Saturday, April 28, 2012

St Gianna, Wife, mother, Doctor, Pro-life Witness

On the afternoon May 12th 2010, The Fraternity of St Genesius travelled to Mesero, the town of one of the church's more recent saints. St Gianna Beretta Molla (1922- 1962), was a physician, a mother, a social activist and a loving wife. The inhabitants of the town are obviously very proud of their saint, as many houses have posters of her on their balconies. We recieved a very warm welcome from the locals. We celebrated the Mass of St Gianna at Santuario Santa Gianna. We then made a vist to her tomb, in the nearby graveyard. It rained, but we did not care. Before leaving Mesero, we went to see her place of work. Mesero was, for me, a place of grace. It was good to stand in her surgery, to walk on her streets and to pray in her church. St Gianna, and Mesero remind me that sanctity is indeed possible.

St Gianna Beretta Molla
Santuario Santa Gianna
Shrine to St Gianna

Mosiac, at the tomb of St Gianna
The tabernacle, with a pelican and its young, at the Church in Mesero. The pelican is Christ, who humanity struck by committing sin; the pelican cutting open its own breast represents Christ's death on the cross, and the shedding of his blood to revive us.
"A young mother from the diocese of Milan, who, to give life to her daughter, sacrificed her own, with conscious immolation”. Pope Paul VI

Gianna Beretta Molla was born in Magenta (Milan), Italy, on October 4, 1922, the 10th of 13 children. After earning degrees in medicine and surgery from the University of Pavia in 1949, she opened a medical clinic in Mesero (near Magenta) in 1950. She specialized in pediatrics at the University of Milan in 1952 and thereafter gave special attention to mothers, babies, the elderly, and the poor. While working in the field of medicine-which she considered a "mission" and practised as such - she increased her generous service to Catholic Action, especially among the "very young." She became engaged to Pietro Molla and they were married on September 24, 1955 in St. Martin's Basilica in Magenta. In November 1956, to her great joy, she became the mother of Pierluigi; in December 1957 of Mariolina; in July 1959 of Laura. She met the demands of mother, wife, doctor and her passion for life with simplicity and great balance.

"She has now been raised to the altar in heaven and provides particular inspiration to all those who experience the constant demands and confusing signals that our current culture places on us."

St Gianna on Marriage
“With God’s help and blessing we will do our best to make our new family a little Cenacle where Jesus reigns over all our affections, desires, and actions… There are only a few days to go and I feel moved at the thought of approaching and receiving the “Sacrament of Love”. We will become collaborators with God in His creation and so we will be able to give him children that love and serve him".

St Gianna on Vocation
Everything has a specific end: everything obeys a law. God has shown each one of us the way, the vocation, and the life of grace that lies beyond physical life. Our earthly and eternal happiness depends on following our vocation without faltering. What is a vocation? It is a gift from God–it comes from God himself. Our concern then, should be to know the will of God. We should enter into the path that God wills for us, not by “forcing the door,” But when God wills as God wills….”

St Gianna's Spiritual Program
Morning & Evening prayers, not in bed but on your knees
Holy Mass
Holy Communion
Meditation, at least 10 minutes
Visit to the Blessed Sacrament
Holy Rosary, without Our Lady’s help no one enters Paradise

Prayer of St Gianna
Jesus, I promise You to submit myself to all that You permit to befall me,make me only know Your will. My most sweet Jesus, infinitely merciful God, most tender Father of souls, and in a particular way of the most weak, most miserable, most infirmwhich You carry with special tenderness between Your divine arms, I come to You to ask You, through the love and merits of Your Sacred Heart, the grace to comprehend and to do always Your holy will, the grace to confide in You, the grace to rest securely through time and eternity in Your loving divine arms.
The pelican is Christ, who humanity struck by committing sin; the pelican cutting open its own breast represents Christ's death on the cross, and the shedding of his blood to revive us.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

26 Years Ago Today

Photo: Donegal Democrat

Twenty six years ago today, I stood outside a house in Letterkenny. It was the home of my school friend Sharon. She lived there with her parents, sister and five brothers. As was usual for a Saturday morning in 1986, I had been on my way to the swimming pool, but I took a detour. A huge amount of smoke had been billowing into the sky, and I knew that something, somewhere was on fire. I remember fire engines, and just one empty ambulance. I had stood outside a burning house before, but no one had died. Listening to the adults and the emergency personnel I gathered that some survivors had already been taken away. Soon I began to realise that that my friend Sharon was probably dead, as "the word was" that "adults and some of the boys" had escaped. Sharon (14), Joanne (11), Adrian (3),  twenty month old Kevin, and their 25 year cousin Noreen died on that terrible morning of April 26th 1986. The parents and three brothers survived. It was a traumatic day. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Éamon Ó Cuív speaks out in defense of our unborn

Below is a link to to the full text of the speech that  made in the Dail yesterday.

Outside the Box: Abortion: Two Lives and One Choice Here is the content of the speech I delivered to Dáil Éireann on Wednesday the 18th of April 2012 on...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Protect our Irish babies

The Dáil will tonight begin a debate on  a new Bill which could implement the X-case ruling and provide for limited access to abortion.
Socialist Party TD Clare Daly will introduce a Private Members’ Bill entitled Medical Treatment (Termination of Pregnancy in Case of Risk to Life of Pregnant Woman). 
Killing babies is not medical treatment, it is simply killing babies!
Please do not ignore the plight of our unborn. 
To register your opposition and to ensure the overwhelming majority of TDs oppose the Bill, I urge you to go to and click on your constituency and send a ready-to-go e-card to your local Oireachtas representatives, calling on them to strongly speak out against the upcoming Bill and to get back to you with their views on the matter. 
Or make a call to your TDs and Senators telling them to stand up against this abortion bill. The contact details of your representatives  can be found here. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Thirsty Gargoyle on the ACP

The Thirsty Gargoyle: Contemporary Catholic Perspectives: Reaping the Harvest

Here is a blog post worth reading. Here is my favourite sentence.

My teachers were talented and dedicated people who meant well, and I’ve fond memories of them, but the fact remains that in a good Catholic school, run by brothers, religious education boiled down to five years of well-meaning agnosticism with a hint of Catholic seasoning.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The School Patronage Nightmare Unfolds

Yesterday, I thought, I better have a look at the report of The Forum on Patronage and Pluralism
in the Primary Sector. On Tuesday, I had read headlines like "Bishops welcome report" etc, I even heard Fr Michael Drumm on a radio news program "welcoming" the report. I naively thought, well it can't be too bad, (silly old me!). 

So yesterday afternoon, I began reading through the 174 page report, and I still have not recovered. This report is the most anti-catholic report that I could ever have imagined. It seems that the powers to be want to divest school (no problem there), but it seems that the Catholic schools that will be left will not even be allowed to be Catholic. I have included some paragraphs from the report below. Read and weep. It seems that we Catholics, who make up 84% of the population, will not be allowed to say Catholic prayers, have Catholic celebrations, celebrate Christmas, have a nativity play, have a carol service, celebrate Easter in our Catholic schools, etc, if there is even one non Catholic child present. This suggestion is an outrage and a disgrace. 84% of the Catholic population will have to pretend not to be Catholic while in their Catholic school! 

It seems that this entire process is driven by the needs of the minority, and while trying to cater for them, people have decided that the needs of the 84% Catholic majority do not matter. Apparently we have no rights. 

Here are three paragraphs from the report, followed by my comments in red.

 Catholic schools will not be allowed to celebrate Catholic, christian or any religious event if even one non Catholic child is present. 

 Catholic schools will not be allowed to display a crucifix, a cross or a religious statue unless we display every other religious symbol imaginable.

Prayer will not be allowed, and all Christmas carols are banned! Welcome to progressive modern Ireland.

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