Tuesday, August 27, 2013

21st Sunday of Year C 2013


"They will proclaim my glory to the nations" (Isaiah 66:20)

There are several themes running through this Sunday’s liturgy and the one that spoke most to me was the call to “proclaim my glory to the nations” and the invitation to be a witness “to my glory”v.19.

I found these words of life extraordinary – really like a rallying call to us, coming almost immediately after our Cardinal consecrated Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Is the Lord calling us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus as the Gospel today tells us - “Through towns and villages Jesus went preaching…” Lk.13.22  proclaiming the glory of his Father to both Jews and Gentiles alike.

Remember how after the miracle at the Wedding of Cana ‘He let his glory be seen and his disciples believed in him’ Jn.2.12  and later he prays ‘Father, I have given them the glory you gave to me that they may be one as we are one’ - thus he prepared and strengthened them for their future work of Evangelisation.

How are we to be witnesses of this glory of Jesus today?  For some it will mean going ‘through our towns and villages, teaching and sharing the good news that we have a Father who loves us, who in fact is madly in love with us.  Just take the time to look into the face of a little flower - it ‘has neither spun or woven its own beauty, yet not even Solomon in all his glory is arrayed like it.’  Jesus himself tells us ‘there is no need to be afraid Lk.12.2  little flock, for it has pleased your father to give you the kingdom.’

The prophet Isaiah also tells us about this good news so beautifully, especially in these times when sad and indeed horrific news seems to catch the limelight in our news reels and papers.


“Arise and shine out for your light has come, the glory of the Lord is rising on you

though night (recession, murders, abortions, break-up of family life) still covers

our land and darkness, our people.”


Is Mary, Queen of Ireland, telling us
“above you the Lord now rises and above you his glory appears – lift up your eyes and look around, all are assembling and coming towards you, your sons from far away, and your daughters being tenderly carried.  At this sight you will  grow radiant – The Lord will be your everlasting light – your days of mourning over – your people will all be upright, possessing our land forever.  I, the Lord, have spoken and in due time I shall act”  Cf. Is.60

The prophet has a word for us too, who are not itinerant preachers, but who can still proclaim the good news in our homes and work places.  Listen to Mary, our Mother, speak through him:

“Your integrity will be before you and the glory of the Lord behind you, cry and the Lord will answer, call and pray and he will say – I am here.  If you do away with the yoke, the clenched fist, the wicked word.  If you give your bread to the hungry and relief to the oppressed, your light will rise in the darkness – the Lord himself will always guide you, giving you relief in desert places”.    cf. Is.58

We can also proclaim and praise his glory by constant thanksgiving – Our Lady told the little Arab slave girl, Blessed Maryam – “always be content”

All our deeds, actions, thoughts and desires have the power to root us more deeply in His love and their fruits flow out to others – and then –Some day the veil will fall and we may cross the eternal threshold where we shall sing in the lap of Eternal Love -  God will give us a new name, the one he promised to those who prove victorious.  What will it be?  Praise of His Glory.  (Elizabeth of the Trinity)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

An eventful month

We would like to share with our readers some of the joyful celebrations of this past month - you will then understand why we have not been attending to our blog!
Newly Ordained celebrates Eucharist with us
On the 22nd July, feast of St Mary Magdalen, Fr Paul Murphy who was recently ordained our diocese celebrated the Eucharist with us, and gave us his blessing.   Later we met with him and his parents in the parlour.  During the past year Fr Paul  came regularly to pray in our chapel while he was working in our parish as a deacon.   We   continue to support him with our prayer as he  soon begins ministry in Armagh cathedral.  We pray that many more young men may follow Paul's example and dedicate their lives to the priesthood.
Fr Paul is pictured here with his parents

Silver Jubilee celebration

On the 7th August we were happy to have fr John Harris OP with us to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his Ordination.  Fr John had celebrated his first Mass with us in the old monastery on the Chord Road - so it was a great joy to have him with us on this joyful occasion 25 years later.  Sr Paula Mary had devoted many hours in designing and creating the stole which he is wearing in picture.  
Being the eve of the feast of our holy Father St Dominic Fr John stayed so that we had solemn Vespers of the feast.
Celebrating the Feast of St Dominic on 8th August
It was a great joy for us to have our new coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh, Archbishop Eamon Martin  celebrate the feast of St Dominic with us. He arrived in time for first Vespers and met the community later afterwards.  He stayed overnight and  on the feast of St Dominic he celebrated the Eucharist.  Fr Gregory Carroll OP, Provincial, concelebrated with him.  Both of them joined us in the parlour and greeted our community friends who attended the Mass. 
Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal celebrate with us
Sr Lucille and Sr Clare, Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal, spent two weeks with us while they were helping their sisters settle into their new home in St Mary's parish at the other side of town from us.  They had stayed in our retreat house for a few days last year when they were looking into the possibility of starting a foundation in Drogheda - so our joy was great when Sr Lucille phone a few months ago asking if we could accommodate herself and Sr Clare again this time.  They are pictured here with Srs Jacinta, Monica, Veronica and Kelly Frances - the four sisters who have come to Drogheda.  On the feast of St Dominic all six sisters joined us for Vespers, supper and recreation.

Sr Jacinta here receives an icon written by our sisters for their new home in Drogheda, Sr Lucille is on left.
Below are the four sisters who came from Leeds for the inaugural Mass on the 15th of August in St Mary's Church, Drogheda.  Srs Elizabeth, Catherine, Joseph and Cecilia stayed in our retreat house while they were here.  Their new house has only accommodation for the four sisters who live there.

Welcoming Cardinal Dolan of New York 
As Cardinal Dolan was instrumental in the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal coming to Drogheda, he came all the way from New York for the inaugural Mass which took place in St Mary's Church, Drogheda on the evening of the 15th of August.  Also in attendance were the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Browne, Bishop Denis Nulty and Bishop Michael Smith and a packed church of parishioners who warmly welcomed the sisters. 
During his stay in Ireland Cardinal Dolan celebrate our community Eucharist on Tuesday the 13th August and met the community afterwards.  In the picture are members of to our own community,  the Franciscan sisters  and Sr Bosco, a Sister of Mercy from Drogheda who had taught him in primary school and with whom he has kept contact ever since.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

15th August 2013 - Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary - Consecration of Ireland to the Immcaculate Heart of Mary -

Today at Knock Shrine Cardinal Sean Brady together with co-adjutor Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop Charles Brown - the Papal Nuncio  and the Bishops of Ireland will consecrate Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  We pray that this entrusting of our country to Mary our Mother will bear abundant fruit in holiness of life in our people. 

At our Eucharist this morning we, in solidarity with the Bishops, prayed the act of consecration entrusting ourselves, our community, our Church and our country to Mary's hands.

Act of Consecration

Most Blessed Virgin Mary,

Mother of God and Refuge of Sinners,

we entrust and consecrate ourselves,

our family, our home and our Dioceses

to Jesus through your Immaculate Heart.

As your children,

we promise to follow your example in our lives

by doing at all times the will of God.

O Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit,

we renew today the promises of our Baptism and Confirmation.

Intercede for us with the Holy Spirit

that we may be always faithful to your Divine Son,

to his Mystical Body, the Catholic Church,

and to the teachings of his Vicar on earth, our Holy Father the Pope.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, our Queen and our Mother,

we promise to uphold the sanctity of marriage

and the welfare of the family.

Watch over our minds and hearts

and preserve our youth from dangers to the faith

and the many temptations that threaten them in the world today.

We ask you, Mary our Advocate,  to intercede with your divine Son.

Obtain for our country the grace to uphold the uniqueness of every human life,

from the first moment of conception to natural death.

O Blessed Mother, Our Life, our Sweetness and Our Hope,

we wish that this Consecration be for the great glory of God

and that it lead us safely to Jesus your Son.

A Naomh-Mhuire, a Mháthair Dé,

guigh orainn na peacaigh, anois agus ar uair ár mbáis.



Prayer to Mary, Mother of the Church and Mother of our faith
(This prayer is taken from Lumen Fidei, the recent Encyclical of Pope Francis.)
Mother, help our faith !

Open our ears to hear God’s word and to recognise his voice and call.

Awaken in us a desire to follow in his footsteps,

to go forth from our own land and to receive his promise.

Help us to be touched by his love,

that we may touch him in faith.

Help us to entrust ourselves fully to him

and to believe in his love,

especially at times of trial, beneath the shadow of the cross,

when our faith is called to mature.

Sow in our faith the joy of the Risen One.

Remind us that those who believe are never alone.

Teach us to see all things with the eyes of Jesus,

that he may be light for our path.

And may this light of faith always increase in us,

until the dawn of that undying day

which is Christ himself, your Son, our Lord!



Monday, August 5, 2013

St Dominic's Prayer for Others

A Reflection on St Dominic's Prayer and concern for others.
All of the accounts of St Dominic's  life speak of his great passion for the salvation of others. A passion that found expression both in his preaching and in his prayers. This was something that impressed me when I was discerning my vocation - the energy and fervency of his prayer for the conversion of sinners. His frequent cry "what will become of sinners?"  This links into what I read in St Catherine of Siena's "Dialogue": when God the Father tells her that it is the love and desire with which she offers her prayers, penance and actions that is most important since only love is infinite.
The main purpose of my life here is to offer worship to God and to pray for those who need our prayers. But looking at St Dominic's life I see ever more clearly that my prayer must be passionate. To use a modern expresssion, I must be engaged by what I am praying for. I must know in my own heart the tragedy of those who turn from God and have that knowledge, that awareness, fuel my prayer. So that my prayer, like Dominic's, will be earnest and fervent and will bear fruit for others.