Highest honour bestowed on Dana

Highest honour bestowed on Dana Dana pictured with her husband Damien and children Ruth and Robert after the Mass of Investiture.
Letter of the Week
Highest honour bestowed on Dana

Dear Editor, News that Ireland’s first Eurovision Song Contest winner in 1970 and former MEP Dana Rosemary Scallon has been conferred with a Papal honour, in recognition for services rendered to the Catholic Church, is cause to rejoice. Dana who regularly appears on EWTN, wrote and sang the theme song, ‘We Are One Body’, for Pope St John Paul II at World Youth Day 1993. The Derry-born entertainer who now resides in Galway received the highest honour bestowed on a layperson that emanates directly from Pope Francis and is granted to a layperson who has done service to the Catholic Church at a ceremony in Baile Chláir, Co. Galway. The Order, of which she’s been made a Dame, was established by Pope Gregory XVI, in 1831, to acknowledge “personal character, reputation and notable accomplishment” on behalf of the Church and society, regardless of the recipient’s religious affiliation. Other recipients of this honour are Alice von Hildebrand and Francis X. Maier. The Dame of the Equestrian Order of Saint Gregory contested presidential elections in 1997 and 2011 as an independent candidate, and served a full five-year term as an MEP for the former Connacht/Ulster constituency between 1999 and 2004. Fewer than 100 Irish laypeople have been similarly honoured, with Dana Rosemary Scallon becoming only the 14th Dame to be conferred in Ireland, after her investiture.

Yours etc.,

Gerry Coughlan,

Kilnamanagh, Dublin 24


What is revealed may be quite unexpected

Dear Editor, I have noticed of late that many people’s woes stem from ‘Needing’ what they want but not wanting what they need. It creates a lot of tension, pressure, disappointment and often broken relationships. Sometimes it seems that God gives in to the whims of his children (and sometimes not) but which is really the greater blessing?

Most people realise quickly that God is not like Santa Claus; even if each Christmas morning I check the drive-way for the sudden appearance of an ocean blue Aston Martin DB5. Even the next step in prayer of negotiating it down to a second hand, high mileage pick-up truck with a slight oil leak that would see me through to my 70’s; did not meet with success.

We can feel at times that some people are jumping the queue when it comes to blessings, that our prayers are stuck in God’s spam folder somewhere and in a spirit of false comparison we feel a bit left behind. But if you take a long view what is revealed may be quite unexpected.

An acquaintance of mine, a prayerful man to begin with, was given the opportunity to have a business in his chosen field. He did everything in prayer, from applying for contracts, to suppliers, to staff, each meeting or letter he wrote would be under God’s guiding hand. He did well. From being an employee he was catapulted to success, multimillion Peso contracts flowed in like a river and profits with them. At what point things changed I don’t know. He acquired property, vehicles, houses, luxuries, holidays and entered into ventures without seeking God’s guidance and things started to fall apart. Bad payers squeezed the cash flow, unexpected tax bills, and his integrity in money matters was compromised. During that time, periodically he turned back to God, who bailed him out; then he would repeat his folly and back to repentance and so on. It’s an old story of lacking the character to rule the kingdom. Perhaps it’s part of his learning curve.

Would we rather have God’s gifts and troubles or God himself and peace of mind?

Yours etc.,

Stephen Clark, 

Manila, Philippines