Faith in the Family

The bread had been baked, the table was set and the kettle was on. I was meeting with a small group of children and parents who had been preparing for First Holy Communion in our parish. This was our final meeting, after the celebration of First Holy Communion, and I had decided to have a…

Faith in the Family

People grieve differently – and that applies as much to children as it does to adults. I remember when we were young teens, two of my cousins experienced a bereavement. Their reactions were polar opposites. One was loud and angry in his grief. The other was silent and withdrawn. Neither could understand the other’s reaction…

Faith in the Family

I had been thinking about blessings – Marty Whelan in the morning on Lyric FM, our damson tree setting fruit, two glorious bullfinches in the garden.  Then the blessings changed, becoming more profound but also more painful. My Dad was diagnosed with secondary liver cancer before Christmas. He has lived these months well, becoming less…

“Bright flash of light marks incredible moment life begins when sperm meets egg.” This was a headline that caught my attention recently. Newspapers and science websites carried the story and all were equally clear that here, in this flash of light, was the beginning of new life. In a media world so quick to disregard…

“How do we know if any of this is real, if Jesus ever existed at all?” It is a challenging question but one that shouldn’t surprise us. What do we mean when we talk about Jesus? What are we actually telling our children? What do we believe ourselves? To some extent I think the problem…

Faith in the Family

I wrote recently about the impact it can have to identify with the story of others. Walking in the shoes of others can challenge us and help us to grow in faith. I have a book that I dip into on a regular basis called, All Saints – Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets and Witnesses…

Faith in the Family

“What would you have done if you were there?” That is a question that has been posed many times in our house over recent weeks. The commemoration of the 1916 Rising has engaged us all and challenged us to think, to reflect and to explore our beliefs and attitudes. My daughter’s class have been involved…

Faith in the Family

It is the change in the light that tells me – spring is here. Early in the morning and now in the evening there is a golden glow to the world, different from the more subdued light of winter. I love this season, with our berry bushes beginning to bud, rhubarb growing so quickly you…

Faith in the Family

I was a speaker at the recent conference by The Irish Catholic/Iona Institute on Pope Francis and the future of the family in Ireland. Afterwards a number of people came up to talk to me. One man spoke of his work with the Society of St Vincent de Paul and how their outreach is to…

Faith in the Family

We had a wonderful homily from our parish priest a few weeks ago. I’m not suggesting that we don’t generally have good homilies – but this one stood out. I went to Fr Brian after Mass to thank him for what he’d said and laughing, he responded, “It wasn’t the homily I had prepared at…