26 Oct 2016

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

A few odds and ends that caught our eye over the last while for you to peruse while having a cuppa.

The Jesuits have also started compiling a weekly series of articles as well - check it out here.

World Meeting of Families 2018

“Human life is the most fundamental right of all” - President of the World Meeting of Families 2018, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, told reporters that the right to life “is a fundamental issue for the Church everywhere” and the Church “is not going to change its position on that”.
Website of WMoF2018
Archbishop Diarmuid Martins address at St Patricks College Drumcondra 22nd October 2016

Pro-Life related articles

Get thee from the nunnery - The Reformation may have caused women's religious roles to be set back centuries

Pope Francis on refugee crisis: We have the duty of welcoming those who flee from war or hunger


25 Oct 2016

#8masses4no8 Facebook campaign

Tony Foley (11) and his family have been overwhelmed by the support they have received since his dad Anthony 'Axel' Foley passed away. Tony has been busy thinking about his own tribute to his Dad and has asked that a Facebook page be set up in his memory. He wants to use it to ask people, who want to show their support, to attend Mass on each of the next 8 Sundays to pray for people who have died and while there to offer a prayer for his Dad also.
The 8 Sundays start this Sunday, October 30th - his Dad's birthday. The Number 8 is, of course, a special number for Tony and his family but the 8 Sundays also bring us up to that special family time of year, Christmas. So, Tony has asked if you could, in his Dad's memory, Like the Facebook page, tag 8 Facebook friends you would like to go to Mass over the next 8 Sundays and at that Mass light a candle for a loved one or, indeed, for Anthony.
  • Facebook page - Axel Foley Memorial
  • Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick throws his support behind the initiative - here - describing it described as “moving and inspirational” the gesture by the 11 year-old son of Anthony Foley in asking people to go to Mass and light candles over the next eight Sunday’s for deceased loved ones.

To Rise with Christ - Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith publishes new guidelines on Cremation

Given the increasing popularity and/or economic necessity of families and individuals cremating the remains of their dearly beloved, the CDF on behalf of Pope Francis has issued a universally binding document today called Ad resurgendum cum Christo on the treatment of cremated remains from the Church's point of view.

The Congregation notes that in many regions cremation is markedly increasing, making a reiteration of the existing norms and their theological bases advisable. The Church permits cremation but not the scattering of ashes on land, sea or in the air; dividing them among family members, or preserving them in jewellery, the Vatican has stated in their new Instruction.

It is a re-statement of the existing position first set out in 1963 and then included in the 1983 Code of Canon Law where the Church prefers that "all necessary measures must be taken to preserve the practice of reverently burying the faithful departed”, adding however that cremation is not “opposed per se to the Christian religion” and that no longer should the sacraments and funeral rites be denied to those who have asked that they be cremated, under the condition that this choice has not been made through “a denial of Christian dogmas, the animosity of a secret society, or hatred of the Catholic religion and the Church”."

As we often say on SS102fm, sometimes it is best to read the original document rather than the spin and coverage given by the media. Full text of the document is available HERE.

Rocco over at Whispers in the Loggia has a very good report on it HERE.

PrayTell has an interesting commentary piece HERE.

Altelia has their coverage HERE

Iraq church bells toll once again after two years of ISIS occupation - Rome Reports

22 Oct 2016

23rd October 2016 - Mission Sunday - 30th Sunday in Ordinary time Year C

On this weeks programme John and Shane reflect on Mission Sunday and discuss the recent appointments to the College of Cardinals. We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as other notices and liturgical odds and ends.
You can listen to the podcast of the full programme HERE.
Mission Sunday
World Mission Sunday takes place on the second last Sunday of October each year. Since 1926, the Church has traditionally remembered its universal mission during the month of October.
This year Mission Sunday will be celebrated globally on the 23rd October 2016. The theme is ‘Every Christian is a missionary’.
Throughout the world the faithful will reflect on the universal call to Mission of all the baptized. They will be invited to contribute what they can to support the development and growth of young churches internationally and provides Catholics with the opportunity to unite with their missionary sisters and brothers overseas, and to recommit themselves to bringing the Joy of the Gospel to everyone they meet in their daily lives at home and at work.
In October 2015, Irish Catholics contributed more than €1.7 million on Mission Sunday. The Mission Sunday collection is made available to be distributed to as many as 1,100 young Churches who are supported by the generosity of Churches that have been blessed with a greater quantity of financial and material gifts. Contributions will be used to build simple mission churches, to educate seminarians as well as female religious novices. Your support also assists in the formation of catechists and lay leaders. The Mission Sunday gift may also be used for building health facilities for children and adults as well as for providing emergency aid in times of war or natural disaster or to assist missionaries in their efforts to care for refugees.
On Mission Sunday, in a special way, we celebrate the work of circa 1,300 Irish born missionaries and all missionaries throughout the world. We thank God for them, for all who support them in our own country and during mission month we unite ourselves in prayer with them and with the communities with whom they work.
Pope Francis message for Mission Sunday 2016 - Missionary Church, Witness of Mercy
You can learn about Mission Sunday and the work of the pontifical missionary societies on World Missions Ireland.
The section of the programme discussing Mission Sunday is excerpted from the main programme podcast here.
Gospel - Luke 18: 9 - 14
"He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Reflections on this weeks gospel
Word on Fire
Sunday Reflections
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy
Liturgical odds & ends
Liturgy of the Hours - psalter week 2; 30th week in ordinary time
Saints of the Week
October 24th - Saint Anthony Mary Claret
October 25th - Bl Thaddeus MacCarthy
October 26th - St Alfred the Great
October 27th - St Otteran
October 28th - Ss Simon & Jude
October 29th - St Colman

18 Oct 2016

Synod 2016 - Presentation of the draft Pastoral Plan - Address by Bishop Brendan Leahy

"No going back"
Speaking Notes
Bishop Brendan Leahy
Meeting with Synod Delegates
Strand Hotel
October 15th 2016 

I am very pleased that we are gathered here today, reliving the memory of our Synod experience, reviewing the work that has gone on over the past few months and writing together our Diocesan plan. I thank all involved in preparing this day.

I want to say straightaway that both at the Synod and since, I have been very grateful for what we experienced and what the Synod produced. I very much look forward to doing my part as we take the steps outlined in the Diocesan plan that we are working on today.

Now that some months have passed since our amazing gathering in April, I would like to share a little of how I view the Synod. There are four aspects that I would like briefly to highlight.

The Synod as Event of the Holy Spirit

The first thing that strikes me about the Synod is the Synod itself! It was an event of the Holy Spirit. The image I keep is one on our website – the hall in Mary Immaculate College full of circles of people, lay, priests, single and married, young and older, working hard but joyfully at discerning what God was calling us to as a diocese. We were learning together to be “synodal”. And it’s something we can’t take for granted. We are all in this together, learning a way of synodality. It’s a theme Pope Francis emphasises a lot.

We gathered in April in the company of the representatives of other churches and other religions along with representatives of the civic and social agencies of the City and County Council. I felt it was a glimpse of a church that we want to be – a community of communities with Jesus among us, serving the society of Limerick at all levels, offering it a soul, wanting to give our spiritual and social contribution that builds up the fabric of society.

I recall more than one person saying to me how moved they were to find themselves sitting side by side with priests, chatting about future directions of the Church. It was something new and they were delighted. Some young people said to be – I’m sure if other young people could see this, they would be hugely impressed and really begin to understand more about the Church.

So I thank God for the Synod. It has given us an experience, an image, a benchmark that remains in our hearts and minds for the future.

The Synod as an Event of Looking at Reality with New Eyes

A second point that struck is that the Synod provided us with an opportunity to look around us with new eyes. Pope Francis often invites us today to have what he calls a “contemplative gaze”, that is, we need to look around us in our home, our streets, our village, our town, our city and discover God dwelling among us, “fostering solidarity, fraternity, and the desire for goodness, truth and justice”. Perhaps those around us aren’t coming to Church but they are searching for meaning in their lives. And even in the negatives and apparent rejections that we find, something of God’s work can be uncovered.

Our Synod journey has been a time of looking at the reality around us with eyes of hope and, in this Year of Mercy, we could also say, with eyes of mercy and tenderness, one of the great themes of our times. We made a realistic assessment. The proposals we’ll be looking at today reflect our assessment. There are less priests and we need new models of leadership; young people find it hard to connect, we need to find new ways to be with the young church; families need support in handing on the faith and in facing difficulties as a family, liturgy today is being called to link more with life, and, above all, as a Church community we recognise our desire to reach out much more beyond the sacristy, beyond the church, beyond the usual structures that we are used to.

The Synod as an Event that calls us Forward to a Community of Communities with Jesus among Us

It seems to me the Synod has called us to a more Mission-shaped Church, less relying on the priest-on-his-own, and indeed not just a parish council and a priest. Let me offer some images to share what I mean.

Synod 2016 - Presentation of draft Pastoral Plan to Delegates

On Saturday 15th October, Synod delegates gathered together for one final time to complete the formal event that was Synod 2016. Limerick diocese's draft Pastoral Plan 2016 - 2025 was presented to delegates to ask for affirmation of the implementation plan based on the proposals discussed and voted on during the formal sessions of the synod in April 2016.

[Photos from the meeting on 15/10/2016 can be seen on Synod Facebook page]

The Synod vote has given an overall direction for the diocese and also a clear thrust for each of the six themes thus providing a Vision to guide the diocese in the years ahead. It has also enabled prioritisation of the proposals within the theme and devise a strategy for delivering the broad range of actions identified.

In each theme the aim is to begin by doing something at diocesan level to increase our ability to move on this theme – this is achieved by training, employing or appointing people to key positions. Then, in turn the aim is to similarly develop the ability on the ground to make progress on actions by providing training and resources and ensuring there are people at local level who can deliver actions in this theme.

There are many proposals and many actions named in the plan – the intention is that local communities approach many of these (the ones that are not core or essential) as they would a menu and choose those that are appropriate to their circumstances.

Finally, there are two other categories of proposals for which we have employed a different strategy.
Firstly, there are those proposals brought forward by groups or agencies who are already working in this area and who have experience and expertise, for example Compassionate Communities, Bedford Row, Children’s’ Grief project. Here the strategy is to work with and support these groups rather than working in parallel. Secondly some proposals have been brought forward by delegates themselves who have a passion and experience in the particular area, for example, Inter and Intra faith dialogue, Living with disability, Laudato Si and care for the Environment, or the JP II Awards. Again here the strategy is to go back to those delegates and work with them to act upon their proposals.

There was broad agreement on the thrust of the implementation plan with good discussion, and lots of ideas on how the diocese can progress the next steps. 

At the end Bishop Brendan reminded delegates, the event of Synod and the process which the diocese has undergone means there is no going back!

On Wednesday 19th October at the diocesan conference, clergy, PPC chairpersons and pastoral area delegates will hear the details of the new pastoral plan and consider how it will apply to their parishes over the next number of years.

You can read the draft pastoral plan HERE.

15 Oct 2016

16th October 2016 - Limerick Diocesan Pastoral Centre Update - 29th Sunday in Ordinary time Year C

On this weeks programme, John and Shane are joined by an old friend of the programme, Noirin Lynch from Limerick Diocesan Pastoral Centre who gives us an update on where things are following Synod2016 and other events in the diocese. We have our regular reflection on this weeks gospel as well as other liturgical odds and ends.

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

Diocesan Update - Autumn 2016

On this weeks programme we are joined by Noirin Lynch who gave us an update on various things around the diocese.

Dioceasn Update

For the notices which Noirin mentioned at the beginning of the section, you can check out the weekly diocesan newsletter here.

Synod Update
On 15th October the delegates gathered to review the pastoral plan coming out of the synod and the action plans arising from that.

Next Wednesday 19th 2016 chairpersons of Parish Pastoral Councils and Parish Priests will be briefed on the upcoming two year goals. Each parish, pastoral area and the diocese will take on new goal every two years building towards 2025.  
It is a time of challenge and opportunity for us all in the diocese where each parish will work out how to enact the plans and actions as mandated by the Synod given the realities which are possible for each parish.

You can listen to the interview with Noirin excerpted from the main programme HERE.
Gospel - Luke 18:1-8
Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Reflections on this weeks gospel:
Liturgical Odds & Ends
Liturgy of the Hour - psalter week 1; 29th week in ordinary time
Saints of the Week
October 17th - St Ignatius of Antioch
October 18th - St Luke the Evangelist
October 20th - St Aidan of Mayo
October 22nd - St John Paul II

14 Oct 2016

October 15th - St Teresa of Avila

October 15th is the feast of St Teresa of Avila, the first woman to be declared a Doctor of the Church in 1970. She has many writings. Born in 1515 in Avila, Spain, she lived during the Counter Reformation in Europe and she died in 1582.

Saint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa SĂĄnchez de Cepeda y Ahumada, (March 28, 1515 – October 4, 1582) was a prominent Spanish mystic, Roman Catholic
saint, Carmelite nun, and writer of the Counter Reformation, and theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer. She was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered to be, along with John of the Cross, a founder of the Discalced Carmelites.
iBenedictines have a very short but pointed reflection on her feast day today:

The five hundredth anniversary year of St Teresa of Avila’s birth has seen some remarkable celebrations but today, on her feastday, I think we honour her best by reflecting on one single aspect of her life: her prayer. It was the leitmotif of her whole existence. We tend to think of her enormous energy in founding convent after convent, her endless letters, her often awkward dealings with ecclesiastical authority, but at the centre of it all, day after day, was that humble, persevering seeking after God. Today, when we must be busy about so many things, let’s make sure we take some time just to be with God. His Divine Majesty awaits us. Let us not disappoint him

Read more about this saint here and here.

Christ Has No Body
Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

St Teresa of Avila

"Nada Te Turbe" is one of two virtual choirs produced for the celebration of St. Teresa of Jesus's 500th birthday in 2015. The choir is made up of Carmelite Nuns from around the world and is accompanied by the Teresian Orchestra of St. James Cathedral in Seattle, Washington, USA. Music composed by Claire Sokol, OCD.

The prayer — which is more of a sort of contemplative pulse — is this:

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

Franciscans in Syria

The Franciscans have been in Syria since 1217 - and they have no intention of leaving!

11 Oct 2016

Oct 11th - Feast day of Pope John XXIII

Today is the feast of St Pope John XXIII, pope from 1958-1963, best known for convening the Second Vatican Council. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 3, 2000. His feast is assigned to the day on which the first session of Vatican II opened in 1962. His feast is not on the General Roman Calendar, but can be celebrated locally.

9 Oct 2016

9th October 2016 - The Scriptural Rosary - 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

October is the month of the Rosary and so in this week's programme, the Sacred Space Team chat about the origins of the Rosary, why it is both a beautiful and a powerful prayer and they pray the joyful mysteries of the scriptural rosary. We also have our usual notices, prayer intentions and saints of the week. The full programme is available HERE.

The Scriptural Rosary
Last Friday we celebrated the feast of the Holy Rosary. The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. According to an account by fifteenth-century Dominican, Alan de la Rocha, Mary appeared to St. Dominic in 1206 after he had been praying and doing severe penances because of his lack of success in combating the Albigensian heresy. Mary praised him for his valiant fight against the heretics and then gave him the Rosary as a mighty weapon, explained its uses and efficacy, and told him to preach it to others:

"Be of good cheer, Dominic, the remedy for the evils which you lament will be meditation on the life, death and glory of My Son, uniting all with the recitation of the angelic salutation (Hail Mary) by which the mystery of redemption was announced to the world. This devotion, which you are to inculcate by your preaching, is a practice most dear to My Son and Me. The faithful will obtain by it innumerable advantages and shall always find Me ready to aid them in their wants. This is the precious gift which I leave to you and to your spiritual children." (HT to ScripturalRosary.org HERE).

Saint Pope John Paul II, in Rosarium Virginis Mariae, said: The Rosary is “at heart a Christocentric prayer” (RVM 1). In other words, Jesus is at the centre or heart of the Rosary. We can see this with the Hail, Mary prayer. The Holy Name of Jesus is at the heart of every Hail, Mary we say. 

Saint John Paul II says: “With the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love” (RVM 1). Isn’t that beautiful! Every time we pray the Rosary we sit at the school of Mary and she, our beloved Mother, helps us to contemplate the beauty of the face of Christ. What do we mean by contemplate? The Catechism teaches us that when we recite vocal prayers like the Rosary in a prayerful manner, “Prayer is internalised to the extent that we become aware of him ‘to whom we speak’” (CCC 2704). In other words, we are drawn deeper in prayer by praying the words of the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be etc. and meditating or thinking about the mysteries of the Rosary so that we experience the love of God deep within ourselves. 

Every Rosary we pray with love and devotion making our best effort to unite our hearts with our Blessed Mother draws us closer to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. As Fr. John Mockler has reminded us a number of times, the Rosary is the most powerful prayer we can pray after the Mass. In fact, the Rosary is a continuation of the Mass because in the Mass we celebrate the Paschal Mystery, in other words, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and the Rosary is a meditation on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

The talk on the Rosary and the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary prayed by the Sacred Space Team is excerpted from our programme HERE.  The text of the Scriptural Rosary for each of the Mysteries is available HERE

Gospel - Luke 17:11-19

Now on the way to Jerusalem Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and GaliIee. As he entered one of the villages, ten lepers came to meet him. They stood some way off and called to him, ‘Jesus! Master! Take pity on us.’ When he saw them he said, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests’.

Now as they were going away they were cleansed. Finding himself cured, one of them turned back praising God at the top of his voice and threw himself at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. The man was a Samaritan. This made Jesus say, ‘Were not all ten made clean? The other nine, where are they? It seems that no one has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.’

And he said to the man, ‘Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.’

Reflections on this week's Gospel:

Words on Fire
English Dominicans
Sunday Reflections
Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - psalter week 4 - 28th week in ordinary time

Saints of the Week
October 11th - St. Canice and St. John XXIII
October 14th - St. Callistus
October 15th - St. Teresa of Avila

8 Oct 2016

Apparition Hill - Update

Members of the Sacred Space Team were blessed to attend the first showings of Apparition Hill in Ireland yesterday and we can honestly say that it lived up to and exceeded every one of our expectations. It is a beautifully documented account of the journey of seven strangers to the small village of Medjugorje and what they experienced there and afterwards. The documentary is both poignant and honest. It allows the cast and their questions and life stories take centre-stage. It is well-worth a look, whether you believe in Medjugorje or not, whether you are a believer or an unbeliever, even if you are simply curious about the phenomena of miracles and apparitions.

The Omniplex, Dooradoyle, Limerick, will be showing Apparition Hill at the following times during the week:

Saturday, October 8th - 18.10
Sunday, October 9th - 18.10
Monday, October 10th - 15.30 and 18.10
Tuesday, October 11th - 15.30 and 18.10
Wednesday, October 12th - 15.30 and 18.10
Thursday, October 13th - 15.30 and 18.10

Tickets and booking information is available at www.omniplex.ie If you plan on attending, we do recommend that you book your tickets online as it is a small cinema and you don't want to be disappointed!

Details of a recent interview we held with Sean Bloomfield and Cimela Kidonakis are below:

The Sacred Space Team were delighted to interview Sean Bloomfield (Director Producer) and Cimela Kidonakis (Producer/DP) about their new documentary Apparition Hill which opens in Omniplex Cinemas on October 7th (The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary).  Apparition Hill is, as the tagline says, "a film about life... and what comes after." A film crew offered 7 free trips to a place of alleged miracles, Medjugorje, a little-known village nestled in between two mountains along the border of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia to film their experiences. Medjugorje has been a hotbed of debate as millions visit the town each year to see for themselves whether the legend is true: that Mary, the actual Mother of Jesus, has appeared to a select group of natives with regularity for the last 30 years. As of yet, the Catholic Church has declared no official ruling one way or another. The winners of the online video contest embarked on a journey seeking answers to life's questions. 
Sean and Cimela share with us about their own experiences of Medjugorje, the video contest and the filming process. It is a truly moving account of what happens when you bring 7 strangers together to try to find answers to the questions we are all asking. The beauty of the documentary is it's completely unbiased view on whether or not Our Lady is truly appearing in the little village of Medjugorje. As Sean says in the trailer: "Medjugorje is either the greatest miracle since Jesus walked the earth or its the biggest hoax in the history of mankind." 

If you would like to find out more about the 7 winners of the video contest, their application videos are available HERESo what happened next? Did they find the answers they were seeking? Is Medjugorje a place of miracles? You will have to watch the documentary to find out! 

Brother Daniel Maria Klimek described Apparition Hill as "one of the most powerful films I have ever watched in my life, and I know that no words – no matter how eloquent or beautiful – would be sufficient to truly capture the awe-inspiring and breathtaking prowess of this movie." (Br. Daniel's full review is available HERE - it is well worth a read). 

Apparition Hill runs from October 7th to 13th. Whether you believe in Medjugorje or not, whether you are a believer or an unbeliever, even if you are simply curious about the phenomena of miracles and apparitions, you will find this documentary to be very moving. It is literally changing lives all over the world, and it has an opportunity to go to the Oscars! Throughout the last few months, several members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences® have been deeply touched by Apparition Hill. Read more about this HERETo find out more about the film and its crowd-funding initiative HERE.