Showing posts from February, 2015

Wait: A poem by Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied....

"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.
"My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign.
"You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply."
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting for what?"
He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the…

Living Lent like Cinderella!

The story of Cinderella is one of the most treasured fairytales of all time. It has been retold many times and has made generations of young girls say, “I want to be a princess when I grow up.” However, do we think of this story as a way to live the Lenten journey? We go back to the beginning of the Grimm’s fairytale and read: “In the evening when she had worked herself weary, there was no bed for her. Instead she had to sleep by the hearth in the ashes. And because she always looked dusty and dirty, they called her Cinderella.” Yes, Cinderella of the Ashes!
The Bible has a number of references about ashes. Dust and ashes are also synonyms of the word earth (adamah). From this word are derived ‘Adam’ and the Hebrew word for ‘man’.  Genesis 3:19 even makes a play on these words with: "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return," a sentence which is echoed in the Ash Wednesday service.

Another reference comes in Genesis 18:27. Here Abraham is bargaining with Go…

50 Shades of what’s wrong with our world!

Some of you might be surprised that I know what ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is about. In fairness, it would be pretty much impossible to be on social media and not be aware of the hype. You’d want to be living under a rock or in a convent! Well actually, yes, 50 Shades of Grey has even entered the convent. Rephrase, not literally… we haven’t read the books! At this stage, it seems that the world is going 50 Shades of Grey mad! There are advertisements everywhere, at bus-stops, cinemas making sure you book your tickets on Valentine’s Night when the movie will be released, merchandise (in some places, placed very inappropriately next to children’s items!), constant Facebook ads etc.   Critics have described the book as misogynistic, pornographic, exploitative, sexually violent, and anti-romance. I am guessing that the movie is going to be pretty much along the same lines. However, over the past few weeks we have had more and more prayer requests about this upcoming movie. People are worried…

Visit to St. Mary’s Secondary School, Killester

On Thursday 5th of February, myself and Sr. Elizabeth, my colleague in the Office for Religious made a visit to St. Mary’s Secondary School in Killester to make a small presentation and to thank the staff and students for their contribution in making the Day of Consecrated Life such a success.
The students made 500 St. Brigid’s crosses which were then distributed after the Mass on Sunday. We know from the emails and the messages from the religious around that they were deeply appreciated.
Upon our arrival at the school we were treated to a melody of some of the songs which the 2nd year students were practising for Emmanuel 2015. After that another treat awaited with homemade desserts from the girls to accompany our mid-morning coffee. We had some time to talk with the girls and listen to some of the feedback which they have received after their cross-making marathon! It seems that they had great fun making the crosses, even if some of the girls were dreaming of making them in their s…

Celebrating the Day of Consecrated Life 2015 in the Archdiocese of Dublin

A blog post written for the Office for Religious blog:

A nippy but bright day set against the Dublin seacoast of Killester provided the scenic backdrop for the Diocesan celebration of the Day of Consecrated Life at the Church of St. Brigid’s, Killester. Religious from all over Dublin arrived in great numbers for the celebration of the Eucharist, presided over by His Grace, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

Following the liturgy for the Feast of St. Brigid, the liturgical assembly was lead in prayerful song by the Diocesan Choir under the direction of Fr. Pat O’ Donoghue. The Liturgy of the Word was very appropriate with the Gospel inviting us to ‘be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amo…

Day for Consecrated Life: 2nd February 2015 by guest blogger Sr. Kathryn Williams

This weekend, we celebrate the beginning of spring! Today we also celebrate the feast of St Brigid, a beautiful Irish woman who dedicated her life to God. Tomorrow we also celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple – and in 1997, Pope John Paul 2nd dedicated this day, 2nd February to be a time of thanksgiving for, and Celebration of the Consecrated Life. So springtime, St Brigid and Consecrated life are a good beginning for my sharing with you today.

In recent years, we have heard a lot of damaging and painful stories about religious and priests. I know that the failures on the part of these persons have caused many of you great sadness and anger. But today, if you will permit me, I would like to share with you another side to the story. And I hope that maybe, you will also have a glimpse of the beauty of the calling that we religious seek to respond to.

What is the consecrated life? I joined in 1976 and each day, I bless God for calling me and for giving me th…