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Showing posts from February, 2016

New Mosaic Knock Shrine in Co. Mayo

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Ireland's Marian Shrine at Knock, Co. Mayo, in the West of Ireland. Knock Shrine is visited by over one million people each year.

The Shrine has had a huge new mosaic commissioned and that mosaic was unveiled at Mass yesterday, 28th Feb 2016.



One of the largest mosaics of its kind in Europe, the huge and impressive artwork was officially unveiled by the Most Rev Michael Neary D.D., Archbishop of Tuam during the 12 noon Mass. It is composed of more than 1.5 million individual pieces of mosaic and forms part of a major, two-year refurbishment of Knock Basilica and an overall renewal project at Ireland’s National Marian Shrine, called ‘Witness to Hope’.
At the ceremony on Sunday, 15 local people, some of them descendants of those who witnessed the Apparition in 1879, performed a short candlelit procession to commemorate the extraordinary events in Knock 137 years ago.
Those events still draw over one million pilgrims from Ireland and abroad to Ireland’s Marian shrine each year.
The …

Beautiful Ordination of 20 Priests in South Korea

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The Church in Korea, which is currently benefitting from bountiful priestly vocations, has been further enriched with 20 new priests.

Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Archbishop of Seoul, Ordained 20 new priests on February 5th. The ceremony was attended by large numbers of the faithful, so much so that the celebration had to be held in the huge hall of the Olympic Park in Seoul.

The local Church reported that the Archdiocese of Seoul celebrates an Ordination Mass every year, with an average of 30 new priests ordained. Over the past 20 years, Ordinations in Seoul have always been higher than twenty priests a year. The statistics of the last three years are: 21 new priests in 2013; 36 in 2014; 25 in 2015.

The ordination Mass takes its theme from Cardinal Yeom’s pastoral Letter, just published, entitled "Teachings of the Church: the compass of the new evangelisation" (GREAT TITLE!!), while the verse reference chosen is "How beautiful is your love ". The wealth of voca…

Cardinal Pell

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A statement has been released by Cardinal Pell. It reads as follows:



Tim Minchin's new song "Come Home (Cardinal Pell)" gives an indication of the level of public debate in Australia at present. If one has the stomach to read through the comments underneath, it is clear that commentators are completely uninterested in getting to the truth of the matter; they simply want to (metaphorically, I hope) flog Cardinal Pell and drag him publicly through a vicious, abusive mob.

My journalist friend Ruari McCallion has looked into this in some detail and he points out that it doesn't matter how many times it is demonstrated that the Cardinal has already testified, several times, or that he actually set up the fund and protocol that compensates victims, it matters not a bit - they aren't interested. They want their victim, they want him publicly humiliated, and they want him now.

The damage inflicted on the people who truly suffered and their interests are actually irrelev…

Pope, Plane, you know, the usual...

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I'm not panicking about this, I think I'm getting the hang of it now. One think I know for sure is that leaders make mistakes, we shouldn't expect them to be perfect all the time, especially in unscripted interactions. I think the Pope gives us a lot to think about and meditate on in this latest interaction. Sure, it might initially seem a bit out of sync with 2,000 and odd years of Catholic thought, but that's because we often are completely prepared to accept/ expect/ think the worst. The press always want to couch anything he says in terms that say he is giving ground to the modern world, whereas the truth is that he is a loyal son of the Church.

Pope Francis said some really interesting things about abuse in the Church and his meeting with the Russian Orthodox Patriarch. You can read a full transcript here. I'm interested in all the issues he spoke about and I do think they are important. The Orthodox thing particularly interests me, but I'm going to save …

BBC Panorama: The (not so) Secret Letters of Pope St. John Paul II

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Just a quick word on BBC Panorama's Monday night programme which advertised itself thus:
Pope John Paul II ruled the Catholic Church for 27 years until 2005. He was one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century, revered by millions and made a saint in record time. Now reporter Edward Stourton can offer a new perspective on the emotional life of this very public figure. Now it is hard not to consider that this is an attempt to besmirch the reputation of an extraordinary public figure. Certainly it hints at a hidden sexual agenda, and this was made even more clear by John Humphry's attempts to suggest to Alexander Lucie-Smith and Caroline Farrow, on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning, that it would be better if Priests weren't celibate at all after this Panorama. (By the way, I think Caroline & Fr. Lucie-Smith do a wonderful job of running rings around Humphrys, you can listen to the interview here, it takes place in the last ten minutes of the …

Pope Francis to Mexican Bishops: look after your priests!

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On Saturday, the first full day of his Apostolic visit to the country, #‎PopeFrancis‬ addressed the Mexican Bishops admonishing them to: "Introduce your priests into a right understanding of sacred ministry." Using words that can also be taken to heart by the laity, our holy Father said:  “The first face I ask you to guard in your hearts is that of your priests. Do not leave them exposed to loneliness and abandonment, easy prey to a worldliness that devours the heart. Be attentive and learn how to read their expressions so as to rejoice with them when they feel the joy of recounting all that they have “done and taught” (Mk 6:30). Also, do not step back when they feel humiliated and can only cry because they “have denied the Lord” (cf. Lk 22:61-62), and offer your support, in communion with Christ, when one of them, disheartened, goes out with Judas into “the night” (cf. Jn 13:30). As bishops in these situations, your paternal care for your priests must never be found wanting…

Brentwood's Stewards of the Gospel

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The flock is struck, it is in disarray. Wounded and confused, the faithful cling to the Barque of Peter for a variety of reasons. Pastors have been breeding confusion for a number of years. They seldom seem to do the work of a priest; calling the people to repentance. It is far easier to be lovely to the people than to shock them into any kind of real change.

Speak to a mature Catholic in Brentwood Diocese today about their faith and you tend to hear a confusion of progressive Protestant theology and secular reasoning. If they practice, they have filled the void of any sound Catholic teaching with these ideas which bridge the gap between what they feel is the unrealistic demands of the "old" Catholic Church and the constant social reprogramming of the modern secular state.

Discussions I have tend to result in shock that I believe what the Church has always taught, assertions that the Church "has moved on", or "we don't believe in *insert doctrine here* si…

Theology of the Body Conference for Educators and Formators

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St Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body is receiving ever greater attention, as more and more people are seeing and experiencing its ability to enrich lives. St. Mary's University, Twickenham are holding a conference which aims to offer educators and other formators an opportunity to learn how this rich and beautiful teaching can be effectively transmitted in the classroom, the parish, at home and in our culture. Delegates will receive information, ideas and tools on how to appropriately convey and integrate the Theology of the Body within Catholic education and in one’s field of responsibility – helping formators become better equipped and empowered to communicate this teaching clearly and confidently. Keynote Speaker: Bishop John Keenan of Paisley
Who is this conference for?Educators and TeachersCatechists and Youth MinistersParentsPriests and Religious It may also be of interest to:Those interested in the New EvangelisationVocation DirectorsSeminarians and Seminary Director…

Jesus the rule breaker

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The notion that Christ was a "rule breaker" is a very naive reading of the Christian calling as CC Father reminds us here. Reflecting on this theme, he concludes:
I believe that it is only in obedience that we are able properly to cooperate with Christ's saving work, and submit to whatever He asks of us. But every force in our fallen nature and in our society and its dominant thinking, culture and values, rebels at that notion. For me, this blog immediately brought to mind Pope Benedict XVI's words in his excellent exposition of the person of Christ Jesus of Nazareth, Volume I where he discusses the exposition of Jesus in the Jewish scholar Jacob Neusner's book A Rabbi Talks with Jesus."The conventional interpretation is that Jesus broke open a narrow-minded, legalistic practice and replaced it with a more generous, more liberal view, and thereby opened the door for acting rationally in accord with the given situation. Jesus' statement that "the sabb…