Showing posts from May, 2010


The Holy Father has to-day nominated the Apostolic Visitors who will begin the Visitation of a number of Irish Dioceses in the Northern Autumn,other Dioceses will receive their Visitations in due course.

The Apostolic Visitors nominated are:
for the Metropolitan Archdioceses - Armagh - Cardinal Cormac Murphy-Ó'Connor, Dublin - Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, Cashel and Emly - Archbishop Thomas Christopher Collins of Toronto, and Tuam - Archbishop Terrence Thomas Prendergast of Ottawa. The Irish Seminaries, including the Pontifical Irish College in Rome will have as their Visitor Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York. Apostolic Visitors have also been appointed for the visitation of male and female Religious Houses.

The announcement calls for the prayers of the entire Irish Catholic Community and looks forward to a season of rebirth for religious life in Ireland.

We need all pray for that result considering Australia's great debt to the Irish for planting and nurturing the …


What are we ?
Better put, the question would be "Who are we?"
Unless we have a rock solid conviction about who we are, we are in dire trouble. This is especially so in the modern world, which is media massaged, continually re-making its self - image for the sake of fashion and sales or the latest ideology.Very many of our fellow citizens, completely immersed in the pop culture identify themselves by what they are inclined to do, either professionally, culturally or from an aspirations or lifestyle point of view.
As Catholics we should be the first to confidently answer both who we are and what we are. We, are children of God and members of Christ's Mystical Body the Church.
That should sum up much of our culture, our aspirations and our lifestyle. After that, comes our Nationality,citizenship, and the myriad aspects of our different beings - our unique identity.
But if we do not see ourselves fundamentally and first of all in terms of our relationship with God, we are i…


"The existence of God is not self-evident. But it is unreasonable, even stupid, not to believe in God, an eternal being that had no beginning and always existed. The alternative is that there was a time when there was absolutely nothing. But that makes no sense. St. Thomas Aquinas said, "if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus even now nothing would be in existence--which is absurd."[12] As Julie Andrews put it in The Sound of Music, "Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could."

This extract from Charles E. Rice's Commencement Address at Christendom College , reported on the Blog Ignatius Insight, says it all . Now the reader knows why I don't believe in "Atheists" - no-one is that foolish.

As usual St. Thomas Aquinas gets it right.


The young people seen above on the Ponte Vecchio in beautiful Florence were no doubt not predominantly English speakers. However to receive from English-speaking youth the withering response "Get Real! "had some currency a few years back. To be on the receiving end of it was a disconcerting experience, with little prospect of making an effective response. When some comforting attitude or assumption we had held was challenged as inconsistent with a reality about to be thrust before us, we experienced a rude awakening!
In "FOUNDATION"August 2007 there was a report on the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's Responses re the words "subsists in "used by Vatican II which had given some mischief makers an opportunity to ply their trade. The Responses served to underline the truly unique standing of the Catholic Church, which is, as Dom Prosper Gueranger said over 100 years ago "God's project for the salvation of the world". Yet how ma…


“I saw Satan fall like lightening from Heaven” (Luke 10: 18). Every word that came from the lips of Our Lord is priceless to us mere men. Yet we don’t often hear this text read or referred to in homilies, and if it occurs in the readings at Mass it is most often ignored in the homily. Why? Of course we don’t like to think of Satan, but our clergy have a duty to remind us of him and his works.

In the tumult, stress and distress of the post – Conciliar years, when Pope Paul VI could ,with pain ,observe that it was “as if, through some crack, the smoke of Satan had entered the Sanctuary of God” (Homily 29th June, 1972), many clergy adopted the habit of not preaching what they surmised was unpopular. It began with “Humanae Vitae “and the Church’s teaching against contraception. The media say it’s not popular, so we don’t preach it. There are Dioceses in Australia where a priest can face administrative problems if he does. The “smoke of Satan “ lingers even to the extent of not talking abou…



“Familiarity breeds contempt”. The maxim brings out a truth at the extreme end of an arc of human experience, relating most often to inordinate familiarity with figures of authority. Moving back along that arc into more moderate territory, we come upon the phrase “taken for granted”. In this case the contributions, co-operation and even the very presence of a person are so much assumed that their merit and value seem forgotten.

Somewhere between the two is a position in which our experience of the Faith can sometimes be found. It can come to be one part of our very busy life - sure, a very important part - but kept in the allotted place and not allowed to disturb the other parts as we hurry along from one preoccupation to another. Set in its place, its “fire” can be dimmed, even reduced to mere” embers”.

In this situation there is little chance that we will deepen our realisation of the wonderful fact that God loves us so much that He burst into Time from Eter…


Strike the Shepherd…

that the sheep may be scattered. Zech. 13:7

The annual ante Easter anti Easter campaign in the Media has been going on for over 20 years now. This year’s effort started off with deceptive simplicity. The New York Times rehashed the story of a paedophile priest in Milwaukee Diocese about 20 years ago. It was taken up by the BBC and the London Times who also leant on the Irish abuse scandals (FOUNDATION March 2009). The ABC was quick to latch on. Later a German paper tried to get a run out of a case in Munich of a similar vintage.

Because of the way in which the stories were written (very badly, without checking sources and lacking consistent logic) it was difficult at first to see what was going on. But after a little while it became clear: the purpose of the exercises was an endeavour to attack Pope Benedict XVI by trying to show him to have been derelict in his duty when a Cardinal and even to portray him as an evil criminal conspirator. The ultimate goal then wa…


"What's in a name?" For Catholics there has always been a great deal!
THE NAME  - JESUS - St.Paul tells us that "At the name of Jesus every knee should bend." The long custom of Catholics had been to bow their head at the name of Jesus being heard. After the Council the idea got about that this was somehow passe', INDEED ALMOST SUPERSTITIOUS(!). Some of us could never withdraw an honour due to God made man for the sake of a fashion. Gradually a situation has evolved in which Our Lord's Holy Name is a commonplace exclamation on TV and in the movies. Can we really blame non-believers if we have withdrawn honour to His Name and, worse, do not complain to the authorities about the abuse of it?

Time was when you could always identify a Christian by his/her Christian name. In some Catholic and Orthodox countries the big annual celebration is a person's ""name day"- their patron saint's Feast Day. Their actual birthday w…


St.Paul gives us so many leads as to how we should act. But not all of them are expressed. We can follow  his example with profit: he wrote that he was going to Ephesus because there was a great opportunity for him there. Here we learn that in spreading the Gospel, the Church needs to be alert to what is happening in the world, and to use its capabilities to adapt to circumstances. St. Paul's opportunity was the biennial Festival of the goddess Diana which we are told increased the population of Ephesus from 300,000 to 2,000,000. What an opportunity to reach vast numbers of people - pilgrims who had to be housed in tents. And who followed the trade of tent-maker? Why, none other than St.Paul - the very man the pilgrims would need, had more for them than they imagined!
To-day there is a massive opportunity for the Church on the Internet. The gathering of people on the Internet - especially the young - is in the tens, perhaps hundreds of millions per day, every day. Yet some Dioces…


It is good for the spirit to get out into the country, or out to sea from time to time to enjoy the peace and timelessness of landscape and seascape. It seems that it would look the same no matter what was going on in the world. All the wars and turmoil down through the ages might never have happened, whilst our serene and strangely beautiful Australian landscape remains unchanged in its ancient tranquility and the great ocean continues on its steady passage. We need to be refreshed periodically, to escape the press of events and to allow some quiet reflection on the recent past.
Sometimes this will help us sort out things that have happened or are happening, or it may strengthen us or stabilize us to meet anticipated challenges. These are good and fitting experiences for the human mind and spirit.
We Catholics have as well a far greater restorative experience available to us - the Presence of Our Divine Lord in the Blessed Sacrament in our churches. Cardinal Newman realized this whe…