Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Catholic Communications Office Responds...........

I was outraged when I read Eamon Gilmore's remarks. Original article in Irish Examiner. The cheek of him!

I was though, more than pleasantly surprised that our Catholic Communications Office responded, so swiftly, in defence of  Church teaching, and in defence of our Holy Father.

It is just a pity that this press release seems to have received no coverage in Ireland!



PRESS RELEASE

28 June 2010

Catholic Communications Office clarification concerning references to Pope Benedict XVI in today’s Irish Examiner interview with Mr Eamon Gilmore TD, Leader of the Labour Party

In an interview with Mr Eamon Gilmore TD, Leader of the Labour Party, published today by the Irish Examiner, the paper’s political correspondent Shaun Connolly writes that Eamon Gilmore urges:

“… Pope Benedict XVI to ‘temper’ statements such as claiming that ‘saving’ humanity from homosexuality was as important as protecting the rain forests. ‘We have many examples of where there is not only discrimination against gay people, but there has been nasty homophobic bullying and assaults on gay people and I think opinions like that give comfort to that.’”

Mr Gilmore seems to be referring to an address by Pope Benedict to cardinals, bishops and priests delivered on 22 December 2008, which was subsequently interpreted incorrectly by some media outlets. The fact is that homosexuality was not referred to anywhere in this text.

For a leader of a political party to misrepresent remarks made by the Holy Father on such a profound subject as human sexuality, is regrettable. Mr Gilmore’s comments are also highly offensive to Catholics and anyone with an interest in the truth. The truth is that the Catholic Church teaches and Pope Benedict XVI has consistently affirmed that ‘men and women with homosexual tendencies must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.’ (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons, 3 June 2003).

In the text referred to by Mr Gilmore, Pope Benedict XVI in fact said that the Church: “has a responsibility towards creation, and must also publicly assert this responsibility. In so doing, she must not only defend earth, water and air as gifts of creation belonging to all. She must also protect man from self destruction…. If the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman, and demands that this order of creation be respected, this is not some antiquated metaphysics. What is involved here is faith in the Creator and a readiness to listen to the ‘language’ of creation. To disregard this would be the self-destruction of man himself, and hence the destruction of God’s own work.” A reading of the aforementioned text will confirm this.

The prominence given to the interview by the Irish Examiner, with its page one article headline ‘Gilmore: Pope’s words comfort anti-gay thugs’, completely misrepresents the Church’s teaching on human sexuality and the message of the Bible on this matter. It also implies a completely unsubstantiated connection between this teaching and behaviour of ‘anti-gay thugs’ which is condemned and abhorred by the Church.

It is a serious, unacceptable and unfounded distortion of the truth for anyone to suggest that support for Christian marriage is contributing to “homophobic bullying and assaults on gay people.” Catholics and other Christians who uphold the Christian tradition of the Scriptures on this matter deserve truth and accuracy from elected representatives and by the media.

ENDS

You will be hated by all nations

Konstantin Flavitsky - Christian Martyrs

The Feast of the First Martyrs of the See of Rome
When the city of Rome had been devastated by fire in the year 64, the Emperor Nero launched a persecution against the Christians, who were thrown to the wild beasts in the arena or soaked in tar and used as living torches. Their deaths are documented in the writings of the Roman historian Tacitus and in Pope St Clement’s letter to the Corinthians. Their feast was celebrated the day after the feast of Saints Peter and Paul.
"Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because wickedness is multiplied, most men's love will grow cold. But he who endures to the end will be saved." Matthew 24:9

Prayer

Father, you sanctified the Church of Rome
with the blood of its first martyrs.
May we find strength from their courage
and rejoice in their triumph. Amen



Pope gives palliums to 38 new archbishops

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Vocations Website for Tuam

Archbishop Michael Neary has launched a new vocations initiative in the Archdiocese of Tuam
‘One Life, One Call, One Response’ Website


Here is his Video. Is it inspiring? No.



This is inspiring!

Saint Peter, Saint Paul, Pope Benedict and the New Evangelisation

El Greco, Sts Peter and Paul


Pope Benedict announced the creation of a New Pontifical Council dedicated to the New Evangelization on Monday evening, during the Vespers service marking the vigil of the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul. He said he wanted to give the new Pontifical Council the task of promoting a renewed evangelization in countries with deep Christian roots which are now experiencing a sense of the “eclipse of God”, and becoming increasingly secularized. This is the first Curial dicastery to be established from scratch in over a quarter-century.
Prayer to Saint Peter

O Glorious Saint Peter, because of your vibrant and generous faith, sincere humility and flaming love our Lord honored you with singular privileges and especially leadership of the whole Church. Obtain for us the grace of a living faith, a sincere loyalty to the Church, acceptance of all her teaching, and obedience to all her precepts. Let us thus enjoy an undisturbed peace on earth and everlasting happiness in heaven. Amen
 
Prayer to Saint Paul the Apostle

O Glorious Saint Paul, after persecuting the Church you became by God's grace its most zealous Apostle. To carry the knowledge of Jesus, our divine Savior, to the uttermost parts of the earth you joyfully endured prison, scourgings, stonings, and shipwreck, as well as all manner of persecutions culminating in the shedding of the last drop of your blood for our Lord Jesus Christ.

Obtain for us the grace to labor strenuously to being the faith to others and to accept any trials and tribulations that may come our way. Help us to be inspired by your Epistles and to partake of your indomitable love for Jesus, so that after we have finished our course we may join you in praising him in heaven for all eternity. Amen.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ossory Listens.... and I Weep

800 people attended "Listening Sessions" with Bishop Freeman,  in May 2010, throughout the Diocese of Ossery. Here are some quotes from the report of those meetings. My comments are in red.

Complete draft report.


Comment on Pope Benedict's Pastoral letter, "he should have apologized more openly;" Has anyone read the letter? Please read the Letter. Quote from the Pope's letter "You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry. I know that nothing can undo the wrong you have endured."

"they were unsure that the call to traditional devotional practices was the way forward when much of the abuse happened when Ireland was steeped in such practices. Prayer and grace are vital for healing and renewal, we have nothing to fear from traditional devotional practices.

"Disunity amongst the bishops is disheartening and the hierarchy by their silence has allowed an aggressive media to take over and shape public opinion." Here, Here.

Hope was taken from the leadership of Archbishop Martin. No comment.

There was a strong call for more lay involvement in parishes. There was criticism of those parishes that do not have parish pastoral councils or training for lay ministries. There was disappointment that some clergy are fearful of working with laypeople, particularly women. To the laity who seek more involvement, I say, go home and evangelise your children and spouse. Then evangelise your brothers, sisters, parents and grandparents. Then evangelise your neighbours, friends, aquaintances and work colleagues. When you are finished with that lot, I am sure your PP will find you something else to do!

There is a very strong sense of frustration and disappointment that the vision of Vatican II with its promise of much more lay involvement has not been realized in many parishes. These are the words of  "religious", or theologically "trained" people, possibly looking for a job. I have never heard anyone else speak about disappointment about Vatican II. No regular person mentions Vatican II.

Pastoral councils are seen to be the key to going forward. Heaven help us.

It was strongly felt that, while women make up two thirds of the congregation, they have little say or role within the Church and its structures. It was felt that if more people, particularly women, had been involved in leadership roles in the Church the manner in which the abuse allegations were dealt with would have been different. There is a wealth of practical Christianity in women which need to be tapped. Most abuse happens in families, where there are plenty of women.

"Do this in Memory‟ was particularly seen as good and reached out to parents. "Do this in Mockery of me", is sad and pathetic. I have already endured it twice. Yes, it reaches out but then fails to deliver, in my experience, it offers nothing.

Many people commented that while young people may not practice their faith in the traditional sense, many of them lead good Christian lives and do not necessarily equate Mass attendance with being a good Christian. They do not lead good christian lives, they lead good lives. Being a Christian is about following Christ. We as Christians are obviously called to be good. Being good is not the same as being christian.

It was said that if parents and/or women had been involved at the decision-making level in the Church, allegations of sexual abuse of children would have been handled very differently. Abuse allegations within families are also handled badly.

It was expressed that the structure of the Church was the foundation for many of the problems,  The structures should have stopped abuse, but structures do not create child abusers. Changing structures is current magic remedy for all ills.

the “expectation that (the Church) will be run by a number of men who will remain celibate for life” is not realistic.

less preoccupation with the institution and power, less pomp and ceremony, development of the role of the laity, the development of pastoral councils, a new model for choosing bishops, an examination of the theology of ordained ministry;

The manner in which bishops are appointed, mandatory clerical celibacy and the ordination of woman are three areas of Church discipline that people feel need to be reexamined at the present time.

at many of the meetings there was a call for the ordination of women.

As a Church we are in serious need of some solid, basic religious instruction. One bishop has shown us that he can listen. Now can we have someone who can teach us, please?

St Irenaeus of Lyons, Bishop, Defender of the Faith and Martyr, pray for us



Prayer

Father, give perfection to beginners,
understanding to the little ones,
and help to those who are running their course.
Give sorrow to the negligent,
fervor to the lukewarm,
and a good consummation to the perfect.

St Irenaeus of Lyons, Bishop, Defender of the Faith and Martyr, pray for us


Saturday, June 26, 2010

A New Saint for the Church

Photo: Getty Images

The naturally-preserved body of the Lebanese Maronite monk,
YŪSUF NEHMÉ (ESŢFĀN) [يوسف ﻨﻌﻣﺔ ﴿ﺍﺴﻄﻔﺎﻦ﴾ ]
 Estephan Nehmeh (1889-1938)

The beatification ceremony of Brother Nehmeh will be held today, June 27th in Deir Kfifan, in the mountains north of the capital Beirut.

God can see me
“God can see me”, was a slogan of the Venerable Brother Estephan Nehme’s life. He meditated its spiritual meaning and took it as an arm defeating all kind of temptations and obstacles that tried to trouble the clearness of his mind, the purity of his thoughts and the lucidity of his creativity. Thinking of God has dominated all his other thoughts, God and only God. Here in his heart, the Lord whispers, making work easier and suffering less painful.


“God can see me”, and obedience can be respected, poverty can be enjoyed and temptation can be rejected.

“God can see me”, and courage rises and physical strength gets stronger.

“God can see me”, and the intention gets clearer and graces get bigger.

Brother Estephan, pray for us

Blue Mantle Music


Friday, June 25, 2010

AFP: Belgian abuse raid on tombs angers Vatican

This is shocking.

AFP: Belgian abuse raid on tombs angers Vatican

"Earlier Father Eric De Beukelaer, spokesman for the Mechelen-Brussels archbishop, said that "the tombs of Cardinals Suenens and Van Roey were drilled and a camera pushed in, apparently to see whether there were any hidden documents" linked to the paedophilia claims concerning Catholic clergy."

The Iona Institute


The Iona Institute 19 Jun 10,  Politicians tell Church to ‘know your place’

The Power of Cloistered Prayer

On Thursday June 24th, Pope Benedict visited the Dominican Monastery of Santa Maria del Rosario on Monte Mario. He reminds all of us, of the important work of contemplatives.
"The contemplative life which, from the hands of St. Dominic, you received in the form of the cloister, makes you living and vital members in the heart of the Lord's mystical body which is the Church. And just as the heart causes the blood to circulate and keeps the entire body alive, so your hidden lives with Christ, imbued with work and prayer, contribute to maintaining the Church, the instrument of salvation for all mankind whom the Lord redeemed with His Blood..It is from this inexhaustible source that you draw with prayer. You have chosen to live in obscurity and to renounce earthly goods in order to desire above all other things the good that has no equal, the precious pearl for which it is worth abandoning all else".
(more)

This Weekend


Knock Fest 2010
25th-27th June


Festival will kick off this Friday at 6:00pm, registration will be open from 4:00pm.
 

Catholic Youth Retreat

Youth 2000
Catholic Youth Retreat

Sunday 4th July 10am - 6pm
Ages 16-35

Dominican Retreat Centre
Ennismore

Thursday, June 24, 2010

St John the Baptist, pray for us

John the Baptist (right) with child Jesus,
by Bartolomé Esteban Perez Murillo


Prayer

Grant that as St. John was martyred for truth and justice,
so we may energetically profess our Faith in You,
and lead others to the Way, the Truth, and Eternal Life.
Amen.

Event



You’re invited to the the All-Ireland Rally for Life

Custom House Square, Belfast @ 2pm

His and Hers: A film about the women in an Irish man's life




His & Hers won the Audience award in the Dublin International Film Festival, The Feature Award in the Galway Film Fleadh, an IFTA for Best Feature Documentary and the Cinematography Award at the Sundance Film Festival 2010.


Irish Cinemas showing His & Hers From June 18th



Cinemobile Schedule

Moate, ------------------- Thu, 24 June-Thu, 24 June

Clara, -------------------- Fri, 25 June-Fri, 25 June

Birr, ----------------------- Sat, 26 June-Sun, 27 June



Access Cinema dates
Portlaoise, Carlow, Thurles, Waterford, Bray

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Science and Pornography

Slave Master
How Pornography Drugs & Changes Your Brain
by Donald L. Hilton, Jr.

Dr. Donald Hilton, a practicing neurosurgeon and clinical associate professor in the neurosurgery department at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center.

from
http://www.salvomag.com/

Saint Joseph Cafasso, pray for us

Today, June 23 in 1860, Joseph Cafasso died in Turin. He was the uncle of Blessed Joseph Allamano. He was a friend and advisor to St John Bosco. John Bosco preached at his funeral. I wonder if holiness contagious? Note to self : I must find some saints to hang out with!

"Who is this man who in the world is called an ecclesiastic, a priest? Who is this personage whom some bless and others curse? Who is he whom the whole world talks about and criticizes, and who is the subject of discussion by all pens and all tongues? What is the significance of that name which resounds in every corner of the world? What is a priest? In order to define clearly what he is, I shall avail myself of the distinctions that Saint Bernard made concerning ecclesiastics and shall consider him in his nature, in his person, in his habits. Quid in natura, quis in persona, qualis in moribus! In his nature he is a man like others. In his person, his dignity is above that of all other men in the world. In his conduct and habits, he should be a man totally different from all others as he is by his dignity and office. These are the three points which I propose for your consideration."

-Saint Joseph Cafasso

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Catacomb of St. Thecla

Lecture by Dr Vincent Twomey this Thursday in Avila




Lecture: “Is there any such thing as Right or Wrong?”

Dr. Vincent Twomey SVD



Followed by a Concert. Deirdre Moynihan, Soprano & Alec O’Leary, Guitarist

will perform Baroque and Spanish Repertoire for Guitar and Voice.

Thursday, JUNE 24th 2010
time: 7.30 p.m.


Avila Retreat Centre
Bloomfield Avenue,
Morehampton Road,
Donnybrook, Dublin, 4

Email: avila@ocd.ie http://www.ocd.ie/ 
Tel: 01 -6430200
(Admittance by donation)

Holy Martyrs, pray for us

Today, we celebrate the lives of two English martyrs, St Thomas More and St John Fisher.
"Blessed Thomas More is important today, but he is not as important now as he will be in one hundred years from today." G.K. Chesterton made this remark in 1929.

Bishop John Fisher was prepared to die to defend marriage!

St John Fisher and St Thomas More died defending the truth.

Where are our battles for the truth today? Marriage, family life, and life itself are being attacked blatantly and subtly from many angles. The liberal agenda is continually trying to reinvent the truth. They tell us there is no truth. If we do not stop moral relativism in its tracks, our society will soon be unrecognisable.

We are being told that marriage is no longer for life, we are being told marriage is no longer between a man and a woman, we are told that life does not begin at conception, we are being told that we as Catholics should stop interfering, and "butt out" of public life. We must not be silent. We must speak out in the defence of truth. This will make us very unpopular, we will be called "bigots", but we can not bend our beliefs to suit the latest agenda. A new "Tower of London" will soon be waiting for those among us who are not cowards!
Our bishops, politicians, lawyers and judges need the intercession of these great men.

Saint Thomas More, pray for us.
Saint John Fisher, pray for us.
Lord help us to proclaim the truth in season and out of season.



HOLY MASS IN WESTMINSTER CATHEDRAL
HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II
28 May 1982

Excerpt: "John Fisher, the Cambridge scholar of Renaissance learning, became Bishop of Rochester. He is an example to all Bishops in his loyalty to the faith and in his devoted attention to the people of his diocese, especially the poor and the sick. Thomas More was a model layman living the Gospel to the full. He was a fine scholar and an ornament to his profession, a loving husband and father, humble in prosperity, courageous in adversity, humorous and godly. Together they served God and their country - Bishop and layman. Together they died, victims of an unhappy age. Today we have the grace, all of us, to proclaim their greatness and to thank God for giving such men to England."



ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
TO THE SACRED COLLEGE OF CARDINALS
18 October 1978

Excerpt: " John Fisher, created cardinal—as is known—when he was imprisoned for his faithfulness to the Pope of Rome. On the morning of 22 June 1535, while he was preparing to offer his head to the executioner's axe, he exclaimed facing the crowd: "Christian people, I am about to die for faith in the Holy Catholic Church of Christ".

I would also venture to add that also in our times there are persons who have not been spared, who are still not spared, the experience of prison, sufferings, humiliation for Christ. May this unshakeable faithfulness to the Bride of Jesus be always the badge of honour and the pre-eminent boast of the College of Cardinals. "




Prayer to Saint Thomas More

Dear Scholar and Martyr, it was not the King of England but you who were the true Defender of the Faith. Like Christ unjustly condemned, neither promises nor threats could make you accept a civil ruler as head of the Christian Church. Perfect in your honesty and love of truth, grant that lawyers and judges may imitate you and achieve true justice for all people. Amen. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

An Ordination for the Diocese of Meath



Fr Joe Campbell was ordained to the priesthood on Sunday June 21st at the church of St Thomas the Apostle, Rosemount, in the Diocese of Meath. More photos.


Prayer for Priests by St. Therese of Lisieux


O Jesus, eternal Priest,
keep your priests within the shelter of Your Sacred Heart,
where none may touch them.

Keep unstained their anointed hands,
which daily touch Your Sacred Body.

Keep unsullied their lips,
daily purpled with your Precious Blood.

Keep pure and unearthly their hearts,
sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood.

Let Your holy love surround them and
shield them from the world's contagion.

Bless their labors with abundant fruit and
may the souls to whom they minister be their joy
and consolation here and in heaven their beautiful and
everlasting crown. Amen.

Pope Benedict XVI Ordains 14 Priests

On Sunday Pope Benedict XVI ordained 14 men to the priesthood for the Diocese of Rome.

Excerpt fro Pope Benedict's Homily:
Dear ordinands, I would like propose a third thought for your consideration, closely related to the one just mentioned: the call of Jesus to "lose oneself" to take the cross, recalls the mystery we celebrate: the Eucharist. With the sacrament of Holy Orders you today are gifted to preside at the Eucharist! You are entrusted the redemptive sacrifice of Christ, you are entrusted his body given his blood shed. Of course, Jesus offers his sacrifice, his gift of love full and humble, to the Church his Bride, on the Cross. It was on that wood, that the Father dropped a grain of wheat on the field of the world so that in dying it would become mature fruit, the giver of life. But in God's plan, this gift of Christ is made present in the Eucharist through the sacred potestas that the Sacrament of Holy Orders bestows on you Priests. When we celebrate Holy Mass we hold in our hands the bread of Heaven, the bread of God which is Christ, the grain broken to multiply and become the true food of life for the world. It is something that can not fail to fill you with intimate wonder, vibrant joy and immense gratitude: now the love and gift of Christ crucified and glorious, pass through your hands, your voice, your heart!


We pray to the Lord to give you an ever vigilant and enthusiastic consciousness of this gift, which is at the centre of your being priests! So that he may give you the grace to be able to experience in depth all the beauty and strength of this and at the same time your priestly service, the grace to live this ministry with consistency and generosity every day. The grace of the priesthood, that soon you will be given, will connect you intimately, even structurally, to the Eucharist. For this, it will deeply connect in your heart the feelings of Jesus who loves to the end, until the total gift of self, his being multiplied bread for the holy feast of unity and communion. This is the Pentecostal outpouring of the Spirit, designed to ignite your soul with the love of the Lord Jesus. It is an outpouring that, while telling of the absolute gratuity of the gift, carves into your being an indelible Law – a New Law, the Law that urges you to make the same love of the Crucified Christ’s gift a part of the tissue of the specific attitudes and gestures of your daily life and to help it flourish. We again hear the voice of the Apostle Paul, even in this we recognize that powerful voice of the Holy Spirit, "you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ" (Gal 3:27). Already with Baptism, and now in virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, you cloth yourselves with Christ. Care for the celebration of the Eucharist is always accompanied by a commitment to a Eucharistic life lived in obedience to one great law namely, that of love that gives itself entirely, and serves with humility, a life which the grace of the Holy Spirit helps to increasingly resemble that of Christ Jesus, the Eternal High Priest, Servant of God and men.
Full Text

St Aloysius Gonzaga, pray for us

Carlo Francesco Nuvolone, St. Aloysius Gonzaga, S.J.


Some Random Information about St Aloysious

Cousin of Saint Rudolph Acquaviva.
He received his First Communion from Saint Charles Borromeo.
Spiritual student of Saint Robert Bellarmine.

Prayer of Self-Commendation to Mary
O Holy Mary, my Lady, into your blessed trust and safe keeping and into the depths of yur mercy, I commend my soul and body this day, every day of my life, and at the hour of my death. To you I entrust all my hopes and consolations, all my trials and miseries, my life and the end of my life. By your most holy intercession and by your merits, may all my actions be directed and disposed according to your will and the Will of your divine Son. Amen.
by Saint Aloysius Gonzaga 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

New Website will launch on Fathers Day

Submit your written testimonial or video

to be included in the EncouragePriests.org website launch on

Father's Day, June 20, 2010


Saint John Vianney, the Patron Saint of Parish Priests said: "If we were to fully realize what a priest is on earth, we would die: not of fright, but of love." He goes on to say: "What use would be a house filled with gold, were there no one to open its door? The priest holds the key to the treasures of Heaven: it is he who opens the door."

Global Rosary Relay for Priests



Worldwide 24-Hour Rosary Relay for Priests
Ireland 17.00 (18.00). National Shrine of Our Lady of Knock.

2. The Wedding Feast at Cana

We pray that every priest may turn to Mary in times of need.

Friday, June 18, 2010

In Memory of John

John Cahill, First Anniversary

One year ago today, The Fraternity of St Genesius lost a founder member.
It does not seem like a year. We will always remember his enthusiasm and his joy.

Saint Genesius, pray for him

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for him

May he rest in peace. Amen.

Friday Prayer and Penance fo the Church in Ireland


Prayer for the Church in Ireland

God of our fathers,
renew us in the faith which is our life and salvation,
the hope which promises forgiveness and interior renewal,
the charity which purifies and opens our hearts
to love you, and in you, each of our brothers and sisters.

Lord Jesus Christ,
may the Church in Ireland renew her age-old commitment
to the education of our young people in the way of truth and goodness, holiness and generous service to society.

Holy Spirit, comforter, advocate and guide,
inspire a new springtime of holiness and apostolic zeal
for the Church in Ireland.

May our sorrow and our tears,
our sincere effort to redress past wrongs,
and our firm purpose of amendment
bear an abundant harvest of grace
for the deepening of the faith
in our families, parishes, schools and communities,
for the spiritual progress of Irish society,
and the growth of charity, justice, joy and peace
within the whole human family.

To you, Triune God,
confident in the loving protection of Mary,
Queen of Ireland, our Mother,
and of Saint Patrick, Saint Brigid and all the saints,
do we entrust ourselves, our children,
and the needs of the Church in Ireland.

Amen.

Irish Bishops respond

This is an extract from the Irish bishop’s latest press release. I just think, what is the point? My comments are in red.


Response to Pope Benedict XVI’s Pastoral Letter to the Catholics of Ireland

(i) Spiritual guidance and initiatives

Bishops discussed Pope Benedict XVI’s Pastoral Letter to the Catholics of Ireland which was published on 20 March paying particular attention to the spiritual guidance and initiatives which were outlined in it. Bishops acknowledged the ongoing reflection and dialogue which is taking place in parishes around the country with people coming together to pray, take part in Eucharistic Adoration and to discuss this important Pastoral Letter and the issues arising from it. (Most people I have spoken to have not read the letter from the Pope. Imagine, our Pope writes to us, and we can not even be bothered to read it! The prayer, where is this happening? I know individuals are praying, but we need to pray also as a community.)

The discussion on Pope Benedict's Pastoral Letter included emphasis on renewal of faith and of the Church. This requires placing special emphasis on the role of lay faithful, who are encouraged to offer an articulate and convincing account of the Gospel in the midst of modern society and to cooperate in the Church’s life and mission. It was agreed that particular attention ought to be given to establishing and developing parish pastoral councils, finance committees, and other bodies which enable greater participation of the lay faithful in the service and mission of the Church. (So we are going to spiritually renew the Church in Ireland, by establishing pastoral councils and finance committees? Are they for real??)

Bishops decided to establish a preliminary task group to explore the potential for a multi-disciplinary analysis of the Irish context to bring new or additional insight to research already conducted or underway. (What does this mean? Task group? Multi-disciplinary analysis? Another talk shop? Another report? Let’s pay some hack loads of money to tell us that something really bad happened, and it shouldn’t have.)

Bishops also agreed to produce materials and develop initiatives (The bishops of England and Wales have already done that, two months ago!) around renewing prayers and fasting specifically for the intentions set out in the Pastoral Letter and for a set period of time to be determined by the Episcopal Conference e.g. from Advent 2010 to Advent 2011. Bishops are grateful for the many ideas and responses received from around the country and will return to this issue at their Autumn General Meeting in October.

Lads, how about just telling every parish, that they must, must, must pray for one hour each and every Friday in reparation for the sins of abuse? Simple as that! Just pray, together in your parish. Holy hour, rosary, Stations of the Cross, whatever is possible. Ireland is in a spiritual crisis, what we need to do is pray, not talk, pray. We need prayer more than we need pastoral councils, and finance committees. We need to get down on our knees and pray, and ask the Lord to help. No task group can heal the hurt that sin has caused, but the Lord can, if we ask!

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.


http://www.irishbishops.ie/

Thursday, June 17, 2010

At last, the Irish Bishops say something about the Civil Partnership Bill

Holy Family by Juan Simon Gutierrez

We must ‘guard with special care the institution of Marriage, on which the Family is founded.’
 (Art. 41.3.1, Bunreacht na hÉireann)


•Protection and support for marriage and family


Bishops discussed the statement Why Marriage Matters which was published by the Bishops’ Conference in March in the context of the Civil Partnership Bill which has just completed its Committee Stage in Dáil Éireann. Why Marriage Matters is available in print format and has been distributed in parishes. It is also available to download from the Bishops’ website http://www.catholicbishops.ie/.

Bishops appealed to Oireachtas members to consider Why Marriage Matters as they discuss this Bill and in particular to consider in conscience the following excerpt from it before voting on the Bill:

“Oireachtas Eireann is about to pass legislation that seeks to give same-sex relationships a standing which will be as similar as possible to marriage. The Civil Partnership Bill will not permit adoption by same-sex couples. In most other respects, including tax and social welfare purposes, same-sex civil partnerships will be regarded as being equal to marriage.

“This is not compatible with seeing the family based on marriage as the necessary basis of the social order and as indispensable to the welfare of the Nation and State. Nor does it ‘guard with special care the institution of Marriage, on which the Family is founded.’” (Art. 41.3.1, Bunreacht na hÉireann)

Bishops called on Oireachtas members to allow for greater recognition of the proper autonomy of Churches and the right to social and civil freedom in religious matters. This includes the right of individuals to the free exercise of conscience in accordance with the objective moral order and the teaching of the Gospel. The current Bill, by exposing Civil Registrars to a fine and/or imprisonment should they act in accordance with their conscience on the matter of same-sex unions, undermines this cherished principle of a free and diverse society and imposes unjust limits on the ‘freedom of conscience and free expression and practice of religion’ guaranteed to every citizen in Article 44.2.1 of Bunreacht Na hÉireann. Bishops therefore appeal to Government to introduce amendments to the Bill to accommodate freedom of religious conscience on this vital matter. Bishops also ask Government to support a free vote for all members of Dáil Éireann and the Seanad on this Bill as it passes through the Houses of the Oireachtas.

We must continually proclaim the truth of the faith.



SUNDAY EUCHARIST AND THE WITNESS OF CHARITY

On Tuesday the 16th June the Pope spoke at the diocesan congress of Rome. As ever he said some wonderful things. He spoke about passing on the faith, the Eucharist, and the liturgy. Here is an excerpt, the complete text is quite short, and worth the read.

"The faith", said Benedict XVI, "can never be taken for granted, because each generation needs to receive this gift through announcement of the Gospel and knowledge of the truth that Christ revealed to us. Thus the Church constantly strives to present the heritage of the faith to everyone. This also includes the doctrine on the Eucharist". Unfortunately, though, this doctrine "is insufficiently understood in its profound significance and in the relevance it has for believers' lives. It is important, therefore, for people to have a more profound knowledge of the mystery of the Body and Blood of the Lord".
The "faith" in Ireland has very much been taken for granted. The truth of the faith, the Gospel of Christ has not been proclaimed in recent years. But that is history, and our primary concern is for the here and now, and the future. How are you doing in your proclaimation of the faith? Each one of us, as members of the church, the Mystical Body of Christ, have an obligation to proclaim the faith. As a lay person, I must procalim the faith to my family, friends and acquaintances, and even strangers. I can not leave it all up to the priests and bishops. Ok, of course they should be doing their bit. I must proclaim Christ in the secular world, that I inhabit. That is what lay involvement is all about!
I can not even being to address Eucharistic belief in Ireland, as I'm afraid alot of us have quite a protestant view. Our knowledge of the profound mystery of the Body and Blood of the Lord, is lacking, to say the least.

Pope Benedict's challenge, June 16th

The world would be a much better place if we all accepted this particular challenge.
The Pope invited young people not to be afraid "to chose love as the supreme rule of life, .. to love Christ in the priesthood, ... to create Christian families that live a faithful and indissoluble love, open to life".


A Summer Music Festival with a Difference



MAD
Make a Difference

Christian Summer Music Festival


Sunday 20th June 2010
Glenealy, Co. Wicklow

 
Emmaus, Don King R (Breakdance),
Rend Collective Experiment ,
Shell Perris, LZ7, TOM + OLLY,
WORSHIP CENTRAL BAND
Godfrey Chimb, Dublin Gospel Choir,
YFriday,

alcohol-free event

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On this day, June 16th 1890


On this day in 1890 Stan Laurel of the comedy team Laurel and Hardy was born Arthur Stanley Jefferson in Lancashire, England.

Eight years ago, St Pio was canonised, by Pope John Paul II


Homily at the Canonization of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, 16 June 2002
Padre Pio was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making himself available to all by welcoming them, by spiritual direction and, especially, by the administration of the sacrament of Penance. I also had the privilege, during my young years, of benefitting from his availability for penitents. The ministry of the confessional, which is one of the distinctive traits of his apostolate, attracted great crowds of the faithful to the monastery of San Giovanni Rotondo. Even when that unusual confessor treated pilgrims with apparent severity, the latter, becoming conscious of the gravity of sins and sincerely repentant, almost always came back for the peaceful embrace of sacramental forgiveness. May his example encourage priests to carry out with joy and zeal this ministry which is so important today. Full text - Pope John Paul II

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Excellent Conference in Maynooth

This looks like the type of conference I would like to attend, it will cover many important issues, and has some good speakers. But family life means, I will be at home peeling the spuds!




16-18 June 2010


Wednesday 16 June

5.15 Welcome – Bishop Anthony Fisher
5.30 Marriage, fertility and celibacy – Biblical perspectives – Fr Paul Mankowski
6.10 Discussion
7.30 Dinner

Thursday 17 June

7.30 Mass - Principal celebrant: Bishop Philip Boyce
8.00 Breakfast
9.00 Love, unity and contraception – Professor Alexander Pruss
9.40 Marriage, singleness and homosexuality – Professor Luke Gormally
10.20 Coffee break
10.40 Psychological issues in gender identity – Dr Philip Sutton
11.20 Panel discussion
1.00 Lunch
2.30 Humanae Vitae and chastity – Dr Kevin O’Reilly
3.10 STDs, teenage pregnancy and abstinence strategies - Professor David Paton
3.50 Tea/coffee break
4.10 Population growth and control – Dr Dermot Grenham
4.50 Panel Discussion
7.30 Banquet

Friday 18 June

7.30 Mass – Principal celebrant: Bishop Anthony Fisher (tbc)
8.00 Breakfast
9.00 Assisted conception: Ethical approaches - Dr Phil Boyle
9.40 Motherhood, IVF and sexual ethics – Dr Mary Geach
10.20 Tea/coffee break
10.40 Dignitas Personae 12 – what fertility treatments does it allow? Fr Kevin Flannery
11.20 The effects on children of the reproductive revolution Elizabeth Marquardt
12.00 Panel Discussion
1.00 Closing remarks
1.15 Lunch and departure

What are you watching tonight?

Reminder
St Genesius Film Society
 Movie Tonight

FRANCIS OF ASSISI

BRADFORD DILLMAN        DOLORES HART       STUART WHITMAN


Tuesday 15th June 2010
Knights of St Columbanus Centre
Ely House, 8 Ely Place, Dublin 2
(Off Merrion Row or Hume Street)
at 7pm

We watch the movie, have a discussion with refreshments after.
Everyone welcome, and bring a friend!

Then he said, 'In truth I tell you, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 18:3)

Garvan Byrne (1973-1985) Watch this, and show it to your children!
I found this video, thanks to Alive! This is the third part of the insirational story of Garvan Byrne. Garvan was a cancer sufferer, and this interview was recorded in Helen House,a childrens hospice. In this video Garvan speaks about his First Holy Communion. There is not a mention of money, big cars, parties, bouncy castles, just talk of Garvan and Jesus. Check out the other videos on PiusVision





(1.40)Yes and it was a very joyful experience, my first Holy Communion, meeting Christ in Holy Communion, I found was a great joy and very sort of mysterious, very peaceful.. and it was the only time I could seem to talk to Him about my deepest problems, and have a really good talk to Him about it and what I felt, and ask Him for His help. And He always answered me back, but… My way of praying is just praying with an open heart to Him, so that I get the open answer back. Yes, its, it was a very important time, and my very first time was extremely, the most happiest day of my life, so I think. That very first day I took it, and it, his coming to me was very special.

Lolo, our first journalist to be beatified

Journalists will find in him an eloquent testimony of the good that can be done when the pen reflects the greatness of soul and is at the service of truth and noble causes. (Benedict XVI)



The Relics of Garrido Maneul Lozanz, known as "Lolo" at his beatification in Logan, Andalusia



Excerpt from the homily of Archbishop Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints

Dear faithful, with the beatification of the Servant of God Manuel Lozano Garrido, Pope Benedict XVI gives us an example of holiness, which transforms the pain on a pilgrimage of redemption. The Pope sees in this issue an indefatigable apostle Spanish layman who accepted the paralysis and blindness with serene and joyful. As a writer and journalist, he spread the Gospel truths, holding the faith of another with prayer, love for the Eucharist and filial devotion to the Virgin.

The saints are modeled on the anvil of immolation. Pain is a call to everyone to look up to heaven, whence comes our help.

In a hedonistic society like ours, you do not see the pain and can not value it, Lolo Blessed invites us to open our eyes and see the thousands of suffering of our neighbor, to open our ears to hear the cries of the needy, large and small, rich and poor, to move our hands to help the walkers beaten and defeated by life, to open our mouth to relieve, comfort and forgive. The suffering and pain live among us and around us, our families, our loved ones.

Lolo invites us to love because God has only one name, which is love, nothing but love. Amen.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Gilbert Keith Chesterton died on this day in 1936.


Here is a quote that I like from Chesterton.
It is impossible to be just to the Catholic Church. The moment men cease to pull against it they feel a tug towards it. The moment they cease to shout it down they begin to listen to it with pleasure. The moment they try to be fair to it they begin to be fond of it. But when that affection has passed a certain point it begins to take on the tragic and menacing grandeur of a great love affair. The man has exactly the same sense of having committed or compromised himself; of having been in a sense entrapped, even if he is glad to be entrapped. But for a considerable time he is not so much glad as simply terrified.
-The Catholic Church and Conversion (1926)
If you do not know who Chesterton is, here is a good place to start. Read "Who is this guy and why haven’t I heard of him?" by Dale Ahlquist, who is President of the American Chesterton Society.

"By the Babe Unborn"

by G.K. Chesterton

If trees were tall and grasses short,
As in some crazy tale,
If here and there a sea were blue
Beyond the breaking pale,

If a fixed fire hung in the air
To warm me one day through,
If deep green hair grew on great hills,
I know what I should do.

In dark I lie; dreaming that there
Are great eyes cold or kind,
And twisted streets and silent doors,
And living men behind.

Let storm clouds come: better an hour,
And leave to weep and fight,
Than all the ages I have ruled
The empires of the night.

I think that if they gave me leave
Within the world to stand,
I would be good through all the day
I spent in fairyland.

They should not hear a word from me
Of selfishness or scorn,
If only I could find the door,
If only I were born.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Drop into Spirit Radio Today



Tears, kisses and ointment for the feet of Jesus


Sundays Gospel (Luke 7:36-8:3)

One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to a meal. When he arrived at the Pharisee’s house and took his place at table, a woman came in, who had a bad name in the town. She had heard he was dining with the Pharisee and had brought with her an alabaster jar of ointment. She waited behind him at his feet, weeping, and her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them away with her hair; then she covered his feet with kisses and anointed them with the ointment.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who this woman is that is touching him and what a bad name she has.’ Then Jesus took him up and said, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ ‘Speak, Master’ was the reply. ‘There was once a creditor who had two men in his debt; one owed him five hundred denarii, the other fifty. They were unable to pay, so he pardoned them both. Which of them will love him more?’ ‘The one who was pardoned more, I suppose’ answered Simon. Jesus said, ‘You are right.’


Then he turned to the woman. ‘Simon,’ he said ‘you see this woman? I came into your house, and you poured no water over my feet, but she has poured out her tears over my feet and wiped them away with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but she has been covering my feet with kisses ever since I came in. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. For this reason I tell you that her sins, her many sins, must have been forgiven her, or she would not have shown such great love. It is the man who is forgiven little who shows little love.’ Then he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ Those who were with him at table began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this man, that he even forgives sins?’ But he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’

Now after this he made his way through towns and villages preaching, and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom of God. With him went the Twelve, as well as certain women who had been cured of evil spirits and ailments: Mary surnamed the Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and several others who provided for them out of their own resources.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

God waits patiently in the confessional.............


I love it when someone says something good about confession. Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, did just that, on June 10th, at St Paul Outside the Walls,  at the close of the Year for Priests. Here are some great quotes. When, and if I find the full meditation, I will post it.






  • "When Christian faithful ask me: 'How can we help our priests?' I always respond: 'Go to confession with them."

  • Whenever a priest stops hearing confession, he becomes a religious social agent" and "falls into a grave crisis of identity."

  • The lack of participation in this sacrament "[i]s at the root of many evils in the life of the Church and in the life of the priest.

  • A priest who is not found frequently on one side or the other of the confessional's grille, suffers permanent damages to his soul and his mission.

  • A confessional where a priest is present, in an empty church, is the most important symbol of God's patience, [God] who waits."

  • The spiritual maturity of a candidate to receive priestly ordination becomes evident in the fact that he receives regularly -- at least once a month -- the sacrament of reconciliation.

  • One of the most tragic losses" the Church suffered in the second half of the 20th century was "the loss of the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of reconciliation."

Happy Feast Day to all the members of the Fraternity of St Genesius


The work of the Fraternity of St Genesius is consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.




Prayer
To you, Immaculate Heart of Mary,
we consecrate ourselves –
our hearts, minds, will and lives
and all those works we undertake
so they may be for the glory of God,
for the sake of the Gospel
and the salvation of souls.
Holy Mother, our Queen and our Joy,
give to our hearts the dimensions of yours
and form us in the image of your beloved Son.
Let us pray:

Eternal Father, you sent your Son among us to make of us one people dedicated to your will and restored through grace to sing forever of your glorious works. As he offered his life on the Cross for our sake, laying down his life for his friends, accept the gift we make of our prayer and sacrifices, offered in union with him, for those in the theatrical and cinematic arts. Grant us the grace to fulfill our obligations to you and our neighbour, building up the Body of Christ, the Church, and trusting in the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

St Genesius, pray for us.


A few words on the work of the Fraternity of St Genesius
My dear people, this is the spiritual battle that exists at this time. It is the battle for art, for the life, the soul and the future of art, where God on one side wishes to inspire His children to use their talents for His glory and the building up of a civilization of truth, beauty, decency and love and where Satan on the other hand seeks to cultivate within the hearts and minds of writers, directors and actors an anti‐art of perversion, disorder and untruth; an anti‐art which many of God’s children now serve to the moral degradation of our world. In this spiritual battle God does not stand on the sidelines but continually puts before us through his Church the communion of saints whose help we are called to avail of not only for ourselves but for those such as actors and actresses, scriptwriters and directors, whose spiritual need is great. In this battle for the soul of art, for the soul of film, for cinema, for theatre, God gives us St. Genesius as one who lived as an actor in this world and who now intercedes for them as a Saint from the next. But for the power of this intercession to be realized in the lives of those who dedicate their lives to acting, then the children of the Church must hear the call to accompany actors and actresses spiritually through prayer, bringing them to Christ through St. Genesius in the hope that the victory of Christ may be manifest in their lives. Given the pressures that many actors face, from the cult of celebrity at one extreme to the reality of poverty at the other, this service of prayer for them is a real service of love. So let us serve the acting community each and every day by praying for those who dedicate their lives to acting. Over the years their talents have brought us so much joy and many of their performances have been source of inspiration for us. In acknowledgment of this and in appreciation for it, may be pray for them especially those who do not know God and who have experienced much suffering in their lives.
Excerpt from The Saint Whose Time Has Come, by Fr. Owen Gorman (Fraternitas 2007)

Carmelite Monastic Weekend


The call to Carmel is a gift of His love.


It is a call to love and to allow oneself to be loved, To be captivated by His love.

“I have called you by your name, you are Mine.”

The call to Carmel implies an awakening; a recognition that our hearts are restless; that we are a hunger; and a realization that He alone can satisfy the longing and aspiration of our heart. The call is irrestible as in the silence we hear the still persistent invitation: “Come!”

The Carmelite is a woman of prayer. A woman called to be ….. To be for Him; to be for others in a life of prayer. We welcome you to visit, to ‘Come and See’.

We would be privileged to journey with you as you consider God’s invitation and call to religious life in Carmel.
 
St. Joseph’s
Carmelite Monastery
Tallow
Co. Waterford

Tel: 058 56205
carmeltallow@eircom.net

Friday, June 11, 2010

A few words from Pope Benedict XVI on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart

At 10 am this morning, Solemnity of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus The Holy Father Benedict XVI presides at St. Peter's Square the concelebrated Mass with the cardinals, bishops and priests at the conclusion of Priests.





Here are two short exerpts from his homily.
We are celebrating the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and in the liturgy we peer, as it were, into the heart of Jesus opened in death by the spear of the Roman soldier. Jesus’ heart was indeed opened for us and before us – and thus God’s own heart was opened. The liturgy interprets for us the language of Jesus’ heart, which tells us above all that God is the shepherd of mankind, and so it reveals to us Jesus’ priesthood, which is rooted deep within his heart; so too it shows us the perennial foundation and the effective criterion of all priestly ministry, which must always be anchored in the heart of Jesus and lived out from that starting-point.
"One of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out" (Jn 19:34). The heart of Jesus is pierced by the spear. Once opened, it becomes a fountain: the water and the blood which stream forth recall the two fundamental sacraments by which the Church lives: Baptism and the Eucharist. From the Lord’s pierced side, from his open heart, there springs the living fountain which continues to well up over the centuries and which makes the Church. The open heart is the source of a new stream of life; here John was certainly also thinking of the prophecy of Ezechiel who saw flowing forth from the new temple a torrent bestowing fruitfulness and life (Ez 47): Jesus himself is the new temple, and his open heart is the source of a stream of new life which is communicated to us in Baptism and the Eucharist.

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