Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I avoided commenting on the 'Sleeman intiative' over the weekend as the press scans for comments and I didn't want to be quuoted. Now that it has been a flop I can pass my remarks. My own experience was that there were no noticeable absentees from the 9.30 here in the Friary but one woman seemed (she was at the back and I can't see much beyond six feet without my glasses) to wear a scarf over her face and dark glasses. The glasses alone would've been wierd. She didn't come up for communion and was gone before we had left the church (we wait outside to greet people - very 'protestant' but it can lead to useful conversations). I was furious and I still feel it as an insult to the Mass, the congregation and myself.

In addition I heard today that a priest in a wealthy parish in Blanchardstown welcomed anyone wearing a green armband and proceeded to speak up for women's ordination with some dodgy exegesis. It's this kind of theologically illiterate dissent that has us in the state we are in. Doesn't anyone try to find out the truth? Is no one interested in obedience and humility? No wonder there are Sleemans in the Church if there are pastors such as this doling out their opinions rather than serving the Gospel.

After Mass on Sunday I had a long conversation with one of our regulars who, despite being quite mature, is studying theology. She told me of the sacramental theology she's getting and from what she told me it does not qualify as Catholic. It seems that some theologians are too intelligent to believe in the Real Presence.

The more I see and hear the more I believe that there's a deep unseen crack in the Irish Church that could split open any day. At that point there will be great pain. I am haunted by Jesus' question 'When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?' (Lk 18:8).

The good news is that the mature student I spoke to knows the Church's teaching and can challenge those who pretend that something else will suffice. There are faithful Catholics who struggle to hand on what so many others are denying or abandoning. We live in a time of iconoclasm but there are those who still choose Christ.

Monday, September 20, 2010


It's either a feast or a famine but over lunch one of the teachers told me about this guy Nick Vojicic, an Australian born without arms or legs who gives inspirational talks. This is a very moving video.


I'll be trying  a new initiative with this blog - posting from my work as a chaplain.  So to begin I am in my little office with a free period because a third year has just asked could she move her spot to last period.  A first year I was expecting has not yet turned up.  Therefore I am free. 

One never knows who will walk through my door or what problem they carry.  It takes time to build up the relationship and the level of trust.  Clerical child abuse, on top of all the other pain it has caused, has done so much damage to the image of the priest that we are all suspects in someone's eyes.  At least now the boundaries are clear to everyone.

It was good to hear the Holy Father reinterating our pain and shame over what has been done and urging the bishops to make care of the victims of abuse our principle act of reparation.  Working with teenagers one sees that life can inflict so much suffering on the young.  Thanks  be to God this school works hard to provide a high level of care and support.

On a lighter note the one thing that made a deep impression on me was the silence after communion in Westminster Cathedral.   TV doesn't do silence very well.  It likes action, movement and noise.  The stillness in that great church with the Pope sitting surrounded by his clergy and people in silent prayer was very striking.  It brought home to me the need to cultivate that silence at the Masses I celebrate.  After all when one has just received God what ought one to do but sit and listen?

Friday, September 17, 2010


Please pray to Ven. Pauline Jaricot for a swift, full and enduring recovery for Philip Johnson, an American seminarian who has an inoperable brain tumour.
Almighty God, who knew us all from before creation, who called us into being according to Your plan, we humbly beseech You, through the intercession of Venerable Pauline Jaricot, who cared for the sick during her earthly life, that the seminarian Philip Gerard be swiftly and completely cured of his cancer, in a lasting way, so that God’s glory and mercy may be manifest.     Venerable Pauline, we ask you in this urgent need, pray now before God’s throne that Philip Gerard be completely and swiftly healed by God’s miraculous act, that God be glorified in the working of this miracle, that we be edified by His mercy.     Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we thank you for all your gifts and mercy.  In Jesus’ Name we beg that this be done according to Your will.     Amen.


Related Posts with Thumbnails