29 Nov 2013

Jam-packed weekend of Irish ordinations

From The Irish Catholic:
Priestly vocations in Ireland received a boost this weekend with the ordination of three priests and a deacon in ceremonies in different corners of the country.

Last Friday Fr Ultan Naughton SSCC (38), a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, was ordained to the priesthood in his hometown of Roscommon by Bishop Patrick Lynch in a ceremony presided by retired Bishop Brendan Comiskey.

The congregation is involved in parish work in Dublin and also provides chaplaincy and pastoral care in the city, with outreach services in Cavan and Monaghan. It is also involved in supporting missionary activities overseas and Fr Naughton has worked in Spain and most recently in the Philippines.
Continue reading here

27 Nov 2013

Limerick Diocese seeking your responses on preparatory documents on the Synod on the Family

Pope Francis has announced that in October 2014 an Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will take place in the Vatican to discuss the theme:

‘The pastoral challenges for the family in the context of evangelisation’.

In order to prepare for this Synod, and to assist in its discussions, the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops has initiated a consultation to obtain responses on this important theme. A ‘Preparatory Document’ to contextualise this initiative has been created by the Vatican, it includes consultation questions which are grouped under the following ten sections:

  1. The Diffusion of the Teachings on the Family in Sacred Scripture and the Church’s Magisterium
  2. Marriage according to the Natural Law
  3. The Pastoral Care of the Family in Evangelization
  4. Pastoral Care in Certain Difficult Marital Situations
  5. On Unions of Persons of the Same Sex
  6. The Education of Children in Irregular Marriages
  7. The Openness of the Married Couple to Life
  8. The Relationship Between the Family and the Person
  9. Other Challenges and Proposals
  10. 10. Further comments

Bishop Leahy and Limerick Diocese would like to hear from a wide variety of Catholics on this matter. We are offering three possibilities for you and your parish to respond:
  1. Personal response. The document is available on the website www.limerickdiocese.org or HERE.  Anyone can read it there, and reply to the questions as indicated. Please include this general invitation in parish newsletters and announcements this week and next.
  2. Parish response. Bishop Leahy would delighted to receive 1-2 responses from any Parish Pastoral Council that has met and discussed the document and its questions.
  3. Diocesan workshop. The Pastoral Development team will host a once-off workshop where these matters will be discussed and reported back on.

The timeline is unfortunately quiet tight – all replies must be delivered in December. This is because we are simply at the first stage in a long international consultation process. Bishops will report their initial findings in January and across 2014 a series of questions will be developed for discussion by the church at the Ordinary General Assembly in 2015. This conversation on the family and evangelisation will continue in this diocese and beyond.
All replies should be sent by email or post to the addresses below. Please note that short and succinct responses are most helpful. Deadline: 20th December 2013.

Email: office@ldo.ie Subject Heading: Response re: Family and Evangelisation
Post: Response re: Family and Evangelisation, Limerick diocesan office, Social services centre, Henry St, Limerick

25 Nov 2013

Bishop Brendan Leahy on the Creed (Part 1 of 4)

This is video one in a series of four on the Creed.

In this piece, Bishop Leahy explains the historical development of the Creed and reflects on why the Creed is so important.

Year of Faith - Irish Dominicans - Credo Series - X, XI and XII

One of the series which we cross posted for the Year of Faith was the Irish Dominican student series "Credo" which looked at the articles of the Creed. Below are the most recent three episodes released in the series.

X -  "I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets"  Bro. Luuk Dominiek Jansen OP talks with Bro. Conor about the role of the Holy Spirit.

XI - "The Church is One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic" Fr.John Harris OP talks with Fr.Ciaran about the Church.

XII - "I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins". Rosemary Swords talks with Fr.Ciaran about the baptism.

24 Nov 2013

Tu es Petrus (You are Peter)

In what can only be described as another unique event under this Franciscan pontificate, today the Catholic faithful got a chance to glimpse the relics of the prince of apostles, the fisherman of Galilee, the first pope and vicar of Christ - St Peter.

In a tender moment during the proclamation of the Creed at the Mass marking the close of the Year of Faith, St Peter's 266th successor tenderly cradled the reliquary.

While pious tradition had always held that the altar of St Peter's basilica was built on the tomb of the apostle, a tomb with Greek graffeti proclaiming it as the tomb of Peter was uncovered during excavations under St Peter's in the 1950's. While the archelogical evidence is said to be inconclusive as St Thomas Aquinas noted “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”

Fr James Martin SJ makes the point on his Facebook page that many scholars dismissed the idea as mere "pious tradition." Many "merely legendary" religious sites, and places of pilgrimage, often turn out to have a basis in fact. The reason is simple: It is human nature to remember places associated with important events. Sites associated with the life of Jesus (in the Holy Land) and with the lives of the saints (in Rome and in other places) would have been remembered by witnesses, and then passed down to later generations, who would treasure that information and venerate the sites. Remember too that in antiquity people didn't move around much; families would rooted to one place for generations, and so when early Christians visited, say, Capernaum, they would have been shown where St. Peter made his home. To take another example, the Pool of Bethesda, in Jerusalem--where Jesus heals a lame man, long thought to be an "allegory," was discovered in the late 19th century, and was found by archaeologists to have "five porticoes," precisely as the Gospel of John had described. So we need to be careful what we dismiss as only "legendary" or "pious tradition."

Rocco over at Whispers has reflective coverage including the full text of the popes homily.

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.

I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Tu es Petrus
et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam
et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversus eam.
Et tibi dabo claves regni caelorum.

Quodcumque ligaveris super terram, erit ligatum et in caelis,
et quodcumque solveris super terram, erit solutum et in caelis.
Et tibi dabo claves regni caelorum
You are Peter,
And upon this Rock I will build My Church:
and the gates of hell shall not overcome it.
And I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.

Whatever you bind upon earth shall be bound in heaven,
and whatever you release upon earth shall be released in heaven,
and I will give you the keys to the kingdom of Heaven.
You can read the homily HERE and the Angelous message HERE.

23 Nov 2013

The Year of Faith draws to a close

Over at Blue Eyed Ennis, Phil has a round up of the links to the events online including the liturgical books HERE.

22 Nov 2013

24th November 2013 - Solemnity of Christ the Universal King - Reflection on Penance/Reconciliation

On this weeks programme, John and Lorraine are joined by Fr Phonsie Cullinan to reflect on the sacrament of reconciliation. We have our regular reflection on this weeks gospel as well as some liturgical odds and ends.

You can listen to this weeks programme podcast HERE

Sacrament of Reconciliation

Fr Phonsie Cullinan joins Lorraine and John on the programme this week to reflect on the sacrament of reconciliation. He reminds us how the sacrament is one of healing and love; calling us back to a more complete and loving life; "a pit-stop for the soul".
You can listen to Fr Phonsie's reflection excerpted from the main programme HERE.

Last year we did another programme on the Sacrament of Reconiliation and you can find it HERE.
During the last few weeks Pope Francis has reflected on the Sacrament of Penance in his weekly general audiences which you can read at the links:

A quick video on the sacrament from BustedHalo:

Gospel - Luke 23:35-43
And the people stood by, watching; but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!" The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him vinegar, and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!" There was also an inscription over him, "This is the King of the Jews."

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

Book of Kells - Christ Enthroned

This weeks feast celebrates the Kingship of Christ, the feast was erected at the end of the 1925 Holy Year by Pope Pius XI in his encyclical Quas Primas where he sought to give due honour to the Divine Kingship of Christ.

Bishop Malcolm McMahon OP noted,
"The Church's year ends with the Feast of Christ the King. Jesus is portrayed as a triumphant king reigning over all creation. This is the same Jesus, son of Mary and son of God, who has preached the Good News and declared the imminence of God's kingdom. The obedient Son suffered and died for us, rose from the dead, ascended into glory and sent his Spirit so that we may have another comforter and someone to speak for us. Creation has been restored, and we have been saved from our sins and foolishness. The cycle is now complete. Although the enormousness of God's saving work has yet to impress itself on most people, nevertheless we believe that there will be a moment at the end of time when the Son will come again in all his glory, and creation will reach fulfillment. That is why we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, we rejoice in what Jesus has done for us, yet at the same time we look forward to its completion........".

But for many people, the idea of Kingship of Jesus is somewhat alien. Jesus was of the royal house of David born in the royal city but he was born in a stable and laid in a manager. He was a King who entered into the Holy City - Jerusalem - through the royal gate to the acclamations of the people not in a military procession or from the back of a state coach but on the back of a humble donkey.
He was enthroned not on some fancy cathedra but rather on a gibbet outside the city walls in the midst of the city dump, proclaimed mockingly as King as he died opening his arms on the cross to embrace the world and all of humanity.
He came as a Servant Leader as he explained to the disciples at the Last Supper when he washed their feet. We are all called to be servants to one another, assisting and helping in fraternal love and friendship. Where leaders lord it over us in civil or religious spheres truly then we have lost our allegiance to the true king.
He redefined what it means to be a leader amongst those that dare to call themselves his followers reminding us that the first will be last and the last first.


In our lives today, do we make the effort to feed the hungry, cloth the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned? Be it those who are in physical need but what about those hungry for a consoling word of recognition of their humanity and dignity as people; those whose very souls and minds are ripped naked and torn from the insults and humiliation they experience, the sick of mind and spirit, those imprisoned in the expectations of society as well as those incarcerated by mental illness and stigma? Have we not only assisted them, have we gone past our comfort zone to really be present to those in need, really aware of them as the face of Christ for us in this world?

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.

Reflections can be read here, here, here and here.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
The kingdom of this world
is become the Kingdom of the Lord,
and of His Christ, and of His Christ;
and He shall reign for ever and ever,
for ever and ever, for ever and ever.
King of kings, and Lord of lords,
and Lord, of lords,
and He shall reign forever and ever!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

 Reflections on this weeks gospel:
Word on Fire
English Dominicans
Sunday Reflections
Centre for Liturgy
Blue Eyed Ennis
Liturgical odds and ends
Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 2; 34th week in ordinary time
Saints of the Week
November 25th - St Colman of Cloyne also St Catherine of Alexandria
November 26th - St John Berchmans
November 27th - St Fergal
November 28th - St Catherine Laboure - Seer of the Miraculous Medal
November 29th - Saint Hierotheos of Tiberiopolis
November 30th - St Andrew (apostle)

Pope in General Audience: Every two weeks I go to Confession; Calls on priests to be servants of the Sacrament of Forgiveness.

During his catechesis at the General Audience, Pope Francis spoke about forgiveness and Confession. He said that God never tires of forgiving, and he urged all Catholics to never tire of asking for forgiveness. The Pope also acknowledged that he too goes to Confession.

“Our mothers, our grandmothers said that it's better to turn red once, than to turn pale thousands. You turn red once, you're absolved of your sins, and you move on. Even I go to Confession every 15 days, because the Pope is also a sinner. And the confessor listens to what I tell him, he advises me and absolves me, because we are all in need of this forgiveness.”

The Pope explained that the task of forgiving sins is so delicate, that if a priest is not merciful and benevolent, he should avoid being a confessor.

“Penitents have... the obligation? No. They have the right! We have the right, all of us, to find in priests, the servants of forgiveness from God.”

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Today I would like to speak again on the forgiveness of sins by reflecting on the power of the keys, which is a biblical symbol of the mission Jesus entrusted to the Apostles.

First and foremost, we recall that the source of the forgiveness of sins is the Holy Spirit, whom the Risen Jesus bestowed upon the Apostles. Hence, he made the Church the guardian of the keys, of this power. The Church, however, is not the master of forgiveness, but its servant. The Church accompanies us on our journey of conversion for the whole of our lives and calls us to experience reconciliation in its communal and ecclesial dimension. We receive forgiveness through the priest. Through his ministry, God has given us a brother to bring us forgiveness in the name of the Church. Priests, who are the servants of this sacrament, must recognize that they also are in need of forgiveness and healing, and so they must exercise their ministry in humility and mercy. Let us then remember always that God never tires of forgiving us. Let us truly value this sacrament and rejoice in the gift of pardon and healing that comes to us through the ministry of priests.


The Most Rev Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, has a recommendation to Anglicans: Go to confession.

Addressing the heads of other churches—including the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Most Rev. Vincent Nichols—Archbishop Welby admitted that confessing one’s weaknesses to someone else might not be a “bunch of laughs,” still he believes that unburdening oneself to a confessor is good for the soul.

“It is enormously powerful and hideously painful when it’s done properly,” he said. “It’s really horrible when you go to see your confessor – I doubt you wake up in the morning and think, this is going to be a bunch of laughs.” But speaking about it as part of a “wider catholic tradition,” Archbishop Welby encouraged his congregants to try it for themselves.

Source here and here.

20 Nov 2013

Pro Orantibus Day - 21 November 2013 - Praying for those who pray

The cloistered religious featured on the 2013 Pro Orantibus
Day logo are the Carmelite Nuns of the Immaculate Heart
of Mary Monastery in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Their website is http://www.CarmelSLC.org.
Catholics throughout the world are encouraged to honor the cloistered and monastic life on Pro Orantibus Day (“For Those Who Pray”), which this year is celebrated on Thursday, November 21, 2013.

“The primary purpose of Pro Orantibus Day is to thank God for the tremendous gift of the cloistered and monastic vocation in the Church’s life,” said Rev. Thomas Nelson, O. Praem., National Director of the IRL. He added, “Since the lives of these women and men religious dedicated to prayer and sacrifice is often hidden, this annual celebration reminds us of the need to support their unique mission within the Body of Christ.”

Recognizing the tremendous importance of this apostolate of prayer, Pope John Paul II asked that this event be observed worldwide each year on the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Presentation in the Temple.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, addressing a group of cloistered Dominican nuns in Rome, referred to such religious as “the heart” which provides blood to the rest of the Body of Christ. Pope Francis has also demonstrated his love and support for cloistered religious by visiting with them during his trip to Brazil and during a visit to Poor Clares in Italy.
Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
In Ireland Bishop Philip Boyce OCD (Order of Discalced Carmelites) is Bishop of Raphoe and Chairman of the Council for Clergy of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference has issued a message on behalf of the Irish Episcopal Conference.
Every 21 November, the Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the annual day that the Catholic Church commemorates the hidden life of cloistered and contemplative religious throughout the world. This liturgical feast of Our Lady is very dear to Christians in the East who have celebrated it since the sixth century. Tradition tells us that as a young girl Mary presented herself completely to God in the Temple at Jerusalem. She is seen as a true living temple in which God the Father placed his Son, our Saviour.

This feast is a fitting day on which to remember all those who have been consecrated to God and who spend their life in the silence and prayer of contemplative monasteries. They may well be separated from the busy world, with all its interests and pleasures, but they remain very near to us with their prayers. They pray for us but we are normally unaware of the graces we receive through their lives of quiet dedication to the Lord.

On this Pro Orantibus Day – which means ‘For those who pray’ – we remember not only the 26 communities of contemplative sisters and six communities of male contemplatives in Ireland, and the many communities of committed contemplatives around the world. While it may not be readily apparent to us in this country, contemplatives also exist where life is disrupted by warfare or where religious freedom is curtailed by open or subtle persecution. Ireland went through such trials in the 17th century. Others suffer in this way today.

Although they are hidden from society, people of faith have trust in the prayers of nuns and monks and friars. It is sufficient to visit any contemplative monastery to become aware of the constant stream of people who come with prayer intentions, trusting in the intercession of those who have completely dedicated their lives to God in continuous prayer and penance.

The busy world often passes by our contemplative monasteries, heedlessly unaware of their existence or of the spiritual influence they exert on society. Parishes, especially those who have such communities near at hand, could draw attention to their presence by placing a notice in their parish bulletins and on their online and digital platforms. Catechists could mention this way of life, to which some young girls or boys might be called, and even take a school class to visit them and spend an hour with some of the enclosed women or men whose life always fascinates young people. Although not a very common vocation in life, the Lord does call some, and will continue to do so, to this type of dedicated life on behalf of the Church. An Intercession added to the Prayer of the Faithful for vocations to the contemplative life would be opportune on 21 November or on the nearest Sunday.

The Church is well aware of the importance of the contemplative life. The Second Vatican Council (1962 – 1965) acknowledged the important role of contemplative communities in the Church. It said they were “a fount of heavenly blessings” and that they “lend lustre to God’s people with abundant fruits of holiness, sway them by their example and enlarge the Church by their hidden apostolic fruitfulness” (Perfectae Caritatis, 7).

All popes in recent times have expressed their appreciation for this way of life. In the Jubilee Year 2000, Blessed John Paul II asked Benediction Congregations to “be eloquent signs of the validity of monastic life for our contemporaries. This is the first form of consecrated life that appeared in the Church, and that down the centuries continues to remain a gift for everyone”.

Perhaps the most striking witness to the whole world on the value of a hidden life of prayer was given by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who earlier this year, on account of advanced age and diminished physical strength, retired from the Petrine ministry on 11 February and chose “to devote himself even more to prayer and meditation” in a secluded monastery in the Vatican gardens. This is an important reminder to us all of the apostolic value of a life completely dedicated to God.

Contemplative communities are power houses of prayer, drawing down many graces on our troubled world. In their own silent but effective way they contribute enormously to the work of re-evangelisation of our secularised world.

The team on SS102fm have a special affection for enclosed religious orders so we commend the day to your attention!


From Vatican Radio:
Looking ahead to the annual “Pro Orantibus" Day which is celebrated annually on November 21, Pope Francis on Wednesday expressed his gratitude to those who belong to contemplative Orders and dedicate themselves to God in prayer and silent work. 
On the day itself, the Pope is scheduled to visit a Camaldolese monastery of cloistered nuns on the Aventine Hill where he will celebrate Vespers. 
It is a day during which Catholics throughout the world are especially encouraged to honour the cloistered and monastic life and to offer their spiritual and material support to women and men religious dedicated to prayer and sacrifice.

Continue reading here.


On a personal note, congratulations to Sr Bridget Ambrose CSN who celebrates 60 years of religious life in Johannesburg on November 21st. Sr Bridget is an aunt of SS102fm blog editor Shane and has been working and ministering in South Africa for over 55 years. Her brother John is a Mill Hill Missionary in the Philippines who we interviewed on the programme on the occasion of his golden (50 years) jubilee of ordination in September 2012.

Ad multos annos Sr Biddy! 

16 Nov 2013

17th November 2013 - 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) - Fr Michael Liston on his book "Come and See: The Story of Lourdes"

Fr Michael Liston and Ann Kiely - SS102fm 14 Nov 2013
On this weeks programme, Fr Michael Liston makes a welcome return to the SS102fm and comes on to share with us about the launch of his new book "Come and See: The Story of Lourdes". We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as some liturgical odds & ends and some local notices.

If you would like to listen to the podcast of the programme you can listen HERE.

If you could like to listen to Fr Michael's interview excerpted from the main programme HERE.

A Prayer for the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan

Creator God,

This is an awe inspiring planet,
wonderfully but fearfully made.
In Typhoon Haiyan we see again
the vulnerability of humanity
to the full force of nature’s energy.
We pray for all those affected:
Those who have lost loved ones,
Those who have had to witness mass burials,
Those who make up the faceless millions affected,
Those who need shelter, water, food, sanitation and medicine.

We pray for the emergency response teams:
For safety and strength as they assess the damage,
For communication lines to be restored,
For a quick and effective response to their findings,
For the resources required to be made available,

We pray for the long term recovery and resilience work:
That the growing intensity of typhoons would not be ignored,
That the erratic nature of recent monsoon rains would be noted,
That this vulnerable nation would not carry the challenge of climate change alone,
That the international community would respond with generosity and with justice.

You can donate to the appeals for aid:
Come and See - The Story of Lourdes

Often if we are to be able to look again/hear again what our faith is all about we have to be open to a different experience - out of the ordinary - and we have to be invited to come and see and hear things in a new way.

Lourdes has been part of Fr Michael's life since 1963 when he hitchhiked to Lourdes and worked in the City of the Poor for two weeks. It began a relationship with Lourdes which has continued right up to today when Fr Michael was always curious about the events of Lourdes.

As Bishop Donal Murray notes in the foreword this book is the fruit of many years of during which the author has pondering in his heart the story of Lourdes and about being a pilgrim in Lourdes. It is a story of a person passionate about Lourdes. Lourdes shows the church and the world as they ought to be where the sick and the marginalised have first place in the community where the young enthusiastic volunteers learn to be at the service of all.

The book is split into two parts - the history of the events at Lourdes and then a series of reflections on the meaning of Lourdes and pilgrimage. The story of Lourdes is one of gentleness, friendship, wonder and a reminder to penance being a small part of it. It is a story of a parish response to an event out of the ordinary led by some of the youngsters - the poorest of the community - who led the way. 

People bring their pain and sufferings to Lourdes but yet it is a place of peace, friendship grounded in the original relationship between "It" and Bernadette. There is a huge opportunity to hear afresh the story of our faith in a new way.

You can listen to Fr Michael's interview about Lourdes and his new book HERE.
Gospel - Luke 21:5-19

And as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, he said, "As for these things which you see, the days will come when there shall not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down." And they asked him, "Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign when this is about to take place?" And he said, "Take heed that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name, saying, `I am he!' and, `The time is at hand!' Do not go after them. And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified; for this must first take place, but the end will not be at once."
Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake. This will be a time for you to bear testimony. Settle it therefore in your minds, not to meditate beforehand how to answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death; you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.
As the liturgical year comes towards its end the Church considers apocalyptic Scriptures. This week's Gospel from Luke reveal the full significance of the Resurrection. The Resurrection of Jesus from the dead was a world changing event that altered everything in the human experience from religion to politics to nature.

Reflections on this weeks gospel:
Liturgical Odds & Ends
Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 1; 33rd week in ordinary time
Saints of the Week
November 19th - St Agnes of Assisi
November 22nd - St Cecilia (patron of music and musicians)
November 23rd - St Columban (aka St Columbanus) (abbot & missionary)

13 Nov 2013

Confession continues the cleansing act of Baptism, Pope tells audience

“Confession is not a torture chamber, it is a celebration of the day of Baptism,” Pope Francis told his weekly audience on Wednesday, November 13.   

The Pope devoted his catechetical talk to the phrase from the Creed: “I believe in one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins.” Baptism, he said, is “the act of birth of a Christian in the Church.”

The entire mission of the Church, he added, could be summed up as “to evangelize and to forgive sins through sacramental Baptism.” Baptism, the Pope continued, is “a true spiritual immersion in the death of Christ.” Through Baptism the Christian has opened the door to grace. “But when the door narrows a little because of our weaknesses or our sins, Confession helps us to open it,” he said. Thus Confession should be seen as “like a second Baptism,” the Pope told his audience.    

Pope Francis asked those in attendance at his Wednesday public audience whether they could name the date of their Baptism. When only a few raised their hands in response, he remarked that Christians should be aware of that vitally important date, just as they are aware of their birthdays. He challenged everyone to look up the date of their Baptism, and celebrate it each year.

Full text of address here.

Follow me: Journeys to Priesthood

Men preparing for priesthood has increased in both numbers and diversity during the past five years, a trend captured in a video released last week by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ Office for Vocations.

The video, “Follow Me: Journeys to Priesthood,” features interviews with seminarians and priests answering the call to the priesthood from different walks of life, including a two-time Emmy Award winning actor, a business executive and surfers.

“It is our hope that, by watching the video, someone may be moved to begin an internal dialogue with God to help them discern a possible vocation to the priesthood,” said Father Steve Davoren, Office of Vocations director for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “We want to portray ordinary men being called by God to live extraordinary lives.”

 Continue reading HERE.

12 Nov 2013

Bishop Brendan Leahy on Sacrosanctum Concilium

As part of the Year of Faith and for the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, Bishop Brendán Leahy gives an excellent introduction to the Dogmatic Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium.  Bishop Brendán outlines what liturgy means and some of the main themes of this beautiful document in a profound, but accessible way:

The full document on the liturgy is available HERE.

10 Nov 2013

A Time out....

The Fortunate Faith of Audrey Assad

The singer-songwriter discusses her new album, faith, conversion, and why she doesn't make “Christian music”

8 Nov 2013

Vatican will display relics of St. Peter for first time ever, to mark end of the Year of Faith

The Vatican announced that, for the first time in history, it will publicly display the relics of St. Peter, the very first Pope and original Bishop of Rome. It'll be a unique exhibit to mark the conclusion of the Year of Faith. Msgr. Rino Fisichella, president for the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, made the announcement in an editorial published in the Vatican's official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano. The Apostle's remains will leave the Vatican Grotto for the celebrations, but exact details are not yet clear.

The tomb of St. Peter, located under the altar of the Vatican basilica, was unearthed during excavations in the mid-20the century. In 1968, after extensive research and testing, Pope Paul VI announced that relics of St. Peter had been identified. These relics have been kept in the grotto of the basilica, and never placed on public display.

The Year of Faith concludes on November 24, the feast of Christ the King. On November 21, Pope Francis will visit a cloistered monastery in Rome. On the 23, he will meet with cathechumens inside St. Peter's Basilica. The Year of Faith will conclude on Sunday, the 24th, with the Pope celebrating Mass at St. Peter's Square

10th November 2013 - 32nd Sunday in Ordinary time (Year C) - Monagea Parish Mission and an Update from Limerick Diocesan Pastoral Centre

On this weeks programme regular visitor Noirin Lynch from LDPC pops in to fill us in on what is happening around the diocese. We have a visit to Monagea parish to talk to the people of the parish about their parish mission. And for our regular readers we have our regular links to reflections on this weeks gospel and other liturgical odds and ends.
You can listen to the podcast of this weeks programme HERE.
A Catch up with the Limerick Diocesan Pastoral Centre
Noirin Lynch drops in for a chat this morning to give us an update on things happening around the diocese.
Gathering of Pastoral Councils - Beginning again on our Faith Journey: A celebration to mark the conclusion of the Year of Faith
When: Wed eve 20th November. 7:30-9:30pm
Where: Woodlands House Hotel, Adare.
Bishop Leahy invites all members of parish leadership groups in every parish, including clergy, to this celebratory gathering as we conclude the international Year of Faith. This will be a celebration of what has been accomplished, an opportunity to meet with your Bishop, and an invitation to ‘Go Out’ from the Year of Faith with new energy and ideas. Letters have been sent to clergy and parish council contacts, and each parish should reply with numbers by Friday 15th.
You can sign up for a weekly email newsletter each week HERE.
Link to Upcoming Events from Limerick Diocesan website
You can listen back to Noirin's conversation excerpted from main programme HERE.
Monagea Parish Mission

On this week's programme Lorraine speaks with Geraldine Mulqueen and Mary Roche, members of the Monagea Parish Pastoral Council, about their upcoming Parish Mission which will be led by the Redemptorist. Geraldine told us a little bit about the history of Monagea Church and some of the holy places in Monagea. Mary informed us about the mission which will be taking place from Sunday, November 17th to Friday, November 22nd. The parish mission is a time for the community to gather together and reflect on their faith. This is particularly appropriate as the Mission will take place just before the close of the Year of Faith.
The mission caters for all age groups with Morning Masses celebrated at 7.00am and 9.30am from Monday, November 18th to Friday, November 22nd. Evening Session takes place at 7.30pm (does notinclude Mass) from Sunday to Friday. The themes for each evening are: Sunday: A Celebration of Community; Monday: The Healing Power of God; Tuesday: Prayer and Faith in God’s Word; Wednesday: Reconciliation; Thursday: Life and the Sacraments; and Friday: We are God’s Family.
On Sunday, November 17ththe 10.00am Mass will be followed by a Blessing of Babies and Young Children. On Thursday, November 21st Mass of Anointing for the Sick and Elderly will be celebrated at 12noon followed by Refreshments in the Parish Hall. All are very welcome.

You can find out about the parish history HERE.
You can listen to the section of the programme about the Monegea parish mission HERE.
Gospel - Luke 20:27-38

There came to him some Sadducees, those who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man must take the wife and raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and died without children; and the second and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. Afterward the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife."

And Jesus said to them, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die any more, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to him."

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflections
English Domincans
Homiletic Diakonia
Centre for Liturgy
Liturgical Odds and Ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Week 4 psalter, 32nd week in ordinary time

Saints of the Week

November 11th - St Martin of Tours
November 12th - St Josaphat
November 13th - St Frances Xavier Cabrini
November 14th - St Lawrence O'Toole
November 15th - St Albert the Great
November 16th - St Margaret of Scotland - also here and also St Gertrude.