A microcosm of the universal Church

A microcosm of the universal Church

Dear Editor, One evening recently I stopped for a while in a small village in the evening dusk. There wasn’t a single person to be seen on the village streets. All were in the comfort of their homes facilitated by the companionship and love of their families or so I imagined. I went into the local church which was in almost darkness, lit only by the well-lit crib on one side of the altar with the silhouette of a lone figure sitting facing the crib, a few pews down from it, whom I was to learn was the local parish priest. I contrasted what I imagined was his isolation and loneliness with, what again I imagined to be, the companionship shared by the rest of the villagers in the warmth and comfort of their own homes.

As I exited the Church and went through the empty village the two contrasting images, provoked by my diverse imaginings, would not leave me but began to disturb me as my romanticisation of them disappeared and the word “synodality” came into my mind but there was no instant or immediate mental concept that came to me with the word. Instead the word challenged me to re-address my mental imaginings, from the two images.

In my mind and in my being I now knew that the priest was not alone but was within the embrace of the sacred, and in one with it, in watching over his domestic Church found in each of the houses of the village and its surrounds. Within every house there were all the emotions, challenges and loneliness of the human condition which depended on the fire of the sacred for fulfilment, meaning and eternal companionship.

The little village suddenly became for me a microcosm of the universal Church, watched over by God’s presence through the giftedness of ordination, reaching out in constant affirmation of God’s own people and his domestic Church, which perpetually renews itself through affirmation.

Yours etc.,

John Lupton Snr

Roscrea, Co. Tipperary.


Praying alcohol pricing law works

Dear Editor, The newly introduced minimum unit pricing of alcohol could be seen as a positive step in the long run, in terms of making it less available for younger people who may not have the monetary means to buy large quantities of cheap, strong alcohol anymore. Hopefully it will lead to less people becoming addicted to alcohol, which of course has been a blight on Ireland.

However, for those who are currently addicted to alcohol who have families, this could lead to them spending more money on alcohol and less on essentials such as food, electricity and more. This could increase the suffering of families who are already struggling to make ends meet with an addict in the house.

The end result remains to be seen, we must hope and pray it is positive in the long run.

Yours etc.,

Mark O’Donnell

Cork City, Cork


Church in Ireland caving to secularist agenda

Dear Editor, We will soon have ‘Catholic schools week’ again when we will hear lofty words about the Catholic ethos being promoted in our schools. The test of these words is the effort that school boards make to keep out secularist sex education programmes which will be pushed on them.

But I see now that some schools are welcoming programmes that are openly supportive of the LGBT agenda, recognising such behaviour as one other alternative lifestyle to be accepted as normal. They do this under the pretext of combating the bullying of such people, but it is clear that they see nothing wrong with an orientation which is disordered and which leads to behaviour which is intrinsically immoral.

I am against all bullying for whatever reason and would want to see such people helped to grow emotionally in a way that is healthy and chaste for the sake of their well-being in this life and their immortal souls in the next. But this can only be done by truthful instruction in Catholic teaching on sexuality. Hence, if Catholic school boards fail to do this all talk about our Catholic ethos will be mere empty rhetoric.

I note also that many Catholic schools re-opened on January 6, the feast of the Epiphany, a holy day of obligation, which shows a total disregard of the mystery being celebrated on that day.

These happenings convince me that the Church in Ireland is caving in to the secularist agenda on many fronts.

Yours etc.,

Fr Richard O Connor

Rome, Italy


We can’t get forever to repent

Dear Editor, Is the pandemic calamity God’s warning to repent or perish and to save us from worse to come?

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus told us that unless sinners repent, they will perish and to illustrate this Gospel, Jesus told the parable about bearing fruit, that tells us we can’t get forever to repent. Our faith must bear good fruit. It must manifest itself through our good deeds with ever increasing commitment to services of God.

Sin exists in large amounts and is legalised all over the world and Jesus tells in Mark’s Gospel that it is from our hearts that evil intentions emerge – fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly – and Jesus tells us all these evil things come from within and make us unclean.

The Message of Fatima from Blessed Virgin Mary to save the world from war, famine, exile or plague, said the people would have to turn back from sin and go back to God and prayer. All sin is self-destructive.

Prayer to St Michael Archangel:

Defend us in the hour of conflict; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God restrain him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust Satan down into hell and with him all the other evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

Yours etc.,

Bridget Sherlock,

Mitchelstown, Co. Cork


Time the US had its chastity belt

Dear Editor, America already has its ‘Rust Belt’, ‘Bible Belt’ and ‘Sun Belt’. With the various alleged sexual shenanigans happenings in both Hollywood and New York, perhaps it’s time the US had its Chastity Belt!

Yours etc.,

Brid Fitzpatrick,

Terenure, Dublin 6W


Ignoring the finger-wagging

Dear Editor, The Adoptive Rights Alliance sees fit to do a lot of finger-wagging at former adoption practices but it is a ‘Together For Yes’ organisation who saw fit to legalise abortion in 2018. I just ignore all their sermonising.

Yours etc.,

Colm O’Connor

Goatstown, Dublin 14