Praying with Children

The Irish Spirit – Issue No. 10 Exclusive Excerpt from Fifty Masses with Children by Sr Francesca Kelly Prayer is being with God, listening and talking to him. Jesus often prayed. He went to the Temple, or the mountains, or the garden to be alone with his friends and to have time to speak to…

OPW disavows responsibility for ancient Irish church

The Office of Public Works has rejected responsibility for the preservation of a pre-Anglo-Norman church and ancient stone crosses in south Dublin. Tully church and a number of ancient stone crosses date from between the 10th to the 13th Century, and the church is possibly of Hiberno-Norse design. In a response to a parliamentary question, Minister with…

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Mass burials common as Nigerians face daily violence

Faith communities in Nigeria face daily violence and persecution, a US-based rights group said. It called for US intervention after a terrorist group executed five men abducted while providing assistance in northeastern Nigeria. While Christians, particularly preachers, “are clearly the targets” of militants in the West African country, Muslims are killed too, said Archbishop Matthew…

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The priest bringing Christ to the prisons

Personal Profile Jason Osborne Fr Stephen McBrearty is a man intimately familiar with God’s mercy. He spends his days communicating just that as lead Catholic Chaplain to the Northern Ireland Prison Service, a role which would see him become a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE). Ordained in 1981, and…

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Will Ireland follow Scotland in its hate crime stance?

Jason Osborne Scotland’s proposed legislation makes it a crime to stir up hatred against any of the protected groups, which include race, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and transgender identity. A societal dichotomy is rearing its head once again as a result, between those who argue that criminalising ‘hate crime’ is necessary to secure the…

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Vatican official voices support for German abbess

Cardinal Michael Czerny has voiced support for a German abbess facing trial for sheltering refugees. The cardinal said that Mother Mechthild Thurmer, a Benedictine nun, was in keeping with “a long tradition of Christians living their Faith to the final consequence”. Mother Mechthild is facing trial in Bamberg, Germany, for offering refuge on 30 occasions…

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Civilians are the first casualties of modern wars

War, Suffering and the Struggle for Human Rights by Peadar King (Liffey Press, €19.95/£18.95) Anthony
 Redmond I remember many years ago, when I read Wilfred Owen’s powerful anti-war poem, Dulce Et Decorum Est, how deeply it affected me with its description of the sheer horror, obscenity and cruelty of war. It was a poem that really made…

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Vatican Roundup

Spotlight needed on abuse in women’s orders – Jesuit journal The abuse occurring within women’s religious orders deserves more attention from the media and must be remedied, said an influential Jesuit journal. Novices and women religious, especially those who have been assigned to a country where they don’t know the language, can be particularly vulnerable to abuses…

Secular schooling ‘wholly unsuitable’ for Christians

Dear Editor, Further to your articles on the nascent Citizens’ Assembly on education [IC 09/07/2020], it is necessary to cast a cold eye on the spectre of a universal secular educational model. The argument for such a model is founded on the shifting sands of the secular viewpoint being the ‘neutral’ one. As the philosopher Gadamer…