29 Nov 2018

Advent Calendar 2018

From CatholicIreland.net:

This year’s online Advent Calendar from the Irish bishops has a special focus on the family as part of the ongoing reflection following the visit of Pope Francis for the World Meeting of Families.

The 2018 Advent Calendar was launched on Monday 17th November by the Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin.

It provides family prayers and suggestions for acts of kindness or charity for the month of December.

It also shares tips on how families can care for our common home by having a more sustainable Christmas.

As he launched the online resource, Archbishop Martin invited everyone to “enjoy our online calendar” during Advent. He said it would highlight the themes of “love in the family as well as mercy and peace” and that it would “hopefully help families to prepare for Christmas”.

Dr Martin explained that the season of Advent marks the beginning of the Catholic year and is a time of spiritual preparation for the Lord’s coming at Christmas.

“It is a time of waiting, conversion and hope,” he said.

He underlined that Advent prepares the faithful for the second coming of Christ.

“As Christians, we must always be prepared for the coming of the Lord – ‘You must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do no not expect’ [Mt 24:37–44]. Preparation does not happen at once but over time, and so each day of Advent allows us to reflect on the joy of the Gospel. Our online calendar is a helpful resource on this journey.

“During Advent 2018 we can reflect on the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland last August when he invited us to welcome Christ in the bits and pieces, the ordinary moments of everyday life. I particularly welcome the inclusion of some of the many inspirational messages that Pope Francis gave to us during his time here as part of this year’s Advent Calendar,” the Archbishop said on Monday.

Now in its fifth year, the online Advent Calendar will offer resources – available behind a virtual door of the calendar – for the parish, school and home each day during the season of Advent.

Content aimed at helping people pray and reflect on how best to keep Christ at the centre of their Christmas preparations are also provided.

The 2018 online Advent Calendar will go live on www.catholicbishops.ie on the first Sunday of Advent, 2 December.

A popular feature from last year’s Advent Calendar was the audio thought for the day.

Contributors this year will include bishops, priests, religious, laity, staff of the councils and agencies of the Irish Bishops’ Conference, as well as primary, secondary and university students.

The 2018 Advent Calendar includes:

Ø  Mass Readings and Saint of the Day
Ø  Family prayers
Ø  Advent videos: blessing of the crib in the home, blessing of the advent wreath in the home
Ø  The Words of Pope Francis from WMOF2018
Ø  Acts of kindness in the family, school and parish
Ø  Suggestions to make Christmas more sustainable so as to care for our common home
Ø  Advent music
Ø  Seasonal prayers
Ø  Multimedia thought for the day
Ø  Resources for Advent including books and music
Ø  Advent events in dioceses and parishes
Ø  Information on Trócaire’s Global Gifts for 2018 as well special appeals to help families in need.

Advent Calendar HERE.

Spanish government doubts Cordoba's Mosque-Cathedral belongs to Church - Rome Reports

Autistic boy moves the pope: “It made me think, am I also free like that before God?" - Rome Reports

27 Nov 2018

Sacred music – the perfect antidote to consumerism

From The Notebook @ The Irish Catholic

The choir of King’s College, Cambridge is often associated with the Christmas season. For many of my English friends, the sound of Carols from King’s on the BBC on Christmas Eve is the sign that Christmas has well and truly begun. But I associate them above all with the season of Advent.

In December 2003 I was 17 years old, coming to the end of my first term studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge. I was overwhelmed by all the intellectual demands being placed on me and was just about getting used to living as a Catholic in a largely non-believing context. The Anglican chaplain at the college had already spotted me as one of the few Christians in first year, and very kindly invited me to carry a candle in the Advent procession.

I had no idea of the beauty that awaited me. At the beginning of the Advent procession the great chapel lay in darkness. The famous fan vaulting, the straw-coloured stonework, the Rubens ‘Nativity’: all of these treasures were hidden in obscurity. Then, the enormous West Door was opened, and a single light silently entered the expectant darkness, leading the choir whose chant began to fill that vast space. Throughout the next hour, as we moved very slowly from West to East, the light spread as progressively more candles were lit. The choir sang hymns and Latin chant and carols, all unfamiliar to my untrained ear, and all adorning with unspeakable beauty the same themes: expectancy, longing, waiting, hope.

For me, that night was an awakening, at once spiritual and aesthetic, and I have been deeply attached to the music of Advent every since. Just think of the great Advent hymn, ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’, a meditation in song on the prophetic titles of Christ: ‘Emmanuel’, ‘Rod of Jesse’, ‘Daystar’. Consider the raw hunger for God’s presence expressed in lines like: ‘O come, O come Emmanuel,/and ransom captive Israel/That mourns in lonely exile here,/Until the Son of God appear’. And think of the warming hope that answers that hunger: ‘Emmanuel will come to thee, O Israel’.

The whole atmosphere of Advent music is in diametric opposition to the consumer culture, a culture which cannot wait for Christmas, and wants to pre-empt the feast for a whole two months, co-opting it for the purposes of profit.

If we Christians are really trying to ‘live’ the season of Advent, it’s easy to be outraged by the constant playing of tinny Christmas soundtracks in our shops from Hallowe’en onwards, and it’s easy to waste a lot of energy complaining about this state of affairs.

For my part, I’ve found it’s best to give no energy to outrage, and to invest instead in cultivating an Advent spirit by deliberately and intentionally listening to a great deal of Advent music. Many of my friends do the same, and in the age of the internet, it’s easily done.

You could start by finding a nice version of ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel’, then try out some classics: ‘O Come Divine Messiah’, ‘Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence’, ‘Gabriel’s Message’, ‘Creator of the Starry Height’. If you like Latin chant look up the ‘O Antiphons’, the ‘Rorate Caeli’ and the ‘Alma Redemptoris Mater’. If you prefer contemporary music check out Matt Maher’s ‘Love Comes Down’ and Chris Tomlin’s ‘Even So Come’. And if you want to go really high-brow, have a listen to Bach’s ‘Advent cantatas’ and William Byrd’s ‘Vigilate’.

There’s an ocean of good Advent music: let’s open our hearts to its message of hope.

Emmanuel will come
Listening to the right music helps if you want to cultivate an Advent spirit, but just as important is the practice of entering into silence every day. It’s easier said than done, and it’s best to set a limited goal, like starting the day with five minutes of silence, or ending the day by turning all the lights and devices off, lighting a candle, and simply sitting in the presence of God for a few moments.

The neon lights on our streets are shouting: “Buy, buy, buy!” Our best and most subversive response is simply to be: to be still in the presence of God, and to allow our soul’s deep desires reach out to him in hope. ‘Emmanuel will come…’

Lamb of God - Matt Maher

24 Nov 2018

25th November 2018 - Advent at the Abbey

On this weeks programme Fr Luke McNamara OSB joins John and Shane to reflect on Advent season which begins Sunday week as well as telling us about the "Advent at the Abbey" series of reflections which are being carried out on the Sundays of Advent at Glenstal Abbey. We have our regular reflection on this weeks Sunday gospel as well as liturgical odds & ends.

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

Advent at the Abbey - "Tuning into real time"

Fr Luke joins us to reflect on the season of Advent which begins next week. Advent - Adventus - is the season of preparation ahead of the festival of Christmas and in the modern world, now more than ever, we need a reminder, a tool if you will to allow us a time out - a sacred moment - to prepare. Advent is a period of waiting both for the Second Coming of Christ but also the coming of Christ at Christmas. Fr Luke takes us through a reflection on the need to make some real time of preparation and also invites listeners to the Advent at the Abbey series as part of the preparation that one could make in this busy season.

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

Gospel - John - Solemnity of Christ the King

Book of Kells - Christ Enthroned
Pilate said to Jesus,"Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you say this on your ownor have others told you about me?" Pilate answered, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom does not belong to this world.If my kingdom did belong to this world,my attendants would be fightingto keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here." So Pilate said to him, "Then you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world,to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."
This weeks feast celebrates the Kingship of Christ, the feast was erected at the end of the 1925 Holy Year by Pope Pius XI in his encyclical Quas Primas where he sought to give due honour to the Divine Kingship of Christ.

Bishop Malcolm McMahon OP noted,
"The Church's year ends with the Feast of Christ the King. Jesus is portrayed as a triumphant king reigning over all creation. This is the same Jesus, son of Mary and son of God, who has preached the Good News and declared the imminence of God's kingdom. The obedient Son suffered and died for us, rose from the dead, ascended into glory and sent his Spirit so that we may have another comforter and someone to speak for us. Creation has been restored, and we have been saved from our sins and foolishness. The cycle is now complete. Although the enormousness of God's saving work has yet to impress itself on most people, nevertheless we believe that there will be a moment at the end of time when the Son will come again in all his glory, and creation will reach fulfillment. That is why we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, we rejoice in what Jesus has done for us, yet at the same time we look forward to its completion........".
But for many people, the idea of Kingship of Jesus is somewhat alien. Jesus was of the royal house of David born in the royal city but he was born in a stable and laid in a manager. He was a King who entered into the Holy City - Jerusalem - through the royal gate to the acclamation of the people not in a military procession or from the back of a state coach but on the back of a humble donkey. He was enthroned not on some fancy cathedra but rather on a gibbet outside the city walls in the midst of the city dump, proclaimed mockingly as King as he died opening his arms on the cross to embrace the world and all of humanity.

He came as a Servant Leader as he explained to the disciples at the Last Supper when he washed their feet. We are all called to be servants to one another, assisting and helping in fraternal love and friendship. Where leaders lord it over us in civil or religious spheres truly then we have lost our allegiance to the true king.

He redefined what it means to be a leader amongst those that dare to call themselves his followers reminding us that the first will be last and the last first.

In our lives today, do we make the effort to feed the hungry, cloth the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned? Be it those who are in physical need but what about those hungry for a consoling word of recognition of their humanity and dignity as people; those whose very souls and minds are ripped naked and torn from the insults and humiliation they experience, the sick of mind and spirit, those imprisoned in the expectations of society as well as those incarcerated by mental illness and stigma? Have we not only assisted them, have we gone past our comfort zone to really be present to those in need, really aware of them as the face of Christ for us in this world?

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
Reflections on this weeks feast and gospel reading
Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours: psalter week 2; 34th week in ordinary time

November 26th - Blessed James Alberione

November 27th - St Fergal
November 28th - Saint Catherine Laboure
November 29th - St Brendan of Birr
November 30th - St Andrew the Apostle
December 1st - St Simon of Cyrene

17 Nov 2018

18th November 2018 - Bright Friday - Making space for a healthy economy

On this weeks programme John and Shane are joined by Martina Lehane Sheehan to discuss "Bright Friday" a day of calm and reflection in opposition to the increasing dominance of so-called ‘Black Friday’, the annual shopping frenzy which sees customers queuing and shoving to get bargain deals. We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as liturgical odds and ends and other notices.

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

"Bright Friday"

On this weeks programme Martina Lehane Sheehan talks to John and Shane about the proposal to hold a day of calm and reflection in opposition to the increasing dominance of so-called ‘Black Friday’, the annual shopping frenzy which sees customers queuing and shoving to get bargain deals. ‘Bright Friday’ which is on November 23rd will have periods of reflective music, mindfulness, meditations and poetry readings. People wanting an antidote to the consumerism of the day are being encouraged to drop by to areas where it is being hosted.

Martina Lehane Sheehan, discusses on the programme how modern research in psychology shows that “our externals can only contribute to our happiness by 10% (what we buy, what we own etc). Yet we chase it – especially on Black Friday!” She says that approximately 50% of our happiness levels are determined by genetic inheritance and 40% is in our own control when it comes to things like attitudes beliefs, etc.” She describes this as the 40 % solution.

In the United States, ‘Black Friday’ is traditionally the day after the Thanksgiving holiday when many retailers offer incentives to shoppers. Despite the fact that Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Ireland, ‘Black Friday’ is now a ubiquitous day on the Irish shopping calendar.

As a balancing to the madness of Black Friday the Bright Friday holds out a space for people to seek another kind of happiness during the day.

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

Martina's website is available HERE.

Gospel - Mark 13:24-32

Jesus said to his disciples:"In those days after that tribulationthe sun will be darkened,and the moon will not give its light,and the stars will be falling from the sky,and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
"And then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in the clouds'with great power and glory,and then he will send out the angelsand gather his elect from the four winds,from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.
"Learn a lesson from the fig tree.When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves,you know that summer is near.In the same way, when you see these things happening,know that he is near, at the gates. Amen, I say to you,this generation will not pass awayuntil all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away,but my words will not pass away.
"But of that day or hour, no one knows,neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
English Dominicans
Sunday Reflections

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 1

Saints of the Week

November 19th - St Pontian
November 20th - St Cyprian of Calainizzi
November 21st - Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
November 22nd - St Cecilia
November 23rd - St Columbanus
November 24th - St Andrew Dung-Tac & Companions

14 Nov 2018

Upcoming Programmes on SacredSpace102fm November - December 2018

As we draw to the end of the liturgical year and head into the season Advent, clarity is emerging for the SS102fm team on what we will be talking about over the next few weeks :D. Bearing in mind that things can change without notice, please find below an outline of the upcoming programmes:

  • November 18th - Bright Friday with Martina Leehane-Sheehan
  • November 25th - Advent at the Abbey with Fr Luke McNamara OSB
  • December 2nd - Synod of Bishops on Youth with Bishop Donal McKeowan
  • December 9th - Reflecting on Lectio Divina with the Newcastle West Lectio Divina Group
  • December 16th - Year in Review in the Diocese of Limerick with Bishop Brendan Leahy
  • December 23rd - Advent: A forgotten season
  • December 25th - SacredSpace102fm Christmas Day Special Programme on WL102fm
  • December 30th - Reflection on Pope Francis message for World Day of Peace 2019

Looking forward to having you with us,

SS102fm Team.

'The greatest hypocrisy' - Father Frank Daly's controversial Remembrance address 2018


"I ask you, how many of you standing here in front of me today have actually met a refugee face to face and listened to their story?"
"At the 11 hour on the 11 day of the 11 month, exactly one hundred years ago today, at this precise moment, the guns fell silent. And in that silence the hope was born that this so-called ‘war to end all wars’ would never happen again, that the hubris, pride and arrogance that caused it would never resurface and that the 20 million lives lost would not be for nothing.

"This act of remembrance which we gather for every year has of course a special poignancy today – it is something we must do, wear our poppies, gather in silence – and for many of us the reasons are personal, as we commemorate members of our own families who are among those countless dead. And so the guns fell silent – only they didn’t, and they haven’t and they aren’t. 

"That same cynicism of cigar-smoking, brandy swilling generals that sent thousands of men over the top like cannon fodder to instant and painful death without any thought of who they were, their families and where they came from is still alive and well today.

"My sister in the ministry, Rev. Angela, wrote in the Hinckley Times this week that in remembrance today we not only remember their sacrifice but all the times we got it wrong. We must remember our own mistakes if we are to move forward.

"Those mistakes are still being made, that pride and hubris still exists, internationally, nationally and personally. Our country which prides itself on its sense of honour and justice has in many ways shamed their memory.

"Much of our economy is enhanced by the arms industry which makes over 7 billion pounds every year from the sale of weapons to countries often of dubious integrity. Trillions of pounds are spent on the creation of a weapons system that could destroy the whole planet in a week. How can we lament the effects of war if we are profiting from the sale of the means of promoting it? How can we pray for peace when we are producing the very means of destroying it?

"This is the greatest hypocrisy. We have also created a so-called ‘hostile environment’ to actively prevent those who are feeling the effects of war today, the butchering of their families, the destruction of their homes, fleeing for their very lives, from finding safety and asylum here, because we feel they are just ‘migrants’ and a drain on our economy.

"I ask you, how many of you standing here in front of me today have actually met a refugee face to face and listened to their story? How can we make judgments about them when we have never met them? How can we turn them away when they have escaped the very thing we are commemorating today?

"The words read to us by the Rev. Dimitri were chosen specially for today from the very earliest days of the Christian Church: “where do these wars and battles between you begin?”, asks the apostle James.

“Isn’t it precisely in the desires fighting within you? You want something and you can’t have it so you are prepared to kill to get it” We have developed what we might call a ‘culture of entitlement’ which tells us that we can and must have anything we want whenever we want it, even if it is at the expense of others. Every angry word, every selfish thought or action has shamed the memory of these men who sought no more than to serve, a thought becoming increasingly alien to our thinking. 

"Every complaint, every outrage or outburst, every time we blind ourselves to the sufferings of others with an over concern for our own profit and welfare, we dishonour those who gave so much so that we could be free from all of this. We can only honour their dying by our living, and we do so by rooting out every drop of self-interest within us so that we can open our hearts and minds to others and live peacefully and justly with them.

"The Christian faith which frames the lives of so many of us, tells us that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way to the world’s salvation – the gospel of peace, reconciliation and forgiveness, the gospel of putting others before ourselves even at great cost, as did he who gave away his whole life so that the world could be saved from itself.

"This is the message of truth for all times - you find your life only when you have lost it for others – a message that is more appropriate and necessary today than it ever has been. No amount of flag waving, poppy-wearing, wreath laying, or all too brief moments of silence can ever truly honour their memory, when deep down our own needs and interests remain of paramount importance.

"It is only in the way we shape our lives today, allow our thinking to be changed, our hearts to be touched and our attitudes to be transformed, that we can create any lasting memorial to them. We can only honour their dying in our living, which surely will be our pledge to them today and for ever."

Reflection by Michael D. Higgins, Uachtarán na hÉireann Tofa, on Armistice Day 2018

Glasnevin Cemetery, Sunday, 11 November 2018 

A cháirde,

Bailithe mar atáimid chun ómós a thabhairt dóibh siúd a maraíodh, a gortaíodh, agus a d'fhulaing sa Chéad Chogadh Domhanda, maraon lena gclanna, tugaimis ómós dóibh siúd ar fad.

One hundred years ago the guns finally fell silent on the Western Front, signalling the conclusion of one thousand five hundred and sixty-four days of continuous warfare, waged from the fields of Flanders to the mountains of Italy, and from the hills and ravines of Greece to the banks of the Tigris and the Euphrates, the first of two wars that would disfigure a century.

We assemble, on this most solemn day, to remember the fourteen million souls who lost their lives in that terrible conflagration. Ours is not a celebration of militarism, nor a valorisation of martial spirit, but a simple recognition of our common humanity, as we recall the destruction of the promise and potential of a generation in the First World War, the lasting damage inflicted on the millions wounded and maimed, and the countless others who would go on to suffer mental anguish as a result of the horrors of their war experience. Is mór an méid a d'fhulaing siad.

We remember, in particular, the two hundred thousand men from across the island of Ireland, North and South, East and West, who served in that war, and we call to mind in a special way the tens of thousands who never returned home who remain forever in the soil of Belgium, France, Greece and Turkey.

Not driven by a single political aspiration, nor by a single animating motivation, some fought for the rights of small nations, some in defence of the United Kingdom and the Union, some for adventure, while others were compelled by economic necessity in a country still feeling the aftershocks of the Lockout of 1913. We must respect their ideas as they knew and felt them.  Yet, despite all the differences of religion, class and political aspiration, they were united by what would be a shared experience of war, the humanity expressed towards each other, with its comradeship, friendship and shared hardship whether it was on the Western Front, at Gallipoli, or in the Middle East.

There, they joined soldiers, drawn not only from the continent of Europe – Germans, French, British, Belgians, Austrians, Hungarians, Poles, Russians, Slovenes, Turks, Czechs, Finns, Bulgarians, Ukrainians, Romanians, Moldavians, Byelorussians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Croatians and Slovaks – nor from nations across the oceans – the United States, China, Australia, New Zealand and Canada – but also many who came from lands ruled by the empires of Europe – from Western and Central Africa, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Madagascar, the Middle East, Somalia and India, for the war represented a collision of empires. 

Some of those who were thrown into the maelstrom of the war demonstrated remarkable courage and bravery in the most trying and difficult of circumstances. They were witnesses to the barbarism and brutality of a war made all the more terrifying by the perverse use of a new science and technology and industrial power in the pursuit of total war and mutual destruction. 

Writing upon hearing of the death of his friend the great Irish poet and public servant, Thomas MacGreevy, reflected the disorientation of millions of soldiers who found themselves in the blasted landscape of the Front:
I labour in a barren place,
Alone, self-conscious, frightened, blundering;
Far away, stars wheeling in space,
About my feet, earth voices whispering.
When the soldiers of the First World War returned to their homes they found countries and empires transformed. It was a return that varied in accordance with new circumstances. From the old dynastic empires to the East arose new nations seeking self-determination, pursuing a renewed and hard-won liberty. Here, in our country, some of those who came from the front threw themselves into our own battle for national independence, while others would experience a lack of sorrow, compassion, understanding of either their service or their wounds and would struggle to find their place in a rapidly changing Ireland. 

For many years, there was an uncertainty, even a reticence, to recognise the human cost and reality of the First World War, and those who fought and died in it. In our public history, the reticence was reflected by a form of official amnesia that left a blank space in our public memory. 

That has now changed, as citizens across our island have begun to discover a greater – and perhaps too long-delayed – insight into the experience of their grandparents, great-grandparents and neighbours. With this excavation of the past we have a far greater understanding of the motivation of those who enlisted in the war effort, and a better appreciation of the experience of the war, not only for those in uniform, but for civilians. 

As we assemble this morning to remember our dead, we are joining peoples from across the world. We do so in a spirit of solidarity and compassion, and we do so in a world still sadly subject to war and the rumours of war, a world that still seems – if I may borrow from the words of Martin Luther King from another time and another place –  ‘a [world] gone mad on war’, a world in which, more than at any other time, so many people are subject to atrocities, to famine, to starvation and to displacement and exile. 

Even as we, in these first decades of the twenty-first century, have the material capacity to abolish all forms of human poverty, to alleviate all unnecessary suffering, we are still devoting so much of our creativity, not to the preservation or achievement of peace, but to the prosecution of and preparation for war. 

Amidst great human suffering, some nations now seek to embark upon a new arms race, increasing not only their own stockpiles, but exporting weapons of death and destruction to fuel the fires of war in other lands, in Yemen, in Syria, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

On this Armistice Day we are called to remember. We must remember how easily the powers of Europe, with all their centuries of scholarship, philosophy and learning, cast it all aside and fell into enduring and terrible enmity. We must affirm as we remember that solidarity amongst peoples and nations is not only a moral necessity, but that it is fragile and that it must be asserted again and again as our shared aspiration. We must remember that peace will only ever be established, and can only be sustained, when it is based upon the principles of justice, dignity and mutual respect.

Let us then, on this day, re-dedicate ourselves to cause of peace, and the support of those institutions which promote and preserve the peace. 

Let us recall the great spirit that animated Europe in the days and months and years after Armistice Day, the spirit that gave birth to the League of Nations. 

Let us re-capture that rare spirit of mutual solidarity, that recognition of our common humanity, and let us once again resolve to build, together, a more just and equal world, free from the terrors of war.  

Síochán síoraí d'anamacha na marbh. Guímis beannachtaí ar a gclanna.

11 Nov 2018

11th November 2018 - A Global News Round-up

On this weeks programme John and Shane take a spin around the world looking at various stories which have been in the news over the least few weeks with a religious context/context. We have our regular reflection on this weeks Sunday gospel as well as a quick run through the saints of the week and other liturgical odds and ends. 

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

News Round-up

We have a short news round up of various items on this weeks programme looking at some news items which may not necessarily have been covered on the main stream media:

Podcast of the news round-up excerpted from the main programme HERE.

Gospel - Mark 12:38-44

In the course of his teaching Jesus said to the crowds,
"Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes
and accept greetings in the marketplaces,
seats of honor in synagogues,
and places of honor at banquets.
They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext
recite lengthy prayers.
They will receive a very severe condemnation."
He sat down opposite the treasury
and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury.
Many rich people put in large sums.
A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.
Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them,
"Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more
than all the other contributors to the treasury.
For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had,
her whole livelihood."
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
English Dominicans
Sunday Reflections

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 4

Saints of the Week

November 12th - St Josaphat Kuncevyc
November 13th - Bl David Sutton
November 14th - St Lawrence O'Toole
November 15th - St Albert the Great
November 16th - St Margaret of Scotland also St Gertrude 

November 17th - St Elizabeth of Hungary

11th November 2018 - Remembrance: The Difficult Task of Legacy

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.........and with it the conflagration that consumed a generation of Europe, collapsed three empires and redrew the map of the world as we knew it came to an end.

Popular opinion has, ever since its ending, remembered the First World War as a time of horrendous and futile misery and slaughter, as epitomising political and military leaders’ incompetence and callous disregard for human life. That popular judgement, which has helped turn common opinion against war in general, was correct, and we must not let the war mongers dismiss this instance of the wisdom of ordinary people.

Remembrance of the past does not dilute our responsibilities of today. A commentator on Irish radio made the observation that despite the 1918 Armistice, we are still fighting the battles of World War I just not on the battle fields of western Europe. And he was right - Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Greece v Macedonia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Western Sahara, Libya, Sudan, South Sudan............ The wars of the present moment are the inheritance of that global conflagration. Lines drawn on maps the keys to further conflicts.

But now more than ever we need political leaders who can remind us of the need for peace. In Europe we need to remind ourselves of the uniqueness of the European project, to try to inspire young people and keep in front of us the fact that the greatest benefit has been 70 years of peace. Forget the federalist dream; forget the political machinations; we so desperately need to consolidate what we have and work to finally ending the battles of World War I.

iBenedictines - Remembering and Praying

Armistice Day: remembering the fallen to understand their sacrifice
The end of the Great War should have meant the end of all war
Dangerous Remembrance 
Jesus, remember me
‘Take, Lord, and receive’: Nostalgia, truthful memory and the Great War
Ten lies we’re told to justify the slaughter of 20 million in the First World War

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

To my daughter Betty
Thomas Kettle

IN wiser days, my darling rosebud, blown  
To beauty proud as was your mother's prime,  
In that desired, delayed, incredible time,  
You'll ask why I abandoned you, my own,  
And the dear heart that was your baby throne,          
To dice with death. And oh! they'll give you rhyme  
And reason: some will call the thing sublime,  
And some decry it in a knowing tone.  
So here, while the mad guns curse overhead,  
And tired men sigh with mud for couch and floor,   
Know that we fools, now with the foolish dead,  
Died not for flag, nor King, nor Emperor,—  
But for a dream, born in a herdsman's shed,  
And for the secret Scripture of the poor.

8 Nov 2018

The passing of a musical genius - Mícheál Ó'Súilleabháin (RIP)

It is with enormous sadness that the family of Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin have announced his death after a prolonged illness. Mícheál (b December 1950, Clonmel County Tipperary) was one of Ireland's best-known musicians, composers and academics, born in Clonmel County Tipperary. Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of Limerick and founder/Director at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance which he created in 1994, Micheál Ó Súilleabháin also recorded a series of pioneering solo albums which re-positioned his chosen instrument, the piano, at the heart of Irish traditional music – while also revealing the intersections where classical and traditional music could co-exist.. His richly evocative collaborations with Mel Mercier, who succeeded him as CHAIR at UL, were a celebration of Ó Suilleabháin’s flinty sense of humour and love of musical exploration.

Ó Súilleabháin left a rich legacy through his own music, as well as the Academy he founded which attracted students from over 50 countries who enrolled on undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Music Therapy, Contemporary Dance Performance, Irish Traditional Dance Performance, Community Music, Festive Arts, Irish Traditional Music Performance, Classical String Performance, Ethnomusicology and others.He was hugely instrumental in the relocation of the Irish Chamber Orchestra from Dublin to its current home at the University of Limerick.   Awards included Honorary Doctorates of Music from University College Cork, (2005)  and The Royal conservatoire of Scotland (2017), Ollamh na hÉigse (Inaugural award by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in 2006); Honorary Alumnus Award (Boston College) and the O’Donnell Chair of Irish Studies from the University of Notre Dame (2012). He studied at University College Cork (B.Mus.1972, MA 1973) with the composers Aloys Fleischmann and Seán Ó Riada, and in Queens University Belfast (PhD 1987) with the ethnomusicologists John Blacking and John Baily.

He produced a series of CD recordings in America, the UK, and Ireland on the traditional music of the Shetland Islands, Donegal, Cape Breton Island and on Irish traditional musicians in the USA and in England. 

He is survived by his wife Professor Helen Phelan and their son Luke; sons Eoin and Mícheál (Moley), and their mother Dr Nóirín Ní Riain, and by his brother John.