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.

For the eight principles of ‘The Hook of Faith’ click on the arrow below:


Our Recent Posts



It’s very easy to treat all our positive emotions like peace, love, joy and contentment as friends. But, what about feelings that arise like anger, sadness, envy, loneliness or disappointment? For the vast majority, when these come knocking on our door, they are treated more as unwanted visitors than welcome friends. We close the door in their face hoping they will just go away. In fact being part of who we are they don’t, and they can’t just get lost. The emotions we repress will always seek expression and will resurface in a host of different ways, particularly in our reactions to certain people, situations and events. To give ourselves permission to feel sad, lonely or whatever, is really


We celebrated the feast day of St Martha on Thursday of this week. While clearly she is a close friend of Jesus, she did not form part of the group of women who travelled with Him on His preaching trips. She was, however, at home to welcome Him whenever He was in the area of Bethany. Judging by the incident describing her brother’s illness and death, she must have felt very much ‘at home’ with Jesus; she certainly left Him in no doubt as to how she felt. Some time previous to this occasion , Martha sent a message to Jesus- “THE ONE YOU LOVE IS SICK”. Covid 19 has sent the same message to over 16000,000 families in recent months. Sadly, as was the case with Martha’s brother, almost 650,000 h


During the lockdown, the Church needed to strike a balance between compliance to government restrictions and the call to be faithful to her mission. This week's interview with journalist David Quinn investigates how successful was this balance found. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN:


Last week we featured a new Catholic Evangelical website founded by Australian priest Fr Robert Galea. One the of the main features of the website is a lively podcast that features many important themes. The latest podcast is a conversation on 'Trusting in God' which is at the heart of faith. How can we trust God? What are the obstacles? Is God worthy of our trust? These are some of the main questions that are discussed in this inspiring conversation. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN:


On Thursday 23rd July last, Bishop Denis commissioned the first Ferns Diocesan Lay Vocations Council at St Aidan's Cathedral, Enniscorthy. The Ferns Diocesan Lay Vocations Council is a group of lay people from most parishes of the diocese who encourage, promote and pray for vocations to the priesthood in their faith communities. They do so with the support of their local priest, the diocesan Vocations team and of course our bishop. The idea and spirit behind the Lay Vocations Council is to empower the laity with a greater sense of responsibility to promote vocations and a culture of vocations within their own parishes. It involves them in the conversation of how vocations can be fostered and


Environmental issues are a regular feature of modern life but our relation to the natural world goes much deeper than the environmental maxim to reduce, reuse and recycle. Even though we have accumulated enough knowledge and power to change the face of the earth, it is not yet clear whether we collectively possess the wisdom to navigate the challenges that we ourselves have created. One such challenge requires civilisation to undergo a significant transition in our way of life if climate change is to be overcome. In our highly secularized culture, nature has lost its spiritual dimension. But, God does not hide from us for God is the source of the order, interdependence and harmony of nature.


Recently, I stumbled across a new, exciting and well resourced website: FRG Ministry is a not-for-profit Catholic organisation bringing the love of Jesus and His message of hope to people of all ages across the world. FRG Ministry pioneers new means of evangelisation through developing relevant & engaging resources. FRG Ministry also provides educational programs and resources for schools and Catholic parishes which empower people to grow as Christ’s true disciples. As part of the website, there are many podcasts as well as a YouTube channel. Click here to visit the site and cheack out a sample podcast and video from the YouTube channell below PODCAST


The enormity of what is happening in the world at this time is just impossible for our minds to comprehend. Even to think that one in every 100 Americans are now affected with the Corona virus is staggering. It’s an event of such magnitude that it forces us to look deep within to where Jesus says we find the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s the treasure that is hidden in the field of our own hearts that we are being forced to search after. Some years ago I heard a remarkable story, from a man who is a native of Carne, that I have no reason to believe to be untrue. It goes back a long time, to around 1870, because the man who told me was in his late 80’s, and it was relayed to him by his father and co


St. Alphonsus Liguori was born September 27, 1696 at Marianella, Kingdom of Naples [Italy]. He died August 1, 1787, Pagani; canonized 1839; feast day August 1). He is an Italian doctor of the church, one of the chief 18th-century moral theologians, and founder of the Redemptorists, a congregation dedicated primarily to parish and foreign missions. In 1871 he was named a doctor of the church by Pope Pius IX. In 1950 he was named patron saint of moralists and confessors by Pope Pius XII. To find out more about the life and leagcy of St Alphonsus, click the video below to watch:


Because of Covid-19, the Confirmation ceremonies around the diocese were disrupted earlier in the Spring. Many of those ceremonies are now taking place in local parishes. I-Catholic have come up with a great resource for candidates and their families who are making final preparations to receive the sacrament. Jut click below to watch the first part video in a thee part series:


The idea of struggle being the key to bringing about change is so deeply enshrined in our consciousness that it is difficult to consider that there may even be another way. The reality is that if my struggle to be a better person actually succeeds then only I can take the credit. Even if I could surrender my life to God it would be I who takes the credit. The ego that seeks its own glory, and needs to ensure its survival, is never far away. A useful analogy for struggle is of a fly that gets stuck in a spider’s web. While it is caught initially by just a few threads its frantic attempts to extricate itself only results in further entanglement and eventually it becomes dinner for the spider.


Born Inigo Lopez de Loyola in 1491, the man known as Ignatius of Loyola entered the world in Loiola, Spain. At the time, the name of the village was spelled "Loyola," hence the discrepancy. Inigo came of age in Azpeitia, in northern Spain. Loyola is a small village at the southern end of Azpeitia. Inigio was the youngest of thirteen children. His mother died when he was just seven, and he was then raised by Maria de Garin, who was the wife of a blacksmith. His last name, "Loyola" was taken from the village of his birth. Despite the misfortune of losing his mother he was still a member of the local aristocracy and was raised accordingly. Inigio was an ambitious young man who had dreams of bec


As a boy I remember the month of May had a very special significance. Namely, it was the time of year when a big statue of Mary would be placed at the front of the altar in my local church. Each evening large crowds would gather in the church, or road-side grottos so popular in rural Poland or even in their homes to sing praises to Our Lady in the form of the litany. I recently rediscovered this beautiful prayer and offer some reflections on the deeply meaningful invocations of the litany. To begin with I want to outline a brief history of the litany to the Blessed Virgin Mary or as it is also known the litany of Loreto: This litany to the Blessed Virgin Mary was composed during the Middle A


There is a story in every human heart … the things we’ve done, the people we’ve known and the events that happened. There are the bad times, the good times and sometimes even the times that we don’t understand. Every person’s life is unique. This tells us that everybody’s story is rich with meaning. This may be why books, television and radio are so popular. We harness our own lived experience to respond to other people’s stories, whether it is a subtle character in a novel, a heroic character in a movie, a skilful player on the sports field or a funny character on stage. As we do in our everyday experiences, we invest emotional energy in our favourite characters. We root for them and want t


At the beginning of the recent lockdown in March, elderly people over 70 were urged to cocoon while people with symptoms of the virus were ordered to self-isolate. This inevitably meant less human contact with people and a huge increase in people spending time on their own. Restrictions also meant that nursing home facilities and hospitals were not open for visitors, leaving the sick and vulnerable feeling more alone. To soften the blow, politicians and Church leaders insisted that ‘self-isolation’ did not mean ‘social-isolation’. This was a nice slogan, but it failed to mask the acute rise in people suffering from loneliness. However, while the pandemic has brought to our attention the prob


Yesterday we had a quote from Anthony de Mello entitled, Don’t Change. It’s a piece of writing that expresses a profound truth while it also seems to contradict everything we have ever been taught. Surely to change ourselves, others and the world is what we are here for? Is it not our mission to make our world a better place, so how can he say, don’t change? Notice that that he uses the word ‘accept’ and then change will occur as part of a natural process. Acceptance rather than struggle is the key that unlocks the power to change. The more we struggle and fight with something negative the more we empower it. For example many have found that a sure way of putting on weight is to go on a diet


There have been times when someone has said to me that they don’t have much time for Church. I have usually replied by saying, There are a lot of things about Church that I don’t have much time for either but there’s stilll more than enough that I do agree with and am prepared to invest my life into. We are part of a Church that so often didn’t teach what Christ taught and on many ocasions got what he was saying completely wrong. The parable of today is just one such example. A man sows good seed in his field and when his back is turned his enemy sows weeds. Later he looks with horror to find both weeds and wheat growing together. His servants suggest that they go in and pull out the weeds b


The question posed yesterday in relation to a piece of bog oak; what can I make out of you, has very wide implications. It’s a form of fundamental disrespect that is pandemic where we want to change others and conform them to our expectations. Parents often exert subtle pressure on their children to become something that they are not in order to look good themselves. Our education system, especially in the past, forced conformity rather than promoted self-expression. In close relationships, like marriage, couples are often engaged in trying to get the other to conform to their expectations rather than exercising the essence of love that is giving the freedom to be. For one person to expect a


The piece of wood sculpture shown lay for years in my workshop as a very unattractive piece of bog oak. Having become tired of tripping over it I took it in my hands and asked what could I make out of you? Then I paused and reflected on the question. It seemed so irreverent to the wood. This was once part of a magnificent oak tree stretching back five thousand years. I was holding a bit of history in my hands that even predated the oldest parts of the Old Testament. Now in all my egocentricity I was asking what can I make out of you? Surely the more reverent question should have been, what do you want to become? So I set to work with a new mindset; not to conform it to my image but to allow


A new evangelisation project that will aim to help parishes with adult faith formation is appealing for committed catechists to get involved. Faith on Fire plans to gather and support a team of people already experienced in faith development, whether in a school, parish or other context. According to Petra Conroy, the new initiative’s director and founder, “The team of catechists we’re gathering now will be available to work in partnership with Catholic parishes around Ireland, offering them a flexible and affordable way of providing lively and engaging adult faith development in their parish community. “We’ve had to delay slightly because of lockdown but we’re eager to push ahead if possibl



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