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The Consecrated Life

On 2 February the Catholic Church celebrates the World Day For Consecrated Life.  Pope St John Paul instituted this annual observance marking it for the first time in 1997. It is celebrated in conjunction with the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, also known as Candlemas Day.  This commemorates the presentation of Christ in… Read More

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Saint Agnes and the Lamb

On Friday 21st January we celebrate the Feast of Saint Agnes of Rome, a virgin and martyr, held in esteem by the Church since her death circa 304.  Her grave near the Via Nomentana was recognized soon after her death.   She was young when she was martyred; St Ambrose stated that she was only twelve,… Read More

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The Word was made Flesh and Dwelt among us

In the first week of the New Year, on 6 January, we celebrate the Epiphany, which is one of the three principal and oldest festival days of the Christian church (the other two are Easter and Christmas). The Gospel of Matthew (2:1-12) speaks of Magi, or wise men, who followed a star from the east… Read More

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Looking Forward: Advent & Christmas

  For many years, and I can remember it well, there was a great tradition in Ireland of the pre-Christmas shopping season beginning on the Holy Day, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. People from all over the country would descend on Dublin and there was a real sense that the Festive Celebrations… Read More

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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