Month: November 2014

‘Secularisation’ – too easy a scapegoat for the sidelining of religion in Ireland

Brendan Hoban in his weekly Western People column states that ‘Secularisation is one of those short-hand boxes that church people tick to spread the blame for the decline of religion, even to explain away situations that are often their own fault. But it’s too heavy a brush to paint in the shades and counter shades of an accurate portrait of the place of religion in Irish life today.’

Homily of Archbishop of Tuam, Michael Neary, to the Association of Papal Knights

Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam, in a recent homily commented on ‘Evangelii Gaudium’, the recent apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis. He said that Pope Francis has called for a Church which ‘goes forth’, for a Church which as a spiritual home keeps its doors permanently open.
For this, he said, we need, more than anything else now, trained and committed personnel on the ground. Priests, of course, but also full and part time lay evangelists.

A place made Holy

Brendan Hoban in his weekly Western People column sees the refurbishment of the parish church of Moygownagh, Co. Mayo, as an act of faith in the future and a fitting tribute to the past. For the local parish community community it is a sacred place that enshrines the most precious moments of our lives.

Srs. Marie Duddy and Frances Forde; a reflection

Brian McKee, Director, Seedlings, offers this reflection on the impact of the lives and work of Sr Frances Forde and Sr. Marie Duddy who sadly died in a road traffic accident.

A married man, Brian works with the Passionists as Director of Tobar Mhuire Retreat Centre, near Belfast, and in the parish of Holy Cross, Ardoyne in the work of peace and reconciliation.

The recent Synod; the penny drops!

‘Synods of bishops for decades have been highly embarrassing gatherings.’
Brendan Hoban in his Western People column takes a look at the recent Synod of bishops.
‘Representatives of bishops from around the world usually gathered in Rome, dressed immaculately for the occasion and delivered set speeches – all in the knowledge that the final statement was already drafted before they had left home!’
This time it was different;
‘At the opening Francis spelled it out in no uncertain terms for delegates: debate, say what you think; don’t be afraid to speak your mind.’

Presider’s Page for Dedication of Lateran (9 November)

Every year on 9 November, we celebrate the dedication of the pope’s cathedral in Rome, the Lateran Basilica. Because that church is dedicated to our Most Holy Saviour, the celebration of this feast takes the place of the regular Sunday readings and prayers. And we praise our loving God who provides a home for us on earth as in heaven.

Pope Francis confirms norms concerning bishops’ retirement

Andrea Tornielli writes in about the regulations concerning the retirement of bishops.
Of note is the statement that “Worthy of the church’s appreciation is the gesture of one who, motivated by love and the desire for a better service to the community, believes it is necessary because of ill health or other serious reason to renounce his office as pastor before reaching the age of 75.”
Is this something priests should consider as a realistic alternative to taking on more and more duties as they grow older and colleagues die. Might it be the only way to force everyone to realistically confront the issue of the ever reducing number of priests?

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