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The Value of Retreat

  When I was in Secondary School, back in the ‘70s, we had a retreat with the Chaplain and a team once a year and I always looked forward to those few days.  Of course, it made a change from the daily routine and afforded me a break from the dreaded Maths classes! It provided… Read More

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A Visit to Knock

Last Saturday I was in the west of Ireland for the weekend and took the opportunity to pay a visit to Knock Shrine in Co Mayo.  The journey from Ballaghaderreen, where we were based, is a pleasant one through tranquil countryside.  We made our way past houses and shop fronts festooned with Mayo flags in… Read More

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Tragedy in Afghanistan

  As I write this, news is coming in about two powerful explosions outside Kabul’s international airport which have claimed the lives of at least sixty Afghans and thirteen American troops. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said one blast occurred near the airport at Abbey Gate and the other close to the nearby Bidon Hotel. In… Read More

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Popes in Peril – Times of crisis

It came as an unpleasant shock this week when news emerged from Rome that a threatening letter containing three bullets addressed to Pope Francis had been seized by Italian police.  The discovery was made in a postal facility in the small town of Peschiera Borromeo on the outskirts of Milan.  The suspicious package, believed to… Read More

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Celebrating Grandparents

Last Sunday, July 25th, marked the first observation of the Church’s annual Day for Grandparents and the Elderly.  On January 31, 2021, Pope Francis made the announcement of this new event to be celebrated every year on the fourth Sunday in July.   In the Vatican, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, celebrated Mass in St Peter’s Basilica, standing… Read More

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St Brigid of Sweden

We in Ireland are proud of our two famous Patron Saints, Patrick and of course Brigid, who is also known as “the Mary of the Gaels”. Until quite recently, I am ashamed to admit, I did not know that there is another saint of the same name, Brigid of Sweden. We celebrate her Feast Day… Read More

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Fatima – The Movie

This week I had an opportunity to see the film Fatima, directed by Marco Pontecorvo who said he believes it to be a “subject that can talk to everyone, not only Catholics.  It has a meaning, a very powerful meaning, for everyone, not only for believers.” The story centers around three Portuguese children, Lucia dos… Read More

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Father of the Reformation: Lutheran church

I usually attend Mass on Saturday evenings so when I was invited by a friend to accompany her to a Lutheran service last Sunday morning, I was delighted to be able to accept. It took place in St Finian’s Church in Adelaide Road which has been a permanent place of worship for the Lutheran congregation… Read More

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Anne Frank – A Legacy

Most of us have heard of Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl, the best known and most widely read book of the Holocaust.  Its author is regarded as a symbol of the one million Jewish children who were murdered because of Adolf Hitler’s Final Solution to what he considered the Jewish Problem. Anne’s… Read More

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The Doctrine of the Holy Trinity

Last Sunday I attended a Mass which was celebrated by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dermot Farrell in the Church of Our Mother of Divine Grace in Ballygall. As required by Covid restrictions the number of people in the congregation was limited.   Still, it feels good to be back again in the company of others and… Read More

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A World without War, Amen

Every war has its iconic images which show the suffering that people endure as a consequence of the aggression. I am thinking of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Photographer Eddie Adams, whose 1968 ‘Saigon Execution’ helped fuel the anti-war movement and end the US involvement in Vietnam. On the front of the paper one day this week… Read More

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Open Doors: Reopening of the Church

  It is certain that most people of faith are law-abiding, consequently in Ireland, there has been Church compliance with the Government’s severe regulations against public worship, even though all across Europe and indeed Britain, churches have opened much earlier for prayer and services. Throughout the long, long days of Lockdown, during the worst of… Read More