Showing posts from November, 2015

Just a grain of wheat!


Celebrating another All Saints Day!

In Ireland, on the 6th of November, we celebrate the Feast of All the Saints of Ireland. Pope Benedict XV beatified Oliver Plunkett in 1920 and during his papacy also (1914-22) the Feast of All the Saints of Ireland was instituted. The same Pope also granted Ireland the honour of having a litany of its native saints approved for public recitation. Only four saints, St Malachy (1094-1148), St Lawrence O'Toole (1128-80) and St Oliver Plunkett (1625-81) and St Charles of Mount Argus (1821-93), have been officially canonised. All the other Irish saints, such as Saints Patrick, Brigid, and Colmcille, are saints, as it were, by acclamation of the local Church.

The scope of this feast, while it includes canonised saints, is wider. It also includes those who had a reputation for holiness and whose causes for canonisation have not yet been completed, such as Blessed Thaddeus MacCarthy (1455-92), the seventeen Irish martyrs of the 16th and 17th centuries, Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice (1762…

“Life is changed, not ended”: Remembering our faithful departed

November comes between the rejoicing of the harvest and the short, dark days of winter. It is a time when people focus on death and the dead. Have just celebrated the feasts of All Saints and All Souls, we profess our solidarity with the saints and ancestors; with those on whose shoulders we stand. All of this helps us grow in readiness to acknowledge, with St. Francis, that death is a sister to us, another of God’s servant:

We praise You, Lord, for Sister Death,
from whom no-one living can escape….
Blessed are those that she finds doing Your Will.
No second death can do them harm.

 - St. Francis of Assisi, “Canticle of the Sun”

Yesterday we went to the graveyard in Maynooth for communal prayers for the faithful departed. In this graveyard, we have our two sisters, Sr. Marie Paul O' Brien and Sr. Constance Tresham. Beside Sr. Constance, our Pauline brother, Fr. Vincent Saletti is buried. We have other plots there where one day we too will have our earthly resting place. There is somet…