Friday, March 22, 2013


A certain person has attempted to make allegations against Irish Capuchin friars by means of this blog. This is not the place to make any such charges. From the Irish Capuchin website:

"By signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Board for Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church in April 2009, the Capuchin Order in Ireland has adopted the Board’s policy and procedures document Safeguarding Children : Standards and Guidance document for the Catholic Church in Ireland (2009), and the documents that may be added to it from time to time, as its basic regulation in all matters pertaining to the protection of children. Furthermore, in implementing of that document, we accept the auditing role of officials of the Board’s National Office and pledge our cooperation with them in their work.

Conscious of its grave responsibility to prevent the sexual, physical and emotional abuse of children and their neglect, the Capuchin Order undertakes to report all allegations made to it of such abuse to the civil and Church authorities without delay; we also urge all who disclose allegations of abuse against its members, or anyone else, to do likewise. Anyone making an allegation of abuse will be received with respect and listened to, will be informed of actions taken as a result of their disclosure and will have their need for counseling met, if required. Those against whom allegations of abuse have been made will be given every opportunity to vindicate their good name, but, without prejudice, will be asked to stand aside from all ministry, not wear the habit or clerical garb, until the civil authorities have completed their investigations. However, should a Garda investigation find that an allegation is false everything shall be done to restore the good name of the accused. Otherwise, the Order undertakes to cooperate fully with the HSE and An Gárda Síochána in assisting those who have abused children to live offense free lives."

The Child Safeguarding Designated Officer for the Capuchin Order in Ireland is:

Br. Paul Murphy OFM Cap
Capuchin Friary
Church Street
Dublin 7.
Telephone: 086 0610985

Anyone who wishes to allege abuse ought to contact Br. Paul Murphy at the address above or via the phone number provided.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


An interesting and moving little interview made only six months ago. It gives a valuable insight into our new pope's spirituality.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Firstly Rome Report's translation of the Holy Father's moto is wrong.  It means, according to CNS,   "because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him" and which comes from St. Bede the Venerable's commentary on Matthew. 

The Holy Father's coat of arms: a blue shield with the emblem of the Jesuits (the Holy Name of Jesus within a radiant disk) above a white five-pointed star and a white bunch of grapes.  The explanation given by Rome Reports is that apart from the emblem of the Jesuits, the white star on the blue shield refers to the Mother of God and the grapes to Jesus as the grower of the faith.  I was wondering about that interpretation.  The first three letters of Jesus' name in Greek is familiar to all Catholics and that image surrounded by rays goes back at least to the Franciscan St. Bernardine of Sienna promoter of devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus.  But it can also represent the Eucharist as can the bunch of grapes.  A Jesuit pope who has devotion to St. Francis who himself promoted devotion to the Eucharist and Our Lady  - that made me think some more.   This pope has on his shield symbols of  Christ and Our Lady, symbols that are also eucharistic.  Could this be the pope St. John Bosco saw in his vision?  Just thinking....

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


So we have another Holy Father, a new Pope and someone from outside Europe!  Like everyone else I'm also putting in my few words of commentary.  You can check out John Allen's account of the new pope written before he was elected here.  

No matter what he may yet say in clarification (and pace the Jesuits) all Franciscans, and Italians everywhere, will believe he chose Francis as a tribute to the founder of the Franciscan family and the patron saint of Italy.  As Franciscans we will have the peculiar experience (for the first time in our history) I referring to our 'Holy Father Francis' meaning the Pope and 'our Holy Father Francis' meaning St. Francis.

I hope that he does have both the holiness and 'fire in the belly', the strength of character to lead the Church along the path our Lord indicates for us.  I got the impression watching him on that balcony that not only was he overawed and stunned at this outcome but also a little lost.  Perhaps he will be another John Paul I?  He is 76 so he will not likely hold the office for twenty or  more years.  All we can do is pray, fast and be faithful.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Christendom College of the U.S. is to launch the Columcille Institute this year from July 20 to August 7.  It will be held in our friary in Ards, i.e. Ard Mhuire, Donegal.  'Ard' means 'high' or 'height' in Irish and 'Muire' is the Irish for 'Mary' as in the Mother of God.  Other Marys are 'Máire'.  I hope they get the weather!  Ards is beautiful if the weather is good but miserable if it isn't.  The Institute will offer courses on Catholic Apologetics, The Rise of Western Culture and Christian Ethos and Christian Imagination and Prominent Continental Irish Writers.


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