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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CONCLUDING THE SEASON OF CARE OF CREATION

The season of care of creation began on 1st September and concludes on 4th October, the feast of St Francis of Assisi. This season is meant to highlight to us and all Christians of our solemn duty to care for the earth and creation. This commitment is extended beyond this season to the whole year. In this video, the season of creation is discussed by a panel of experts who argue that climate justice should be of the utmost concern for all people of faith. CLICK HERE TO WATCH: https://www.icatholic.ie/season-of-creation-2019/?jwsource=cl

IF RELIGION IS ALWAYS DYING WHY ISN'T IT DEAD?

The decline of religion in the past Century has been a phenomenon well documented by modern thinkers heralding the arrival of a ‘post-religious’ world. Many writers point to the rise in self-identified atheists and the accompanying drop in religious adherents to imagine a future in which secularism will be the only real force in the world. Of course, such thinking relies heavily on the atheist proposition that all religion is false or on the supposed indifference of people to religious truth. In this article, we will explore three separate arguments for religious faith that just won’t go away. The Insufficiency of the Atheist Proposition Sometimes atheists make a lot of sense and some of the

FEAST DAY OF ST FRANCIS OF ASSISI: 4TH OCTOBER

On Friday 4th October, the Church celebrates the feast day of St Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), patron saint of Italy and of the environment. Born into a wealthy family, the young Francis was a playboy who loved to party with his friends. As a young an he enlisted in the local army and fought a battle against Perugia, the neighbouring town. Wounded and imprisoned, Francis' life began to change. He became more contemplative and began to think deeper about what his life was about. In a famous public incident with his father, Francis renounced his birth-right and his inheritance by swapping his expensive clothes of silk for a habit of sack. From that time onwards, Francis dedicated himself to p

FEAST DAY OF ST THERESE OF LISIEUX

On Tuesday 1st October, we celebrate the feast day of St Therese of Lisieux, other wise known as 'The Little Flower'. Many people have a strong devotion to this extra-ordinary Carmelite saint who lived her holiness of life through ordinary and daily things. Who can forget the visit of her relics to Ireland in 2001 and the crowds of people who gathered to venerate them. In this video, Fr James Martin explores the life of St Therese and how she offered all Christians her 'Little Way' - a way to grow daily in the love of God and to grow in his friendship and likeness. St Therese, Pray for Us.

WORLD DAY OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES

The following is a message from Bishop Denis Brennan of Ferns who is Chair of the Council for Immigrants of the Irish Bishops’ Conference. As we celebrate the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees on 29th September 2019, our first thoughts and prayers are with our migrant brothers and sisters who live here among us in Ireland, in our dioceses, our parishes and most especially those in direct provision centres in our country. In his message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees for 2019, Pope Francis invites us to discern our outlook and actions with regard to this most important topic as ‘the presence of migrants and refugees – and of vulnerable people in general – is an invitation to re

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

Back in the good old days (the 1970s of course!!!) the novel Rich Man, Poor Man by Irwin Shaw, was turned into a popular television mini-series. The series followed the lives of Rudy (a rich man, well-educated and very ambitious) and his brother Tom (a poor man, who turned out to be a rebel). Focusing on issues like wealth and poverty, influence and subordination, this mini-series proved to be very popular. Somehow, it spoke to the intrinsic instinct in the human spirit that every form of discrimination among people was nefarious. It would be easy to view the parable in the Gospel today as an episode in this mini-series. However, the parable is not just about wealth and poverty. In recent hi

ALLOW YOURSELF THE SPACE FOR CENTERING

"Pray for my motivation to be embedded deep in your heart. Pray for my holiness to grow within you to full intentional wholeness. My dream for you is to live goodness from a grateful heart. Pray from an expectant spirit. This is the season of resurrections and transformations. Pray from your heart for greater openness to receive all." "Let my spirit be your guiding light to living completely free. My love will set you free and blow your heart wide-open. From your open heart you can embrace the world with care. So many people need care on their way home to me. Be my guiding light to all on the meandering path of life. Yes, let my spirit guide, comfort and light the way ahead. Be glad.

ATHEISTS CAN'T HAVE THEIR MORAL CAKE AND EAT IT TOO

Atheists and theists typically debate the existence of God, but it is almost as relevant and pertinent to debate the nature of morality and that is what Atheist Ireland’s Michael Nugent and I have been doing lately in a number of blog posts. Michael began by writing a piece about the gender ideology debate. I picked up on a sentence in that, namely: “I believe we should treat every individual person with the same respect and dignity and love.” I challenged Michael to justify this. I wanted to know how an atheist can back up such a statement. Why should we treat each other with “respect and dignity and love”? A theist has an easy answer: we are all made in the image and likeness of God and th

'BENE MERENTI...WELL DESERVED'. THIS WEEK'S INTERVIEW WITH MRS. MARY GANNON OF ST. AIDAN

At Mass recently in St Aidan's Cathedral, Enniscorthy, Bishop Denis Brennan presented Mary Gannon with the 'Bene Merenti' medal that was awarded to her by Pope Francis in recognition of the outstanding years that Mary has given to the Legion of Mary, the Adoration group and many other ways she has served the people of St Aidan's parish. In this interview she talks about her receiving the award and what it means to her and her family. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://soundcloud.com/user-297441672/mary-gannonmp3

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

In the 1993 film version of “The Three Musketeers”, based on the famous book by Alexandre Dumas, we find a most memorable quote. Having just disbanded the king’s musketeers, the evil Cardinal Richelieu stands on the balcony of the musketeer’s headquarters and makes a mockery of the musketeer’s motto by saying “All for one. And more for me.” This quote came to mind as I reflected on the Gospel passage today. It describes our present age to a T – we have become a “more-for-me society”. In fact, our whole economic system is based on greed. Sorry, I need to be politically correct here – our whole economic system is based on the profit motive!!! The parable of the steward is meant to make us real

'I WAS CURED AT KNOCK': THE REMARKABLE STORY OF MARION CARROLL

Thirty years ago, Athlone woman Marion Carroll arrived at Knock Shrine in a stretcher suffering from multiple sclerosis. During the Mass she received benediction with the Blessed Sacrament and her sight and speech was restored and she began to walk. Recently, she returned to Knock to hear Archbishop Neary pronounce that “today the Church formally acknowledges that this healing does not admit of any medical explanation and joins in prayer, praise and thanksgiving to God.” Here is her story as she tells it herself on this video: CLICK HERE TO WATCH: https://www.facebook.com/IrishCathNews/videos/929874080680138/?t=15

STARTING THE JOURNEY AWAY FROM PLASTIC

As part of his message for ‘World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation’, Pope Francis highlighted some of the troubling developments over recent decades that have contributed to the ecological crisis and the signs of the crisis unfolding. He mentions among things: ‘the melting of glaciers, scarcity of water, neglect of water basins and the considerable presence of plastic and microplastics in the oceans…testify to the urgent need for interventions that can no longer be postponed’. Picking up on one of those issues is our use of and disposal of plastic. Experts estimate that of all the plastics ever made, about 72% of it is lying around or dumped. That means that because plastic is not biod

INSPIRATION FROM THE SAINTS

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. ‘Jesus does not demand great actions from us but simply surrender and gratitude’. St Therese, Story of a Soul, 188. ‘And I see clearly…that God desires that if we are going to please him and receive his great favours, we must do so through the most sacred humanity of Christ, in whom he takes his delight…we must enter by this gate…on this road you walk safely. This Lord of ours is the one through whom all blessings come to us’. St Te

'WHISPERINGS IN MY SOUL': THE INSPIRING STORY OF FR SEAN HYLAND

Fr Sean Hyland is a priest of the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin. Before entering seminary, Sean was a married man with two children when tragedy struck. In the space of a few years, he lost his wife and two children to illness. In this book, Fr Sean shares how he found consolation after the deaths of his two young children, Seana and Kieran, and his wife Liz. Fr Sean serves as curate for the parishes of Rhode and Clonbullogue in County Offaly and resides in his hometown of Portarlington in Laois. Here is a transcript of the video below where Sean explains his reasons for writing the book and telling his story: 'If I had to up sum what ‘Whisperings of my Soul’ is all about, I think the fir

IRELAND IS NOT AS SECULAR AS IT PRETENDS TO BE

The death of Fr Tony Coote (pictured left) sparked an outpouring of genuine affection. There was little not to love about Fr Tony. He was brave in the face of a devastating diagnosis of motor neurone disease. After the initial shock, he used the time he had for fundraising for research and to help others with the disease. His “Walk While You Can” across Ireland brought people out in droves to cheer on this vulnerable and yet somehow indomitable priest. His funeral was a reminder that Ireland is not quite as secular as it pretends to be. Irish society still celebrates people like Fr Tony (and not just because you would have to be an irredeemable bigot to object to the man on the grounds that

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

“Get lost!” Alas! These discordant words are often spoken and repeatedly heard as we go through life. But when we think about it, it is really abhorrent to say to another person – “Get lost!” True, we normally use this expression to tell someone forcefully and quite rudely to go away, but from a Biblical perspective, it is one of the most repugnant things anyone could say to a fellow human being. It basically means that we wish someone to be deprived of heaven. Not content with this colourful turn of phrase, however, we often feel the need to express the same sentiment in an even more colourful fashion by employing an even more jazzy salutation – “Go to hell!” As I reflected on the Gospel te

CERTIFICATE IN PASTORAL THEOLOGY: SPIRITUALITY AND PRACTICE

For the coming academic year, in union with the Carlow Institute of Technology, Wexford Campus, a course is being offered to those who would like to explore their faith better and take a more active role in parish leadership. The course is named: 'CERTIFICATE IN PASTORAL THEOLOGY: SPIRITUALITY AND PRACTISE' and will run from 24th Sept. until April of next year. There is no requirement for previous study and the course is open to all. There are no exams and work will be graded by continuous assessment. Subjects covered by the course include Scripture, liturgy and sacraments, theology of God, theology of Church, spirituality, pastoral theology and moral theology. If you are interested and for

POPE FRANCIS' MESSAGE FOR WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE CARE OF CREATION

Below is Pope Francis’ message for the 5th World Day of Prayer for Creation, 1st September 2019 “And God saw that it was good” (Gen 1:25). God’s gaze, at the beginning of the Bible, rests lovingly on his creation. From habitable land to life-giving waters, from fruit-bearing trees to animals that share our common home, everything is dear in the eyes of God, who offers creation to men and women as a precious gift to be preserved. Tragically, the human response to this gift has been marked by sin, selfishness and a greedy desire to possess and exploit. Egoism and self-interest have turned creation, a place of encounter and sharing, into an arena of competition and conflict. In this way, the en

THE USE (AND OVERUSE) OF THE INTERNET

It’s hard to imagine a connection between C.S. Lewis and the former Google employee and Silicon Valley millionaire Tristan Harris. And yet a recent article in The Sunday Times (July 7 2019), commenting on a presentation by Harris, contained a subtle but striking message reminiscent of C.S. Lewis. Lewis, a world renowned Christian convert and famous for his creation of 'Narnia' and 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe', was one the foremost Christian philosophers of his time. It could be argued, in his magnificent book 'The Screwtape Letters' written in the early 1940s, that C.S. Lewis inadvertently explored some of the cultural features of today regarding internet use. These issues were des

WHAT MAKES US HAPPY?

The annual United Nations World Happiness Report, which measures the happiness of different countries, is always dominated by Scandinavian nations. Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and Finland have always been in the top ten. But what’s striking is that these happiest countries are also those which rank among the least religious. On the flip side, most African countries, which tend to be the very religious, consistently land near the bottom of the U.N. Happiness Report. What should we make of this? How should we actually define happiness, and what have the great thinkers and saints throughout time said about finding happiness? In this episode of 'The Word on Fire Show', Bishop Robert Barr

 
 

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