Light peaks through the Church at times

As Autumn gathers its cloak around us, the diminished light has an effect on our spirits. And, as if nature really wands to rub it in, when we learn that someone is in the autumn of their life, we feel something change inside ourselves, too. And this pattern is also evident in the wider Catholic […]

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Fading rural Ireland in our hands and trolleys

I was reared on a small farm in West Cork. All my siblings still live in West Cork. I live in West Cork. I am blessed to have these connections with a beautiful part of Ireland. I have visited many other parts of the world, but there are none that can compare when all things […]

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Ode to Ballineen Post Office

On Friday, the 14th of August, 2018, the tree of life in the Ballineen area lost one of its limbs as the local Post Office closed for the last time. But the life-blood of the community still flowed and soothed the loss with support and camaraderie, jokes and memories, tea and sandwiches, wine and closing […]

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When I’m on a path with no followers!

Never in my wildest dreams have I thought I’d be typing this: The Diocese of Cork and Ross, in which I minister, doesn’t have any student priest in our national seminary. Nor does it have any students in any seminary. Anywhere. The diocese has one seminarian who this year is doing an optional course in […]

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Referendum Postscript

The Referendum to Repeal the Eight Amendment to the Irish Constitution will change several aspects of life in Ireland but it will also leave several unchanged. The removal of the 8th amendment means that for the first time the Irish government will be free to make it legal to end a pregnancy without any reason. […]

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Hate news is much worse. It kills.

The rapid expansion of online media in recent decades has brought about a lot of good. But in its wake it has also fuelled a new kind of commentary which is unsavoury and which is lethal. It has never been so easy to sit in front of a cup of tea and react instantly to […]

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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 mark the 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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