26 May 2018

27th May 2018 - Answering the call to holiness - Gaudate et Exsultate (Rejoice & be glad) - Trinity Sunday

On Trinity Sunday, Fr Eamon Conway joins with John and Shane to take us through the highlights of the newest papal document from Pope Francis called Gaudete et Exsultate ("Rejoice and be glad"). We have our run through various liturgical odds & ends as well as a brief reflection on this weeks Sunday gospel.

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

Gaudete et Exsultate

Gaudete et Exsultate is a new apostolic exhortation on “the call to holiness in the contemporary world.” “Gaudete et Exsultate” is the Latin title of the text, which translated into English means “Rejoice and Be Glad.” The words are taken from the Gospel of Matthew (5:12) at the end of the discourse on the Beatitudes.

Fr Eamon Conway takes us through this very readable document of five chapters which explore the call to holiness, the enemies of holiness, what it is to be holy – through living out the beatitudes, the signs of holiness in today’s world and spiritual combat.

Pope Francis reminds the church of the example of the saints and how their lives are an imitation of Christ. He also states that this imitation is not limited to the canonised or beatified but to “God’s holy and faithful people, for “it has pleased God to make men and women holy and to save them, not as individuals without any bond between them, but rather as a people who might acknowledge him in truth and serve him in holiness”.

Read the apostolic exhortation HERE.

You can listen to the interview with Fr Eamon excerpted from the main podcast HERE.

— “I like to contemplate the holiness present in the patience of God’s people: in those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to support their families, in the sick, in elderly religious who never lose their smile.”

— “Holiness is the most attractive face of the church.”

— “The important thing is that each believer discern his or her own path, that they bring out the very best of themselves, the most personal gifts that God has placed in their hearts, rather than hopelessly trying to imitate something not meant for them.”

— “In times when women tended to be most ignored or overlooked, the Holy Spirit raised up saints whose attractiveness produced new spiritual vigor and important reforms in the church.”

— “We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case.”

— “We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves.”

— “This holiness to which the Lord calls you will grow through small gestures.”

— “Do not be afraid of holiness. It will take away none of your energy, vitality or joy.”

— “Thanks be to God, throughout the history of the church it has always been clear that a person’s perfection is measured not by the information or knowledge they possess, but by the depth of their charity.”

— “Jesus explained with great simplicity what it means to be holy when he gave us the Beatitudes (Mt 5:3-12; Lk 6:20-23).”

— “Giving and forgiving means reproducing in our lives some small measure of God’s perfection, which gives and forgives superabundantly.”

— “We need to think of ourselves as an army of the forgiven. All of us have been looked upon with divine compassion.”

— “The saints are not odd and aloof, unbearable because of their vanity, negativity and bitterness. The Apostles of Christ were not like that.”

— “In this call to recognize him in the poor and the suffering, we see revealed the very heart of Christ, his deepest feelings and choices, which every saint seeks to imitate.”

— “It is true that the primacy belongs to our relationship with God, but we cannot forget that the ultimate criterion on which our lives will be judged is what we have done for others.”

— “The saints do not waste energy complaining about the failings of others; they can hold their tongue before the faults of their brothers and sisters and avoid the verbal violence that demeans and mistreats others.”

— “Christian joy is usually accompanied by a sense of humor.”

— “The saints surprise us, they confound us, because by their lives they urge us to abandon a dull and dreary mediocrity.”

— “A community that cherishes the little details of love, whose members care for one another and create an open and evangelizing environment, is a place where the risen Lord is present, sanctifying it in accordance with the Father’s plan.”

— “I do not believe in holiness without prayer, even though that prayer need not be lengthy or involve intense emotions.”

— “We should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea. This mistake would lead us to let down our guard, to grow careless and end up more vulnerable.”

— “The devil does not need to possess us. He poisons us with the venom of hatred, desolation, envy and vice. When we let down our guard, he takes advantage of it to destroy our lives, our families and our communities.”

— “Discernment is not about discovering what more we can get out of this life, but about recognizing how we can better accomplish the mission entrusted to us at our baptism.”

— “Let us ask the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us a fervent longing to be saints for God’s greater glory, and let us encourage one another in this effort.”

Gospel - Matthew 28:16-20 - the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.When they all saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.Then Jesus approached and said to them,"All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father,and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

S+L - The Trinity is the Model of Every Human Community -- A Biblical Reflection for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Thinking Faith God is three and God is one
Thinking Faith - The Trinity: On Loving Love Loving

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 4; 8th week in ordinary time

Saints of the Week

May 30th - St Joan of Arc
June 1st - St Justin Martyr (First Friday)
June 2nd - St Marcellinus (First Saturday)
June 3rd - Corpus Christi

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

Pilgrims to WMOF will receive plenary indulgence

Pope will visit Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin in August

Loss of fatherhood is “critical crisis in the world”

Knock’s Apparition Chapel reopens following refurbishment

Wounded veterans seek healing and peace in the waters of Lourdes

Pope Hints at New CDF Document on End-of-Life Issues

Commission Chair: ‘Humanae Vitae’ Needs No Update

Pilgrimage of John XXIII’s remains refutes religion’s demise

Germany’s communion discussion ‘puzzling,’ says Canadian archbishop

In our day, as during the time of Luther, what happens in Germany will not stay in Germany...

Pope Francis' cunning long game

The 2018 Pentecost Pilgrimage to Chartes - post 1 and post 2

24 May 2018

Let us pray

Today the referendum to repeal or retain the 8th amendment to the Irish Constitution which upholds the equal protection of life given to both the mother and the unborn child  begins as the outlying islands off the coast cast their ballots while the mainland votes tomorrow.

Now is the time for the campaigning and arguing to cease and that voters are allowed time to reflect and decide which way they will cast their ballots.

We pray that that people will be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, to discern in truth and faith the decisions they must make and that they will seek the intercession of the Spirit to unlock those gifts of wisdom and right judgement which are available to all.

And as citizens of the Republic, we should all endeavor to exercise our civic duty and go to cast our ballots. Every vote counts and every voice matters.

21 May 2018

Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church

May 21 marks the memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church, added to the Roman calendar this year by Pope Francis.The annual memorial is intended to foster Marian devotion among Catholics. Cardinal Robert Sarah, head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, said this celebration will help promote affection for Christ and his mother.
“This celebration will help us to remember that growth in the Christian life must be anchored to the Mystery of the Cross, to the oblation of Christ in the Eucharistic Banquet and to the Mother of the Redeemer and Mother of the Redeemed,” he said in a March 3 letter.
Catholic Herald 
The Church should have the attitude of a wife and a mother, the Pope said. Without its feminine dimension, the Catholic Church risks becoming an old boy’s club and incapable of love, Pope Francis said.
The Church must “remain female” and “have this attitude of a wife and mother” who nurtures her children, the Pope said in his homily on May 21 during a morning Mass commemorating the feast of Mary, Mother of the Church.
“When we forget this, it becomes a masculine church; without this dimension, it sadly becomes a church of old bachelors, who live in this isolation, incapable of love, incapable of fruitfulness,” the Pope said.
...............Without this dimension, “the Church loses its true identity and becomes a charitable organization or a soccer team or something, but not the Church,” he said.
Like a mother, the Church also goes “along the path of tenderness” and knows how to convey wisdom through the language of “caresses, of silence, of the gaze that knows compassion,” the Pope said.
All Christians in some way are called to “go along the same path,” being someone who is “gentle, tender, smiling, full of love,” Pope Francis said.
iBenedictines - A New Feast: Mary, Mother of the Church Vatican News -  Pope Francis: The Church, like Mary, is woman and mother 
CNA - Pope Francis: Like Mary, the Church is a mother 
Liturgical details for the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church 

Whispers in the Loggia - Address of Pope Paul VI Closing of the Third Session of the Second Vatican Council, St Peter's Basilica, 21 November 1964

20 May 2018

Pope Francis on Pentecost: The Holy Spirit changes hearts

Vatican News - In his homily on Pentecost Sunday delivered before thousands of the faithful gathered in St Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis focused on the action of the Holy Spirit expressed in the Scripture readings from the Acts of the Apostles, St Paul's letter to the Galatians, and St John’s Gospel.

The Holy Spirit changes hearts
The Spirit transforms the hearts of the timid disciples from fearful men, “huddled behind closed doors”, to bold men who “bear witness to [Jesus]” (Jn 15:27), the Pope said. His action frees hearts, impels service, guides people in new directions, and makes “the lukewarm thrill to new dreams. That is what it means to change hearts”, Pope Francis said.

The Holy Spirit gives life
Pope Francis suggests that since the Holy Spirit provokes change that we turn to Him for a “powerful ‘jolt’ ” when “we are in need of real change”. He is “the power of God” and the “giver of life”. “How good it would be for us each day to feel this jolt of life!  To say when we wake up each morning: ‘Come, Holy Spirit, come into my heart, come into my day’ ”, the Pope said. 

The Holy Spirit changes situations
The Holy Spirit “penetrates the most unimaginable situations”, Pope Francis continued. He does so today just as he did in the Acts of the Apostles, in which He is the “main character”. He drives Philip from Jerusalem to Gaza, then to Azotus, then to Caesarea (Acts 8:26-40), “in constantly new situations to spread God’s newness”. Paul is “compelled by the Spirit” (Acts 20:22), traveling “far and wide” to bring the Gospel, the Pope said.

The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church
Pope Francis recalled that as the soul of the Church, the Holy Spirit renews her with hope, fills her with joy, and causes her to blossom with new life. Even after 2000 years, “the Spirit reminds the Church that…she is always the youthful bride with whom the Lord is madly in love”.

Concluding his homily, Pope Francis said that the Spirit acts on the Church with “centripetal and centrifugal” forces. We are centered deep within with His centripetal force which brings unity, peace and strength amid affliction and temptation, he said. The Holy Spirit pushes us outward toward the peripheries with a centrifugal force. Thus, in the Pope’s words, “those who live by the Spirit…find themselves pulled both towards God and towards the world".

19 May 2018

20th May 2018 - Pentecost Sunday - What is an informed conscience?

Ireland goes to the polls in the coming week to decide what is literally a matter of life and death as voters decide on whether to retain or repeal the equal protection of life given to both the mother and the unborn child in the Irish constitution. SS102fm didn't host any debates or discussions on the referendum because a) we wanted to give our listeners a "sacred space" on a Sunday morning away from the 'noise' of main stream media and b) because to do so would have meant having to give balanced airtime to both sides of the campaign under BAI rules which we could not do.

However, on this mornings programme we decided to repeat an interview which we conducted with Bishop-emeritus Dr Donal Murray back in 2015 about the issue of conscience and having an informed conscience. At that time, the interview was ahead of the same-sex marriage referendum and the purpose of the interview was to set out clearly what is meant from a Catholic point of view about discerning and voting with your conscience. 

"Freedom of conscience" is regarded as one the key human rights of the current age but what does it actually mean from a Catholic perspective? What is conscience? Can a person be compelled to act against their conscience? How is a person to form his conscience so that it is not just their opinion but a considered and informed discernment?

You can listen to this weeks full programme podcast HERE.

You can listen to the discussion about informed conscience excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE.

Some links around the issue of conscience:

This Sunday is the Solemnity of Pentecost, when the Church celebrates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate on the Christian community. We pray that as we enter into these final days of discernment, that people will be open to the promptings of that same Spirit, to discern in truth and faith the decisions they must make and that they will seek the intercession of the Spirit to unlock those gifts of wisdom and right judgement which are available to all.

Gospel - John 15:26-27,16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples:‘When the Advocate comes,whom I shall send to you from the Father,the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father,he will be my witness.And you too will be witnesses,because you have been with me from the outset.‘I still have many things to say to youbut they would be too much for you now.But when the Spirit of truth comeshe will lead you to the complete truth,since he will not be speaking as from himselfbut will say only what he has learnt;and he will tell you of the things to come.He will glorify me,since all he tells youwill be taken from what is mine.Everything the Father has is mine;that is why I said:All he tells youwill be taken from what is mine.’

This weeks short lectio divina on the radio programme, is focused not on the gospel of the day but rather on the first reading taken from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1-11). However reflection on the Sunday gospel and the great feast of Pentecost:

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 3; 7th week in Ordinary time

With Vespers of Pentecost we finally close out the Easter season and enter into Ordinary Time. We have celebrated with many Alleluia's for seven weeks the joy of the Lord's Resurrection and now we enter back into the ordinary seasons of liturgy and time.

Saints of the Week

May 21st - Mary, Mother of the Church
May 22nd - St Rita of Cascia
May 23rd - St Goban Gobhnena
May 25th - St Bede
May 26th - St Philip Neri

There is power in love! - Most Rev Michael Curry’s sermon at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Here is the complete transcript for the Most Rev Michael Curry’s sermon at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

And now in the name of our loving, liberating and life-giving God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

From the Song of Solomon, in the Bible:
Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
The late Dr Martin Luther King Jr once said, and I quote: “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world, for love is the only way.”

There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it. Don’t even oversentimentalise it. There’s power – power in love. If you don’t believe me, think about a time when you first fell in love. The whole world seemed to centre around you and your beloved.

Oh, there’s power, power in love. Not just in its romantic forms, but any form, any shape of love. There’s a certain sense in which, when you are loved, and you know it, when someone cares for you, and you know it, when you love and you show it – it actually feels right. There’s something right about it.

There is something right about it. And there’s a reason for it. The reason has to do with the source. We were made by a power of love, and our lives were meant – and are meant – to be lived in that love. That’s why we are here.

Ultimately, the source of love is God himself: the source of all of our lives. There’s an old medieval poem that says: “Where true love is found, God himself is there.” The New Testament says it this way: “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God, and those who love are born of God and know God. Those who do not love do not know God.” Why? “For God is love.” There’s power in love. There’s power in love to help and heal when nothing else can.

There’s power in love to lift up and liberate when nothing else will. There’s power in love to show us the way to live. Set me as a seal on your heart … a seal on your arm, for love is as strong as death. But love is not only about a young couple. Now the power of love is demonstrated by the fact that we’re all here. Two young people fell in love, and we all showed up. But it’s not just for and about a young couple, who we rejoice with. It’s more than that.

Jesus of Nazareth on one occasion was asked by a lawyer to sum up the essence of the teachings of Moses, and he went back and he reached back into the Hebrew scriptures, to Deuteronomy and Leviticus, and Jesus said: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.”

And then in Matthew’s version, he added, he said: “On these two, love of God and love of neighbour, hang all the law, all the prophets, everything that Moses wrote, everything in the holy prophets, everything in the scriptures, everything that God has been trying to tell the world … Love God, love your neighbours, and while you’re at it, love yourself.”

Someone once said that Jesus began the most revolutionary movement in human history: a movement grounded in the unconditional love of God for the world – and a movement mandating people to live that love, and in so doing to change not only their lives, but the very life of the world itself. I’m talking about power. Real power. Power to change the world.

If you don’t believe me, well, there were some old slaves in America’s Antebellum South who explained the dynamic power of love and why it has the power to transform. They explained it this way. They sang a spiritual, even in the midst of their captivity. It’s one that says, “There’s a balm in Gilead …” a healing balm, something that can make things right.

“There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole,” and one of the stanzas actually explains why. They said:

“If you cannot preach like Peter, 
And you cannot pray like Paul, 
You just tell the love of Jesus, 
How he died to save us all.”

Oh, that’s the balm in Gilead!

This way of love, it is the way of life. They got it. He died to save us all. He didn’t die for anything he could get out of it. Jesus did not get an honorary doctorate for dying. He didn’t – he wasn’t getting anything out of it. He gave up his life, he sacrificed his life, for the good of others, for the good of the other, for the wellbeing of the world … for us.

That’s what love is. Love is not selfish and self-centred. Love can be sacrificial, and in so doing, becomes redemptive. And that way of unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive love changes lives, and it can change this world.

If you don’t believe me, just stop and imagine. Think and imagine a world where love is the way.

Imagine our homes and families where love is the way.
Imagine our neighbourhoods and communities where love is the way.
Imagine our governments and nations where love is the way.
Imagine business and commerce where this love is the way.
Imagine this tired old world where love is the way.

When love is the way – unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive.
When love is the way, then no child will go to bed hungry in this world ever again.
When love is the way, we will let justice roll down like a mighty stream and righteousness like an ever flowing brook.
When love is the way, poverty will become history.
When love is the way, the earth will be a sanctuary.
When love is the way, we will lay down our swords and shields, down by the riverside, to study war no more.
When love is the way, there’s plenty good room – plenty good room – for all of God’s children. Because when love is the way, we actually treat each other, well … like we are actually family.
When love is the way, we know that God is the source of us all, and we are brothers and sisters, children of God.

My brothers and sisters, that’s a new heaven, a new earth, a new world, a new human family. And let me tell you something, old Solomon was right in the Old Testament: that’s fire.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin – and with this I will sit down, we gotta get y’all married – French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was arguably one of the great minds, great spirits of the 20th century. Jesuit, Roman Catholic priest, a scientist, a scholar, a mystic.

In some of his writings, he said, from his scientific background as well as his theological one … in some of his writings he said – as others have – that the discovery, or invention, or harnessing of fire was one of the great scientific and technological discoveries in all of human history.

Fire to a great extent made human civilisation possible. Fire made it possible to cook food and to provide sanitary ways of eating, which reduced the spread of disease in its time. Fire made it possible to heat warm environments and thereby made human migration around the world a possibility, even into colder climates.

Fire made it possible … There was no Bronze Age without fire, no Iron Age without fire, no Industrial Revolution without fire. The advances of fire and technology are greatly dependent on the human ability and capacity to take fire and use it for human good.

Anybody get here in a car today? An automobile? Nod your heads if you did – I know there were some carriages. But those of us who came in cars, fire – controlled, harnessed fire – made that possible.

I know that the Bible says – and I believe it – that Jesus walked on the water. But I have to tell you, I did not walk across the Atlantic Ocean to get here. Controlled fire in that plane makes it possible.

Fire makes it possible for us to text and tweet and email and Instagram and Facebook and socially be dysfunctional with each other. Fire makes all of that possible, and De Chardin said fire was one of the greatest discoveries in all of human history. And he then went on to say that if humanity ever harnesses the energy of fire again, if humanity ever captures the energy of love – it will be the second time in history that we have discovered fire.

Dr King was right: we must discover love – the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world, a new world.

My brother, my sister, God love you, God bless you, and may God hold us all in those almighty hands of love.

12 May 2018

13th May 2018 - Exploring ecumenism - Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

The SS102fm team is joined this week by Fr Martin Browne OSB from Glenstal Abbey to introduce us to ecumenism and the role it plays between the Christian Churches. We have our regular run through the liturgical odds & ends of the week plus our (short) lectio on this weeks gospel which is for the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. 

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

Exploring Ecumenism with Fr Martin Browne OSB

Fr Martin Browne OSB introduces our listeners this week to ecumenism. For Catholics, the word ecumenism refers to all of the activities and initiatives of the Church and her members to promote mutual understanding and, ultimately, unity among all Christians. Inter-religious dialogue is the dialogue between different faiths such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism etc.

Fr Martin takes us through the journey for the search for Christian unity in the 20th century and how christian's of all denominations have taken up the prayer of Jesus at the Last Supper that we " may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me." and reminds us that unity has to start with each one of us genuinely seeking it in prayer before the Lord.

You can listen to Fr Martin's interview excerpted from the main programme HERE.

Information on ecumenism:
Gospel - Mark 16:15-20 - The Ascension of the Lord

And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the good news* to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.’ 
 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire - reflections on the Ascension from WoF

Sunday Reflections
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy

The Ascension of Jesus is the Christian teaching found in the New Testament when the resurrected Jesus was taken up to heaven in his resurrected body, in the presence of eleven of his apostles, occurring 40 days after the resurrection. An angel told the watching disciples that Jesus' second coming would take place in the same manner as his ascension. The Ascension of Jesus is professed in the Nicene Creed and in the Apostles' Creed. The Ascension implies Jesus' humanity being taken into heaven. The familiar account of Jesus ascending bodily into the clouds is given fully only in the Acts of the Apostles, but is briefly described also in the Gospel of Luke (often considered to be by the same author) at 24:50–53 and in the ending of Mark 16 at 16:19

In Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox theology, the Ascension is interpreted as the culmination of the Mystery of the Incarnation, in that it not only marked the completion of Jesus' physical presence among his apostles, but consummated the union of God and man when Jesus ascended in his glorified human body to sit at the right hand of God the Father. The Ascension and the Transfiguration both figure prominently in the Orthodox doctrine of theosis. The bodily Ascension into heaven is also understood as the final token of Christ's two natures: divine and human.

The Catholic Catechism summarizes three important theological aspects (with which most Christian churches agree) of the Ascension concisely:

  • Christ's Ascension marks the definitive entrance of Jesus' humanity into God's heavenly domain, whence he will come again (cf. Acts 1:11); this humanity in the meantime hides him from the eyes of men (cf. Col 3:3).
  • Jesus Christ, the head of the Church, precedes us into the Father's glorious kingdom so that we, the members of his Body, may live in the hope of one day being with him for ever.
  • Jesus Christ, having entered the sanctuary of heaven once and for all, intercedes constantly for us as the mediator who assures us of the permanent outpouring of the Holy Spirit (665-667).

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 3; 7th week of Easter

Saints of the Week

May 14th - St Matthias (Apostle)
May 15th - St Carthage
May 18th - St John I
May 19th - St Celestine V

9 May 2018

9th May - Europe Day

Europe Day is the name of an annual observance by the European Union (EU), held on 9 May. It is also known as Schuman Day, in commemoration of the 1950 Schuman Declaration. It is the EU's "equivalent of a national day", and its observance is strongly associated with the display of the EU's equivalent of a national flag, the "European flag or emblem"

And for the first time ever, support for Ireland remaining in the EU is at over 90%


Although her youth is long behind her, Gisela still longs to experience the sights of Europe. Her grandchildren decide to raise enough money to send her on her dream adventure, but their plan has unexpected results..


And there is even a cause for the canonisation of Robert Schumann, one of the Fathers of the EU:

'EU saint' waiting for a miracle 
Vatican resists drive to canonise EU founder

6 May 2018

6th May 2018 - There is something about Mary

On this weeks programme John and Shane explore thoughts and devotions around the month of May and Marian devotion with a vox pop from around the world from Totus2us and with a reflection from Mary Keating. In addition we have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel, saints of the week and other liturgical odds & ends.

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

There is something about Mary

May is the month of Mary but what does that mean to people? On this weeks programme we looked around for some ordinary, every day thoughts and reflections from people to share about this woman who has been remembered for over 2000 years, depicted in more art than any other human and to whom many have such an intimate relationship.

First up we have some reflections from a website called Totus2us. It is a website and series of podcasts online which describes itself as giving voice to faith, hope and love from all around the world, especially among St John Paul II, Papa Benedict XVI & Pope Francis's 'dearest young people'. Dedicated to Our Lady, Totus2us wants to highlight what's good, true and beautiful, to help us to pray and not be afraid to follow Jesus Christ. There are voices from 125 countries so far on over 40 audio Totus2us podcasts. Every day someone new from around the world tells us something about what Our Lady means to them. So on SS102fm this morning we put together a medley/vox pop of some of the reflections shared by Totus2us.

Secondly SS102fm friend Mary Keating joins us to share her thoughts and reflections on Mary as Mother prompted by the new feast day put into the liturgical calendar by Pope Francis on the Monday after Pentecost Sunday. The Blessed Virgin Mary is so much the image of mother, from the very moment of her yes to the angel taking the risk of an unplanned pregnancy up to a mothers role to the handing on of faith to children up to the time of our death when she is praying and accompanying us into that final journey.

You can listen to Mary's reflection excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE.

Gospel - John 15: 9-17

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflections
Centre for Liturgy
English Dominican

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 2; 6th week of Easter

Saints of the Week

May 7th - Apparition of the Holy Cross over Jerusalem
May 8th - Bl John Sullivan SJ
May 9th - Bl Karolina Gerhardinger
May 10th - St Comgall - depending where you are, it could also be the Ascension of the Lord (see below)
May 11th - St Criotin of Macreddin
May 12th - St Pancras

Liturgical jigs & reels

The Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord celebrates the day on which Jesus Christ, 40 days after His rising from the dead, ascended bodily into heaven. This feast which has been traditionally celebrated on the 40th day after Easter Sunday which is always a Thursday.  However, the actual day of celebration can vary from country to country and even from diocese to diocese. In Ireland, the UK, South Africa, Australia and parts of the USA,  the various Catholic Bishops’ Conferences, in accordance with canon law, petitioned the Holy See to allow the celebration to be transferred to the following Sunday. In other places, the solemnity is still celebrated on the Thursday. 

The celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13th is not celebrated this year as the Sunday/Ascension takes precedence.

5 May 2018

Muintearas Iosa - 40 years young

Forty years of Muintearas Íosa and the depth of spirituality, fun and friendship that has been indelible to this Limerick Diocese youth ministry group has been marked with a wonderful and nostalgic coming together.

In a special gatherings this year to mark this notable anniversary of an organisation that sailed a thousand friendships, life-long memories and even marriages, over 200 members past and present of the group gathered at St. Munchin’s College recently.

The event was a trip down memory lane, a renewal of friendships, a renewal of faith and loads of laughter as friends old and new celebrated the movement founded by Fr. Micheál Liston in 1978.

The then ‘younger’ Limerick priest had brought a group of Limerick people from their late teens and their early 20s down to the Irish language house Bru na Graige for a weekend to further their faith in a fun environment. And such was the success that they were not willing to wait another year for a second gathering but, instead, regrouped at a location in Limerick. The rest, as they say, is history.

A ‘Limerick’ home for Muintearas was found at the old Good Shepherd Centre at Boland’s Meadow in Foynes. Over the past 40 years Muintearas Íosa has had, on average, six gatherings annually attended by young people from across the diocese in locations from Bru na Graige, on the Dingle Peninsula to Foynes and Roscrea in Tipperary to St. Munchin’s College itself.

Weekends have also been hosted in Dublin, Cork and further afield, attracting not just young people from the diocese but from across the island and beyond.

And Muintearas is still going as strong as ever, evidenced by the recent event when 80 young people stayed-over at the Limerick Diocesan Centre for their Easter gathering.

Congratulating Muintearas on its longevity and ongoing success, Bishop Brendan Leahy said: 

“Muintearas really is a great movement and to see it going so well today, all those years later speaks volumes about it. There’s such a sense of joy from it, incredible energy and it’s very heartening so see young people committed to something that has a lot going on but, ultimately, faith at its core.
“It’s a sharing not only of that faith but the common ground among young people of the deeper dimension of life in general. On their weekends they reflect on everyday things happening in their lives, they’ll go on hikes, have sing-songs, have some down-time with what they call their ‘uair cuin’, their quiet hour of contemplation and meditation and then they will have Mass, prayer and, typically, spend the night singing, chatting and, above all laughing.
“We have some married couples today who met for the first time at Muintearas, we have people who made friendships decades ago who still meet up with their families every year and now we are onto second generation Muintearas members, sons and daughters of parents who also went to Muintearas Íosa events.”

He continued: “Father Micheál Liston and co have adopted a very appropriate theme of the ‘three fires’ - failte (welcome), foghlaim (learning) agus gui (prayer) for Muintearas and this encapsulates it perfectly. Micheál Liston and the many other doyens of this organisation along the way over the years have certainly lit a fire and that flame is clearly going to burn long into the future based on the energy and enthusiasm we saw for the organisation at the recent gathering.”

Fr. Liston reminded those in attendance at the celebration that Muintearas is Irish for the spirit of extended family and friendship and that’s exactly what they have developed over the years. “The Muintearas achieved a way of doing things that gave evidence on our weekends to this great idea that being a Christian is about being part of a family. Muintearas is an extended family. Our Muintearas is accessible to everyone and our gatherings enables us celebrate the joy and friendship we have had in a glorious mixture of our ordinary humanity and the work of the Holy Spirit.”