21 October - St Laura of St Catherin of Siena
22 October - Bl John Paul II
23 October - St John of Capistrano
24 October - St Anthony Mary Claret
25 October - Bl Thaddeus McCarthy (Martyr)
26 October - Forty Martyrs of England and Wales

Come, follow me: forthcoming Monastic Experience Weekend
News Story Image
Are you looking for something deeper in your life? A way of life that is more God-centred? A way of greater simplicity and truthfulness? A way of life in a community of faith and prayer?
Then you might like to consider and pray about attending our next Monastic Experience Weekend taking place from 25 to 27 October, 2013.
This is an event for women aged 20-40 who would like to experience our Cistercian way of life at Glencairn.
Monastic Experience Weekends have been held twice a year at St Mary’s Abbey, Glencairn since 2001.

What happens on a Monastic Experience Weekend?:
The weekend begins on Friday evening with welcomes and introductions, supper and Vespers. Participants stay in the Abbey guesthouse and join the community for the Liturgy of the Hours in choir.
Throughout the weekend our guests have the opportunity to experience something of the rhythm of liturgy, silence, meditation on scripture, monastic work and community life that together make up the essentials of a balanced monastic life.

There will be input on the Cistercian life, together with personal testimonies from some of our sisters on their own monastic journey and an opportunity to meet the community. We also offer guidance on how to discern one’s own religious vocation and an opportunity to talk one-to-one with one of the sisters.

The Monastic Experience Weekend ends on Sunday afternoon but participants are welcome to stay until Monday if they wish.

Contact Us:
If you would like more information, please contact our Vocation Director Sr Sarah here at the Abbey at: vocations@glencairnabbey.org or at 087 1909 830

Alternatively, if you would like to make a visit to the Abbey at another time for personal prayer and retreat to discern your vocation please contact Sr Sarah or the Guestmistress Mother Agnes at 058 56168 .

17 Oct 2013

October 17th - St Ignatius of Antioch

Dame Catherine Wybourne OSB makes the point today on her FB page that St Ignatius of Antioch (whose feastday is today) is too little known (other than by scholars and weird people like clergy, monks and nuns,etc) but he has interesting and important things to say about the nature of the Church, the sacraments, etc.

His letters are well worth reading, and not nearly as difficult as some. Here is useful an online resource in case you'd like to know more HERE.
He was the third Bishop of Antioch, and was a student of John the Apostle. En route to Rome, where according to Christian tradition he met his martyrdom by being fed to wild beasts, he wrote a series of letters which have been preserved as an example of very early Christian theology. Important topics addressed in these letters include ecclesiology, the sacraments, and the role of bishops.

You can read more about him HERE and HERE.

For our liturgical memory of Saint Ignatius of Antioch a portion of the saint’s Letter to the Romans.

I am writing to all the churches to let it be known that I will gladly die for God if only you do not stand in my way. I plead with you: show me no untimely kindness. Let me be food for the wild beasts, for they are my way to God. I am God’s wheat and shall be ground by their teeth so that I may become Christ’s pure bread. Pray to Christ for me that the animals will be the means of making me a sacrificial victim for God.

No earthly pleasures, no kingdoms of this world can benefit me in any way. I prefer death in Christ Jesus to power over the farthest limits of the earth. He who died in place of us is the one object of my quest. He who rose for our sakes is my one desire.

The time for my birth is close at hand. Forgive me, my brothers. Do not stand in the way of my birth to real life; do not wish me stillborn. My desire is to belong to God. Do not, then, hand me back to the world. Do not try to tempt me with material things. Let me attain pure light. Only on my arrival there can I be fully a human being. Give me the privilege of imitating the passion of my God. If you have him in your heart, you will understand what I wish. You will sympathize with me because you will know what urges me on.

Saint Ignatius of Antioch
Office of Readings from a Letter to the Romans
Thursday, 28th Week Through the Year

15 Oct 2013

October 20th 2013 - Mission Sunday - "Growing in Faith"

World Mission Sunday takes place on the second last Sunday of October each year. October is the traditional month of universal mission since 1926. Mission Sunday will be celebrated on the 21st October in 2012.

The collection for World Mission Sunday is organised by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, founded by Pauline Jaricot 190 years ago and it is celebrated by every Church throughout the world, including the poorest.

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

In October 2012, Irish Catholics contributed more than €2 million. In Limerick Diocese, the contribution was €40,676.

The Mission Sunday collection is made available, in its entirety, to be distributed to as many as 1,100 young Churches who are supported by the generosity of Churches that are better off.

Contributions will be used to build simple mission churches, to educate seminarians and to assist in the formation of catechists and lay leaders. The Mission Sunday gift will also be used for the building of health clinics for children, emergency aid in times of war or natural disaster and to assist missionaries in their efforts to care for refugees.

The theme for World Mission Sunday in Ireland this year 2013 is "Growing in Faith". A very appropriate theme as we come to the end of the Year of Faith and welcome the first encyclical of Pope Francis published in July 2013 and entitled "Light of Faith".

On Mission Sunday, in a special way, we celebrate the work our c. 1,600 Irish born missionaries and all missionaries throughout the world. We thank God for them, for all who support them in our own country and for our growing in communion with them, the communities with whom they work and with one another.

Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for Mission Sunday 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This year, as we celebrate World Mission Day, the
Year of Faith, which is an important opportunity to strengthen our friendship with the Lord and our journey as a Church that preaches the Gospel with courage, comes to an end. From this perspective, I would like to propose some reflections.

1. Faith is God's precious gift, which opens our mind to know and love him. He wants to enter into relationship with us and allow us to participate in his own life in order to make our life more meaningful, better and more beautiful. God loves us! Faith, however, needs to be accepted, which means, it needs our personal response, the courage to entrust ourselves to God, to live his love and be grateful for his infinite mercy. It is a gift, not reserved for a few but offered with generosity. Everyone should be able to experience the joy of being loved by God, the joy of salvation! It is a gift that one cannot keep to oneself, but it is to be shared. If we want to keep it only to ourselves, we will become isolated, sterile and sick Christians. The proclamation of the Gospel is part of being disciples of Christ and it is a constant commitment that animates the whole life of the Church. "The missionary outreach is a clear sign of the maturity of an ecclesial community" (BENEDICT XVI, Verbum Domini, 95). Each community is "mature" when it professes faith, celebrates it with joy during the liturgy, lives charity, proclaims the Word of God endlessly, leaves ones own to take it to the "suburbs", especially to those who have not yet had the opportunity to know Christ. The strength of our faith, at a personal and community level, can be measured by the ability to communicate it to others, to spread and live it in charity, to witness it to those we meet and share the path of life with us.

14 Oct 2013

October 15th - St Teresa of Avila

October 15th is the feast of St Teresa of Avila, the first woman to be declared a Doctor of the Church in 1970. She has many writings. Born in 1515 in Avila, Spain, she lived during the Counter Reformation in Europe and she died in 1582.

Saint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada, (March 28, 1515 – October 4, 1582) was a prominent Spanish mystic, Roman Catholic
saint, Carmelite nun, and writer of the Counter Reformation, and theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer. She was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered to be, along with John of the Cross, a founder of the Discalced Carmelites.

Read more about this saint here and here.

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

Christ Has No Body
Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

St Teresa of Avila

During one of his general audience Pope Benedict spoke about St. Teresa of Avila, who lived from 1515 to 1582.

Teresa de Ahumada was born in the Spanish city of Avila, said Benedict XVI. Although as an adolescent she read works of profane literature which led her towards a life in the world, she later turned to spiritual works which "taught her meditation and prayer. At the age of twenty she entered the Carmelite convent of the Incarnation, also in Avila".

St. Teresa saw her struggle against her own physical ailments as "a struggle against her weakness and resistance before the call of God. ... In Lent 1554, at the age of thirty-nine, Teresa reached the pinnacle of her fight against her own debilities".

  "In parallel with the maturation of her interior life, the saint also began to give concrete form to her idea of reforming the Carmelite order. In 1562, with the support of Bishop Alvaro de Mendoza of Avila, she founded the first reformed Carmelite convent. ... Over the following years she continued to found new Carmelite convents, reaching a total of seventeen. Her meeting with St. John of the Cross proved fundamental and with him, in 1568, she founded the first convent of Discalced Carmelites, at Duruelo near Avila". Teresa died in 1582. She was beatified by Paul V in 1614 and canonised in 1622 by Gregory XV. In 1970 Servant of God Paul VI declared her a Doctor of the Church.

  The Holy Father noted how "Teresa of Avila had no academic education, however she always gave great weight to the teaching of theologians, men of letters and spiritual masters". Her major works include an autobiography in which she presents her soul to St. John of Avila, and the "Way of Perfection" intended as a spiritual guide for her own nuns. However, "St. Teresa's most famous mystical work is the 'Interior Castle'", said the Pope, in which "she codifies the possible development of Christian life towards perfection. ... To her activity as founder of the Reformed Carmelites, Teresa dedicated another work, the 'Book of Foundations'".

  Referring then to the spirituality of Teresa, the Holy Father made particular mention of her interest in "the evangelical virtues as the foundation of all Christian and human life". He also noted how she laid great emphasis on "profound harmony with the great biblical figures" and on "listening to the Word of God. ... The saint also highlights the importance of prayer", he said, "she teaches readers of her works to pray, and she herself prays with them".

  "Another question very dear to this saint was the centrality of Christ's humanity. ... This lay at the basis of the importance she attributed to meditation on the Passion, and to the Eucharist as the presence of Christ in the Church, for the life of all believers and as the heart of the liturgy. St. Teresa's love for the Church was unconditional", said the Pope, identifying another essential part of her doctrine in "perfection as the aspiration and final goal of all Christian life".

  The Holy Father concluded by saying that "St. Teresa of Avila is an authentic teacher of Christian life for the faithful in all times. In our society, often lacking in spiritual values, St. Teresa teaches us to be tireless witnesses of God, of His presence and His work. ... May the example of this profoundly contemplative and industrious saint, encourage us to dedicate adequate time to daily prayer, to openness to God in order to discover His friendship and so to discover true life. ... Time spent in prayer is not lost; it is a time in which we open the way to life, learning to love God and His Church ardently, and to show real charity towards our neighbours".

October is the month of the Rosary

Donal Walsh - LiveLife!

"Every day people say I'm brave, that I'm courageous and I hate that. I'm just doing what I have to do to survive, to live another day."


"I live in a part of the world that is surrounded by mountains. I can't turn my head without finding a bloody hill or mountain and I suppose those were God's plans for me. To have me grow up around mountains and grow climbing a few too. And that's exactly what I've done, I may have grown up in body around them but I've fully grown and matured in mind climbing his mountains.

He's had me fight cancer three times, face countless deaths and losses in my life, he's had my childhood dreams taken off me but at the end of the day, he's made me a man.

I am always called brave, heroic, kind, genuine, honourable and so many other kind compliments, but I have to try and explain to everyone why I seem to reject them. I have never fought for anyone but myself, therefore I cannot be brave or heroic, I've only been kind because my religion has taught me so.

What impact could I ever make on the world if I was fake or how could I ever be honourable if I was not honoured to be here.

I am me. There is no other way of putting it, little old Donal Walsh from Tralee, one body, one mind with a few other cobwebs and tales thrown in.

I've climbed God's mountains, faced many struggles for my life and dealt with so much loss. And as much as I'd love to go around to every fool on this planet and open their eyes to the mountains that surround them in life, I can't. But maybe if I shout from mine they'll pay attention.

If I start to accept these compliments, I'm afraid of what I'll become. Will I be braver than YE? Will I be kinder than YE? More genuine than YE? Or more honourable than YE? Better than YE? No. I can never accept that there is a YE. We are all the same, we are all given one body, one mind. The only difference for me is that I'm looking from the mountain."



Donal Walsh was born and raised in Kerry, went to primary school in The Spa, Tralee, continued his secondary school in CBS The Green, Tralee, played GAA Football with Kerin’s O’Rahilly’s and Rugby with Tralee RFC. A passionate player who won a county medal at U12 Football, a determined youngster who craved perfection in all he triedAt 12years of age Donal was diagnosed with Osteo Sarcoma (Bone Cancer) in his tibia and after an operation to give him a prosthetic knee and nine months of chemotherapy Donal came back to the playing field not as a trainer but as a coach to his peers. They respected him as the fitness coach because they knew that whatever he asked of them was only the minimum he had asked of himself to learn to walk again in six weeks. They saw Donal for the man he was and played their games for the hero they saw.

In February 2102 the Cancer returned, this time to his lung and Donal had again to go under the knife to have half of his lung removed and endured another round of chemotherapy treatment until June. This time, in order to increase his lung capacity, for rehabilitation he took up cycling and reached regular trips of up to 60k. Donal joined the http://crossrugbylegends.com on their inaugural cycle in September that year from Moll’s Gap to Killarney and led the tour into his home town of Tralee to a rousing reception from family and friends.

In October 2012 Donal was diagnosed for the third, and ultimately final, time with tumours in five places and a further number of lesions. This was to be his biggest battle and to see a teenager grow into a man who a nation came to respect. Over the years Donal had raised funds totaling €50,000.00 for St. John’s Cancer Ward in Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin and in his final battle this grew to €65,000.00. Donal took to writing in his last months and told his story of his battle with cancer and what it took each time to fight his way back to living life. He also wrote about his anger at Teenage Suicide while he was battling to get as much out of living his life. The third thing he wrote about was him “Climbing God’s Mountains” and how difficult that was but how his faith had allowed him to reach the mountain top and scream from it!

The interview with Brendan O'Connor on RTE:

Shortly before he died, 16-year-old Donal Walsh wrote this moving account of his battle with cancer and how he won his life back in the face of a terminal illness

Donal Walsh was posthumously awarded Joint Young Person of the Year for his courage, strength, determination and desire to show young people the true value and meaning of life, and for being an inspiration to so many. Donal, who lost his battle with cancer earlier this year at the age of 16, inspired everyone around him with an insatiable appetite to #livelife right. The award was presented to his parents Fionnbarr and Elma Walsh by Saturday Night Show host Brendan O’Connor, whose interview with Donal earlier in the year led to an outpouring of love and support for the teenager. He used the opportunity to speak out about his love for life and against the epidemic of young suicide, pleading with youngsters to get help and enjoy life as he did, irrespective of his illness.

You can read more about and support the LiveLife Foundation HERE.

Pope Francis consecrates the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

On Sunday before 100,000 pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square, Pope Francis marked the Marian Event of the Year of Faith by consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the presence of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima brought especially from Portugal for the occasion.

[Vatican Radio has an article/interview about Fatima and the statue HERE]


On the Saturday, the statue of Our Lady of Fatima from the Portuguese shrine was flown to Rome for the event. On arrival in Rome, the statue was carried to Benedict XVI's residence, the former Mater Ecclesiae monastery. Benedict XVI welcomed the statue himself and walked along with it as it was taken to his nearby chapel. He prayed before Our Lady along with Archbishop Rino Fisichella, who serves as the president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization. The statue was then taken to the Vatican's Casa Santa Marta where Pope Francis lives. From there, the statue was taken to St. Peter's Square where thousands were already waiting.


The pilgrims welcomed Our Lady with white handkerchiefs as she made her way through St. Peter's Square. Pope Francis first greeted her by kissing her feet.

During his catechises he reflected on the power of Mary's faith by asking Christians a very direct question. “What is our faith like? Like Mary, do we keep it burning even at times of difficulty and darkness? Do I have the joy of faith?”

You can read the full text of Pope Francis catechises HERE.

Rocco's account of the vigil over at Whispers in the Loggia is HERE.

Then on Sunday, Pope Francis celebrated mass in St Peter’s square in honour of the Marian Day, an event organised as part of the Year of Faith on the anniversary of the final apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima (13th of October 1917). He also consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Reflecting on the faith of Our Lady, the Pope urged Christians to reject the short-term culture that has taken over marriage and faith. “Am I a part-time Christian or am I a Christian full-time? The culture of the ephemeral, the relative, also affects the way we live our faith. Think of all the times when we were excited about something, a project or task, but afterward, at the first sign of difficulty, we throw in the towel."

Vatican Radio has a report on the Pope's homily HERE.
Pope Francis who is well known for his devotion to the Blessed Virgin said that it was a day to consider one of the marvelous things Mary had done, that was “to be chosen to be the Mother of God”.Taking Sunday’s liturgy as his inspiration, Pope Francis reflected on three things. They were that God surprises us, God asks us to be faithful and God is our strength.  
Referring to Mary the Holy Father said God surprised Mary, but despite this she was able to say, “Here I am, the servant of the Lord, be it done onto me according to your word.” The Pope went on to say that God does surprise us, he wreaks havoc with our plans, but he also says “trust me, do not be afraid”.In his second reflection “God asks us to be faithful” Pope Francis explained that God is loving, but he also “demands that we be faithful in following him”. Mary was that faithful follower, he continued, she said her “yes” to God both in moments of joy and sorrow.” The Holy Father then said, our duty is to “walk with God always, even in moments of weakness, even in our sins. That, he added, is what is means to be “a full-time Christian.” 
In his third point, “God is our Strength”, Pope Francis said that Mary gave praise and thanks to God . She did this, the Pope stressed because, “Everything is his gift. He is our strength!” He also underlined the importance of not taking things for granted and asked people to remember, three key words, sorry, excuse me and thank you.
Full text of the Pope's homily is available HERE.

At the end of Sunday's Mass, Pope Francis entrusted the world to Our Lady of Fatima with a special prayer in front of thousands of pilgrims at St. Peter's Square. At her feet, Pope Francis prayed for Our Lady's protection to the world and for the reinforcement of people's goodwill. Also, he asked her to revive the faith and charity in people so that they look after those who suffer and those excluded from society.

Blessed Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, with renewed gratitude by your motherly presence we unite our voice to that of all generations that call you blessed.  
We celebrate with you the mighty works of God, who never gets tired of bending over mankind, beset by evil and wounded by sin, with mercy to heal and to save it.  
Mother embrace with benevolence this act of entrustment that we make today with confidence, before this your image which is so dear to us.

We are confident that each of us is precious in your sight and that nothing is alien to you of all that dwells in our hearts. We are touched by the gaze of your sweet eyes and welcome the comforting caress of your smile.

Safeguard our lives in your arms: bless and strengthen every desire for goodness, revitalize and nourish our faith, sustain and brighten the hope that stirs the soul and charity ; guide all of us on the path of holiness.

Teach us your same love and preference for the young and the poor, the marginalized and the suffering, for sinners and those whose hearts are lost: gather all under your protection and deliver us all to your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus. Amen.