Thursday, March 31, 2011

Catholic Education Rant Continued......



I found a new policy document on http://www.irishbishops.ie/ . It is called Policy For The Religious Education of Catholic Children Not Attending Catholic Schools (PDF). I looked through it, and do you know what, it made me mad. Why? It seems that (on paper at least) there is more concern for the religious formation of Catholic children not attending Catholic schools than their is for Catholic children attending Catholic schools.

If my children had attended a local multi-denominational school, the chances are that the person providing their religious instruction after school, will have been chosen by the parish priest. The priest will has looked for somone suitable, (an so he should) the person could be a daily Mass goer, a member of the Legion of Mary, someone who has shown some committment to the faith. This is what the document says about the people who should provide this religious instruction.
"Catechists must be practising Catholics, baptised and confirmed, taking part in the worship and apostolate of the Church. They must realise that their vocations as Catholics call them to worship God in the liturgy and their personal prayer and to serve God through service of God’s people. The example of their prayer and service is a powerful teaching tool. Catechists should be versed in the hierarchy of truths[1] as outlined the GDC. (They are required to have a general knowledge of the Creed, the Commandments, the Mass and Sacraments, the Liturgical Year, the prayer life of a Christian, and the life of Christ and the Church’s Social Teaching.)" from Policy For The Religious Education of Catholic Children Not Attending Catholic Schools.
I have chosen to send my children to my local Catholic parish school, and what do we get? I don't exactly know what we get, but it feels like nothing.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Protect our Catholic Schools



Here is so work for you all. It comes at the suggestion of David Quinn on Facebook.

"Re the future of Catholic schools, everyone possible needs to contact their local bishop to say nothing should be handed over without some kind of quid pro quo starting with a guarantee that the admissions policy, the employment policy and the content of religion class will not be restricted by 'equality legislation'. Start contacting them tomorrow.

PS Spread the word far and wide. There can be no passivity on this one or we'll only have ourselves to blame if it all goes pear-shaped.
 
Your local TD should also be contacted, especially FG ones, and told you would be very concerned if the schools are taken away in return for nothing and if FG caves into Lab on this."

 
Click to find out the contact details for your bishop. Most bishops have an e-mail address, so it will only take you a few minutes. I encourage you to do your bit. Don't leave it up to someone else.

I live in the Diocese of Meath so I will be contacting Bishop Smith. 
Bishop Michael Smith, (Bishop of Meath)
Bishops’ House, Dublin Road, Mullingar, Co Westmeath

Archbishop Dolan responds to speculation about the closure of Maynooth Seminary




29 March 2011

Archbishop Dolan’s statement concerning media speculation on St Patrick’s College Maynooth

The Apostolic Visitator for the Irish seminaries, Archbishop Timothy M Dolan, Archbishop of New York, has sent his regards to the seminary community in Ireland, along with the following brief statement.

“After hearing of the recent report by the Irish Catholic about our “recommendation” to Rome, I can easily conclude that unsubstantiated and inaccurate reporting by the press is hardly a monopoly of the American media. Had anyone from this paper asked, I would have pointed out that our report to the Holy See is still not even complete. The sole mandate of the Apostolic Visitation is to review the seminaries to ensure they are responding properly to the present-day needs of the Church.”

ENDS

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

X Factor Education



"Prof Coolahan said the issue of which schools would be moved from Catholic control could be decided by ballots of parents. " This a quote from today's Irish Independent, made by the man who has been chosen to lead the  advisory group on the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism. This sort of simplistic approach does not exactly inspire confidence.

Will we have to go to a meeting to vote? Or maybe we should be able to text our preference, just like in the X-Factor, or the All Ireland Talent Show?

Should the parents of the current cohort of primary school going children, should they alone, be allowed to "vote" and decide the future of the patronage of their schools? So many questions, and so few answers.

According to the newspapers the Church is "shocked" by Ruari Quinn's desire to take half of their schools, and so they should be. I'm beyond shocked, I'm outraged. The Church should be leading this process, these are after all still Church schools. The Church needs to put its episcopal foot down and make some big demands. First of all, there should be a Bishop on this advisory group!

Monday, March 28, 2011

A "Divesting" Nightmare

"The Minister said he wanted to see at least half the schools currently under Church patronage move to an alternative guardianship." this is a quote from the Irish Times. I think the Minister for Education needs a new calculator! And what is the point of the "Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector", if the Minister has already decided on the numbers?

But just imagine the senario for a moment. Ruari Quinn gets his way and 50% of Catholic primary schools are no longer Catholic. The Minister says that this will happen by choice, this is something that parents must choose, there will be a process. Parents can make their choice and be happy, simple as that. But will it be so simple? How do we prevent a disaterous Irish solution? How many will want a non-Catholic school, but also First Holy Communion? Can we reconcile a rejection of Catholic education, with a seemingly contradictory demand for the sacraments? How many of those who opt out of Catholic education will seek/demand religious instruction, and sacramenetal preparation for their children?

In Drogheda we have one non-Catholic Gael Scoil, and  two "Educate Together" primary schools. All of these schools offer Catholic religious instruction for their Catholic students, in school, after school hours. (The laugh is, these children have probably received better sacramental preparation in their after school classes, than mine received in their Catholic school from I think lapsed Catholics! but that is another issue.)

This week my parish Church has three first confession nights, one for the parish girls school, one for the parish boys school, and another for children from other non Catholic primary schools. Will the Church be able to provide this service nationwide to the 50% of divested schools? Will our already over stretched clegy want to? This is going to be messy, and thats before we even look at the minefield of teachers. How do we get the Catholic teachers into the Catholic schools etc? Fun indeed!

On a brighter note, hopefully, the schools that we are "allowed to keep" will eventually become stronger Catholic schools.

Leave My Catholic School Alone!



As a Catholic parent, with children attending Catholic schools, I find this whole process of "divesting schools" unnerving. All I ever hear is that this bishop or that bishop has welcomed it again, and again. I know it is necessary, but I keep wondering, what does it mean for our family? When will we be consulted? Does the State, or even the bishops care about what we want?

Seven years ago, we chose to send our oldest son to a particular school, our local Catholic parish school. We attend our parish church, and we wanted our children to attend their parish school. I wanted to do the Catholic parents, Catholic children, Catholic parish, Catholic schools, Catholic community, all working together thing. I wanted a crucifix in every classroom, statues of Our Lady, stories of the saints, rosary beads and Mass. Now I'm being told that a "forum" may just turn our school, the school that we choose for our children into a different "type" of school. Excuse me if I am not jumping up and down with enthusiasm!

P.S. I might feel a little more at ease if Ruari Quinn was not the Minister for Education.

Press Release
28 March, 2011 - Minister Quinn announces the establishment of a Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector

The Minister for Education and Skills, Mr. Ruairi Quinn TD, today announced the establishment of a Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector.

Announcing the establishment of the Forum, Minister Quinn said “it will take a multi-dimensional approach involving consultations with the key education stakeholders, including parents”. The Minister indicated that a formal launch of the Forum will take place before Easter.

The terms of reference of the Forum are to advise the Minister on:
  1. How it can best be ensured that the education system can provide a sufficiently diverse number and range of primary schools catering for all religions and none;
  2. The practicalities of how transfer/divesting of patronage should operate for individual primary schools in communities where it is appropriate and necessary;
  3. How such transfer/divesting can be advanced to ensure that demands for diversity of patronage (including from an Irish language perspective) can be identified and met on a widespread basis nationally.
In undertaking this work the Forum will, in particular, have regard for the following:

The expressed willingness of the Roman Catholic Church to consider divesting patronage of primary schools the current financial constraints within which the State is operating, the need for continued restraint into the future and the requirement in this context to make maximum use of existing school infrastructure in catering for future demands.
The Minister announced that he has appointed an Advisory Group to convene the Forum, to receive and distil the various views and perspectives of participants and to then provide him with policy advice having regard to the Terms of Reference. The Advisory Group will conduct a number of meetings in public and will seek submissions from the public as part of its work.

The Advisory Group is to be chaired by Dr. John Coolahan, Professor Emeritus at NUI Maynooth. The other members of the Advisory Group are Dr. Caroline Hussey, former Registrar and Deputy President, UCD and Fionnuala Kilfeather, former Chief Executive of the National Parents Council - Primary.

 Minister Quinn concluded that “the Forum for Patronage and Pluralism in the primary sector is a key education objective of the Programme for a National Government 2011-2016. It will provide a platform for what I believe is an essential debate within the education agenda”. Press Release Ends

List of Bodies which will be invited to participate in the Forum

An Foras Pátrúnachta
Catholic Primary Schools Management Association
Church of Ireland Board of Education
Association of Trustees of Catholic Schools
Educate Together
Gaelscoileanna Teoranta
Irish Catholic Bishops Conference
Irish National Teachers Organisation
Irish Primary Principals’ Network
Irish Vocational Education Association
Islamic Foundation of Ireland
National Association of Boards of Management in Special Education
National Parents Council – Primary

Biographical details of Advisory Group members:
Professor John Coolahan (Chairperson)
Dr. John Coolahan is Professor Emeritus at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. He has lectured extensively in Ireland and abroad. He is author of three books, has published over 120 articles in Irish and international journals, and has edited several educational publications. His public service roles in Ireland include - Secretary General of the National Education Convention (1993); Secretary General of the National Forum on Early Childhood Education (1998); and Chairman of the NESF group on Early Childhood Education (2005). He was adviser to the Government on the 1992 Green Paper and on the Green and White Papers on Adult Education (1998, 2000). Professor Coolahan is author of the Irish Country Background Reports for the OECD Reviews on Teachers (2003) and Higher Education in Ireland (2004). He has served on the Governing Authorities of a number of higher education institutions and was a member of the Senate of the NUI. He is a board member of a number of educational and cultural bodies in Ireland, North and South. At international level, Professor Coolahan has been a consultant to the European Commission, the Council of Europe, the World Bank, and the OECD, for whom he has led a number of international educational reviews.

Dr. Caroline Hussey
Dr. Caroline Hussey is a graduate in Biochemistry from UCD (1962). Having completed her PhD in Trinity College Dublin (1966), she worked in Trinity and Harvard University before returning to UCD as a lecturer in the Department of Industrial Microbiology in 1973. She was appointed to the office of Registrar and Deputy President in 1994. She retired from UCD in 2004 having completed her ten year term of office. Caroline Hussey was a member of the UCD Governing Body/Authority of UCD from 1978 to 2004. She was a member of the Senate of the National University of Ireland from 1981 to 2007. She chaired the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment from 1995 to 2000. She represented the universities on the “Points Commission” and on Teastas. She was Deputy Chairperson of the National Qualifications Authority from 2001 to 2009. She has been a Board member of the Irish Universities Quality Board since 2006. She represented UCD on the Board of the Central Applications Office from 1994 to 2004. She is a member of the Irish Federation of University Teachers since 1974 and served as UCD Academic Staff Association Chairman from 1984 to 1987, as Honorary Secretary of the Federation from 1978 to 1981 and as President from 1988 to 1991. She was appointed by the Minister for Health in 1994 to the first Expert Group on Hepatitis C. She was a member of the Dangerous Substances Advisory Council from 1981 to 1989. She was chairwoman of the Interim Board for Occupational Safety and Health from 1986 to 1989.

Ms. Fionnuala Kilfeather
Ms. Fionnuala Kilfeather trained and practised as an architect. She served at local school board and parent association level and worked as a volunteer to establish the National Parents Council - Primary in South Dublin. She was elected chairperson of the national organisation. She was subsequently employed as chief executive of the National Parents' Council - Primary. She has served on many education and child related committees and boards including, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, the National Educational Welfare Board, the Education Sector Performance Verification Group and the New Schools Advisory Committee. She recently worked as chairperson of the initial Special Education Appeals Board. She was a board member of the Children’s Cultural Centre, the Ark, and a founding member of the Children’s Rights Alliance.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kees Kraayenoord - Living water

This is a song for today. Kees Kraayenoord's song Living Water was written about the Samaritan woman who meets Jesus at the well. Enjoy.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Statement of Santa Cruz Media, Inc. Relative to Fr. Corapi’s Suspension


Santa Cruz Media, Inc. is the owner of all of Fr. John Corapi’s intellectual property and the DVDs, CDs, and books that flow from it. We are a secular corporation and not affiliated with the Catholic Church in any way. As such, we are not under the jurisdiction of any bishop or other official in the Catholic Church, although we have the utmost respect for Church authority.

We fully support Rev. John Corapi in this terrible trial, not surprisingly having begun on Ash Wednesday. Through the sacrifice and struggle of the desert and all of the dark moments that this entails, we are confident that the glory of the risen Lord will shine forth from the power of the Resurrection and Easter.

We have consulted with a number of canon lawyers. They have assured us that the actions of the Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas are, on several points of canon law, illicit. It is our fervent hope that The Dallas Charter will be changed because of false accusations like this. There is no evidence at this time that Fr. Corapi did anything wrong, only the unsubstantiated rant of a former employee, who, after losing her job with this office, physically assaulted me and another employee and promised to "destroy" Father Corapi. We all continue to pray for this person, and we ask you to do the same.

We sincerely believe that the work Fr. Corapi has done is of greatest value to the Church, hence hated by the devil. We fully intend to make Fr. Corapi’s material available as a service to the Church and the world for as long as we possibly can.

The Church provides no financial support to Fr. Corapi. He has to pay for his own legal representation, medical costs, food, housing, etc. We have never accepted donations or charitable contributions of any kind. We are supporting Father’s efforts to defend himself. Your purchase of products from Santa Cruz Media helps provide the funding for Father's continued work as well as the legal expenses he continues to incur as a result of these malicious allegations.

Father Corapi and all of us here at Santa Cruz Media, Inc. greatly appreciate your kindness, support, and prayers. Please continue to pray for Father Corapi and his accuser, as well as all priests who find themselves in this unfortunate situation.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Bobbi Ruffatto
Vice President of Operations
Santa Cruz Media, Inc.

Friday, March 25, 2011

And she conceived by the Holy Spirit

Today is the Feast of the Annunciation, so remember to celebrate!

Annunciation by Federigo Barocci


Today is the beginning of our salvation,
And the revelation of the eternal mystery!
The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin
As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace.
Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:
"Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!"
(from a traditional eastern hymn)

Friday Prayer and Penance for the Church in Ireland

from Lamentation by Rubens
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.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

St Macarten, pray for us


Tréanfhear of Patrick



Macartan (Aedh MacCairthinn) was a convert from paganism. He is said to have gone south from his home in the north to hear Patrick preach and that their first meeting took place at Drumlease, near Dromahair, County Leitrim. Soon he was baptised and became a companion and bodyguard to Patrick and became known as the "strong man" (tréanfhear) of Patrick. When Patrick became worn out by his labours, Macartan would carry him on his broad shoulders across rivers and over rough ground. (from http://www.catholicireland.net/)




HYMN TO ST. MAC-CARTEN

A noble feast we celebrate,
A holy man we venerate,
Great Mac-Carten it is he,
Hear us, blessed Trinity.

Most innocent of sinful guile,
He guided others, and the while
Many wonders wrought in praise
Of his Maker all his days.

Oftimes the sick he visited,
And raised to life the nearly dead,
And many tribes baptized he
In St. Patrick's company.

Upon the earth he lived to God,
And in his Master's footprints trod.
Thus conquering the world at last,
He to eternal glory passed.

He could do much on earth before,
Happy in heaven he can do no more.
May Mac-Carten keep us free
From pain of endless misery !


Written by Patrick Culin, Bishop of Clogher,died 1868 (excerpt)


Irish Ecclesiastical Review, Vol 6, 1869, 275-276


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

French & Saunders: Three Irish nuns at the Vatican

I just found this, and I had to share it. It is hilarious. Warning, it is a little bit rude, but we'll forgive them as they love Pope Benedict!




Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Vatican addresses UN debate on sexual orientation



Below is the statement by Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, Permanent Representative of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva at the 16th Session of the Human Rights Council – General Debate Geneva, 22 March 2011, on sexual orientation:

Mr. President, the Holy See takes this opportunity to affirm the inherent dignity and worth of all human beings, and to condemn all violence that is targeted against people because of their sexual feelings and thoughts, or sexual behaviours.

We would also like to make several observations about the debates regarding “sexual orientation”.

First, there has been some unnecessary confusion about the meaning of the term “sexual orientation,” as found in resolutions and other texts adopted within the UN human rights system. The confusion is unnecessary because, in international law, a term must be interpreted in accordance with its ordinary meaning, unless the document has given it a different meaning. The ordinary meaning of “sexual orientation” refers to feelings and thoughts, not to behaviour.

Second, for the purposes of human rights law, there is a critical difference between feelings and thoughts, on the one hand, and behaviour, on the other. A state should never punish a person, or deprive a person of the enjoyment of any human right, based just on the person’s feelings and thoughts, including sexual thoughts and feelings. But states can, and must, regulate behaviours, including various sexual behaviours. Throughout the world, there is a consensus between societies that certain kinds of sexual behaviours must be forbidden by law. Paedophilia and incest are two examples.

Third, the Holy See wishes to affirm its deeply held belief that human sexuality is a gift that is genuinely expressed in the complete and lifelong mutual devotion of a man and a woman in marriage. Human sexuality, like any voluntary activity, possesses a moral dimension : it is an activity which puts the individual will at the service of a finality; it is not an “identity”. In other words, it comes from the action and not from the being, even though some tendencies or “sexual orientations” may have deep roots in the personality. Denying the moral dimension of sexuality leads to denying the freedom of the person in this matter, and undermines ultimately his/her ontological dignity. This belief about human nature is also shared by many other faith communities, and by other persons of conscience.

And finally, Mr. President, we wish to call attention to a disturbing trend in some of these social debates: People are being attacked for taking positions that do not support sexual behaviour between people of the same sex. When they express their moral beliefs or beliefs about human nature, which may also be expressions of religious convictions, or state opinions about scientific claims, they are stigmatised, and worse -- they are vilified, and prosecuted. These attacks contradict the fundamental principles announced in three of the Council’s resolutions of this session. The truth is, these attacks are violations of fundamental human rights, and cannot be justified under any circumstances.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Monday, March 21, 2011

World Down Syndrome Day

This is Mikey.
Photo: http://www.imable2model.com/

Today is World Down Syndrome Day. World Down Syndrome Day takes place on 21 March every year. This date (21/3) represents the 3 copies of chromosome 21, which is unique to people with Down syndrome.

Ireland is one of those countries where we are blessed to see many people who have down syndrome. In other countries they are aborted! Diagnosis of Down Syndrome is the most common reason given for abortion in the UK. There are about 5,000 people in Ireland with Down syndrome. In Ireland, it is estimated that about one baby born in every 600 has Down syndrome. I hope and pray that Ireland will continue to be a safe place for all unborn children.

Today in Dublin, the first model agency representing people with Down syndrome has been launched, to coincide with World Down Syndrome Day. It has been set up to promote representation for people with Down syndrome in the fields of fashion, media and entertainment. I'm Able 2 Model http://imable2model.com/ is an initiative of Irish charity, Down Syndrome Centre in conjunction with 1st Option Model Management, one of Ireland's leading model agencies. The agency currently has 20 clients on its books. So go check it out!

If you want to read a very moving birth story, click here. It is the story of little Nella Cordelia, told by her mother Kelle. It is beautiful, it is brutally honest, and it is truly moving. Kelle is a photographer so there are loads of photos, but be warned, have a very big box of tissues on hand! I challenge you to read this and not cry!

St Enda of Aran, pray for us

St Enda is yet another Irish saint that I know nothing about. So I "googled" and this is what I found. Saint Enda of Aran (Éanna, Éinne or Endeus, died c. 530), was a warrior, who turned to God after his financee died. He became a priest.  He built churches in Drogheda, (where I live.) He founded one of the first monasteries in Ireland, the monastery of Killeaney on Aran Mor, as well as several other across the island, and has since been known as the father of Irish monasticism. At one point there were twelve monasteries on the Arran Islands!

Here are some "Enda" pictures.


Saint Enda's Monastery, Innish Mhór, The Arran Islands



St Enda's Aran jumper

White Aran jumpers (interesting fact). Traditionally, the aran jumpers/sweaters worn by men were dyed, and usually coloured blue. White jumpers were worn by boys making their First Communion! Somehow, the white jumpers became a fashion item and led to the creation of a valuable cot­tage industry.



St Enda's Church, Killanny, Co Louth

And last, but by no means least our Taoiseach, Enda Kenny


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Shock: Fr Corapi placed on administrative leave!


"All of the allegations in the complaint are false, and I ask you to pray for all concerned." Fr Corapi


I must say I am shocked to learn that Fr John Corapi has been placed on "administrative leave". He stands accused of drug addiction and sexual exploits with several women. You can read his statement on his website http://www.fathercorapi.com./

Litany of St Joseph

Saint Joseph with the Infant Jesus,
Guido Reni (c. 1635)
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us..

Holy Mary, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Renowned offspring of David, pray for us.
Light of Patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Diligent protector of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.
Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most chaste, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most strong, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of artisans, pray for us.
Glory of home life, pray for us.
Guardian of virgins, pray for us.
Pillar of families, pray for us.
Solace of the wretched, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of Holy Church, pray for us.

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord!.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord!.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. .

V. He made him the lord of his household.
R. And prince over all his possessions.

Let us pray.
O God, in your ineffable providence you were pleased to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of your most holy Mother; grant, we beg you, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our Protector: You who live and reign forever and ever. R. Amen.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Prayer and Penance for the Church in Ireland

Ooops! I almost forgot.

The Entombment of Christ
by Caravaggio
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.

Fr Kevin Doran speaks about the Eucharistic Congress on EWTN

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Being Irrelevant

Here is a quote from Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, when he spoke about the relationship between Church and State, at Mater Dei Institute of Education and DCU Institute of Ethics, yesterday March 15th 2011. I wonder who he is talking about? Click here to read full text.



"There is slowness on the part of some who would think themselves progressive but who fail to realise that many of the things they propose are really the answers to yesterday’s questions and are much less relevant to the realities of today. "

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Music, Silence and Scripture with Elation Ministries


Celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25th) in style this year with Elation Ministries. Elation Ministries consists of a group of young people who endeavour to bring the Gospel to other young people through music. The group is made of a number of young people from various parts of Ireland who have experienced the transforming power of Christ in their lives and feel a calling to minister to others through their gifts. Elation Ministries will also be joining the Elphin Diocese on the trip to Madrid for World Youth Day 2011! Check out their website for more information.



Monday, March 14, 2011

St Genesius Film Society : The Cardinal (1963)

St Genesius Film Club, Dublin

March Film "The Cardinal"

Tue 15th March Feb. 7pm

Knights of Colombanus, Ely Place, Dublin 2.
Film on third Tuesday of each month, come along and bring a friend.


The Cardinal in 8 minutes





The film won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Drama.

"Youthful pride. Yearnings of the flesh. Moments of doubt. The courage of conviction. All enter into a dedicated American’s decades-long rise from priesthood to the leadership elite of the College of Cardinals. Otto Preminger presents The Cardinal, winner of a Golden Globe Best Picture Award and nominated for six 1963 Academy Awards, including Best Director. Typical of Preminger’s films, The Cardinal is packed with stars and issues. Tom Tryon, Carol Lynley, Ossie Davis, Burgess Meredith and Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner John Huston are players in a rich storyline embracing interfaith marriage, abortion, racism and war." Masjo.movie.com

40 Days for Life in Dublin

photo source: http://www.youthdefence.ie/

40 Days for Life in Dublin: 9th of March - 17th of April


Do you want to do something different this Lent? Can you volunteer to be part of the 40 Days for Life? A large number of volunteers are needed to help maintain a prayerful presence outside the Marie Stopes clinic, located on Berkley Road in Dublin 7? More information


Friday, March 11, 2011

Book Fight!


Pope Benedict's new book Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem To The Resurrection has arrived in the McCamley household.

Question : Who gets to read it first?

Friday Prayer and Penance

Mateo Cerezo, Ecce Homo, 1650
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.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

St John Ogilvie, pray for us


The hanging of St John Ogilvie

John Ogilvie (1579-1615) was born in Scotland, and raised as a calvinist, he converted to catholicism at the age of 17, while in France. After his ordination he continually sought to return to his native land. His ministry in Scotland lasted less than a year.

"His last words were "If there be here any hidden Roman Catholics, let them pray for me but the prayers of heretics I will not have". After he was pushed from the stairs, he threw his concealed rosary beads out into the crowd. The tale is told that one of his enemies caught them and subsequently became a devout lifelong Roman Catholic." (Wikipedia)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A prayer as we begin Lent

Put on the armor of God so that you may be
able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.
(Ephesians 6:11)


Prayer
Support us, Lord, as with this Lenten fast
we begin our Christian warfare,
so that in doing battle against the spirit of evil
we may be armed with the weapon of self-denial.
We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.
Amen.

(from morning prayer)

Ash Wednesday: Pope Benedict XVI explains Lent during the General Audience

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Shrove Tuesday



After school we raided the kids money jars and my purse, and treated ourselves to Domino's pizza. We love Domino's pizza! It was washed it down with plenty of fizzy drinks. We also had loads of pancakes, the boys had ice cream and chocolate sauce with theirs (disgusting!). We stopped eating before anyone threw up, and we are now ready for fasting. Well almost, I have a can of diet coke stashed away in the fridge for later, when they are all in bed. After that we're ready to begin the 6 week Spiritual Fitness Programme called Lent.


VISION - HILDEGARD VON BINGEN - official trailer

Zeitgeist Films presents:



Monday, March 7, 2011

New Programme for Government

Check out what Pat Buckley - European Life Network has to say about the New Programme for Government.


Pat Buckley
 


"I think we should be very afraid of what is in store for Ireland now.   We need to be very alert, and we need to hold Fine Gael firmly to the promises that they made to pro-life and pro-family groups prior to the election, particularly given the fact that the number of Labour Dáil deputies is less than  half of the number of Fine Gael deputies. "  - Pat Buckley
continue reading..........

Give up doing anger

On the way to school this morning, we were having the "what are we doing for lent discussion".  You can always rely on someone to say, "I'll give up school for lent". We then had the standard responses of, go to Mass, say more prayers, read the bible, give up sweets, give up computer games etc. Teresa (4) fought and fought to have her say, and finally managed to spit out, after many interruptions "we should give up doing anger!" Food for thought indeed.


The fool blurts out every angry feeling,
but the wise subdues and restrains them. Proverbs 29:11

Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, pray for us



Sts. Perpetua and Felicity
© 1996 Br. Robert Lentz, OFM


Excerpts from The Passion of Perpetua and Felicity by W.H. Shewring (From Sanits SQPN)


The day of the martyrs‘ victory dawned. They marched from their cells into the amphitheater, as if into heaven, with cheerful looks and graceful bearing. If they trembled it was for joy and not for fear. Perpetua was the first to be thrown down, and she fell prostrate. She got up and, seeing that Felicity was prostrate, went over and reached out her hand to her and lifted her up. Both stood up together. Rousing herself as if from sleep (so deeply had she been in spiritual ecstasy), she began to look around. To everyone’s amazement she said, “When are we going to be led to the beasts?” When she heard that it had already happened she did not at first believe it until she saw the marks of violence on her body and her clothing. The people, however, had demanded that the martyrs be led to the middle of the amphitheater. They wanted to see the sword thrust into the bodies of the victims, so that their eyes might share in the slaughter. Without being asked they went where the people wanted them to go; but first they kissed one another, to complete their witness with the customary kiss of peace. Bravest and happiest martyrs! You were called and chosen for the glory and our Lord Jesus Christ.


Prayer
Father, Your love gave the saints Perpetua and Felicity
courage to suffer a cruel martyrdom.
By their prayers, help us to grow in love of You.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Remember Your Friday Prayer and Penance

Pope Benedict asked us to offer our Friday Penances “for an outpouring of God’s mercy and the Holy Spirit’s gifts of holiness and strength.” He asked us to offer our fasting, prayer, reading of Scripture and works of mercy in order to obtain the grace of healing and renewal for the Church in Ireland.


Jesus carrying the cross, by Raphael

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.


Bob Geldof - Silly Pretty Thing

I heard this song on the radio yesterday, I liked it so much I thought I would share it with you. Some feel good music is just what we need. I love the video, it almost makes me want to go out and buy a trampoline.




Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dominican Family Vocations Day

Dominican Family Vocations Day


Contemplative nuns
Apostolic sisters
Lay Dominicans 
Dominican Friars

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

9.30a.m. - 5.00p.m.
 
Dominican Resource centre,
Navan Road, Dublin 7.
 
More information at

Its time to get ready for Lent

Three weeks ago, Fr Denis, our parish priest said, "It's time to get ready for Lent!" I laughed to myself, but I knew he was right. I though, continually put everything on the long finger, and I mean everything, so here I am three weeks later, still no further along on the getting ready bit . Have you got a plan for lent? If you are serious about effecting a deep conversion in your life, you need to have a plan. I haven't thought about it at all, so what does that say about me? "I have never known you; away from me, you evil men." are stern words from Jesus that we will hear in next Sunday's Gospel, these words have been pressing upon me over the last few days. I really do need to get my act together.

Lent starts next Wednesday, so it is time to made some decisions about Lenten resolutions. If you get a chance over the coming week please read Pope Benedict's Lenten message, it might provide some inspiration. If you are short on time here is an excellent short quote.

"The Lenten journey, in which we are invited to contemplate the Mystery of the Cross, is meant to reproduce within us "the pattern of his death" (Ph 3: 10), so as to effect a deep conversion in our lives; that we may be transformed by the action of the Holy Spirit, like St. Paul on the road to Damascus; that we may firmly orient our existence according to the will of God; that we may be freed of our egoism, overcoming the instinct to dominate others and opening us to the love of Christ." -excerpt from Pope Benedict's Lenten message


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pray for Children: March 2011

Check out this months prayer intention over at Pray for Children (http://www.prayforchildren.org/)


Would you consider doing a holy hour each week for your children?
Because they're worth it! Aren't they?

Pray for Children: March 2011: "Our special intention for the month of March is for peace and reconciliation in families and we invite you to include this intention in your holy hour.................."

Serving

Christ in the House of Martha and Mary, Johannes Vermeer


Whatever your work is, put your heart into it as if it were for the Lord and not for men, knowing that the Lord will repay you by making you his heirs. It is Christ the Lord that you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

An Opportuinity to Punch a Priest


Could this be the next Big Church Fundraiser?


Fr Damian McGroarty, a curate at St Eunan's Cathedral, Letterkenny (my home parish), is going into a boxing ring to raise money for the restoration of St Eunan's.  He is one of twenty-four people who have signed up for a fund-raising Big Fight Night in the Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny on April 2. I hope they have a great night.

My question is this: How many people in Ireland would happily pay good money for three minutes in a  boxing ring with a priest? Given the current level of hatred , bitterness, and animosity towards the Catholic Church in this country we could make a fortune!


St David, pray for us

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