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Digitally proclaiming the Gospel in the diocese of Ferns and beyond

‘The Hook of Faith’ is brought to you by ‘FERNS C.A.F.É’ (Catholic Adult Formation and Education) – a group in the diocese of Ferns, Ireland who are committed to the work of evangelisation and adult faith formation. It seeks to bring the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to bear on all sectors of society in a way that offers life and meaning to everyone. We recognise the challenge of this task at a time in the Church that needs healing and hope. The mission of ‘The Hook of Faith’ is to ‘Digitally proclaim the Gospel in the Diocese of Ferns and beyond’. Our hope is that the light that comes from our faith will reach a wide audience through this new age of digital media and will help transform lives through the joy of the Gospel.

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ST IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA: FEAST DAY 31ST JULY

St. Ignatius Loyola was born in 1491, one of 13 children of a family of minor nobility in northern Spain. As a young man Ignatius Loyola was inflamed by the ideals of courtly love and knighthood and dreamed of doing great deeds. But in 1521 Ignatius was gravely wounded in a battle with the French. While recuperating, Ignatius Loyola experienced a conversion. Reading the lives of Jesus and the saints made Ignatius happy and aroused desires to do great things. Ignatius realized that these feelings were clues to God’s direction for him. Over the years, Ignatius became expert in the art of spiritual direction. He collected his insights, prayers, and suggestions in his book the Spiritual Exercise

‘A JOURNEY THROUGH 'AMORIS LAETITIA - TV Series

This new six-part television series has also just been launched as we approach the final month of preparations for WMOF2018. The series features a wide variety of well-known commentators, as well as families from all walks of life and from all over the world. Contributors include Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, President of Caritas International; Jeff Cavins, author and speaker; Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland; Bishop Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles; John and Clare Gabrowski, Pontifical Council for the Family; Sr Consilio, Cuan Mhuire; and Pat and Susan Keenan of Retrouvaille Ireland. Through the six episodes, the participants reflect on

HOMILY FOR SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (B)

What small offering do I have that the Lord may use to feed the world and the church as we continue the journey through salvation history to the eternal banquet? In the Gospel, the offering of the small boy was pivotal - the master knew it was there - the small boy made it available. In life, we are all gifted with something - however short of what is apparently required - that the Master needs and can use to feed the needs of many others. This is a Gospel of encouragement for all of those who could all too easily get overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task before them. Andrew saw what one of little ones could offer and that made all the difference. Can we offer the loaves and fish in our o

FAITH AND MENTAL HEALTH - PART 10 AND LAST IN THE SERIES

The tenth resource is that Christian faith is a wellspring of hope without which the human spirit disintegrates. Evidence for this comes from the studies of a psychiatrist who carried out a long term study of 800 suicidal patients to determine which risk factors were most closely linked to suicide. The most dangerous factor he identified was their sense of hopelessness (See A. Kheriaty, The Catholic Guide to Depression, 99). Many believers who suffer from mental illness testify that had it not been for the hope that comes from their Christian faith, they may not have survived. Countless people of faith have seen in their suffering the seeds of a future of hope - that the sorrow they experien

FAITH AND SCIENCE: FRIENDS OR FOES?

Sean O'Leary is the director of the Education Centre in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford. At a recent conference on the relationship between faith and science in Lyon, France, Sean delivered a paper on the concept of transformation being a unifying concept in the worlds of both faith and science. In this week's interview for 'The Hook of Faith', Sean talks about the conference and why he believes that faith and science can be friends not foes. Listen here

THE JOY OF BEING A CATHOLIC GRANDPARENT

Next Thursday, 26th July, we celebrate the feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, the parents of Mary and grandparents of Jesus. They are the patrons of all Christian grandparents who stive to pass on the gift of faith to their grand-children. Here is a reflection on 5 goals of Catholic Grandparents by Susan Erschen: When a son or daughter becomes a parent, something marvellous happens to us. We become grandparents! The ancient blessing from Psalm 128:5-6 is fulfilled for us: “May you ... live to see your children’s children.” A new life wraps itself around our hearts, our eyes fill with tears of joy, and we are blessed in a most amazing way! Although parents are the most important teachers in a

HOMILY FOR SIXTEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (B)

Written in 1992, Pastores Dabo Vobis draws heavily upon a line from the prophet Jeremiah that not only summarises the entire exhortation issued by Saint John Paul - ‘I will give you shepherds after my own heart’ (Jer. 3:15) - it is also a line that connects all of the scripture passages, we are gifted to proclaim, this Sunday. ‘For he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.’ The simple phrase in today’s Gospel is striking. The master is not just a teacher; he has deep feelings for his people. He is the perfect shepherd; he is the model of shepherding that Jeremiah foretells. There is no talk of obligation or duty here. There is no mention of regulation or requirem

FAITH AND MENTAL HEALTH – PART 9.

We continue our series this week on ten benefits of faith to our mental health. A ninth resource that comes from Christian faith is the practise of prayer, ritual and rites of passage. Viewing the experience of life as a pilgrimage, along that journey there are key moments that need to be marked and celebrated. This need is acknowledged by other faith traditions such as Judaism and Islam and indeed by many cultures whether they include a faith dimension or not. The prayer and sacramental life of the Church is rich in marking the passage of time, the rhythms of life and the transition from one state of life to another. These include birth (baptism), moving into adulthood (Confirmation), marr

OUR DRY, WARM AND BEAUTIFUL SUMMER

Most people you meet these summer days of 2018 remark about the ‘grand weather’ - unless you are of the land, and suffering drought and withered stalks. In this case one talks about the dependence we humans have on the cycles of nature maintaining a harmony which brings blessings to all of us. Praying for good weather wants us to have sunshine at the beach and rain in the fields, which are incompatible, and so maybe a ‘prayer’ best not made at all. Prayer words can be careless, and wistful thinking remains wistful. But the scriptures are heavy with prayer for the wonders of God as expressed in his creation. ‘The heavens declare the glory of God’ Ps:19, and Ps.104 [JB] delights in a plane

HOMILY FOR FIFTEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (B)

Dear friends. Recently I attended celebrations for a Presentation Sister with her family and friends as she marked her Golden Jubilee of final profession. Congratulations Sr Grace Redmond from all of us and may the Lord bless you with many more years of health and happiness in his service! The occasion of Sr Grace’s Jubilee was a time to look back and to look forward – to look back in gratitude on the past 50 years but also forward in hope for the Church and for the world. In this process of reflection, one of the major things to notice is how the supports for vocations to the priesthood and religious life have changed over the past 50 years. When Sr Grace began her journey 50 years ago, the

FAITH AND MENTAL HEALTH – PART 8.

We continue our series this week on ten benefits of faith to our mental health. The eighth resource provided by Christian faith is that of right order. Emotional well-being comes from having right order in our lives. For St Augustine, peace comes from tranquillitas ordinis….the tranquillity of order (City of God, 19). St Thomas Aquinas developed this idea by referring to the ordinis caritas – that all things in our lives do not exist on the same level but need to be ordered in right priority if happiness is to be ours. First is to love and worship God, then family and friends. The more our lives are rightly ordered, the more the boundaries of the self are firm and clear with a stronger loc

INTERVIEW WITH DAVID QUINN OF THE IONA INSTITUTE

This week’s interview is with David Quinn of the Iona Institute who reflects on the recent abortion referendum, the ideology of choice, marriage and family and the mission of the Iona Institute. Click here to listen

A CELEBRATION OF OUR 50 PILGRIMAGES

In May this year, the Ferns diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes took place for the 50th time. To mark this milestone, the diocese published a book with reflections and photos from over those years. The book was launched recently by Bishop Denis at the Ferrycarrig Hotel. In this interview Fr Brian Broaders, Spiritual Director of the pilgrimage to Lourdes, shares how the book came about and what makes the annual pilgrimage to Lourdes so special. Click here to listen

HOMILY FOR FOURTEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (B)

Dear friends. One of the fascinating things about the Word of God is how we can recognise something of ourselves in the stories and parables we hear. In many ways it is like a mirror in which we can see ourselves for who we are and discover anew who we are called to be. A classic example is seen in the readings this weekend with the second reading from St Paul to the Corinthians. There Paul wrestles with his own human nature in the light of his Christian faith. Let us listen carefully to what he says and walk with him on the journey through our human nature and arrive with him to faith. Paul begins by a frank admission which risked scandalizing those who considered him a holy man. He confess

FOCUS ON THE SAINTS: St Maria Goretti. Feast Day 6th July

St. Maria Goretti was born in Ancona, Italy in 1890. She was the eldest daughter of a peasant family and was known for her cheerful and devout nature. When she was just ten years old, her father died. Two years later, a young neighbour, Alessandro Serenelli, became obsessed with Maria and started constantly pestering her. One day he tried to rape her. When she fought him off he stabbed her several times. She was taken to the hospital, but she died the next day, after forgiving him. Her murderer was sentenced to life imprisonment. While in prison atoning for his crime, Alessandro had a vivid dream, so vivid, he said, that he “could not distinguish it from reality”. In his dream, his prison ce

FAITH AND MENTAL HEALTH: PART 7

We continue our series this week on ten benefits of faith to our mental health. A seventh dimension of mental health that faith illuminates is the link between leading a virtuous life and the experience of happiness. How we act effects how we feel. Before Christianity, Plato made this connection as he argued that justice is always happifying (Plato, The Republic, Book 2, 358a). For St Augustine, happiness is more than a feeling but is always linked to the truth: ‘the happy life is joy based on the truth. This is joy grounded in you, O God, who are the truth’ (Confessions, 10, 22, 33). For St Thomas Aquinas, all the prescriptions and prohibitions of the Gospel are ordered to our joy (Summa

 
 

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