Dear Editor, After reading Bairbre Cahill’s piece on ‘It’s time to end the sacramental production line’ (IC 12/12/19) I can only give you my own experience. Could I suggest that we bring the preparation into the schools rather than taking it out?
I was one of those parents who just brought their children for sacraments without any thought or teaching and even after my conversion I was someone who agreed with Bairbre, but I realise now what is needed is love and mercy in abundance.
There’s a huge temptation for all of us practising Catholics to hunker down and put up barriers and ‘rules’ to being part of our ‘club’ but a wise man once told me: “Jesus can take care of himself!”
I was 40 years old before I realised I knew nothing about being a Catholic. I went through years of not attending Mass and I thank God my husband kept bringing our children even though his faith had little foundations too.
When parents themselves haven’t been taught the true joy of our faith, the ‘what’ we believe and ‘why’ we believe it, how can we expect them to deposit the Faith in their children? I thank God that he led me to study the Catechism which has changed all our lives as a family.
It is only through my own Faith journey that I could really deposit the Faith in our children.
We must always remember Faith is a gift from God. I wonder is it only converts who can truly appreciate this? If you’ve never lost something you’ll never really appreciate its value to you.
If parents and children can be brought into contact with people who love Jesus and practice their Faith within our schools this will serve us all better than separating us and minimising still more the chances of everyone having an encounter with Our Lord.
In schools and elsewhere we have to talk of Faith
Dear Editor, When I saw the provocative headline, ‘It’s time to end the sacramental production line’ over Bairbre Cahill’s article (IC 12/12/19), I was, naturally, curious to see what arguments she would put forward in relation to this very topical issue.
While Bairbre introduced her article by stating very clearly where she stood on the subject, about which she was writing – “I would take sacramental preparation out of Catholic schools” – I felt the thrust of her article was that the time has well and truly come to face up to the reality, that the system is broken. Bairbre describes the present system of sacramental preparation as “a production line system that tries to deal with sacramental preparation disconnected from a life of Faith”.
She goes on to say that “moving sacramental preparation into our parishes would encourage, indeed demand, a re-animation of our parishes as communities of Faith and places of evangelisation”.
The topic that Bairbre Cahill deals with in her article had of course been a front page headline in The Irish Catholic the previous week, following the announcement by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin that plans were being made in Dublin diocese to take sacramental preparation out of schools.
Bairbre Cahill is in no doubt that “no parish can do this alone” and she concludes her article as follows: “For the sake of the integrity of our sacramental preparation, the ethos of our Catholic schools, the vitality of our parishes as communities of Faith and the respect we owe the Faith journey of our children, we need the courage, wisdom and right judgement to forge a new path.”
The least that might be done by bishops, priests and people, without delay, is to talk about this very relevant ‘Faith issue’.
Fr Denis O’Mahony,
Lets resolve to talk about our Faith!
Dear Editor, I thought it would be a nice reminder to people reading this paper that if your spiritual life has stagnated or has reduced in importance, the New Year is the perfect time to renew your Faith and make real strides to rectify or deepen your relationship with God. A resolution to simply attend Mass or to have Faith conversations with your friends this year could make all the difference.
Sorry Mary, we won’t agree on overview of SDLP
Dear Editor, I have to take issue with the rose-tinted reflection of Mary Kenny’s overview of the SDLP and constitutional nationalism (IC 19/12/19). That the electors have returned two stalwart supporters of abortion and marriage re-definement says a lot.
The SDLP together with Sinn Féin did nothing to restrain the odious Westminster abortion plan, but quietly welcomed it! Eastwood and Hanna are on record for their delight with the effective ending of the unborn right to exist.
That is not all, since the Irish News has itself, over the past 18 months posted adverts for humanist weddings to IVF and yet still lauds the motto of their title page ‘pro Fidel at patria’. This shows that Irish nationalism as a grouping has a loathing for pro-life and pro-Faith and that especially with the SDLP, they would sell their souls if it would gain them power.
The only light seems to be Aontú that shows more in keeping with the vision of John Hume, than the present cabal!
Fr John McCallion,
Coalisland, Co. Tyrone.