30Nov Selective memory, selective shock, and selective outrage at the presumption of guilt.

Brendan Hoban writing in the Western People, is amazed that media commentators were declaring the publication of allegations against a former politician and government minister marked a new low in journalism.
Such commentary seems to 'have missed the shocking ordeal that priests like Kevin Reynolds, and so many others like him, who have been wrongly accused, have had to endure.'
'where was the outrage in the Irish media when one of the foundation stones of our legal system – the presumption of innocence – was seen not to apply to priests and religious accused of abuse? To pop stars, yes; to politicians, yes; to celebrities, yes. To priests, not really.'

30Nov Fr Gerry Reynolds R.I.P.

With the sad news of the death of Gerry Reynolds we carry links to BBC N.I. and UTV. We extend our sympathies to his family and to his Redemptorist colleagues. May he rest in peace.

30Nov 30th November. Feast of St. Andrew, apostle

1st Reading: Romans 10:9-18

How will they hear the faith, unless it be preached?

If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. … Read the rest

29Nov Presider’s Page for 29 November (Advent 1, C)

Advent begins today. During these days, we look forward, waiting in hope. We watch for the end times, when Christ will come in glory, Christ who was born for us just a little over 2,000 years ago.

29Nov 29th November. First Sunday of Advent

On sending us homilies, please see below.

Theme: Advent is a time for new thoughts, new beginnings, new projects, as we start a new year of Christian prayer and worship. The Gospel calls us to be ready to welcome Jesus

Read the rest

28Nov The Pact of the Catacombs

With the example of the lifestyle of Pope Francis there is renewed interest in many circles in a document known as the 'Pact of the Catacombs'. Can all bishops and all who are in authority positions in church learn from it?

As Vatican Council II drew to a close in 1965, 40 bishops met at night in the Domitilla Catacombs outside Rome. In that holy place of Christian dead they celebrated the Eucharist and signed a document that expressed their personal commitments as bishops to the ideals of the Council under the suggestive title of the Pact of the Catacombs.

It is known that the bishops were led by Archbishop Helder Camara of Recife, Brazil, one of the widely respected 20th century champions of justice and peace.
The pact had some clear objectives;
"We renounce forever the appearance and the substance of wealth, especially in clothing (rich vestments, loud colours)..."
"As far as possible we will entrust the financial and material running of our diocese to a commission of competent lay persons..."
"We do not want to be addressed verbally or in writing with names and titles that express prominence and power (such as Eminence, Excellency, Lordship)..."
"we will try be make ourselves as humanly present and welcoming as possible; and we will show ourselves to be open to all, no matter what their beliefs..."

28Nov 28th November. Saturday of Week 34

1st Reading: Daniel 7:15-27

Daniel begs for an explanation of the vision. The persecuted saints, loyal to the covenant, will receive the kingdom.

As for me, Daniel, my spirit was troubled within me, and the visions of my head terrified … Read the rest

27Nov A drop of over 43% of priests in active ministry since 1995 – no crisis

When is a crisis not a crisis? When it involves the church it seems.
The number of priests in active ministry 20 years ago - in 1995 - was 3,550.
There are now just 2,019 in active ministry - which represents a drop of 43%.
Just over 67% of that number are over the age of 55 - while it is believed the majority of those are actually even older.
Where is there evidence of strategy and planning to face this 'crisis'?

27Nov ‘Mass’ at the wake?

Stan Mellett shares some thoughts on the importance of having a pastoral approach to funeral rites "when the increasingly normal experience is a funeral for one who has long since lost touch with the church, had ceased to practice the faith and been in an irregular marital situation,"
"People who have little contact with church – uneasy with ceremony and ritual – anxious and uneasy about protocol, any effort to accommodate and accompany them through the Wake, funeral Mass and burial/cremation is a service not to be underestimated; an important pastoral opportunity not to be missed."

27Nov 27th November. Friday of Week 34

First Reading: Revelation 20:1-4; 21:1-2

Those who reject the beast will reign with Christ, 1000 years.

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. He … Read the rest

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