30 Jul 2017

Amoris - Let's talk Family! Let's be Family!

“Does the Family continue to be good news for today’s world? I am sure the answer is yes! And this yes is firmly based on God’s plan.” 

How much better our family life would be if we used the words...Please, Thank you and I'm sorry"

- Pope Francis, March 2017.

What is the Amoris: Let’s Talk Family! Let’s Be Family! Programme?

Pope Francis believes that in a world where humanity is often wounded, mistreated, and dominated by a lack of love, the family is the “yes” of God as Love. In spite of all the pressures and difficulties it faces, Pope Francis believes that the family is still good news for today’s world.
In 2016, he wrote “The Joy of Love” (Amoris Laetitia), a document about love, marriage and family life, and now he has given Ireland a special responsibility. He has asked Ireland to host the World Meeting of Families in 2018 and to prepare for that event by offering families, parishes and groups a way of thinking about and sharing his message in The Joy of Love: that the Gospel of the Family continues to be Joy for the World.  
The Amoris: Let’s Talk Family! Let’s Be Family! Programme is a response to Pope Francis’ request. The programme aims to support families and parishes as we set out on the journey of preparation to the World Meeting of Families, taking place in Dublin from 21st to 26th August 2018, and to continue that journey in the years ahead. 


It’s for you! Everyone is welcome to follow the programme online or at their parish and other public events.  
TO FIND OUT MORE and to get involved CHECK OUT the wmof2018 website HERE 

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


WMoF2018 has relaunched their new website - check it out HERE

Religious art competition launched - The National Competition for Religious Art in the Home has been launched. Artists have been invited to submit religious art inspired by the theme of the World Meeting of Families – ‘The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World’, and Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia. The selected art pieces will be part of an exhibition in 2018.

“There is still a yearning for family” – Cardinal Schönborn - Pope's close advisor tells ‘Let’s Talk Family: Let’s Be Family’ conference in Limerick that “Family is and will remain forever the basis of every society."

Schönborn: Church must listen to couples in a way it hasn’t before

Cardinal Schönborn: Moral theology needs both principles and prudence - Pope Francis has declared Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna to be the "authoritative interpreter" of 'Amoris Laetitia,' the papal document on marriage and family. Schönborn spent hours explaining it during a visit to Ireland

Irish Times - Church must show ‘mercy’ to complex family life in Ireland, Cardinal says
‘Family in Ireland has complexities it didn’t have heretofore,’ says Archbishop of Vienna

Pope Francis

‘No whingeing’ Pope Francis advises those seeking to improve their life

Can anything burst Pope’s media bubble? Nah, probably not


“We are priests because God has called us” - Bishop Brendan Kelly ordains Rev Declan Lohan, a former barrister and member of the Legion of Mary and Youth 2000, to the priesthood for ministry in the Diocese of Galway.

Why Father Jacques Hamel’s legacy belongs to the whole Church

Irish missionary highlights destructive impact of mining in Amazon

Are there more martyrs now than in the early Church?

New stage of Camino Santiago de Compostela launched - Under new Camino rules, the Waterford stage is added to the 75 km walk from A Coruña to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, and pilgrims can get the Camino certificate of completion (Compostela) for a full 100 km.

Bishops stress hospitality for Camino de Santiago hosts

Are you getting as much out of the Psalms as Bono?

Meet the religious sister who inspired a U2 song

What are Doctors of the Church, and can they fix a broken leg?

Bishop Éamonn Walsh expresses concern over alcohol’s grip on Irish society

Message of Fatima, Knock and Lourdes is a hope-filled and challenging gift to the faithful – Archbishop Eamon Martin

These nuns offer their blindness for the salvation of the world

Third Way for Beatification: ‘Free Offering of a Life’ - Pope Francis has created a new path to sainthood — to which holy lives could it apply?

Our Lady of Czestochowa to receive a new crown

Vatican turns off fountains to conserve water for drought-hit Rome

Theologians studying development of Humanae Vitae given access to Vatican Secret Archives

Put on Our Lady’s Protection With the Brown Scapular - History lesson for the feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

An American woman has turned a cancelled wedding reception into a banquet for the homeless. 

29 Jul 2017

30th July 2017 - Faithcasts from catholicireland.ie -

On this weeks programme, the SS102fm team take a slight back seat as we avail and publicise the news resource from catholicireland.ie - Faithcasts. In addition to the Faithcast we have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as some liturgical odds and ends.

Next week we return to normal SS102fm show with an interview with participants at recent Youth2000 events.

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks SS102fm full programme HERE.

Faithcast - Episode 23 - July 20th 2017

Faithcast is the weekly podcast from catholicnews.ie, the news source for the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference. Presented by Brenda Drumm, Faithcast is a mixture of interviews and news snippets from the Catholic Church in Ireland.

In episode 23 of Faithcast, Brenda speaks to Brian Hanley of the Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas about concerns over delays in the repatriation of Irish people in prison overseas. Brenda also hears from Sadie and Jason, two young people who share their reasons for signing up as volunteers for next year’s World Meeting of Families 2018 in Dublin.

The faith news this by the devastating hunger crisis in east Africa; Archbishop Eamon Martin’s wish for ‘a New Pentecost in Ireland’; the annual Reek Sunday pilgrimage; and, Bishop Éamonn Walsh’s letter to The Irish Times newspaper in which he expresses his concern about alcohol’s grip on Irish society.

Gospel - Matthew 13:44-52

Jesus said to his disciples:
"The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,which a person finds and hides again,and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchantsearching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price,he goes and sells all that he has and buys it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashoreand sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteousand throw them into the fiery furnace,where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."Do you understand all these things?" They answered, "Yes." And he replied,"Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heavenis like the head of a householdwho brings from his storeroom both the new and the old."

Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
English Dominicans
Sunday Reflections
Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 1; 17th week in Ordinary time

Saints of the Week

July 31st - St Ignatius of Loyola
August 1st - St Alphonsus Liguori
August 2nd - St Peter Julian Eymard
August 3rd - St Nicodemus
August 4th - St John Mary Vianney
August 5th - Dedication of the Basilica of St Mary Major in Rome

22 Jul 2017

23rd July 2017 - SS102fm & Faithcasts - Trocaire Emergency Appeal and Blessed John O'Sullivan SJ

On this weeks programme SS102fm begins a new element in our programming by utilising the resources of catholicnews.ie weekly Faithcasts. We have our regular reflection on this weeks gospel as well as liturgical odds & ends.

You can listen to the podcast of SS102fm full programme HERE.

Faithcasts from catholicnews.ie

Faithcast is the weekly podcast from catholicnews.ie, the news source for the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference. Presented by Brenda Drumm, Faithcast is a mixture of interviews and news snippets from the Catholic Church in Ireland.

On this weeks SS102fm we have two inteviews conducted via Faithcasts for our listners.

First off we have an interview with Eoin Wrenn from Trocaire about the emergency appeal for the famine in the Horn of Africa.  The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference has announced that special collections at all Masses will take place across Ireland on the weekend of 22 and 23 July to fund life-saving aid for people currently affected by the devastating hunger crisis in east-Africa. The money raised will be donated to Trócaire, the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland, which is delivering emergency food, water and health care to the 25 million people affected. Eoin Wrenn, Trócaire’s Head of Region for east-Africa, speaks to Brenda Drumm about the emergency situation in east-Africa and why there is a need for a special Church collection.

The second interview conducted by Brenda Drumm is an interview with Father Bernard McGuckian SJ conducted in May 2017 about what the beatification of Father John Sullivan means to the Jesuit family in Clongowes Wood College in Co Kildare and she learns more about the life and ministry of the new Blessed John Sullivan SJ.

You can listen to the interview with Fr Bernard excerpted from the main SS102fm programme podcast HERE.

Gospel - Matthew 13:24-30

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
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy
Sunday Reflections

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 3; 16th week in Ordinary time

Saints of the Week

July 24th - Saint Charbel Makhlouf
July 25th - St James (Apostle)
July 26th - St Joachim & Anne
July 27th - Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War
July 28th - Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War
July 29th - St Martha

19 Jul 2017

Limerick Diocese Clerical Changes 2017

From Limerick Diocesan website:

The impact of dwindling vocations nationwide has been mitigated this year in Limerick as the diocesan clerical changes announced this week includes two priests returning to the diocese.

The changes, announced by Bishop Brendan Leahy, see two parish priests retiring and the already announced move of Fr. Chris O’Donnell for a year to Dublin to help write the sixth class religion book that will be part of the programme produced by Veritas, Grow in Love.

However, the changes reveal the return of Canon Gerard Garrett to the diocese after 27 years serving with the Marriage Tribunal in Cork.  He will take over as Parish Priest in Monaleen, with Monsignor Dan Neenan moving to Adare where he will assume the role of Parish Priest and will also be ministering in the Curraghchase pastoral area.

Monsignor Neenan will replace Fr. Joe Noonan who is retiring as Adare Parish Priest.

Fr. Richard Keane, meanwhile, returns from Toronto where he was studying Canon Law for two years. He will take up the post of Administrator of Cratloe where Fr. Liam Enright is retiring as Parish Priest.  He will also be ministering in the Thomond Area as well as taking up the role of Diocesan Vocations Director and Judicial Vicar of the Cork Regional Marriage Tribunal.

The other changes will see Fr. Pat Hogan, alongside his duties as Chaplain to the Travelling Community in Limerick city, take on the role of Parish Priest of Corpus Christi Parish and as well as ministering in the team of priests serving the parishes of St. Munchin’s/St. Lelia’s and Corpus Christi.

The final change will see Fr. Frank O’Dea become Assistant Director of the Diocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage.

Announcing the changes, Bishop Leahy said:  “We all know the challenges we face from dwindling vocations but this year we have relatively few changes, thanks in large part to both Canon Gerard and Fr. Richard returning.  A small number of priests have taken on additional duties and I am very conscious of the workload on all our priests.  No more than any organisation would be with regard to the work of their people, we are all indebted to them for their generosity and dedication.

“I want to, in particular, pay tribute to both Fr. Joe Noonan and Fr. Liam Enright for their unstinting service over many, many years.  They have been worthy disciples through their commitment across Church and community and we wish them every best in their much deserved retirement in the years ahead.”

Bishop Leahy added:  “We are a just over a year on now from our Synod, which was very much about facing the Church in our diocese into the future and that will be very much one of greater lay involvement. Over the coming year we will begin to implement more initiatives from the Synod, all with a view to sharing the workload, yes, but also the joy of spreading God’s word.”

The full list of Limerick Diocesan Clerical Changes 2017 is as follows:

  • Monsignor Dan Neenan to be Parish Priest of Adare parish and ministering in the Curraghchase pastoral area.
  • Fr. Joe Noonan to retire as Parish Priest of Adare parish.
  • Canon Gerard Garrett to be Parish Priest of Monaleen parish and ministering in the Cathedral pastoral area.
  • Fr. Richard Keane to be Administrator of Cratloe parish, ministering in the Thomond Area; the Diocesan Vocations Director; and Judicial Vicar of the Cork Regional Marriage Tribunal.
  • Fr. Liam Enright to retire as Parish Priest of Cratloe parish.
  • Fr. Pat Hogan, alongside his duties as Chaplain to the Travelling Community in Limerick City, to be Parish Priest of Corpus Christi parish, ministering in the team of priests serving the parishes of St. Munchin’s/St. Lelia’s and Corpus Christi.
  • Fr. Chris O’Donnell to be released from his duties as Youth Ministry Director, Pro-Tem Director of the Diocesan Pastoral Centre and Parish Chaplain in St. Michael’s in order to be a member of the team writing the sixth class material for Veritas’ Grow in Love programme.
  • Fr. Frank O’Dea to be Assistant Director of the Diocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage

15 Jul 2017

16th July 2017 - A Discernment journey: An Interview with Mark O'Brien

On this weeks programme John is joined by Mark O'Brien to discuss the joys and challenges of discerning a path in life. We have our regular look at the saints of the week and also a short reflection on this weeks Sunday gospel.

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

Discerning our journey's in life - Interview with Mark O'Brien

Discernment is a theme or word which has been a leit motif of Pope Francis' teaching and ministry since his election as Pope. As a son of Ignatius of Loyola it is something which he has encouraged all Christians to practise. Back in August 2013 he said 
"Discernment is one of the things that worked inside St. Ignatius. For him it is an instrument of struggle in order to know the Lord and follow him more closely. [...] This discernment takes time. For example, many think that changes and reforms can take place in a short time. I believe that we always need time to lay the foundations for real, effective change. […] Sometimes discernment instead urges us to do precisely what you had at first thought you would do later. And that is what has happened to me in recent months. Discernment is always done in the presence of the Lord, looking at the signs, listening to the things that happen, the feeling of the people, especially the poor. […]The mystical dimension of discernment never defines its edges and does not complete the thought. The Jesuit must be a person whose thought is incomplete, in the sense of open-ended thinking."
Henri Nouwen the Dutch writer once said that “Discernment is faithful living and listening to God’s love and direction so that we can fulfill our individual calling and shared mission.”.

On this weeks programme John discusses a journey in faith with Mark O'Brien. Mark is one of Limerick diocese's seminarians who is currently discerning through the process of formation and education in seminary whether he is called to priesthood. 

While SS102fm has interviewed numerous priests about their vocation story to ordination, seminarians are still on that journey, seeking, discerning the path that the Lord is calling them to. Mark's interview bravely shares his on going journey to date and we hope that in the fullness of time he will be ordained to priesthood.

It is a sign and challenge of courage to us all to ask what are we doing to discern and respond to God's call to each of us in our daily lives.

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

Gospel - Mathew 13:1-23

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd stood along the shore. 
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
"A sower went out to sow. 
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up. 
Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. 
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,
and when the sun rose it was scorched,
and it withered for lack of roots. 
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. 
But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. 
Whoever has ears ought to hear."

The disciples approached him and said,
"Why do you speak to them in parables?" 
He said to them in reply,
"Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven
has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. 
To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich;
from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 
This is why I speak to them in parables, because
they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand. 
Isaiah's prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:
You shall indeed hear but not understand,
you shall indeed look but never see.
Gross is the heart of this people,
they will hardly hear with their ears,
they have closed their eyes,
lest they see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their hearts and be converted,
and I heal them. 

"But blessed are your eyes, because they see,
and your ears, because they hear. 
Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people
longed to see what you see but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

"Hear then the parable of the sower.
The seed sown on the path is the one
who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it,
and the evil one comes and steals away
what was sown in his heart.
The seed sown on rocky ground
is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. 
But he has no root and lasts only for a time. 
When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
he immediately falls away. 
The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word,
but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word
and it bears no fruit. 
But the seed sown on rich soil
is the one who hears the word and understands it,

who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold."

Reflections on this weeks gospel

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflections
Centre for Liturgy
English Dominicans
It’s About God, Not The Dirt 

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 3; 15th week in Ordinary time

Saints of the Week

17th July - St Hedwig of Poland
18th July - Bl Jean Baptiste de Bruxelle
19th July - St Macrina the Younger
20th July - St Apollinarius
21st July - St Lawrence of Brindisi
22nd July - St Mary Magdalene

Youth Ministry in Limerick hits the headlines - for all the good reasons!

From weekly newsletter of Limerick Diocese:

Whenever a popular priest moves, there is a little heartbreak. Part of what makes our priests so great, is the relationships they build up, and so its not easy to let go sometimes. However as Fr Chris says so well, part of the life of a priest is letting go and serving where one is called. 

We know that other priests have had similar outpourings of love, and are happy to share other good news too - please email NLynch@ldpc.ie at any stage with such news. 

Fr Chris O'Donnell
However, it would be remiss to not share one of the big news stories of the summer here, so - while it will only add to Fr Chris' embarrassment! - here are some of the stories of the past week:

  • The Limerick Leader (July 10th) captured the best spirit of the past week in this article, which includes the lovely video Bishop Brendan, Daragh and Fr Chris made in response to the outpouring of love. 
  • Fr Chris was also asked to appear on a number of shows, and decided it was a way to honour the energy and pro-activity of our young people. Here are some of those reports and interviews:  Irish Independent, Limerick Post, Limerick Leader, Irish Times.
  • Fr Chris and Aoife Walsh were invited on the Miriam O'Callaghan show on RTE1 on Saturday night. You can watch it back here.

If you want to move past this news though, you might like this video that Fr Chris helped to make about the priesthood HERE at iCatholic.ie   and this video of Fr Chris speaking about youth ministry at the Synod last year HERE

As Bishop Brendan says in the video above, Fr Chris is going to work part time in youth ministry for a few more months, and then be in Dublin (Veritas) for a few months. He isn't leaving Limerick diocese, he isn't gone for a long time and we all hope that the love we all hold him in will be a support not a pressure in the months to come. May his good work inspire us not to cling, but to do the same for others. 

Aoife Walsh will be the capable, inclusive and kind coordinator of youth ministry in this diocese in the year ahead. With a new youth ministry training programme and the full workload of programs and events planned as usual; Aoife will need all our support and love as she continues the work with her team here.

10 Jul 2017

National Church collection on 22/23 July in aid of 25m people facing hunger crisis in east-Africa: Kenya, South Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia

The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference has announced that a special collections at all Masses will take place across Ireland on the weekend of 22 and 23 July to fund life-saving aid for people currently affected by the devastating hunger crisis in east-Africa.  The money raised will be donated to Trócaire, the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland, which is delivering emergency food, water and health care to the 25 million people affected.

Severe drought, driven by climate change, is currently affecting Kenya, South Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia and this has resulted in failed harvests and the widespread death of livestock.  Conflict has exacerbated the effects in South Sudan and Somalia, with areas in both countries now on the verge of famine.

Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, says the situation is critical and has urged support for the collection from parishioners, “With the failure of successive rains and a prolonged drought having taken hold of the region, just surviving has now become the main challenge facing people in large parts of east Africa.  Millions of people in the region are facing starvation.  The crops have failed and animals are dying because of a lack of grazing and water.  The large number of people affected may shock us, but we must realise that behind these stark numbers are real people: mothers and fathers unable to provide for their hungry children.

“The Catholic Church in Ireland is already responding to this crisis through Trócaire.  However, needs are so enormous that we will hold special collections across the country on the weekend of 22 July.  All money collected will go directly to Trócaire’s humanitarian relief work in east Africa.  Bishops are asking clergy and parishioners to respond to this terrible tragedy with generosity.”

Bishop William Crean, Bishop of Cloyne and chairperson of Trócaire, says the agency is already working on the ground saving lives: “Trócaire is currently running an advertising campaign to raise awareness of this crisis.  We have been providing emergency food aid, water and healthcare to affected communities – quite literally life-support for affected people.  Trócaire’s health centres in Somalia are treating approximately 19,000 people each month for malnutrition and associated illnesses.  With the support of parishioners here at home in the coming weeks, many tens of thousands more people will receive help.  For example, over 13,000 children in Kenya will receive supplementary high-energy food, new boreholes will be provided for communities, many more people will receive monthly food rations and schools will be supplied with water.

“Globally, this crisis has received very little attention.  Appeals for aid are under-funded.  For example, the UN has received just 37% of the funding it needs to respond to the crisis in Somalia.  The world is distracted by the actions of a handful of powerful politicians, while in east Africa millions suffer in silence.  It is unacceptable for so many to go hungry.”

The United Nations has described the situation in the drought-ravaged parts of Africa as the greatest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War.  Trócaire has a long-standing presence in all four affected countries and is working with local communities to deliver life-saving aid, including food, water and healthcare, to hundreds of thousands of those worst affected.

Donations to Trócaire’s east Africa hunger crisis appeal can be made at trocaire.org or by phoning 1850 408 408 (Republic of Ireland) or 0800 912 1200 (Northern Ireland).

Relationship between Church and State is one of prudent distance – Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

The challenge for the Church in the 21st Century
Speaking notes of Most Rev. Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin
Diocese of Wurzburg, Germany, 
Saturday 8th July 2017

Understanding the religious culture of Ireland and its political impact today is not an easy task.  It is not an easy task for those of us who were born and live in Ireland; it is not easy for people living in a different cultural background.  I wish to reflect on changes in Irish religious culture today, changes that are not irrelevant to the situation in other parts of Europe. 

The Irish have every right to be proud of what was achieved by the Irish Church in history.  Ireland is proud of the cultural contribution of the early Irish monasteries.  Saint Killian, whom you honour today, was just one of the many great missionary monks who brought renewal in the faith from Ireland right across Europe.  In more recent times, Irish missionaries were pillars in the foundation and renewal of the Church across the English-speaking world, in Britain, in the United States and in Australia and New Zealand and indeed in many parts of Africa and Asia. 

I do not know how many Saint Patrick’s Cathedrals or Saint Patrick’s High Schools there are around the world, but they each indicate something of the extraordinary missionary activity of Irish priests and religious and indeed lay people.

Such a distinguished history is something to be proud of, but paying too much attention to the past can be misleading in trying to assess the present.  The religious culture of Ireland has changed greatly. 

When Bishop Hoffmann asked me for a title for this talk I answered quickly that you might be interested in hearing something about the religious culture of Ireland today

How is the Irish Church responding to change and how effective has that response been and where should we be looking towards for tomorrow?  Changes are taking place and the Church is responding in various ways: the more fundamental question, however, is whether or not in its responses the Irish Church is responding to the true challenges.

Many of the changes taking place in the Irish Church will be familiar to you from within the German Church itself.  They are often the same questions that have been challenging the German Church for many years. The Irish situation however has its own peculiarities and differences and paradoxes. Regular religious practice in Ireland has dramatically decreased in recent years but by European standards, religious practice in Ireland is still high. Secularisation is well advanced in Irish society and yet there are many residual elements of faith and religiosity present in daily life.  Irish national radio and television both transmit the Angelus bells twice a day!

The cultural influence of the Church in Irish society is difficult to define.  The Ireland which many looked on as a bastion of Catholic influence was the same one which in 2015 approved same-sex marriage by an overwhelming popular vote. 

There is no such thing, for example, as the Catholic vote in the sense that it exists in the United States. While the main political parties in Ireland would traditionally have espoused Christian principles in a general way, there has never been an officially designated Christian Democrat political party in Ireland.   In Ireland it has long since moved from being politically risky to get into a battle with the Church, to a situation in which there are few votes to be won through being too closely linked with Church issues.

The religious culture of Ireland and especially that of Catholic Ireland is unique because it is in large part the fruit of isolation.  I am not speaking of Ireland just being an island.  The religious history of Catholic Ireland was affected in a very different way to what may have been the case in mainland Europe by the various socio-cultural movements of modern history.

8 Jul 2017

9th July 2017 - Prayer and myprayer.ie

On this weeks programme the SS102fm welcomes back Geraldine Creaton. Geraldine and Lorraine give us a reflection on prayer and introduce us to the new website myprayer.ie. We have our regular reflection on this weeks Sunday gospel as well as notices and other liturgical odds and ends.

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

myprayer.ie - Reflections on prayer

Geraldine Creaton and Lorraine have a discussion this week about prayer and also introduce to us the new initiative of Archbishop Eamonn Martin of Armagh called myprayer.ie

MyPrayer.ie being a new and creative way of providing a space and opportunity for prayer online urging as many as possible to register and join this initiative conceived in prayer.

The purpose of Myprayer.ie is:

• To give people a safe space to share their prayer with others.

• To make requests for prayer online.
• To pray for the intentions of those who have requested prayer.

• To share how God has answered prayer.

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

In terms of the new initiative on the 24th June, Archbishop Eamon Martin, launched MyPrayer.ie at the Annual Charismatic Conference in the RDS. 

Archbishop Eamon in his talk spoke how he has for some time felt the need for an Apostolate of Prayer for Ireland but hopefully through Myprayer.ie it will become a world-wide apostolate within the universal Church. 

This is in keeping with Pope Francis encouragement to all Christians to go on the digital highways and bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to our brothers and sisters throughout the world.

Archbishop Eamon Martin announces new prayer apostolate at celebration marking 50 Years of Charismatic Renewal

Gospel - Matthew 11:25-30

At that time Jesus exclaimed:
"I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to little ones.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him. 
"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."
Reflections on this weeks gospel

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 2; 14th week in Ordinary time

Saints of the Week

July 10th - St Cuán of Airbhre
July 11th - St Benedict
July 12th - St John Jones
July 13th - St Henry of Bavaria
July 15th - St Bonaventure

On the general calendar the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is not celebrated this year as it falls on Sunday 16th July except of course for the Carmelite family around the world. 

Bless the Lord my soul