Dr Julian Fidge, a firefighter from Wangaratta in north east Victoria says the devastating bushfires are a result of “neglect” based on “magical Greens policies which have the opposite effect of what they are trying to achieve”.








God of the covenant,


you anointed your beloved Son


with the power of the Holy Spirit


to be light for the nations


and release for captives.


Grant that we who are born again


of water and the Spirit


may proclaim with our lips the good news of his peace


and show forth in our lives the victory of his justice.


We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, your Word made flesh,


who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,


in the splendour of eternal light,


God for ever and ever.


Dec 2019

At least 400 people have died since anti-government protests began across Iraq in October. The Associated Press reports that Iraqi security forces have used live fire, tear gas and sound bombs against the thousands of Iraqis protesting in the streets of Baghdad.




October 22, 2019 by Amy Welborn


Yeah, I’m fed up.


Time to return to trans issues. Why now? Because while it seems to be something that’s sucking all the air out of every single room every single day, over the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen an uptick in the news:




Athlone woman Marion Carroll was on deaths door when she arrived at Knock Shrine in 1989. Today, she reflects on her miraculous healing from Multiple Sclerosis.




Fleadh Cheoil na Mumhan is the largest provincial Fleadh in Ireland as thousands of musicians, singers, dancers, storytellers and visitors from the six counties of Munster and beyond gather for an annual celebration of our Irish cultural traditions. The town of Ennis is steeped in tradition having recently hosted Fleadh na hÉireann in 2016 and 2017 and also has proven itself to be a most suitable venue for the Fleadh following a hugely successful Fleadh na Mumhan in July 2018.


Munster Fleadh competitions where competitors from the six counties of Munster will compete for a place in the All-Ireland Fleadh in Drogheda.






Abbeyfeale Volunteers July 2019










Just a Thought


Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness.


If in our heart, we still cling to anything –


anger, anxiety, or possessions –


we cannot be free


Thich Nhat Hanh




Valerie Batta


Cross-Culture and Diversity Specialist


“I believe there are different approaches to solving the same problem: what I mostly believe is that how my words impact others is more important than how I feel about those words.”




What Should We Do about Our Aging Prison Population?


By Hope Reese


In the U.S., more people are dying of old age in prison than ever before. American prisons, in other words, are holding a swelling population of elderly inmates. According to Bureau of Justice figures from 2017, nearly 200,000 people aged 55 and older are incarcerated in America. And by 2030, the number of elderly prisoners is expected to reach 400,000.




Of the 1.5 million adults currently in state and federal prisons, the 55+ demographic represents roughly twelve percent, which represents a 300 percent spike in the elderly population since 1999. In the six years between 2001 and 2007 alone, 8,486 people over the age of 55 died behind bars.




” Maschi told me. “But it costs $68,000 a year to keep an aging person in prison, whereas it’s only $22,000 for a younger person.”




Also, roughly 50 percent of prisoners reportedly suffer from mental health issues, according to the American Psychological Association.




Just a Thought


Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness.


If in our heart, we still cling to anything –


anger, anxiety, or possessions –


we cannot be free


Thich Nhat Hanh




Valerie Batta


Cross-Culture and Diversity Specialist


“I believe there are different approaches to solving the same problem: what I mostly believe is that how my words impact others is more important than how I feel about those words.”


WORDS TO THE WISE – “Learn to see a hidden blessing in every obstacle.” – Anon.


We are always inclined to accuse others of our own faults.

Recently a politician accused another of being like a supposedly hated figure, if the truth be known, he may be talking about himself.


NEW YEAR RESOLUTION 2018 – “Do all the good you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can,” – Wesleyan Chapel Plaque, Church Street.






Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas & a Peaceful New Year.




Christmas Greeting from Fr. Crawford




It is my privilege to send a Christmas Greeting and a New Year Blessing to all the Homes and people of the Parish, as we celebrate the birth of Christ and look forward with hope and confidence to the year ahead. I congratulate the families who celebrated Baptisms, and the young couples who got married. I offer my sympathy to those families who suffered bereavement in the past year. I have enjoyed sharing in your joyful family events , Celebrating Mass for your various intentions, and at your service in all your spiritual needs. I sincerely thank you for your generous support to me personally and to the Church in 2018 . To all who are involved in the various ministries of Word & Sacrament, to all involved in the administration of the Parish and all who help create a friendly and caring community,I say a big thank you . I congratulate our two Schools, their Teachers and all Staff members, The Boards of Management , the Parents and Children. There were some great school events during the past year and lovely moments to celebrate and remember. I would like to congratulate, bless, and encourage the work of all the Organizations in the Parish. You have organized many enjoyable events and welcomed lots of visitors to Glin . Ni neart go cur le cheile (our strength lies in unity)


The Diocesan website( http://www.limerickdiocese.org) also the Glin .info page will help you to keep up with developments and news.


I offer you the “Gospel Tree” for your reflection.


The Christmas Tree is a fitting image to prepare for the year ahead . You are the branches and the lights to help us face the many challenges . The Priests and people of our new Pastoral Unit will be working together to map out an uncertain future .Team Ministry and active involvement of Parishioners are key to the success of this new Pastoral Plan. The box of envelopes, delivered to your home is an invitation to continue your support for the work and upkeep of your local Church. You have been very generous and I thank you for your continued financial support. The envelopes allow me to record your contributions , be fully accountable for your donations and to claim back tax where possible.




I wish you every Blessing in the coming year.


Nollaig Naofa is Bliain nua mhaith agaibh go leir.


Fr. Tom Crawford.PP.





President Trump, with the help of the Republican House and Senate, has an impressive list of 289 accomplishments in 18 categories, culminating in the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh










Sean Sheehy




Wed, Nov 14, 1:32 PM (2 days ago)




to me


Keep the End in Sight


   Everything in this world comes to an end. Success or failure is determined by whether we achieve or fail to achieve our true end. To be successful is to be fulfilled. To fail is to be unfulfilled. You and I will reach the end of our life as successful if we achieve our true purpose. If we don’t we will die as failures. What is our true purpose? It is to live a life committed to deepening our knowledge and love of Jesus present in His Church, and demonstrating it in humble service to those in need. This translates into a life lived well and prepares us to die well.


  When we know our true purpose we’ll resist the voices that tempt us into following other paths promising us a “good time.” Knowing our purpose will ensure we’ll live and work with the end in sight, namely total happiness with God and all the saints. The world in which we live is in denial when it comes to death. It glosses over death by referring to is as “passing away.” People console themselves by saying the deceased “has gone to a better place” as if that was a given or automatic. How do they know? They never seem to focus on what’s necessary to get to “the better place.” Ironically, our western culture is, as St. John Paul II labelled it, a “culture of death.” Death is seen as a tool to get rid those who’re inconvenient, as in abortion, euthanasia, murder, war, but isn’t seen as the time of judgment on how we lived life. So the culture cons us into ignoring what follows death. Knowing that we’re going to die and living with that reality keeps us alert as to how we’re living and encourages us to prepare to meet our Judge. Jesus Christ is the Judge of the living and the dead. No one escapes His judgment. He will judge everyone according to his or her deeds. Mt 19:26; Lk 2:30; Jn5:22, 27, 30; 8:15-16, 26; 9:39; 12:47-48; Acts 10:38-42; 17:30-31; Rom 14:10; 2 Cor 5:10; 2 Tim 4:8; Jas 5:9; Rev 19:11)


   If you were driving on the highway and spotted a police car following you what’s the first thing you’d do? Wouldn’t you quickly glance at your speedometer to make sure you were observing the speed limit? Living our life conscious of Jesus’ presence as our Judge will surely influence us to act in such a way that He’ll be able to say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Mt 25:21) rather than “Away from me, you evildoers.” (Mt 7:23) Christianity isn’t like a coat that we put on or take off depending on the weather, who we’re meeting, or where what’s fashionable. Christianity is a lifestyle that prepares us to meet Jesus who warns us that, “None of those who cry ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of God but only the one who does the will of my Father in Heaven.” (M7 7:21) Jesus describes the scene on Judgment Day: “When that day comes, many will plead with me, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your Name? Have we not exorcized demons by its power. Did we not do many miracles in Your Name as well?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Out of my sight you evildoers.” (Mt 7:21-23) As T.S. Elliot wrote, “The last act is the greatest treason. To do the right thing for the wrong reason.” Saying “Lord, Lord” or invoking His power to boost one’s own ego or reputation is doing the right thing for the wrong reason.


   Living the Christian life means humbly giving witness to faith in Jesus Christ both privately and publicly. He promises that, “Whoever acknowledges me before men I will acknowledge before my Father in heaven. Whoever disowns me before men I will disown before my Father in Heaven.” (Mt 10:32-33) If Jesus disowns us we cannot enter Heaven since He stated clearly that, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jn 14:6) What Jesus says He means and it applies to everyone, believers and non-believers. Hence the urgency to spread the Gospel so people can prepare for a successful end to their life. Jesus alone shows us “the path to life, fullness of joys in Your presence, the delights at Your right hand forever.” (Ps 16:5-11)


   Jesus has come as our Saviour, is here now saving us through His Church, and will come again. “And then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angels and gather His elect …from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.” (Mk 13:27) He assures us that, “The heavens and the earth will pass away but my words will not pass.” (Mk 13: 31) No one, except God the Father, know when the world will end. However the world will end for you and me the moment we die. Will our end see us as successful or as failures? It depends on whether we fully embrace Jesus’ words preserved, interpreted, and taught by His Church inspired by the Holy Spirit until the end of time. What we “pass away” to is determined by our daily choices – Heaven or hell. (frsos)




Gardener of life, form us …


Vine of life,


in Your branches we are nestled taking shelter and sustenance in the shade of Your strength.


With thanksgiving we celebrate the growth and hope we have found in placing our roots in You,


for in life You nourish us and Your Holy Spirit encourages us


to reach our full potential in the gifts we have been given


that others may know of Your love.


Lord, make us more than sour grapes and unripe olives.


In the hardships of the world


may we look beyond the bitter politics and divisions to find Your love


at the core of our relationships.


There may all people work with what we have in common


that we might grow to be a people of respect and trust.


May our branches bow with the weight of the fruit you have bestowed.


Help us to look beyond our own needs, to recognise those


who are hungry for food, love and justice.


May we offer others the shelter needed under the weight of Your branches


so they find a rest from the cold and darkness,


the hatred and loneliness of this world.


Instead may Your Spirit enable us to value the gifts and talents of all.


May our leaves soak up Your light.


When we meet those who are worn down with illness, loneliness, grief and abandonment,


may the light of Your presence shine in the encounters they have with others


that all might know Your compassion.


Gardener of all life, as You trim and shape us for Your purpose


may we place our prayers into Your hands and trust that new seeds may grow


from tired and empty thoughts.








All of us are wounded by sin.


The part of us which is most deeply damaged by sin is the heart.


The heart is so beautiful, so innocent,


but it can be betrayed, scorned and broken.


Darkness of the heart is the blackest night of all.


Emptiness of the heart is the greatest poverty of all.


A heavy heart is the most wearisome burden of all.


A broken heart is the most painful wound of all.


Only love can heal the wounds of the heart.


Lord, send your Holy Spirit to us,


to heal the wounds of our hearts,


so that we may produce the fruits of love.


 A thanksgiving prayer; Prayer of Saint Boniface


Eternal God, the refuge and help of all your children,


we praise you for all you have given us,


for all you have done for us,


for all that you are to us.


In our weakness, you are strength,


in our darkness, you are light,


in our sorrow, you are comfort and peace.


We cannot number your blessings,


we cannot declare your love:


For all your blessings we bless you.


May we live as in your presence,


and love the things that you love,


and serve you in our daily lives;


through Jesus Christ our Lord.




written by St. Boniface (ca. 672-754)


The Miracle of Fatima


On October 13, 1917, tens of thousands of people gathered near a small Portuguese village to witness the fulfilment of Our Lady's promise.


"More than fifty thousand devout, sceptical, and curious people gathered at the Cova, and those watching from afar, experienced something overwhelmingly miraculous. …


First, the rain stopped abruptly, and the sun grew luminously brighter. The sun started to spin and shoot beams of light, causing everything to turn different colours. But it was not a rainbow that people were seeing. The sun increased in size as if it were being hurled towards the earth. People felt sure that there was no escaping death at this point and dropped to their knees praying fervently and crying out to God for forgiveness. Even the sceptical and cynical suddenly found reason to pray."



How the Miracle of the Sun dazzled the sceptics




THOUGHT: There is no man that lives who does not need to be drilled, disciplined, and developed into something higher and nobler and better than he is by nature. Life is one prolonged birth.


Henry Ward Beecher




“You duped me, Lord. You tricked me, coerced me, seized and overpowered me. You were too strong for me. You won and I lost. Now I’m a laughingstock. Everyone mocks me, makes fun of me all day long.”




THOUGHT: The Kingdom of Heaven the way God wants the world, a world of peace, justice, and love is the good seed.


The darnel is the sin of the world, selfishness, insincerity, arrogance, judging and criticising.  Each of us has sin and grace, darnel and wheat in our lives, Lord you said "let them both grow till harvest". We thank you for the patience, love and mercy you have given to us so that we can grow in your goodness. Lord help us to wait patiently for each other trusting only in Your judgement.






Sean Sheehy




Jul 12 2017 ; Bloom Where You’re Planted


   St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622), archbishop of Geneva, was known for his wirings on spiritual direction and his gentle approach in dealing with conflicts resulting from the protestant reformation. He encouraged Christians to “Bloom where you are planted.” There’s a Gaelic proverb that says “Faraway hills are greener.” So often we don’t bloom where we’re planted because we think the grass is greener somewhere else and therefore feel we’d be much more effective if we were there. More often than not the reality is that when we go the where we think the grass is greener we find that it’s not as green as we imagined it would be. The reason the grass is greener on the other side is because someone keeps it watered and manured. Perhaps the grass where we are isn’t green because we’re not watering or nourishing it!


   To bloom where we’re planted requires the proper nutrients to keep us healthy and working together so that we can be productive human beings wherever we’re located, despite the obstacles. Human productivity requires not just a body but also a soul that’s well nourished. That nourishment comes through letting God’s Word take root in our heart. God’s Word enlightens, inspires, purifies, and enlivens us to be continuously fruitful. He reveals, “For just as from the heavens the rain and the snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to him who sows and bread to him who eats, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.” (Is 55:10-11) This revelation was fulfilled in the Person of Jesus – the Word-made-flesh. Jesus was reinforced the necessity of God’s word when He instructed His followers to, “Live on in me, as I do in you. No more than a branch can bear fruit of itself apart from the vine, can you bear fruit apart from me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who lives in me and I in him will produce abundantly, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (Jn 15:4-5)


   God plants His Word in us so that it can bloom in our soul and make us bearers and witnesses to His truth that sets us free to be productive men and women. An American writer, Herbert Agar, noted that “The truth that makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear.” Without embracing God’s Word in our heart through union with Jesus, as a branch is attached to the vine, Christians won’t be able to persevere in witnessing to God’s truth where they are. The German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer, wrote in the 19th century that truth passes through three stages, first, it’s ridiculed; second, it’s violently opposed; and third, it’s accepted as being self-evident. To reach the third stage the truth needs bearers and witnesses who persevere in promoting it. That’s made possibly only by letting God’s Word take root in our heart.


   Jesus identifies four basic attitudes toward God’s word and describes them in the Parable of the Sower. (My 13:1-23) God sows His word through Jesus’ Church and calls each of us to receive it. When the Holy Spirit invites our spirit to receive God’s Word what kind of reception will He get? Will we be like a footpath hostile to the Word? Will we act like stony ground giving the Word little chance to grow and therefore quickly abandoned? Will we be like a briar patch occupied with worldly worry, busyness, and the lure of money that chokes God’s Word? Or will our spirit be receptive to God’s Word with openness, gratitude, and humility letting it possess our heart where it takes root and enables us to bloom where we’re planted so that we can beautify, purify, magnify, and deify our neighbourhood and our world?


   God is the Planter and we’re the recipients of His seed – His Word. We determine the kind of recipients we are. It’s our choice to respond to the seed of God’s word like footpaths, stony ground, briar patches, or rich soil. God has given us ears, eyes, and a heart to receive His Word. But we must accept that letting God’s Word root itself deeply in our heart is necessary for our productivity as human beings. If we don’t, we’ll listen to other voices and rely on other means to bloom in our surroundings. However, those other voices and means won’t only prevent us from blooming but they’ll cause us to wither and die. Therefore, “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call Him while He is near.” (Is 55:6) When you seek the Lord in His Church that proclaims His Word and His presence in her Sacraments, where He’s near to you and wants to be in your heart, then you’ll definitely bloom where you’re planted and won’t waste your time wishing you were somewhere else. “God has placed you here for a purpose/ Whatever it might be;/ Know He has chosen you for it/ And labour faithfully” (Anon) There’s no one in the wrong place to serve God if he or she chooses. (frsos)






Sean Sheehy




Jul 19 2017




Mercy + Justice: Essential for Humanity


   St. Thomas Aquinas noted that “Mercy without justice is the mother of dissolution; justice without mercy is cruelty.” Mercy reflects compassion, kindness, or pity for an offender. By itself, mercy is the “mother of dissolution” because it lets the offender avoid having to make restitution for the crime. It stamps the wrong with a perceived seal of approval that causes the victim to seek revenge thereby causing more wrongs which results in the dissolution of order in society. Justice is about conforming to truth, fact, law, or reason. It’s about what a person or community deserves. By itself, justice tends to be cruel, like Shakespeare’s Shylock demanding his pound of flesh. Mercy and justice must partner each other to preserve the dignity of the person, whether offender or victim. Justice and mercy aren’t opposed because their goal is the same, namely and expression of love for the preservation of the dignity of the human person.


   God is both just and merciful toward us. The inspired author of Wisdom proclaims, “There is no God but You who have the care of all … for Your might is the source of justice … Your mastery over all things makes You lenient to all …You rebuke temerity ... judge with clemency … You gave your children ground for hope that you would permit forgiveness of their sins.” (Wis 12:13, 16-19) He revealed that “those who are just must be kind to their fellowman.” (Wis:12:19) God combines justice with mercy and commands you and me to do likewise if we’re to be His children. God reveals what He is like and what it means to be like Him through the Psalmist: “You, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in kindness to all who call upon You … You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in kindness and fidelity. Turn toward me and have pity on me; give Your strength to Your servant.” (Ps 86:5, 15-16) We focus more on God’s mercy than His justice. But mercy calls for justice because to be merciful is to give the offender another chance to change and act justly. We must know what’s just before mercy can have any meaning. That’s why God gave us His Commandments first and then sent Jesus with His gift of forgiveness.


   Some of us tend more toward justice while others lean towards mercy. Why is it so difficult for us to be both just and merciful simultaneously? We tend to be more judgmental than merciful because we focus more on “the splinter in the other’s eye rather than on the plank in our own.” (Mt 7:5). We emphasize punishment over rehabilitation. Our fallen nature seeks to avenge offenses rather than redeem the offender. I’ve often heard people wish that offenders would “fry” in the electric chair or “rot” in jail? Without mercy our cry for justice is a cover-up for revenge or anger ventilation. Feelings of self-righteousness – a “better than thou” mentality dismisses mercy. Hence justice needs mercy and mercy needs justice to keep each other balanced.


   Jesus told the parable of the Sower (Mt 13:24ff) to teach His Apostles that the solution to ridding the wheat crop of weeds is to let both reach full maturity and then gather the weeds in separate bundles for burning. Their immediate plan to get rid of the weeds before maturity risked pulling up the wheat as well. Upright people in the name of justice want to get rid of those whom they judge to be “bad”. But Jesus warned that when you set out to destroy “bad” people you risk destroying the “good” as well. You can only get rid of evil by developing and promoting the good – what is of God. Justice condemns evil actions but mercy reaches out to offenders calling them to repentance and make restitution by giving them opportunities to make up for the damage they caused and live upright lives. As someone said, “There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it ill becomes the rest of us to be judge and jury on any of us.”


   Jesus is “the Judge of the living and the dead.” (2 Tim 4:1) Each of us will be judged by Him “according to his deeds.” (Rom 6:2:6-11) Jesus is the only one who can judge us because He is the only one who knows what’s in our heart. “Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.” (1 Sam 16:7) While we can’t judge a person we must judge his or her actions as good or bad according to Jesus’ commandments. Mercy keeps us conscious that no one is the sum total of any action. Every person is capable of good, and it’s our job to bring out that good in him or her. In all our judgments we must remember that to be just we must be merciful and to be merciful we must be just. “Near indeed is His salvation to those who fear Him … Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss.” (Ps 85:10-11) In calling people to the truth we must be merciful, and true justice always leads to peace. (frsos)




A person’s character is like a fence –it cannot be strengthened by whitewash. The best time for you to hold your tongue is when you feel you must speak or burst. Remember the tortoise only makes headway when he sticks his neck out. The man who waits for something to turn up finds his toes do it first. Common sense is instinct; enough of it is genius.


Credit makes cheap things dear. The Saints are the sinners who keep on trying. A good memory is needed once we have lied.


If people look up to you it does not mean you should look down on them.


                                                PRACTISING OUR CHRISTAN FAITH




What is Christ asking of us in this weekend’s Gospel?  That we leave our jobs, rush out and get involved in a whirlwind of good works?  I don’t think so.  Rather I believe He wants us simply to practise our Christianity not just in Church but out there in the real world in whatever situation we happen to find ourselves in.  All the more so if by reason of our position we happen to be situated on some ‘hilltop’ where all can see us and where people look to us for light and not for darkness.  Allow me to explain with some examples:








That I work for the good of the country and not just for my own good.  A corrupt politician has a lot to answer for, but then a good politician can bring a lot of light into the lives of ordinary people.








That I would uphold the law and enforce it fairly and that I would not try to bend it or break it myself.








That I would pay a fair wage and create decent working conditions for my employees.  People who are doing this are shedding a lot of light around them.








That I know my job and try to do it to the best of my ability.








That I deal in facts not in half-truths, gossip and lies.








That I do not overcharge and that I give value for money.








That I teach well, and that I refrain from showing favouritism.  If I show favouritism, then I bring light to some and darkness to others. If a Christian teacher should show any kind of favouritism, it should be towards the children who need learning support.








That I am at home and that I take more interest in them than in my career or overdoing the socialising.








That I would practise what I preach and I am guided by Church teaching.   And so the list can go on and on as how best to practise our Christianity.  How we can be ‘salt’ and how we can be ‘light’ among those we come in contact with daily.  The Gospel is about quality of life or goodness.  But my goodness must not be a put-on thing in which I seek to bring glory to myself.  Every Parish in Ireland needs Christians who remain Christians.  I am blessed and delighted to live and work in a Parish that has many good Christians.










Drug trade is a “callous trade in death”


The drug trade is a ruthless trade in ruining lives, a callous trade in death, the Archbishop of Dublin said at a service held annually to remember those who have died from substance misuse and related causes.


“It is a ruthless and cynical and diabolic trade which has no respect for any life. It thrives on destroying the lives of the weakest, whether of those who fall into abuse or those who they trap into becoming agents of their despicable trade.”


Archbishop Diarmuid Martin was speaking at the 18th Service of Commemoration and Hope in the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Sean McDermott Street on Wednesday 1 February.


While remembering those who have died from substance abuse, the multidenominational annual service also offers hope to families still struggling with addiction or in recovery.


Addressing these families, the Archbishop of Dublin spoke of his great enjoyment each year when he celebrates the Sacrament of Confirmation in Sean McDermott Street Church. “At Confirmation you see young boys and girls at their best,” he said. “Their smiles portray how proud they are of themselves and of their families and of their school. It is wonderful to see real hope in their faces.”


Nothing made Archbishop Martin so sad and angry as “to see the hope of a young boy and girl robbed and be slowly destroyed through them falling victim to substance abuse. Their youthful smile becomes replaced by a despairing stare. Their hope is replaced by a tragic trap which despite all their efforts they find it harder and harder to break out of without a helping community.”


But he added, nothing touched his heart as much as “trying to imagine what it means to a young person to experience the freedom that comes with recovery, to be their true selves once again”.


He said “We are here to show any young person who becomes trapped in addiction that there still is hope as we let them know that there is a helping hand willing to pick them up – no matter how many times they fall – and help them along the difficult path to recovery.”




But the Archbishop of Dublin had a warning, from the words of Jesus, for those who ruin the lives of the young: “If anyone causes one of these little ones to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”


He told those present at the service that “Those who trade in death bring that condemnation on themselves rendering themselves despicable.”


He continued: “We gather to speak words of hope. We remember those who have died. They went through hard times but their loved ones remember them for the goodness that always remained there hidden within their troubled lives.




“We speak words of hope and support to the young people of this community who are our hope and we commit ourselves to carry them in our hearts and our helping hands that they can realise their hopes and go through life with those smiles of hope.”


The Annual Service of Commemoration of Hope was organised by the National Family Support Network in Dublin’s North Inner City. This self-help organisation supports family support groups and and raises awareness of the difficulties faced by families in coping with drug use while recognising their important role in supporting the recovery of the drug-using family member. It was established in 2000 following the first Service of Commemoration and Hope.


Its membership consists of representatives of family support groups, individual family members and those working directly with families of drug users across the island of Ireland.


Follow us on Twitter @catholicireland






Year       2012       2013       2014       2015       2016


Baptisms              84           69           72           70           69


Confirmation     83           88           64           81           75


Marriages            19           14           10           17           16


Funerals               52           71           64           71           48






Publication or utterance of Blasphemous matter.  Section 36 of the Act is a criminal offence and states:




36 (1) A person who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €25,000.


THOUGHT: You save an old man and you save a unit; but save a boy, and you save a multiplication table. Gypsy Smith.


A team of astronomers have used the SPHERE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope to image the first planet ever found in a wide orbit inside a triple-star system. The orbit of such a planet had been expected to be unstable, probably resulting in the planet being quickly ejected from the system. But somehow this one survives. This unexpected observation suggests that such systems may actually be more common than previously thought. The results will be published online in the journal Science on 7 July 2016.





To forget past mistakes and press on to greater achievements.


To make our work a real joy.


To spent so much time improving yourself that you haven’t time for criticism for others.


To be kind to all.


To take every disappointment as a stimulant.


To smile


To talk and walk with God.



THOUGHT: Many times in life we are faced with the reality of our vulnerability and brokenness. For various different reasons we carry a cross upon our shoulder. We get weighed down by the drudgery and the endless struggle and we can see no light at the end of the tunnel. But even in these times of trouble and worry we are being consoled and carried by the God who knows each and every one of us by name. We are not alone....Margaret Theresa Naughton.



THOUGHT: The more you pray, the less you'll panic. The more you worship, the less you worry. You'll feel more patient and less pressured. Rick Warren


Pray devoutly, but hammer stoutly. W. G. Benham




When we lift our voice in worship and the devil loses his! Seth Dahl




If somebody writes a great poem, people don't run around applauding the pencil, saying 'Oh, what a great pencil," I'm a pencil in God's hands. Keith Green


Let this be thy whole endeavor, this thy prayer, this thy desire,--that thou mayest be stripped of all selfishness, and with entire simplicity follow Jesus only.


Thomas a Kempis




"Where is God? Where can I find him?" we ask. We don't realize that's like a fish swimming frantically through the ocean in search of the ocean. Ted Dekker




Unholy tempers are always unhappy tempers. John Wesley



Life is a story in volumes three,


The Past - - the Present - - - and yet to be


The first is finished and laid away,


The second we are living day by day,


The third and last of the volumes three,


Is locked from sight, God keep the keys.  






Christ is the head of this house,


The unseen guest at every meal


And the silent listener to every conversation. 






“Those who don’t have what they like.


Must learn to like what they have”. 






Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.


It turns what we have into enough, and more.


It turns denial into acceptance,


Chaos to order, confusion to clarity.


It can turn a meal into a feast,


A house into a home, a stranger into a friend.


Gratitude makes sense of our past, Brings peace for today,


And creates a vision for tomorrow. (Melody Beattie )