How can we talk about God to the next Generation?

How can we talk about God to the next Generation?

Will the Faith Survive?

 A talk by Fr.Tony Flannery

Sunday, December 16th, 2018, at 3.00pm

Freigh Inn, Newport, Co. Tipperary.

MUSIC by Siobhan Egan and Others

All Are Welcome

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  1. Lloyd Allan MacPherson says:

    “How can we talk to God about the next generation – will faith survive?”

    Those are not worthy questions, Tony. The question is how far into the future will the next generation survive. There is current scientific reporting that puts our oceans in a ‘dead’ state by 2048, so let’s not count our chickens before they’ve hatched. Once that beautiful ocean is dead, the atmosphere is next.

    Plastics, who would have thought – this pacific patch is three times the size of France now and growing everyday while our governments profit off the planned obsolescence schemes attached to this atrocity. These schemes keep their coffers full. Plastics are a by-product of the fossil fuel industry and poisonous – young people ingest 1000 pieces of micro-plastics each year. They exist in every piece of the food chain now.

    We can’t talk to the next generation before we have the conversation with them about what is going on in the world today – if we can’t do that, why would they ever believe in God when the people who supposedly believe in him have abandoned them?

    I thank Sean McDonagh for being instrumental in Laudato si’ and for the Vatican backing the ‘youth v. gov.’ global lawsuit but like most reforms in the world, it has become a paper rotting over the top of a the problem it addresses.

    Come on now – I can feel the love in your hearts from the east coast of Canada – I can help you overcome this world. I’ve been preparing to do it for three years since the lawsuit came to courts in the USA – I wouldn’t be asking if I wasn’t willing to help – I’ve found that 7 year plan.

  2. Tony Flannery says:

    I know you are promoting your own particular agenda, and that is fine. But if you knew anything about what I will be talking about on Sunday, and what I have talked and written about for some time, you would know that I am attempting to present a new theology of God and Creation that I believe would correct a lot of the false notions in traditional theology, and help us to see the intimate connection between humans, the whole of creation, and the Divine Presence at the heart of everything.
    Happily, this is not just me, but more and more people in the Church are thinking in this way, and I see some real hope here that fundamental change in attitudes will happen.

  3. Lloyd Allan MacPherson says:


    If anyone has reassured me over the years of what can be accomplished when people get together, it is certainly people like you, Sean McDonagh, and countless others who have put their hearts and minds on the line for what they believe in – it is not your agenda, it is who you are.

    I can’t convince anyone to see the response to this emergency for what it really is – a way to materialize that intimate connection between humans – a fundamental change in attitudes that can be witnessed in action. Once children SEE that emerge (their hearts need no conversion at this time), then it shall be proven that this faith survives along with them.

    Our mimetic tendencies require a visual model to activate (mirror neurons) – any activities short of addressing this emergency will accumulate like the plastics (Jonah) in the belly of the whale. We need all hands on deck speaking to people about the urgency this requires – Ireland, based on your current government response as of late, is once again likely to lead in this regard.

  4. Frances Burke says:

    The news this week that Ireland has the poorest record in Europe in relation to addressing climate change is confirmation that as a country we lack any type of leadership in relation to the protection of our environment. It is only because we have been called out on this that politicians are beginning to ‘talk the talk’. I will wait and see how much they are prepared to do to ‘walk the walk’.

  5. Bob Riler says:

    I hope I am allowed to respond. Your question intrigues me. So often it is said that we have spent our entire existence creating God in our own image. And a fine job we have done! We must make God laugh at our anthropomorphic sketches.

    I had a great conversation about God with a native American friend of mine. He asked, “What happens to the raindrop when it falls into the sea.” From there our imaginations went on a day-long conversation that truly transformed my heart. That raindrop becomes more than a part of the sea, one with the sea. That raindrop is the sea. Perhaps that is the only way our narrow minds can enter into the mystery of our understanding of the Source, the Great Spirit, the Sum of All.

    Our conversation morphed into an exploration of our ethical response to world. If “the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains,” perhaps that omega will dictate how we live our lives in the hear and now. Will every corner of creation be our judge and comforter? What will the experience be when our souls join with an environment we have violated? With homeless we have ignored? With an amoral politics we have tolerated? With a church that forgot the Gospel?

    The next generation does not believe in God – at least that anthropomorphic thing that has stuck with us since grade school. Neither do I. It’s time to trash what has been sold to us as “God.” Painful as it may be, that God is dead.

    Tony, I hope you can unveil a new metaphor for the divine spark that undergirds all creation and to which each of us groans – consciously or unconsciously – all our lives.

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