31 July 2008

St. Alphonsus Liguori, August 1st.

St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori
COPYRIGHT: americancatholic.org: Moral theology, Vatican II said, should be more thoroughly nourished by Scripture, and show the nobility of the Christian vocation of the faithful and their obligation to bring forth fruit in charity for the life of the world. Alphonsus, declared patron of moral theologians by Pius XII in 1950, would rejoice in that statement. In his day, he fought for the liberation of moral theology from the rigidity of Jansenism. His moral theology, which went through 60 editions in the century following him, concentrated on the practical and concrete problems of pastors and confessors. If a certain legalism and minimalism crept into moral theology, it should not be attributed to this model of moderation and gentleness.

At the University of Naples he received, at the age of 16, a doctorate in both canon and civil law by acclamation, but soon gave up the practice of law for apostolic activity. He was ordained a priest and concentrated his pastoral efforts on popular (parish) missions, hearing confessions, forming Christian groups.

He founded the Redemptorist congregation in 1732. It was an association of priests and brothers living a common life, dedicated to the imitation of Christ, and working mainly in popular missions for peasants in rural areas. Almost as an omen of what was to come later, he found himself deserted, after a while, by all his original companions except one lay brother. But the congregation managed to survive and was formally approved 17 years later, though its troubles were not over.

Alphonsus’ great pastoral reforms were in the pulpit and confessional—replacing the pompous oratory of the time with simplicity, and the rigorism of Jansenism with kindness. His great fame as a writer has somewhat eclipsed the fact that for 26 years he traveled up and down the Kingdom of Naples, preaching popular missions.

He was made bishop (after trying to reject the honor) at 66 and at once instituted a thorough reform of his diocese.

His greatest sorrow came toward the end of his life. The Redemptorists, precariously continuing after the suppression of the Jesuits, had difficulty in getting their Rule approved by the Kingdom of Naples. Alphonsus acceded to the condition that they possess no property in common, but a royal official, with the connivance of a high Redemptorist official, changed the Rule substantially. Alphonsus, old, crippled and with very bad sight, signed the document, unaware that he had been betrayed. The Redemptorists in the Papal States then put themselves under the pope, who withdrew those in Naples from the jurisdiction of Alphonsus. It was only after his death that the branches were united.

At 71 he was afflicted with rheumatic pains which left incurable bending of his neck; until it was straightened a little, the pressure of his chin caused a raw wound on his chest. He suffered a final 18 months of “dark night” scruples, fears, temptations against every article of faith and every virtue, interspersed with intervals of light and relief, when ecstasies were frequent.

Alphonsus is best known for his moral theology, but he also wrote well in the field of spiritual and dogmatic theology. His Glories of Mary is one of the great works on that subject, and his book Visits to the Blessed Sacrament went through 40 editions in his lifetime, greatly influencing the practice of this devotion in the Church. 


St. Ignatius of Loyola, July 31st.

COPYRIGHT: catholic.org St. Ignatius was born in the family castle in Guipúzcoa, Spain, the youngest of 13 children, and was called Iñigo. When he was old enough, he became a page, and then a soldier of Spain to fight against the French. A cannon ball and a series of bad operations ended his military career in 1521. While St. Ignatius recovered, he read the lives of the saints, and decided to dedicate himself to becoming a soldier of the Catholic Faith. Soon after he experienced visions, but a year later suffered a trial of fears and scruples, driving him almost to despair. Out of this experience he wrote his famous "Spiritual Exercises". After traveling and studying in different schools, he finished in Paris, where he received his degree at the age of 43. Many first hated St. Ignatius because of his humble Lifestyle. Despite this, he attracted several followers at the university, including St. Francis Xavier, and soon started his order called TheSociety of Jesus, or Jesuits. There are 38 members of the Society of Jesus who have been declared Blessed, and 38 who have been canonized as saints. He died at the age of 65.


Also Check out the websites of the Jesuits in Éire: www.jesuit.ie   and the hugely popular and highly recommended prayer site www.sacredspace.ie

29 July 2008

July 29th, Feast of Saint Martha.

The following article is COPYRIGHT www.daughtersofsaintpaul.com

Martha was the sister of Mary and Lazarus. They lived in the little town of Bethany near Jerusalem. They were dear friends of Jesus, and he often came to visit them. In fact, the Gospel tells us: "Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary and Lazarus." It was St. Martha who lovingly served the Lord when he visited them. One day, she was preparing a meal for Jesus and his disciples. She realized that the task would be easier if her sister would help. She watched Mary sitting quietly at Jesus' feet, listening to him. "Lord, tell my sister to help me," Martha suggested. Jesus was very pleased with Martha's loving service. However, he wanted her to know that listening to God's Word and praying is even more important. So he said gently, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious about many things, but only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part."
St. Martha's great faith in Jesus was seen when her brother Lazarus died. As soon as she heard that Jesus was coming to Bethany, Martha went to meet him. She trusted Jesus and felt the freedom to say: "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." Then Jesus told her that Lazarus would rise. He said, "He who believes in me, even if he die, shall live. Do you believe this?" And Martha answered, "Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who has come into the world." Jesus worked a great miracle and raised Lazarus from the dead!
Later, Jesus came again to have supper with Lazarus, Martha and Mary. St. Martha served them at table as always. This time, though, Martha had a much more loving attitude. She served with a joyful heart. 

Today we might want to repeat Martha's profession of faith in Jesus: "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." (Jn 11:32-33)

27 July 2008

First Friday, Benediction and Adoration.

This Friday coming is August 1st, the First Friday. The sick and housebound will be visited as usual and there will be Evening Mass on Friday at 7:30, followed by Benediction.

Owing to Race Week, the Bank Holiday Weekend and holiday time generally, there will, as usual for this time of year, be no Adoration from tonight, July 27th, until Sunday evening, August 10th. We have Adoration for 48 weeks of the year, from 8 to 10, thats 672 hours per year spent before The Lord by our adorers. Why not join them? New adorers are ALWAYS welcome.... Jesus waits for YOU.

Monthly Indian Community Mass.

The Monthly Indian Community Mass takes place in the church next Wednesday, July 30th. As usual, it is preceded by Confessions at 5:30. The weekly Indian Prayer Group continues upstairs in the church rooms at 6:30, followed by a get-together.


The following e-mail arrived from Bishop Drennan on Thursday:
Dear Father, it is with great pleasure that I write to inform you of the appointment from his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI of Canon Malachy Hallinan , PP, VG, Sacred Heart Church, Galway to the honour of Monsignor Malachy Hallinan, granted on the 16th June 2008. Regards + Martin Drennan.


26 July 2008

Feast of Saint James.

Friday was the Feast of the Apostle James. Why not google his name to find out more? The painting above is by the great master Rembrandt. In Europe there is the great tradition of the Camino or walk to the tomb of the apostle in Santiago in Spain. Check out the Irish Society of the Friends of Saint James for an Irish perspective on this ancient walk by clicking here www.stjamesirl.com

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

The wisdom of Solomon, the eldest of many brothers, the treasure in the field. Think..... beyond the ordinary what might these phrases, from this Sundays readings, mean for us at a deeper level?



22 July 2008

St. Bridget of Sweden, July 23rd, Patroness of Sweden and Europe.

COPYRIGHT- Catholic Online: "St. Bridget was the daughter of the royal Prince of Sweden, named Birger, and of Ingeburdis, a descendent of the Gothic kings. From these pious parents she inherited a great love for the Passion of Our Lord. Her father consecrated all Fridays to special acts of penance, and from her childhood St. Bridget loved to meditate upon the Passion of Christ. In obedience to her father, at the age of fourteen she married Ulfo, Prince of Nericia in Sweden, by whom she had eight children, the last of whom, Catherine, is now honored among the saints. Later, the holy couple bound themselves by a vow of chastity and made a pilgrimage to Compostela in Galicia. On their return to Sweden, Ulfo, with his wife's consent, entered a Cistercian monastery, where he died soon after, in the odor of sanctity. After his death St. Bridget renounced her rank of Princess and changed her habit. In 1344, she built the great monastery of Wastein, which became the motherhouse of a new Order, that of the Brigittines. She next undertook a pilgrimage to Rome and to Palestine. Having satisfied her devotion at the holy places sanctified by the life and Passion of Our Redeemer, she returned to Rome, where she lived a year longer. During this time, she was sorely afflicted by sickness, but endured it with heroic patience and resignation. Her son, Birger, and her daughter, Catherine, were with her in her last moments. Having given them her final instructions, she received the Last Sacraments and died in 1373. She is the patroness of Sweden, and since 2000, one of the patrons of Europe.

St. Mary Magdelene, July 22nd.

COPYRIGHT-Catholic Online: She is called 'the Penitent'. St. Mary was given the name 'Magdalen' because, though a Jewish girl, she lived in a Gentile town called Magdale, in northern Galilee, and her culture and manners were those of a Gentile. St. Luke records that she was a notorious sinner, and had seven devils removed from her. She was present at Our Lords' Crucifixion, and with Joanna and Mary, the mother of James and Salome, at Jesus' empty tomb. Fourteen years after Our Lord's death, St. Mary was put in a boat by the Jews without sails or oars - along with Sts. Lazarus and Martha, St. Maximin (who baptized her), St. Sidonius ('the man born blind'), her maid Sera, and the body of St. Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin. They were sent drifting out to sea and landed on the shores of Southern France, where St. Mary spent the rest of her life as a contemplative in a cave known as Sainte-Baume. She was given the Holy Eucharist daily by angels as her only food, and died when she was 72. St. Mary was transported miraculously, just before she died, to the chapel of St. Maximin, where she received the last sacraments.

Reek Sunday.

A great and ancient tradition takes place on Saint Patrick's Holy Mountain in Mayo, Croagh Patrick, next Sunday, the last Sunday in July, known as Reek Sunday. Pilgrims, many in their bare feet, will be climbing from early morning. Indeed, the mountain and many of the traditions probably date back even before Saint Patrick and Christianity. Archbishop Neary will be celebrating Mass, in the chapel on the summit, at 11 a.m and this will be broadcast live on RTE 1.

19 July 2008

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Weeds in the Garden.

There are all kinds of things growing in God's garden, even weeds. Do we mindlessly pull up the weeds or do we let God take care of them in his time?

Pray for our clergy.

Please pray this weekend for all our clergy taking up new appointments. You'll find the changes at www.galwaydiocese.ie

Our parish is not affected so you'll either be very happy or very sad!!!

17 July 2008

Festival Time!

We welcome all visitors to our city this Arts Festival/Race Week time. Especially, we welcome all visitors to our parish and worshipping community and please feel most welcome to join us for any of the Masses, of which you'll get the details under contact us on the sidebar menu of this page. If you are looking for a spiritual event in Galway why not try the Galway Cathedral Recitals?Every Thursday evening from June to August there is a different recital from a wonderful array of musicians. Click here www.galwaycathedral.org/recitals

16 July 2008

Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel - Saint of the Day - COPYRIGHT- www.americancatholic.org : Hermits lived on Mount Carmel near the Fountain of Elijah (northern Israel) in the 12th century. They had a chapel dedicated to Our Lady. By the 13th century they became known as “Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.” They soon celebrated a special Mass and Office in honor of Mary. In 1726 it became a celebration of the universal Church under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. For centuries the Carmelites have seen themselves as specially related to Mary. Their great saints and theologians have promoted devotion to her and often championed the mystery of her Immaculate Conception.

St. Teresa of Avila called Carmel “the Order of the Virgin.” St. John of the Cross credited Mary with saving him from drowning as a child, leading him to Carmel and helping him escape from prison. St. Theresa of the Child Jesus believed that Mary cured her from illness. On her First Communion she dedicated her life to Mary. During the last days of her life she frequently spoke of Mary.

There is a tradition (which may not be historical) that Mary appeared to St. Simon Stock, a leader of the Carmelites, and gave him a scapular, telling him to promote devotion to it. The scapular is a modified version of Mary’s own garment. It symbolizes her special protection and calls the wearers to consecrate themselves to her in a certain way.

Welcome, Reverend Martin Whelan.

We welcome Reverend Martin Whelan today. Martin, from the Parish of Ardrahan, was ordained a deacon on June 1st in Maynooth and will, please God, be ordained a priest for the diocese in 2009. He will be with us for the summer and I know he will receive the great Westside welcome that I, the webmaster, have always received here. The situation is very urgent with regards to vocations; we only have one other student for our diocese. This is a year of special prayer in the Irish Church for vocations; see the side bar menu for links and more details. Above all, pray!!


World Youth Day has begun in Sydney, Australia. We pray for all the young Irish people who have traveled to be there. Why not take a look at the World Youth Day website where there is a live feed of the events?Click this link: www. wyd2008.org

For those youth who could not make it to Oz, don't forget the Youth Festival in Knock coming up. See the side bar menu for details.

Sympathies, Little Aoife Regan.

Little Aoife Regan, age 4, has died. Little Aoife, from Kilmovee, Co. Mayo, the grand niece of Sister Catherine who helps us here in the parish, had been ill for some time. The death of a child always has a particular sadness and pain about it and to her mam and dad, Sister Catherine and all the family we offer our sincere sympathy.

'It is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs'

11 July 2008

Sympathies, Cyril O'Brien, R. I. P.

The death has take place of Cyril O'Brien, St. Dominick's Road, The Claddagh. Cyril is the father of Judy Heavey, 50 Fursey Road (formerly Judy Fitzgerald, 78 Inishannagh Park). Judy, you and all the family are sincerely in our thoughts and prayers this week and we will be with you in spirit tomorrow during the Funeral Mass in Saint Mary's Church, The Claddagh, at 11.

Christ has died, Christ has risen..........

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.... How does your garden grow?

1st Reading: Isaiah 55: 10-11, Does the word of God spring to life in our community and are we willing to do the work of the sower?

2nd Reading: Romans 8: 18-23, Do you believe that we are only truly liberated when we accept Christ is in the driving seat?

Gospel + : Matthew 13: 1- 23, Parables are meant to make us sit up. Can we see? Can we listen? It's not just about physical senses but the seed that takes root in the heart.

Mass Intentions for the week ahead, July 13th.

Click to see clearer....

8 July 2008

Delia Delaney,R.I.P.

Our sympathies and prayers and support go to Bill Delaney and family, 113 Corrib Park, on the death of gentle Delia who died last week. Her funeral Mass took place in our church on Thursday, July 3rd. May she rest in peace.

St. Killian,July 8th.

A Prayer to St. Kilian

God, you called missionaries from Ireland with Saint Killian
to take the message of the gospel to Franconia and Bavaria;
Grant that the church may draw strength from their examples,
and never lack zeal to proclaim your love when the going is difficult:
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

For more on this great Irish Missionary check out:


July 7th, Saint Maelruain of Tallaght.

St. Maelruain of Tallaght, Abbot( died 792). 'Labour in piety is the most excellent work of all. The kingdom of heaven is granted to him who directs study, him who studies, and him who supports the student.' Saint Maelruain was the founder and abbot of the monastery of Tallaght in County Dublin on land donated by King Cellach mac Donchada of Leinster in 774. Tallaght Abbey became the mother house of the Culdee movement, which Maelruain co-founded with Saint Oengus. The name Tallaght (Irish Tamlacht), derived from tam, plague, and lecht, stone monument, records the burial place of some of the earliest inhabitants of Ireland, the Parthalonians, who were swept off by a plague about 2600 BC. Tallaght is situated in the barony of Uppercross. The monastery site was donated in honour of God and St. Michael the Archangel by Cellach (d. 18 July, 771) of the Ui Donnchada, grandson of a Leinster king, Donogh (d. 726). The Culdee movement, intended to regularise the rules of Irish monasticism according to traditional ascetical practices, was codified in several of the saint's writings: The teaching of Mael-ruain, Rule of the Celi-De.The monastery of Tallaght promoted both the ascetic, intellectual and community life.


The webmaster prayed for the intentions of you all in Lourdes. It was fantastic to be there during the 150th anniversary of the apparitions and to be part of such a great diocesan group, 725 people. It was especially moving to see the tender care and compassion given to the sick.