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Living in a plastic world

We know the world is full of plastic.  Indeed, there has been so much awareness raising and discussion that we stand in danger of information fatigue, potentially switching off  as we normalise the statistics and the shocking visuals of the plastic-swamped  ocean beds.  Potentially background news in a plastic world. It is true that at a local level, we can ...

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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU) takes place from 18-25 January 2019 on the theme ‘Justice and justice only you shall pursue’. Every year at this time Christians from across the world gather to pray for growth in unity. Such united prayer in a fractured world is very powerful. In this way we are called together to form a ...

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Never too young to lead, never too old to learn

At beginning of this New Year,  Mary Robinson as the new Chair of the Elders, reflected on the loss of Kofi Annan and on the events and issues of the past year.  But she also focused on action.  Faced with such an array of complex challenges she said, we must not succumb to fatalism or despair. “As Elders, we know that ...

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WYD – A Celebration of Faith

Preparations are underway for the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day (WYD) that takes centre stage in Panama City, January 22-27 2019.  Pope Francis will join the celebrations from January 23 onwards. The World Youth Day (WYD) is a worldwide encounter with the Pope, which takes plece every three years in a different country. The previous WYD was in Krakow, Poland from July 26th ...

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An unending Epiphany

I love that word ‘Epiphany’.  The feast that brings the Christmas season to an end.  But so much more than that.   One can think of it as the sign post to the ‘extraordinary’ in ordinary things.  Each year bringing with it a new and sudden ‘realisation or revelation’ as the New Year opens out into an ‘unending Epiphany’. When they ...

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How the Light Comes

The 21st December is the winter solstice, the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. For centuries it has been a special day for peoples and cultures worldwide.  As Christmas Day approaches perhaps we are settling inward, and at the same time looking outward,  awaiting the coming  of  Jesus among us ...

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It’s about welcoming

At our most  recent Province Justice Day, we listened to one of the speakers Paul Frecklington, sharing with us about the ‘Power of Welcome’, and about how the diverse parish community around the ARD Family Resource Centre in Doughiska (Co. Galway) experience this in their everyday lives. In the world we live in, preparing to welcome is more than ever ...

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Why should anyone care about Thomas Merton today?

Why should anyone care about Thomas Merton today? Merton, the famous Trappist monk and best-selling author, has now been dead for almost as long as he had lived. When he died unexpectedly on Dec. 10, 1968, at the age of 53 while in Asia on a speaking tour about the renewal of monastic life, he left behind dozens of books, ...

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The Advent of Merton

Thomas Merton, the famed spiritual writer, died on 10 December 1968. His writings are still as relevant as his life story is fascinating, particularly his treatment of ‘difference’, a word that ‘now commands an attention that would never have been possible fifty years ago,’ writes Michael Barnes SJ. The fiftieth anniversary of Merton’s death, particularly as it falls in Advent, ...

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The empty chair is ours

I was listening last evening  to the presentation given by Sir David  Attenborough at the UN Climate Change Summit which is now happening in Poland (3-14 Dec 2018).  He was chosen to represent the world’s people in addressing delegates of almost 200 nations who are in Katowice to negotiate how to turn pledges made in the 2015 Paris climate deal into reality. Earlier ...

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