Church of St. Laurence O'Toole, Kilmacud

Letting the carols lift our hearts

I heard a short piece on the radio during the week about Christmas Carols. The presenter had sent a reporter out to a shopping centre to ask people about their favourite Christmas Carol, she also asked them when they had

Preparing the space in our hearts for a rebirth

Patrick Kavanagh’s poem Advent speaks to and from the religious culture of his own time, an era when penance was practiced and heartfelt hope in the power of Bethlehem offered redemption. The Advent darkened room he recalls was a place

A renewal in our parish activity

This week I’ve been 3 years in my current position as Moderator of the parishes of Clonskeagh, Mount Merrion and Kilmacud. When I was asked to undertake this role I really did wonder if it would be possible to manage

We grow in faith by accepting loss and praying for the dead

Walking through the church grounds the other day I stopped to watch the gardeners at work. One man was blowing the leaves into piles, while another shovelled them into blue bags. His friend was bent over digging small holes under

Jesus is the model that we try to imitate

You might have seen the traffic chaos on Tottenham Court Road in London during the week. Some newly installed Christmas decorations, blew down and went bouncing up the street, causing cars to swerve, slam on breaks and stop, in a

Halloween

Near Half Moon Bay, just a short drive from San Francisco about 15 years ago I visited Lemos Farm, the best pumpkin patch on the West Coast. I was amazed to see a huge variety of pumpkins, large and small,

Supporting the Missions is deeply ingrained in our lives

A priest from my local parish worked on the Missions. He came home every few years and was always a welcome visitor to our school and sometimes he said Mass in the parish. He was different from our regular priests,

Being church together, with and for each other

When I was about 14 my dad and I went to Cresslough to see their new Church, St Michael’s. It had been designed by the Irish architect Liam Mc Cormick, who dad admired, and was one of 7 modern churches

The call to come and pray as one

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Here are some words I wrote almost 10 years ago. It was at this time that we felt the need to start talking in Dublin about the direction we were beginning to move in.  “An old teacher in the seminary

Drawing strength from the witness of these exceptional people for our lives today

One of the joys of coming to daily Mass is the celebration of the feast days of the saints. This coming week is very special indeed, Saturday October 1st is the Feast of Saint Thérèse so much loved in Mount

Ritual and a message of hope

Opening of the academic year Masses and Services are a wonderful gathering of the whole school community. For many reasons, an energy pulsates through the environment when so many students gather with their teachers in the church. The daily and

May she rest in peace

When someone we know and love dies a wave of feelings, emotions and reactions that are both seen in our tears and felt in our hearts can overwhelm us. It helps when visitors call, quiet chats and cups of tea

The value of even small groups gathering

I was at Mass one day during the week at Holy Cross Monastery near Rostrevor, Co. Down. The Abbot was the presider and preacher. About 10 people made up the congregation and there were another 6 monks present. All in

In a blink, 30 years melted away

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30 years ago I hugged Barbara and said goodbye. It was the last day of our 3 years as post grad students in Rome and the whole group went for a mass, a meal and with back slaps and hugs

God’s blessing on all who form, teach and share faith with our young people

I saw four teenage girls in full school uniform on the street the other day, I checked my watch for the date, August 24th, where did the summer go! So, a week earlier than I’d planned, let’s give a big

A few words from Archbishop Dermot

So, what do we do? Like a garden, our communities of faith need constant attention. We are called to listen to each other, and also listen to God. How might we do this? As next steps on the way, you

Ready for action

There was a short item on ‘This week’ at lunchtime last Sunday which was entitled “Is Sunday Mass becoming a thing of the past?” Two Bishops were interviewed, Fintan Gavin, Cork and Francis Duffy, Tuam and they both had interesting

Change

I headed over to Westport to cycle the Greenway with a friend. We had a terrific day, cycling out to Newport, past Burrishoole Abbey to our destination, Achill Island, a breeze at our backs, the stunning scenery all around us,

Grandparents and the elderly

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Last week when I was writing these few words I hadn’t realised that it was a weekend of special prayers for Grandparents and the elderly. Pope Francis, who is getting on in years himself, has many kind and thoughtful things

The Commitment to the Ordinary

When I was a little child we had plastic sandals to wear at the beach. We needed them most on the days that the sand was so hot that the soles of your feet would be roasted if you tried