16 Feb 2019

17th February 2019 - 2019 Dublin Divine Mercy Conference & Limerick Diocese publishes Guidelines for Pastoral Units & Team Ministry

This weeks programme is a little busy for the SS102fm team, with an interview with Don Devaney about the 2019 Dublin Divine Mercy Conference which takes place next weekend. In addition we have a quick chat with Rose O'Connor about the publication of the Guidelines for Pastoral Units published by Limerick diocese. We have our regular reflection on this weeks Sunday gospel as well as notices and other liturgical odds & ends.

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

2019 Dublin Divine Mercy Conference


John chats with Don Devaney about the Divine Mercy conference which takes place next weekend in the RDS in Dublin next weekend. Starting on Friday 22 February with a special evening for the youth - including testimonies, talks and music. Saturday 23 February starts at 10am and goes on to finish with a healing service led by Fr Brendan Walsh at 19.30pm. Sunday 24th February starts again at 10am and finishing with Mass at 15.15 - the main celebrant will be the papal nuncio - Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo.

  • You can find out more about the conference (including videos and live stream of the talks) HERE.
  • You can listen to the interview with Don excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE

Limerick diocese publish Guidelines for new Pastoral Units and Team Ministry


Rose O'Connor joins the SS102fm team to discuss the publication of the new guidelines by the diocese of Limerick. Limerick Diocese has issued Guidelines for Team Ministry and Pastoral Units . The Guidelines deal with the roles and responsibilities of:

  • Pastoral Unit
  • Moderators & co-parish priests
  • Pastoral Unit Council
  • Local Mission Group
  • Continuation of existing finance practices within the existing parishes.

It is a follow up from the revised structure initiated in the diocese from 2nd December 2018 where teams of clergy are ministering in pastoral units or collectives of parishes but existing parish identity is being maintained. The new units involve a number of parishes operating together, with two or three priests ministering together as a team to the pastoral needs of these parishes. Each of the priests is a “co-Parish Priest” and will be moving around the pastoral Unit, resulting in different priests saying masses in parishes week on week.

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

You can read about the Guidelines HERE.

Gospel - Luke 6:17, 20-26




He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon.
 Then he looked up at his disciples and said:
‘Blessed are you who are poor,
   for yours is the kingdom of God. 
‘Blessed are you who are hungry now,
   for you will be filled.
‘Blessed are you who weep now,
   for you will laugh.
 ‘Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets. 
‘But woe to you who are rich,
   for you have received your consolation. 
‘Woe to you who are full now,
   for you will be hungry.
‘Woe to you who are laughing now,
   for you will mourn and weep.
 ‘Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.

Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflections
English Dominicans

Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical odds & ends

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

Saints of the Week

February 18th - St Colman of Lindisfarne
February 19th - Bl John Sullivan SJ
February 20th - St Jacinta Marto - Seer of Fatima
February 21st - St Peter Damian
February 22nd - Feast of the Chair of St Peter
February 23rd - St Polycarp

13 Feb 2019

A new saint for the Church - Blessed John Henry Newman to be canonised!


Pope Francis on Wednesday authorised the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to issue a decree attributing a miracle to the intercession of the Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman. The move clears the final hurdle in the cause for his canonisation.

Blessed Newman was born in London in 1801 and was ordained an Anglican priest in 1925. He was a leader in the Oxford Movement in the 1830s, which emphasised the Catholic roots of Anglicanism.

After a succession of clashes with Anglican bishops made him a virtual outcast from the Church of England, he joined the Catholic Church at the age of 44 and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1846. Pope Leo XIII made him a cardinal in 1879 while respecting his wishes not to be ordained a bishop.

A theologian and poet, he died in 1890 and his sainthood cause was opened in 1958. Pope Benedict XVI beatified him in Birmingham, England, in 2010.

The date for his canonisation will be announced after Pope Francis holds a meeting of cardinals to formalise their support for declaring Blessed Newman a saint.

Vatican News - Cardinal John Henry Newman to be proclaimed a Saint
Crux - Vatican announces Newman, Mindszenty move closer to sainthood 
CNA - Pope Francis approves canonization of John Henry Newman
BBC - John Henry Newman: Second miracle approved as sainthood looms
RTE - UCD founder Newman to be made a saint

12 Feb 2019

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


What if Christ appears as suddenly as an Irish beach?

Abuse of Faith - 20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms 


The Irish woman who exposed abuse of nuns by priests 25 years ago


The Abuse of Nuns and Sisters in the Catholic Church - iBenedictines

Lay Catholics: Stop Waiting for Bishops to do Your Job 


The Marvelous Preservation of St. Bernadette 


Candles of Atonement to mark Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse  

Historic document lays foundation to spread world peace - Pope Francis and Great Imam of Al-Azhar sign Document on Human Fraternity affirming brotherhood of all men and women and condemning every form of violence, especially those “clothed with religious motivations”.


ACP priest says new style of leadership is needed for Irish Church  - Bishops need courage not to keep looking over their shoulders to Rome and to confront – respectfully but robustly – those who want to lead us back to the nineteenth century. 


Dying priest described compulsory celibacy as “a kind of sin” - Fr Daniel O’Leary, who died on 21st January, said he wanted to point out that one of the fall-outs of a mandatory celibate life is "the violence it does to a priest’s humanity, and the wounds that it leaves on his ministry”.  


From Cardinal Müller a “Manifesto of Faith” For Today’s Church 


Cardinal Kasper says Mueller’s manifesto spreads ‘confusion and division’ 


How Nuns Have Shaped the Course of Art History 

Life is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get! 

Ethiopia's 'church forests' are incredible oases of green 

BBC - Asia Bibi - Pakistan's notorious blasphemy case 

Why I am a Catholic - iBenedictines

9 Feb 2019

10th February 2019 - #PanamainDublin - WYD2019

On this weeks programme John talks to Gerard Hanley from Emmaus Centre in Dublin about the celebration of WYD2019 in Dublin by those pilgrims who couldn't make it to Panama. We have our regular reflection on the weekly Sunday Gospel as well as other notices and liturigcal odds & ends. 

You can listen to the programme full podcast HERE.


WYD2019 - #Panama in Dublin!




This week John chats with Gerard Hanley who works in Youth and Young Adult Ministry at the Emmaus Centre in Dublin about a 24 hour event organised to coincide with WYD 2019 in Panama. Attended by 140 young pilgrims who slept on the floors on sleeping bags, the event included streaming of the Pope’s talks in Panama, music with Elation Ministries, Talk/Catechesis from Sr Kelly Francis CFR, Fr Patrick Cahill and Anna Keegan. Small groups discussed the talks and catechesis from Panama as well as participating in an interactive Stations of the Cross.


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


You can read the homily of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin at the event HERE.


Gospel - Luke 5:1-11




Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.
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, 5th week in Ordinary time


Saints of the Week


11th February - Our Lady of Lourdes - World Day of Prayer for the Sick
12th February - St Julian the Hospitaller
13th February - Bl Jordan of Saxony
14th February - St Cyril & Methodius, St Valentine
15th February - St Claude de la Colombiere
16th February - St John III of Constantinople

6 Feb 2019

Limerick Diocese issues guidelines for new Pastoral Units and Team Ministry


Following on from the establishment of pastoral units and teams from 2nd December 2018, this week Limerick Diocese has issued Guidelines for Team Ministry and Pastoral Units . The Guidelines deal with the roles and responsibilities of:

  • Pastoral Unit
  • Moderators & co-parish priests
  • Pastoral Unit Council
  • Local Mission Group
  • Continuation of existing finance practices within the existing parishes.
It is a follow up from the revised structure initiated in the diocese from 2nd December 2018 where teams of clergy are ministering in pastoral units or collectives of parishes but existing parish identity is being maintained. The new units involve a number of parishes operating together, with two or three priests ministering together as a team to the pastoral needs of these parishes. Each of the priests is a “co-Parish Priest” and will be moving around the pastoral Unit, resulting in different priests saying masses in parishes week on week.

Bishop Leahy commented at the launch of the Pastoral Units that “The main goal in establishing pastoral units and team ministry is greater co-operation between parishes. The hope is that there will be a greater critical mass of energy, competencies and lay volunteers at the service of a number of parishes. As the Irish saying puts it, Ní neart go cur le chéile - our strength lies in unity,” in the pastoral letter.

You can listen to an interview with Bishop Brendan Leahy about the Pastoral Units with SS102fm in December 2018 HERE.

The new Guidelines are available HERE

Introduction to the Guidelines from Bishop Brendan Leahy

In introducing team ministry and pastoral units, I believe God is at work. Change isn’t easy but just as it is necessary in our own personal lives (for instance, a child changes to become an adolescent and then an adult with many changes through life), likewise in the Church we too constantly need to reform and renew our Church life.
Priests will always be necessary. But it is also true that today we are seeing a deep discovery that every baptised person has a vocation. Pope Francis writes that each baptised person “is” a mission. Lay people live out their baptismal vocation in different ways – in family life, in the workplace, in various social projects. But one way today of living out our baptismal vocation is to take a more direct role in the organisation and day-to-day life of the Church in our local area.
I believe that through all that is going on God is drawing out a new lay profile of the Church. We will see a more prominent role of lay people in the running of parishes in the future. There is a considerable decline in the number of priests, the age profile of priests is rising, there are increasing demands, bureaucratic and otherwise on priests today. It is clear that on a practical level, something needs to be done.
Our new arrangements are not, however, just about responding to the decline in the number of priests. For the past fifty years, the Catholic Church throughout the world recognises we need to work more in a team spirit. It is something Pope Francis underlines when he speaks of “synodality”. We journey to God together. We need to promote arrangements that encourage greater co-operation and exchange between parishes.
The steps we are taking together are in tune with the phenomenon the world over, that is, a realisation that there needs to be greater collaboration and togetherness than before, whether it be in dealing with the issue of global warming, peace-keeping or combatting social problems. The Spirit of God is prompting this new sense of inter-dependence.
It is worthwhile hearing Pope Francis’ words who urges us to take new steps for the sake of mission:
I dream of a “missionary option”, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channelled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation. The renewal of structures demanded by pastoral conversion can only be understood in this light: as part of an effort to make them more mission-oriented, to make ordinary pastoral activity on every level more inclusive and open…1
The 2016 Synod offered us important signposts to guide us in the steps we need to take at this stage of our journey in the Diocese. One of these steps is the development of “team ministry”. In the past two years we have worked on this and consulted widely and are now at a point of arranging our Diocese into Pastoral Units with teams of clergy ministering in each unit.

5 Feb 2019

Pedro Arrupe SJ - Anniversary and opening of cause for canonisation



Pedro Arrupe SJ died ‪on this day in 1991. He was the first Basque since St Ignatius to be superior General of the Jesuits. He trained as a doctor before entering the Society and became a member of the Japanese Province. When the atomic bomb was dropped in August 1945 he was novice master at the community on the edge of Hiroshima and he organised for the care of many of the victims in the city. He became Provincial in Japan, and was elected General of the Jesuits in 1965. He was a inspirational leader and was widely respected as a ‘re-founder’ of the Society of Jesus in the light of Vatican II. He became a vocal advocate of peace and justice being an integral part of the preaching of the Good News in the modern world. Just before he was incapacitated by a stroke in 1981, he established the Jesuit Refugee Service, now at work today in more than 50 countries worldwide.
In the Hands of God 
More than ever I find myself in the hands of God.
This is what I have wanted all my life from my youth.
But now there is a difference;
the initiative is entirely with God.
It is indeed a profound spiritual experience
to know and feel myself so totally in God’s hands.

Pedro Arrupe composed the above prayer after he suffered a debilitating stroke, the effects of which he patiently endured for the final ten years of his life. 

Over at Ignatian Solidarity they have a page dedicated to Pedro Arrupe SJ with many links and resources.

You can read more about Arrupe HERE.

Pope Francis in the UAE - Rome Reports







NCR - ‘Seeing Vatican and UAE Flags Side by Side Is a Remarkable Sight’ 

Zenit - ‘I Hope Pope Francis Will Call for Full Freedom for Everyone in Every Muslim-Majority Country’  

800 years later, a new commitment in the sign of peace 

What do religious leaders think about Abu Dhabi interfaith meeting?

2 Feb 2019

3rd February 2019 - Radio Maria Ireland

On this weeks programme, John has an interview with Fr Eamon McCarthy from Radio Maria Ireland to introduce us to Ireland's Catholic radio station.We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as other liturgical odds and ends. 

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

Radio Maria Ireland
John has a discussion with Fr Eamon McCarthy about Radio Maria Ireland which is an online Irish radio station staffed by dedicated professional and volunteer staff. Though not directly connected with the Roman Catholic Church, Radio Maria operates as an instrument of the Church and as a tool for evangelization. It is obedient to the Magisterium of the Holy Catholic Church. Its aim is to bring Christ into every Irish home through home-produced programmes that serve the spiritual, educational and social needs of listeners – both at home and abroad – while having a profound respect for the specific diversity and richness of each ethnic group.

The umbrella body of Radio Maria, the World Family of Radio Maria (WFRM), has its legal headquarters in Rome, Italy. The administrative and technical office are based in Casciago, near Milan. WFRM shares its expertise and know-how with Radio Maria Ireland in order to help it achieve its mission. This enables us to ensure that our office and broadcasting facilities operate to the highest professional, technical and editorial standards.

In essence, Radio Maria is about reawakening our faith, is a call to conversion and a return to prayer, culminating in helping the Church in its mission to save souls. Hence, Radio Maria has a very strong missionary dimension, where all who work there are apostles and witnesses to Christ.

You can find out more about Radio Maria Ireland HERE.

You can listen to the interview with Fr Eamon McCarthy excerpted from the main programme HERE.

Gospel - Luke 4:21-30

Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’” And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 
When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy
Sunday Reflections

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 4; 4th week in Ordinary time

Saints of the Week

February 4th - St Jane of Valois
February 5th - St Agatha
February 6th - Martyrs of Nagasaki 
February 7th - St Mel
February 8th - St Josephine Bakhita
February 9th - St Cuaron the Wise

2nd February 2019 - Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas)

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

On February 2, the Church in the west celebrates the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, also known as Candlemas. 

The feast was first observed in the Eastern Church as "The Encounter." In the sixth century, it began to be observed in the West: in Rome with a more penitential character and in Gaul (France) with solemn blessings and processions of candles, popularly known as "Candlemas." The Presentation of the Lord concludes the celebration of the Nativity and with the offerings of the Virgin Mother and the prophecy of Simeon, the events now point toward Easter.

"In obedience to the Old Law, the Lord Jesus, the first-born, was presented in the Temple by his Blessed Mother and his foster father. This is another 'epiphany' celebration insofar as the Christ Child is revealed as the Messiah through the canticle and words of Simeon and the testimony of Anna the prophetess. Christ is the light of the nations, hence the blessing and procession of candles on this day. 

In the Middle Ages this feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or 'Candlemas,' was of great importance. It is the day candles are incensed and blessed with holy water and later distributed to clergy and laity — a custom going back to the 11th century. Newly blessed candles from Candlemas will be used tomorrow for the Blessing of the Throats on the feast of St. Blaise. The light from blessed candles represents Jesus Christ, the Light of the World — “a light for revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of thy people, Israel,” as Simeon prayed when he took Jesus in his arms in the temple. 


Candlemas 
(1849) - Bl John Henry Newman

THE Angel-lights of Christmas morn,
Which shot across the sky,
Away they pass at Candlemas,
They sparkle and they die.

Comfort of earth is brief at best,
Although it be divine;
Like funeral lights for Christmas gone,
Old Simeon’s tapers shine.

And then for eight long weeks and more,
We wait in twilight grey,
Till the high candle sheds a beam
On Holy Saturday.

We wait along the penance-tide
Of solemn fast and prayer;
While song is hush’d, and lights grow dim
In the sin-laden air. {280}

And while the sword in Mary’s soul
Is driven home, we hide
In our own hearts, and count the wounds
Of passion and of pride.

And still, though Candlemas be spent
And Alleluias o’er,
Mary is music in our need,
And Jesus light in store.