Born without a family tree

Being the child of donor-assisted reproduction can be like having an invisible disability, Susan Gately is told   Joanna Rose was conceived in 1971 using an anonymous sperm donor. She found out when she was eight. Her dad was crying. “I wouldn’t let it go until he told me what the matter was.” As they…

Religious vocations ‘creeping up’

While numbers entering seminaries and religious life across Europe have been in decline over recent decades, there is a slow rise now with young people coming into religious life “more prepared, usually from a spiritual direction point of view”, according to the Director of Vocations Ireland. Returning from a meeting in Rome for people working…

Warm welcome for diocesan Alpha plan

A call by the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore to roll out Alpha courses across his diocese has been warmly welcomed by Alpha’s Teresa Cronin. “To have the Church from the top behind it has been an answer to prayer,” she told The Irish Catholic.  “Alpha is part of a bigger vision of renewal, moving…

Accompanied by Mary

I met Marlies Bolsias by chance at a conference which had Mary, Mother of God, as its central theme. During a feedback session, Marlies spoke about how Mary had come to her aid during a crisis pregnancy as she prepared for an abortion. Afterwards, in a quiet translation booth, she told me her story. Marlies…

Don’t ignore your dreams, says Benedictine monk

Dreams are crucially important as indicators of what’s being left out of our lives, or not being given due attention, and must be carefully decoded, Benedictine Mark Patrick Hederman, former Abbot of Glenstal Abbey, has said. It is essential for people to “get in touch with their subconscious”, Dom Hederman said in an RTÉ interview…

Two mothers, no father now allowed on birth certificates
Birth certificates can now feature the names of two women but no father, The Irish Catholic can confirm.  Under a new law, one of the women would be the mother of the child, while the other would be deemed the second legal parent. The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection said that “in a…
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Pray for five a day!

Archbishop Eamon Martin and Archbishop Richard Clarke have appealed to Christians to “pray for five people” in the days around Ascension Sunday and Pentecost Sunday as part of the ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ global prayer movement. “This means praying intentionally for five people, but not necessarily those we instinctively pray for on a regular basis,” they…