Thursday, October 24, 2013


St. Anthony's relics made their first visit to Cork last Sunday arriving for the 11.00 am Mass at Holy Trinity.  His relics were escorted by three Conventual Franciscans, one Irish and two Italians and they were welcomed by the Bishop of Cork and Ross John Buckley.  They remained with us until the following morning when they went to Limerick.  People qeued up for hours to venerate the relics and the stewards did an excellent job of keeping everyone safe and orderly.  We resckon somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 people perhaps  more visited the relics over the day.  Some drove from the very ends of Kerry to visit.

Bishop Buckley incenses the relics.  Br. Jeremy is on the left and Br. Dermot, our Guardian, is in the middle.

The relics of St. Anthony 'Doctor Evangelicus'

Concelebrated Mass.

Bishop Buckley with some of his flock venerating St. Anthony.

Br. Dermot with the smaller reliquary before the huge crowd.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


The relics of St. Athony of Padua are on their way around Ireland having already visited the UK. They will be here in Holy Trinity Church, Fr. Mathew Quay, Cork from 11.00 am on Sunday October 20th till 8.00 pm that evening. All are welcome to come and venerate these relics of such a great saint. Bishop John Buckley will preside at the 11.00 am Mass and the Guardian of St. Francis Friary, Liberty St., will preside at the 12.30. Confession will be available continuously from 2.00 pm until 8.00 pm. Anthony, a Portugese, was inspired by St. Berard and his companions, the first Fracnsican martyrs, to leave the Augustinians and become himself a Franciscan friar. He quickly grew in holiness abd became a much sought preacher and theologian as well as a worker of miracles. He died at the age of 36 in Padua, Italy.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


News that a Dublin priest Fr. Peter O'Reilly, co-parish priest of Lucan, has told Derek Keating TD that he can no longer function as a Minister of Holy Communion and that the Parish Hall is no longer available to him to use for his consultations with his constituents is to be applauded. One should not be able to publically vote for or participate in an intrinsic evil and continue in a public role in the Church. Now the Archbishop needs to show his backbone and support this clergyman and others who have the courage to tell those TDs who voted for the Taoiseach's pro-abortion law that they cannot minister in the Church and should stay away from Holy Communion until they publically repent of this evil. From what I've heard no clergy in Dublin are holding their breaths.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

28th SUNDAY YEAR C, Thoughts on Luke 17:11–19

Luke 17:11–19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”

I suppose that unless one has lived among modern day lepers one has no real grasp of the damage this disease can do. I know it eats away at the body. I know it can attack the brain too. We also lack the absolute horror of leprosy that the Jews and many other ancient peoples had (right up until end of the Middle Ages in Europe). It was a living death. The leper was excluded from all society. He lived on the edges of society, the lowest and most despised. He was everybody's walking nightmare. For the Jews it was the physical equivalent of sin. The leper like the public sinner and idolator was 'unclean'.

Jesus cleanses these ten men and sends them to the Temple priests for verification of their healing and for fulfilment of the Law through thank offerings. Interesting that there is a Samaritan among them as if it took this awful disease to bring these two enemies togther. All are cleansed but it is the Samaritan who returns in gratitude and he gets the greater gift: salvation. Jesus has demonstrated His power both to heal the incurable and therefore also save the unsaveable.

We are those who have been cleansed of the leprosy of sin. Christ has blessed us but where is our gratitude? Where do we glorify Him if at all? Who are the lepers around us that we need to reach out to with Christ's healing truth?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


One of the positives of being in limbo in Cork is that I have actually started to paint again - well at least practice painting. Cork Art Supplies is less than five minutes from me across the South Mall so that is an added incentive. This morning instead of abandoning my plans for lack of a ceramic mixing palette I headed over to them and bought a few; each is a different kind and also different from the palettes I somehow left in Dublin. I put it down to Divine Providence.

Although I will be in Dublin for the weekend and probably won't have to preach I'm still going to post my thoughts on next weekend's gospel. Hopefully it may be of use to some overworked priest somewhere or just anyone in need of some meditative material.

The gospel for next Sunday is from Luke (17:5–10):

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

“Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’? Would he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished’? Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded? So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’”

Which of us could not do with more faith. Cyril of Alexandria tells us that the Apostles are asking the Lord to strengthen and increase the faith they already have. Faith, he says, partly depends on us and partly on God. We must put all our effort into maintaining our confidence in God and God will confirm and aid our efforts. To have faith then is to enter into an ever deeper relationship with God; to surrender more and more of our self to Him; to give ourselves away to Him so as to receive Him in return. To have this faith is to be able to do even what seems impossible (uprooting the Mulberry tree), to go beyond our own reach and powers.

Then Jesus puts in the condition of this relationship. The vast majority of us are unaccustomed to servants. We are served by our fellow citizens but that is their job and we are not their employers. The word Jesus uses means a slave. We do not have slaves. We might unwittingly buy goods that have been manufactured by people who are, for all intents and purposes, slaves but it is illegal and unacceptable to our society and culture. Yet they exist still in many parts of the world and they existed in great numbers in Jesus' day. His hearers knew exactly what He was saying. We do not belong to ourselves. We are bought and paid for. There are multiple ways for us to serve the Lord and while we are in this mortal life we must serve Him who hase served us by dying for us on the Cross. He put on the form of a slave and if we are His disciples we too must slave for Him, slave for our neighbour's welfare and salvation. Slavery is His image for the total self-gift that He asks of us. He asks us to obey Him as He does the Father. He asks us to give totally because He gives totally. He asks us to have faith so as to uproot the mulberry bush of our pride and self-seeking and cast it away. So let us remember the some of St. Francis' last words:

Let us begin again for up until now we have done nothing.


Sadly one of our friars, Martin O'Sullivan (above), died over the weekend and was buried this morning. He was in his seventies and had returned to Ireland from New Zealand because of bad health. He spent twenty-six years in South Africa working with the poorest of the people and another twenty-one years in New Zealand doing similar work as well as gardening, cooking etc. I remember him from my Novitiate days (he was home in Ireland for four years) when he was part of the main community and was always there to cheer us up and get some fun going; he was always full of good-natured mischief. May the Lord have mercy on his good soul.


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