Sunday, July 31, 2022

Pope at Angelus: Avoid idolatry of wealth and seek life's true goods


Pope Francis focused his reflections for the Sunday Angelus on the day's Gospel which recounts when a man asked Jesus to tell his brother to share his inheritance with him. 

Rather than addressing the family issue at hand, Jesus went to the core of the matter over how divisions caused by covetousness, or unbridled greed for possession of things is an "illness" that can destroy lives and create addiction, observed the Pope.

The danger of greed

The insatiable desire for possessions often feeds on itself, he went on to say, with people wanting more and more for themselves and so becoming a slave of "what paradoxically was meant to serve them so as to live freely and serenely." 

Covetousness is also a dangerous ailment for society, the Pope warned, pointing out that today our world is marked by huge inequalities, an "injustice never before seen in history, where few have so much and so many have little."

“Let’s consider wars and conflicts as well. The lust for resources and wealth are almost always behind them. How many interests are behind war! Certainly, one of these is the arms trade.”

Facing our own covetousness 

The Pope explained that Jesus shows us that the temptation for covetousness lies in everyone's heart, not just some powerful people or economic systems. He suggested we take a look at our own lives and examine whether we may be too attached to possessions or wealth, always wanting more or complaining we do not have enough. Do we sacrifice relationships and time for others, or ignore laws and honesty on the "altar of covetousness?" 

The Pope warned that greed can become a cult, an authentic form of idolatory, and this is why Jesus uses strong words to warn that "you cannot serve two masters...God and wealth," when wealth instead should be at our service and not the other way around, which is an offense to God.

Rich according to God

It is understandable and right to desire to become wealthy, but we should desire to be "rich according to God," the Pope pointed out. And this means being rich in compassion and in mercy. And these riches do not impoverish anyone or create quarrels and divisions, he added, as God's richness "knows how to give, to distribute, to share."

Rich in good relationships

The Pope concluded his address, explaining that we need more than just the accumulation of material goods to live well, we need good relationships with God and others, also those who have less. Let us all endeavour to become rich not through greed, but through "good works that are not forgotten, people that I have helped to grow and mature," in our lives and efforts, a good inheritance to leave for others.

“May Our Lady help us understand what the true goods of life are, the ones that last forever.”

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Pope criticises ‘unjust’ Catholic missionaries at end of Canada trip

Pope Francis's “Penitential Pilgrimage” to Canada's Indigenous Communities  | The New Yorker

Pope Francis has criticised the Catholic missionaries who “supported oppressive and unjust policies” against Indigenous peoples in Canada.

The pontiff vowed to pursue truth and healing as he wrapped up his pilgrimage to the country by meeting Native delegations and visiting Inuit territory in far-north Nunavut.

Francis welcomed residential school survivors from eastern Canada to the archbishop’s residence in Quebec City to reiterate his apology for the abuses they suffered in Canada’s residential school system.

From the late 1800s to the 1970s, more than 150,000 Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their homes and placed in church-run boarding schools to sever them from their cultures and assimilate them into Christian Canadian society.

The Canadian government has said physical and sexual abuse was rampant at the schools, and Francis on Thursday begged forgiveness for the “evil” of clergy sexual abuse committed against young and vulnerable people, vowing an “irreversible commitment” to prevent it from happening again.

Francis is hoping his apology tour of Canada will help the Catholic Church reconcile with Indigenous peoples, and he has vowed to continue on a path of healing to atone for the past.

His apologies have received a mixed response, with some school survivors welcoming them and others saying far more needs to be done to correct past wrongs and pursue justice today.

“I have come in a spirit of penance, to express my heartfelt pain at the wrong inflicted on you by not a few Catholics who supported oppressive and unjust policies in your regard,” Francis told the delegations in Quebec City.

“I have come as a pilgrim, despite my physical limitations, to take further steps forward with you and for you.”

Francis, who has been forced to use a wheelchair this trip because of painful strained knee ligaments, said he hoped to make progress in the search for truth “so that the processes of healing and reconciliation may continue, and so that seeds of hope can keep being sown for future generations – indigenous and non-indigenous alike – who desire to live together, in harmony, as brothers and sisters.”

Later on Friday, Francis was bringing that message to Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, a vast territory straddling the Arctic Circle. It is the farthest north the Argentine pope has travelled.

Nunavut is roughly the size of Alaska and California combined, with a mostly Inuit population of about 40,000. The capital city has a population of 7,500, about half of whom are Inuit.

Ahead of the pope’s arrival in Iqaluit, organisers of that portion of the trip readied scores of anti-mosquito mask hats that have net mesh face protection. Mosquitoes can be aggressive amid the mild temperatures that Nunavut experiences in late July.

“The Holy Father’s comfort is certainly a priority. Only he would determine whether he would want to wear one or not,” Neil MacCarthy, communications chief for the papal visit, told AP.

Francis was scheduled to meet residential school survivors at a primary school in Iqaluit and then address Inuit youth and elders in his final event of the trip, aimed at delivering a message of hope for the future.

“We must not lose hope. We have the Lord with us and He will lead us through this time of transition and restructuring” – Archbishop Duffy


Homily of Archbishop Francis Duffy for the Vigil Mass in Saint Mary’s Church, Westport, Co Mayo, Archdiocese of Tuam, ahead of the Croagh Patrick pilgrimage on Reek Sunday


We are here because of Saint Patrick.  The origins of Reek Sunday rest with him, the apostle of the Irish; the man who played a central role in helping to spread the Christian faith on this island.  He climbed the ‘Reek’ and fasted for forty days.  It is reminiscent of Moses’ forty days on Mount Sinai, where he received the Ten Commandments from God.  Pilgrims come here, retracing Saint Patrick’s steps, this weekend and throughout the year, for a variety of reasons, each pilgrim knows his or her own.  His was a journey of faith in Christ.  Saint Patrick had a keen sense of God being with him all the time.  That is reflected in the prayer of Saint Patrick’s Breastplate ‘Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me’.

Saint Patrick preached the Good News of Jesus Christ.  That was his central mission and purpose: to lead people into faith in the loving and compassionate God.  God whose son, Jesus of Nazareth, brought a message about how vital each human life to God is in this life and in the next.

The parable told by Jesus and recorded in today’s gospel, and familiar to Saint Patrick, is saying that no one knows what is around the corner.  We cannot predict the future or when God will call us, and call us he will.   Eventually and inevitably the Lord will come for us, there is no escape; it is a sobering thought, but not one that could cause us to despair.  It is also an opportunity to think of God’s love for us, as reflected in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  That same message as preached by Saint Patrick to our ancestors all those centuries ago.

Mountains, and one as majestic as this, prompt us to seek a bigger picture.  Whether we are at the summit or on the lowlands, this towering piece of earth and rock ushers in thoughts of perspective, things seem different, a new view of a changing landscape.  The landscape of the Catholic Church in Ireland, as you know, has been changing for some time and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

The Catholic Church in Ireland has formally entered a Synodal Process.  I am convinced that this is the way to go and it will be a fruitful new departure.  At my installation in Tuam, last January, I said that the Synodal Process is a pathway not a runway.  Some people wondered if I was dampening down expectations, I said I was being realistic.  It is a new chapter for the Catholic Church in this country.  It means learning as we journey together all the while being guided by the Holy Spirit.  It means being patient with each other and respectful of differing views, being adventurous and willing to value the new, as well as the traditional, and it calls for being focussed.  That focus has to be on Jesus Christ.  If faith in Christ is not at the centre of the synodal pathway then what we have is merely a talking shop. 

There are no quick fix solutions or approaches as we reflect on and consider our Church.  Instead we journey together on a path that will have many twists and turns and will not always be easy.  All developments, innovations and continuity must serve Jesus Christ.  We can be confident in this because Christ promised the Holy Spirit to be with us and we continue to pray for His guidance.

The context in which we embark on this path has many expectations but there is one certainty, and one key essential component.  The one certainty is the ongoing and sustained decline both in the numbers who practice and in the numbers of those who answer the Lord’s call to priesthood and religious life.  Each diocese has its own story of this reality.  Every parish will be effected by this in terms of the number of clergy available and the number and frequency of Masses.  All trends are dramatically downwards with no turning point in sight.  I suggest you look at your priest, he may be the last in a long line of resident pastors and may not be replaced.  I suggest you look at your church, you may be lucky to have a Sunday Mass or several, but for how much longer?  I suggest you look at your fellow parishioners at Mass, who among your neighbours will continue to be the new leaders and carry on pastoral work in your parish, alongside a much smaller number of clergy?  Who among them will lead prayer services and keep faith alive and active through catechesis and other initiatives? 

Some may think I have painted a somewhat dismal picture, it is the current reality as I see it, and as I know many of you see it too.  While we must face it and work with it, we must not lose hope.  We have the Lord with us and He will lead us through this time of transition and restructuring.

Should we give up?  Certainly not, nor should we let the situation drift.  This is a time of decline in some respect but it is a time of great hope.  Opportunities are there to be seized.

Is this a good time to be a priest, or, is this a good time to consider becoming a priest, to answer that call?  It is the best of times to be a priest, challenging – yes, with risks – yes, with God on our side – yes.

Is this the time to be silent about the Good News of Jesus Christ and to relegate it to the back pages?  No, definitely not.  This is a time for faith, faith into action, faith into reaching out.  ‘I arise today, through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession of the Oneness of the creator of creation’.  Christ be with us, Christ is with us.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Bishop Martin Hayes announces clerical changes and appointments in the Diocese of Kilmore

 Tipperary Bishop Martin Hayes supports statement by Catholic organisations  on COP26 - Tipperary Live

Upon consultation and reflection upon the pastoral needs of the people of the Diocese of Kilmore, Bishop Martin Hayes has made the following appointments, effective from 3rd September 2022,

  • Very Rev. Donald Hannon, CC Arva to retire.
  • Very Rev. Peter Casey, PP, Kilmore to be CC Kilmore.
  • Very Rev. Oliver O’Reilly, PP Ballyconnell to be CC Arva.
  • Very Rev. John McTiernan, PP Belturbet to be Adm. Belturbet.
  • Very Rev. Eamonn Lynch, PP Killinkere to retire.
  • Very Rev. Brian Flynn, PP Laragh to be CC Munterconnaught.
  • Liam Kelly, PP, VG, Kilsherdany and Drung to be PP in Ballyconnell.
  • Very Rev. Seán McDermott, PP Ballintemple to also be Adm. Ballinagh.
  • Martin Gilcreest, CC Cavan to be PP Laragh.
  • Darragh Connolly, Priest in residence Drumkilly to be PP Killinkere.
  • Loughlain Carolan, Adm, Killinagh and Glangevlin to be PP Killinagh and Glangevlin.
  • Yusuf Bamai, CC Kilsherdany and Drung to be PP Kilsherdany and Drung.
  • Thomas Small, Priest in Residence Shercock to be CC in Cavan.
  • Anthony Kidarathil, CC Munterconnaught to be CC Shercock.

“The appointments this year mark the initiation of partnerships between parishes which are being formed out of an already existing cooperation between neighbouring parishes. Each parish will retain its identity, yet in sharing their administration there will be opportunities to work and grow together in the future.

“I wish to acknowledge and thank all the priests who are ministering generously in challenging times throughout our diocese of Kilmore. I would like to record my appreciation of those priests who are retiring after many years of faithful service and wish them well into the future. I thank all who are taking on new responsibilities and entrust their ministry into the hands of the Good Lord. May we continue to nurture the vocation of all our people and the calling of priestly ministry.”

+ Martin Hayes

Bishop of Kilmore.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Archbishop Eamon Martin writes on behalf of Northern Bishops to the Northern Ireland Equality Commission over treatment by the Belfast Telegraph


The Archbishop of Armagh, Archbishop Eamon Martin, has written to the Northern Ireland Equality Commission seeking its advice and comment over the refusal of the Belfast Telegraph newspaper to publish, as a paid advertisement, the recent statement of the Catholic Northern Bishops in advance of the NI Assembly elections on 2 May 2022.  Despite having accepted full payment for the requested statement to be published as an advertisement, the newspaper would not publish the statement unless the bishops made changes to their comments on abortion.  The bishops refused to accept this, withdrew their request and asked for their money back.  The bishops are now seeking advice over the implications of the newspaper’s decision for the right to religious freedom and equality of treatment for people of faith when accessing services from a commercial organisation.


As details of the letter to the Equality Commission were made public, Archbishop Martin commented, “A commercial newspaper, the Belfast Telegraph, accepted full payment for a service it is obliged to make available to all, on the basis of equal access and equal respect for their religious view.  Our advertisement contained the established and widely published position of the Catholic Church on a range of issues.  But the paper subsequently refused to publish the advertisement unless the bishops changed what they said about abortion, to the satisfaction of the editor.  The refusal to carry the advertisement raises fundamental questions about the equal access of religious groups and people of faith to such commercial services.”


Noting that that another newspaper, The Irish News, carried the advertisement without amendment, Archbishop Martin continued, “From our point of view the situation is a fairly straightforward case of a religious organisation having been refused a commercial service, after payment had been taken, unless the religious organisation was willing to change how its religious message was expressed.  We believe it would be helpful for all parties, as well as for other faith groups who may wish to seek a similar commercial service in the future, for us to seek clarification and advice from the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and others about the situation that has arisen.  We will consider our next steps when we have received this advice.”

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

“Broken Anglican Communion cannot deal with the brokenness of the world” – Global South Anglican archbishop says ahead of the 2022 Lambeth Conference

 Mouneer Anis.jpg

“The Anglican Communion cannot deal with the brokenness of the world if she herself is broken”, so said Archbishop (Emeritus) Mouneer Anis in a letter sent this week to all the orthodox bishops attending the Lambeth Conference, starting on 27 July.

Archbishop Mouneer is the Hon Adviser to the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA) which makes up 75% of Anglicans worldwide, and whose bishops are orthodox on matters of marriage and sexuality. He recently retired from the office of Bishop of Egypt and Archbishop of Alexandria.

The Archbishop, 70, who is widely respected across the Anglican Communion, is a veteran of the Lambeth Conference and of Anglican Consultative Councils.

In a briefing paper to orthodox colleagues, the Archbishop says that the “Anglican Communion stands at a crossroads. One road leads to healing the current divisions and another road makes the situation worse and irreparable between traditional and revisionist Anglicans.”

Archbishop Mouneer, a former medical doctor, says that whilst the upcoming conference at the University of Kent represents a “great opportunity to resolve these divisions”, unless the conference organisers allow the gathered bishops to deal with the matter of sexuality head-on, they might complete the conference, “but find out that the operation succeeded, but that the patient is dead.”

He says the solution lays in the fact that all provinces must remember that they are part of one body, and one communion. He explains: “unfortunately some provinces put emphasis on being autonomous and forget the necessity of being interdependent. In other words, they forget that what affects all should be decided by all.”

The Archbishop, who in 2018 received the Lambeth Medal from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby for his work of peace and reconciliation in the Middle East, says that whilst he and others are praying for unity at Lambeth, “that unity must not be at the expense of truth.”

He concludes by encouraging orthodox Global South bishops attending to “share their views graciously, lovingly but boldly,” on matters of marriage, sexuality, the authority of scripture and the uniqueness of Christ. He said: “it is our duty to proclaim the truth and leave the outcome to God; at the end, He is the head of the church.”

“I pray also for courage to resist the pressures from our societies, particularity the western ones. These societies are pushing their moral ‘norms’ onto the rest of the world. When the church accepts these moral norms, she loses her distinctiveness as salt and light in the world.”

His letter reinforces the message of the Chairman of the GSFA, Archbishop Justin Badi from South Sudan, who just two weeks ago sent a video message to hundreds of GSFA bishops attending the conference, outlining four key priorities.

These are to:-

● Foster the Unity of the Orthodox, whilst being a faithful witness and the ‘defender of the faith
once delivered’

● Sound a clarion call to Biblical Faithfulness, including seeking the ‘re-affirmation of Lambeth
1.10’ as the ‘official teaching’ of the Anglican Church on marriage and sexuality

● Stand by our principle of not being a ‘breakaway group’ from the Anglican Communion.
(GSFA sees itself as part of the ‘holy remnant’ that God has preserved in the Anglican
Communion), and to

● Spur on the faithful in the Communion to get the Gospel out into the world, earnestly
defending the purity of faith in order that it might be propagated to a lost and needy world

Religious discrimination claim over college ‘Jesus’ email is rejected

 Ian KILROY | Master of Arts | Technological University Dublin - City  Campus, Dublin | TU Dublin | School of Media

A Dublin university lecturer and Buddhist priest has lost his discrimination claim over getting an email about Lent from the college’s chaplaincy service.

The email from the Technical University of Dublin (TU Dublin) chaplaincy service on the occasion of Lent had asked: “Who is Jesus?”

“This proselytising notice was unsolicited,” Ian Kilroy, a Buddhist priest and journalism instructor at the School of Media, had submitted.

He took a claim against his employer under the Equal Status Act, claiming the university was failing to make available amenities for religious minorities.

Discrimination was denied by TU Dublin, which said Mr Kilroy’s claims about Catholic control of the chaplaincy were “factually incorrect”.

Mr Kilroy told the Workplace Relations Commission in May that the university had five Christian chaplains and none from a minority religious background.

He said the €260,000-a-year chaplaincy service was subcontracted to the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin, which “controls the chaplaincy, appoints chaplains and invoices TU Dublin for the services provided”.

Mr Kilroy said that the new campus at Grangegorman had a consecrated Catholic church at the centre of its student hub — but that students and staff of other faiths had “no such dedicated accommodation”.

“There is clear inequality in the provision of space, which seems to be illegal under equality legislation,” he said in his submission.

The “exclusively Christian” chaplaincy had led to “numerous instances of discrimination”, he said.

He said the most recent example before his complaint was an email on February 15th, 2021 from the chaplaincy service on the occasion of Lent asking: “Who is Jesus?”

“This proselytising notice was unsolicited,” he said.

He said the college’s chaplaincy was “exclusively Christian” and under the control of the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin — which he said had not given its approval for a proposal from the Dublin City Interfaith Forum to provide minority faith services.

He said that there was a weekly Mass offered on campus and regular Christian services, including remembrance services for deceased staff, but none for Muslim, Jewish or Buddhist staff or students.

Mr Kilroy said the “grossly unequal and discriminatory” provision of goods and services led him to close the college’s Zen Society because of the “poor” accommodation shared by minority faiths.

He said there had been “tensions between faith traditions” including “anti-Buddhist remarks left in this shared space” and the vandalising of meditation cushions and religious materials there, including material being replaced with the Muslim Koran.

He said the Dublin City Interfaith Forum made a proposal to make minority faith services available, but this required the approval of the Archbishop of Dublin, which had not been forthcoming.

“There is something wrong when the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin has to approve of, and controls, the provision of religious services to minority faiths in an institution,” he said.

Adjudicating officer Pat Brady wrote that Mr Kilroy had a “significant sense of grievance arising from how the respondent addresses the needs of those of his or other minority faiths” and gave numerous examples of concerns.

“There is provision for dialogue which appears to be well established in the university and the complainant has perhaps failed to develop a sufficiently thought-out strategy to avail of the opportunity to engage in that dialogue as effectively as he might,” he wrote.

Mary-Paula Guinness BL, who appeared for TU Dublin, instructed by Holmes Solicitors, argued that it actively listened to feedback and would engage to find acceptable solutions in the area.

The college’s position was that Catholic staff and students had “no dedicated accommodation on campus”, she said.

“St Laurence’s Church is a multi-purpose space that is bookable for any event,” she said.

The planning permission for the new campus had required that it remain in use as a church, she said, and there was usually one Mass a week offered there.

The college also provided “dedicated neutral spaces in each campus for reflection, prayer and moments of peace” with storage for any objects required, Ms Guinness said.

TU Dublin had put its pastoral care and chaplaincy service out to tender most recently in 2020, with the Archdiocese of Dublin the only entity to respond, it was submitted.

Ms Guinness argued that the Archdiocese had contracted support from the Dublin City Interfaith Forum, which “assists with providing multi-faith representation”.

She said Mr Kilroy “appears to be under the misunderstanding that TU Dublin has an arrangement with the Catholic Church only”.

“This is incorrect,” she said.

Ms Guinness also said Mr Kilroy’s claim that TU Dublin’s Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy service exclusively supported Christian traditions was also “factually incorrect”.

She said Diwali and Ramadan had also been observed and that Mr Kilroy himself had appeared in a video on the service’s social media marking the Buddhist holy day of Vesak in May 2022.

“It would be impossible and/or impracticable to mark every event,” she said.

Ms Guinness argued further that Mr Kilroy’s complaints regarding the closure of the Zen Society in 2017 and proposals around an “associate chaplaincy” fell outside the six-month statutory time frame for his complaint.

The college’s position was that as it did not ask its staff or students to identify their faith and that universal emails were sent regarding religious celebrations.

“Sending an email in relation to a faith to which the complainant does not adhere does not amount to discrimination,” she said.

The adjudicating officer said the complainant had made a “reasonable point” about the status of the Catholic church on campus, and that despite being designated a “multi-purpose” space, it had been built as a church and retained characteristics and iconography “which may be regarded as uncomfortable or insensitive for those of a non-Catholic, or non-Christian faith”.

“For others this will not matter, of course,” Mr Brady wrote.

He said that the “optics” of the close involvement of the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin in the TU Dublin chaplaincy service were “unfortunate” but that “no specific act of discrimination could be discerned here”.

Mr Brady wrote that Mr Kilroy’s case was limited to the email of February 2021 about Lent activities, and that he agreed with the respondent that it was not a discriminatory act.

His reasoning was that there had been no less favourable treatment by means of an “act or omission” which put Mr Kilroy at a disadvantage compared to another.

He found that the use of a universal email list to distribute the notice was “not much different from a poster being displayed on the campus to the same effect”, but said there might be a case to provide for an option to unsubscribe to such notices.

Dismissing the claim, he wrote that the email had said to a “sense of general historic grievance about the treatment of [Mr Kilroy’s] faith” and that any issues he had would “receive a receptive ear if pursued”.

Archbishop Francis Duffy to celebrate Reek Sunday Mass as Croagh Patrick pilgrimage returns to normal

 Midwest Radio - Bishop Francis Duffy appointed as the new Archbishop of Tuam

This weekend the annual Reek Sunday and Croagh Patrick Pilgrimage will return to the traditional format for the first time since 2019. 

Where : At the foot of Croagh Patrick beside the Murrisk Community Café in Co Mayo, Archdiocese of Tuam

When : From 9.00am on Reek Sunday, 31 July 2022

In attendance : Archbishop Francis Duffy; Father Charlie McDonnell, PP Westport; and pilgrims as they undertake their Croagh Patrick pilgrimage


Mass times

This Saturday (30 July) at 6.30pm, Archbishop Duffy will celebrate Mass in Saint Mary’s Church, Westport, to mark the official beginning of the 2022 pilgrimage. On Reek Sunday, at the summit of Croagh Patrick, the frequency of the celebration of Mass will be on the hour from 8.00am to 2.00pm. 

The 10.00am Mass will be celebrated as Gaeilge by Bishop Fintan Monahan, Bishop of Killaloe.  

While on the summit, pilgrims may also avail of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) from 7.30am to 2.00pm.  All priests wishing to celebrate the Sacraments must produce a valid Celebret.

Schedule for the 2022 Croagh Patrick Pilgrimage

Garland Friday 29 July

10:00am : The annual local Garland Friday pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick will take place today at the summit of the Reek.  The chief celebrant for this Mass will be Father Tod Nolan.

7:00pm​ : Mass will be celebrated at the base of Croagh Patrick in the car park at Murrisk Community Café.


Reek Sunday 31 July

7:30am – 2:00pm​ : Confessions at the summit of Croagh Patrick.

8:00am​ : First Mass at the summit, with the celebration of each subsequent Mass on the hour until 2.00pm

10:00am : Aifreann as Gaeilge – le Easpag Chill dá Lua Fiontán Ó Monacháin

11.00am : Mass celebrated by Father Stephen Farragher, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Tuam

2:00pm : Last hourly Mass on the Summit


Masses in local churches on Reek Sunday

8:30am​ : Pilgrims Mass in Lecanvey Church

10:00am : Mass in Westport Church

11:30am​ : Mass in Lecanvey Church

12:00pm​ : Mass in Westport Church

Latest road fatalities figures “shocking” – Bishop Fintan Monahan

 Bishop Fintan Monahan looks to a new dawn for Killaloe diocese - Tipperary  Live

With the August long weekend approaching, Bishop Fintan Monahan, Bishop of Killaloe, has joined with the Road Safety Authority, and An Garda Síochána, to call on road users to “Summer Safely” as the peak holiday season begins.  

Last month, the June long weekend recorded eight people dying in road collisions.

Bishop Monahan said, “I am shocked and saddened to hear this week about the number of road deaths and accidents. This loss of life is devastating for the families and loved ones of the deceased and a tragedy for our society.  While the highest number of monthly fatalities in ten years was recorded in August 2021 – with an alarming total of 22 deaths – this year already has seen a 42% increase in fatalities over the same period for 2021.

“So far this year there has been a serious surge in road traffic accidents with 95 people dying on our roads, as well as 673 people being seriously injured.  Regardless of how each of us use our road network – pedestrian, cyclist, scooter, motorcycle or vehicle – we each have a responsibility to stop this rise in road traffic accidents.  I am thinking here of the parable of the ‘Good Samaritan’ which encourages us to act responsibly and care for the stranger.  Human life is sacred and, especially at this time of year, we need to be alert that there are higher traffic volumes which means a greater degree of danger when on the road.”

Bishop Monahan continued, “We should heed the advice of the professionals, the RSA and the Gardaí, namely, not to speed, don’t hold a mobile phone, always wear a seatbelt and to expect the unexpected when using the road network.

“I encourage parishes to pray for the lives we have lost on our roads, for their families and to encourage safe driving this August long weekend.”

Bishop Monahan will offer 10.00am Mass for the protection of all road users from the summit of Croagh Patrick this Reek Sunday in Co Mayo, and recommends these two prayers to guide people when on the road and their driving behaviour:

17th century paidir as Gaeilge

In ainm an Athar le bua,
In ainm an Mhic a d’fhulaing an phian,
In ainm an Spiorad Naoimh le neart,
Muire is a Mac linn inár dtriall. Áiméan!

A contemporary road safety prayer

Holy Mother, hear our prayer,
Keep us in your loving care,
Whatever the perils of the way,
Let us not add to them this day.
So to our caution and attention,
We add a prayer for your protection,
To beg God’s blessing on this car,
To travel safely near and far.

Bishops must be good listeners, says nun at Vatican

 Bishops must be good listeners, says nun at Vatican

While the perfect bishop does not exist, he does have to be a person who knows how to get others involved in the life of the church and to listen to everyone, including those with whom he may disagree, said a new member of the Dicastery for Bishops.

French Salesian Sister Yvonne Reungoat told Vida Nueva, a Spanish publication reporting news about the Catholic Church, that "the ideal bishop does not exist." But he has to be a shepherd who is "close to the people entrusted to him, he has to know how to involve priests, laity and religious, and people of different generations."

"The path of synodality" is essential for this process and "it must be the usual way of animating the church to favor collegiality," she told the publication in an interview published online July 24.

Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who heads the dicastery, once told Vida Nueva that "30% of those chosen to be bishops reject the appointment." The publication asked Sister Reungoat what might explain this situation.

"There may be a difficulty in accepting the responsibility of being bishop of a particular church, with all the joys, challenges and complaints that it entails," she said.

"That is why I think that, to be a bishop, one must have the ability to listen, both to those who have the same ideas and to those who protest. Is not easy. Just think of the issue of abuse, which has marked the life of the church in various parts of the world in recent years," she added.

In mid-July, Pope Francis named 14 new members to the dicastery responsible for helping the pope choose bishops for Latin-rite dioceses outside of the church's mission territories. For the first time ever, the members included women: two religious and one lay. Before Pope Francis' reform of the Roman Curia took effect in June, members of the dicastery were only cardinals and a few bishops.

Members meet twice a month to review dossiers submitted by Vatican nuncios about potential candidates and to vote on the names they recommend to the pope.

Sister Reungoat, former superior general of her order, told Vida Nueva it is important for women to have a role in the naming of new bishops.

The presence of women in the dicastery will allow for views and a sensitivity or awareness that are both common among men and women and "complementary," she said.

Women are more likely to be working very closely and have "direct contact" with people and situations "on the ground," she said. "We have knowledge that starts from reality. This experience is also about listening and dialoguing with this reality."

Having this "complementary vision" can help in getting "closer to reality, which is complex" and varied since bishops serve in different parts of the world, and the dicastery must study and discern much information coming from the different nunciatures, she said.

Seeing more women represented at high levels of the church may make women feel more involved, she said. However, having a woman in a particular position "does not mean that the situation will automatically change. There needs to be a reciprocal openness."

It is a path that opens up by "walking together. We must give women their place, but we must also accept our position, because sometimes we back down because we think that we are not up to the task or that it does not concern us. We must also have the courage and simplicity to be ourselves to enter a path that is opening up," Sister Reungoat said.