27 Nov 2017

The Pope Intention - To witness to the Gospel in Asia - November 2017

This month, the Pope asks us to pray for Asia -- an enormous continent where people of diverse religions coexist, and where Christians are a minority. Let us listen to their testimony and learn from their openness to others.
“The most striking feature of Asia is the variety of its peoples who are heirs to ancient cultures, religions and traditions.

On this continent, where the Church is a minority, the challenges are intense. We must promote dialogue among religions and cultures. Dialogue is an essential part of the mission of the Church in Asia.

Let us pray that Christians in Asia may promote dialogue, peace, and mutual understanding, especially with those of other religions.”

25 Nov 2017

26th November 2017 - Advent at the Abbey (Feast of Christ the King)

This Sunday marks the end of the liturgical year with the celebration of the solemnity of Christ the King and with it we begin to count the days of Advent. On this weeks programme we are joined by Fr Luke McNamara OSB from Glenstal Abbey who reflects on a forth coming reflection series for Advent being hosted at Glenstal. We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as other liturgical odds & ends.

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

Advent at the Abbey

With the celebration of American Thanksgiving this week, the cross pollination of cultures has seen the concept of "Black Friday" cross the Atlantic with force this year and even though there is still five weeks to Christmas, the commercial exploitation of the religious holiday has started with some effort this year.

As we try to remind ourselves why we celebrate in December, each year, on the programme we try to emphasis the need to give space to the season of Advent and to all time and space to properly prepare but often easier said than done for  many people.

However, this year the community at Glenstal are providing a time out in this busy time to explore over the Sundays of Advent the message of the prophets who awaited the coming of Messiah and how they still speak to us today.

Fr Luke McNamara joins John and Shane on this weeks programme to introduce the series of talks and reflections coming up over December as well as to share on the preparations that the abbey community make to carve out the liturgical space for Advent.

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

Gospel - Matthew 25: 31- 46 - Solemnity of Christ the King

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe was instituted by Pope Pius XI in the Encyclical Quas Primas in 1925.  This solemnity is always celebrated on the last Sunday of the Church's liturgical year.  It is fitting to reflect on the Kingship of Jesus at this time of the year.  Every time we pray the Our Father or the Creed, we are praying for the fulfilment of the Kingdom of God.  But what does that kingdom look like? What does it mean? After all the example of Jesus as King is counter to what we expect and understand of kingship - rather it is a model of service and love. 

This weeks gospel poses before us the call to respond like our Servant Master to the needs of those around us. Are we doing what we can so that the hungry are fed, the thirsty given to drink, the stranger made welcome, the naked clothed, the imprisoned visited .... that Jesus Christ's vision is at the centre of all we say and all we do. In this way Jesus is King. King of our hearts - the servant King.

What can you do this week that will make the Kingdom a reality?

Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflections
English Dominicans - The Majesty of Christ Crucified
Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 2; 34th week in ordinary time

Saints of the Week

27th November - St Fergal
28th November - St Catherine Laboure - the Seer of the Miraculous Medal
29th November - St Brendan of Birr
30th November - St Andrew the apostle
1st December - Blessed Charles de Foucauld also St Edmund Campion(First Friday)
2nd December - Blessed Ivan Sleziuk (First Saturday)

Coastal Rosary Ireland - 26th November 2017

Rosary on the Coast for Life & Faith
26 November, 2017

Ireland’s faithful are turning out in great numbers to pray for a great restoration of the faith especially among the youth and to pray for protection for our Unborn babies, in Ireland, North and South.

The "Rosary on the Coasts for Life and Faith" will be held on Sunday 26 November, the Feast of Christ the King starting promptly at 2:30 PM.

Why the Feast of Christ the King? Ireland was the first country in the world to be consecrated to Christ the King. This solemn consecration was declared in the 1940s and to date only two other  countries share this great blessing.  The feast is extremely important. Acknowledging Christ as King has relevance for the spiritual, social, cultural, legal and political life of Ireland.

When we honour Christ as King, we are immediately brought to His Queen, Mary and her Immaculate Heart!

-- Matt 18:20 --


You can find out more from the website HERE

The Limerick locations are listed as :
  • Ringmoylan pier - Follow N69 (Foynes Road) from Limerick and turn0 off for Pallaskenry. Follow local signs for Ringmoylan Birdwatching Pier.
  • Foynes - meet at parking lot between pier and yacht club in Foynes at 2;15
  • Steamboat Quay - Limerick City
  • Glin Pier, Glin - Limerick
  • Immaculate Heart House of Prayer, Doon
  • St John the Baptist Church, Nicker, Pallasgreen

20 Nov 2017

21 November 2017 - Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary & Pro Orantibus Day

On November 21 (the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple), the Church will celebrate World Day of Cloistered Life, also known as “Pro Orantibus” Day, which is a Latin phrase meaning “for those who pray.” This is an important ecclesial event for all Catholics worldwide to commemorate the hidden lives of consecrated religious in cloisters and monasteries.

We celebrate this day because the contemplative life is a gift from Almighty God to us all — all the world benefits spiritually from the prayer and sacrifice of these dedicated and faithful souls, even when we may not know it. On this day, the faithful are encouraged to reach out to the cloistered and contemplative communities in their diocese, through prayer, encouragement, and material support.

Back in 2013 the Irish bishops reminded us:

Every 21 November, the Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the annual day that the Catholic Church commemorates the hidden life of cloistered and contemplative religious throughout the world.  This liturgical feast of Our Lady is very dear to Christians in the East who have celebrated it since the sixth century.  Tradition tells us that as a young girl Mary presented herself completely to God in the Temple at Jerusalem.  She is seen as a true living temple in which God the Father placed his Son, our Saviour. 
This feast is a fitting day on which to remember all those who have been consecrated to God and who spend their life in the silence and prayer of contemplative monasteries. They may well be separated from the busy world, with all its interests and pleasures, but they remain very near to us with their prayers. They pray for us but we are normally unaware of the graces we receive through their lives of quiet dedication to the Lord. 
On this Pro Orantibus Day – which means ‘For those who pray’ – we remember not only the 26 communities of contemplative sisters and six communities of male contemplatives in Ireland, and the many communities of committed contemplatives around the world.  While it may not be readily apparent to us in this country, contemplatives also exist where life is disrupted by warfare or where religious freedom is curtailed by open or subtle persecution.  Ireland went through such trials in the 17th century.  Others suffer in this way today. 
Although they are hidden from society, people of faith have trust in the prayers of nuns and monks and friars. It is sufficient to visit any contemplative monastery to become aware of the constant stream of people who come with prayer intentions, trusting in the intercession of those who have completely dedicated their lives to God in continuous prayer and penance. 
The busy world often passes by our contemplative monasteries, heedlessly unaware of their existence or of the spiritual influence they exert on society.  Parishes, especially those who have such communities near at hand, could draw attention to their presence by placing a notice in their parish bulletins and on their online and digital platforms.  Catechists could mention this way of life, to which some young girls or boys might be called, and even take a school class to visit them and spend an hour with some of the enclosed women or men whose life always fascinates young people.  Although not a very common vocation in life, the Lord does call some, and will continue to do so, to this type of dedicated life on behalf of the Church.  An Intercession added to the Prayer of the Faithful for vocations to the contemplative life would be opportune on 21 November or on the nearest Sunday. 
The Church is well aware of the importance of the contemplative life.  The Second Vatican Council (1962 – 1965) acknowledged the important role of contemplative communities in the Church.  It said they were “a fount of heavenly blessings” and that they “lend lustre to God’s people with abundant fruits of holiness, sway them by their example and enlarge the Church by their hidden apostolic fruitfulness” (Perfectae Caritatis, 7). 
All popes in recent times have expressed their appreciation for this way of life.  In the Jubilee Year 2000, Blessed John Paul II asked Benediction Congregations to “be eloquent signs of the validity of monastic life for our contemporaries.  This is the first form of consecrated life that appeared in the Church, and that down the centuries continues to remain a gift for everyone”. 
Perhaps the most striking witness to the whole world on the value of a hidden life of prayer was given by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who earlier this year, on account of advanced age and diminished physical strength, retired from the Petrine ministry on 11 February and chose “to devote himself even more to prayer and meditation” in a secluded monastery in the Vatican gardens.  This is an important reminder to us all of the apostolic value of a life completely dedicated to God. 
Contemplative communities are power houses of prayer, drawing down many graces on our troubled world.  In their own silent but effective way they contribute enormously to the work of re-evangelisation of our secularised world.

19 Nov 2017

Some web browsing......

Beatification of Br Solanus Casey in Detroit

Irish-American Capuchin Fr Solanus Casey beatified in Detroit
CNA- Humble disciple, tireless servant: Solanus Casey beatified in Detroit
CNA - Friendship and from-scratch food served up at Fr. Solanus’ soup kitchen
CNA - Those close to the cause of Fr. Solanus Casey recall a humble, holy friar
CNA - The quirky Father Solanus: Squeaky violinist, tamer of bees
CNA - Venerable Solanus Casey: the priest who answered the doorbell.
Whispers - Live From "Friar Field": A Blessed for Detroit
NCR - Solanus Casey, ‘a Humble and Faithful Disciple of Christ,’ Beatified in Detroit - “The life of our ‘Blessed’ is an exemplary page of the Gospel,” said Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, who read the Latin-language letter from Pope Francis making the beatification official.
Vatican Radio - Archbishop of Detroit on Beatification of Fr Solanus Casey

Pope Francis
Vatican Radio - Pope calls for common good, ethical responsibility in science, technology ‎
Compassion is the heart of healthcare, Pope Francis says
CNA - End of life care must acknowledge our mortality, Francis reminds physicians
Message of the Holy Father to the President of the Pontifical Academy for Life on the occasion of the European Regional Meeting of the “World Medical Association” on “end of life” issues (Vatican, 16-17 November 2017)

Pope at Mass: Take time to think about death

Other bits & pieces

When A United Nations Expert Says Everything Should Be Done To Avoid The Life Of Children Like Yours

SVP launches Christmas Appeal

NCR - Dreaming in Colour - Today's murals reflect growing diversity in Northern Ireland

Plan could see two feastdays shelved - Irish bishops currently considering a proposal that would reduce the importance of both All Saints’ Day (November 1) and the Immaculate Conception (December 8).

El Salvador Jesuits seek reopening of case in 1989 massacre

Pope for the Park?

Can the ‘seamless garment’ approach to pro-life issues make a comeback in the Catholic Church? 

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin - The Church in Dublin in 10 Years Time

18 Nov 2017

World Day of the Poor

In November 2016, as churches around the world were closing the Holy Doors opened during the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis welcomed thousands of “socially excluded people” in the Vatican. During that encounter with them, he “had the idea that” as a tangible sign of the Holy Year, the Church should celebrate a World Day of the Poor.

The day, to be marked annually on the 33rd Sunday of the Ordinary Time, will be “another tangible sign of this Extraordinary Holy Year,” Francis wrote in his apostolic letter Misericordia et Misera (Mercy and Misery), closing the jubilee.

November 19th 2017 will be the very first World Day of the Poor marked by the Catholic Church.

Vatican Radio - World Day of the Poor: A day for giving and receiving 
Vatican Radio - Vatican announces initiatives for first World Day of Poor 
Vatican Radio - Pope Francis: The poor not a problem but a resource
Website - World Day of the Poor
WoF - The message of the first World Day of the Poor


Message of His Holiness Pope Francis
for the First World Day of the Poor
Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
19 November 2017

Let us love, not with words but with deeds

1.      “Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in deed and in truth” (1 Jn 3:18).  These words of the Apostle John voice an imperative that no Christian may disregard.  The seriousness with which the “beloved disciple” hands down Jesus’ command to our own day is made even clearer by the contrast between the empty words so frequently on our lips and the concrete deeds against which we are called to measure ourselves.  Love has no alibi.  Whenever we set out to love as Jesus loved, we have to take the Lord as our example; especially when it comes to loving the poor.  The Son of God’s way of loving is well-known, and John spells it out clearly.  It stands on two pillars: God loved us first (cf. 1 Jn 4:10.19), and he loved us by giving completely of himself, even to laying down his life (cf. 1 Jn 3:16).

Such love cannot go unanswered.  Even though offered unconditionally, asking nothing in return, it so sets hearts on fire that all who experience it are led to love back, despite their limitations and sins.  Yet this can only happen if we welcome God’s grace, his merciful charity, as fully as possible into our hearts, so that our will and even our emotions are drawn to love both God and neighbour.  In this way, the mercy that wells up – as it were – from the heart of the Trinity can shape our lives and bring forth compassion and works of mercy for the benefit of our brothers and sisters in need.

17th November 2017 - Sharing the Limerick apostolate of the Nashville Dominican Sisters

On this weeks programme, John and Shane touch base with Sr Mara Grace of the Dominicans of St Cecilia (Nashville Dominicans) on how they are doing since they arrived in Limerick just over 12 months ago. We have a quick reflection on this weeks Sunday gospel on this weeks programme as well as some liturgical odds & ends.

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

Sharing the Limerick Apostolate of the Nashville Dominican Sisters

On this weeks programme Sr Mara Grace from the Dominican Sisters on Glentworth St in Limerick has a chat with John and Shane about what the sisters have been doing since they arrived in Limerick and the different apostolates and works they have been active in and how they are aware of the immense contribution religious men and women have made to Limerick before them. She also reflects on vocation and what it means to be a Dominican and the challenges of communicating the faith in Ireland today.

You can listen to the interview with Sr Mara Grace excerpted from main programme podcast HERE.

You can follow the community on their Facebook page HERE.

Gospel - Matthew 25:14-30

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one--
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master's money.
After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents came forward
bringing the additional five.
He said, 'Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.'
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master's joy.'
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
'Master, you gave me two talents.
See, I have made two more.'
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master's joy.'
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said,
'Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Here it is back.'
His master said to him in reply, 'You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
For to everyone who has,
more will be given and he will grow rich;
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'"
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflections
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week I; 33rd week in Ordinary time

Saints of the Week

November 20th - St Edmund
November 21st - The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
November 22nd - St Cecilia
November 23rd - St Columbanus
November 24th - St Andrew Dung-Luc & Companions (the Vietnamese martyrs)
November 25th - St Catherine of Alexandria also St Colman of Cloyne 

13 Nov 2017

No great economic success story possible as long as homelessness and other poverty crises deepen – Bishop Brendan Leahy

Ireland cannot claim itself an economic success while it allows the neglect of its poor, Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy has stated in his letter to the people of the diocese to mark the first World Day of the Poor.

The letter - read at Masses across the diocese today and next Sunday – official World Day of the Poor – and in it Bishop Leahy says that with homelessness at an unprecedented state of crisis today in Ireland, it is almost unjust and unchristian to claim economic success.

“Throughout the centuries we have great examples of outreach to the poor. The most outstanding example is that of Francis of Assisi, followed by many other holy men and women over the centuries. In Ireland we can think of great women such as Catherine McAuley and Nano Nagle.

“Today the call to hear the cry of the poor reaches us. In our Diocese we are blessed to have the Limerick Social Services Council that responds in many ways. There are many other initiatives that reach out to the homeless, refugees, people in situations of marginalisation,” he wrote.

“But none of us can leave it to be outsourced to others to do. Each of us has to do our part. Today many of us live a privileged life in the material sense compared to generations gone by, needing pretty much nothing.  Yet there are people in our towns, in our villages for whom the need is very great.

“Homelessness has become a crisis in Irish society and is that way now for a number of years.  But somehow, week in week out that crisis deepens and yet we hear at the same time boasts of how our economy is growing.

“There’s a huge disparity here and it needs to be dealt with. It is almost unjust and unchristian for us as a nation to be aspiring to become one of the great economic success stories of Europe while at the same time we have a hidden story, in many cases, of new forms of poverty and homelessness.

“This must be addressed and we pray that we will do our part to help our political leaders to address the various scenarios of neglect that our country still suffers.”


CNA - More than just giving – World Day of the Poor highlights change of attitude

New abbot at Mount Melleray

The Irish Catholic
Bishop Fintan Monahan, Bishop William Lee , Bishop Phonsie Cullinan, Dom Andre Barbour, Bishop Kieran O’Reilly and Bishop Willie Walsh with Mount Melleray’s Abbot Richard Purcell (centre) ahead of a Mass to invoke God’s blessing on the new abbot and his ministry. 
Photo: Oisin McHugh/ True Media
Back in August the Cistercian community of Mount Melleray elected Dom Richard Purcell OCSO as their new abbot.

On Saturday 4th November,  Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan celebrated the ‘Mass to Invoke God’s Blessing on the New Abbot and his Abbatial Ministry’ at Mountmelleray Abbey. 

Every blessing and best wish to the new abbot and the community! 

More photos HERE.

11 Nov 2017

12th November 2017 - In November, remembering those who have died

On this weeks programme John and Shane are joined by Sr Margaret O'Sullivan who reflects on November as the month of remembrance and helping to cope with grief. We have our regular reflection on this Sunday's gospel as well as notices and other liturgical odds & ends.

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

Remembering those who have died in November

Sr Margaret O'Sullivan joins us on the programme this week and leads us through a reflection on remembering and coping with grief in this month of November - the month of the Holy Souls. 

You can listen to Sr Margaret's wonderful reflection excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE.

Gospel - Matthew 25:1-13

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"The kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise,
'Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.'
But the wise ones replied,
'No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.'
While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
'Lord, Lord, open the door for us!'
But he said in reply,
'Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.'
Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour."
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflection
English Dominicans - Remembrance Sunday
Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week IV, 32nd week in ordinary time

Saints of the Week

October 13th - St Frances Xavier Cabrini also Bl David Sutton
October 14th - St Laurence O'Toole 
October 15th - St Albert the Great
October 16th - St Margaret of Scotland also St Gertrude the Great
October 17th - St Elizabeth of Hungary also St Hilda
October 18th -  Dedication of the Basilica's of St Peter & St Paul

10 Nov 2017

10th November - St Leo the Great and the Sorry State of Europe Today

From iBenedictines:

What do you associate with St Leo the Great, whose feast is today — if you think of him at all, that is? Do you remember the beautiful prose of his Christological treatises, letters and sermons, or his facing down of Attila the Hun, or his work for the unity of the Church; or do you perhaps think of the sacramentary that bears his name, (although most of the Sacramentarium Veronense is not attributable to him) and the sober splendour of the Roman rite in its earliest form? For me, he is the most Roman of popes, a link to a time when the unity of the countries we now think of as making up Europe was much harder to pin down but still real and important. The Church is the only institution of Roman antiquity to have survived to the present day and in the time of Leo (c.400—461) was a much-needed symbol of lawful authority, filling the vacuum left by the increasingly weak emperors. 
So far so good; but we do not live in the time of St Leo. Europe today is more plural, one might say more divided, than it has been for more than seventy years, and a major source of that division is the weakness of her institutions. The BBC regularly speaks of Theresa May’s ‘fragile government’. Other countries of Europe, even the mighty Germany, have not yet managed to form a government at all but are locked in endless discussions. Spain teeters on the brink of breaking up. Parts of Italy wish to follow suit. The rise of the far right has sent a shiver down the spines of many and is no longer to be dismissed as mere fantasy. The survival of the European Union is itself in doubt. To the East there is the spectre of Russia, and further East, the growing power of China; to the West, the fading star of an increasingly isolationist U.S.A. One remedy proposed for this state of affairs is a novel fuga mundi, a reversion to a time that never was, to a self-sufficient nation-state of ever-smaller proportions. Others propose a rather selective reading of the Rule of St Benedict, and a return to a kind of domestic monasticism we have not seen since Late Antiquity. Is there, perhaps, another and better way— a way that engages with rather than flees from the present political reality? 
This morning I think of the example of St Leo. So much depends on those who hold office and their conception of their duty towards those they serve. If there is to be a revitalisation of our institutions, it can surely only come about because those elected to office take seriously the obligation they have assumed. In the current atmosphere of apportioning blame/wriggling out of responsibility, examining charges of sexual harassment and abuse, uncovering attempts to avoid tax and so on, we are in danger of losing sight of the common good, that there are matters that demand our attention both as individuals and as a society. The Church has her role to play, if only as ‘conscience of the nation.’ That is why she can never be indifferent to anything that concerns any of us and must constantly point to the ideal, to what is in the best interest of all. For myself, I think we have a duty to pray and pray hard for those entrusted with the work of government. On them depends the peace and security of the nations and our freedom to live with dignity and mutual respect. St Leo, pray for us!

Pope Francis speaks out against nuclear weapons

The Vatican is hosting a two-day high-level international symposium on a nuclear-weapons-free world this week, in the backdrop of an escalating face-off  between  the US and North Korea.  Eleven Nobel peace laureates, top United Nations and NATO officials, leading experts, ‎heads of  major foundations and of civil society organizations, as well representatives of bishops conferences, Christian denominations and other faiths are attending the November 10-11 conference in the Vatican on, "Prospects for a World Free from Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament".

Continue reading -  ‎Vatican hosting high-level symposium against nuclear weapons

Pope Francis addressed the participants in the international symposium on disarmament and development on Friday. The two-day event has been organized by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, in order to address issues that are critical both in themselves and in the light of the complex political challenges of the current international scene.

In remarks prepared for the participants and delivered shortly after noon on Friday in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican, Pope Francis said nuclear weapons,  “exist in the service of a mentality of fear that affects not only the parties in conflict but the entire human race.” He went on to say, “Weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, create nothing but a false sense of security.”

Continue reading - Pope addresses disarmament conference

Text of the Holy Father's address - Pope on disarmament: world without weapons is possible

Pope Francis officially declares John Paul I ‘venerable’

Nun killed in backlash over Regensburg declared a martyr

Nun killed in backlash over Regensburg declared a martyr

Nun who died in backlash over Benedict XVI’s Regensburg address declared martyr

Pope Francis: Mass is for prayers not mobile phones

Pope Francis has reminded the faithful that the Eucharist is a wonderful event during which Jesus Christ, our life, becomes present. 
Speaking to the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Wednesday General Audience, Pope Francis began a new series of reflections focusing on the Eucharist and highlighting the importance of how we attend and of how we participate in Mass in order to really experience our relationship with God. 
To the some 13,000 pilgrims present for the weekly audience, Pope Francis said that while at Mass “the Lord is present with us but many times we talk among ourselves and we are not close to Him” during the celebration.

5 Nov 2017

500 years after the Reformation - commemorating, learning, journeying together - Bishop Leahy reflects

November 1st marked 500 years since Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on a church door in Wittenberg, Germany­ - the start of the Reformation movement.
In a letter read at all Masses on the weekend of October 28/29th, Bishop Brendan remarked:
... We now know that the era Martin Luther lived in was enormously complex – socially, politically and religiously. We need to recognise he wanted to renew the Church not divide her. 500 years of history since then have seen many tragic consequences. But, as Pope Francis, reminded us on another occasion earlier this year, while the past cannot be changed, it is possible to engage in a “purification of memory”, and so “tell that history differently”. As we commemorate the Reformation, I would like to suggest that there are three points we can take away for reflection this weekend. ...
You can read the three points, and the letter, in full HERE 
Bishop Brendan, writing in the November edition of Intercom Magazine:
'Today the Catholic Church is focusing again on reform, so it is helpful to look at what Luther said, much of which was eventually echoed in the Second Vatican Council. As Pope Francis reminds us, there is value in learning from others, perceiving how the Holy Spirit is at work in their experience, which may be very different to our own.'
Bishop Brendan Leahy and Bishop Kenneth Kearon, Chuch of Ireland, were also speaking on Limericks Live95fm radio on Nov 1st. A very interesting conversation, reflecting on Halloween, All Saints Day, the Catholic and Church of Ireland diocese' in Limerick and how our churches have prayed, learnt and work together today. Click below to listen in: 

4 Nov 2017

5th November 2017 - The challenges of passing on the faith in the family

On this weeks programme Fr Eamonn Conway joins John and Shane to reflect on the challenges of passing on the faith inter-generationally within the family in the modern world and some ways to approach what can be seen as a daunting task. We have our regular reflection on this weeks Sunday gospel as well as our round up the saints of the week and other liturgical odds & ends.

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

Passing on the message of the Gospel in the Family

When ever people sit and have a discussion about matters of faith, one theme which comes up again and again is the challenge of passing on the faith to the next generation. 

In a period of time where we have seen the publication of a Irish survey which tells us a Majority of young Irish people feel church attendance is optional; recently Breda O'Brien reflected in the Irish Catholic on the Challenge of building Faith in Lourdes’ young volunteers and in  the US a new book called "iGen" about what Bishop Robert Barron calls "The Least Religious Generation in US History" there is a question about what to do? Pope Francis has given the focus on young people to the 2018 Synod of Bishops which will be looking at Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.

Fr Eamonn takes us through a discussion looking at how parents and grandparents can deal with this particular.  He makes the point that it has to come from personal witness - the ground on which you as a parent or grandparent stand and being able to show by example that faith is the root of your daily existence. We need to share the love experience we have of God before worrying about the issues of knowledge of faith. Another way to look and see is how do we make space in our lives for family time and for faith time where we are harassed almost without realising it by what Pope Francis called the "technocratic frame around our lives". Maybe as parents we need to show some tough love to remind our young people that there is more to living at the touch of a button and that we need to move away from a desire to live only through technological interactions which can almost tranquillise us in our lives. But ultimately the best way to pass on the faith is through the art of listening to our young people and accompanying them into the questions they are posing about who they are? Why are we here? Why is there evil in the world? And to recognise with them that there are no quick answers to these questions but that faith can help to guide our individual response to them.

You can listen to the discussion with Fr Eamonn excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE.

Gospel - Matthew 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,"The scribes and the Phariseeshave taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens hard to carryand lay them on people's shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation 'Rabbi.'As for you, do not be called 'Rabbi.'You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers. Call no one on earth your father;you have but one Father in heaven.Do not be called 'Master';you have but one master, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant.Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;but whoever humbles himself will be exalted."
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, thirty first week in ordinary time

Saints of the Week

November 6th - All the Saints of Ireland
November 7th - St Willibrord of Echternach also All the Dominican Saints
November 8th - All the Saints of Wales
November 9th - Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
November 10th - Pope St Leo the Great
November 11th - St Martin of Tours