13 Nov 2017

No great economic success story possible as long as homelessness and other poverty crises deepen – Bishop Brendan Leahy

Ireland cannot claim itself an economic success while it allows the neglect of its poor, Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy has stated in his letter to the people of the diocese to mark the first World Day of the Poor.

The letter - read at Masses across the diocese today and next Sunday – official World Day of the Poor – and in it Bishop Leahy says that with homelessness at an unprecedented state of crisis today in Ireland, it is almost unjust and unchristian to claim economic success.

“Throughout the centuries we have great examples of outreach to the poor. The most outstanding example is that of Francis of Assisi, followed by many other holy men and women over the centuries. In Ireland we can think of great women such as Catherine McAuley and Nano Nagle.

“Today the call to hear the cry of the poor reaches us. In our Diocese we are blessed to have the Limerick Social Services Council that responds in many ways. There are many other initiatives that reach out to the homeless, refugees, people in situations of marginalisation,” he wrote.

“But none of us can leave it to be outsourced to others to do. Each of us has to do our part. Today many of us live a privileged life in the material sense compared to generations gone by, needing pretty much nothing.  Yet there are people in our towns, in our villages for whom the need is very great.

“Homelessness has become a crisis in Irish society and is that way now for a number of years.  But somehow, week in week out that crisis deepens and yet we hear at the same time boasts of how our economy is growing.

“There’s a huge disparity here and it needs to be dealt with. It is almost unjust and unchristian for us as a nation to be aspiring to become one of the great economic success stories of Europe while at the same time we have a hidden story, in many cases, of new forms of poverty and homelessness.

“This must be addressed and we pray that we will do our part to help our political leaders to address the various scenarios of neglect that our country still suffers.”


CNA - More than just giving – World Day of the Poor highlights change of attitude

New abbot at Mount Melleray

The Irish Catholic
Bishop Fintan Monahan, Bishop William Lee , Bishop Phonsie Cullinan, Dom Andre Barbour, Bishop Kieran O’Reilly and Bishop Willie Walsh with Mount Melleray’s Abbot Richard Purcell (centre) ahead of a Mass to invoke God’s blessing on the new abbot and his ministry. 
Photo: Oisin McHugh/ True Media
Back in August the Cistercian community of Mount Melleray elected Dom Richard Purcell OCSO as their new abbot.

On Saturday 4th November,  Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan celebrated the ‘Mass to Invoke God’s Blessing on the New Abbot and his Abbatial Ministry’ at Mountmelleray Abbey. 

Every blessing and best wish to the new abbot and the community! 

More photos HERE.

11 Nov 2017

12th November 2017 - In November, remembering those who have died

On this weeks programme John and Shane are joined by Sr Margaret O'Sullivan who reflects on November as the month of remembrance and helping to cope with grief. We have our regular reflection on this Sunday's gospel as well as notices and other liturgical odds & ends.

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks full programme HERE.

Remembering those who have died in November

Sr Margaret O'Sullivan joins us on the programme this week and leads us through a reflection on remembering and coping with grief in this month of November - the month of the Holy Souls. 

You can listen to Sr Margaret's wonderful reflection excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE.

Gospel - Matthew 25:1-13

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"The kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise,
'Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.'
But the wise ones replied,
'No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.'
While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
'Lord, Lord, open the door for us!'
But he said in reply,
'Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.'
Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour."
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflection
English Dominicans - Remembrance Sunday
Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week IV, 32nd week in ordinary time

Saints of the Week

October 13th - St Frances Xavier Cabrini also Bl David Sutton
October 14th - St Laurence O'Toole 
October 15th - St Albert the Great
October 16th - St Margaret of Scotland also St Gertrude the Great
October 17th - St Elizabeth of Hungary also St Hilda
October 18th -  Dedication of the Basilica's of St Peter & St Paul

10 Nov 2017

10th November - St Leo the Great and the Sorry State of Europe Today

From iBenedictines:

What do you associate with St Leo the Great, whose feast is today — if you think of him at all, that is? Do you remember the beautiful prose of his Christological treatises, letters and sermons, or his facing down of Attila the Hun, or his work for the unity of the Church; or do you perhaps think of the sacramentary that bears his name, (although most of the Sacramentarium Veronense is not attributable to him) and the sober splendour of the Roman rite in its earliest form? For me, he is the most Roman of popes, a link to a time when the unity of the countries we now think of as making up Europe was much harder to pin down but still real and important. The Church is the only institution of Roman antiquity to have survived to the present day and in the time of Leo (c.400—461) was a much-needed symbol of lawful authority, filling the vacuum left by the increasingly weak emperors. 
So far so good; but we do not live in the time of St Leo. Europe today is more plural, one might say more divided, than it has been for more than seventy years, and a major source of that division is the weakness of her institutions. The BBC regularly speaks of Theresa May’s ‘fragile government’. Other countries of Europe, even the mighty Germany, have not yet managed to form a government at all but are locked in endless discussions. Spain teeters on the brink of breaking up. Parts of Italy wish to follow suit. The rise of the far right has sent a shiver down the spines of many and is no longer to be dismissed as mere fantasy. The survival of the European Union is itself in doubt. To the East there is the spectre of Russia, and further East, the growing power of China; to the West, the fading star of an increasingly isolationist U.S.A. One remedy proposed for this state of affairs is a novel fuga mundi, a reversion to a time that never was, to a self-sufficient nation-state of ever-smaller proportions. Others propose a rather selective reading of the Rule of St Benedict, and a return to a kind of domestic monasticism we have not seen since Late Antiquity. Is there, perhaps, another and better way— a way that engages with rather than flees from the present political reality? 
This morning I think of the example of St Leo. So much depends on those who hold office and their conception of their duty towards those they serve. If there is to be a revitalisation of our institutions, it can surely only come about because those elected to office take seriously the obligation they have assumed. In the current atmosphere of apportioning blame/wriggling out of responsibility, examining charges of sexual harassment and abuse, uncovering attempts to avoid tax and so on, we are in danger of losing sight of the common good, that there are matters that demand our attention both as individuals and as a society. The Church has her role to play, if only as ‘conscience of the nation.’ That is why she can never be indifferent to anything that concerns any of us and must constantly point to the ideal, to what is in the best interest of all. For myself, I think we have a duty to pray and pray hard for those entrusted with the work of government. On them depends the peace and security of the nations and our freedom to live with dignity and mutual respect. St Leo, pray for us!

Pope Francis speaks out against nuclear weapons

The Vatican is hosting a two-day high-level international symposium on a nuclear-weapons-free world this week, in the backdrop of an escalating face-off  between  the US and North Korea.  Eleven Nobel peace laureates, top United Nations and NATO officials, leading experts, ‎heads of  major foundations and of civil society organizations, as well representatives of bishops conferences, Christian denominations and other faiths are attending the November 10-11 conference in the Vatican on, "Prospects for a World Free from Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament".

Continue reading -  ‎Vatican hosting high-level symposium against nuclear weapons

Pope Francis addressed the participants in the international symposium on disarmament and development on Friday. The two-day event has been organized by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, in order to address issues that are critical both in themselves and in the light of the complex political challenges of the current international scene.

In remarks prepared for the participants and delivered shortly after noon on Friday in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican, Pope Francis said nuclear weapons,  “exist in the service of a mentality of fear that affects not only the parties in conflict but the entire human race.” He went on to say, “Weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, create nothing but a false sense of security.”

Continue reading - Pope addresses disarmament conference

Text of the Holy Father's address - Pope on disarmament: world without weapons is possible

Pope Francis officially declares John Paul I ‘venerable’

Nun killed in backlash over Regensburg declared a martyr

Nun killed in backlash over Regensburg declared a martyr

Nun who died in backlash over Benedict XVI’s Regensburg address declared martyr

Pope Francis: Mass is for prayers not mobile phones

Pope Francis has reminded the faithful that the Eucharist is a wonderful event during which Jesus Christ, our life, becomes present. 
Speaking to the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Wednesday General Audience, Pope Francis began a new series of reflections focusing on the Eucharist and highlighting the importance of how we attend and of how we participate in Mass in order to really experience our relationship with God. 
To the some 13,000 pilgrims present for the weekly audience, Pope Francis said that while at Mass “the Lord is present with us but many times we talk among ourselves and we are not close to Him” during the celebration.

5 Nov 2017

500 years after the Reformation - commemorating, learning, journeying together - Bishop Leahy reflects

November 1st marked 500 years since Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on a church door in Wittenberg, Germany­ - the start of the Reformation movement.
In a letter read at all Masses on the weekend of October 28/29th, Bishop Brendan remarked:
... We now know that the era Martin Luther lived in was enormously complex – socially, politically and religiously. We need to recognise he wanted to renew the Church not divide her. 500 years of history since then have seen many tragic consequences. But, as Pope Francis, reminded us on another occasion earlier this year, while the past cannot be changed, it is possible to engage in a “purification of memory”, and so “tell that history differently”. As we commemorate the Reformation, I would like to suggest that there are three points we can take away for reflection this weekend. ...
You can read the three points, and the letter, in full HERE 
Bishop Brendan, writing in the November edition of Intercom Magazine:
'Today the Catholic Church is focusing again on reform, so it is helpful to look at what Luther said, much of which was eventually echoed in the Second Vatican Council. As Pope Francis reminds us, there is value in learning from others, perceiving how the Holy Spirit is at work in their experience, which may be very different to our own.'
Bishop Brendan Leahy and Bishop Kenneth Kearon, Chuch of Ireland, were also speaking on Limericks Live95fm radio on Nov 1st. A very interesting conversation, reflecting on Halloween, All Saints Day, the Catholic and Church of Ireland diocese' in Limerick and how our churches have prayed, learnt and work together today. Click below to listen in: 

4 Nov 2017

5th November 2017 - The challenges of passing on the faith in the family

On this weeks programme Fr Eamonn Conway joins John and Shane to reflect on the challenges of passing on the faith inter-generationally within the family in the modern world and some ways to approach what can be seen as a daunting task. We have our regular reflection on this weeks Sunday gospel as well as our round up the saints of the week and other liturgical odds & ends.

You can listen the podcast of this weeks full programme HERE.

Passing on the message of the Gospel in the Family

When ever people sit and have a discussion about matters of faith, one theme which comes up again and again is the challenge of passing on the faith to the next generation. 

In a period of time where we have seen the publication of a Irish survey which tells us a Majority of young Irish people feel church attendance is optional; recently Breda O'Brien reflected in the Irish Catholic on the Challenge of building Faith in Lourdes’ young volunteers and in  the US a new book called "iGen" about what Bishop Robert Barron calls "The Least Religious Generation in US History" there is a question about what to do? Pope Francis has given the focus on young people to the 2018 Synod of Bishops which will be looking at Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.

Fr Eamonn takes us through a discussion looking at how parents and grandparents can deal with this particular.  He makes the point that it has to come from personal witness - the ground on which you as a parent or grandparent stand and being able to show by example that faith is the root of your daily existence. We need to share the love experience we have of God before worrying about the issues of knowledge of faith. Another way to look and see is how do we make space in our lives for family time and for faith time where we are harassed almost without realising it by what Pope Francis called the "technocratic frame around our lives". Maybe as parents we need to show some tough love to remind our young people that there is more to living at the touch of a button and that we need to move away from a desire to live only through technological interactions which can almost tranquillise us in our lives. But ultimately the best way to pass on the faith is through the art of listening to our young people and accompanying them into the questions they are posing about who they are? Why are we here? Why is there evil in the world? And to recognise with them that there are no quick answers to these questions but that faith can help to guide our individual response to them.

You can listen to the discussion with Fr Eamonn excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE.

Gospel - Matthew 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,"The scribes and the Phariseeshave taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens hard to carryand lay them on people's shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation 'Rabbi.'As for you, do not be called 'Rabbi.'You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers. Call no one on earth your father;you have but one Father in heaven.Do not be called 'Master';you have but one master, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant.Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;but whoever humbles himself will be exalted."
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflections
Centre for Liturgy
English Dominicans

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 3, thirty first week in ordinary time

Saints of the Week

November 6th - All the Saints of Ireland
November 7th - St Willibrord of Echternach also All the Dominican Saints
November 8th - All the Saints of Wales
November 9th - Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
November 10th - Pope St Leo the Great
November 11th - St Martin of Tours

The Catholic Church in China | A Short Documentary

Pro-life millennials speak out

Millennial women from a wide range of backgrounds, including pro-life feminists, pro-life progressives, and those who favor a more whole life approach to life issues and comprehensive approach to defending unborn life and supporting women, share their thoughts on being pro-life in a video from America Media:

Some web browsing............

Let the dead have November

November: a time for the living and the dead

November draws us to the souls in purgatory – a place Our Lady of Fatima confirmed

US theologian tells Pope: many are losing confidence in you

An ‘ecumenical Mass’ is impossible, says German cardinal

At London event marking Reformation, church leaders pledge deeper unity 

Archbishop of Canterbury's sermon at Reformation 500th anniversary service

400 years on from Guy Fawkes, Britain’s Catholics still face prejudice

Oxford student officials disrupt pro-life event

Bishop defends UCD’s impeached Katie Ascough

Irish human rights groups should campaign for the rights of the disabled, not for their termination

Ireland Wanted to Forget. But the Dead Don’t Always Stay Buried.

The Number of Inquiries for Physician Assisted Suicide For Children is on The Rise in Canada

Are the Amish right about new technology?

Mairead McGuinness MEP meets Pope Francis - The future European economy must be fit for purpose, and provide opportunities for all, including education, housing, health care and support.

The war against Pope Francis 

From soldiers to monks: the end of a monastery founded by veterans of the Second World War

Pope Francis Prayer Intention November 2017 - To witness to the Gospel in Asia

Let us pray that Christians in Asia may promote dialogue, peace, and mutual understanding, especially with those of other religions.

Pope Francis - November 2017

The most striking feature of Asia is the variety of its peoples who are heirs to ancient cultures, religions and traditions.
On this continent, where the Church is a minority, the challenges are intense.
We must promote dialogue among religions and cultures.
Dialogue is an essential part of the mission of the Church in Asia.
Let us pray that Christians in Asia may promote dialogue, peace, and mutual understanding, especially with those of other religions.

WMoF2018 - How do you find out more information about the biggest family event in Ireland in 2018?

WMoF2018 has a very strong online presence and SS102fm over the next while will be cross posting sharing some of the online resouces that are available. However, we would say to readers and listeners to go to the main website of the WMoF2018 itself to keep up to date on what is happening and the preparations that are being made.


Have you explored the video reflections and reports over at iCatholic? Already there are 61 different videos tagged to WMOF2018 and SS102fm will be sharing some of them in thenext few weeks but head on over and check them out yourself!