We need to have close contacts

Notebook There was a time when: Being a close contact was a good thing. To walk into a bank wearing a mask spelt danger! To give someone the elbow was akin to ignoring. If you sneezed, a stranger would say “God bless you”. Delta was an airline! We worried about who was in hospital and…

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Sorry for your trouble

Notebook His father was dead, and we were gathered in the house. The mood changed from silence to chat, to laughter, then tears and then back to silence. A very typical and familiar scene. There were stories too. He talked about the first funeral he ever attended on his own. He was maybe 12 or…

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The decision to become a priest

Notebook “Why did you become a priest?” Brendan lives not too far from Washington DC and is the middle of three children. I baptised him a short few years ago and each week with his parents and sisters, he joins the parish of Kilmovee for Sunday Mass via webcam. This led him, on one occasion…

Celebrating in changed times

Notebook Recently I visited the three schools of our parish to celebrate first penance with the boys and girls preparing for First Holy Communion. It is noteworthy that the number of children involved between the three schools is fourteen. I say this, as a slight aside, because when we hear of numbers, restrictions and NPHET…

Early days and first steps…

Notebook There’s a sense of the Church at its best going on this weekend. It’s that early enthusiastic excitement of a new relationship or hobby. We’ve got all the gear and are ready to spend ourselves fully in the pursuit of love of person, sport or activity. We couldn’t imagine missing a meeting, training session…