25 Feb 2017

26th February 2017 - Pope Francis message for Lent 2017

On this weeks programme we begin our entry into Lent 2017 by reflecting on the message of Pope Francis for Lent 2017. We have our regular reflection on this Sunday's gospel as well as other liturgical odds and ends.

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

Pope Francis' message for Lent 2017

On this weeks programme Shane and John reflect on the preparations for Lent 2017 using Pope Francis's message for Lent 2017.

The Pope's message focus' on the theme "The Word is a gift. Other persons are a gift" and is a reflection on the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man in the gospel of Luke.

You can read Pope Francis message HERE.

Gospel - Matthew 6:24-34

Jesus said to his disciples:"No one can serve two masters.He will either hate one and love the other,or be devoted to one and despise the other.You cannot serve God and mammon.
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,what you will eat or drink,or about your body, what you will wear.Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?Look at the birds in the sky;they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns,yet your heavenly Father feeds them.Are not you more important than they?Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?Why are you anxious about clothes?Learn from the way the wild flowers grow.They do not work or spin.But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendorwas clothed like one of them.If God so clothes the grass of the field,which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow,will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?So do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?'or 'What are we to drink?'or 'What are we to wear?'All these things the pagans seek.Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,and all these things will be given you besides.Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.Sufficient for a day is its own evil."
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflections
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours: Psalter week 4

Saints of the Week

As this Wednesday marks the beginning of the joyful season of Lent, liturgically during the penitential season memorials of the saints are classified as commemorations.

27th February - St Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows
28th February - St Hilary
1st March - Ash Wednesday - Day of fast & abstinence
2nd March - St Chad of Mercia
3rd March - St Marinus of Caesarea
4th March - St Casimir of Poland

22 Feb 2017

22 February 2017 - Feast of the Chair of St Peter

Altar of the Chair of St Peter
St Peter's Basilica
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis remembered the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter during his final blessing at his weekly General Audience on Wednesday.

“Today we celebrate the feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle, the day of the special communion of believers with the Successor of St Peter and the Holy See,” the Pope said.

“Dear young people, I encourage you to intensify your prayers for of my Petrine ministry; dear sick people, I thank you for the witness of life given in suffering for the building up of ecclesial community; and you, dear newlyweds, build your family on the same love that binds the Lord Jesus to His Church,” he continued.

On this feast day, the statue of St. Peter in St. Peter’s Basilica is dressed in Papal vestments, and venerated by the faithful.

CNA - Chair of St Peter 
iBenedictines - The Feast of the Chair of St Peter 
Aleteia - Why is there a feast day for a chair?
And what is the 'Chair' of St. Peter?

19 Feb 2017

Some web browsing............

The rich treasure of the monastic life

Mary’s Meals Continues to Bear Much Good Fruit - Scottish-born Catholic charity receives award from British House of Lords.

Seven Irish Columbans among 84 modern-day martyrs of Korea who may be beatified 

Remembering Monte Cassino 

The Courageous Witness of "The Lion of Münster"

France bans pro-life websites that do not ‘openly state’ they are pro-life 

When fear wins, Christianity loses - Christians have a responsibility to the men, women, and children fleeing their homelands. 

One man devotes 53 years to building a Cathedral by hand 

When it comes to liturgy, we're all mutually-enriching mongrels - One of the many problems with Latin liturgical reform over the last 40 years was being too heavily influenced by German and Swiss sources, and not enough by Byzantine ones. 

Church of the Multiplication of loaves and fishes re-opened - On Sunday, February 12, the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes re-opened in Tabgha

The age of noise 

A paw-sitive relationship: Istanbul’s love of street cats - A new documentary shows how Turkish strays always land on their feet 

Should We Die? - Radical longevity may change the way we live—and not necessarily for the better.

The world’s biggest charity 

Heart and Seoul: South Korea wants to share its priests with the world 

Young Muslim volunteers help repair Mosul church damaged by ISIS 

‘On our second date, we went to church…’ 

Nobel Prize-winning agnostic scientist says “The miracles at Lourdes are inexplicable” - Faults those who "commit the error of rejecting what they don’t understand"

18 Feb 2017

19th February 2017 - The Legion of Mary

On this weeks programme, John and Shane are joined by Conor O'Donoghue to speak about the Legion of Mary and the work that it undertakes. We have our regular reflection on this weeks Sunday gospel as well as other liturgical odds and ends and some notices.

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

The Legion of Mary

On this weeks programme Conor O'Donoghue joins us on this weeks programme to tell us about the Legion of Mary.

The Legion of Mary is a lay apostolic association of Catholics who, with the sanction of the Church and under the powerful leadership of Mary Immaculate, Mediatrix of All Graces, serve the Church and their neighbour on a voluntary basis in about 170 countries. The first meeting of the Legion of Mary took place in Myra House, Francis Street, Dublin, Ireland, on 7 September, 1921. 

Drawing its inspiration from the True Devotion to Mary, as taught by St. Louis Marie de Montfort, and which had a profound influence on the Founder of the Legion, the Servant of God, Frank Duff, the Legion is at the disposal of the Bishops and Priests for use in the mission of the Church. 

While essentially a lay association, legionaries look for spiritual and apostolic formation to priests and religious, who, as Legion Spiritual Directors, hold an honoured place in the Legion system. The Legion requires ecclesiastical approval to work in a diocese or parish. Loyalty to the Magisterium and to Ecclesiastical Authority is a basic legionary principle. The Legion aims to bring Mary to the world as the infallible means of winning the world to Jesus and legionary service is based on the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ so that in their fellow members and in those they serve, legionaries seek to have the Person of our Lord once again seen and served by Mary, his Mother.

The general and essential means by which the Legion of Mary is to effect its object is personal service acting under the influence of the Holy Spirit, having Divine Grace as its moving principle and support, and the glory of God and the salvation of souls as its final end and purpose. Evangelisation, especially the seeking of conversions to the Church, should be a priority for the Legion. Through the visitation of homes and by other means, the Legion must, as a first principle, set out to establish a contact of some sort with every soul everywhere. Seeing and serving Christ in the sick and marginalised is another vital part of the legionary apostolate. While not engaging in the giving of material relief, legionaries will often find opportunities to do works of service for the needy.

The basic unit of the Legion is called a praesidium, which is normally based in a parish. A parish may have more than one praesidium. To be an active legionary it is necessary to apply for membership in a praesidium, which holds a weekly meeting and allocates a weekly apostolic task to the members, who generally work in pairs. After a successful period of probation, members are called to make the Legionary Promise (this is only applicable for members over 18 years) which is directed to the Holy Spirit. Realising the necessity for a strong support of prayer, the Legion has Auxiliary members, who associate themselves with the Legion by undertaking a service of prayer in its name. The administration of the Legion is carried out through its various councils at local, regional and national level. The central council, the Concilium Legionis Mariae, meets monthly in Dublin.

The Cause for Beatification has been introduced for three legionaries: The Servant of God, Frank Duff (1889-1980), Founder of the Legion, who attended the Second Vatican Council as a Lay Observer; Venerable Edel Quinn (1907-1944), Legion Envoy to East Africa; and the Servant of God, Alfie Lambe (1932-1959), Legion Envoy to South America.

  • You can find out more about the Legion of Mary from their website here.
  • Interview with Conor excerpted from the main programme here.
  • Contact email: legionofmarylimerick@gmail.com 
  • Newcastle West praesidium meets weekly Thursday nights at the Pastoral Centre at 8pm
  • There are also branches of the Legion in Abbeyfeale, Shanagolden and in various parishes in the city

Gospel - Matthew 5:38-48 

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learnt how it was said: Eye for eye and tooth for tooth. But I say this to you: offer the wicked man no resistance. On the contrary, if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well; if a man takes you to law and would have your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone orders you to go one mile, go two miles with him. Give to anyone who asks, and if anyone wants to borrow, do not turn away. 
  ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike. For if you love those who love you, what right have you to claim any credit? Even the tax collectors do as much, do they not? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? Even the pagans do as much, do they not? You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflections
Centre for Liturgy
English Dominicans

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 3; 7th week in ordinary time

Saints of the Week 

February 20th - Bl Jacinta and Francisco Marto - Seers of Fatima
February 21st - St Peter Damien
February 22nd - Feast of the Chair of St Peter - Feast of Chair of Peter an invitation to the right kind of power
February 23rd - St Polycarp
February 24th - St Walburga
February 25th - St Ethelbert of Kent

13 Feb 2017

President Higgins meets with Irish missionaries during his State Visit to Peru

At an informal gathering of Irish missionaries based in Peru, hosted by the brothers of the Society of St. James in Lima, President Michael D. Higgins spoke of his appreciation for the work done by members of the various missionary orders.............and being parochial about it, he was hosted by the Society of St James which is currently headed up by Limerick's own Fr David Costello.

11 Feb 2017

12th February 2017 - Lectio Divina: Encountering God in Scripture

On this weeks programme we are joined by Fr Frank Duhig - parish priest of SS102fm's base parish in Newcastle West. Fr Frank gives us a short reflection on lectio divina and using this weeks gospel takes us through a reflection on God's love. We have our regular liturgical odds & ends as well as notices and some reflective music.

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

Lectio Divina

"Lectio Divina", a Latin term, means "sacred reading" and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us. 

Regular listeners to the programme will know that most of the presenters and panelists that participate in the show participate in lectio divina and many are members of the group of people who gather each Monday night in the Parish Centre in Newcastle West Co Limerick from 8.15pm to 9.15pm to participate in "lectio divina" where together we break open the Word and explore its meaning for our daily lives in this hectic and fast paced world of ours.

Fr Frank Duhig shares with is his thoughts on the practise of lectio divina and explains how the group lectio works each week in Newcastle West.

Fr Frank's reflection on lectio divina excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE.

SS102fm's resource page on lectio divina is available HERE.

Gospel - Matthew 5:17-37

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses
that of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

"You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you,
whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment;
and whoever says to his brother, 'Raqa,'
will be answerable to the Sanhedrin;
and whoever says, 'You fool,'
will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.

"You have heard that it was said, 
You shall not commit adultery.
But I say to you,
everyone who looks at a woman with lust
has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin,
tear it out and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
And if your right hand causes you to sin,
cut it off and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

"It was also said,
Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.
But I say to you,
whoever divorces his wife -  unless the marriage is unlawful - 
causes her to commit adultery,
and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

"Again you have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
Do not take a false oath,
but make good to the Lord all that you vow.

But I say to you, do not swear at all;
not by heaven, for it is God's throne;
nor by the earth, for it is his footstool;
nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
Do not swear by your head,
for you cannot make a single hair white or black.
Let your 'Yes' mean 'Yes,' and your 'No' mean 'No.'
Anything more is from the evil one."

Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflections
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 2; 6th week in Ordinary time

Saints of the Week

February 13th - Bl Jordan of Saxony
February 14th - Ss Cyril & Methodius; also St Valentine of Rome 
February 15th - St Claude de la Colombiere
February 16th - St Onesimus
February 17th - St Fintan
February 18th - St Flavian of Constantinople

11th February 2017 - Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

CNA - On Feb. 11, the Catholic Church celebrates the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, recalling a series of 18 appearances that the Blessed Virgin Mary made to a 14-year-old French peasant girl, Saint Bernadette Soubirous.

The Marian apparitions began Feb. 11, 1858, ended July 16 that year and received the local bishop's approval after a four-year inquiry.

Coming soon after the 1854 dogmatic definition of her Immaculate Conception, the Virgin Mary's appearances at Lourdes turned the town into a popular travel destination. Thousands of people say their medical conditions have been cured through pilgrimage, prayer and the water flowing from a spring to which Bernadette was directed by the Blessed Virgin. Experts have verified 67 cases of miraculous healing at Lourdes since 1862.

Previous blogposts from SS102fm 

Not just healings and holy water: What we can learn in Lourdes

Prayer to Our Lady for World Day of Prayer for the Sick 2017

Mary, our Mother,
In Christ you welcome each of us as a son or daughter.
Sustain the trusting expectation of our hearts,
succour us in our infirmities and sufferings,
and guide us to Christ, your Son and our brother.
Help us to entrust ourselves to the Father who accomplishes great things. 

Message of Pope Francis for the 25th World Day of the Sick - "Amazement at what God has accomplished: “The Almighty has done great things for me…”"

Some web browsing..........

Ever heard of the Orthodox rosary called a “komboskini” or “prayer rope”? Prayer ropes have been used by Eastern Orthodox and Greek-Catholic faithful since at least the 4th century

This Thai Catholic Church Is So Beautiful! A Buddhist Style Redeemed in Christ 

Witness to Knock apparition to be buried at NY Cathedral 

The Hidden Meanings of the Names of the 12 Apostles 

Dorothy Day: Future Saint, Imperfect Parent 

17th-Century Catholic Samurai-Martyr Beatified 

What happens when a family of refugees is invited to live with a community of Jesuits? 

‘Show must go on’ mentality cannot go on forever - There is "pressure from those who no longer go to Mass regularly but want the consolation of the Church when it comes to a death”

Citizens’ Assembly on abortion looks increasingly like a foregone conclusion 

The Church, red lines and faith that is challenging as well as comforting - "Fr Flannery is clearly not even remotely on the same page as Pope Francis”, writes Michael Kelly 

Postmarked Pauses

Of mice and men

A tangible connection: finding new and ancient ways to pray

Catholic Herald - John BerkmanEJ DionneRobert MoynihanInés San Martin and Emma-Kate Symons reflect on the New York Times’ coverage of Steve Bannon and Cardinal Burke.

Pope taps delegate to study ‘pastoral situation’ at Medjugorje 

Aide says Benedict in perfect ‘mental and spiritual’ health 

Pope denounces ‘restorationist’ orders, pokes fun at Medjugorje 

Soppy or Steely? The Case of St Scholastica

6 Feb 2017

Present to God

A glimpse into the life of modern Cistercian Trappist monks at Our Lady of Sept-Fons, France.

For English subtitles, press the CC button.

Experiences of Prayer

Ever wonder why other people seem to have different, 'better' experiences in prayer? Don't stress! God's grace produces variety, so there's more than just roses in his garden. The one thing necessary is to give Him our heart, holding nothing back. The rest is up to Him. 

The following, from a fourth-century homily, is spot on:

'[The children of God] are guided by the Spirit in various ways and led forward by grace working invisibly in the inner peace of their hearts.

Sometimes they are, as it were, in mourning and lamentation for the whole human race. They utter prayers for all mankind and fall back in tears and lamentation. They are on fire with spiritual love for all humanity.

Sometimes they burn, through the Spirit, with such love and exultation that they would embrace all mankind if they could, without discrimination, good and bad alike.

Sometimes they are cast down by humility, down below the least of men, as they consider themselves to be in the lowest, the most abject of conditions.

Sometimes the Spirit keeps them in a state of inextinguishable and unspeakable gladness.

Sometimes they are like some champion who puts on a full suit of royal armour and plunges into battle, combats his enemies fiercely and at length vanquishes them. For in the same way the spiritual champion, wearing the heavenly armour of the Spirit, attacks his enemies and, winning the battle, treads them underfoot.

Sometimes their soul is in the deepest silence, stillness and peace, experiencing nothing but spiritual delight and ineffable power: the best of all possible states.

Sometimes their soul is in a state of understanding and boundless wisdom and attention to the inscrutable Spirit, taught by grace things that neither tongue nor lips can describe.

And sometimes their soul is in a state just like anyone else’s.

Thus grace is poured into them in different ways, and by different paths it leads the soul, renewing it according to God’s will'.

5 Feb 2017

Some web browsing.....

Reject inertia of 'Mannequin Challenge,' reach out to refugees, pope says

In Jordan, Syrian refugees accepted by U.S. frustrated with Trump action

The Hidden Meanings of the Names of the 12 Apostles 

Reactions of some of the Irish bishops to their Ad Limina visit to Rome available in short videos on iCatholic facebook page.

Mexican City Sees Stunning Drop in Violence as Adoration Increases 

Diversity, leaky roofs and aging priests: Inside the changing U.S. Catholic Church

People with congenital disabilities are facing extinction, says British Lord 

A Catholic priest entered the [Spanish National] Eurovision 2017 singing competition 

The ecology of burial: Choices reflect beliefs about life after death 

Does the Church expect us to suffer instead of “dying with dignity”? There are two things to keep in mind in seeking true compassion for ourselves and our loved ones 

God Is All About Balance 

A Letter to My Younger Disillusioned Self, In a Time of Similar Upheaval 

Paradoxes and Prayer 

Amoris Laetitia - Is it confusion or different approaches? 

First wooden church since the Great Fire is built in London 

Fr James Martin SJ explains why he “cannot stay silent” over refugees 

10 Surprising and Little-Known Facts on Fatima

4 Feb 2017

5th February 2017 - A visit to Lourdes with Fr Michael Liston

On this weeks programme, John catches up with an old friend of SS102fm, Fr Michael Liston and sits down with him to take a visit to Lourdes and the story of Bernadette. We have reflections on this weeks gospel as well as some notices and other liturgical odds and ends.

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

The Story of Lourdes

Fr Michael Liston makes a welcome return to SS102fm this week to reflect with us on the story of Lourdes ahead of the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes which is celebrated on 11th February.

Fr Michael takes us through the story of Bernadette; the little French peasant girl through whom the world was to hear the message of Lourdes. 

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 the interview with Fr Michael excerpted from the main programme HERE.

Gospel - Matthew 5:13 -16

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lamp-stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Reflections on this weeks gospel

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflections
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 1; 5th week in Ordinary time

Saints of the Week

February 6th - St Paul Miki & Companions
February 7th - St Mel 
February 8th - St Josephine Bakhita
February 9th - Saint Attracta of Killaraght
February 10th - St Scholastica
February 11th - Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes (World Day of Prayer for the Sick

Notices  - you can read many of the notices here.

2 Feb 2017

2nd February 2017 - Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

Lord, now you let your servant go in peace,
your word has been fulfilled:
My own eyes have seen the salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of every people:
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel

On February 2, the Church in the west celebrates the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, also known as Candlemas. It is the day candles are incensed and blessed with holy water and later distributed to clergy and laity — a custom going back to the 11th century. Newly blessed candles from Candlemas will be used tomorrow for the Blessing of the Throats on the feast of St. Blaise. The light from blessed candles represents Jesus Christ, the Light of the World — “a light for revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of thy people, Israel,” as Simeon prayed when he took Jesus in his arms in the temple. 

Previous posts on Candlemass Day available HERE.

In the archives over at Blue Eyed Ennis, one of Phil's great posts on the day available here.

And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord") and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons." Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel."
And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed."
And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phan'u-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him."