28 Jun 2013

29th June - Solemnity of St Peter and Paul - Apostles

The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, or the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, is a liturgical feast in honour of the martyrdom in Rome of the apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, which is observed on 29 June. The celebration is of ancient origin, the date selected being the anniversary either of their death or of the translation of their relics.

From the Office of Readings for the Solemnity of St Peter & Paul (Apostles)
From a sermon by Saint Augustine

The martyrs had seen what they proclaimed

This day has been consecrated for us by the martyrdom of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul. It is not some obscure martyrs we are talking about. Their sound has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world. These martyrs had seen what they proclaimed, they pursued justice by confessing the truth, by dying for the truth. 
The blessed Peter, the first of the Apostles, the ardent lover of Christ, who was found worthy to hear, And I say to you, that you are Peter. He himself, you see, had just said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Christ said to him, And I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church. Upon this rock I will build the faith you have just confessed. Upon your words, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God, I will build my Church; because you are Peter. Peter comes from petra, meaning a rock. Peter, “Rocky,” from “rock”; not “rock” from “Rocky.” Peter comes from the word for a rock in exactly the same way as the name Christian comes from Christ. 
Before his passion the Lord Jesus, as you know, chose those disciples of his whom he called apostles. Among these it was only Peter who almost everywhere was given the privilege of representing the whole Church. It was in the person of the whole Church, which he alone represented, that he was privileged to hear, To you will I give the keys of the kingdom of heaven. After all, it is not just one man that received these keys, but the Church in its unity. So this is the reason for Peter’s acknowledged pre-eminence, that he stood for the Church’s universality and unity, when he was told, To you I am entrusting, what has in fact been entrusted to all. To show you that it is the Church which has received the keys of the kingdom of heaven, listen to what the Lord says in another place to all his apostles: Receive the Holy Spirit; and immediately afterwards, Whose sins you forgive, they will be forgiven them; whose sins you retain, they will be retained. 
Quite rightly, too, did the Lord after his resurrection entrust his sheep to Peter to be fed. It is not, you see, that he alone among the disciples was fit to feed the Lord’s sheep; but when Christ speaks to one man, unity is being commended to us. And he first speaks to Peter, because Peter is the first among the apostles. Do not be sad, Apostle. Answer once, answer again, answer a third time. Let confession conquer three times with love, because self-assurance was conquered three times by fear. What you had bound three times must be loosed three times. Loose through love what you had bound through fear. And for all that, the Lord once, and again, and a third time, entrusted his sheep to Peter.
There is one day for the passion of two apostles. But these two also were as one; although they suffered on different days, they were as one. Peter went first, Paul followed. We are celebrating a feast day, consecrated for us by the blood of the apostles. Let us love their faith, their lives, their labours, their sufferings, their confession of faith, their preaching.

Catholicculture.org has more on the feast day HERE.
"Veneration of the two great Apostles, Peter and Paul, has its roots in the very foundations of the Church. They are the solid rock on which the Church is built. They are at the origin of her faith and will forever remain her protectors and her guides. To them Rome owes her true greatness, for it was under God's providential guidance that they were led to make the capital of the Empire, sanctified by their martyrdom, the center of the Christian world whence should radiate the preaching of the Gospel.

St. Peter suffered martyrdom under Nero, in A.D. 66 or 67. He was buried on the hill of the Vatican where recent excavations have revealed his tomb on the very site of the basilica of St. Peter's. St. Paul was beheaded in the via Ostia on the spot where now stands the basilica bearing his name. Down the centuries Christian people in their thousands have gone on pilgrimage to the tombs of these Apostles. In the second and third centuries the Roman Church already stood pre-eminent by reason of her apostolicity, the infallible truth of her teaching and her two great figures, Sts. Peter and Paul."

Phil over at Blue Eyed Ennis has  a great post about the day HERE (2013) and last years posts (2012) is available HERE with links, videos and suggested readings about these pillars of the church.

In Rome, the Solemnity is also the day for the imposition of the pallium on the newly appointed archbishops. The pallium is a white scarf made of wool that carries six black crosses, it's meant to symbolize each bishop's unity with the pope. At the beginning of the Mass each pallium is laid over the tomb of St. Peter and then handed to the pope before being presented.

It is traditional for representatives of the other christian churches to attend the patronal feast of the See of Rome particularly the representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.

22 Jun 2013

23rd June 2013 - 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) - Focolare

On this week's programme Grégoire Murphy joined John and Lorraine in study to share with us his family's experience of the Focolare movement.  We also have our regular reflection on this weeks Sunday Gospel and some liturgical odds and ends including the saints of the week.

This weeks programme is available on podcast HERE.

Grégoire Murphy came on the programme to introduce us and our listeners to the Focolare movement. Focolare was founded by Chiara Lubich in  Trent, Northern Italy in 1944.  During the Second World War, Chiara and a group of her friends, would read the Gospel together as they took refuge in the air-raid shelter each night and started to put the Gospel into action in their lives.  The word Focolare means 'hearth' and those involved in the movement came to be known as focolarini, 'people of fire'.  This nickname is appropriate because "there, even in the midst of the appalling destruction of the war, there was a joy, a light" (Susan Gately, God's Surprise).  In living the Gospel, especially the call of John 17:21 "Father, may they all be one", the Focolare movement involves a strong inter-faith dimension and follows a communitarian spirituality which places a "deep emphasis on the communitarian dimension of Christian life" (See HERE).  You will find more about Chiara HERE and the history of the Focolare movement HERE.

John Keily (Back Row) with
Ann Keily, Lorraine Buckley and Grégoire Murphy (Front Row)
Grégoire and his wife, Paula, heard about Focolare by word of mouth from one of their friends and now there are at least four families in Limerick who are in regular contact with the Focolare centre in Curryhills, Prosperous, Kildare.  Grégoire and Paula were first invited to attend the yearly summer gathering of Focolare, known as a Mariapolis, (city of Mary), which this year is held from July 1st to 6th in Dungarvan.  A Mariapolis is a holiday/retreat in which the Focolare community comes together to relax and be in each other's company.

Grégoire shares how the Focolare movement caters for all age groups within his family.  They meet once a month for Mass followed by a picnic lunch and then the family splits up into different peer groups to receive input and share on a particular theme. 

The Cube of Love
Grégoire also spoke about how Focolare helps the family to live the Gospel in a very practical way using the Cube of Love.  The Cube of Love is a dice with various messages (e.g. Be the First to Love) written on each side to help children to practice the art of loving.  Rolling the dice in the morning, the children receive a Gospel message to live by during that day.  In the evening, the children share how they lived that Gospel message during the day. 

Grégoire spoke about how the Focolare movement helps his family to respond to the opportunities and the challenges of the Gospel.  To hear Grégoire's interview, please click HERE.

On next week's programme we will be speaking with Paula Murphy and her family and also with the Tracey and Gorham families to hear how Focolare supports their family's living out of the Gospel.

To find out more about Focolare in Ireland, contact:

Focolare Centre,

Or contact HERE.


Gospel - Luke 9:18-24

"When Jesus was praying alone in the presence of his disciples, he put this question to them, 'Who do the crowds say I am?'" (Lk 9:18).  When we are distracted while praying, what is our reaction?  Do we get frustrated?  Maybe even give up praying because the distractions seem too frequent?  Yet, it is while Jesus is praying that this question comes to mind, a question so compelling that He puts it to the disciples: 'Who do the crowds say I am?'   Understanding Jesus' identity is essential to understanding what He came on earth to do for us.  Jesus is true God and true man - and it is as true God and true man that He saves us.  It also prompts us to answer honestly the question, 'Who do I say that Jesus is?', in other words, Who do I think Jesus is?  This is an important question, because if I say that Jesus is My Lord, and My God, do I act as if He is that?  Does my daily life reflect my belief in Jesus as true God and true Man?
When St. Peter answers that Jesus is 'The Christ of God', Jesus explains what this means.  The Christ was not going to be a mere political messiah that would free Israel from the grips of the Roman Empire, but the 'Anointed One' who would be "put to death, and to be raised up on the third day." 
Jesus outlines the great paradox of Christianity: if anyone wants to save his life he will lose it, "but anyone who loses his life for my sake, that man will save it" (Lk 9:24).  When we are baptised, we are told that we are baptised into the death of Jesus, so that we may enter into eternal life.  Yes, we must die to our selfish tendencies and live for others, but the reward is incredible, eternal life with the Blessed Trinity!
Reflections on this weeks gospel:
Centre for Liturgy
Word on Fire
English Dominicans
Sunday Reflections

Liturgical Odds & Ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter Week 4, 12th Week of Ordinary time
Saints of the Week
June 24th - The Nativity of St. John the Baptist
June 27th - St. Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
June 28th - St. Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr
June 29th - St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles

Year of Faith - "What is hope for me?" - Cardinal Luis Tagle

Vatican Radio presents the second installment in its special 5-part YouTube series featuring a conversation with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the Archbishop of Manila. In this latest installment, Cardinal Tagle speaks about the theological virtue of hope: how hope is at work in his life, in the life of the Church and in the lives of all the faithful.

"Finding sense," said Cardinal Tagle, "finding meaning, and believing that the story of humanity will have a happy ending, assured by God: that is real hope."

21 Jun 2013

SS102fm Prayer Intentions 2013

As regular listeners and readers of the blog will know, here on SS102fm we have some prayer intentions highlighted for the year 2013 which as a community we have asked you to remember in a special way.

We especially ask those who are house bound or unable to get to Mass on a regular basis  would they consider taking on a prayer intention for the year from one of the following list. We have also suggested a celestial guide whose assistance and intercession could be sought for the intention. If you know someone who is house bound, consider printing off this post and sharing it with them.
  • The Year of Faith - 12 Apostles and the Doctors of the Church (e.g. St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, and St. Catherine of Sienna)
  • Protection of the unborn - St. Joseph, Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Gianna Beretta Molla
  • Marriage and family life - The Holy Family
  • Peace - St. Zachary, Our Lady Queen of Peace, St. Francis of Assisi and the Child of Prague
  • Persecuted Christians - St. Stephen, Martyrs of Uganda, Martyrs of Vietnam and St. Michael the Archangel
  • Government and civil leaders - St. Thomas Moore and St. Jude
  • Cancer patients - St. Peregrine
  • The sick - Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Camillus
  • Diocese of Limerick and the protection and guidance of our new bishop Brendan Leahy - St. Munchin and St. Ita
  • The unemployed and those seeking work - St. Joseph the Worker
  • Emigrants - St. Patrick
  • Vocations - St. Alphonsus Ligouri
  • Priests - St. John Vianney
  • Pope Francis - St Peter, St Francis of Assisi, St Ignatius of Loyola, St George
  • Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI - St. Benedict and St. Joseph
  • The Church - St. Michael the Archangel
  • Youth - St. John Bosco, St. Francesco and St. Jacinta (Seers of Fatima) and Blessed Pier Georgio Frassati

Your parish might find this a good ministry to offer to the housebound, the sick or those who are open to being in a prayer circle. If the clergy and parish pastoral council feel this is a useful idea for 2013, you might proceed like this:
  • Create a list like this which represents the real needs of your parish.
  • Put this information on a small sheet of paper, with a suggested prayer & contact person.
  • Then invite parishioners to sign up (How: by contacting someone? by signing a book? do they need to choose one intention or all?)
  • Ensure that this is not simply offered at Sunday Mass, but also include all those who receive Holy Communion in their homes - they are full members of our communion and a blessing too.
  • Mention the prayer intentions in parish notices/ noticeboard/ newsletter across the year.
  • Celebrate the ministry with a thank you note at Christmas.

Year of Faith - Irish Dominican Students "Credo" Series - IX -""He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom shall have no end."

In this ninth episode in their series on the Nicene Creed the Irish Dominicans look at the phrase: "He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom shall have no end." Fr. John Harris OP will talk with Bro. Ronan about the final judgement.

Some web browsing........

Make a cuppa, pull up a comfy chair and lets take a wander through some interesting odds and ends we came across over the last few weeks.

Pope Francis section:

Il Papa Francesco has been generating a lot of coverage and interest. The following are some of the highlights we picked out.

The non-Pope Francis section(!):

This time last year we were all focused on IEC2012 - has your parish done any follow up on the Congress? The IEC2012 website is still live and full of resources and links to the talks and conferences given last year. You can find all the posts we did on IEC2012 on the blog HERE.

Michael Kelly has a strong and thought provoking article in this weeks Irish Catholic about the need for communities to support and encourage their priests - We need to talk about priests

Politics and Christians in the Holy Land - NCR

BBC - Ancient Irish texts show volcanic link to cold weather

iBenedictines have posted a number of interesting and thought provoking posts lately including
Archbishop Chaput: “If laypeople don’t love their Catholic faith enough…nothing the bishops do will finally matter

Norway's hot new title? The Bible, now outselling 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

An interesting reflection on Psalm 23 (The Lord is my Shepherd) and how it prefigured the Sacraments.

Return to Auschwitz: How Israel keeps Holocaust memories alive. - BBC

NYT - A more secular Europe divided by the Cross

You know how it has been so long since you were last in touch with that old friend? Ever wonder How long is too long?

Our Idols and Ourselves - Elizabeth Scalia unmasks the false gods of everyday life.     

Sex, Love, and God: The Catholic Answer to Puritanism and Nietzcheanism
A Chanting Coffin-Maker: Mother Dolores & the Gift of Agape

Bucket List with a Difference: Dying Wife Leaves Behind Goals for Her Husband After She’s Gone

Christian Life and the Lesson of St. Kevin - Does living an authentic Christian life mean we have to withdraw from society? Hardly. Word On Fire Blog contributor Fr. Michael Cummins is traveling in Ireland and visited the ruins of Glendalough, a monastic city south of Dublin founded by St. Kevin. There, Fr. Cummins discovered a rich example of what living a Christian life can mean, and today he shares what he learned with us.

Theologians approve John Paul II’s second miracle - possible canonisation by the Autumn?

Newly-professed sisters celebrated as 'sign of hope'

Every Francis needs his Claire

Pope Francis - the first 100 days

Following on the excitement and interest generated by his election, Pope Francis has now been 100 days in office and the Fourth Estate has been holding forth with their opinions on the successes or failures of this new papacy.

Rather than linking to all the articles individually, we will direct you to Phil over at Blue Eyed Ennis who did a great roundup of the online coverage during the week. Head on over HERE and say hi from us.

Phil has also been busy posting and summarising some of Pope Francis homilies and talks highlighting some of the challenging messages he has presented in a new and refreshing manner.

20 Jun 2013

Pope: "We cannot pray to our Father, if we have enemies in our hearts"

From Rome Reports:

The 'Our Father' prayer was the focus of the Pope's homily during his daily Mass at the Vatican. Pope Francis said that prayer is not some kind of magic spell. He explained that it's about putting one's trust in God. He alone, said the Pope, understands one's needs.

POPE FRANCIS“No, you cannot pray with enemies in your heart, with brothers and enemies in your heart, you cannot pray. This is difficult, yes, it is difficult, not easy. 'Father, I cannot say Father, I cannot'. It’s true, I understand. 'I cannot say our, because he did this to me and this ...' I cannot! 'They must go to hell, right? I will have nothing to do with them'. It’s true, it is not easy. But Jesus has promised us the Holy Spirit: it is He who teaches us, from within, from the heart, how to say 'Father' and how to say 'our'. Today we ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to say 'Father' and to be able to say 'our', and thus make peace with all our enemies.”
The Pope's Mass was also celebrated by Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski and was attended, among others, by a group of Vatican Museums employees.

(Source: Vatican Radio)

“To whom do I pray? To the Almighty God? He is too far off. Ah, I can’t hear Him. Neither did Jesus. To whom do I pray? To a cosmic God? That’s quite normal these days, is it not? ... praying to the cosmic God, right? This polytheistic model that comes from a rather light culture ... You must pray to the Father! It is a strong word, 'Father '. You must pray to Him who generated you, who gave you life. Not to everyone: everyone is too anonymous. To you. To me. To the person who accompanies you on your journey: He knows all about your life. Everything: what is good and what is not so good. He knows everything. If we do not start the prayer with this word, not just with our lips but with our hearts, we cannot pray in a Christian language.”

“We have a Father. He is very close to us, eh! He embraces us ... All these worries, concerns that we have, let's leave them to the Father, He knows what we need. But, Father, what? My father? No: Our Father! Because I am not an only child, none of us are, and if I cannot be a brother, I can hardly become a child of the Father, because He is a Father to all. Mine, sure, but also of others, of my brothers. And if I am not at peace with my brothers, I cannot say 'Father' to Him.”

“No, you cannot pray with enemies in your heart, with brothers and enemies in your heart, you cannot pray. This is difficult, yes, it is difficult, not easy. 'Father, I cannot say Father, I cannot'. It’s true, I understand. 'I cannot say our, because he did this to me and this ...' I cannot! 'They must go to hell, right? I will have nothing to do with them'. It’s true, it is not easy. But Jesus has promised us the Holy Spirit: it is He who teaches us, from within, from the heart, how to say 'Father' and how to say 'our'. Today we ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to say 'Father' and to be able to say 'our', and thus make peace with all our enemies.”

19 Jun 2013

Limerick Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes Cancelled - UPDATED

It was with great sadness this afternoon that the announcement was made to cancel the annual Limerick Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes for this year due to flash flooding causing massive disruption and the death of two elderly people in the town of Lourdes. This is the second time within 12 months that the town has been inundated with flood waters as La Gave de Pau river burst its banks swollen from melting snows and excessive rains in the Pyrennes. It is understood that it is the first time in the history of the pilgrimage that the diocese has had to take this measure.

Congratulations to the cyclists who had completed their fundraising cycle and arrived in Lourdes ahead of the main pilgrimage but now face the dire situation along with the people of the town. But for most people associated with the pilgrimage, the main disappointment will be for les maladies (the invalids) who are the centre of attention for the entire week of the pilgrimage many of whom had been looking forward to this for over a year.

Live cam of the sancturies in Lourdes HERE.

From Limerick Diocesan website:

Limerick Diocese has today, with regret, confirmed that the 2013 Lourdes Pilgrimage, scheduled to depart from Shannon Airport on Friday, June 21st and return on Wednesday, June 26th, has had to be cancelled due to flooding in the Lourdes area.

Canon Donal McNamara Director of the Limerick Diocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage said: We are really disappointed to have to take this decision as we know just how much pilgrims, invalids, volunteers, all of us were looking forward to their time in Lourdes and the enormous work that has gone into to arranging the pilgrimage.

However, the Lourdes area has been absolutely devastated by what appears to have been unprecedented flooding, which has tragically also claimed the life of one person in the region and led to the evacuation of 200 people.

Hotels, including the one the Limerick Diocesan Pilgrimage was booked into, are without electricity today; the Sanctuaries are closed apart from the Upper Basilica Grotto and the clean-up operation will take days.

With the safety and comfort of our pilgrims and volunteers in mind, as regrettable as it is, we were left with no decision but to cancel the Pilgrimage.

Added Bishop Brendan Leahy: "Our prayers and thoughts are now with the people of the Lourdes and pilgrims and invalids, including the many Irish who were so looking forward to this trip.

Pilgrims will be given a full refund of monies they have already committed to the pilgrimage.

Bishop Leahy will also celebrate 5.30 Mass at St. Josephs Church on Sunday for the intentions of all the pilgrims and invalids. All are welcome to join in this celebration.
Families of all youth pilgrims who would have been travelling with the Limerick youth pilgrimage are being contacted directly by youth leaders.


Images from the damage to the underground Basilica of St Pius X


New York Times article


The Irish Times

The Irish Independent


Catholic Herald

18 Jun 2013

Reek Week 2013 - Gathering for Faith

Find out more about Croagh Patrick and Reek Week 2013 HERE.

Year of Faith - Irish Dominican Students "Credo" Series - VIII - "He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father"

In this eighth episode of their series on the Nicene Creed the Dom's look at the phrase: "He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father." Monica talks with Bro. Ronan about the Ascension of Our Lord.

Year of Faith - Face2Faith - Cardinal Tagle: What is faith for me? - Vatican Radio

In the first of a series of special Vatican Radio-produced Youtube videos with the Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, we find out about his own personal experiences of Faith.

Cardinal Tagle is known as the man who cries easily and is remembered as becoming very emotional the day he received the red biretta and was made cardinal by Pope Benedict. He is also known to be very similar to Pope Francis in the style of living and the way he gets around Manila and he is known for standing in for his priests who are unable to celebrate Sunday Masses without any fuss or ceremony. He was regarded as a papabile at the recent conclave but was handicapped due to his age as he is only 59. He attended IEC2012 in Dublin and made quite an impression on his talk about "The Abuse of Children: Accepting Responsibility, Bringing Healing" and also the catechesis he gave about "Communion in the Word".

15 Jun 2013

16th June 2013 - 11th Sunday in Ordinary time (Year C) - Munster Chernobyl Aid

On this weeks programme we hear about Munster Chernobyl Aid and their work in Belarus helping communities and orphanages still suffering from the impact of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. While  the Chernobyl site is in the Ukraine, 70% of the contamination fell on Belarus. Mariah tells us of her experience of the journey there and the impact it has.

We also have our regular reflection on this weeks Sunday Gospel and some liturgical odds and ends including the saints of the week.

This weeks programme is available on podcast HERE.

Munster Chernobyl Aid - "Another Journey of Hope"

Mariah Culaty joins us this week to speak about her recent trip to Belarus with Munster Chernobyl Aid. Each year in May between 6 and 10 Arctic trucks head to Belarus visiting and helping various orphanages and hospitals by carrying out humanitarian aid, consisting of clothes, toys, baby equipment, building and medical supplies. The trucks are funded, loaded and driven by volunteer workers from every corner of Ireland.
As you can imagine cost for diesel, shipping and insurance are high so endless fundraising is held throughout the year. One in particular is the annual Munster Chernobyl Aid Truck Run. It is held the October Bank Holiday and is organised and run by the volunteers from the charity. Each year the number of trucks, vintage and modern, that attend increase as well as the people who give so generously. All the money raised goes directly into the funding of the Aid and the running of the convoy to Belarus, the remainder of the fundraising goes directly into the Orphanages in Belarus, to try to better the life of others.

This year in particular the charity will be on the search for baby clothes, pampers, sudacream, baby powder, wipes and baby equipment to supply a specific load for the baby medical orphanage of Phinks.

From a 17 year olds perspective; "We should be lucky with what we have, as one memory I have is giving a piece of chocolate to a child and the way their eyes lit up was like an Irish teenager getting an iPhone. It was a great experience and it wont be my last time going".

Munster Chernobyl Aid website and Facebook page

Gospel - Luke 7:36- 8:3

“Multum Dilexit”
Hartley Coleridge (1796–1849)
SHE sat and wept beside His feet; the weight Of sin oppress’d her heart; for all the blame, And the poor malice of the worldly shame, To her was past, extinct, and out of date: Only the sin remain’d,—the leprous state;
She would be melted by the heat of love, By fires far fiercer than are blown to prove And purge the silver are adulterate. She sat and wept, and with her untress’d hair Still wip’d the feet she was so bless’d to touch;
And He wip’d off the soiling of despair From her sweet soul, because she lov’d so much. I am a sinner, full of doubts and fears: Make me a humble thing of love and tears.
From Limerick Diocesan Newsletter:

A woman who had lead a sinful life walks into Jesus life, and is real in his presence. Others are shocked that he does not withdraw from this scandal, that he does not seem to know that he should keep himself apart from such a person.
How can he be holy and wise if he lets the sinful touch him?
Where else is God but in our humanity, our brokenness, our blistered feet and fallible lives?

- What would be the point of incarnation if God were only available in the scandal-free zones of who we are?
- What would be the point of forgiveness if we insisted on labelling each other in permanent marker?
"The Lord never tires of forgiving," Pope Francis said on March 17, ... "It is we who tire of asking for forgiveness."
Do you see this woman, or do you see a scandal? ... Do you see the parents bringing a child for Baptism, or do you see a questionable marriage status?
How can we be holy and wise if we only live in scandal free zones?
Jesus saw this unnamed woman.
That was enough for the healing to begin.
Let us choose to see one another as Jesus sees us this week - let that be a path to healing for us all.

Reflections on this weeks gospel:
Pilgrims Progress
Forgiveness and Gratitude - Working Preacher
Blue Eyed Ennis
Alabaster Extravagance - Rev. Dr. Mary Anderson is senior pastor of Incarnation Lutheran Church in Columbia, SC
Centre for Liturgy
Word on Fire
English Dominicans
Sunday Reflections

Liturgical Odds & Ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter Week 3, 11th Week of Ordinary time
Saints of the Week
June 17th - St Emily de Vialar
June 18th - St Paula of Malaga (martyr)
June 19th - St Romuald of Ravenna
June 20th - Memoria of the Irish Martyrs (1569 - 1794) - the memory of these men and women should never be forgotten and it right that they are named and commemorated:
Seventeen Irish Martyrs, men and women, cleric and lay, put to death for the Catholic faith between 1579 and 1654 were beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1992: Dermot Hurley, Archbishop of Cashel, hanged 20 June 1584 at Hoggen Green. Conor O’Devany, Bishop of Down and Connor, hanged, drawn and quartered.  Patrick O’Loughran, chaplain to the O’Neill family and Maurice McKenraghty, chaplain to the earl of Desmond, both hanged. Also hanged were Dominicans Terence O’Brien and Peter Higgins, Franciscans John Kearney, Patrick O’Healy and Conrad O’Bourke, Augustinian William Tirry, and a Jesuit lay brother, Dominic Collins.  Lay people Francis Taylor, Mayor of Dublin, and Margaret Bermingham died of ill treatment: a baker, Matthew Lambert, and a group of sailors, Robert Meyler, Edward Cheevers and Patrick Cavanagh were hanged, drawn and quarterd on 5 July 1581.  Six Catholics of Irish birth or connection executed for the faith in England had already been beatified in 1929 and 1987: John Roche (alias Neale), John (Terence) Carey, Patrick Salmon, John Cornelius (alias John Conor O’Mahoney), Charles Meehan, Ralph Corby (Corbington).

June 21st - St Aloysius Gonzaga SJ
As per tradition, Limerick's Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes is from June 21st to 25th. You might keep the pilgrims - especially les maladies (the invalids) - in your prayers as we are sure they are keeping many of you in their's as they seek the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes.
June 22nd - St John Fisher and St Thomas Moore

Local Notices

Annual Solemn Novena in honour of Our Mother of Perpetual Help: - continues at the Redemptorist Church, Mount St. Alphonsus, Limerick until Saturday, June 22nd. There are 10 sessions each day, beginning at 7am, and the last at 10.30pm. People can find all the details, and hear and see live all sessions of the novena at www.novena.ie
Knock: - The NCW Branch of SJYPS invites its members, their families and friends to join them for the society’s national pilgrimage to Knock on Saturday, June 22nd. A coach will leave the Market Yard, NCW at 8am serving Adare church at 8.20am. Details from Mairead Noonan, President (069-62489) or Pat Dalton (069-62306). All are welcome.

Grow Community Mental Health Movement: - Are you: struggling with anxiety or depression? Finding life Difficult? Isolation? Loneliness? Shyness? Do you find it difficult to talk? Support and friendship is one of the cornerstones of Grow and one of the mottos there is “you alone can do it but you can’t do it alone”. Grow meets on Thursdays at 8pm in the ‘Station room’, Desmond Complex, NCW. No introductions are necessary. Just come along. For more information see www.grow.ie

Monastic Weekends: - If you hear the gentle voice of Christ knocking “Do not be afraid”, the Carmelites of Mount Carmel Monastery, New Ross, Co. Wexford, invite such women who are searching to come and visit them for a Monastic Weekend on any of the following dates: June 28th - 30th, July 12th - 14th, August 9th - 11th, September 20th – 22nd, October 18th – 20th. Phone 051-421076.

"A time to uphold the right to life" - Statement of the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference

A time to reflect

On Saturday last, tens of thousands of women, men and children gathered in Dublin to express their support for the equal right to life of mothers and their unborn children.

We are at a defining moment for our country.

The Gospel of life is at the heart of the message of Jesus. He came that we may have life and have it to the full (Jn 10:10). The Gospel challenges us to work for a world in which the dignity and beauty of every human life are respected.

A time to uphold the right to life

The right to life is the most fundamental of all rights; it is the foundation of all other rights. No individual has the right to destroy life and no State has the right to undermine the right to life.

Yet the Irish Government is proposing abortion legislation that will fundamentally change the culture of medical practice in Ireland. For the first time legislation will be enacted permitting the deliberate and intentional killing of an unborn child. This represents a radical change. Every citizen, not just people of faith, should be deeply concerned.

We value the skill and efforts of our doctors, nurses and other care professionals who have helped to earn Ireland’s place as one of the safest countries in the world for mothers and their babies during pregnancy.

Catholic Church teaching is clear: where a seriously ill pregnant woman needs medical treatment which may put the life of her baby at risk, such treatments are ethically permissible provided every effort is made to save both the mother and her baby.

This is different from abortion, which is the direct and intentional taking of the innocent life of the unborn. No matter what legislation is passed in any country, abortion is, and always will be, gravely wrong.

A time for clarity and truth

The Government is under no obligation to legislate for the X case. People are being misled. We challenge repeated statements that this legislation is about saving lives and involves no change to the law or practice on abortion. Legalising the direct and intentional destruction of the life of an unborn baby can never be described as ‘life-saving’ or ‘pro-life’.

Contrary to clear psychiatric evidence, this legislation proposes abortion as an appropriate response to women with suicidal feelings during pregnancy. It is even possible to envisage as a result of this legislation the deliberate destruction of a child, who could otherwise be saved, right up to and including the moment of birth.

Furthermore, we challenge assurances that the proposed legislation will provide limited access to abortion. As published to date, the legislation will allow for a very wide margin of subjective professional assessment by which the deliberate destruction of an unborn baby can be legally justified. As we have learned from other countries, such legislation opens the door to ever wider availability of abortion.

We remain convinced that enhanced medical guidelines, which do not envisage the direct and intentional killing of the unborn, could provide the necessary clarity as well as a morally, legally and medically acceptable way forward. While good health can normally be restored, life, once taken, can never, never be restored.

A time for freedom of conscience

Freedom of conscience is a fundamental human right. A State that truly cherishes freedom will respect the conscience of its citizens, including its public representatives, on such an important human value as the right to life.

It is ethically unacceptable to expect doctors, nurses and others who have conscientious objections to nominate others to take their place. Neither should any institution with a pro-life ethos be forced to provide abortion services.

A time to decide: a time to act; a time to pray

We call on citizens to exercise their right to make their views known respectfully to our public representatives and to leave them in no doubt about where they stand on this issue.

We ask our public representatives to uphold the equal and inviolable right to life of all human beings, even if this means standing above other pressures and party loyalties.

We also invite our priests and people to continue to pray the Choose Life prayer at Mass and in the home that the dignity and value of all human life will continue to be upheld in this country.

Some mothers today are facing difficult or crisis pregnancies. Other people who have had, or who have assisted with abortions, may be re-living what happened in the past. They deserve to receive all the love, support and professional care that they need.

As Bishops we will join this weekend in prayerful solidarity with millions of Catholics all over the world in the Year of Faith celebration of Blessed John Paul II’s Encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life).

Every human life is precious, every human life is beautiful, every human life is sacred. Choose life!