Tired of all the bad news

While we can't deny the difficulites for so many people at home and overseas, it's important to take account of the positives, and to spread the Good News. I don't know who said this but; "No-one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side." Blessings..

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Seven Church Pilgrim Walk revisited.

On Sunday, December 30th, 2012, the Feast of the Holy Family we welcomed to both St. Mary of the Angels, Capuchin Friary, Church St, and St. Michan's Parish Church, Halston St, a group of pilgrims making the 'Seven Church Pilgrim Walk' following the huge success of it during the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in June. Many pilgrims were unable to be in Ireland in the summer so they organised to make the pilgrim walk around the seven churches today. The Friary Church and the Parish Church were named by the IEC Committee as two of the seven.

The group in Halston St.

Our Parish Secretary, Paddy Pender and author of the Book "St. Michan's Parish, A Labour of Love throughout the Centuries" speaks about the History of St. Michan's Parish.

The group included former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, Mary Kennedy of RTE, Fr. Dermod McCarthy of RTE Religious Programming, and Msgr. Eoin Thynne, Head Chaplain to the Defence Forces.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Christmas Dinner at the Capuchin Day Centre

Today saw the annual Christmas Dinner at the Capuchin Day Centre, Dublin 7.
Ann (Chef) and staff dish up traditional turkey and ham with all the trimmings or cous-cous and Stuffed tomatoes as a vegetatian option.

Sitting down to dinner and listening to the entertainment.

I'm getting advice about real beard growing!

Queueing outside. There are 3 or 4 sittings between 1.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m.

Theresa Dolan, Br. Kevin, and myself...

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Christmas Novena Prayer

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment In which the Son of God was born Of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, [here mention your request] through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.

Beginning on the feast of St. Andrew, Apostle, November 30, the following beautiful prayer is traditionally recited until Christmas. This is a very meditative prayer that helps us increase our awareness of the real focus of Christmas.

I remember one of our great Capuchin friars; Fr. Senan Dooley (died December 8th, 2000) reciting as one of the devotional prayers after communion at Mass from Christmas day onwards through Christmastide.   

"All the feasts of the Church are beautiful. Easter, yes, is glorification but Christmas has a tenderness, a child-like sweetness that completely captivates my heart." St. Padre Pio

Taken at the Padre Pio Pilgrimage to Knock, Co. Mayo in 1998
Included in the photo; Back; L-R Msgr. Grealy PP, A Religious Sister, Fr. Senan, Myself,
Front; Fr. Anthony, Abp. Storero; Papal Nuncio, Fr. Alessio, Eileen Maguire.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Dublin Gospel Choir in Church St

The Dublin Gospel Choir Mass and Concert in Preparation for Christmas 2012
St. Mary of the Angels Capuchin Friary, Church St, Dublin 7

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

"Vigil for Life"

Some Capuchins joined with thousands of people; women and men, religious and clergy, from all over Ireland and beyond to maintain a candlelight 'Vigil for Life' last evening, December 4th, just outside Dáil Eireann (the Irish Parliament) to ask the Government not to legislate for abortion and to protect mothers and their unborn babies.

This is a critical issue for most people and emotions are high on both sides of the debate. I believe it is unhelpful when zealous opinions on both sides (Pro-Life and Pro-Choice) try to shout each other down. There is need for respectful debate in this issue.

I feel last evening sent a positive signal to our Irish Govermnent that we believe it is imperative that when they do come to legislate it should be done carefully and with a view to making every provision to protect the lives of mothers and unborn babies.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Stay Awake!

Prayer is not so much about what we do for God, but what God does for us and in us. Advent and Christmas time is all about God coming into the human story. God's initiative. The best way to celebrate Advent is in a prayerful way. When Luke in the gospel of the first Sunday of Advent says 'Stay awake, praying at all times..' he means tune into the fact that God is coming to you and me.
(Luke 21: 25-28, 34-36)

It is hard to do this in our time as there are so many messages battling for our attention. Christmas comes earlier and earlier every year so its like Advent hardly gets a look in. However, we are still encouraged to make prayerful preparation in Advent.
In his book "The Good News of Luke's Year" Fr. Silvester O'Flynn writes:

"We wait for the Lord if we live with attentive minds and prayerful hearts. Prayerfulness is the art of seeing and hearing the constant signs and sounds of God's love in our lives. Those who mastered this sensitivity were saints. In the words of T.S. Eliot;
'But to apprehend  the point of intersection
of the timeless with time, is an occupation for the saint.' (The Dry Salvages)

The best way to stay awake is to be awake to the needs of others, especially those who for whatever reason are fearful of Christmas time. Just today, I met two men (30's) who are not looking forward to Christmas as they both find themselves homeless and are away from their families.  "Christmas will just be another day for me." one said. "I wish it was all over to tell you the truth." said the other. I also think of people who dread Christmas as perhaps this will be the first Christmas that a loved one won't be sitting around the table or the fireside in the family home.

During Advent let us pray....