THEHOOKOFFAITH.COM

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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FAITH ON FIRE: LIVING FAITH WITH HEAD, HANDS AND HEART

On Saturday morning, 24th November 2018, a conference will be held in Enniscorthy at the Riverside Park Hotel beginning at 9.30am and concluding with lunch. The Conference will be on the gift of Christian faith in our times and will be opened by Bishop Denis Brennan. The speakers explore faith from different perspectives including faith in the head - how we understand faith today; faith in the hands - handing on the faith today and living it effectively; faith in the heart - exploring the mystical and prayerful dimensions of faith; faith tested - acknowledging the many challenges to faith today. This conference is open to all and all are welcome. It may be of particular benefit and interest

CELEBRATING FAMILY AND SPORT

During the recent World Meeting of Families gathering at the RDS in August, one of the most popular inputs was on 'Celebrating Family and Sport'. The speakers at this conference were Fr Philip Mulryne OP who played for Manchester United, Ronan O'Gara , former Irish rugby international, Aidan O' Mahony, former Kerry footballer and Olive Foley, wife of the late Irish International and Munster head coach Anthony Foley. Here each of these speakers share their faith and how that gift has enriched their lives and contributions to sport and family life.

A REFLECTION ON DEATH FOR NOVEMBER

Some simple observations on the Mystery. The Hail Mary anchors the heart when we are at prayer. The first phrase is a quote from the Gospel of St Luke, and the second is an invocation to her to ‘pray for us now and at the hour of our death’. These are two moments in life of which we are sure: ‘now’, which we know, and ‘at the hour of our death’ which we don’t. But come it will. And the question immediately frames itself: is there a life after death ? Stephen Hawking, in essays published posthumously, reverts to an atheistic position that there is no afterlife; and it’s easy to imagine, like John Lennon, that there is no heaven. These represent voices which are too sure. As a matter

'COME AND SEE' - EXPLORING PRIESTHOOD RETREAT FOR ALL DIOCESES OF IRELAND; 23RD AND 24TH NOV

IS GOD CALLING YOU TO BE A PRIEST? Perhaps you’re longing for something more in your life? Perhaps God is calling you to live your life as a diocesan priest? Perhaps you are uncertain, but would like to learn more? Exploring Priesthood For some, it is a moment of discovery. For most, it is a growing awareness that develops over time. For all, it is a moment in time when an internal stirring suggests the next step toward a clearer focus on “God’s call in my life.” It is not necessarily a call to priesthood, but a call to consider the possibility. This “Come and See” exploring priesthood retreat is an opportunity for Catholic men aged between 18 and 40, to meet priests and seminarians, to hea

VOCATIONS TO THE PRIESTHOOD AND RELIGIOUS LIFE - AN INTERVIEW WITH REV ERIC COONEY AND FR WILLIE PUR

During the summer, I caught up with Rev. Eric Cooney and Fr Willie Purcell of the National Vocations Office who spoke about their work in promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Eric and Willie will lead a Diocesan Conference here in Ferns on 5th February next year specifically on the theme of vocations to the diocesan priesthood. On Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th of November this year, they have organised a 'Come and See' weekend for anyone exploring the possibility of a call to the diocesan priesthood. This takes place at Mount St Anne's, Portarlington, Co. Laois. The weekend will begin on Friday at 6pm and conclude on the Saturday at 4pm. For more details, see the brochur

HOMILY FOR THIRTY-FIRST SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (B)

In our gospel today, we hear of a Scribe who approaches Jesus and puts a question to him regarding the commandments. Many of our parents our grandmothers’ grandfathers would recall having to recite the catechism of the Catholic Church off by heart as it was very much part of Catholic education here in Ireland and Jesus too was able to give the perfect answer to the Scribe according to his teaching and his faith at that time. Jesus responded with the first great commandment from the Old Testament the shema of Deuteronomy 6:4 which is also our first reading this weekend, a text which is familiar with all priests and religious as it is the reading for Saturday night prayer of the church. The se

REJOICE AND BE GLAD!

Rejoice and be glad in my life poured out over all areas of your life. Sing your days as a gentle melody of peace and gratitude. There is so much to be grateful for in your life. Stand back and look afresh at all that surrounds you and reminds you of my love. So easily you forget how I have walked with you and guided you to safe ground and deepening love. Trust that I will not leave you. Through challenges and uncertainties, I will guide and comfort you. Be comforted NOW in that thought and promise. My promise is truth.

THE WORLD IS CHARGED WITH THE GRANDEUR OF GOD

Faith can be nourished by pondering the poets. The poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, priest-poet, who died in Dublin in 1889 and buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, can be difficult to read, because he pushes language to the limit, condensing his insights in rich and original imagery. However, his insights are available to anyone who can give just that little more of ‘receptive time’ which all poetry demands. His vision and experience of the world includes a dramatic sense of the uniqueness of each thing. For example, ‘each hung bell’s / Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name’ is a vivid evocation of the sounding of a church bell. The shoe of a trotting dray-horse is ‘his bright and bat

LOVE HAS A SOURCE

In the summer just past, I presided at a few weddings. At a typical wedding ceremony here at the parish, there are about 200 people present with a wide range of faith commitment among them – some with no faith (just responders to the couple’s invitation), some with strong faith and most somewhere in between. It can therefore be a challenge to prepare a good homily that speaks to everyone. That said, the importance of doing so is crucially important for weddings are great opportunities for evangelization where the liturgy facilitates a renewed encounter between God and the people he loves. Especially for those who rarely go to church, if ever, these moments can be times when God’s grace final

THIS WEEK'S INTERVIEW WITH MGR. JIM HAMMEL

This week's interview is with Mgr. James Hammel, Diocesan Archivist and retired Parish priest of Annacurra, Co. Wicklow. For a number of years, Mgr. Jim served in the Diplomatic service of the Holy See at a time of great expansion and globalization of the Church following the Second Vatican Council. Much of this took place under the leadership of Pope Paul VI who was canonised a saint on 14th October by Pope Francis. In this interview, Mgr. Jim looks back on that time and speaks about his memories of 'Papa Montini'. Opposite is a photo of Mgr. Jim meeting Pope Paul VI in Rome. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://soundcloud.com/user-297441672/jim-hamellmp3

THIRTIETH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (B)

Today’s Gospel may seem to be only telling of an encounter between Jesus and a blind man called Bartimaeus outside of Jericho almost two thousand years ago, but, in fact, it has much to say to us about encountering God in our own time and in our own culture. For the Jews Jericho was a city that symbolised the world and sinful humanity. When Joshua and the Israelites had crossed the Jordan to enter into the Promised Land, Jericho had resisted them; and it was only conquered by an act of God when the walls fell down after the Israelites had marched around it seven times in a liturgical style procession. In other words, it was God who had conquered it in response to the people’s prayers. No

FEAST DAY OF ST LUKE THE EVANGELIST - 18TH OCTOBER 2018

I spent over a year developing the entire Gospel of Luke as story. Then a friend of mine asked me to create an abridged version of the gospel that she could us on an educational website she was designing. In the end I reduced four hours of material to a twelve minute story that I believe faithfully expresses the aspects of Luke that she wanted me to focus on. This story was originally titled Luke: The Incarnation, Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus, which was a bit cumbersome. I then considered calling it The Life Cycle of Jesus. But since every time I told the story I described it as a twelve minute version of Luke, I ultimately settled on the prosaic title, The Gospel of Luke in Twel

COLLABORATION OR CO-RESPONSIBILITY IN THE CHURCH?

In the past two weeks, Bishop Denis with the vicars of the diocese of Ferns have been meeting with priests and lay parish leaders regarding the future of the Church in the diocese that will see far fewer priests. This will mean, inevitably, that more lay people will need to assume more responsibility for the maintenance and mission of their local Churches. But as they do this are they collaborators of the clergy or are they co-responsible? In his address at the Opening of a Pastoral Convention in Rome on 26th May 2009, Pope Benedict XVI said that: ‘it is necessary to improve pastoral structures in such a way that the co-responsibility of all the members of the People of God in their entirety

FELT IMMENSITIES AND THE MYSTERY OF GOD

On PSALM 8: 3-4 Early humans must have been fascinated by the night sky, the sweep of the Milky Way, the occasional shower of meteorites, the rhythms which they discerned in the movement of the stars. The city dwellers among modern humans have no ordinary nightly access to the sense of wonder which the beautiful night sky evokes; light pollution has obscured the stars. But the observatories on mountain tops world wide, such as in the Atacama in Chile, give astronomers fascinating views of the stars. These encounters can raise questions about the meaning of what it is to be human among this vastness. Prof. Brian Cox, in his wonderful series on the universe [ BBC series 2011], presents the

THIS WEEK'S INTERVIEW WITH FR SEAN DEVEREUX, PARISH PRIEST OF CUSHINSTOWN

This week we catch up with Fr Sean Devereux who is parish priest of Cushinstown and also services the curacies of Terrerath and Rathgarogue. Sean spent a number of years as a missionary in The Gambia and for Mission Sunday he shares his experiences of those years far from home. He also shares with us perspectives on mission here in modern Ireland and the direction the Church needs to move towards in a future that will see a significant reduction in the number of priests. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://soundcloud.com/user-297441672/sean-devereuxmp3

HOMILY FOR TWENTY-NINTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME - MISSION SUNDAY

Today, all over the world, we celebrate Mission Sunday. The challenge for all of us is to come to realise that mission is not just something that is carried out by so called missionaries in other parts of the world. But that mission is about our own country, our own parish and our own family. As baptised Christians mission is part of our DNA. A friend of mine told me a story about how once, when he was in Belfast, as he walked past a Catholic Church he felt drawn in to light a candle and to say a prayer. But when he went to the shrine of the Blessed Virgin to light a candle the only candles available were large ones that cost £3. Thinking that too expensive, he decided that he would skip

CLOSING OF THE PILGRIMAGE SEASON IN FATIMA - 13TH OCTOBER 2018

As I write, the Ferns Diocesan pilgrimage to Fatima is taking place. The highlight of the pilgrimage will come on Saturday 13th October that celebrates the 101st anniversary of the 'Miracle of the Sun' that took place on 13th October 1917. Below is an article on the Fatima experience written by Fr Jim Doyle who was in Fatima for the centenary celebrations last year. “On a wing and a prayer” My pilgrimage to Fatima on its 100th anniversary By Fr. Jim Doyle On the 16th of October last year, as everyone else was preparing themselves for hurricane Ophilia, I was flying out on an early flight from Dublin to Lisbon, Portugal, on route to a few days pilgrimage in Fatima. It was not a planned pilgr

FEAST DAY OF ST TERESA OF AVILA: 15TH OCTOBER 2018

BEST QUOTES OF ST TERESA OF AVILA 'Prayer is an act of love; words are not needed. Even if sickness distracts from thoughts, all that is needed is the will to love'. 'Mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us. The important thing is not to think much but to love much and so do that which best stirs you to love. Love is not great delight but desire to please God in everything'. 'Prayer is an act of love; words are not needed. Even if sickness distracts from thoughts, all that is needed is the will to love'. 'If Christ Jesus dwells in a man as his friend and noble leader, that

THE CANONIZATION OF OSCAR ROMERO AND POPE PAUL VI AND THE BEATIFICATION OF ARGENTINIAN MARTYRS. INTE

This Sunday, 14th October 2018, Pope Francis will canonize as saints of the Church, Archbishop Oscar Romero and Pope Paul VI. He will also beatify a number of others including Carlos de Dios Murias and his companions Fr Gabriel Longueville and Mr. Wenceslao Pedernera. Oscar Romero was Archbishop of El Salvador when he was killed by a gunman as he celebrated the Eucharist on 24th March 1980 during the brutal civil war in his country. Pope Paul VI was Pope from 1963 until his death in 1978. He led the Church through a turbulent time of social change and change in the Church after the Second Vatican Council. Gabriel Longueville, Carlos de Dios Murias and Wenceslao Pedernera were murdered by the

 
 

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