800 hundred years ago a group of monks lived on the Hook peninsula. They were obviously outward looking because they reached out to passing seafarers in a very positive way---they lit a beacon to warn them of the dangerous rocks and currents in the area.
The monks were concerned for the safety of those who passed by in close proximity to their rocky shore, the Hook beacon was probably only visible for a mile or two.
The Hook of Faith on the other hand can be seen all over the world. But the impulse is the same---to reach out---to engage---to be a beacon of light and hope.
I warmly welcome the launch of the Hook of Faith and I thank Fr Billy and all involved in its setting up. I believe it offers us a number of opportunities;
1. Just as Paul brought the message of Christ to a wider audience cyberspace allows us to do likewise---to reach outside our own familiar place---our comfort zone if you will, and offer the message to a wider world.
2. It offers adults an opportunity to develop their faith as ‘ adults,’ to cultivate an adult understanding of the message of Christ in a fast changing and challenging world.
3. Blessed John Newman spoke of the development of doctrine, enlightening us in new ways in new circumstances. The Hook of Faith allows us to present our faith in a spirit of openness, where we allow God’s Word to speak to minds and hearts different to our own.
4. Our time is marked by fragmentation in many areas of life, the very opposite of the message of Christ. In this website we put out our nets, we make the call of the shepherd, we act as a beacon of light for the curious or the lost.
I welcome Breda O’Brien and her husband Brendan this evening. This is their second visit to Ferns in recent times, having been here for Sr Helen O’Riordan’s retirement.
I also thank Breda for the eloquent and honest way she makes the case for the Church in the public square. I thank her too for the way she holds the Church to account, that is a very valuable service coming from someone who loves the Church and wants it to remain a positive presence in our country. In that spirit I happily and officially launch the Hook of Faith---and may God bless all who find her as they surf the net!