Dear Editor, I was delighted to see your front page article [IC 16/04/2020] regarding the calls for Sr Clare Crockett to be put on the path to sainthood. Sr Clare’s story is inspirational for us all.
Furthermore, I believe her devotion and Faith can be an example for young people today, who are constantly being led astray by false role models.
Her life, depicted in the wonderful film All or Nothing: Sr Clare Crockett is a must see, it documents the story of a young women who was pursuing fame and worldly things but in the end dedicates her life to Jesus Christ and dies helping schoolchildren during an earthquake in Ecuador – a story I am very grateful your publication has so wonderfully highlighted.
There have certainly been many stories about people praying for her intercession and their prayers being answered, these must be investigated.
In my understanding the diocese the person is from must be the one to begin the process that puts a person on the path to sainthood, for that reason I would encourage the bishop of the Diocese of Derry to do just that, it would be wonderful for the diocese, Ireland and the world for her to be made a saint, but particularly for young people.
She is a powerful role model.
Derry City, Co. Derry.
Time to open churches safely for sacraments
Dear Editor, I read with interest the front page article ‘Priests face severe cuts as pandemic takes toll’ [IC 09/04/2020].
I wish to take the opportunity pose a few questions to the Church on the matter around Covid-19 in follow up to the article. Are Church services not considered essential in the current crisis? This was pointed out by Bishop Baldacchino in New Mexico recently where he pointed out that the Church services are surely as much of an essential service as the off licences remaining open?
It’s now obvious the virus is going nowhere anytime soon and I suggest the Church should press the Government to include religious services as essential and put creative mitigation measures in place at parish level to allow religious services to commence otherwise the content of the article may come to fruition before this crisis ends.
Also, for example the Sacrament of Reconciliation could possibly continue where screens are installed and social distancing measures are put in place.
Belleek, Co. Fermanagh.
A simple call to repentance
Dear Editor, It has struck me during this Easter season how many of the daily Mass readings one hears the Apostles, in the fledgling Church, speaking specifically about the need for repentance and the forgiveness of sins.
During the RTÉ televised Mass on the second Sunday of Easter, Bishop Kevin Doran again reminded us of the need for Confession
When the perplexed disciples approached Jesus, trying to figure out the reason for or meaning behind disasters that occur on this earth, Jesus did not reply with the empathy, compassion or ‘niceness’ we have come to expect. His reply was simply a call to repentance.
Raheny, Dublin 5.
There is scope for online Mass to improve
Dear Editor, Many people are now getting their daily Mass online at ChurchServices.tv. Obviously, this is a good service for those with quality broadband and access to a PC.
However, there could be some improvements made by all concerned as follows:
-Show readings for the day on the screen before Mass starts so participants can meditate on same.
-Have readings done by laity and not just the concelebrant.
-Play some Irish music and popular hymns during the Mass – surely ChurchServices.tv could manage this from the many CDs available?
-Concelebrant to read the spiritual Communion prayer at the end of all Masses.
-As we all have time to spare, why not say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at the end of Mass for all those dying from the coronavirus and other causes?
-Have an easy-to-use online donation link so viewers can pay for this service by donating say €10.
-From this donation perhaps 50% could go to the local hospice movement or other worthy Christian charity, for example during Lent this could be Trócaire.
Liam de Paor,
Carrickane, Co. Cavan.
Were we always too close together?
Dear Editor, On a spectrum from distance to closeness, I’ve been wondering if we had become too close before Covid-19. This seems like a strange question but phrases like ‘physical distancing’ and ‘social distancing’, and what they imply, are strange.
And yet, in the midst of those strange distancing days, there has been the birth of a new spirit of neighbourliness, care and concern for others. It’s like as if there is more space in our lives, freeing us from possessions of various kinds.
If too much distance means ignoring, too much closeness means possession and control. There’s possession of things and there’s never been such an array of enticing things around. There’s possession of people, when we over rely on others or don’t give them enough space and respect.
Likewise, there’s possession of the environment that we have controlled, bordering on destroyed.
Then there is God. Saints speak of becoming detached from the things of this world that we might focus more on God. We have tended either to ignore God or to try to possess God. Didn’t God ask Moses, who was close to Him, to take off his shoes and to ‘come no nearer’, in other words to keep an appropriate respectful distance? In this space God was able to communicate with him and he was able to hear what God was asking him to do.
Arising from Covid-19, have we been forced into a somewhat similar space as Moses? Could it be the subtle promptings of God in our less cluttered minds and hearts that are helping us, not just to find resources to live in a new way ourselves, but to reach out to others?
Strandhill, Co. Sligo.
Archangel Michael prayer ‘badly needed’
Dear Editor, The daily televised Mass on RTÉ is a wonderful consolation to many people during this pandemic. I am sure members of the Irish hierarchy had a hand in that initiative and if so, they deserve our gratitude and RTÉ deserve praise for giving television time to it.
In a lot of churches up and down the country, in normal times, the Rosary is prayed after weekday Masses. During this televised Mass, a very brief announcement by the priest, after the Gospel, suggesting people say the Rosary, in the privacy of their own homes, praying that Ireland be protected from the worst excesses of this virus, must surely have a powerful effect.
In The Irish Catholic some months ago, Fr Pat Collins CM spoke about the efficacy of reintroducing the St Michael the Archangel prayer [IC 26/09/2019], which was dispensed with after the Second Vatican Council. Given the rise in the practice of witchcraft and satanism, not just in Ireland, but worldwide, I would suggest that it is badly needed.
Drumcondra, Dublin 9.