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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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'EVANGELISING IRISH CULTURE TODAY' - A ZOOM CONFERENCE FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER

For the missionary month of October, a nationwide Zoom Conference will be held that will focus on evangelising Irish culture today. In 'The Joy of the Gospel', Pope Francis said that ‘it is imperative to evangelise cultures in order to inculturate the Gospel. In countries of Catholic tradition, this means encouraging, fostering and reinforcing a richness which already exists’ (The Joy of the Gospel, 69). This initiative is a response to that directive and tries to shine the light of the Gospel on the most important areas of Irish cultural life including medicine, law, science, the media, politics, family, education, sport and diocese/parish. Each session will be led by an expert speaker foll

THE FEAST DAY OF ST PIO - 23RD SEPTEMBER 2020

Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, fondly known by all as ‘Padre Pio’ is perhaps the most famous saint known for bearing the stigmata, the Holy Wounds of Christ, for 50 years of his life. Padre Pio always emphasized the leading of a holy life. He also said that his real mission will start after his death. And yes, many believers offer their prayers to him night and day, and seek his healing touch. His precious words are among the many things that Padre Pio has left us, words, that are invaluable to those who seek his blessings and the right way of living a spiritual and religious life. The following section consists of some divinely inspiring quotes. Let us invoke his help and intercession at this ti

ASSISTED SUICIDE BILL INTRODUCED IN THE DAIL

That an assisted suicide bill should come before the Dail should not surprise us. In the abortion referendum on May 2018, the innate rights of the unborn were removed and decided instead by a State law. With that historic move in our country, we took it upon ourselves to decide who lives and who dies, who has rights and who doesn't. With assisted suicide, the same exercise of power is evident. If we can decide if others live or die then what is to stop us from deciding if we ourselves live or die? However, although Deputy Gino Kenny's Bill was to be expected, the timing of it is cruelly ironic. We live at a time when the elderly and sick are suffering most from the pandemic. Old and vulnerab

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

Dear friends. The word ‘deserve’ is an important word for how we think and how we act. We think we should get what we deserve and protest when we don’t. We say things like – ‘You worked hard for your exams so therefore you deserve to do well’; ‘They were the better team in the match and so deserved to win’; ‘He did a terrible thing and so deserved to be punished’, etc. The trouble with this way of thinking is that we project it on to God and believe that God thinks and acts like this too – ‘God is good to those who are good to him’; ‘God rewards with heaven those who have lived a good life and the wicked he punishes because they deserve it’. The parable Jesus tells in the Gospel today turns

INITIATORS AND RESISTORS

By Fr Jim Cogley In any group of a 100 people it is estimated that there will be 15 who could be described as initiators. These are the leaders and visionaries who are essential for any community to develop and move forward. Another fifteen or so in the group will be resistors. These are the negative voices who protest and work against any proposals that involve change, even where the need for improvement is obvious. In between there are the 70 who can swing in either direction. This depends entirely upon the initiators and whether they can be true to, and keep moving forward, with their vision. If they allow themselves to get distracted by the negative voices, that usually shout the loudes

NEWSLETTER INSERT - 'LOVE IS NOT RESENTFUL' (1 Cor. 13:5)

The Gospel for this 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time warns us against resentment. Here is an extract from Pope Francis' 'The Joy of Love' which comments on the words of St Paul, that 'love is not resentful'. 'The Gospel tells us to look to the log in our own eye (cf. Mt 7:5). Christians cannot ignore the persistent admonition of God’s word not to nurture anger: “Do not be overcome by evil” (Rm 12:21). “Let us not grow weary in doing good” (Gal 6:9). It is one thing to sense a sudden surge of hostility and another to give into it, letting it take root in our hearts: “Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger” (Eph 4:26). My advice is never to let the day end without making

FORGIVENESS - THE ROAD TO FREEDOM

The photo depicts forgiveness in terms of a crossroads. The past points downwards and the future points upwards. Forgiveness is the central road and reflects a moment in the present when we set ourselves free from the downward pull of the past and open out to a bright new future. Some years ago while engaged on sea chaplaincy work the ship made ports of call in different parts of the Baltic. One brief stopover was at Tallin in Estonia. This was part of the Communist block that would have lived for decades behind what was commonly called the ‘Iron Curtain’. While there we had the opportunity to visit a Communist Musuem which contained artifacts and information from that era. A woman in her ea

OUR SORE SPOTS

Our memory operates at several levels. We carry visual memories that we can easily recall in our minds while we also carry emotional memories that we have no conscious memory of. Our hurtful memories tend to lie just beneath the surface and are like a wound over which a scab of protective tissue has formed. Its when we accidentally bump that wounded part against something there is an ‘ouch’ factor that reminds us that, although covered over and no longer bleeding, the wound still has not healed. While our conscious mind has limited recall our unconscious remembers everything, even our very earliest experiences. A rejection in later life can trigger a womb rejection and completely throw us. B

CATHOLIC GRANDPARENTS DAY

The Irish National Grand-parents Pilgrimage to Knock that was due to take place this Sunday 13th September has been moved to a virtual event online, beginning at 3pm. You can access it at www.knockshrine.ie/watch Below is an introduction to the work and mission of the Catholic Grand-parents Association found on their website with a written and video message from its founder Catherine Wiley. Welcome to the Catholic Grandparents Association Grandparents have no agenda; they simply want the best for their grandchildren. They want them to be good, decent human beings, to know the difference between right and wrong, able to make good moral decisions and, if they go astray along the way, to be abl

PATRIOTS - THE UNTOLD STORY OF IRELAND'S PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT

At a conservative estimate, it is estimated that the 8th Amendment saved up to 100,000 Irish lives the the 35 years it was in Irish law. These are Irish citizens who are now alive and who would not be, had it not been for the 8th Amendment that protected them. This video tells that story and keeps its memory alive while promoting a new book that tells the story of Ireland's Pro-Life movement that continues to do wonderful work promoting a culture of life and where both mother and baby matter. CLICK HERE TO WATCH:

VOCATIONS

"COME FOLLOW ME" All Christians are called to follow Jesus Christ...to do the best they can to imitate His life in living their own. Within the Christian family, some are called to imitate Him in an exclusive way. They group together as Diocesan Priests or as members of Religious Congregations of Sisters, Brothers and Priests. Their relationship with Him is given practical expression in meeting the needs of the community through educational, health, social and related services. Of course others meet the same needs too but not in an exclusive manner. In other words Clergy and Religious dedicate their lives to personal relationship with Jesus Christ and service of His people. These we describe

THIS WEEK'S INTERVIEW WITH SR LOUISE O' ROURKE PDDM

This week, we are pleased to post an interview with Sr Louise O' Rourke, a young Sister from the community of the Disciples of the Divine Master in Stillorgan, Co. Dublin. In this interview, Sr Louise shares her vocation story and urges young women not to rule out the possibility of a life dedicated to God as a religious. To contact Sr Louise and for more information, see her blog site: http://pilgrimsprogresspddm.blogspot.com/ or email srlouisepd@gmail.com CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://soundcloud.com/user-163044907/interviwe-with-sr-louisemp3

NEW FEATURE - NEWSLETTER INSERT

In these days of less parish events and announcements, perhaps your parish newsletter has extra space to fill. If this is so then this new and weekly feature of 'The Hook of Faith' might interest you. It is a text taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church or some other inspired source from our Tradition that illuminates the theme of the Sunday readings. This week, for example, we have a wonderful extract from the Catechism on 'Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us', taken of course from the Lord's prayer. There Jesus invites us to pray for forgiveness in the measure that we offer forgiveness to others. This is the theme of the Gospel for this coming Sund

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

Dear friends. There are popular catchphrases we use all the time in conversation. But whether they stand up to scrutiny or come from the Gospel is debate-able. One such catchphrase is ‘forgive and forget’. Does this come from the Gospel? The answer is no! Jesus asks us to forgive but he doesn’t ask us to forget. In fact he asks us to remember – to remember how we have been forgiven as we try to forgive those who have hurt us. This is a crucial difference to be aware of because forgiveness is one of the greatest challenges of the Gospel. Because we can never forget past hurts that were inflicted on us we might think that forgiveness is impossible too. But Jesus does not ask us to forget but t

SPEAKING TRUTH IN LOVE

While it is often very necessary to confront someone over unacceptable behaviour just how we do so will make all the difference. Very often the confrontation is only made in the context of a row and this is where heightened emotions will prevent any truth from being heard. To speak the truth in love is one thing but to love to speak the truth is quite another. The latter is where I am speaking out of my annoyance. What I say is laced with anger and judgments and propels the other into an obstinate and self-defence mode. Like nagging, it never achieves what it sets out to achieve. I cannot expect a favourable response from someone I am negative towards. To speak the truth in love is not for

THE RETURN TO SCHOOL

In the last month, the staff of schools across the country have done tremendous work in preparing for the students to return safely to local schools. In this video, Seamus Mulconry, Sec. Gen of CPSMA, reflects on the return of Primary Schools and the great preparation undertaken by school communities. CLICK HERE TO WATCH: https://www.icatholic.ie/primary-schools-return-2020-cpsma/?jwsource=cl

CELEBRATING OUR LADY'S BIRTHDAY AT A TIME OF UNCERTAINTY

Next Tuesday, 8th September, the Church celebrates the birthday f Mary, the Mother of Jesus and Mother of the Church. It also marks the close of the pilgrimage season at Our Lady's Island here in the south of Wexford. This year's pilgrimage season took place in very unusual circumstances. We thank Fr Jim and his team for a enabling us to come here and pray at a time of great uncertainty for our world. And yet it is entirely appropriate that we came here at this time of uncertainty because people have been coming here for centuries in pilgrimage and in prayer, invoking Our Lady’s intercession, precisely at times of uncertainty in their personal lives and in the life of the whole world. The Is

THE SEASON OF CREATION

The season of creation runs from 1st September to 4th October. It is a time to celebrate the beauty of the natural world and to remind ourselves as Christians of our duty of care of the environment. In this video, Bishop Donal McKeown reflects on this season and how we can celebrate it more fully. CLICK HERE TO WATCH:

FREEDOM AND BELONGING

'Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.’ Thus spoke Macbeth in the play Macbeth written by William Shakespeare in the early part of the 17th Century. Later, in the 20th Century the French novelist Albert Camus agreed, stating that life is ‘absurd’ and that it lacks any inherent meaning. Addressing this sense of empty meaninglessness, the existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre famously put it, ‘existence precedes essence’. For the existentialists, human beings define themselves, make their own meaning, and establish their essence only thr

 
 

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