A mission to ignite passion for God’s Word

Martin O’Brien meets Fr Edward O’Donnell, a priest happy in his ministry and his own skin   Fr Edward O’Donnell, first ever Catholic ecumenical canon in Belfast’s Protestant cathedral, parish priest in one of the North’ s most well to do areas, former private secretary to the late Bishop Cahal Daly, noted homilist, and proud…

Walking tall with God’s grace

Having been thrust into the public eye in the most awful circumstances imaginable, John McAreavey remains a man of immense faith 
and courage, writes 
Martin O’Brien   The two hours we had agreed for this rare and exclusive interview, requested by The Irish Catholic, just flew by. So, I was sorry when John McAreavey, husband…

Unearthing Cahal Daly’s contribution to peace

The Vatican foreign minister’s lecture raised as many questions as it provided answers writes Martin O’Brien   It was a considerable coup for the organisers to secure as distinguished and high-powered a figure as the Vatican’s foreign minister to deliver the Cardinal Cahal B. Daly Centenary Memorial lecture in Queen’s University, Belfast at the weekend.…

In service of community and parish

There are three words that recur when you talk to Seamus McDonald, KSG, retired teacher, first-ever Irish secretary general of Unum Omnes, the International Council of Catholic Men, stalwart of the Knights of Saint Columbanus for more than 30 years and former pioneering GAA official in Co. Tyrone. They are ‘service’, ‘community’ and ‘parish’. They…

A man on a mission to keep faith in policing

Catholic leaders need to encourage young people in the community to seriously consider policing, PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton tells Martin O’Brien “We might not have government but we still have the law, which is pretty important for policing, so all is not lost”, deadpans George Hamilton, Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern…

The freedom to do something worthwhile

Martin O’Brien meets a remarkable sister with a thirst for justice The first thing that strikes you about Sr Majella McCarron, a pioneering advocate for justice and peace within her congregation, is that she is no shrinking violet. Sr Majella, a sprightly, feisty 77-year-old who hails from Derrylin, Co. Fermanagh, is happy to talk for…

Mapping a mission of mercy

Westminster’s Cardinal Vincent Nichols tells Martin O’Brien about Pope Francis’ programme to reform the Church Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and president of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, is the foremost Catholic Church leader in these islands, one of the Pope’s principal advisors in the appointment of bishops and a major figure…