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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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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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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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A Day to Remember: Yom HaShoah

  The Christian religion began with the life and work of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was a Jew as were his earliest followers.  In one sense it is possible to say that Christianity began as a movement within Judaism.  After the death and resurrection of Jesus, these early followers believed him to be the Messiah… Read More

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The Bells of the Angelus

Those of us of a certain age grew up with RTE’s daily Angelus broadcasts at 12.00 and 18.00 as part of the background to our lives.  They were a call to prayer which we took for granted.  At school, we would stand up in class and recite the prayer.  The Angelus is a Catholic devotion… Read More

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Christmas with Covid

One morning this week while listening to the radio I heard a news report broadcast from Dublin Airport.  The people interviewed were describing how different their workplace looked this year.  The crowds which usually pass through their portals at Christmas have dwindled, all as a result of the restrictions imposed by Covid-19.   One woman explained… Read More

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From Advent to Lent

Last Sunday, November 29 marked the beginning of Advent, the first of twenty-five days when we get ready for the great event of Christ’s birth.  The word itself has its roots in the Latin, adventus which translates as ‘arrival’, from advenire – ad meaning ‘to’ and venire– ‘come’.  Advent is a time of spiritual preparation… Read More