Monday, February 29, 2016
Sunday, February 28, 2016
Saturday, February 27, 2016
Friday, February 26, 2016
One does not need to be a social scientist to know that there is something wrong with what is going on among certain groups within the clerical classes.
The management class of its nature has to be sly and cunning. How else could people get to such positions?
Yes, they may have talent but always dosed with large quantities of sycophancy. They also have to be bullies.
Of course there are exceptions. The more intelligent, the more insightful leadership is, the better the chance of fairness and success. And goodness and happiness too.
Thursday, February 25, 2016
"The last Redemptorist left Marianella yesterday, bringing to an end the Congregation’s presence in Rathgar going back more than a century. It was a sad day, the culmination of a long process of debate and prayerful deliberation, and Irish Redemptorists felt it keenly.
"It is a convenient rationalisation of profound inequality perpetuated by a persistently negative media portrayal of those in poverty and a belief that what we once considered social problems are actually individual failings. But the truth is, the upper tiers of British society discriminate on the basis of wealth, not talent."
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Monday, February 22, 2016
Jim Harris was an original. But above all he was a kind man, who had a gift for supporting those on the margins, those who depended on the help of a wise companion.
James Harris was a Dominican priest, who died suddenly at 75, sitting in the Dominican church in Newbridge, on Saturday February 22.
He was born in Caragh, Co. Kildare in 1938. His father Tom was the first Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare, serving from 1927 to 1957. Jim’s mother was Hannah O'Sullivan from Aughacasla in Kerry.
Their son was a boarder at the Dominican-run Newbridge College and from there joined the Order, making his first profession in Cork in 1958.
He studied philosophy and theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Tallaght, completing his theological studies in Rome. He did a BA and H.Dip in Education at UCG, before taking up a teaching post at Newbridge College, where he taught Latin, Geography and Religious Studies.
Jim had a mischievous sense of humour, often used to mock the status quo. On one occasion while teaching in Newbridge he set a Latin exam. On one side of the paper was a Latin text to be translated into English, on the reverse side another text, this time an English text to be translated into Latin. Not all the students realised it was the same text.
After Newbridge he moved to Galway, where as prior, he oversaw the building of a new priory.
With the job completed he moved to Athy, again calling in the architects and builders to build a priory beside the Dominican church on the Barrow.
He spent 18 years in Waterford, where he rebuilt a new priory and was a loyal supporter of the St Vincent de Paul society.
So much of his generosity was done in the greatest of confidentiality.
While he enjoyed his teaching and building projects, Jim excelled in his kindness and support of those he encountered. And that was a large number of people, whether past pupils, friends, family, but maybe above all, those who needed a shoulder on whom to cry.
The underdog, the person in trouble, knew they had his ear.
He was ordained a priest on July 12, 1964 but coming from a republican background he never admitted anything special about the day.
He had a wide interest in sport. His first love was rugby. Many of his contemporaries tell great stories of his adventures on the field.
He is survived by his sisters Annie and Kitty, brothers Michael and Sean. His sister Betty, a nurse, sustained serious injuries in Nigeria while working as a lay missionary. Betty died in 2008.
He is predeceased by his sister Mary, who died in 1994 and his brother Joe, who died in 1951. Jim's mother died in her 105th year.
Jim touched the lives of many people with his grace.
Sunday, February 21, 2016
Saturday, February 20, 2016
Friday, February 19, 2016
Donald Trump has called Pope Francis “disgraceful” over the pontiff’s suggestion the Republican presidential frontrunner was “not a Christian” for his plan to build a wall at the Mexican border.
Flying back to Rome from a trip to Mexico, the pope said: “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”
Trump responded swiftly at a campaign event in South Carolina, saying: “For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful.”
“No leader, especially a religious leader, has the right to question another man’s religion or faith,” he told a packed room at a golf course resort. Trump then accused the Mexican government of “using the pope as a pawn”.
“They should be ashamed of themselves, especially when so many lives are involved and illegal immigration is rampant and bad for the United States.”
During his in-flight press conference, the pope insisted he did not mean to sway any Americans with his comments. “As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that,” he said.
“I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.”
In a press release timed to coincide with his rally, Trump suggested that the leader of the Catholic church would regret not supporting his candidacy. “If and when the Vatican is attacked by Isis, which as everyone knows is Isis’s ultimate trophy,” Trump said, “the pope can have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been president because this would not have happened.
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Monday, February 15, 2016
Sunday, February 14, 2016
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Friday, February 12, 2016
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Monday, February 8, 2016
But it also illustrates what journalism can seldom do: explain the deep well-springs of a human problem. The movie tells much, but explains little.
Sunday, February 7, 2016
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Surely we are all called to live the Gospel and to talk about it in our daily lives. Too much 'them versus us' always leads to exaggeration and places an over-importance in one particular group.
Friday, February 5, 2016
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
It is too easy, too glib to say there is a God. But it is also on the other hand too easy and too glib to say there is no God.
Are we just an amalgam of molecules? Is that it or is there more to it?
On Monday I called to visit a woman in a geriatric ward in a Dublin teaching hospital.
On the last occasion I called to see her, her sister was with her so I spent most of my time talking to her sister. But on Monday I was on my own. The lady had little or nothing to say to me. It was clear that she was waiting for her sister to arrive.
Sitting at her bedside I was looking around the room. All elderly women. One woman was walking restlessly up and down the ward. She was looking for 'her chair'.
I had earlier taken the chair beside her bed, so I left it back but as soon as I had left it back she was looking for another chair and on it went. She kept looking for chairs and then it dawned on me that the lady was suffering from dementia.
A few minutes later a young nurse came into the room and how she handled the old woman. It really was inspirational. She was so kind and nice to her. No doubt she is dealing with that every day.
In another bed there was a woman with a tube in her nose. I got the impression she may have had a laryngectomy. I have some knowledge in that area, as close to 40 years ago my mother developed cancer of the throat, subsequently had a laryngectomy and managed to live for 12 years after such a major operation.
So looking over at the woman my mind jumped back 40 years. The lady had paper and pencils at hand to write down her thoughts and requests.
A laryngectomy involves the removal of the voice box and unless a mechanism is inserted it means the person never talks again. And even when a mechanism is inserted it is not done immediately after the operation.
All the time, the lady I was visiting was becoming more and more restless, awaiting the arrival of her sister. It was clear that my presence was of little or no importance to her.
Nurses were coming and going and they were so kind and gentle to all their patients. The lady looking for 'her chair' was becoming agitated and the nurses continued to be so kind to her.
And then my friend's sister arrived and we were able to chat and yes laugh about life on the ward.
With the arrival of her sister, the lady I was visiting was suddenly calmed. It was really extraordinary to see how she had relaxed. She was a new woman. I found myself massaging her feet and all the while a great smile emanated from her face.
I left, walked along the corridor, took the lift down to the main entrance, walked along the footpath and jumped up on a Dublin City Bike and cycled across the city, all the time thinking of the hospital ward and the misery and pain that people experience.
Is there more to our lives than what we experience in the world about us?
Is there a life after death?
Is there a God?
I hope there is.
Do I believe there is? I hope I do. The more I see of the world about me the more I'm inclined to go for the God idea.