03Feb Feast of St Blaise

Poem for St Blaise’s Day

With churches closed amidst a pandemic lockdown one wonders about one of the burning questions facing the Irish Church today: can lay-people assist with the blessing of throats? Canon Law provides an answer. Poetry (and pastoral necessity) provide another. 

Claddagh Duff, Connemara 


George Campbell (1917-1979) 

Ulster Museum

© The artist’s estate. Photo credit: National Museums Northern Ireland


Claddagh Duff
(having viewed a painting of the same name by George Campbell RHA)

The grey stone church
commands the hill
above the rock-strewn shapes
that pass for fields
in Connemara.

After Mass
on the winding lane,
two shawled women
of the land
have stopped to talk.

They are Church
these two,
their rough shawls
like tabernacle veils,
concealing divinity.

May we see beyond rules,
beyond bricks and mortar,
to the flesh and blood
that is truly Church.

Michael Maginn

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