31 Jan 2015

1st February 2015 - The Joy of the Gospel - 4th Sunday in Ordinary time

On this the first day of Spring, the feast of St Bridget of Ireland, SS102fm team are joined on air by Fr Eamonn's Conway to discuss the "Joy of the Gospel" - Pope Francis apostolic exhortation and Fr Eamonn's guidebook to the popular papal document. We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as some other odds and ends.

This weeks programme can be listened back to via our podcast available HERE.

St Bridget of Ireland

Because the feast day of St Bridget falls on a Sunday this year, per the liturgical norms it is not marked except in the diocese of Kildare & Leighlin where it has the rank of a solemnity. But liturgical niceties aside, Bridget is our secondary patron and her day should be marked in some small way. Please check out our previous posts HERE.

Merciful God,
origin and reward of all charity,
you called Saint Brigid to teach the new commandment of love
through her life of hospitality and her care of the needy;
give to your people, by her intercession, a generous spirit,
so that, with hearts made pure,
we may show your love to all.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever

May God, who in Saint Brigid has provided an outstanding example of generosity: make your ears be ever open to the cry of the poor.
May you who greet Saint Brigid as Mary of the Gael receive from Jesus, Son of Mary, the reward promised to the pure of heart.
May God fill you with his love, as you honour Saint Brigid, whose heart and mind became a throne of rest for the Holy Spirit.
R/. Amen.

St. Brigid’s Prayer
I’d like to give a lake of beer to God.
I’d love the Heavenly
Host to be tippling there
For all eternity.
I’d love the men of Heaven to live with me,
To dance and sing.
If they wanted, I’d put at their disposal
Vats of suffering.
White cups of love I”d give them,
With a heart and a half;
Sweet pitchers of mercy I’d offer
To every man.
I’d make Heaven a cheerful spot,
Because the happy heart is true.
I’d make the men contented for their own sake
I’d like Jesus to love me too.
I’d like the people of heaven to gather
From all the parishes around,
I’d give a special welcome to the women,
The three Marys of great renown.
I’d sit with the men, the women of God
There by the lake of beer
We’d be drinking good health forever
And every drop would be a prayer

Pope Franics - "Evangelii Gaudium" - The Joy of the Gospel 
"Blueprint to the Church - An Introduction to the Joy of the Gospel" by Fr Eamon Conway and Cathal Barry

Fr Eamon Conway joins us on the programme this week to speak about his book "Blueprint to the Church" which is an introduction to the apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis "the Joy of the Gospel". In a wide discussions, Shane and Fr Eamon discuss the exhortation and what it means for each of us in our daily lives and looking at the challenge that Pope Francis is setting out for the church a path to the future. 

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

You can read The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis.

Vatican Radio - Synthesis of the Apostolic Exhortation “The Joy Of The Gospel”

You can listen to a dropbox link of a talk by Bishop Donal Murray on EG

Various videos from iCatholic on The Joy of the Gospel
America Magazine - Francis on 'The Joy of the Gospel'
XT3 - The Joy of the Gospel
The Catholic World Report - Pope Francis and the Gospel of Joy
Word on Fire - "The Joy of the Gospel Resources"

UPDATE: Text of talk by Bishop Brendan Leahy to the priests of Cloyne diocese on EG HERE.

Gospel - Mark 1:21-28

And they went into Caper'na-um; and immediately on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God." But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, "What is this? A new teaching! With authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him." And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Sunday Reflections
English Dominicans

Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical Odds & Ends

Liturgy of the Hours: psalter week 4

Saints of the Week
February 2nd - The Presentation of the Lord; aka The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Candlemass Day); World Day for Consecrated Life

In 1997, Pope John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. This celebration is attached to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd. This Feast is also known as Candlemas Day; the day on which candles are blessed symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world. So too, those in consecrated life are called to reflect light of Jesus Christ to all peoples. 

February 3rd - St Blaise (Blessings of the Throat)
February 4th - St Joan of Valois
February 5th - St Agatha
February 6th - St Paul Miki and Companions
February 7th - St Colette
February 8th - Synod Sunday in Limerick diocese

28 Jan 2015

Consecration of new bishop of Limerick at Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin - 24th January 2014

From Anglican Communion News Service:

Bishop Kenneth Kearon, his wife Jennifer and two of his three daughters Alison and Rachel by Paul Harron Church of Ireland Press Office
The Service of Consecration and Ordination of Kenneth Kearon as the new Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe took place at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, this afternoon (Saturday 24th January) – the Eve of the Conversion of St Paul.

The preacher at the service, The Most Revd Dr Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales, said: ‘Life as a bishop is like a ride on a zip wire … Just as zip wire riders need someone to launch them at the start and haul them in at the end, so too a bishop sets people off on their sometimes daunting journeys of faith and holds them safe as they travel.’ More than that, though, he added, ‘a bishop is someone who climbs onboard the ride first – to lead by example’. 
As well as Archbishop Morgan and a number of serving and retired bishops of the Church of Ireland – including The Rt Revd Sam Poyntz, the new bishop’s father–in–law – Bishop Kearon’s consecration brought together a large number of attendees from across the Church of Ireland, the wider Anglican Communion and, notably, the Methodist Church in Ireland also. The President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, the Revd Peter Murray, along with the Revd Donald Ker, former President and General Secretary of the Methodist Church in Ireland, and former President and Co–Chair of the Covenant Council, the Revd Winston Graham, joined with other bishops in the laying on of hands on the new bishop – the first time that participation by Methodist leaders has taken place. Since the decision of both the General Synod and the Methodist Conference allowing for the inter–changeability of ministry, Methodist Presidents are now regarded as Episcopal Ministers and as such can participate in a consecration service.

The service was led by the Archbishop of Dublin, The Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, and the Bishop of Meath and Kildare, The Most Revd Pat Storey, and the Bishop of Tuam & Killala, The Rt Revd Patrick Rooke, were co–consecrators.

The first reading from Numbers 27: 15–20, 22–23 was read by one of the new bishop’s three daughters, Rachel Kearon; the second reading from 2 Corinhtians 4: 1–10 was read by the Revd Gillian Wharton and the Gospel, John 21: 1–17, was read by The Rt Revd Dr James Tengatenga, Chair of the Anglican Consultative Council. The Choir of Christ Church Cathedral sang Mozart’s Coronation Mass during the Eucharist.
Bishop Kearon was also surrounded by many family and friends at the service, including his wife, Jennifer, and two of his three daughters – Alison and Rachel (pictured right); his daughter Gillian is living in New Zealand and was unable to attend. Bishop Kearon’s mother, Mrs Ethel Kearon, was joined by his sister, Mrs Lynda Goldsmith.

Born in Dublin in 1953, Bishop Kearon attended Mountjoy School and Trinity College, Dublin, where he studied Philosophy. Following further study at Cambridge and in Dublin, he was ordained a priest in 1982 and served as curate in All Saints Raheny and St John’s Coolock before his appointment as Dean of Residence at Trinity College, Dublin. In 1991 he became Rector of Tullow before becoming Director of the Irish School of Ecumenics in 1999 and Secretary General of the Anglican Communion in 2005, the role which he performed until late last year.

Canon Kearon is no stranger to Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, having been a member of the Chapter since 1995 and served as its Chancellor from 2002. In September 2014, he was elected Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe following a meeting of the Episcopal Electoral College which took place at Christ Church Cathedral, and he succeeds The Rt Revd Trevor Williams who retired as Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe in July last year.

Enthronement services in the cathedrals in his new dioceses will take place at later dates.

You can read more including the text of the sermon HERE.
 Other coverage of his election and consecration here, here, here, here and here.

Salt + Light: Pope Francis Concludes the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity - Perspectives Daily

Salt + Light: Vatican Connections: January 23, 2015

24 Jan 2015

25th January 2015 - Little Way Healing Ministries - 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

From our Come & See studios this week John is joined by Fr Laurence Brassill OSA  from Little Way Healing Ministries who tells us of the work that they are undertaking in a healing ministry. We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as some other liturgical odds and ends.

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

Little Way Healing Ministries

On this weeks programme John speaks to Fr Laurence Brassill OSA who with Pauline Edwards leads a team involved in a "Holy Spirit-led approach to the healing of memories". It is a charism gifted by the Holy Spirit to the Church of our time. This gift is a four-stepped prayer that through the healing of memories contributes to the healing of the whole person. Through this particular way of praying , Jesus shows himself continuing his work of healing amongst us today in the midst of his Church. People are healed so they can testify to the Lord's working in them and thereby draw others to their Lord and Saviour, the Divine Physician.

You can listen to Fr Laurence's interview with John excerpted from the main programme HERE.

You can find out more about Little Way Healing Ministries at their website HERE. You can see their Youtube site HERE.

Gospel - Mark 1: 14-20

"Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel." 
And passing along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, "Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men." And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zeb'edee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them; and they left their father Zeb'edee in the boat with the hired servants, and followed him".

Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflections
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy
Limerick Diocesan Weekly Resource Newsletter
Interrupting the Silence - Casting and Mending 

Liturgical Odds & Ends

Liturgy of the Hours: Psalter Week 3; 3rd week in Ordinary Time

Saints of the Week

January 26th - Ss Timothy & Titus
January 27th - St Angela Merici
January 28th - St Thomas Aquinas
January 29th - St Blath of Kildare
January 30th - St Aidan also Blessed Margaret Ball and Blessed Francis Taylor
January 31st - St John Bosco 

20 Jan 2015

Salt + Light - Vatican Perspectives 16 Jan 2015

Salt + Light: Pope Francis Visits the Philippines - Perspectives Daily

Habemus Episcopum Anglicanam II - We have a new bishop!

Back in September SS102fm extended our congratulations to the Church of Ireland United diocese of Limerick & Kilaloe on the election of their new bishop.

The Service of Ordination and Consecration of the Revd Canon Kenneth Kearon as the new Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe will take place in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin on Saturday 24 January 2015 at 2.30 p.m. – the Eve of the Conversion of St Paul.

The service will be led by the Archbishop of Dublin, The Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, and the preacher will be The Most Revd Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales.

For those unable to attend, the service will be streamed by the cathedral; visit: http://christchurchcathedral.ie/worship/live-webcast/

The date of his installation/enthronement in St Mary's Cathedral in Limerick is still to be announced and confirmed is 7th February 2015.

In this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, lets pray for the new bishop and his family and welcome them to Shannonside!

17 Jan 2015

18th January 2015 - Adult Faith Formation in Limerick Diocese - 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

On this weeks programme the SS102fm interviews one of our own with a friendly discussion with Lorraine Buckley about her new role in as Faith Development Coordinator in the diocese of Limerick and the opportunity for people to learn more about their faith with a particular focus on the Irish Catholic Catechism for Adults. We have a brief reflection on the Sunday gospel and some other odds and ends

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

The Irish Catholic Catechism for Adults and Limerick Diocese Faith Development Programme

John interviews Lorraine Buckley about the role of Faith Development Coordinator in the diocese of Limerick and the need and importance of adult faith formation particularly in the Irish church at this time.

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

The Faith Development Coordinator works at the direction of the Bishop, chief catechist of the diocese, in the promotion of and co-ordination of faith development initiatives in the diocese. Such initiatives range from preparation programmes for the sacraments of initiation to adult faith development. Why is faith development so important? Sherry Weddell wrote in Forming Intentional Disciples:

“The majority of Catholics in the United States are sacramentalized but not evangelized. They do not know that an explicit, personal attachment to Christ – personal discipleship – is normative Catholicism as taught by the apostles and reiterated time and time again by the pope, councils, and saints of the Church.”
In an Irish context, the two questions Lorraine put to listeners:
  • How can we renew and deepen our own faith so that we may share that faith with others? 
  • What can we do to facilitate that encounter with Christ in our Parishes and in our Pastoral Area? 
The first question is really important – a lot of people say ‘we must do more to get the young people back into Church’, but what are we inviting them back to? Are we convinced by what we believe? Do we live as if we believe in Jesus? Do we worship and celebrate liturgy as if we believe in Jesus? If we have gone lax in our own relationship with God, how can we speak of that relationship with others? This is why Pope Francis encourages us to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus. We know from our experience of human relationships that relationships take work! They don’t just happen. It is the same with our relationship with God. He will fill our hearts with love – He will do most of the work for us – but we have to be open to Him.

There are many different ways in which we can deepen our faith – through prayer, through Scripture and Lectio Divina, through different retreats, courses, prayer groups, spiritual reading, different ecclesial movements etc.
There is a wealth of resources out there too. One of the tools or resources for helping to build our relationship with God is the new Irish Catholic Catechism for Adults, which was launched last year. Now before everyone turns off the radio, it is not about rote learning or question and answer style formats like the Penny Catechism. 

The Irish Catholic Catechism for Adults presents adults with a renewed opportunity to study, reflect on and live by the faith we profess in the Creed, celebrate in the Sacraments, live in the Christian moral life and deepen through prayer. Each chapter begins with a short account of a saint or holy person who tried to follow the Christian path in their own time and circumstance. This is followed by a section explaining God’s revelation through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit that relates to that story. It places this teaching alongside questions and doubts that arise from our daily life and our country’s culture and tries to resolve them.

During autumn this year, two reflection groups started using the Irish Catholic Catechism for Adults as part of the Growing Faith programme.  Over ten weeks, we gathered together once a week to learn more about our story – who God is and who we are as God’s beloved children.  It is not about learning things off by heart, but learning more about our faith through music, videos, chat and a cuppa at the end of the evening.  One of those who attended said: “I find this course a great way of developing a loving rather than a fearful relationship with Our Father in Heaven.”  Growing Faith is about change – looking at ways in which we can live our faith better and many were inspired by the “stories of great people who have and are living out their faith in action.” 

Next week, LDPC will be starting the next ten week course on Part II – Sacraments: Faith Celebrated. They are running the course in two venues, Limerick Diocesean Pastoral Centre, which meets on Tuesday evenings, beginning next Tuesday, January 20th at 7.30pm, and Newcastle West Parish Centre, which meets on Wednesday evenings, beginning next Wednesday, January 21st at 8pm. Each group meets for an hour and a half – which isn’t as long as it sounds – as we use a mixture of media to share our faith and learn more about our faith.

If anyone would like to find out more about the Growing Faith reflection groups or indeed would like Lorraine to visit their Pastoral Area/Pastoral Council please contact Lorraine at 069-61816 or 061-400133 or email lbuckley@ldpc.ie

Gospel - John 1: 35-42 - "Come and see"

The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, "What do you seek?" And they said to him, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?" He said to them, "Come and see." They came and saw where he was staying; and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, "So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas" (which means Peter).

Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Liturgical odds and ends
Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter Week 2, Second week in Ordinary time

Ordinary Time encompasses two different periods in the Catholic Church's liturgical year. Ordinary Time begins on the Monday after the first Sunday after January 6 (the Feast of the Epiphany) and runs until Ash Wednesday. Both Lent and the Easter season fall outside of Ordinary Time, which resumes again on the Monday after Pentecost Sunday and runs until the First Sunday in Advent (the start of the new liturgical year).

Saints of the Week

January 18th - 2nd Sunday in Ordinary time - also World Day of Migrants & Refugees
January 19th - Nine Martyrs of Numidia
January 20th - St Fabian and St Sebastian (martyrs)
January 21st - St Agnes (virgin martyr) - also the Blessing of the Lambs will take place in Rome today. The lambs wool will be harvested to make the palliums to be bestowed on new archbishops by the Pope on the feast of St Peter & Paul in June.
January 22nd - St Vincent (martyr)
January 23rd - Saint Colman of Lismore
January 24th - St Francis De Sales

15 Jan 2015

January 15th - St Ita of Kileedy (co-patron of Limerick Diocese)

Ever living God,
We rejoice in the life of Saint Ita of Killeedy.
We give you thanks for her powerful intercession and we implore her continual protection. Inspire us by her example to live with joy our calling in life, give us perseverance to serve you all our days;
We make this prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, world without end. Amen
Today is the feast day of St Ita of Kileedy - co-patron of the diocese of Limerick. You can find all the previous posts, programmes and reflections about St Ita HERE.

Resources from LDPC available HERE.

13 Jan 2015

Ar Misean le Cheile - Launching the Synod as gaeilge

You are invited to the launch of 'Ar Misean le Chéile - Uain Atúsaithe' the Irish language version of 'Together in Mission - A Time to Begin', the letter from Bishop Brendan Leahy regarding the Limerick Diocesan Synod 2016.  

The launch will take place in Room G10, Mary Immaculate College on Lá 'le Íde, Thursday, 15th January, 2015 at 7.00pm.

Everyone is welcome to attend.   Please enter at College Reception.

11 Jan 2015

11th January 2015 - Feast of the Baptism of the Lord - Christmastide 2014

On this weeks programme John is joined in studio by Martina and Michael Keating who discuss the role and history of St Ita in Limerick diocese as well as a reflection on baptism. We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel which is the last gospel of the Christmas period as well as other liturgical odds and ends.

You can listen to the full programme podcast HERE.

Sacrament of Baptism

The Sacrament of Baptism is the doorway into the church as it is the first sacrament of initiation into the Body of Christ and on this weeks programme John and his panel reflect on the meaning of the sacrament and its impact on our lives as Christians and how it is an opening to grace in our lives.

You can listen to the reflection on baptism excerpted from the main programme HERE.

Pope Francis has reflected on the sacrament of baptism at numerous times since he was elected Pope with many reflections.He has reminded us that baptism is no just a formality. "It is an act that touches the depths of our existence. A baptized child and an unbaptized child are not the same. A person who is baptized and a person who is not baptized are not the same. We, by Baptism, are immersed in that inexhaustible source of life which is the death of Jesus, the greatest act of love in all of history; and thanks to this love we can live a new life, no longer at the mercy of evil, of sin and of death, but in communion with God and with our brothers and sisters". He has reflected on baptism during his weekly general audiences links to which are:

8th January 2014
15th January 2014

SS102fm has done a number of programmes on baptism before including a part of our series on the Sacraments when Sr Margaret O'Sullivan reflected on the sacrament of baptism HERE.

Gospel - Mark 1:7-11 - The Baptism of the Lord

And [John the Baptist] preached, saying, "After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." 
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, "Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased."
Catholic Culture - Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Baptism of Our Lord. This brings to an end the season of Christmas. The Church recalls Our Lord's second manifestation or epiphany which occurred on the occasion of His baptism in the Jordan. Jesus descended into the River to sanctify its waters and to give them the power to beget sons of God. The event takes on the importance of a second creation in which the entire Trinity intervenes.

In the Eastern Church this feast is called Theophany because at the baptism of Christ in the River Jordan God appeared in three persons. The baptism of John was a sort of sacramental preparatory for the Baptism of Christ. It moved men to sentiments of repentance and induced them to confess their sins. Christ did not need the baptism of John. Although He appeared in the "substance of our flesh" and was recognized "outwardly like unto ourselves," He was absolutely sinless and impeccable. He conferred upon the water the power of the true Baptism which would remove all the sins of the world: "Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him Who takes away the sin of the world."

It was a voice out of nowhere.
It was a voice from everywhere.
It was the voice of love.
It was the voice from above.
“You are my beloved,” came the words;
“You are my beloved,” was what they heard.
“You are my Son;”
“You are the One.”
The words were spoken at the river
By One, who of all life, is the giver.
The words were spoken to identify Jesus;
The words were spoken that God might touch us.
Down through the centuries of life,
Through war and pestilence and strife,
The faithful lose all fear,
When “You are my beloved” is what they hear.
The words are meant for all;
The words are God’s call.
“I love you without reserve.”
“I love you more than you deserve.”
And then there comes a time in each soul
When we embrace our God and commit our whole.
We say we will follow Jesus’ way
And in his path we will stay.
But sometimes we forget that we are the beloved.
Sometimes we fail to seek the way of love.
Sometimes we think that on our own we can win.
Often we must repent of our life of sin.
And again we pledge our hearts and vow
That we want to make a difference now.
We hear the challenge to reach out –
We look beyond our walls and that’s what Christianity is about.
We remember that Jesus would not be in our midst.
He would be among the people whom we try to miss.
He would walk with the homeless, sit with the sick –
The poorest of the poor would be his pick.
When we do likewise, our soul is eased
And God says of us, “With you I am well pleased.”
And in the squalor of our sinful life, God continues to love
And speaks to the people of the ages that we, too, are the beloved.

Rev. Terry Heck, Bellbrook UMC, Bellbrook, OH.

Other reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
English Dominicans
Sunday Reflections
Centre for Liturgy

St Ita of Kileedy - co-patron of the diocese of Limerick

St Ita also known as the Brigid of Munster is associated with the parish of Killeedy and is one of the co-patrons of the diocese of Limerick. January 15th is her feast day. 

In previous years Michael Keating has shared with us about this extraordinary woman and her role on the development of the faith. 

We discussed how she is a role model and especially how she is a role model for women and what she would say to us in Limerick today. 

We discussed her links with Killeedy, her fostering of various Irish saints and her link with St. Brendan the Navigator. 

She is reportedly a good intercessor in terms of pregnancy and eye illnesses.

"St Ita, the patron saint of Killeedy, was born before 484AD in County Waterford, in the Tramore area. Her father was Cennfoelad or Confhaola and her mother was Necta. Cennfoelad was descended from Felim the lawgiver. 

Ita's name was originally Dorothea or Deirdre. She was a member of the Déisí tribe. Ita refused her father's wish that she should marry a local chieftain, as she believed that she had a calling from God and wanted to become a nun. To convince her father to change his mind, she fasted for three days and three nights. On the third night, God gave out to her father in his sleep. The next morning, Cennfoelad agreed that Ita could do as she wished. At the age of sixteen, Ita set off on her journey. Bishop (St.) Declan of Ardmore conferred the veil on her. 

Legend has it that Ita was lead to Killeedy by three heavenly lights. The first was at the top of the Galtee mountains, the second on the Mullaghareirk mountains and the third at Cluain Creadhail, which is nowadays Killeedy. Her sister Fiona also went to Killeedy with her and became a member of the community. Ita was welcomed to Killeedy by the local chieftain of the Ui Conaill Gabhra tribe. The chieftain wanted to give Ita a large trait of land but she only wanted a few acres as a garden for her community."

You can listen to Michael Keating's 2014 reflection on St Ita HERE.

You can read the 2013 post on St Ita including a discussion between Fr Michael Liston and Michael Keating HERE and previous posts including the readings and other information HERE.

Liturgical odds and ends

Liturgy of the Hours - 1st Week in Ordinary time, Psalter Week 1

Saints of the Week

12th January - Blessed Pierre-François Jamet
13th January - St Hilary
14th January - St Sava of Serbia
15th January - St Ita of Killeedy; co-patron of the diocese of Limerick
16th January - St Fursa (abbott and missionary)
17th January - St Anthony (abbot)
18th January -Beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

7 Jan 2015

Synod 2016 - Are you in staying in touch?

2015 promises to be an exceptional year for all communities in the diocese of Limerick, as the work of the Synod will affect every single community and group this Spring. So are you planning to stay in touch and connected with what is going on?
It is especially important that all pastoral councils, chaplaincy teams and leadership groups are connected both with their synod delegates and with diocesan communications.
So to stay in touch check out:

And of course, keep an eye on Sacred Space 102fm where you can find all items related to the Synod under the tag Synod 2016.
And as we proceed into the process and journey which is Synod 2016, we are all called to continue to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the intercession of St Munchin and St Ita for Limerick's Synod.

God our Father,

You have called us to be your Church. As we prepare for a diocesan synod be with us in the power of your Spirit;

Open our ears to hear your Word, our eyes to see the needs of your people.
Help us to cast off our prejudice, to face bravely the problems of your church.
Keep us united in constant prayer with Mary our Mother. So that together in mission - a time to begin again, we can build your church, your people, to be a sign of your loving saving presence in our country and our diocese.

5 Jan 2015

6th January 2015 - Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

Arise, shine out, Jerusalem; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. 
For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. 
Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses' arms. 
Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. 
A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD.
Isaiah 60:1-6

Today in Ireland we celebrate Epiphany which is feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. On this feast, Western Christians commemorate principally the visitation of the Biblical Magi to the Baby Jesus, i.e., his manifestation to the Gentiles; Eastern Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God. It is also called Theophany, especially by Eastern Christians.

St Matthew tells us (2:1-12) that Wise Men came from out of the east seeking the new born child as the Messiah of the whole world not just for the people of Israel. Their homage to him upon locating him in Bethleham is representative of the whole world who adore the Holy Child and recognise his Divine Kingship, he who is the Light of the World.
"They set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was.When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh."
The feast of the Epiphany in the latin tradition focuses on the manifestation or showing of the Child Jesus to the Magi or Wise men who have come to seek the new King of the Jews. The three wisdom seekers represent the gentiles; those outside the covenanted community of Israel to whom the Messiah will also come. Where the shepherds represented the Chosen People, the three magi represent all those who truly search and seek for God in our world even if from out side our community and experiences. The questions this familiar part of the Christmas narrative can pose to us include:
  • What "star" do I follow in my life? Do I follow the Morning Star which is Christ or do I have other things I follow?
  • Am I open to seeing the Divine in others even if they are different from me?
  • Like the Wise men, am I willing to trust in God and go where She leads me, even if it means travelling far (literally or metaphorically), believing that God will be "my staff and my shield"?
But like the shepherds, the three magi did not stay in Bethleham, they had to go back out into the world, back to their homes and families and daily lives; just like we have to. But they took the message of what they had seen and heard with them.Epiphany demands that like these kings we should return to our own countries a different way, carrying to all those we meet the light of Christ. "For behold, darkness shall cover the earth," says the Epistle of the Epiphany Mass, "and a mist the people: but the Lord shall arise upon Thee, and His glory shall be seen upon Thee. And the Gentiles shall walk in Thy light..." These words may be applied to us, upon whom the light of Christ has indeed risen, and who have the responsibility to radiate that light in the darkness of our own world. It is clear how much the feast of Epiphany must mean to all who are engaged in the apostolate and are striving to extend the kingdom of Christ.


We join with the psalmist (Psalm 44) and the Magi and all the Heavenly Court in praising the Prince of Peace:
My heart overflows with noble words.
To the king I must speak the song I have made,
my tongue as nimble as the pen of a scribe.
You are the fairest of the people on earth
and graciousness is poured upon your lips,
because God has blest you for evermore.
Your throne, O God, shall endure for ever.
A scepter of justice is the scepter of your kingdom,
Your love is for justice, your hatred for eil.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness above other kings;
your robes are fragrant with aloes and myrrh.
From the ivory palace you are greeted with music.
The daughters of kings are among your loved ones.
On your right stands the queen in gold of Ophir.

Reflections on the gospel reading:

Reflections and thoughts for the feast:

The Proclamation of the Date of Easter on Epiphany (the "Noveritis") 2015

As traditional on SS102fm we post the the Proclamation of the Date of Easter on Epiphany (the "Noveritis") each year. The practice dates from a time when calenders were not too readily available. It was necessary to make known the date of Easter in advance, since many celebrations of the liturgical year depend on its date. The number of weeks that follow Epiphany, the date of Ash Wednesday and the number of Sundays that follow Pentecost are all computed in relation to Easter.

If you would like some more detail of the history of the Proclamation head over to New Liturgical Movement.

Although calendars now give the date of Easter and the other feasts in the liturgical year for many years in advance, the Epiphany Proclamation still has value. it is a reminder of the centrality of the resurrection of the Lord in the liturgical year and the importance of the great mysteries of faith which are celebrated each year. This beautiful proclamation puts everything into perspective. Every liturgical celebration of the Church finds its authentic meaning in the Paschal Mystery, even Christmas. The Paschal Mystery was precisely why the Eternal Son of the Father, the Eternal Word, deigned to leap down from heaven and become incarnate in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was born in time so that He could give His flesh for the life of the world.

Below is the Proclamation with the dates for 2015 as per the Irish Liturgical Calendar.

Know, dear brothers & sisters,
that, as we have rejoiced at the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ,
so by leave o
f God's mercy
we announce to you also the joy of his Resurrection,
who is our Saviour.

On the eighteenth day of February will fall Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of the fast of the most sacred Lenten season.

On the fifth day of April you will celebrate with joy Easter Day, the Paschal feast of our Lord Jesus Christ.

On the seventeenth day of May will be the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ.

On the twenty-fourth day of May, the feast of Pentecost.

On the seventh day of June, the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

On the twenty-ninth day of November, the First Sunday of the Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ,
to whom is honor and glory for ever and ever.