Faith in the Family

Here we are in a bright brand-new year, weeks on from the shortest day and yet the reality is, January is often a dark month. It is appropriate then that a group of us in the parish are preparing the Service of Light for our Confirmation families. It is good to light the darkness, carrying…

Faith in the Family

It echoes through the first Reading, the Acclamation and the Gospel for the Fourth Sunday of Advent – Emmanuel, God with us. In the Gospel for the Vigil Mass on Christmas Eve we are reminded that Jesus is embedded in history. We are given, as my father used to say, the “seed, breed and generation”…

Faith in the Family

Advent feels like a good time to be thinking about parenting. We are conscious of Mary and Joseph – parents to be – their expectation, their anxiety, the advice coming from all sides, the whispers in the background about Mary’s pregnancy, the prospect of a long journey with Mary heavily pregnant. As well as being…

Faith in the Family

I am currently organising an event for my mother – or I should say in memory of my mother. Next year it will be fifty years since she died and I believe that it is important to mark that. It seems to me that the best way to do that is to gather her family,…

Faith in the Family

Do you know that our brains are like Velcro for negative experiences and like Teflon for positive ones? That is what a psychologist explained to us recently at training for people working with families. The subject was ‘Supporting parents of an anxious child’ and we were being urged to understand that really, our brains are…

Faith in the Family

Well so far the feet look fine and the hips are still working! Danny and I are four days and about seventy kilometres into the Camino de Santiago. We are also celebrating our twenty sixth wedding anniversary today. So what profound reflections have come to me as we walk through woodlands and vineyards, up boulder-strewn…

Faith in the Family

I remember when I was small, I asked my Daddy why I had a belly button. He replied that it happened when God was checking if the babies were ready for delivery to families. “God went along the line of babies” said my Daddy, “poking each one gently in the tummy and saying, ‘You’re done…

Faith in the Family

It used to be the playroom, the place where our four played school all through the summer holidays, where they rehearsed and performed their own nativity plays each year. Now, it is more like the old-style grocery store in rural Ireland where you could buy a heavy iron skillet, a tin of beans and a…

Faith in the Family

This time one year ago I was busily working on my input for the World Meeting of Families Pastoral Congress in the RDS. I had to be ready in good time because my input had to be sent off to Rome in advance of the Congress just to make sure that I wasn’t saying anything…