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Father Murphy of Boolavogue

Paul Ross tells the story of Fr John Murphy, a country curate who was hanged for his role in the Wexford Rising, during the 1798 Irish rebellion.


Foundations of faith

What does ‘handing on the faith’ mean in present-day Ireland. There are no longer the many Religious-run institutions, like schools and university halls. It seems one has to be living it with conviction oneself to be really able to hand it on. Fr John Looby SJ explains.


Contemporary Catholicism in Ireland: A critical appraisal

This book, edited by academic Eamon Maher, Director of the National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies, and former President of the National Priests Council of Ireland Fr John Littleton, gives an analysis by clergy, educators, journalists, and artists of what is happening to Irish Catholicism today and makes suggestions toward creating [...]


Fostering a community of values

On 29th May 2008 the Catholic Bishops of Ireland issued a pastoral reflection on the occasion of the referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon. While not explicitly urging a yes vote, it is an endorsement of the European project.


Priest, Prophet and President

Canon 285 par 3 of the Code of Canon Law states: “Clerics are forbidden to assume public office whenever it means sharing in the exercise of civil power”. Columban missionary Fr Shay Cullen asks us not to judge too hastily those who have felt the struggle for justice has warranted [...]


Caring for teachers

Paul Andrews SJ says: “Teachers need pastoral care for themselves. Their daily work exposes them to a merciless manipulation of their weaknesses by sharp-eyed and clever teenagers.”


A life change, Montserrat

This extract by Brian Grogan SJ tells of Ignatius’s experience of life change when he made his general confession at Montserrat and how he set out on the adventure of being a poor Christian.


To Manresa 1522

Brian Grogan SJ describes the insecure journey of Inigo as a poor pilgrim from Montserrat to Manresa and focuses on how he begins to see things through the eyese of a beggar. He goes on to ask the reader to reflect on their own experience of poverty or of helping [...]


His own path to follow

“What’s community?” asked Pat Coyle’s teenage son when she thought she had produced the clinching argument about why he should go to Mass. It was the beginning of her journey of letting him follow his own path.


Welcomed home

Dervilla writes: Dear Father, I’m writing to you in despair. My daughter died suddenly and unprepared about a year ago. She hadn’t been to confessions for years although in the period before her sudden death she visited churches and lit candles most days. The priest assured me that she had [...]


Irish housing: time for new vision

Dr Michael Punch of the School of Sociology UCD analyses how as a society we got to where we are and how we might do something better.


Animals and justice

Maria Forrestal FMM wonders if as a Franciscan she should be a vegetarian. How, she asks, should a Franciscan sister live out the attitude of St. Francis of Assisi towards animals and the whole of creation?


The lessons of nature

Celine Mangan OP uses the two quotes which follow to bring awareness of how the animal world can teach us humans how our actions are causing destruction to planet earth: ‘The land mourns and all who live in it languish; even the fish of the sea are perishing.’ (Hos.4.3) and [...]


Caring for the earth as a missionary challenge


The writer senses we have a call as Christians to care for the earth.


Savvy and the preaching of the Gospel

In a thought-provoking booklet, Desmond Fennell responds to Vincent Twomey’s book on Irish Catholicism.

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