New papal nuncio from Nigeria has Irish faith line

On the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, May 13th last, Pope Francis was at Fatima to market he centenary of the apparitions. On the same day, his press office in the Vatican published the daily bulletin and it included the following short note: “The Holy Father has appointed as apostolic nuncio in Ireland His […]

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Living in a disappearing priesthood

My historical sense of catholicism in Ireland, which I learned in school, was speckled with events that were depicted as reference points in Irish history. The Wild Geese, Cromwell, Fr Murphy of Boolavogue, Nano Nagle, Daniel O’Connell and Catholic Emancipation, the Great Famine and the soupers, the War of Independence, the Maynooth Mission to China, male and female […]

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The ‘sin’ of ‘religious interference’

“The Minister for Health has said there must be “no question of religious interference” with the new National Maternity Hospital.  Simon Harris made the statement after a protest was held outside the Department of Health in Dublin over the ownership of the new hospital, which is to be built on the campus of St Vincent’s Hospital.” [RTENews, Thursday, […]

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Just a part of it

We had a beautiful Spring morning in West Cork today. And, as it happened, I was fortunate to have most of the day to plan by myself — a luxury I seldom have! So it was a day for putting the camera in the car and heading out. I strolled for a while among trees […]

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‘They’ve taken the Lord’

The women who were the first witnesses to the empty tomb and the Resurrection of Jesus summarised the situation in this way for the Apostles. “They have taken the Lord out of he tomb,” Mary said, “and we don’t know where they have put him.” Sadly, the same phrase applies today to a small church […]

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Life is an ocean, and the church is a boat

I’ve been doing a lot of twisting and turning in my mind of late, trying to describe accurately what it’s like being a priest in the Irish Catholic Church these days. The scriptures are loaded with images and parables but none seem to fit. Many pastoral letters from various popes paint more ideas and they […]

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At Coppeen, with Jimmy Crowley

Every place has its poets, its chroniclers in story and its balladeers. Cork has Jimmy Crowley, who is these three in one — a Cork holy trinity in his own right. Probably best known for his years leading the group Stokers Lodge in the 70s and 80s, Jimmy is a walking archive of Cork songs […]

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Among the ways to wed

I don’t remember how many times I have participated in the Rite of Marriage at non-Catholic churches but there have been several. I have always experienced hospitality and kindness from the clergy of the other Christian churches. Today was no different. It was my first time being in St. Mary’s (Church of Ireland) Church, Dunmanway. I […]

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