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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WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE CARE OF CREATION

CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO ON CLIMATE JUSTICE: https://www.icatholic.ie/climate-generation-lorna-gold/?jwsource=cl Last week, Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg arrived in New York following a journey on a yacht across the Atlantic. She travelled to America to raise awareness of Climate justice which is surely one of the most pressing issues for humanity in the present and for the future. Greta caught the imagination of teenagers around the world by organising a 'climate strike' that brought thousands of people out on to the streets of towns and cities, demanding a different and more just approach to climate change and a greater awareness of those effected most. The bottom line is that our curr

FIND MY LIGHT

"My eternal joy lies buried in your heart and soul. Listen to your body and hear the wonders of my spirit percolate within. The well of my goodness and light, rises up. Every moment is a fresh opportunity to live the laughter of your souls eternal joy. Bathe in the natural. Look around at life's resurrection. Everywhere about you the dance of recovery begins. Listen. Hear seeds growing from darkness to light." "All is light in me. Be awake to the light in a way that connects you to your creative self. From within your creative heart will emerge wise answers to your most important questions. My heart is all love and creativity and my invitation to all is always to enter into this process with

LIBERALS FAIL TO PRACTISE WHAT THEY PREACH ABOUT TOLERANCE

In this article, Maria Steen questions how tolerant is our society when one questions certain assumptions and thinks in a different way. Originally published in The Irish Times (24th August 2019) and re-produced here with permission. It is testament to the fact that so little has happened this August that column inches in a number of major newspapers have been devoted to what, by any standards, was a complete non-story: the attendance at a conservative political conference in Washington, DC, of the president of Young Fine Gael. Joining the chorus on this matter, Irish Times columnist Una Mullally weighed in. The most interesting aspect of her argument was her criticism of those who suggested

THIS WEEK'S INTERVIEW WITH FR FRANK DOWNES OP; RETREAT DIRECTOR AND SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR

While on retreat at Ballyvalloo recently, I caught up with a friend I hadn't seen in a while - Fr Frank Downes. Frank is a Dominican priest who hails from Limerick and who works in the area of leading retreats and offering spiritual direction. Many of us think that spiritual direction is only availed of by priests and religious. However, more and more lay people are also discovering the importance of spiritual direction in their lives and the support of someone who can help them see the presence and action of the Lord in the bits and pieces of everyday life. In this interview, Fr Frank describes his work and encourages all people of faith to avail of the support of spiritual direction. CLICK

HOMILY FOR TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (C)

One of the methods I often employ when preparing my homilies is to think back on the days of my youth (it seems like an eternity ago!!!) trying to recall what other priests have focussed on in their preaching. Thank God, I have been blessed with a good memory, even if my brain cells seem to be on a go-slow nowadays! When reflecting on the passage of the Gospel today (Luke 14), I recall how my brother priests preached, almost exclusively, on the importance of humility as if humility were the most important and sole theme of the text. This is not meant as a criticism, so please do not misunderstand me. Humility is one of the most essential elements in the Christian life, it would be folly to s

THE WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES AND THE VISIT OF POPE FRANCIS – ONE YEAR ON.

This week marks 12 months since the World Meeting of Families took place in Dublin and the historic visit by Pope Francis to Ireland. With the perspective of a year, we look back on five major themes of the World Meeting of Families and the message Pope Francis brought to us. Faith: On 26th August last, before he departed Ireland, Pope Francis spoke to the Irish Bishops and through them to all the people of Ireland. He said: ‘I am close to you: keep moving ahead with courage. The light of faith will show the way to the renewal of the Christian life in Ireland in the years ahead’. With these words, the Pope was leaving us a foundation on which to build renewal for the Irish Church in the futu

FOCUS ON THE SAINTS: ST AUGUSTINE (354-430). FEAST DAY 28TH AUGUST

Augustine was born in Thagaste in Africa of a Berber family. He was brought up a Christian but left the Church early and spent a great deal of time seriously seeking the truth, first in the Manichaean heresy, which he abandoned on seeing how nonsensical it was, and then in Neoplatonism, until at length, through the prayers of his mother and the teaching of St Ambrose of Milan, he was converted back to Christianity and baptized in 387, shortly before his mother’s death. Augustine had a brilliant legal and academic career, but after his conversion he returned he returned home to Africa and led an ascetic life. He was elected Bishop of Hippo and spent 34 years looking after his flock, teaching

FAITH IN THE COUNTRYSIDE

The 2016 Catholic Directory tells us that Ireland has 2,652 Catholic churches – one for every 1,725 Catholics. A lot of them are in rural parishes. Dublin diocese has a church for every 4,673 parishioners, while the figure for Killaloe diocese is 897 and 786 in Killala. Even within individual dioceses congregations vary in size, with some country congregations being well under 100 people. Our rural churches were mostly built at a time when these parishes had very large populations and transport was difficult. There were lots of priests back then and frequent celebrations of the Eucharist. Those days are over. Much of rural Ireland is becoming depopulated. Agriculture employs fewer and fewer

HOMILY FOR TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (C)

Dear friends. The Gospel this weekend begins with the question of how many of us will be saved. In times past that many of our older parishioners will remember, there was a great fear that we might not be saved - by committing mortal sin we might lose the eternal happiness of heaven and end up in the fires of hell. Nowadays, we rarely hear of hell or of God’s judgment in homilies, despite the fact that Jesus frequently mentions them. We seem to have gone from one extreme to another in a short space of time – from always hearing about God’s judgment to never hearing of it at all. The downside of this latter extreme is that human responsibility doesn’t seem to really matter. How we behave and

INSPIRING QUOTES FROM ST BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX - FEAST DAY TUESDAY 20TH AUGUST

“There are those who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge; that is Curiosity. There are those who seek knowledge to be known by others; that is Vanity. There are those who seek knowledge in order to serve; that is Love.” “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” “What we love we shall grow to resemble.” A saint is not someone who never sins, but one who sins less and less frequently and gets up more and more quickly.” “What I know of the divine sciences and the Holy Scriptures, I have learned in woods and fields. I have no other masters than the beeches and the oaks.” ‘God is incapable of suffering but capable of sharing another’s suffering’. “Jesus the very thought of Thee With

FORTHCOMING TALK: SATURDAY 31ST AUGUST - 'DISCOVERING WISDOM THROUGH SCIENCE, FAITH & HOPE&#

A retreat will take place in Ballyvaloo Retreat and Conference Centre on Saturday 31st August from 11 am to 4.30 pm facilitated by Dr. Sean O’Leary and Fr. Brendan Nolan. The day will allow us time to explore wisdom through a sensitivity to nature, scripture and quiet in the beautiful surrounds of Ballyvaloo. A short session in the morning will explore the nature of God’s intervention in the world from miracles to providence and highlight some interesting questions from evolutionary theory. For people of faith, the supernatural is an intrinsic part of the natural. They are inseparable. As Gerard Manley Hopkins puts it: ‘The world is charged with the grandeur of God.’ There will be plenty of

FORTHCOMING TALK: MONDAY 19TH AUGUST - 'MAKING EUROPE: COLUMBANUS, ROBERT SCHUMAN AND THE IDEA O

Carlow County Museum, Myshall Muintir na Tíre and the Myshall Community Centre presents, ‘Making Europe: Columbanus, Robert Schuman, and the Idea of Europe’ by Dr Alexander O’Hara. Following the devastation of World War II, a group of statesmen and scholars from across Europe met to commemorate the 14th centenary of the birth of St. Columbanus, and to discuss plans for the future of Europe. The founding of the EU can be traced to this gathering. This lecture looks at the surprising influence of Columbanus on Robert Schuman, a founding father of the EU, and how an Irish immigrant from the edge of Europe was one of the first to voice the concept of a united Europe. This talk is part of the Car

THIS WEEK'S VIDEO - NEW RESEARCH ON THE TUAM BABIES' BURIAL SITE

One of the most shocking aspects that was reported when the Tuam babies burial story broke a few years ago, was that the bodies of babies were disposed in a septic tank. This was the headline that went around the world and became a global embarrassment and scandal. Who were these cruel people who showed such callous disregard for dead children as to bury them in a septic tank? The conclusion was quickly reached, not with historical research but with much emotion, that it was the cruel nuns and cruel Church. Historian Brian Nugent has written a book that uncovers evidence that these babies were interred in coffins and were not thrown in a septic tank as had been widely held.

THIS WEEK'S INTERVIEW WITH MR. FRANK MURPHY, PRINCIPAL OF ST AIDAN'S NATIONAL SCHOOL, ENNISC

FOLLOWING the departure of Peter Creedon as principal of St Aidan's after 24 years at the helm, a successor was named to usher the Primary School into a new era. Having been a member of staff on the very first day that St Aidan’s was founded with the amalgamation of the Christian Brothers and Presentation Primary Schools back in 1994, Frank Murphy is certainly no stranger to the school. He served as Principal at Scoil Mhuire Lourdes in Tullow preceded by eight years as Principal at St Colman’s NS in Ballindaggin. Before this, Frank saw a bit of the world having worked in Italy, Kenya and China and he also worked at St Patrick’s Special School for a time. Here he shares his thoughts with us a

HOMILY FOR TWENTIETH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (C)

Dear friends. The second reading this weekend refers to the ‘great cloud of witnesses’ that surround us and who encourage us to live the Christian life. One of the things we all have in common as members of the great ‘cloud of witnesses’ is that we have been anointed prophets at our baptism. Here I would like to reflect a little on what that means for us today. These observations are based on the first reading today that features the prophet Jeremiah and the Gospel where Jesus Christ is recognised as being the great prophet as well as the Messiah and the Saviour. What does it mean then to share in the prophetic ministry of Christ? There are four things that mark us as prophets. First, the pr

HOMILY FOR NINETEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (C)

Dear friends. Lately, I drove passed a sign on a motorway that caught my attention. ‘Tiredness Kills’ was the stark message that encouraged drivers to stop and rest when fatigue hits them. Staying awake can literally save your life. In the Gospels, Jesus often urges his disciples to ‘stay awake’ as he does in the Gospel for this Sunday. But what does he mean? Does he want us to drink more coffee and sleep less? Hardly. Like most things he asks of us, his meaning is deeper and wiser. In the Scriptures, to fall asleep is a metaphor for falling into a spiritual laziness and a state of half-life where the people sleeping miss out on opportunities and fail to grasp the moment in which they live.

QUOTES FROM THE SAINTS 3

This week we continue a new feature that brings together some of the best know and most inspiration quotes from the saints of the Church. Idea: copy and paste these to include in your parish bulletin. Seven quotes for the next seven days. Another seven next week. ‘For a long time, I have no longer belonged to myself, I am totally surrendered to Jesus, so He is free to do with me as He wills’. St Therese of Lisieux. Are the people you live with annoying you? If so, then better to listen to the words of St John of the Cross who exhorts a brother to regard all the brothers in community as God’s artisans, with the task of forming him, John of the Cross, Precautions, 15. ‘In my innermost being th

MARY FOR THE FUTURE

As another pilgrimage season opens at Our Lady's Island next Thursday 15th August, we pause to reflect on the person of Mary as a woman of faith and what devotion to her might teach us as a pilgrim Church community as we move forward into the future. And as we walk along this path together, Mary is with us as one of us, as human and as one who stands with us in relating to God. In the past perhaps we tended to associate many of the feminine qualities of God with Mary before we realised that God was both male and female. This among other reasons tended to attribute divine qualities to Mary that rightly belonged to God. If and when this happens, a great disservice is done to God and to Mary by

JESUS SHOWS US WHO GOD IS

​SMXLL For some reason this morning I decided to tackle a very big subject – knowing God. Because sometimes we might feel that God is very big or very far away or not very knowable. But we hear from the Second Letter of St Peter that through Jesus we have been given “all the things we need… [for] us to know God himself.” Isn’t that something wonderful – to be able to know God himself! I’m reminded of the story told by a Grey Friar from Brooklyn while preaching in my home town of Wexford. He is a larger than life New Yorker now working with the underprivileged in Moyross. Back when he was studying in the seminary he undertook some missionary work during the summer break. He went into the moun

 
 

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