Institutional religion never reformed itself

  Editor’s Comment Garry O’Sullivan   Prophetic voices are often lauded in the abstract but when they appear in reality they are more likely to be ignored, sidelined and generally scoffed at. The retiring Dean of St Patrick’s was one of those few prophetic voices in any of the Christian churches on this island —…

Call for respectful dialogue

  Religion and culture must be in respectful dialogue so both may inform each other, the head of the Catholic Schools Partnership has said. Fr Michael Drumm was speaking this week at the annual Greenhills Ecumenical Conference. ‘There will always be a certain tension between religious faith and culture,’ he said, noting that ‘some people…

  The funeral has taken place of Very Rev. Frank Bergin, a priest of the Diocese of Killaloe for the past 64 years. Born in Kinnitty, Co. Offaly in 1922, Frank Bergin was ordained in 1948 before travelling to the Diocese of Nottingham in England. Returning to Killaoe in 1950, he served variously in Cloughjordan,…

The Irish Republic: mine, yours or ours

People who use the phrase ‘Ireland is a republic’ need to be clear on what they mean by the word, writes Fr Alan Hilliard   Shopping in the local shop many years ago left little room for choice. A tin of beans meant that you got whatever brand of beans was on the shelf. There…

Life goes on for Liam after heartbreak

  Irish Catholic actor Liam Neeson tells Cindy Pearlman about life after the death of his wife   ‘I love that expression, ‘How do you make God laugh?’,” Liam Neeson says. ”The answer: ‘You just tell him your plans and then watch as fate takes you in a different direction.’ You think your life is…

Finding a middle ground

A gay reader shares some uncomfortable questions aroundthe Church and a gay lifestyle.     As a practising gay Catholic (practising both my faith and my sexual orientation) one gets used, not entirely comfortably, to coping with ambiguity. The Catholic Church could never be described as a welcoming place for gay Catholics; this is despite…

Health matters: The benefits of breastfeeding

Dr Andrea Fitzgerald   Ireland has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in Europe, with approximately 50 per cent of women breastfeeding when they leave hospital, compared to, for example, 99pc in Norway and 84pc in Britain. On the whole, Irish mums also stop breastfeeding far earlier than their European counterparts. Research is yet to…

Alpha – an effective tool of evangelisation

  Paddy Monaghan describes how theAlpha course is growing in Ireland   Pope Benedict XVI, announcing the forthcoming Synod on New Evangelisation, stated that ”the Church exists to evangelise”. But how do we evangelise? The Alpha course is certainly one way. It is a 10-week course on the basic truths of Christianity. It brings people…

The junior tenors with superior voices

Fr Michael Collins   Last week, I was delighted to meet the three Italian teenagers who are the musical sensation, Il Volo. They were in Dublin to appear on the Late Late Show and promote their new album, Il Volo. The three singers were in Dublin for just two and a half days, staying in…

The last of the Irish wolves

Wolves in Ireland: A natural and cultural history By Kieran Hickey (Open Air / Four Courts Press, €29.95 / £25.97) Christopher Moriarty   Wolves are beautiful creatures, with many of the most attractive characteristics of the domestic dogs of all shapes and sizes which are descended from them. That is the current view of the majority…