‘God is real, Christ is alive, He is present, He wants to befriend each one of us, forgive us, heal us, free us, involve us in the loving community of faith and make our lives better,’ said Bishop Michael Duignan in his first address as a member of the Irish hierarchy.
In his homily, the Archbishop told pilgrims that, for many, material success and personal fulfilment have become the goal and purpose of human life.
The new processional statue will be formally unveiled later this month as part of events to mark the 140th anniversary of the Knock apparitions in 1879.
“No matter what your troubles, no matter what mistakes you have made or sinful things you have done, you are His son or daughter. You are part of the family. You belong.”
Wednesday, 21st August marks the 140th anniversary of the apparition in 1879, and a special day of celebration is planned to mark the occasion.
“The direct and intentional taking of the life of any innocent human being is always gravely wrong – we must avoid becoming desensitised to the value of every human life.”
Bishops need courage not to keep looking over their shoulders to Rome and to confront – respectfully but robustly – those who want to lead us back to the nineteenth century.
“Now we are blessed that the Church in Nigeria is generously sending her missionaries back to us. It is a wonderful exchange ... and the reality of today is that in many ways Ireland is ripe for mission and new evangelisation.”
Details of Pontiff’s much anticipated visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families in August officially unveiled by Archbishops Diarmuid and Eamon Martin.
Archbishop Neary highlighted Tom Murphy’s contribution to the work of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, while Michael D. Higgins said the playwright's themes “were universal in their reach”.
A native of Craughwell, and a priest of longstanding, dedicated service in the diocese of Galway, is returning to his roots - Archbishop Eamon Martin.
The Columbans were “our heroes and we looked up to them, we admired their courage, and the way in which they risked everything for the Gospel of Christ" - Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam.
Archbishop Neary pays tribute to young people’s “very significant contribution” to the local church, from teaching computers to the elderly to caring for people with special needs on pilgrimage to Lourdes.
Archbishop Michael Neary described the artwork and said: “It is difficult to find a language which would capture the beauty and magnificence of what we behold and yet isn’t it just a shadow of the reality which those 15 people looked upon on that August evening at the gable end a few yards away.”
Special focus on the family in preparation for World Meeting of Families 2018 as pilgrims invited to wear a special sticker as a symbol of bringing families with them in prayer as they made their ascent to the summit.
Ordained ministers have a responsibility to “help people to lift their gaze beyond the pessimism of those who speak today of ‘new dark ages’ and enable them to discern a distant horizon of hope”.
It is “very important that we pray for the success of the World Meeting of Families – not as an event but as a moment of renewal of love especially within families” – Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.
It is hoped that this will offer people the opportunity to engage with the new direction Pope Francis is taking and renewed hope for the life of the Church in Ireland – Fr Richard Gibbons, PP and Rector of Knock Shrine.
“I can only begin to imagine the huge emotional wrench which the mothers suffered in giving up their babies for adoption or by witnessing their death,” says Archbishop of Tuam.
Preparation programmes for Confirmation and First Eucharist demonstrate the growing involvement of the wider parish community in sacramental preparation.
Church is endeavouring “to respond positively and constructively to genuine voices calling for a greater recognition of women and the feminine in the Church”.
"We literally follow the paths traced by our ancestors, women and men of faith, who kept that faith despite the opposition they faced, despite poverty and discrimination and emigration and famine."
Fr Fintan Monahan is currently diocesan secretary in the archdiocese of Tuam and a member of the Communications Council of the Irish Episcopal Conference.