A return to fast and abstinence this Lent

A return to fast and abstinence this Lent

Dear Editor, I agree with Mary Kenny’s views that opting for simple guidelines for fasting and abstinence for Lent are the best way to respond to the challenges of Lent.

In my youth, fasting and abstinence and making our Easter duty seemed to be essential for doing a good Lent. However, some clergy have since abandoned this approach, with the result that very little extra is done, apart from the Stations of the Cross. For example, last year I attended Mass most days during Lent, but not one homily mentioned fasting and abstinence, and there was no encouragement to go to Confession. I think that this silence on such vital matters would lead parishioners to conclude that there was no need to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

I think the clergy should be more proactive in challenging and guiding us to change; to do a fruitful Lent. They could also share the messages of our Lady of Lourdes and Fatima when she appealed for us to pray for sinners and to make sacrifices and do penance for them.

St Teresa of Avila in her numerous writings continually reminded us to “do the will of God”. This is not easy. Lent is a grace-filled season and I think the clergy have a responsibility to inspire us to avail of the graces so that we make it a holy and special time.

Yours etc.,

Jim McCarthy

London, England


Parishes must invest in welcoming people back to church

Dear Editor, Parishes must make the most out of their insurance claims due to Covid closures [The Irish Catholic – March 9, 2023].

Considering the fact a huge number of previous Mass-goers have not returned there has to be a huge drive to welcome people back. While this was talked about after the pandemic, and bishops are now seeming to realise the extent of the drop-off, not much has happened.

If the Church is really about the salvation of souls, bishops, clergy and lay people must emphasise the importance of Mass attendance and the Eucharist. The Church is not an online community and people should not be ‘shopping around’ for Masses online. The pandemic has had a hugely detrimental impact on the importance the Faithful place on Mass attendance and this must be acted upon with strong leadership.

If insurance rebates are coming in, parishes must invest in messaging in the community calling for a return to the church.

Yours etc.,

Gary O’Donnell

Ballyfermot, Dublin 10


Covid inquiry must look at ‘battering ram science’

Dear Editor, The recently announced inquiry into Ireland’s handling of the Covid crisis is welcome. It is also welcome that Prof. Martin Cormican, the HSE lead on Infection Prevention and Control during the Covid years, tells us that the evidence base for mandatory wearing of masks by the general public, was weak if not non-existent.

Why were we told so insistently, to ‘follow-the-science’ on this point. Given that there was no science, is it time for a State apology to those who were challenged and convicted for not complying with this mask-hysteria, given that they were just about as useful as using chicken-wire to keep mosquitos out?

Any inquiry must look at the way science was used as a battering ram, by those without a scientific background. Were the scientists under impossible media, commercial, and political pressures to provide definitive, snappy sound bites?

In the past pseudoscience in the form of progressive, social evolutionary Darwinism, gave a cloak of respectability to the twin horrors of racism and eugenics.

Today, our Minister for Education is content to turn the question of teaching ‘trans’ gender ideology (a departure from the male-female paradigm) over to the NCCA as her ‘expert’ group to decide the matter, something that ought to be the preserve of parents, as expressed through their school’s patron. In this, as in so many other areas, if established science is ignored and public policy slavishly follows the clamour of the noisiest activists in the room, then we risk ending up on the wrong side of history, again.

Yours etc.,

Gearóid Duffy,

Lee Road, Co. Cork.


Government fails homeless and renters once again

Dear Editor, It is disgraceful that the Government has once again let down working people struggling with extortionate rents by ending the eviction ban at the end of this month.

Until there is an increase in housing stock and more properties on the market prices will continue to grow and people who are already facing soaring inflation will be turfed out of their homes. The €500 given to renters is a drop in the ocean. People must see it for what it is – a plaster on a gaping wound.

Unscrupulous landlords are a big issue, but landlords in general should not shoulder all the blame and should not be unfairly targeted, after all it is they who are providing the housing to many people and are also contending with soaring prices.

Subsequent Governments have consistently, over the past decade actually, failed to properly tackle this crisis and have allowed it to spiral into a situation in which we have a record number of people who are homeless in this country. A reliance on private developers is a key issue and the Irish people are bearing the brunt of this insufferable incompetence.

Yours etc.,

James Byrne

Clontarf, Dublin 3


Transforming Dublin into ‘the light of the world’

Dear Editor,  May I encourage all Dubliners to make a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Dublin, located in the Carmelite church, Whitefriar Street, Dublin.

Their prayers there will see Dublin transformed into “the light of the world”, it is meant to be.

Yours etc.,

Fr. Noel Mc Keown, OP

Newry, Co. Down


Church is facing a major demonic assault

Dear Editor, In the mid 1880’s Pope Leo XIII issued the St Michael prayer to be prayed after Mass worldwide. He is thought to have had a revelation of a major demonic assault on the Faithful in the then future times.

Whatever happened it appears to me that we have lived through a brutal spiritual assault for the last 50 years at least, and it’s intensifying by the moment. It’s my observation that, slowly in the 60s, speeding up during the 70s and 80s, hitting very high speed in the first two decades of this century, this assault has been manifest. Now at breakneck speed, institutional insanity is rampant in the ‘woke’ western world, but most dangerously in the ‘woke’ members of the Catholic Church.

Already it seems the Church has suffered hugely from this assault. But has it?

We know from the lips of Jesus that the gates of hell will not prevail against his Church, do please remember it is his Church. So why has God allowed this to occur?

God’s will is always the salvation of souls, but we must choose, do we turn humbly to him in our nothingness, or do we reject him in our arrogance and pride.

What is gained by allowing this spiritual ‘assault’, is, that those who have rejected God in the depths of their being, while putting on an outward show of obedience, have been emboldened to reveal their true identity, and who and what they really serve.

This revelation is most scandalous in what it uncovers about some clergy and religious as most lay people follow their leaders. The greatest revival so far evident, is in the faithful grassroots.

Now the Church is humbled, mocked, disgraced. Its teachings (God’s actually) ridiculed, ignored, and actually persecuted in some instances.

Who will stand by Mary, as she sees her son’s teachings, sacraments, (especially his Eucharistic body), disregarded and abused, will you? Will I?

Yours etc.,

Vincent Freney,

Balla, Co. Mayo.


Expanding outreach to Islam, Vatican establishes diplomatic ties with Oman

Good news. People sometimes forget that there are Christian Churches in all countries of the Arabian peninsula other than Saudi, hopefully it won’t be too long before that changes. Papal visits to UAE and Bahrain were historic, it was great that the Papal Masses were televised. – Declan McSweeney