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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FEAST DAY OF ST BRIGID: 1ST FEBRUARY

The earliest surviving hagiography of Brigit was written by the Kildare monk Cogitosus (c. 620-680), within 150 years of her death. In his account, Brigid is portrayed consistently as compassionate and merciful. She is a woman of charity ‘to the poor and to wayfarers…having given all away to the poor’.[1] On one occasion when a man had suffered a grave injustice we are told she was ‘moved with pity…filled with deep grief for the unfortunate man who had been unfairly condemned’.[2] Cogitosus speaks of ‘the excellence of her holiness’, ‘her marvellous hospitality’ and how ‘no poor person left her presence empty-handed’.[3] He also writes of her charity and kindness to lepers and animals.[4] A

THIS WEEK'S INTERVIEW WITH FR PHILIP MULRYNE O.P.

A few weeks ago we welcomed to St Aidan’s Fr Philip Mulryne who is a Dominican priest, a native of Belfast and currently based as a teacher and chaplain at Dominican College Secondary school in Newbridge, Co. Kildare. Philip was a young talented footballer who signed a professional contract with Manchester United at 16. His team mates at the time included Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane. Philip stayed at Manchester United until 1999 when he signed for Norwich City where he became club captain and became a first team regular. During his professional career he also played for Northern Ireland and earned 28 caps. Along this amazing journey of success, fame and wealth, Phil

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK 2019

Catholic Schools Week 2019 will run from 27th January to 3rd February 2019. The theme for Catholic Schools Week this year is Catholic Schools: Celebrating the Work of Our Local Catholic Schools. As Irish society changes, it is important that we reflect on the unique contribution of Catholic schools to our collective goal of education. Each Catholic school shares an ethos that is inclusive, welcoming and vibrant. Each school works towards a vision of each student as made in the likeness and image of God (imago Dei). This means that we work towards helping each child, irrespective of background, ethnicity or creed, reach their full potential academically, spiritually and socially. To be in the

FEAST OF ST AIDAN: 30TH JANUARY - ONE OF THE PATRON SAINTS OF THE HOOK OF FAITH

The patron saint of the diocese of Ferns is St Aidan. He was born at a place now called Port Island, in Templeport in Co. Cavan. The exact date of his birth is unknown but it was probably before the middle of the sixth century. He studied for the priesthood at St David’s foundation at Menevia in southern Wales before arriving back in Ireland at Ardamine in North Co. Wexford where he founded a number of local Churches. It was at Ferns in Co. Wexford that he established his most important monastic foundation. Though patron saint of our diocese, Aidan was certainly not the first Christian missionary in the area. St Ibar is believed to have preceded the arrival of St Patrick and was active in th

HOMILY FOR THIRD SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (C)

The road was a dusty one, the sun scorching. My destination was miles away. My traveling companions were slumbering. Ahead I saw the checkpoint, a single metal triangle emblazoned with black bold capitals stating “POLICE STOP” As I got closer I saw the two police officers sitting under a low bush to the side of the road. I slowed the Land Rover as we approached coming to a stop a few meters from the stop sign. A sleepy police officer emerged from the bush and beckoned me forward. His eyes scanned the interior of the vehicle, walking all round it peering through the windows. Suddenly he was back at my window greeting me. Stony faced, peering at me through black sunglasses he asked for documen

MEDIATING AN ENCOUNTER WITH GOD THROUGH SACRED MUSIC

One of the most beautiful pieces of music I have heard is 'Miserere Mei Deus' by King's College Choir, Cambridge. It is music set to Psalm 51 which confronts our own broken humanity and implores God's mercy: 'Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness. In your compassion blot out my offense. O wash me more and more from my guilt and cleanse me from my sin. My offenses truly I know them; my sin is always before me. Against you, you alone, have I sinned; what is evil in your sight I have done. That you may be justified when you give sentence and be without reproach when you judge. O see, in guilt was I born, a sinner was I conceived. Indeed you love truth in the heart; then in the secret of my he

FEAST OF ST THOMAS AQUINAS: MONDAY 28TH JANUARY

This Monday, the Church celebrates the feast of St Thomas Aquinas, one of the most brilliant minds in the whole history of Christianity. This video by Bishop Robert Barron outlines the main contours of the saint's life and the main features that marked his theology. Here are a number of his most memorable teachings that are still powerfully relevant in our day. 1. Grace builds on nature: for Thomas, the Christian life is a flourishing and a fulfilment of the natural order of humanity. Christ came to save us from sin so that we might have the fullness of life and of joy. So for Thomas, being a good Christian is not possible without being a good human being. 2. 'Nil nisi te Domine.....Nothing

WORLD YOUTH DAY 2019

This week, a small group from our diocese departed for World Youth Day that takes place in Panama, South America in these days. Pope Francis is due to visit on Friday of this week. Among the pilgrims from our diocese is Bishop Denis and Fr Jim Doyle. We caught up with Fr Jim before he departed and explained to us the spirit of World Youth Day and what he expects from this festival of faith with young people from all over the world who gather with Pope Francis. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW WITH FR JIM: https://soundcloud.com/user-297441672/jim-doylemp3

10 Things Pope Francis Wants You to Know about Evangelization

As he heads for World Youth Day in Panama, Pope Francis will certainly empower young people to be missionaries of charity and joy. Here we share ten things that the Holy Father wants us to know about evangelization: 1. Everyone is Meant to Evangelize Every Christian is challenged, here and now, to be actively engaged in evangelization; indeed, anyone who has truly experienced God’s saving love does not need much time or lengthy training to go out and proclaim that love.—Evangelii Gaudium 2. Want Authentic Personal Fulfilment? Evangelize When the Church summons Christians to take up the task of evangelization, she is simply pointing to the source of authentic personal fulfilment. For “here we

A POEM BY DERMOT O'BRIEN: LEON CATHEDRAL, SPAIN

Both hands on the slab where Jesus was laid out dark to the depths of death. Leon Cathedral with the sun streaming thro’ light blending the colours. A prayer in itself the stained-glass windows’ light in Leon Cathedral Fallen to the ground like a flock of crows the leaves of the red maple. Located in northwest Spain along the Camino de Santiago, León Cathedral (Catedral de Santa María de Regla de León) is a French-style Gothic cathedral built in the 13th century over the ruins of ancient Roman baths. Intricately carved portals, glorious rose windows, one of the oldest choirs in the country, and beautiful sculptures such as the Virgen de la Esperanza are just a few of the cathedral's many i

A JOURNEY THROUGH THE HOLY LAND: PART 2 - FROM MOUNT CARMEL TO THE GOLAN HEIGHTS

Many miles to the North West on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea lies the port city of Haifa overlooked by Mount Carmel. Mary, our local guide from Jerusalem informed us that Haifa was her favourite city because everyone got on well together regardless of their religious affiliation. With this hopeful nugget of wisdom swirling in our minds, we ascended the slopes of Mount Carmel to arrive at the monastic home of the Carmelites, a Catholic religious order dating back to the 12th Century. The monastery contains a crypt, which is believed to have been the cave of the prophet Elijah. In Jewish, Christian and Islamic thought, Elijah is a central prophet whose name literally means ‘My God is Yah

FEAST DAY OF ST FRANCIS DE SALES: 24th January 2019

CLICK BELOW TO WATCH THIS SHORT VIDEO ON THE LIFE OF ST FRANCIS DE SALES Francis was destined by his father to be a lawyer so that the young man could eventually take his elder’s place as a senator from the province of Savoy in France. For this reason Francis was sent to Padua to study law. After receiving his doctorate, he returned home and, in due time, told his parents he wished to enter the priesthood. His father strongly opposed Francis in this, and only after much patient persuasiveness on the part of the gentle Francis did his father finally consent. Francis was ordained and elected provost of the Diocese of Geneva, then a center for the Calvinists. Francis set out to convert them, es

CHRISTIAN UNITY WEEK: 18TH TO 25TH JANUARY 2019. AN INTERVIEW WITH REV. NICOLA HALFORD

Every year, the Church marks Christian unity week from 18th to 25th January. Each year, some local Church is tasked with devising a liturgy that focuses on the need for Christian unity in the world today. This year, the local Church of Indonesia has been chosen to do this and they have chosen a theme inspired from the Book of Deuteronomy: 'Justice and only justice you shall pursue' (16:18-20). Each year here in the diocese of Ferns, an ecumenical prayer service marks the good relations between Christian denominations as we come together to celebrate unity and pray for greater bonds of unity between us. This year, the service takes place on Sunday evening, 20th January at St David's Church, O

HOMILY FOR SECOND SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (C)

“There is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit: there are all sorts of service to be done but always to the same Lord, working in all sorts of different ways in different people.” (1 Cor. 12: 4) Living in The Gambia and ministering in Gambian Church opened my eyes to see the varied gifts given to people by God for use in the building up of the parish community. In 1999, I was appointed parish priest of a new parish situated in the middle of the biggest township in the country. We had little to begin with, a building that we used as a church that looked more like a warehouse and a rusting container to one side of it that acted as a general store. I still remember how deflated and

EXCITING TIMES!

This piece was written by Maria Colfer, co-ordinator of the Ferns Diocesan Pastoral Council. It was about the late 80’s early 90’s when there was an announcement in the diocese that clergy, laity and community groups were being invited to come together for a public meeting. Two at least from every parish were invited to attend. This was a rare open-door event. I remember the excitement when I was coming from Mass that Sunday. The sense of anticipation was palpable. The big day arrived. It was an afternoon gathering in the Ferrycarrig Hotel. I was nervous of going on my own and asked a friend to come with me. She seemed glad to do so. The conference room was thronged with laity, reli

HANDING ON THE FAITH IN THE HOME TODAY: Bishop Brendan Leahy

Our video this week again comes from the World Meeting of Families at the RDS in August last year and features a talk given by Brendan Leahy, Bishop of Limerick on handing on the faith in the home today. A must see for anyone serious about making the home a place where faith can be nourished, created, celebrated and lived.

FINAL TALK AT THE 'FAITH ON FIRE' CONFERENCE : 'FAITH TESTED' by Dr Sean O'Leary

This week we feature the fourth and final talk at the 'Faith on Fire' Conference which took place at the Riverside Park Hotel, Enniscorthy, in November last. Where the first three talks featured faith in the head, faith in the heart and faith in the hands, this talk faces the truth of how our faith is tested by the experience of living today. With his background in science and education, Sean O'Leary puts faith under the microscope and finds out that faith not only stands up to scrutiny but is a dimension that helps us take in all of reality. He concludes how both faith and science are necessary to understand the depth and breath of human existence. Compelling listening. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

THE GIFT OF OUR BAPTISM AND OUR SEARCH FOR MEANING

Each time the Church celebrates the feast of the Lord’s baptism at the end of the Christmas season, my mind returns to a pilgrimage to the Holy Land I made a few years ago. One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to the banks of the River Jordan, to where Jesus was baptised by John all those years ago. During our visit to the Jordan, we renewed our baptismal promises. It was a very memorable and spiritual experience that brought home to me a number of important truths about who I am as a baptised Christian. Here I would like to single out just one of those truths that is truly good news for everyone who has been immersed in the waters of baptism. Because of our baptism, our lives have

HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD

One could say that our celebration of the sacrament of baptism is a little understated. When celebrating the sacrament in my parish I often wonder why I do not try to put more emphasis on the sacrament. In the years since the Second Vatican Council little has been done to catechize the members of the members of the church family about the celebration. It is advised that the sacrament of Baptism should be celebrated where possible as part of the Sunday Mass. Yet, for the most part, we choose to celebrate the sacrament privately. The Sacrament welcomes the child in the community of the church. It is the first sacrament of the sacraments and the first welcome into the Catholic Church John

FR JACKIE POWER OSA: A TRIBUTE by Mgr. Joe McGrath

The following words were shared by Mgr. Joe McGrath at the reception of the remains of Fr Jackie Power OSA at Good Counsel College Chapel on Friday 21st December 2018 TOMÁS O CROITHIN was a Kerryman who wrote a very famous book – An tOILEÁNACH or the ISLANDER in which he described the lives and particularly the people of the Blasket Islands off the Kerry coast. He ends the book by paying an extraordinary compliment to the people. That last sentence has become famous and overused very often , particularly on occasions like this. He wrote THERE WILL NEVER BE THEIR LIKES AGAIN. As we welcome back the remains of Fr Jackie Power to the town he served and loved so well, I think we will be forgive

 
 

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