Showing posts from March, 2007

Traditional Catholicism (2)

Having reflected some more on the question, I think that one of our toughest challenges will be to not only stretch out a hand beyond the boundaries of Church to those on the fringes, but to also stretch out the other way, in love, to those who have a deep and sincere love of the more formal traditions within the Church and who find in them their strength. Myself as a Chaplain, I have to be very aware of this and not allow my own instinctive attractions to particular types of faith expression not come between me and my ministry to teenagers and young adults.

I have to accept in humility that these people have a great deal that they can teach me through the depth of their faith, its simplicity and directness which in itself is so admirable.

I've found a book that I've ordered for myself. You can read some of it from the Amazon web page.
The New Faithful: why young adults are embracing Christian orthodoxy
by Colleen Carroll

"My Saviour"

"We must rekindle in ourselves the impetus of the beginnings and allow ourselves to be filled with the ardour of the apostolic preaching which followed Pentecost…. This passion will not fail to stir in the Church a new sense of mission...Those who have come into genuine contact with Christ cannot keep him for themselves."

The quote from Novo Millennio Ineunte given in the previous entry has made me think of a song that I wrote a few years ago, a live performance of which can be found on my MySpace page (see links on the left).
My Saviour

Your love is a fire that brings us new life,
Your love is a beacon to draw others to you,
Your love it consumes me, driving me out of myself,
To show others, to show others how much you’ve done for me.Jesus, Jesus,
My Lord and God, my Saviour.
Jesus, Jesus,
My Lord and God, my Saviour.
These words sum up for me the nature of my apostolate with young people, alternatively expressed by my order's co-founder Fr. Jean-Marie De La Mennais (1780-1860):

New Evangelisation

I came upon the CASE web site (see previous post) whilst doing a little research on the term "New Evangelisation".

They give a very useful definition:


"Look to the future with commitment to a New Evangelization, one that is new in its ardour, new in its methods, and new in its means of expression."
(Pope John Paul II to Bishops of Latin America, Haiti, 1983).

New in its ardour:
“I came to cast fire upon earth; and would that it were already kindled!” (Lk.12:49). Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel." (1 Cor 9:16).“I used to say, ‘I will not think about him, I will not speak in his name any more.’ Then there seemed to be a fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones…” (Jer.20:9).“We must rekindle in ourselves the impetus of the beginnings and allow ourselves to be filled with the ardour of the apostolic preaching which followed Pentecost…. This passion will not fail to stir in the Church a new sense of mission, which cannot be le…

CASE - Catholic Agency to Support Evangelisation

This is an agency set up by the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales to... well, the name says it all. Lots of good resources available from their web site:

Catholic Agency to Support Evangelisation

Dad (2)

Just to clarify... they never saw active combat and stayed in Ireland.



Not many people realise that although Ireland was a neutral country during the 2nd World War, thousands of Irishmen and women served in the Irish Army. My father (aged 82) was one such person. Last year, with the help of one of his neighbours in Knocklong, Co. Limerick (Ireland), he managed to apply for and receive a service medal for his three years in the army during the war. Here he is proudly wearing the medal.

Traditional Catholicism in the blogosphere and beyond....

A comment I left on another blog.... to the message "In a confused mood".

I can sympathise. I sometimes wonder myself about the tone of many Catholic blogs out there (and you haven't mentioned MySpace... don't look there otherwise you really will get upset!!). I think the problem you flag up stems from the broader issue of what many younger adult Catholics (especially young seminarians, priests, religious...) seem to find attractive about being Catholic, eg. the strong sense of identity that comes from following traditional teachings to the letter and the adherence to traditional codes of behaviour. This can get reflected in many ways, such as in a desire for traditional clerical dress, in old-school devotions, in liturgical choices, etc...

Perhaps, the blame for this should be laid upon elements of the modern world we live in that many people find threatening, eg. the "moral relativism" that Pope Benedict has frequently atta…


These last few months have been very difficult for me and my family (parents, 5 brothers + sisters)..... a long, difficult and very painful story (involving the most disturbing and sordid events imaginable, most of which took place many years ago but have only been spoken about in the family this past year or two). In the midst of all this, my mother (my parents live in Co. Limerick having retired back there in '92) is struggling to continue living with the consequences of a brain tumour she suffered 25 years ago. The treatment she has received over the years for epilepsy has now weakened her to the point where she can only manage a few minutes of full awareness (with a little conversation) a day at the best of times. Sometimes none. I spent 2 weeks there recently, missing time off school.

Anyone reading this, could you keep us in your prayers.... Many graces have already come to us through our mother's illness/calvary. It has actually helped re-open channels of communication l…

"Children Of Men"

"Children Of Men", one of my favourite films of the year (and which I think deserved rather more Oscar nods than it has actually received) - is now out on dvd. It is set in a dystopian near-future Britain (2027) that has some similarity with the world of Steven Speilberg's "Minority Report". The major difference is that whereas the Speilberg film presents a world where technological developments seem to have created a better, safer, shiny new world, "Children Of Men" (helmed by Mexican director Alfonso Cuáron) presents a world in obvious meltdown due to there being no babies born anywhere in the world during the last 18 years. As one character says (paraphrase), what a sad place the world is without children's laughter. Technological advances in areas such as advertising (video clip adverts on the outside of double-decker buses and news stands) and car technology (virtual dashboards on the inside of car windscreens in the style of "heads-up&q…