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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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THE PROBLEM OF LONELINESS

In January this year, Ms. Tracy Crouch, the British Minister for sport and civil society, received a new brief from her government – to tackle the growing problem of human loneliness in her country. Her appointment followed a report that found nine million residents of the United Kingdom feel lonely always or often. This report confirms what we already suspected to be true not just in Britain but in much of Western society - namely that people are living their lives in greater isolation but to such a degree that it is impacting negatively on their happiness, mental health and spiritual health. The fact that a government would appoint a cabinet minister to organise a response to the epidemic

'CHOOSE LIFE': POPE FRANCIS ON THE 'THROW AWAY CULTURE'

On Wednesday 22nd August, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, Philippines, gave a presentation at the RDS, Dublin as part of the 'World Meeting of Families'. The theme of his talk was: 'Choose Life: Pope Francis on the throw away culture'. In his presentation, Cadinal Tagle brought together the themes of the Pope's two encyclicals - 'Laudato Si' on care for the environment and 'the Joy of Love' on the mission of the Christian family, with what Pope Francis has described as a 'throw away culture' where things are often manufactured deliberately so that they will need to be replaced in short order so that the market prices will be kept inflated. In this culture, things and even

ST AIDAN'S PARISH RECIPIENTS OF THE ST JOHN PAUL II AWARDS

On Wednesday 7th November, five girls from St Aidan's Parish and Colaiste Brid, Enniscorthy were awarded with the St John Paul II award for their contributions to their school and community. The awards were presented by Bishop Denis at a ceremony at the Riverside Park Hotel, Enniscorthy. These five girls were among many young people who received awards on the night. The Pope John Paul II Award was created to commemorate the late Pope John Paul II who was so committed to young people and who had such belief and confidence in them. The Award was launched by the Papal Nuncio to Ireland, His Excellency Most Rev Dr Giuseppe Lazzarotto on 7th November 2006 in the Diocese of Derry, Ireland. The Awa

OPENING ADDRESS AT 'FAITH ON FIRE' CONFERENCE ON SATURDAY 24TH NOVEMBER BY BISHOP DENIS BREN

On Saturday, 24th November, a conference on Christian faith was held at the Riverside Park Hotel in Enniscorthy. Over 100 people took part in a lively and engaging exploration of the gift faith for our times. The conference was opened by Bishop Denis. He is pictured below with the four speakers at the Conference: Sean O'Leary, Sr. Holy Family, Bunclody, Colette O'Doherty and Fr Billy Swan. Also pictured are 'the Mustard Seeds' who provided music for the occasion and a section of the crowd in attendance. Here is the script of Bishop Denis' opening words at the Conference: 'Many people today struggle with the idea of faith. They also struggle with its expression in public rituals and are often

HOMILY FOR FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT (C)

This weekend we celebrate the First Sunday of Advent. It marks the beginning of the church’s year. It is foremost a liturgical year, when we celebrate Liturgy and at every Sunday Mass we walk with Jesus as we encounter his words and ministry. Every celebration of the Eucharist puts us in contact with the Paschal Mystery, the death and resurrection of Jesus that marks the high point of his life of love for human kind. In Advent our focus of attention is very much the birth of Jesus and his Incarnation. God came to us in human shape so that we might more easily understand his remarkable love for us and bring us into relationship with himself. As we move through Advent we dispose ourselves and

REFLECTIONS ON A VISIT TO THE HOLY LAND: Part 1 - From Jericho to Jerusalem

From 16th to 26th October, Sean O'Leary travelled with 40 other pilgrims from St Aidan's Cathedral Parish in Enniscorthy to the Holy Land. Here he shares the first of a series of reflections on the places we visited. 'For me our pilgrimage to the Holy Land began chronologically in the historical sense near the ancient city of Jericho, believed to be the oldest inhabited city on earth, which was first settled over 10,000 years ago. It is said to be the first city occupied by the Israelites upon reaching the Promised Land following their exodus from Egypt about 3,400 years ago. It is near the Salt Sea, now called the Dead Sea, where the waters stopped flowing to allow the bearers of the Ark of

FEAST OF ST COLUMBANUS: 23RD NOVEMBER

St.Columbanus, also known as St. Columban, was born around the year 543 in Clonegal at the foot of Mount Leinster. At a young age he left his home to join a monastery at Cleenish, Co. Fermanagh and later joined a monastery at Bangor, Co. Down. After a number of years at Bangor he left Ireland for good and arrived in France where he founded a number of monasteries, most notably Luxeuil Abbey where he was Abbot for twenty years. Columbanus was involved in a dispute with the local king and when Columbanus denounced his lifestyle, the King banished him and his monks back to Ireland. They left from Nantes but became shipwrecked further up the cast of France before they made their way to preach in

A NEW FILM AND MUST SEE - 'ALL OR NOTHING'. THE STORY OF SR CLARE CROCKETT

Sr Clare Crockett was born in Derry in 1982 and was killed in the Ecuador earthquake on 16th April 2016. A new film has just been released that tells the story of her short but extraordinary life. She wanted to be a famous nun but little did she know how the Lord would grant her wish. Clare Crockett had always wanted to be a great Hollywood actress. Aged 14, she began to land acting roles, hosting a Nickelodeon programme at 16. But even when she landed a small role in a feature film, she was not happy. “Neither success, nor fame, nor human love could fill me. I knew that only by doing what God wanted could I be truly happy,” she recounted. Following a greater call, she entered religious life

THIS WEEK'S INTERVIEW WITH FR LUKE McNAMARA OSB, GLENSTAL ABBEY

This week's interview for the Hook of Faith is with Fr Luke McNamara who is Benedictine Monk and priest living at Glenstal Abbey, Murroe, Co. Limerick. In this interview, Fr Luke tells us about his previous life as a medical doctor and gives us an insight into daily life in the monastery. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://soundcloud.com/user-297441672/luke-macnamara

HOMILY FOR FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING (B)

There is a very powerful film called God is not Dead. Initially it is written as a book of a similar title. It tells the journey of an evangelical college student named Josh who enrols in a philosophy course. As someone who has studied philosophy, part of our studies is to debate the existence of God and how the universe came into existence. Josh’s college professor is an atheist therefore doesn’t believe in God, that God is a pre-scientific fiction. He removes the students right to an opinion or belief in God and asks them to sign a declaration that states God is dead. If not they will fail the course. Josh refuses to sign. Both Josh and his professor then ensue in different debates and dur

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

I am sure you are all aware of the film ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ and ‘2012’. Both of these movies deal with the big issue of climate change and raise environmental concerns. It is the usual bad cop good cop scenario. Scientists in the movies raise concerns for the earth’s condition and that as inhabitants of the earth we may be facing a major disaster or indeed the end of the world as we have come to know it. Their concerns and research fall on deaf ears and are greeted with the attitude of ‘that won’t happen it if it does it will be years away and it won’t be my problem’. However, it does happen, disaster does strike, the world starts falling apart and there comes a fight for survival. Thos

PARENTS AS MISSIONARIES TO THEIR CHILDREN

During a homily on Mission Sunday last year, I shared some thoughts on parents as evangelists, as missionaries to their children. After Mass, a group of parents asked me if I could offer some practical advice on how they could be missionaries to their children. I was delighted to be asked, and on reflection, what struck me most strongly about their request was the fact that they had made it! People still look to priests for help in matters of faith, and it’s good for us priests to be reminded of this. We should make every effort to offer help, and not dismiss such appeals with the plea that parents are the real experts. Of course they are, but if they appeal to some expertise that they hope

THE SECOND WORLD DAY OF THE POOR - SUNDAY 18TH NOVEMBER 2018

Pope Francis instituted the first World Day of the Poor last year at the conclusion of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. His reason for making this day an annual event was the hope that it may be ‘a small answer which the whole Church gives to the poor of every type and in every land, lest they think that their cry has gone unheard’ (Message for Second World Day of the Poor, 3). The second World Day of the Poor is celebrated this year on Sunday 18th November and has as its theme: ‘This poor man cried and the Lord heard him’ taken from Psalm 34. With the choice of this theme, Pope Francis asks us to ponder how the cry of the poor ‘rises to the presence of God but can fail to reach our own ears and

FAITH ON FIRE CONFERENCE: SATURDAY 24TH NOVEMBER 2018. INTERVIEW WITH COLETTE O'DOHERTY

For our interview this week, we meet with Colette O' Doherty, who is speaking at the 'Faith on Fire' morning conference in Enniscorthy on Saturday 24th November next. The full title of the Conference is: 'Faith on Fire: Living our Faith with Head, Hands and Heart'. Here Colette gives us a preview of her talk on 'Handing on the Faith to our children' and speaks of the importance of the gift of faith for her and her family. The Conference will be opened by Bishop Denis and is brought to you by Ferns Café (Catholic Adult Formation and Education). Places are still available to attend the conference and all are welcome. To book a place please text or call 087-1225407 as soon as possible. CLICK HE

IS RELIGION GOOD FOR CHILDREN?

The following is an article published in the Irish Times on 1st November 2018. Lots to ponder and a challenge to those who argue of an end to the religious education of children in schools. Religion in Ireland is currently under strong and persistent criticism from liberal commentators. One frequently heard criticism is that it is seriously wrong to “indoctrinate” young children in religious dogma, a charge that, in practice, seems to be aimed almost exclusively at the Catholic Church – most liberal critics go all coy when other religions are mentioned. As usual, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins coins the most caustic criticisms, for example his infamous remark in the context of the se

MARKING 100 YEARS SINCE THE END OF THE GREAT WAR - THE STORY OF FR WILLIE DOYLE SJ

A Champion at the Front This Sunday, 11th November 2018 marks the centenary of the end of the First World War. On this special remembrance Sunday we remember and pray for the 102 soldiers from the Enniscorthy town and District and 850 soldiers from Wexford who lost their lives in this terrible conflict. At one of the darkest times in human history, one light of hope shone as a beacon of hope. His name was Fr Willie Doyle, a Jesuit priest and army chaplain who was killed in the Battle of Passchendaele, Flanders, 100 years ago last year. He was one of thirty-two Irish Jesuit chaplains in the First World War. To us today the First World War can only be seen as an indescribable waste of life, a

SHOWING WELCOME AND RESPECT IN OUR PARISHES FOR LGBT PEOPLE AND THEIR FAMILIES

During the World Meeting of Families gathering in August at the RDS in Dublin, one of the best attended talks was that by Fr James Martin, an American Jesuit. His topic was entitled 'Showing welcome and respect in our parishes for LGBT people and their families'. Earlier last year, Fr Martin wrote a book entitled 'Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT community can enter a relationship of respect, compassion and sensitivity'. The theme and content of his talk in Dublin drew from his earlier written work. In this revised and expanded paperback of his ground breaking book, Fr Martin makes the surprisingly controversial argument that Catholic leaders should stop seeing the LGB

PRISONERS' SUNDAY: 11TH NOVEMBER 2018

'I was in prison and you visited me' (Matthew 25:36) Caring for Irish Prisoners Overseas The Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference This council comes under the Episcopal Commission for Pastoral Care Contact Details Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas – ICPO Columba Centre Maynooth Co. Kildare Ireland Tel: +353 (0)1 505 3156 Fax: +353 (0)1 601 6401 Email: icpo@iecon.ie Website: www.icpo.ie ICPO (London) 50-52 Camden Square London NW1 9XB UK Tel: +44 (0)207 482 4148 Fax: +44 (0)207 482 4815 Email: prisoners@irishchaplaincy.org.uk Related Content To view content on this site related to Prisoners Overseas, click on the following tag Prisone

NO ORDINARY LIFE - EXPLORING PRIESTHOOD

In advance of the discernment weekend on 23rd and 24th November at Mount St Anne's Retreat Centre, Portarlington, Co. Laois, I caught up with Frs. Jim Doyle and Billy Caulfield to speak about their experience of being a priest today. Jim and Billy are members of the Diocesan Vocations Team here in the Diocese of Ferns. If you are a single male between 18 and 40 and are interested in attending this discernment week, please contact Fr Billy Swan, Vocations Director on 087-1225407 or see www.vocations.ie for further details. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://soundcloud.com/user-297441672/billy-caulfield-and-jim-doylemp3

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

How many times have we all opened the fridge or indeed the cupboard and saw very little there and said to ourselves how I can I make something out of very little? As many of you know I was a chef before embarking on priesthood and the sign of a good and talented chef or indeed a good householder is that some people can create a beautiful and fantastic meal out of virtually nothing. They have two to three ingredients and create a feast fit for a king that seems to go onto feed a multitude. Our readings this weekend features two widows. In our first reading from the book of Kings the widow was approached by the prophet Elijah who asked her for some scraps of food, he wasn’t looking for a lot o

 
 

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