Today's Homily Resource

12 Feb. Friday after Ash Wednesday

1st Reading: Isaiah 58:1-9

True religion is contrasted with merely external observance

Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins. Yet day …

12Feb Hope yet for the year of Mercy?

Hope yet for the year of Mercy?

February 12th, 2016

Michael O'laughlin reports in on a pastoral letter of Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski of Springfield. The bishop is seeking forgiveness.
"“There are many people hurting in our Catholic community from the pain caused by our past failings as a diocese, as well as the grievous actions of some who ministered in our church ......... there are others who have distanced themselves because they feel unwelcomed. The reasons here can vary, but key among them are race and cultural differences, a sense of gender inequality as well as sexual orientation,”
"“I ask your forgiveness,”

10Feb Rejoice in difference, Struggle against Division

Rejoice in difference, Struggle against Division

February 10th, 2016

Seamus Ahearne shares two personal letters he wrote to the Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Charles Brown, about the nuncio's refusal to accept an invitation from the ACP to meet with us.

"You will meet the formal church in your work. People will dress up. All the Liturgies will be done beautifully. You will be invited to a celebrating Church. I would suggest that the church you need to meet is the one on the ground; the informal one; the broken one; the hurting one; the one where most people have walked away; the one where lives are messed up totally."

"Your job is much too important for you to opt out of hearing the views of a very serious and passionate group – the ACP. How can you shape the Church in Ireland if you are dismissive of the experience of those who know the scene best?"

08Feb Spotlight


February 8th, 2016

Pádraig McCarthy shares his thoughts on the film Spotlight

07Feb Thinking outside the Confessional Box

Thinking outside the Confessional Box

February 7th, 2016

Stan Mellett calls for a little thinking 'outside the box' when it comes to celebrating God's mercy and forgiveness.
"How are we to celebrate the mystery and miracle of our forgiveness?" Stan argues that in the past we got it wrong. "God was a hard taskmaster; grudgingly would forgive but all the conditions had to be met. What a travesty of the Gospel! What an abuse of Church authority!"
"Any hope that the faithful and the unfaithful will once again wait in queue to whisper their ‘sins’ in a box, behind a curtain or in a private encounter, is, I think, remote."
"Why hesitate to celebrate forgiveness for congregations in one liturgical celebration? "

05Feb Sharing an intimate act of love

Sharing an intimate act of love

February 5th, 2016

Chris McDonnell suggests that the Washing of Feet on Holy Thursday is in danger of being seen as "seen as a liturgical dumb show with little meaning other than a mimed re-enactment of the gospel of John."
"...we shouldn’t regard the Washing of Feet as an action related only to the liturgy of Holy Thursday, but rather as an action that can and should be shared on other occasions of prayer.......... The Washing of Feet is an action of gentle kindness, an act of service and an intimate act of love .....We shape communities not by being the audience at events but by our actions in a shared act of love. Messy, untidy, with water spills during washing and the drying of feet with a towel afterwards, but that’s life, that’s how it is. ."

04Feb Notice for ACP Members

Notice for ACP Members

February 4th, 2016

Letter from the leadership team to all members.

Reminder to pay membership fees if not already done and an appeal for sponsors!
Please note that all Cheques should be made out to "The Association of Catholic Priests" and not in the name of any individual member.

03Feb How can we protect the Oceans?

How can we protect the Oceans?

February 3rd, 2016

Seán McDonagh continues to draw our attention to the wealth of knowledge and teaching there is to be gleaned from 'Laudato Si’ and to the urgency of Pope Francis' message.
"Coral reefs, for example, have declined by 40 percent worldwide. This has been caused by climate-change warming of the oceans and deforestation in the tropics. Even though they constitute only 1 per cent of the ocean seabed, coral reefs are home to 25 percent of the species of the ocean."
"there is time for humans to halt the damage with effective programmes limiting the exploitation of the oceans."

02Feb Bread and circuses during the Year of Mercy? No, grazie!

Bread and circuses during the Year of Mercy? No, grazie!

February 2nd, 2016

Robert Mickens casts a critical eye on some of the planned events for the Holy Year of Mercy.
To say he is not impressed might be to understate his view.
Looking at two events, the commissioning of 'missionaries of mercy' and the displaying of the bodies of Saint Leopold Mandić and Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina for public veneration he says "Both of them are aimed, fundamentally, at one thing -- getting people to go back to confession, a practice most Catholics gave up a long, long time ago. ...... this is one verdict of the "sensus fidelium" that it seems the pope does not want to acknowledge."
The Holy Year of Mercy was announced "at a time when the world has never been more aware of its divisions or more uncertain about how to resolve its seemingly irresolvable conflicts and heal its apparently incurable wounds; when it has never been so incapable of achieving peace and bringing about reconciliation.
The Holy Year is the pope's attempt to help the world -- but even more so the church -- find the solution to this impossible situation. And he is convinced that it will only be done when people allow themselves to be healed by God's mercy and then, in turn, offer it to others; when they allow themselves to be forgiven and, in turn, begin forgiving others."

Mickens states that most reasonable Catholics -- Italians included -- disagree with the need for such props and gimmicks the jubilee committee is using to promote the Holy Year."

01Feb Removing Planks

Removing Planks

February 1st, 2016

John Shea addresses an open and challenging letter to Cardinal Maradiaga, and to the other members of the Council of Cardinals, asking they consider again attitudes towards women in the church.
John Shea is an Augustinian theologian in Boston,

01Feb A Second Chance for some Endangered Species

A Second Chance for some Endangered Species

February 1st, 2016

Sean McDonagh keeps the teaching and insights of 'Laudato Si' before us.
"The destruction of biodiversity is a disaster for planet earth. Scientists now estimate that 100,000 species become extinct each year through deforestation, poaching and pollution. The current rate of extinction is estimated to be 1000 times what it would be in the absence of human intervention."
But all is not bad news. Sean writes that "Amid all the gloom, there is a flicker of hope through targeted breeding programmes."