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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Catholics must step up the fight against our hollow culture

For many Catholics who take their faith seriously, it has been a truly terrible year. They discovered that a majority of their countrymen and women – including many of their fellow Catholics – were perfectly happy to vote for abortion. In addition, the much-anticipated visit of a beloved pope was completely overshadowed by the Cardinal McCarrick scandal. Catholics were already horrified by two decades of scandals involving abuse of children by clergy. The idea that someone like McCarrick, who allegedly openly preyed on seminarians and who abused much younger boys too, could become one of the most powerful churchmen in the United States is devastating. Worse, no one is being held accountable.

THOUGHTS AT THE CRIB

Jesus asleep, warm, fed. Safe for now in a temporary shelter. Utterly dependent and cared for. Cradled in love. Mother Mary, very, very tired. It was a long journey from Nazareth. Happy this part is over. Ponders: what does this child face ? Joseph: grateful I can look after them. Mother and child: I love them. Surprising the turns our life has taken. They have drawn goodness from me. And us: dependent, questioning, grateful. God’s way becomes the human way. Where you find yourself at, from there you must begin. Jesus, Mary, Joseph: pray for us, now.

HOMILY FOR FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY

Today we celebrate the Solemn Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The Gospels do not tell us much about the family life of Jesus. We know that his parents fulfilled what the law required by having him circumcised and presenting him in the temple, which was the ceremony of the dedication of the firstborn son to the Lord. The most important family instance occurs in today’s Gospel. Every year Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Passover. When Jesus reached twelve years of age, the year before he assumed responsibility for his own life, he went with his parents, for the same purpose. As his parents returned home, Jesus remained in Jerusalem. Only after a

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

On behalf of all of us at FERNS Café and the producers of 'The Hook of Faith', we would like to wish all of our friends and visitors to our website a very happy and peaceful Christmas. This is the first Christmas of our mission through 'the Hook of Faith' as we remain focused on our mission to share the Good News of the Gospel through the digital media. Wherever you are this Christmas, we hope and pray that you are touched by the love of God that comes us humbly as a little child born in Bethlehem. Please continue to pray for us and support our mission as we continue into 2019. Thank You and God bless you all! ADVENT by Philp Quirke And who are you waiting for this season: an emigrant child

BISHOP ROBERT BARRON ON THE RADICAL MYSTERY OF CHRISTMAS

If we think that Christmas is just about children or sentimentality then this video by Bishop Robert Barron invites us to think again. Here he argues that the mystery of Jesus's Nativity is a great mystery that changes everything including us and the world.

INSPIRING CHRISTIAN MUSIC BY ANGELA MAHON

There is a famous story told of St Augustine who went into the Cathedral of Milan at a time when St Ambrose was preaching and as Christian music was playing. Augustine later wrote about this experience that moved him in his famous book Confessions: 'How I wept, deeply moved by your hymns, songs, and the voices that echoed through your Church! What emotion I experienced in them! Those sounds flowed into my ears, distilling the truth in my heart. A feeling of devotion surged within me, and tears streamed down my face - tears that did me good." - St. Augustine, Confessions, 9, 6. These words remind us that music has the power to move us in ways that words can't. It has the power to connect our

FAITH ON FIRE CONFERENCE - 24TH NOVEMBER 2018

SECOND TALK BY COLETTE O' DOHERTY: 'Faith in the Hands - Bringing God into the daily lives of our children' During the recent 'Faith on Fire' Conference at the Riverside Park Hotel, Colette O' Doherty shared with us a wonderful talk on how parents and families can best hand on the gift of faith to their children in the home. Here is her talk in full. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://soundcloud.com/user-297441672/colette-odoherty1mp3

HOMILY FOR CHRISTMAS DAY

Light and darkness are the two dominant images for people around the world. We link light to all the pleasant experiences of life. We speak of darkness when things do not go well for us and we experience death, depression or oppression. The first reading for the first mass of Christmas faces us with a people liberated from foreign oppression. The nation of Israel and the people of God have been overrun by the Assyrians, the super power of the time. Now liberation is at hand, and is an immediate prospect. Isaiah describes it in glowing terms. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” Joy follows the light that has come to remove the darkness. God now breaks the yoke that ha

HOMILY FOR FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT (C)

Against the background of siege and trouble for the people of Judah, Micah announces a new king, a descendant of David, who will come from David’s hometown, Bethlehem. The ancestors of this new king go back a long way, but it is he who will “rule over Israel”. The account of this new king clearly reflects some of the prevalent Messianic prophecies. The people of Israel will be exiled until the mother of the new king gives birth. “The Lord is therefore going to abandon them until she who is going to give birth, gives birth.” This new born son will be an ideal king who welcomes back a remnant of exiles and will nourish his flock, supported by the power of God. In his own person, he will guaran

CHRISTIAN MISSION THROUGH MUSIC - with Angela Mahon

This week we feature the work of young Wexford woman Angela Mahon who writes, composes and sings inspirational Christian music The song and video above and the article below is taken from her website: www.angelamahon.com Being a mum and pursuing my passion for singing and music In all honesty, there is no magical solution to being a working mum and trying to pursue anything, it is always going to be a tough task. I am constantly being asked how do you have time to work? How do you make time for singing and have five kids? Again, I have no magical solution and no clear set of instructions as to how I do it, I am not a supermom with hidden powers! However, there is probably something that real

THE GIFT OF FAITH

In this article, Patricia McNally from St Aidan’s parish Enniscorthy talks about her hopes for the future of the Catholic Church and the challenges and joys of her own spiritual path. ‘Faith is a safety net in a challenging and stressful world. Everyday life has become busier, we are living in ‘fast-forward’ mode and faith is the pause button that everyone needs. We all like to have a certain amount of control over things in our lives and we like things to turn out the way we want them to, but very often this doesn’t happen. Families are struggling to make ends meet, young people are facing emigration. Depression, loneliness, and feelings of isolation and detachment from society are becoming

FEAST DAY OF ST JOHN OF THE CROSS - Friday 14th December

Saint John of the Cross was born Juan de Yepes y Alvarez, in Fontiveros, Spain in 1542. His father was employed by wealthy family members as an accountant, but they disowned him when he married a poor woman from a lower class. As a result of his family's poverty, John's family suffered greatly. His father died when he was three, and his older brother, Luis died two years after that, likely because of malnutrition. John's mother eventually found work weaving which helped her to feed her family. As a child, John was sent to a boarding school for poor and orphaned children. He was given a religious education from a young age and chose to follow a religious path, even as a child. As he grew olde

FAITH ON FIRE CONFERENCE: FAITH IN THE HEAD - UNDERSTANDING FAITH TODAY

This week we feature the first of the talks given at the recent 'Faith on Fire' Conference at the Riverside Park Hotel in Enniscorthy. It is entitled: 'Faith in the Head - Understanding Christian faith today'. Here is the talk in full by Fr Billy Swan, St Aidan's Cathedral, Enniscorthy. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://soundcloud.com/user-297441672/billy-swanmp3

OUR RESPONSIBILITY FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

In a week that confirmed that Ireland is the worst offender in the EU for green house gas emissions, our video this week is one called 'Climate Generation' by Lorna Gold who recounts her personal journey in coming to understand 'climate change' both as an activist and as a mother of two young boys. Lorna Gold works for Trócaire, the Irish Catholic Development Agency. She is a specialist in International Development who has worked across academic and NGO contexts for almost two decades. She writes and speaks extensively on Pope Francis’ teaching in Laudato Sí. She holds a PhD in Economic Geography from Glasgow University and currently lectures in Applied Social Studies in Maynooth University.

HOMILY FOR THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT (GAUDETE SUNDAY)

Dear friends. Christmas is a happy and joyful time. Right? For some, yes but for many it isn’t. The truth is that many people dread Christmas, find it difficult, lonesome and sad. Today in the Church, we celebrate ‘Gaudete Sunday’ which means ‘Rejoicing Sunday’, indicated by the lighting of the third rose candle on the Advent wreath. But if we are meant to be joyful, how come so many are sad and how can this gap be bridged? We begin by considering some of the many reasons why people have good reason to feel sad at this time of year when many lacks or absences in our lives come to the surface of our attention. Spare a thought for the families of people who died in the past year. There are man

GOD IS LOVE

As I passed through Dublin airport recently, the quote on the Church’s tower “God is Love” caught my eye. That made me think. Dublin Airport is a very busy place with thousands of people passing through on a daily basis, in fact almost 27 million people every year. All those people to get to see that “God is love”. More importantly behind every person passing though the airport there is a story. Some of these are happy, others sad. It is a clash of emotions in the heart of the capital. Surely, there is much that can be said to all those people. However, whatever is said has to be brief and stay with them. So what better thing to say than God loves us – just a gentle reminder that, no matter

THE FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION - Saturday 8th December

Check out the video above on Mary's Immaculate Conception explained in the Basilica of the Annunciation at Nazareth by Dr Edward Sri. POPE FRANCIS ON THE FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF MARY Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning and happy feast! Today we contemplate the beauty of Mary Immaculate. The Gospel, which narrates the Annunciation, helps us to understand what we are celebrating, especially through the greeting of the Angel. He addresses Mary with a word that is not easy to translate, which means “filled with grace,” “created by grace,” “full of grace” (Luke 1:28). Before calling her Mary, he calls her full of grace, and he thus reveals the new name that God has given her, wh

ABORTION REFERRAL - AN AFFRONT TO CONSCIENCE

On Sunday last, 2nd December, up to 50 GPs walked out of an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Irish College of General Practitioners, complaining that their voices have not been heard ahead of the introduction of abortion services in January. The group of largely anti-abortion doctors wanted to vote on a series of motions but were refused that request. More than 300 doctors attended the meeting. Responding to this walk out, Minister of Health Simon Harris tweeted: 'Doctors and healthcare professionals have a right to conscientious objection. Women also have a right to healthcare though. One right cannot trump another. Just like all citizens, doctors have different views and that’s ok. But

THIS WEEK'S INTERVIEW WITH MR SEAN FOGARTY - PRESIDENT OF ENNISCORTHY BRANCH OF ST VINCENT DE PA

Last weekend in all Churches around the country, the annual Christmas appeal from St Vincent de Paul took place. In his pastoral letter to support the appeal, Bishop Denis drew our attention to the 'food and fuel poverty' that many families experience at this time of year. He also mentioned the logo of the society of St Vincent de Paul - 'neighbours helping neighbours', that sums up the voluntary, caring and local spirit of charity that pervades the work of the organisation. Here we catch up with Sean Fogarty, president of the Enniscorthy branch of St Vincent de Paul and speak to him about the work of the volunteers. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://soundcloud.com/user-297441672/sean-fogartymp3

HOMILY FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT (C)

The first reading of today’s Liturgy of the Word comes from the little known prophet, Baruch, who was a secretary to Jeremiah. For him the sufferings of Jerusalem are over. The pain of exile is about to come to an end. Jerusalem will delight in the glory and presence of God. “Jerusalem, take off the dress of sorrow and distress, put on the beauty of the glory of God forever, wrap the cloak of the integrity of God around you, put the diadem of the glory of the eternal on your head.” This revived Jerusalem will receive a new name: “peace through integrity, and honour through devotedness.” It will be a city distinguished by justice and peace and deserving honour from persistent worship. The peo

 
 

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