26 Jul 2014

27th July 2014 - A Faith Journey: Martina O'Sullivan - 17th Sunday in Ordinary time

On this weeks programme John and Lorraine are joined by Martina O'Sullivan who shares her faith journey with us. We have our regular Sunday gospel reflection as well as some liturgical odds and ends and some notices.

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks programme HERE.

Prayer for Peace by Pope Francis
Lord God of peace, hear our prayer! We have tried so many times and over so many years to
resolve our conflicts by our own powers and by the force
of our arms. How many moments of hostility and darkness have we experienced; how much blood has been shed; how many lives have been shattered; how many hopes have been buried… But our efforts have been in vain.

Now, Lord, come to our aid! Grant us peace, teach us peace; guide our steps in the way of peace. Open our eyes and our hearts, and give us the courage to say: “Never again war!”; “With war everything is lost”. Instil in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace. Lord, God of Abraham, God of the Prophets, God of Love, you created us and you call us to live as brothers and sisters. Give us the strength daily to be instruments of peace; enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister. Make us sensitive to the plea of our citizens who entreat us to turn our weapons of war into implements of peace, our trepidation into confident trust, and our quarrelling into forgiveness.

Keep alive within us the flame of hope, so that with patience and perseverance we may opt for dialogue and reconciliation. In this way may peace triumph at last, and may the words “division”, “hatred” and “war” be banished from the heart of every man and woman. Lord, defuse the violence of our tongues and our hands. Renew our hearts and minds, so that the word which always brings us together will be “brother”, and our way of life will always be that of: Shalom, Peace, Salaam!

A faith journey

On this weeks pogramme Martina O'Sullivan from Abbeyfeale joins John and Lorraine to share her faith journey.
Gospel - Matthew 13:44-52

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind; when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad. So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.

"Have you understood all this?" They said to him, "Yes." And he said to them, "Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old."

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 - 17th week in ordinary time; Psalter week 1

Saints of the Week

July 28th - Blessed José Melchór García-Sampedro Suárez
also St Innocent I (Pope)
July 29th - Blessed José Melchór García-Sampedro Suárez
also St Martha
July 30th - Blessed Edward Powell
July 31st - Saint Ignatius of Loyola (founder of the Jesuits)
August 1st - Martyrs of Nowogrodek (First Friday)
also St Alphonsus Ligouri (founder of the Redemptorists)
August 2nd - Our Lady of the Angels

Pope's Intentions for August
  • That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
  • That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.

  • 25 Jul 2014

    Good News for Limerick Diocese - Ordination of Fr David Casey

    Newly ordained Limerick priest says he looks forward to his and the Church’s ‘new beginning’

    Fr David Casey with Bishop Brendan Leahy and priests following Fr Casey’s ordination at St. John’s Cathedral on Saturday
    The only priest ordained in the Limerick Diocese this year has said he sees his ministry and the challenges facing the Church as an opportunity for a ‘new beginning’.
    David Casey, 56, from O’Connell Avenue, was ordained by Bishop Brendan Leahy at St. John’s Cathedral on Saturday last, fulfilling a call he got as a child but one he put aside until the time was right.

    Son of the late Noel and Teresa Casey, both from Limerick, David says he fully appreciates the challenges facing the Church but that they present an opportunity to build again.

    “There needs to be a new beginning and it’s heartening to hear Bishop Leahy speak about this so often. Personally speaking, I am definitely making a new beginning coming into ministry at this hour of my life. It is also a time of new and much needed beginning for the Church and we are seeing the seeds of that being sown.

    “At a resources level alone, there are great challenges. There were five retirements this year in the Diocese and one ordination this year. Some parishes are already merged. Many of my colleagues in Britain are put into parishes on their own after barely a year and Ireland will catch up on that.

    “There are undoubted challenges but challenge is always an opportunity if you look at it the right way,” he said.

    Fr Casey joked that he looks at his ordination at 56 years of age as more of a ‘slow response’ than a late vocation. “I did feel this call as a young man but I put it aside. I had a friend who gave the homily at my first Mass and he spoke about the Pre-Vatican II approach to priesthood when ordination was seen as an 'arrival' but it is now looked at as more of a launch, an entry into a ministry of service.

    “There is a great sense of fulfilment, having put it off for so long and then having answered the question. This is the way for me.”

    One of six children, four brothers and one sister, David’s father Noel died when he was just three years old and he was raised at their O’Connell Avenue home by his mother Teresa, whom he said was very much foremost in his mind on Saturday at his ordination. He worked in real estate and in the antique trade but began planting the seeds of his future priesthood back in the 1990s when he studied Philosophy & Theology and did a Masters in Spirituality at the Milltown Institute, graduating with his Masters in 1997, the year his mother passed away.

    He submitted to ‘the call’ over four years ago when he began his studies for the priesthood at The Pontifical Beda College in Rome, which was founded in 1852 to form older men and often convert clergymen for Catholic priesthood.

    “I was there for four years and it was a great experience. It was a compact programme and I would have done much of my studies before I went there through my time at the Milltown Institute so I was not following the exact same programme as others,” he added.

    Speaking at Fr Casey’s ordination, Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy reiterated Pope Francis’ call for priests to be men of mercy. “A lot of people today are wounded – as a result of the financial difficulties, as a result of scandals in the church, as a result of the rapidly changing developments in technology that can paradoxically leave people so alone together. In terms of the ordained ministry, speaking earlier this year to clergy, Pope Francis urged priests to be men of mercy.

    “As he put it, ‘in the image of the Good Shepherd, the priest is a man of mercy and compassion, close to his people and a servant to all. This is a pastoral criterion I would like to emphasize strongly: closeness. Closeness and service…closeness, nearness!... May whoever is wounded in life, in whatever way, find in him care and a sympathetic ear....’. The sacrament of Reconciliation is a particular manifestation of this but mercy should be our default setting in every encounter we have as priests,” he said.

    Bishop Leahy also emphasised the importance of a sense of ‘mission’ among priests today. “The Church is never an end in itself. As we read in the Gospel today, Jesus sent his apostles to ‘go out’ and we are to go out ‘so that the world might believe’. The world; not just those who come to Mass. Not just those who pay the dues. All the recent Popes have emphasised mission.” Continuing, Bishop Leahy added, “We need to provide platforms for young people to meet the Church as living communities. All of us, the lay faithful and priests, need to work together in a pastoral option for young people.”

    Bishop Brendan's homily is available HERE.

    19 Jul 2014

    20th July 2014 - Apostolate of Eucaristic Adoration - 16th Sunday in Ordinary time

    On this weeks programme John is joined by Antoinette Monihan who tells us about the Apostolate of Eucharisic Adornation. We have our regular reflection on the gospel as well as some other liturgical odds and ends.

    A podcast of this week's programme is available here.

    The Apostolate of Eucharistic Adoration

    Our Of The Blessed SacramentAnne Monihan joins John on the programme this week to tell listeners about the Apostolate of Eucharistic Adoration and in particular the gift of Adoration with Children.
    The Apostolate of Eucharistic Adoration is an Association of Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament, embracing God’s call to weekly Eucharistic Adoration, striving to be a people of prayer, vision and mission, and accepting the challenge to live the Good News of Jesus Christ. This Apostolate is organised, maintained and developed by lay people.

    The Motto of the Apostolate is: “To Jesus through Mary”

    You can learn more about the Apostolate of Eucharistic Adoration at their website HERE.
    Gospel - Matthew 13:24 - 43

    Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying:
    “The kingdom of heaven may be likened
    to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
    While everyone was asleep his enemy came
    and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.
    When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
    The slaves of the householder came to him and said,
    ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
    Where have the weeds come from?’
    He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’
    His slaves said to him,
    ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
    He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds
    you might uproot the wheat along with them.
    Let them grow together until harvest;
    then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
    “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
    but gather the wheat into my barn.”’

    Reflections on this weeks gospel:
    Word on Fire
    Sunday Reflections
    Centre for Liturgy

    Liturgical odds and ends

    Liturgy of the Hours -
    Saints of the Week

    July 21st - St Lawrence of Brandisi
    July 22nd - St Mary Magdelene
    July 23rd - Saint Apollinaris of Ravenna
    July 24th - Saint Declan of Ardmore
    July 25th - Saint James the Greater
    July 26th - Ss Joachim and Anne (parents of BVM)

    15 Jul 2014

    July 15th - Feast of St Bonaventure - Blog Patron 2014

    Our blog  patron saint this year is the Franciscan saint, Bonaventure whose feast day falls on July 15th.
    You can find out more about him HERE.

    13 Jul 2014

    13th July 2014 - Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (aka the Monks of Moyross) Part 3 - Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

    On this week's programme we have the third and final part of our interview with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal about their life and ministry. We have our reflection on the Sunday gospel which this week is the gospel for the fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

    You can listen to the podcast of this week's programme HERE

    Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (Part 3)

                                                                                    This week we have the third and final part of our interview with the Franciscans Friars of the Renewal and this week we learn more about Br. Frantisek Marie and his vocation story.

    You can read more about the friars including the first and second part of this series of interviews HERE and HERE.

    You can listen to the interview excerpted from the main programme HERE.

    Gospel - Matthew 13:1-23 

    Jesus said "Imagine a sower going out to sow. As he sowed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil and sprang up straight away, because there was no depth of earth; but as soon as the sun came up they were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away. Others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Listen, anyone who has ears!"
    Today's Gospel is a familiar one.  It recounts the parable of the Sower.  The danger with familiar parables is that we may gloss over them quickly and say to ourselves that we know the story.  The truth of the matter is that the parables have great depth and speak to us again and again depending on where we are in life. So it is with the parable of the Sower.  Jesus describes the different types of soil on which the seed, the word of God, falls.  

    In Lectio style we invite you today to put yourself into the parable - what type of soil are you today?  It is important to ask ourselves this daily, because depending on our openness to God's word, we fluctuate between the types of soil we are.  Some days we will be the rock - completely oblivious to God and to his message.  Some days we will be the little soil - how many times have we had a really positive faith experience maybe at a retreat and we promise to change some aspect of our lives as a result, but when we return home, we fall into our old routine again.  Some days we will be the soil with thorns when we let our cares and worries and burdens distract us from God's loving presence instead of entrusting our cares to him.  And some days, thank God, we are good soil - open to God's word and the prompting of the Holy Spirit.  

    The good news is that once we recognise what soil we are we can turn to God once more and invite him into our hearts and minds so that we may be that good soil once more.  Jesus never stops sewing the seed... how will we respond today?

    Reflections on this week's gospel:
    Sunday Reflections
    English Dominicans
    Word on Fire

    Centre for Liturgy

    Liturgical odds and ends
    Liturgy of the Hours - 15th week in ordinary time; Psalter week 3
    Saints of the week
    July 14th - St. Camillus de Lellis

    July 15th - St. Bonaventure - Patron Saint of our blog for 2014
    July 16th - Our Lady of Mount Carmel
    July 17th - Carmelite Nuns of Compiegne (Blesseds and Martyrs)
    July 18th - St. Frederick
    July 19th - St. Arsenius the Great

    10 Jul 2014

    Having better fights about religion - Leah Libresco - iCatholic

    Leah Libresco, a popular US Catholic blogger, Yale graduate, and self described ‘geeky convert’, gave a talk in Dublin entitled 'Having Better Fights About Religion'.

    This talk, hosted by the Irish Catholic and introduced by Ben Conroy took place on July 2nd in St Marys, Bloomfield Ave, Morehampton Rd, Donnybrook, Dublin 4 where The Irish Catholic offices are based. It was streamed live here on iCatholic

    Originally an atheist, Libresco started blogging for the online religion website Patheos as a way to debate and discuss religion. As a result of debating with Christians and atheists alike, Libresco converted to Catholicism in 2012. She currently works as an editorial assistant for The American Conservative and regularly writes on her blog ‘Unequally Yoked: a geeky convert picks fights in good faith’. She welcomes others to the conversation and encourages what she describes as ‘Having Better Fights’ – finding meaningful ways to have conversations with those whom you have ideological or religious differences.

    Wendy Grace interviews Leah Libresco, a popular US Catholic blogger on patheos.com, before Leah gave a talk in Dublin on 2nd July.

    This talk, hosted by the Irish Catholic took place in Donnybrook, Dublin 4 where The Irish Catholic offices are based

    See - www.patheos.com/blogs/unequallyyoked/

    Follow Leah on twitter at @LeahLibresco

    Bishop Leahy says changes in priests’ services inevitable due to retirements and drop in vocations

    Clerical changes for diocese announced
    Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy has stated that the level of services provided by priests in the Diocese will change in the years ahead due to the significant decline in priest vocations over recent decades.
    Speaking as he revealed this year’s clerical changes across the diocese, Bishop Leahy said that this year’s single ordination against the backdrop of six retirements in the diocese is an indication of the challenge that lies ahead for ministry here.
    “This year we will have one ordination to the priesthood in the diocese. David Casey will be ordained on July 19th in the Cathedral. That is great news and we can rejoice in it.  However, it will probably be another five or six years before we have another ordination. Thankfully, lately a number of men have indicated an interest in going for the priesthood. I hope we will see an increase in the number entering the seminary in coming years.
    “That said, while we can't yet talk of a massive crisis, as relatively we still have a reasonable number of priests in Limerick diocese, we do need to recognise that the services we have provided until now will change.  The ageing profile of priests will mean we will have to shape differently the way we provide ministry in the diocese. It is important for priests to work more in teams, supporting one another and also working together possibly serving a number of parishes.
    “Some of the city parishes are very large and I am concerned that we have only one priest in some of them. There are parishes where previously there were two or three priests but now there is only one. But the demands, if anything, are increasing.
    “While there is a change in the clerical profile of the diocese, I am very encouraged by the strong presence of lay volunteers in many aspects of parish life in the diocese.  Literally thousands of lay people give of their time, ideas and service in parish school boards of management, financial and pastoral councils, child safeguarding procedures, altar service, baptismal teams, ministries of the Word and of the Eucharist, church upkeep and cleaning, sacristy service, prayer and study groups, hospitality, Vincent de Paul Society, parish visitation, events organisation.
    “We can never be grateful enough for this generous commitment to the organisational life of the Church that contributes much to social cohesion in parishes and local communities.”
    Bishop Leahy said that he had engaged Fr. Eamonn Fitzgibbon, Episcopal Vicar for Pastoral Planning, over recent months to work on his behalf with priests and pastoral area teams to reflect on the changing profile of the diocesan clergy.  
    “There have been many listening sessions.  This work will have to continue right throughout the diocese more and more. I specifically met with priests on several occasions in recent months to reflect together on challenges and opportunities that are opening up for us in the new context of our numbers and age.
    “It is against this background that I made the changes this year. I appreciate some people will be upset to see their priest moving on but the change, if lived well, can be fruitful for the priest and for the parish. It's a chance to begin again to look at our mission, the way we are promoting the Gospel, how lay people are involved in co-responsibility in the local faith community,” he said.
    Bishop Leahy said he was most grateful to priests for their willingness to co-operate in the changes this year. “I know it's never easy. But their willingness is a sign to me of their continued fidelity to follow Jesus, to be missionary disciples,” he continued.
    “I am grateful to people for their goodness to priests. It is always moving to hear people speak so fondly of their priests. There is no doubt that the relationship between priests and parishioners is very deep. Priests are present at key moments of people's lives - weddings, baptisms, First Communion and Confirmation, sickness and celebrations, bereavement and funerals. 
    “To be a priest is a wonderful vocation and priests are always grateful for the huge support people offer them.”
    Bishop Brendan Leahy has made the following Clerical changes, with effect from 14th September, 2014.

    Very Rev. Austin McNamara, Administrator, St. John’s Cathedral, to be Parish Priest of Loughill/Ballyhahill Parish to succeed Very Rev. Gerard O’Leary, who is going on sabbatical leave until July, 2015                                                                                                                                                                                 

    Very Rev. Noel Kirwan, Parish Priest, St. Michael’s Parish, to be Administrator of St. John’s Cathedral to succeed Very Rev. Austin McNamara.

    Rev. Leo McDonnell, Curate, St. John’s Cathedral, to be Parish Priest, St. Michael’s Parish to succeed Very Rev. Noel Kirwan while continuing to reside in Cathedral House and remaining as a member of the Parish team of St John’s

    Very Rev. Oliver Plunkett, Parish Priest, Donaghmore / Knockea Parish, to be Administrator St. Joseph’s Parish

    Very Rev. Thomas Mangan, Administrator, St. Joseph’s Parish, to be Parish Priest, Donaghmore / Knockea Parish

    Rev. Frank Downes, O.P., to be Parish Chaplain, St. Joseph’s Parish

    Very Rev. Brendan Murphy, Parish Priest, Feenagh / Kilmeedy Parish to retire and reside in Newcastle West Parish and assist the Parish Team

    Rev. Patrick Bluett, Curate, Newcastle West Parish to succeed Very Rev. Brendan Murphy as Parish Priest of Feenagh / Kilmeedy Parish

    Very Rev. Garry Canon Bluett, Parish Priest, Manister Parish to retire and reside in Croom Parish, continue his ministry in Croom Orthopaedic Hospital and assist in the Pastoral Area

    Very Rev. Damian Ryan, Parish Priest, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, to be Parish Priest in Manister Parish to succeed Very Rev. Garry Canon Bluett

    Rev. John Walsh, Chaplain to Prison Services, to be Parish Priest of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish to succeed Very Rev. Damian Ryan

    Very Rev. Joseph Kennedy, Parish Priest of Croom / Banogue Parishes to retire and reside in Kilmallock and assist in the Pastoral Area

    Very Rev. William Canon Fitzmaurice, Parish Priest, Kilmallock / Ballingaddy Parish to be Parish Priest of Croom / Banogue parishes to succeed Very Rev. Joseph Kennedy

    Very Rev. Joseph Shire, to succeed Very Rev. Canon William Fitzmaurice as Parish Priest of Kilmallock Parish, while continuing as Parish Priest of Ballyagran/ Colmanswell Parish and acting as Moderator of the Parish Team

    Very Rev. Gerard McNamara, to retire as Parish Priest of Bulgaden / Martinstown Parish and continue to reside in the Parish

    Rev. Joseph Cussen, Curate, Kilmallock / Ballingaddy Parish to be Parish Priest, Bulgaden / Martinstown Parish to succeed Very Rev. Gerard McNamara and continue to reside in Kilmallock and remain as a member of the Kilmallock Parish Team

    Rev. Leslie McNamara, recently returned from working with the Columban Missionaries, assigned to assist within the Cathedral Pastoral Area

    Rev. Eamon Purcell, Curate St. Patrick’s to be Chaplain in University Hospital Limerick

    Rev. Liam Enright, Diocesan Advisor to Primary Schools to go on Study Leave to Rome

    Rev. Sean Harmon, Curate, St. John’s Cathedral to succeed Rev. Liam Enright as Diocesan Advisor to Primary Schools

    Rev David Casey, Deacon, will be ordained to Priesthood on 19th July.
    During the year Bishop Leahy also accepted the retirement of Rev. Patrick Costello and of Rev. Terry O'Connell on grounds of ill health.

    Financial Reform at the Holy See and Vatican City State

    The reform of the Vatican continued apace with some major announcements yesterday in Rome. Continuing on the trail of reform initiated by Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis has made some major changes to the financial set up of the Holy See and Vatican City State.

    "Journalists from across the globe crowded into the Vatican Press Office on Wednesday morning to hear, first-hand, of a series of new initiatives geared to improve the economic and administrative management of the Holy See and Vatican City State. Listen to Linda Bordoni's report HERE"

    As always John Allen has good coverage and explanation HERE with an interview with the new economic czar Cardinal Pell HERE.


    5 Jul 2014

    5th July 2014 - Hearing about St Molua, the Ardagh Chalice and Ardagh parish - 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

    On this weeks programme John and Lorraine are joined by Mary Kury from Ardagh to talk about some of our local christian heritage and discuss the history of St Molua and also the Ardagh Chalice. We have our regular reflection on the gospel as well as some other odds and ends.

    You can listen to the podcast of this weeks programme HERE.

    Our Christian Heritage - St Molua, Ardagh Chalice

    St Molua's Well, Ardagh, Co Limerick
    Mary Kury joins us this week to speak about the history of christianity in Ardagh with St Molua and tells us about the traditions associated with the well dedicated to the saint. Of course any history of Ardagh could not ignore the great national treasure which is the Ardagh Chalice.
    You can find our more about St Molua HERE and about the Ardagh Chalice HERE and HERE.

    You can listen to Mary's interview excerpted from the main programme HERE.

    Gospel - Matthew 11: 25-30

    At that time Jesus declared, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will. All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

    Reflections on this weeks gospel

    Word on Fire
    Sunday Reflections
    English Dominicans
    Centre for Liturgy

    Liturgical odds and ends

    Liturgy of the Hours: psalter week 2; 14th week in ordinary time.

    Saints of the Week

    July 7th - St Maelruain
    July 8th - St Kilian
    July 9th - St Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions
    July 10th - St. Veronica Giuliani
    July 11th - St Benedict
    July 12th - Saint Hilarion of Ancyra

    Pope's Intentions

    The Pope's universal prayer intention for July is “that sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth”.
    His prayer intention for evangelisation is “that the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries”.
    Reflections on the Pope's intentions from the Apostleship of Prayer.