Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pregnancy never looked so Good

The Visitation:
The Virgin Mary, her cousin St Elizabeth,
and the unborn St John and his cousin Jesus

Prayer for the Unborn

Heavenly Father, in Your love for us, protect against the wickedness of the devil, those helpless little ones to whom You have given the gift of life. Touch with pity the hearts of those women pregnant in our world today who are not thinking of motherhood. Help them to see that the child they carry is made in Your image - as well as theirs - made for eternal life. Dispel their fear and selfishness and give them true womanly hearts to love their babies and give them birth and all the needed care that a mother can give. We ask this through Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Diaconate Ordination in Maynooth

Photo: http://www.catholicbishops.ie/

On Sunday, 29th May, seven men were ordained to the Diaconate in St Patrick’s College Maynooth by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. (Text of Archbishop Martin's Homily) In April, six men were ordained to the Diaconate in Rome.

Prayer for Vocations
Lord Jesus, you said to your disciples "the harvest indeed is great but the labourers are few. Pray, therefore the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into his harvest." We ask that we may know and follow the vocation to which you have called us.

We pray particularly for those called to serve as priests, brothers and sisters; those whom you have called, those you are calling now, and those you will call in the future. May they be open and responsive to the call of serving your people. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

He calls Everyone

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Words from today's Gospel

If you love me you will keep my commandments" John 14:15

The "if " in today's Gospel seemed to be shouting at me. I do try to follow Christ, but I just keep on failing. Thankfully, Jesus is forgiving, and I can trust in his mercy. But if I love Jesus more than anything, I should really  try to root sin out of my life completely. Mind you, this is easier said than done, but confession does help.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Saints Head under the Hammer

Photo: The Irish Times

It is not everyday that you come across an auction, that includes the "head of a saint".

The auction will take place in Annesbrook House, Duleek, Co. Meath this Sunday, May 29, at 3pm. Items will be on view on Friday and Saturday from 11am-6pm. I think I might see if I can drop by and have a look. I wonder if I could find some people to come with me and cause a little scene? Mind you I won't be buying, as the relic is expected to sell for around €1,000.

The head in question, is said to be that of  Saint Vitalis of Assisi, whose feast is on May 31st. So hopefully he will have a new home for the occasion. St Vitalis was originally a monk of Monte Subiaco, Italy, but he gave up the monastic life to become a hermit near Assisi.

This relic once held pride of place in the entrance hall of this house, then it was consigned to an outhouse. I pray that St Vitalis, or whoever it is finds a fitting home. But in my humble opinion, it is just not right to sell someones head, saint or not. Human remains should be treated with respect.

The sale of relics is strictly forbidden by the Church. The Code of Canon Law states:
§1190 §1 - "It is absolutely forbidden to sell sacred relics."
Selling relics ("simony") is wrong, but it is permissible to buy them if they will be marketed anyway and buying them would save them from desecration. I might phone up and have a little complain. Will you join me?

Annesbrook House
Telphone/Fax: +353 (0) 41 9823293

Matthews Auction Room
049 855 0055
086 841 4421

I have contacted both Annesbrook House and the auctioneer. Annesbrook are not answering their phone, so I left a message. I could hear someone remarking as I left a message, "It's someone else about the head". The auctioneers line was "thank you for your concern", and "there's nothing I can do". Please contact them and express your concern.

The Future of our Catholic Schools

Here is a reminder from the http://www.ionainstitute.ie/index.php?id=1476

"Groups and individuals who wish to make a submission to the Department of Education's Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector have only a fortnight remaining in which to do so.

The final date for submissions for the forum, which will decide on how many and which Catholic primary school will be transferred to alternative patronage, is June 7th."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Check out this Website: Pray for Children

Parents, few people will pray for your children if you do not! Can you make a holy hour for your children?


Monday, May 23, 2011


Barack-o-mania has hit Ireland. I did not get see much of his visit, as I had a very busy day, but it seems to have gone well. Obama drank a pint of Guinness in a pub in Ireland, he hugged and kissed all around him, and now he is Ireland's favourite son!

No one can plan like the Americans, but as the video below shows, every detail is are very important. The long wheel base and the sheer weight of the car meant that it got stuck on the ramp as it exited the American Embassy. I presume someone will get their ass kicked over this embarrassing incident. I must confess that I enjoyed this moment more than I should!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Beware travellers: The Volcano is Back

Over a year ago a volcano erupted in Iceland and  paralysed air traffic over Europe. On Saturday the 21st May, another volcano called  Grimsvoetn erupted (it is Icelands most active volcano), with 12 km (7.5 mi) high plumes accompanied by multiple earthquakes. Airspace over Iceland is closed because of the ash. Whether widespread disruption occurs again will depend on how long the eruption lasts, how high the ash plume rises and which way the wind blows. So to all you hopeful travellers, happy volcano watching!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ugly Statue Alert

Pope John Paul II would have celebrated his 91st  birthday on May 18th. To "celebrate" a new statue was unveiled outside a train station in Rome. I must say that it is the worst looking thing that I have seen in a long time, and it does not resemble him at all.

Friday, May 20, 2011

It's Friday, Remember your Prayer and Penance

Prayer for the Church in Ireland
The Risen Christ,
Ambrogio de Stefano Borgognone

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.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Queen Elizabeth II expresses regret

This evening I had the opportunity to hear queen Elizabeth's  speech at Dublin Castle. I think she did really well. Here is a little snippet. She may not have said the "sorry" word, but I think she said enough.

The Visitation, Mary and Elizabeth

"Of course, the relationship has not always been straightforward; nor has the record over the centuries been entirely benign. It is a sad and regrettable reality that through history our islands have experienced more than their fair share of heartache, turbulence and loss.

These events have touched us all, many of us personally, and are a painful legacy. We can never forget those who have died or been injured, and their families. To all those who have suffered as a consequence of our troubled past I extend my sincere thoughts and deep sympathy. With the benefit of historical hindsight we can all see things which we would wish had been done differently or not at all. " (Queen Elizabeth II, Dublin Castle)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Prayers for Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth II has arrived in Ireland today. I ask my readers to offer a prayer for her protection, during her stay with us.

Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland

The Memorare

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Terrible Trojans

I have been quiet over the last few days. My computer is infected by those fake trojan virus thingies. I will be back soon, when they are all dead!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Go Jedward, Go

They can't sing, and they can't dance, but I have to confess that I found them highly entertaining when I watched the semi-final on Thursday past. I will be tuning in later to see how John and Edward get on. Good luck lads. I have posted the words, for those who want to sing along.

Lipstick Jedward Lyrics
You say you’re on it but you just don’t know
You’re spending money like you’re on death row
You must be mis-educated
By all the guys that you’ve dated
You think I’ll take the bait but I don’t think so

Ohhhh, Am I headed for a car crash?
Ohhhh, Just about to meet my match, she takes the
Ohhhh, I’m about to fall in head first
Sisters let me tell you how it works, HEY!(CHORUS)

She’s got her lipstick on
Here I come, da da dum
She’s got her lipstick on
Hit and run, then I’m gone
Check my collar, collar, hey, hey, ey
Check my collar, collar, hey, hey, ey

Oooohh, Oooohh
You look at me and I got you in mind
I come on over see what I could find
No appetite for delusion
How can I win when I’m losin’
You’re saying yes when it is no, no, no, no

Ohhhh, Am I headed for a car crash?
Ohhhh, Just about to meet my match, she takes the
Ohhhh, I’m about to fall in head first
Sisters let me tell you how it works (CHORUS x2)

It’s not that I don’t wanna play (play, play)
And then I didn’t look your way (way, way)
It’s not like every girl’s the same (same, same)
You gotta know just how to treat this miss
Or she will be dismissed

Hey, (CHORUS x2)
Here I come, Here I come, dum da dum da dum da dum (x2)
Hit and run, Hit and run, dum da dum da dum da dum
Then I’m gone, Then I’m gone, Gone, gone, gone, gone

Pope John Paul II Homily on the Blessed Mother and Family from 1990 in Malta

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Beyond the Headlines - child protection figures

When I read the RTE headline "Rise in abuse complaints to church watchdog", my heart sank. According to RTE "There has been a significant increase in the number of allegations of abuse of children reported to the Catholic Church child protection watchdog." As a mother of four children, (who hang around Churches quite a bit), it is not the sort of thing I want to read.

The report of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church is available here. Now I did not read the full report, life is too short. I went to page 9 "Allegations notified to national Office - April 2010 to March 2011". Here are the figures that I found.

272 allegations of of physical, emotional and sexual abuse is a lot, and is not a very reassuring number for a concerned parent. The 86 allegations against the deceased people are no cause for concern, (I do not mean to offend, but the dead pose no threat to my children). There were 174 allegations against people who are out of ministry, retired, or have left ministry. (This figure of 174 needs to be broken down, as it provides more questions than answers). 12 people have continued in ministry, or have returned to ministry after an "allegation". Upon further reading, I also see that an allegation does not even mean allegation, it could mean "allegation", "suspicion", or "concern". 

This report provides too little information. This is what I want to know:
  • When did these incidences of alleged abuse occur? Last year? Five years ago? Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years ago?
  • How many clerics are involved? Is it two or two hundred?
  • How many incidences of alleged abuse occurred last year?
  • I would like to see a breakdown of allegation, suspicion and concern.
  • Do these allegations, concerns, and suspicions concern only children?
The initial headlines were a cause for concern, but further reading of the report just made me annoyed. The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, seem to be as competent, and as capable as our bishops!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Remembering Venice

Pope Benedict XVI recently visited Venice. Here is a video of him in a gondola. The sun was shining, and it looked glorious. This time last year, I was in Venice for the day, with the Fraternity of St Genesius. Unfortunately the sun did not make an appearance, it was very, very wet. St Mark's Square was flooded. "Wellies" had to be purchased by many for the day. But we had fun, and someone bought a new hat!

Who is this Yellow man?

St Lucy
Our gondola did not have red velvet seats! But we did not complain.

And someone found a new hat!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Pray for us Sinners

Why do we pray for the dead? We pray for the dead because they were sinners.  We pray that God will have mercy on them. Someone in Howth, Co. Dublin asked for a mass to be said for Osama Bin Laden. It was written in a book, it was printed in the newsletter, it was put in the online parish bulliten. This is what happens in most parishes. But for some reason many people are offended? Osama Bin Laden is dead, he was a sinner, he needs prayer. May God have mercy on him.

"Hiya", and "Pleased to meet you".

I was taken aback yesterday at Mass, again. When the priest said "Let us offer each other the sign of peace", I turned to my daughter and said "Peace be with you", as I shuck her hand. I repeated this process with the people in the pew behind me. Nothing unusual there, all was well. Next, wait for it, two ladies in front turned around, one said "Hiya", and the other said "Pleased to meet you". It was almost over, before I even had time to process it. But it did shock me. I am still shocked. What is going on in the Church in Ireland at all? So many people appear to not have a clue! The "sign of peace" is not supposed to be a "hello and how are you" moment.   I say bring on the New Translation!

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. (John 14:27)

Here is what Archbishop Chaput has to say. "The peace we speak of in the Mass is not the passing and precarious peace of this world, nor even our good wishes to one another, but the peace of Christ, which the priest extends to the assembly. It is a peace of soul we can confidently acknowledge because we are inseparably united with one another and the Lord through baptism. The priest now invites the assembly to share a sign of peace. As one member of the body of Christ to another, we confirm by our actions the supernatural relationship we share. And we are doing more. The simple handshake, nod of the head, or embrace (the Church mandates no specific gesture) to those around us signifies our spiritual kinship in Christ with every other person in the church. As each of the assembly wishes peace to the persons nearby, we acknowledge the call of each person within the body of Christ." (Archbishop Chaput, 2002)


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Our Lady of Fatima Novena, Drogheda

Annual Novena

in honour of

Our Lady of Fatima
Dominican Church, Drogheda

May 7th -15th 2010

Sat 7th Opening Mass 6.05pm

Mon. - Sat. Mass 10am

Mon.- Thur. 7.30pm Rosary, sermon, Benediction
Fri.  10am and 7.30pm Mass and Sacrament of the Sick

Sat. May 15th Mass 6.05pm

Sunday May 15th 3pm
Closing Mass and Procession


Christ at Emmaus by Rembrandt, 1648, Louvre

"Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognised him."

Many times I fail to recognise Christ.

Go to Mass, go to the breaking of the bread, recieve Him and recognise Him.

I also found a beautiful video on the Mass, but I can not embedd it. (Link) I then found another, a film by Eric Forrest. It is different, but I do like it. Mind you the flashing is a bit too much. The music is a piece called The Mass by Era.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Climb for Life- Croagh Patrick, May 7th

Pilgrims climbing Croagh Patrick

Event Notice

The Annual Climb for life 2011 takes place on Saturday the 7th of May Croagh Patrick. The climb will start with prayers at the base of the Reek at 9.45am. Climbers should arrive early, have appropriate foot wear, and rain gear, and should depart in groups. The climb will be lead this year by the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (Derry), Fr Fidelis and two brothers. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be celebrated at the summit.

The organisers are calling all those who believe in the most fundamental human right, the right to life,to join on this pilgrimage.

Friday Prayer and Penance for the Church in Ireland

Resurrection of Christ by Noel Coypel
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.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Karol Wojtyla singing Ave Maria

I came across this on Youtube. It is Karol Wojtyla singing Ave Maria in 1976. Does it sound like him? He was either an archbishop or cardinal at the time. (On 26 June 1967, Paul VI announced Archbishop Wojtyła's promotion to the Sacred College of Cardinals.)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mass of Thanksgiving for the Beatification of Blessed John Paul II in Drogheda

Last night in St Mary's church in Drogheda, there was a Mass of Thanksgiving for the beatification of Blessed John Paul II. It was a special evening for Drogheda, and for the Fraternity of St Genesius.  My daughters were delighted to get their hands on some Blessed John Paul II medals, and little Teresa jumped up and down with excitement, as she joined the queue to venerate the relic of our newest blessed, Mary(5) was not as sure of herself, and hid behind me saying, "you go first". At the Mass the new blessed was declared a patron of the Fraternity of St Genesius. Below are a few words from Fr John Hogan's homily and some photos, I will post the entire text on www.stgenesius.com, before the day is out. Blessed John Paul II, pray for us.
“Do you love me?” Jesus asked Karol Wojtyla, and he said yes, not only with his voice, but with his life, his actions and his will. In this love we see the motivation of all Blessed John Paul did, who he was. Love of Jesus Christ transforms. The more we come to know Christ, the more we come to love him, and in loving him we seek to enter more deeply into his life, living that life with him: becoming truly “Christian”: of Christ, like Christ, another Christ. At the heart of this is, of course, dying to self, and this is something Blessed John Paul had to do, as indeed all followers of Jesus must do. And in that dying he found God and found himself.......

Blessed John Paul has a special significance for us in the Fraternity ..... In his call for a New Evangelisation, Pope John Paul included the arts, theatre and cinema as important areas for missionary activity. He did so conscious of the importance of the artistic vocation, one which is rooted in God’s creative activity. In his Letter to Artists, written in 1999, he lay an important foundation in reaching out to the men and women of the arts, one which Pope Benedict is building on. In this letter he wrote of the special vocation of the artist – a revolutionary idea which had often been denied by those who considered themselves more sensible. To be an artist, whatever the discipline one is in, is to have a vocation to art, a vocation to beauty, a vocation to explore who God is, who man is, and share insights with the rest of humanity in order to assist it come closer to God and to becoming fully human. This call to art, though, is not an amoral activity, while Pope John Paul distinguished forming one’s life as a masterpiece of grace from “actualizing” one’s productive activity, he was also at pains to show that there is a connection between the two, a connection which is vital if art is to be at the service of God and humanity. Art as the disclosure of one’s being allows us to gaze into the inner life of the artist, a real privilege; and how wonderful this can be when the artist is one whose life is virtuous, contemplative, constructive. Then the artist becomes an apostle. "

St Mary's Church, Drogheda

Photo of Blessed John Paul in St Mary's

Floral arrangement of Pope John Paul II's crest

Fr John Hogan holds up the newly signed decree,
 making Blessed John Paul II a patron of the Fraternity of St Genesius

The Gospel is proclaimed
A reliquary holding a piece of a cassock of Blessed John Paul II

A blessing with the relic of Blessed John Paul II
An altar boy being blessed with a relic of Blessed John Paul II

Monday, May 2, 2011

Irish Dominican Vocations: Vatican Blog Meeting - Live Update (2)

Keep up to date with the Vatican Bloggers gathering, with Fr Gerard Dunne O.P. Visit his blog at
Irish Dominican Vocations: Vatican Blog Meeting - Live Update (2):

"The first break of the Vatican blogger meeting affords an opportunity to reflect on the purpose of the meeting. Clearly, the bloggers gath..."

Or you can watch live on http://sqpn.com/sqpn-live/ (sound and picture not great, keeps breaking up).

Pope Benedict XVI wore Pope John Paul II's vestments

More than 1 million pilgrims participated in the most crowded beatification in history yesterday in Rome, and what a wonderful day it was. The sun shone in Rome and in Drogheda, and we are still smiling.

The chasuble and the miter that were worn by Pope Benedict XVI were made during the pontificate of John Paul II and were often used by him. The chalice that was used in the Mass was the one John Paul II regularly used during the last years of his pontificate. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims lined up to pray for a few moments before the casket of John Paul II. According to the Vatican, St. Peter's basilica remained open all night to accomodate the pilgrims.

We will have our own celebration in Drogheda this evening. A Mass of thanksgiving for the beatification of Blessed Pope John Paul II will be celebrated in St Mary's Church, James' Street, Drogheda at 7.30pm.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Catholicism is Totally Cool!

I was watching a video of the moment of beatification of , Blessed John Paul II over at Ex Umbris et Imaginibus, and this is what caught my eye. It is a reliquary containing the blood of Blessed Pope John Paul II. It was presented for during the beatification ceremony by Sister Marie Simon-Pierre Normand, who was cured by Pope John Paul's intercession. 

Where did this blood come from? According to Zenit, a vial of the Holy Father's blood, which was drawn toward the end of his life "in the case of an eventual transfusion," was placed in a precious reliquary by the Office of Liturgical Celebrations. Four vials of blood were extracted and never used. Since John Paul II's death in 2005, two of the vials were held at Rome's Bambino Gesu Children's Hospital, which runs a transfusion center, and the other two were given to Pope John Paul II's personal secretary, then Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz.

The liturgical celebrations office placed the two vials held at the Bambino Gesu hospital into two reliquaries, one which will be presented during Sunday's beatification and housed afterward at the Vatican. The other will be returned to the hospital.

The Vatican noted that the blood "is in a liquid state, which is explained by an anti-coagulant substance present in the test tubes at the moment of extraction."

Blessed Pope John Paul II, pray for us.


I also include an exerpt from Pope Benedict's homily at the beatification of Pope John Paul II.

"Finally, on a more personal note, I would like to thank God for the gift of having worked for many years with Blessed Pope John Paul II. I had known him earlier and had esteemed him, but for twenty-three years, beginning in 1982 after he called me to Rome to be Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, I was at his side and came to revere him all the more. My own service was sustained by his spiritual depth and by the richness of his insights. His example of prayer continually impressed and edified me: he remained deeply united to God even amid the many demands of his ministry. Then too, there was his witness in suffering: the Lord gradually stripped him of everything, yet he remained ever a “rock”, as Christ desired. His profound humility, grounded in close union with Christ, enabled him to continue to lead the Church and to give to the world a message which became all the more eloquent as his physical strength declined. In this way he lived out in an extraordinary way the vocation of every priest and bishop to become completely one with Jesus, whom he daily receives and offers in the Church.

Blessed are you, beloved Pope John Paul II, because you believed! Continue, we implore you, to sustain from heaven the faith of God’s people. You often blessed us in this Square from the Apostolic Palace: Bless us, Holy Father! Amen."

Invitation to all. Come to Drogheda, and celebrate the Beatification of Blessed Pope John Paul II. Monday, 2nd May, 7.30pm, St Mary's Church, Mass of Thanksgiving. More information.
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