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MESSENGER

The Sacred Heart

May 2020 €2.00/£1.85

A modern message in a much-loved tradition

What Makes for Effective Protest I Kevin Hargaden Gardening: Missing May I Helen Dillon Stuck to the Ground I Kevin O’Rourke SJ Our Lady of Walsingham I Tom Layden SJ RE:LINK: #CLIMATEACTION I Faith Quille


contents 04 From the Editor

A Lady Named Agatha

Donal Neary SJ

The Chapel of Trinity College, Dublin

05 Pope’s Intention

Deacons: A Gift to the Parish Gerard Condon

07 Letters of St Paul

1 Corinthians and the Lord’s Supper

Christopher Moriarty

25 Our Lady of

Walsingham, Part 1 Tom Layden SJ

27 RE:LINK

Wilfrid Harrington OP

#CLIMATEACTION Faith Quille

10 Stuck to the Ground 31 Thanksgiving

Kevin O’Rourke SJ

12 Journey to

the Jesuits

Christopher Brolly SJ

14 Women of the

Resurrection Consoling Silence Gavin T Murphy

16 Masterpieces of

Christian Art The Holy Family with A Lamb Eileen Kane

20 Mental Wealth

2

Alan Hilliard

25

22 Places of Worship

Letters

32 A Letter from Jesus

Vincent Sherlock

35 What Makes for

Effective Protest? Kevin Hargaden

38 Cookery

Salmon & Twice Baked Potatoes

Seamus Buckley

38

40 Crosswords 42 Young Readers’ Pages 44 The Mary of the Pietà

John Scally

46 Young People

of Faith Saint Dominic Savio John Murray

49 Gardening

Missing May Helen Dillon

52 Different Faiths:

Shared Gifts of Grace

John Cullen

54 Subscription 55 Calendar 56 Reflection Cover image by Brendan McCarthy


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THE SACRED HEART MESSENGER incorporating the Pope’s Worldwide Network of Prayer (Apostleship of Prayer).

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Pope’s intention (evangelisation): We pray for deacons, faithful in their service of the Word and the poor, that they may be an invigorating symbol for the entire Church. With Jesus in the morning Father of Goodness, I know you’re with me. Here I am on this new day. Place my heart once more next to the Heart of your Son Jesus, who is giving himself for me and who comes to me in the Eucharist. May your Holy Spirit make me your friend and apostle, available for your mission of compassion. I put in your hands my joys and hopes, my works and sufferings, everything that I am and have, in communion with my brothers and sisters of this worldwide prayer network. With Mary I offer you my journey for the mission of the Church and for the intentions of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network for this month. Amen. With Jesus in the night God, good night. Thank you for the day. The good bits were good. The tough bits are over for another day. Help me to sleep well tonight. Help me to face into another day tomorrow. Bless and protect all my loved ones this night. Bless and protect all those, too, with whom I disagree or with whom I don’t get on – they’re you’re children too, I know. May tomorrow bring about your will for the world – peace, love, joy and mercy. May I play my part. For now, good night God. I love you and know you love me, warts and all. Amen.

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From the Editor

Darjeeling, West Bengal, India

Agatha went to God on 5 February 1982. I remember her well though I had never met her before. She was a patient in the Jesu Ashram hospital for the poor and destitute in Matigara, northeast India, run by a Jesuit brother, Bob Mittelholz from Canada, who had joined the Jesuits after a successful business career. Agatha, from one of the poorest outlying villages, had been ill for some time, and now asked for baptism. Hers was the Hindu faith and for some reason she wished to join the faith of those who cared for her – mainly young nurses and doctors at the hospital. So on the night of the feast of St Agatha, we baptised her and named her after the saint. On her pillow we placed her baptismal candle, and beside it, the fruit she would bring to the gods, some apples and a banana. Years earlier, that would have been seen as a pagan custom and been forbidden. That evening has always remained with me. There is an afterglow of 4

ImagesofIndia © Shutterstock.com

A Lady Named Agatha

joy, and insight in the experience. In some discernment, I wondered what God was saying to me through an unexpected and unusual experience of life for me. My view of faith was widened that night. Differences of religion seemed of little importance. At a time of death we were open to joining the new faith of Agatha with her lifetime Hindu faith-customs. This is the Spirit working in many different ways of faith in the world, opening us to understanding an appreciation of God in many guises and rituals. St Ignatius Loyola says that God teaches us ‘as a schoolmaster teaches a pupil all our lives’. We sometimes miss the message, but other times we don’t, and it makes a difference. Saints and holy people of all faiths teach us about God. Ask today what has God taught you recently – about yourself, about life, about others and about God. It’s a way of being surprised by God. Donal Neary SJ


Pope’s Intention

Deacons: A Gift to the Parish

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Fr Gerard Condon, parish priest of Ballygriffin, County Cork and diocesan adviser for Religious Education (second level) in the diocese of Cloyne, gives an account of the permanent diaconate in his diocese and in Ireland.

Pope’s Intention: (evangelisation): We pray for deacons, faithful in their service of the Word and the poor, that they may be an invigorating symbol for the entire Church. An accountant, a healthcare worker and a taxi driver are among the eight deacons currently serving with the diocese of Cloyne in County Cork. It is ten years since the permanent diaconate was restored to Ireland, a time marked by a declining number of priests. However deacons are not a ‘sticking plaster’ solution for the shortage of priests. The diaconate is a distinctive way of representing the face of Christ, a nugget from Church history that was rediscovered by the Second Vatican Council.

The word ‘deacon’ comes from the Greek diakonia, meaning ‘work of a servant’. Tradition sees their role as serving at the table of God’s Word (at Mass) and at the tables of the poor. At Mass, the deacon proclaims the Gospel and preaches. He also baptises and can preside at marriages and funerals. The deacon’s other role, as a servant to the poor, is identified in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 6:1–7), when the Apostles appointed ‘seven men of good reputation’ to give alms to the most needy citizens of Jerusalem. Without this second dimension, the ministry risks being 5


Pope’s Intention

In 2006, following research into the international experience, Irish bishops drew up a four-year programme of formation for deacons. confined to that of a glorified altar server. The second and third centuries were the golden age of the diaconate. Local churches throughout Europe modelled themselves on Jerusalem by having seven deacons. However, by the fourth century, the principal functions of the diaconate were absorbed into the priesthood. Eventually the diaconate was reduced to a stage on the way to priesthood. Since the restoration of the ministry in the 1970s, over 30,000 deacons have been ordained worldwide. A large majority are married and continue their regular work as well as a parish appointment. In 2006, following research into the international experience, the Irish bishops drew up a four-year programme of formation for deacons. The conditions for becoming a deacon include a minimum age (twenty-five years for a celibate candidate, thirty-five years for a married man), an occupation that is compatible with the diaconate and the consent of his wife. The deacon learns to pray the Liturgy of the Hours (the breviary) and gains pastoral experience by volunteering for parish ministries during his candidacy. Deacons, like priests, promise obedience to their ordaining bishop. After ordination, the deacon is entrusted with a letter of mission from his bishop, stating his 6

responsibilities. Some deacons may take on specialised ministries (such as a school chaplaincy or in diocesan administration) which are in keeping with their gifts and experience. Most assist in a local parish. The deacon’s primary responsibility is his family and profession. It can be difficult to harmonise the competing demands from work, family and ministry. However, those combined commitments also create a synergy. Revd Garret Cody, one of Cloyne’s deacons, thinks of it as a ‘circular economy’. ‘My life informs my preaching and the Word of God influences my everyday actions’. Following ordination, in 2017, he has assisted in Blarney Parish, mainly with Sunday Masses and baptisms. Becoming a deacon has brought an added compassion to his work with the HSE’s senior-care service and a calmer home life. He has been amazed by the trust that his ministry engenders, ‘I have never had deeper conversations with people than since my ordination’. At present there are more than onehundred deacons at work with the Church in Ireland. A growing number of dioceses are offering the formation programme to men discerning their vocation to this unique ministry. Their presence is a green-shoot in the Irish Church, a life-giving witness to many other Christians.


Pope’s Intentions Letters of St Paul Feature

1 Corinthians and the Lord’s Supper

Attila JANDI © Shutterstock.com

Fr Wilfrid Harrington OP turns to 1 Corinthians, examining how, from the teaching of St Paul, the Lord’s Supper had been a part of Christian faith and practice from the beginning.

Apart from two passages in First Corinthians it might seem that Paul knew nothing of the Eucharist – surely a salutary reminder that what we have from Paul are occasional letters by no means giving us his whole theology or the full content of his preaching. One such passage is the earliest reference in the New Testament to the Eucharist: ‘For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was delivered up took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me”. In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me”. For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.’ Paul solemnly passes on a tradition that, because it came to him through an authentically Christian community,

had come to him from ‘the Lord’. In fact, he is citing an established liturgical text. He reminds the Corinthians of this tradition in the course of correcting an abuse in their celebration (1 Cor 11:17–22). A striking feature of the passage is that Paul does not think of the Eucharist and Christ’s presence in a static manner. Instead, the account is full of dynamic expressions. It is no mere making present of Christ’s body and blood; it is a proclamation, and a memorial, of his death. By speaking of ‘body and blood’, that is to say, the self, Jesus is giving himself, and giving himself in death. Similarly, the cup is ‘the new covenant in my blood’, that is, an event, the making of a covenant that has lasting and definitive consequence. ‘You proclaim the death of the Lord’: the Supper is the interpretation of the death of Jesus. The Eucharist is anamnesis, a bringing to mind that is a form of presence. The Eucharist is one fulfilment of the promise of the risen Lord: ‘Remember, 7


Letters Intentions of St Paul Pope’s

Manifestly, for Paul, celebrating the Lord’s Supper regularly is an absolutely essential factor of Christian life and Christian proclamation. I am with you always, to the end of the age’ (Mt 28:20). The command to repeat the action of the Lord, ‘Do this … ’ not only binds the community to celebrate the Lord’s Supper regularly and thus keep alive the meaning of the death of Jesus but places upon it the obligation to proclaim the redemptive purpose of his death. Significantly, the proclamation of the Lord’s death is in terms of eating and drinking, and that implies a true communion expressed in warm table fellowship. Manifestly, for Paul, celebrating the Lord’s Supper regularly is an absolutely essential factor of Christian life and Christian proclamation. A Christian community without Eucharist is unthinkable. In 1 Corinthians 10:16 Paul asks, as of something self-evident to Christians, ‘The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The loaf that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ?’ The Eucharist had been, from the start, on the model of the Lord’s farewell supper, celebrated in the setting of a community meal. The community gathered for a communal meal at the end of which was a ritual recall of what the Lord Jesus had done at his farewell meal on the night before he died. At Corinth, however, 8

it had become fashionable for the better-off members of the community to gather beforehand and dine well on lavish provision of food and drink (1 Cor 11:20–21). Later, when the slaves and workers turned up there was nothing for them, or only meagre fare. Then the Eucharist was celebrated. In Paul’s eyes this was not only a glaring abuse but a perversion of the meaning and purpose of the Lord’s Supper. In 1 Corinthians 10:16 his emphasis had been not just on the one bread and the one cup but on the sharing of the one loaf and the one cup. It is because, in sharing mode, they partake of the one loaf that the celebrants become ‘one body’ – the Body of Christ. ‘Because of the one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread’ (I Cor 10:17). The Eucharist was meant to be a bond of unity; in Corinth it had been turned into a wedge dividing haves and have-nots. Because the precise Corinthian situation is ignored, 1 Corinthians 11:29 – ‘For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgment against themselves’ – has regularly been misinterpreted. Traditionally, the verse has been urged in support of the doctrine of


Illustration: Brendan McCarthy

the real presence – the sin being that one fails to distinguish the Eucharist from ordinary food and drink. In point of fact, the ‘real presence’ was not the problem: the Corinthians do presume that they are eating and drinking ‘the body and blood of the Lord’ (1 Cor 11:27). The point at issue is that what was designed to unify is being abused

to divide. The ‘body’ in question in 1 Corinthians 11:29 is the body of the community (the Body of Christ) – Paul is playing on two meanings of the term ‘body’. The Corinthian celebration is not communion. The sacrament of the body and blood of the Lord is being abused to rend the body of Christ. 9


Feature

Stuck to the Ground Kevin O’Rourke SJ, who works at the Jesuit novitiate in Birmingham, recalls an old friend whose request for help from God was answered in an unexpected way. You never know how your prayers are going to be answered. My old friend Paddy could tell you about this. He was a much-loved trainer of one of the local football teams, a rough diamond with a heart of gold. He had a way of getting through to the toughest of the young lads and of keeping them out of harm’s way. He had been in harm’s way himself on more than one occasion. In addition to being a good football trainer he had another talent that he didn’t want too many people to know about. When Pope John Paul came to Ireland, Paddy saw a golden opportunity to make hay. He knew that the Phoenix Park would be overflowing, with people from the four corners of Ireland flocking to the Papal Mass. Paddy’s talent was to relieve people of their wallets without their knowledge. He figured out that in the crush of the crowds, and during the sign of peace, people wouldn’t consider a friendly pat on the shoulder to be out of place. That would be his chance to slip deft fingers into a pocket or purse. Being a man of some faith, he 10

decided to kneel down and say a prayer before Mass so that he wouldn’t be caught. His prayer was indeed answered, and he wasn’t caught. In his own words he was ‘stuck to the ground’ until Mass was over and couldn’t get up until the golden opportunity was gone. He enjoyed telling people about this, much to the amusement of his friends, who knew him only too well. God had the last laugh. There are many ways to pray. Asking for help from God is just one of them. When the apostles asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He said, ‘Pray like this’ and gave them the Our Father. It may be helpful to take the letters


Images © Shutterstock.com

of the word ‘THIS’ as a simple way of praying. T is for thanks, for all the blessings that God has given us. H is for help, asking for God’s help in our own lives, knowing that Our Lord encouraged us to ask so that we will receive. I is for intercession, praying for other people, especially people who have asked for our prayers. S is for sorrow, asking for God’s forgiveness ‘for what we have done and what we have failed to do’. The Great Teacher gave us simple guidelines for prayer. Pray with humility like the tax collector in the temple whose prayer was ‘Lord be merciful to me a sinner’. Pray with perseverance, like the woman who

got the better of the unjust judge who wouldn’t hear her case until she pestered him. Pray with trust in a loving Father, who would not give a stone when we ask for bread or a scorpion when we ask for an egg. When we ‘pray like THIS’ we use our own words, talking to Jesus or God the Father, as we would talk to somebody who is close to us. We can share our joys and sorrows, our hopes and worries, knowing that no time spent in prayer goes to waste and that the answer will come in the right way at the right time. God, who knows us better than anyone else, knows what is best for us, as Paddy found out in the Phoenix Park. 11


Feature

Journey to the Jesuits Christopher Brolly SJ, a Jesuit scholastic studying at Centre Sèvres in Paris, tells the story of how he came to join the Society of Jesus; a story that takes him from Northumberland to Senegal, and from Birmingham to Paris. ‘So you work in a non-Catholic school for reasons of faith? That’s a very Jesuit thing to do !’ This was the throwaway remark that changed the direction of my life and began my journey into the Society of Jesus. I was born in Hexham, Northumberland and raised in a Catholic family in the north-east of England. My faith, although always a constant presence, never played a central role in my life until my earlyto-mid-twenties. At this time I found myself far away from home, teaching English in a secondary school in Dakar, Senegal. With Senegal being a francophone country I knew that, to stand a chance of understanding what was going on at Mass, I would need my English missal (a present from my grandparents for my first holy communion in 1996, which I hadn’t looked at much since then). For the first time in my life, as I read Scripture I felt God’s word truly speak to me and my circumstances, piercing through the confusion in my life with relevance. In particular, St Paul’s letters stood out as an invitation to ‘convert’ my way of being, offering meaning to areas of my life that were underwhelming or even empty. 12

As I followed these words, I found a gospel message which intrigued me in the way that it seemed to contradict all of the messages contemporary society told me would make me happy: give yourself away in service of others rather than putting yourself first, treat others as brothers and sisters rather than as competition or as a possession to be used; live a simpler, modest life rather than wrapping yourself in possessions and comfort. This intrigue grew into wonder as, upon trying to ‘live out’ these values, I found myself happier than ever, accompanied by a deep sense of joy and fulfillment that I had not experienced before. I now know to call this feeling ‘consolation’ and to put down this counter-cultural reasoning as the mystery of faith, the logic of the cross. My attempts to put Jesus Christ first, to live out my life closer to his example, led me to a young adult prayer group back home in Newcastle, where the above-quoted conversation took place. At the age of twenty-six, this was the first time I had ever heard of the Jesuits. I went home to look up what my friend’s compliment meant and discovered the story of St Ignatius of Loyola,


Standing left to right: Jesuits Peter O’Sullivan, Fr Philip Endean, Fr Damian Howard. Seated: Jacques St Laurent, Luke Taylor, Paolo Beltrame, Christopher Brolly.

his own conversion process and the inspiring life-stories of the Jesuit saints; his ‘companions of Jesus’, who shared and followed his desire to re-orientate their lives for the greater glory of God’s will. A year later I arrived at the novitiate, Manresa House, Birmingham. Over the next two years, when not taking part in the daily life and study cycle of the novitiate, I would undergo many experiences: I made the thirty-day prayer retreat, the Spiritual Exercises. I walked a 250-mile pilgrimage in Ignatius’ footsteps, begging for food and accomodation between Loyola and Manresa. I ran a prayer group and animated the weekly Mass in a local prison, as well as spending three months learning from the inspirational Irish Jesuit Peter McVerry SJ at his

Dublin drop-in centre for men and women who are homeless. Overall, I describe this two-year period as a process of becoming more human. Amidst the experiences I learned how to deepen my relationship with God in prayer, helping me to embrace the invitation to become more vulnerable and humble. The novitiate was even richer for going through the journey alongside six other novices in my year group, each experiencing his share of the necessary difficulties and liberating joys. On 2 September 2017 I made my first vows in the Society of Jesus, moving from being a ‘novice’ to becoming a ‘scholastic’. I am currently studying philosophy at Centre Sèvres, Paris alongside fellow Jesuits in formation from around the world. 13


Women Featureof the Resurrection

Consoling Silence Gavin T Murphy, author of Bursting Out in Praise (Messenger Publications), continues his series of Easter reflections. This month, he looks at the experience of Mary Magdalen at Jesus’ tomb. Gavin maintains a blog at ilovebipolar.com and looks to Ignatian spirituality for strength and inspiration.

In this second of a series of Easter reflections, I contemplate the second apparition of the risen Christ from the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola (SE, 300), to Mary Magdalen, Mary the mother of James, and Salome in the hope that they may teach us about the importance of relating to ourselves, others and God, something which is central to Ignatius’ outlook. In this Ignatian contemplation, I imagine the women rushing to the tomb of Jesus. They hold each other’s hands so that they keep together. They are shocked to see the stone of the tomb rolled back and by the absence of the body, and they enter with hesitation. I can imagine them touching the stone where Jesus’ body lay, feeling the sandy texture of the other parts of the tomb, and so on. Then, they are almost blinded by the light of a beautiful angel, and again they hold each other’s hands for support and comfort. Amazed to hear the news that Jesus has risen, they are also fearful after the angel disappears. The women depart from the tomb to tell the others of the glorious news. But Mary 14

Magdalen decides to stay near the tomb to pray. She needs a moment of silence, and says she will catch up with the other women later. She sits down near the hilly landscape and deeply ponders things in her heart. Jesus appears: he comes close and gives her his peace. He seems to call her name, ‘Mary, Mary, Mary’. She feels an inner joy that is so real, like a mild electric boost through her body. Her heart begins to beat like a drum and strum like a guitar. Jesus speaks to Mary about the divinity of his heart which is filled with beauty, intelligence and love. Yes, he is divine in other ways too through his resurrection, but he reminds Mary that it is his heart that really matters. He lets her know that whenever she wants to connect with him all that is needed is to pause and listen to her heart, because his heart can be found in her heart. When I speak to Our Lady, Jesus and the Father during the conversation at the end of the contemplation, they highlight the importance of relating to God in silence. Some may have thought, for example, that Mary Magdalen isolated herself from the other women when she stayed behind.


Tapestry of Apparition of resurrected Jesus to Mary of Magdalene, Marianka, Slovakia.

Image by Renata Sedmakova © Shutterstock.com

But, in fact she was better able at this moment to connect with the divine in the midst of solitude. After seeing Jesus, she is able to ‘burst out in praise’ and spread the Good News of his resurrection. Later, she would also have other resurrection moments when turning to silence. Jesus’ physical appearance may not have been there but in her heart she would have felt totally consoled by his divine presence. We can remember today that connecting with silence, by, for example, stopping to take a break from work or going for a walk, will bring us closer to Jesus. When ready, we can then physically connect with others and move forward with energy and vitality.

What to take home from this contemplation: 1. The women hold one another together on the way to the tomb. 2. They support each other again in the appearance of the angel. 3. Mary Magdalen connects with God in silence. 4. She bounces with joy on seeing Jesus. 5. Jesus shows her the way of his divine heart. 6. She ‘bursts out in praise’ internally and externally. 7. She points to the resurrected Jesus. 8. She teaches others about consoling silence. O, Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you. 15


Masterpieces of Christian Art

The Holy Family with a Lamb Raphael (Raffello Sanzio, 1483–1520)

2020 is the fifth centenary of the great artist Raphael, Eileen Kane examines one of the great painter’s gentler pieces, The Holy Family with a Lamb, and tells the story of his short but prolific career. Two factors suggest that this month we might look at Raphael’s Holy Family with a Lamb, in the Prado Museum, Madrid. One is that the atmosphere of this painting suggests the bright freshness of early Summer; the other is that 2020 is the fifth centenary of the artist’s death. Jesus, his mother Mary and Joseph are in a meadow beside a river. Behind them, a path leads upwards towards a town built at the foot of the hills that stretch out, away into the distance. The child Jesus has been playing with a lamb that is now allowing him to sit on its back. Mary, kneeling on the ground, is holding him, making sure he will not fall and hurt himself, and Joseph is looking on, leaning on a tall staff. A bright, noonday light bathes the whole scene. There is deep concentration in this picture, a mood that invites us to ponder. Each figure concentrates on one of the others. Mary watches her child Jesus; Jesus turns around to gaze up at Joseph, and Joseph returns that gaze, looking attentively down at Jesus. We wonder about the lamb. It suggests the paschal lamb, the Passion and death of Jesus. Could the child Jesus see his own future? Here, he has made this lamb his own, just 16

as, later on, he will offer himself as the Lamb of God, in sacrifice for the sins of all of us. The interconnection between Jesus, Mary and Joseph, conveyed through glances, is emphasised by the arrangement of the figures in the group. Each figure overlaps another. The child Jesus is seen against the deep blue of his mother’s mantle, and Mary’s tunic and mantle are outlined against the yellow of Joseph’s robe. The three together form a single geometric shape, a triangle that creates a diagonal movement upwards from the lower left corner. The painting is small – scarcely larger than an A4 sheet of paper – but the figures appear monumental in size. That is because they almost fill the picture-space. The colours are clear and harmonious, with the traditional light red tunic and blue mantle for Mary, and a deep-yellow mantle for Joseph. The folds of that mantle, like the skin-tones of the child Jesus, are beautifully worked, with subtle gradations of light and shade. We admire, too, the delicate, ‘seethrough’ quality of Mary’s veil, and the fine gold-thread embroidery around the neckline of her tunic. There, if we look closely, we shall find the


17


Masterpieces of Christian Art artist’s signature, and can calculate the date (1507): ‘Raphael S[anzio] of Urbino aged twenty-four’ (Raphael S.Urbinas.a.suae.XXIV). Raphael painted this delightful little scene in Florence, in what might be called the second phase of his career. Born in Urbino, in Umbria, he had spent his formative years in Perugia, in the studio of Perugino, and so gifted was he that soon he had so completely absorbed all that his master could teach him, that his work was indistinguishable from Perugino’s. At about the age of twenty, in 1503, he moved to Florence, and for the next four years or so he studied assiduously the works of two outstanding Florentine artists, both older than him, but with whose names his own name would be linked as the three great creators of the High Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) and Michelangelo Buonarrotti (1475–1569). By the end of this Florentine phase of his career, Raphael’s style of painting had changed profoundly. It was no longer linear and somewhat remote. Now, as we can see in the Prado Holy Family with a Lamb, it was softer. He was using light and shade, as Leonardo had, to model forms that had volume, standing out in relief, like the early sculptures of Michelangelo. Raphael’s next move, probably at the end of 1508, was to Rome, where Pope Julius II (1503–1513) was initiating ambitious projects for a new Saint Peter’s Basilica, and for the decoration of the Vatican Palace. Raphael was almost immediately put in charge of decorating in fresco a 18

new suite of rooms, called the Vatican Stanze, and it is fascinating to reflect that he was painting the first of these, the Stanza della Segnatura, between 1509 and 1511, at the same time that Michelangelo was painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel (between 1508 and 1512). In Rome, Raphael reached the peak of his brilliant career. New commissions – for portraits, altarpieces and frescoes – poured into his studio, and new demands were made on his talents and his time. He worked for Pope Julius II and for his successor, Pope Leo X (1513–1521) as architect and archaeologist as well as painter. He designed tapestries for the Sistine Chapel and decorative schemes for the Vatican Loggie and he advised on Roman antiquities. Constantly busy on so many different schemes, he depended more and more on assistants in his studio – on Giulio Romano, especially, who worked from the master’s drawings, and completed some of his works. Raphael’s sudden death, on Good Friday 1520, his thirty-seventh birthday, seemed like a calamity, but there is consolation in the beauty of his works – gentle, as in this small painting, or superb, as in his larger masterpieces. Raphael’s World (€19.95), forthcoming from Messenger Publications, is a masterful account of the life and work of the great Renaissance painter, which includes beautiful reproductions of his paintings with commentary from Michael Collins, author of Newman: A Short Biography.


A Book for the Marian Month Mary in Different Traditions: Seeing the Mother of Jesus with New Eyes Thomas G Casey SJ Rekindle the joy and wonder about Mary through the insights of other traditions and faiths - Lutheranism, Greek and Russian Orthodoxy, Islam and Judaism. 88pp €9.95

Reflections on the Word of God Hearers of the Word: Praying and Exploring the Readings for Easter and Pentecost: Year A Kieran J O’Mahony OSA Making the readings of the season available for personal prayer and as a preparation for participation in the Sunday liturgy. This is the third volume in the series, covering Easter Week to Pentecost. From the author of the very popular email resource, Weekly Notes. 250pp €19.95

Available from all good bookshops or directly from our website, www.messenger.ie, or phone 01-7758522 19


Feature

Mental Wealth Inside each of us is the potential for growth and transformation. Fr Alan Hilliard, author of Dipping into Lent and Dipping into Advent (Messenger Publications), gives his take on the wealth that is within. ‘Glory be to Him whose power working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine’ (Eph 3:20). I find myself repeating this line of scripture over and over again when I face what appear to be insurmountable circumstances. There are moments in all our lives when things go pear-shaped and we don’t know what to do. I’m not even going to begin to give examples because you only have to pause and you can think of many moments when you were left wondering what you’d do next as you faced a stressful situation or event. Even when you realise what’s to be done you doubt if you have the energy to get started. This is the plight of many young people today. The phrase ‘mental health problems’ can be thrown out like a cry for help when they face situations that they can’t see a beginning or end to. The description that many young people use is quite a vivid one; they can say ‘my head is melted’. As you look at the blurred streaming eyes you can actually imagine the brain of this intelligent, sincere and broken person melt like molten lead in front 20

of you. In looking for a quick answer and a solution for everything we rely on our brain to have that answer. The pressure is on to solve it and to fix it – immediately. We punish ourselves further when this doesn’t happen. But sometimes the brain protests and launches into a temporary meltdown. The person is distraught because they rely on this one human organ for relief from all the problems of life, and they become increasingly despondent as they realise nothing is forthcoming. As a student said to me recently, ‘it’s only when you are trying to sort things out in your head you begin to realise that something is missing and you don’t know what it is’. Seeking an answer to our problems in our brain and in our rational self alone is not only a limiting and frustrating exercise but also an isolating one. Furthermore it has been noted


that many young people today do not turn at first to another person but to their computer to find an understanding of their plight as they seek to find a way forward. This, yet again, reinforces our sense of isolation and stretches our pained brain even more. Seeking an answer to our problems in the rational self alone is not sufficient. As one writer put it ‘information is suffocating thought’. The quest for an answer to our problems comes in one swift immediate moment suffocates and destroys the ability to ponder. Whereas the mind may melt, the soul is the crucible that can bear the unbearable weight and the heightened temperature of turmoil. Helping a person realise that there is more to their being than a rational confused mind is often the window that lets in the fresh air. The cool calm air that breathes relief on a summer day can also be felt on a tortured mind as

adison pangchai © Shutterstock.com

Helping a person realise that there is more to their being than a rational confused mind is often the window that lets in the fresh air.

calm descends. Many today don’t understand this world that lies within. This ‘power working in us that can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine’ is an unknown territory. Despite years of religious education that has filled the head with ideas that for the large part are rejected, many young people haven’t entered a space that tells of a deeper self that not only carries burdens but can pour the oil of kindness over our most broken selves. This space even gives the brain a much-needed break as we hold our brittle being in place in a soulful space with infinite love and compassion. There is much talk of mental health today and very little consideration given to the mental, emotional and spiritual wealth that comes from the deep and lasting love of a merciful God. No matter how wayward his Church has been, his power stills works within us. 21


Places of Worship

The Chapel of Trinity College, Dublin May finds Christopher Moriarty right in the heart of Dublin, at Trinity College. He traces the storied history of Trinity, and visits the college chapel, which dates to the eighteenth century. This fine classical building combines a feast of outstanding architecture with the haven of a place of worship in the centre of the city. Closed for the greater part of the day, it opens to welcome all to Mass, celebrated at five past one on weekdays throughout the college term. While the present building is a mere two centuries old, it stands within the one-time property of Augustinian friars who settled there in 1166 and created the Priory of All Hallows. Dermot McMurrough, King of Leinster, had granted the land to the order and there they stayed for nearly four hundred years. Built by the Liffeyside, half a mile to the east of the walls of the City of Dublin, their priory flourished until, in the 1530s, King Henry VIII abolished the monasteries throughout his realm and seized their considerable temporal assets. The All Hallows property, also known occasionally as a priory of the Holy Trinity, 22

was granted to the Corporation of Dublin which, in the 1590s, made it available as the site for a new university. Part of the official Latin title of Trinity College translates as the ‘College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity near Dublin’, which may well reflect a memory of the priory whose buildings, including a tall steeple, formed the foundations of the new university. Established by Protestants, in part to encourage Protestantism, the college chapel was developed strictly to comply with the principles of the Church of Ireland. The chapel of the Augustinians was probably re-dedicated as the place of worship


and may have served in this way until the later eighteenth century when the college was rebuilt and took on its present day appearance under the guidance of some of the most accomplished of Dublin’s architects. The Dublin parliament of the second half of the eighteenth century was an enthusiastic supporter of the wellbeing of its next-door neighbour, Trinity College. Substantial grants were made to allow the development of the splendid Front Square – officially known as ‘Parliament Square’, beginning with the entrance front on

College Green. A new chapel was an essential part of the scheme. Set at the outer end of the north range of the buildings on the outer, open end of the quadrangle, it complements the almost identical ‘College Theatre’ on the opposite side. Each one stands out a little way from the adjoining buildings and has a pedimented front supported by four massive Corinthian pillars. This central section of the front has three entrance arches at ground floor level, each with an arched window above it. To left and right there are three storeys, topped by balustrades. In common with most of the public buildings of Dublin of the time, they are made from three different stones. The greater part of the fabric is limestone, mostly grey but some almost black. This is the rock that underlies Dublin and could be quarried locally. Granite is used for window surrounds and some other details. It comes from the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains. Portland stone, imported from the Isle of Wight on the coast of England and very pale grey, almost white in colour, is used where finely detailed carving is required. The architect of the original outline was Sir William Chambers, but he left the College employment in 1778, nine years before the building of the chapel began under the direction of Graham Myers, a member of the team of architects employed by the government for a variety of public works. The chapel 23


Places of Worship

The south end of the chapel contains the graceful organ loft, supported by seven slender Ionic wooden pillars and occupied by an exquisitely decorated instrument with gilded pipes. was completed in 1798. The entrance door leads into an ‘ante-chapel’, two storeys in height and liberally scattered with memorials to distinguished academics. An inner door opens to the chapel proper where there is a passage going beneath the organ loft and between pews on either side. This leads to the sanctuary, in which the simple altar stands below three great windows, filled by nineteenth-century stained glass and surmounted by small windows that fill the heads of the arches 24

above them. The majority illustrate incidents in the life of Christ but an unusual topic in one is Moses and the Children of Israel. The designers were the Myer studios of Munich and Clayton and Bell of England. The south end of the chapel contains the graceful organ loft, supported by seven slender Ionic wooden pillars and occupied by an exquisitely decorated instrument with gilded pipes. The pews and the panelling of the walls of the lower storey are made from a somewhat soberly-coloured dark oak. This contrasts with the brilliance of the stucco of the walls and ceiling executed by the great Michael Stapleton. The upper storey has, on its east and west sides, four functional windows with round-headed arches and a series of blank arcades of the same size. The walls, which, in the normal course of events, would have windows in their places, stand within the adjoining rooms because the chapel is, to a degree, squeezed in between secular buildings. Even though the architect was thus prevented from having real windows, he succeeded in maintaining the traditional pattern. The plasterwork on walls and ceiling is mostly pale-coloured, greys and creamy-whites but with contrasting areas of terracotta. All in all, the result is of an inspirational brightness. For many long years Catholics required permission from their bishops to study in Trinity – and it was seldom forthcoming. This effective ban was lifted in 1970. The chapel became inter-denominational and the college appointed two Catholic chaplains.


Feature

Our Lady of Walsingham Part 1 Tom Layden SJ, engaged in ecumenical ministry in Northern Ireland, talks of his time in Walsingham, Norfolk. Walsingham is also known as ‘England’s Nazareth’ and is a place of pilgrimage for many Catholics and Anglicans from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England.

Image by Serefix © Shutterstock.com

Walsingham Friary, Norfolk, UK

Back in 2003, a friend invited me to go to Walsingham as part of an ecumenical pilgrimage with a group from Belfast. Walsingham is a village in Norfolk. King’s Lynn is the nearest big town. It is the most famous shrine of Mary in England. Its history can be traced back to 1061 when the widowed Lady Richeldis experienced an appearance of Mary to her asking that a chapel

after the model of the Holy House of Nazareth should be built to honour the mystery of the Incarnation. Pilgrims from all over Europe soon flocked to this holy place, which became known as England’s Nazareth, to pray in front of the image of Our Lady of Walsingham. I had previously visited Knock and Lourdes and had experienced in both of those places the presence of the 25


Feature

Above all it is a place of peace and quiet where there is space to slow down and take stock of life. sick coming in faith to a holy place. Walsingham is too a holy place where pilgrims come to pray for strength and healing. It is a peaceful place in a somewhat remote location where pilgrims (some strong in faith, others struggling) come to ask for God’s help and encouragement in their lives as they struggle with the ups and downs of our contemporary world. It is a place apart where one can rest in the awareness of God’s presence away from the hustle and bustle of the usual daily routine. It honours and celebrates God’s invitation to Mary to play her part in allowing the Word to take flesh in history. While there we remember God’s call and Mary’s generous response in her willingness to be available to serve God’s plan for the world. Now, I always look forward to my visits. Above all it is a place of peace and quiet where there is space to slow down and take stock of life. It is a sacred place where I meet people for whom faith is important. Over the years I have met people from parishes in various parts of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland who go there each year for spiritual renewal. The pilgrims create a sense of community around the shrine. There are two shrines there: a Catholic shrine and a Church of England one. This inter-church dimension makes Walsingham unique as a place 26

of ecumenical pilgrimage. Catholics and Anglicans unite in honouring Mary who said ‘Let it be’ when the angel invited her to be the Mother of Jesus. I always look forward to walking the holy mile when I am there. I begin with a time of prayer in the Holy House at the Anglican Shrine and then walk the mile from there through the village to the Slipper Chapel at the Catholic Shrine. The Second Vatican Council gave us the image of the Church as the People of God on pilgrimage. This becomes very real as I walk the holy mile. Pilgrims come asking for grace in their own lives. More often they come praying for loved ones coping with illness, waiting for the results of medical tests and preparing for surgical procedures. They come to remember younger people preparing to do exams and hoping for work opportunities. They come praying for healing for family members who have experienced breakdown in relationships and other disappointments in life. Walsingham is a place of hope, where pilgrims carry both their own burdens and those of others who are asking, through them, for some relief and the strength to keep going in times of stress and difficulty. Behind it all is the quiet conviction that God’s presence shown to us in Mary’s courage makes all the difference, and gives meaning when life is difficult.


re:link May 2020

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Resource for Religion Studies

#CLIMATEACTION

Introduction: Jack O’Neill is a sixth-year student in Colaiste Iosagain, Portarlington, Co. Laois. In September of last year, Jack had the opportunity to attend the UN Youth Climate Action Summit, which was held in New York. We spoke to the 18-year-old, who is now a climate ambassador for Ireland, about his experience.

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re : link RE: Link: What kickstarted your interest in climate justice? Jack: It first kickstarted when I became more aware of the world around me. I noticed how people treat this world and how this world is falling to pieces, yet nobody talks about it. People often care more for money, power and fame than they care about things money can’t give you, so I decided to step up myself and take action.

RE: Link: What did it mean to you to attend the UN Climate Action Summit last year? Jack: It meant everything to me, it showed me that the last three years of work had been noticed, and that my message got out and I was being listened to finally. Most of the world has finally opened their eyes to the matter at hand and it’s my job to get the remaining people to join us as well. RE: Link: What was the main message that you took away from the UN Climate Action Summit? Jack:The main message that I took away was that I was not alone. A lot of people, especially the older generation reject my call out and try to put me down in many ways, but going to the summit and seeing everyone else, inspired me to keep standing tall. I made friends all across the world because of it, such as from Austria, France and Denmark. RE: Link: What does your role as 28

climate ambassador entail? Jack: My role in the shortest description possible is to educate the youth and people on climate change. I go from school to school and give workshops to students and run stalls at festivals, as well as giving speeches at ceremonies and staffing national events. RE: Link: What role do you think young people should and could play in climate justice today? Jack: The youth today can take any


New York, NY - August 28, 2019: 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg arrives into New York City after crossing the Atlantic in a zero carbon sailboat at North Cove Marina

role they want to in climate justice, all they need to do is stand fearlessly. It may sound easier said than done but it’s all about practice. We need to get the message out and the only way to do that is to stand tall and speak out. If that isn’t possible, there’s always the small things that need to be done, as every little thing makes a difference like litter-picking or making Bug hotels. RE: Link: Who inspires you in the world of climate justice and why?

Jack:The main people that inspire me are my peers working alongside me and against climate change around the country and the world. Everyone works so hard and constantly for this goal and it makes me want to do more, to keep up with everyone and to do my part. My friends and I make whatever fun out of it we can too, to keep it interesting for ourselves and challenge each other on how much we can do. RE: Link: What advice do you have for a young person who wants to get involved in climate justice? Jack: The advice I’d give is to believe in yourself. Stand up and be yourself. There will always be people in this world who will want you to fail and take you down, but you should stand tall no matter what. If you believe you can, then you can. Those who try to take you down are only afraid of what you can achieve! Do all that you can to help this world but don’t push yourself too hard. Know your limits and surpass them. RE: Link: What school subjects, if any, do you think enforce the message(s) of climate justice? Jack: I think that geography, chemistry and biology classes really enforce the knowledge of climate. Those classes teach us all the vital things we need to know about biodiversity and what we need to do to continue our survival. RE: Link: As a member of your school’s Green School Committee, 29


re : link

how important do you think this committee is in schools and how does it contribute to your message as a climate ambassador? Jack: I believe without them the school would be far from eco-friendly and environmentally aware, and that the schools’ waste systems around the country would be under greater pressure than they are now. RE: Link: Finally, do you have anything else which you would like to share with our readers? Jack: The one thing that I would like to share is to open your eyes, the climate is all around us, the climate emergency has been proven everywhere and it needs to be solved before it is too late. Don’t be afraid to stand up and speak out. Those who tell you otherwise are only afraid

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Jack O’Neill at the UN Climate Action Summit, New York

for they don’t understand and when people don’t understand something, they push it away. You can do anything when you put your mind to it!

Competition

WIN C30

Write in to us about how your school is grappling with the climate crisis and be in with a chance to win thirty euro! NER Send your entry to WIN S A MAY RE:LINK COMPETITION, IVE RECE HER The Sacred Heart Messenger, C VOU C30 37 Leeson Place, Dublin, TH D02 E5V0, Ireland. WOR Please include your name, age & school. Closing date: 24th of the month.


Thanksgiving Letters

Thanksgiving Letters Every month we publish a selection of thanksgiving letters from our readers. Please be assured that receipt of a letter is fulfillment of a promise to publish. Truly Thankful Dear Father, I want to thank the Sacred Heart and all the angels and saints I have prayed to over many, many years. I promised to say thanks to the Sacred Heart in your magazine so now I’m doing it. I have received lots of requests and am truly thankful. M Grandson Accepted Thanksgiving promised to Sacred Heart for favours received especially for grandson accepted to second level school of his first choice. I pray that the Sacred Heart and his Blessed Mother will watch over all my grandchildren, especially the one with health issues. Sacred Heart of Jesus I place all my trust in thee, take care of my family. An unworthy sinner Greatly Improved Dear Father, I write to thank you for the many favours received during a lifetime, but one in particular lately – my daughter’s relationship in marriage. Thank you, it has greatly improved, and I feel certain it will continue thanks to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Anon

Sudden Loss Dear Father, This thanksgiving letter is long overdue for the many favours received over the year, a special thanks for my son getting a job when he moved south. I am very grateful for that. I pray that H. will get a job that suits her. Thank you for helping me come to terms with the sudden loss of my husband. I had lost my wedding ring, and I prayed and prayed to God that it would turn up and thanks to the Sacred Heart and Our Lady it turned up. K Well Again When I was in hospital, I promised publication for thanksgiving to the Sacred Heart, his Mother, and Saint Francis of Assisi. Now I am very well. I am very grateful! CE Acceptance Thanksgiving for acceptance of my disability in later stage of life, and for receiving the carer’s allowance for looking after me elderly parents. Also for health concerns answered. The Lord listens and grants. Give thanks. Anon 31


Feature

A Letter from Jesus Fr Vincent Sherlock, parish priest of Kilmovee, Co Mayo, shares an imaginative letter from Jesus to his followers for the feast of the Ascension, 24 May 2020. You might like to write back!

Dear Friends, was such a wonderful man – is such a I arrived safely and the welcome I wonderful man. He left no stone unreceived was second to none. My turned in his care and love for us. I’m Father, like the father in the story I proud of him and of his hard-working once told you, seemed to be watchhands and solid presence. Just as he ing out for me, even when I was still a shaped the wood in his shed, there long way off. He even got them to put is no doubt, he shaped me too. The the best robe on me. Unlike that story, man you met and came to know in though, there was no jealousy to be me, was in many ways the man I came seen here – everyone seemed so to know and respect in him. Loyalty, happy to see me and wanted to that was his gift and deep faith was hear all about my time with his truest asset. He saw what you. I was amazed how another might not. My easily I could recall mother often said that the details, even about him. the little ones, and I talked about there was no rush the early days – in sharing the the moving and story. Every bit of the uncertainty, it mattered and seeking welcome it felt so good to in places that be able to share were not our own, it with people – and I couldn’t help Olives, growing, with my Father esbut think of all the Mount of Olives pecially – and there people that are still was a wonderful Spirit having to do that. I see there too. I’ll come back to my own journey in so many that … of them and rejoice in those places I told them of Joseph, the carpenwhere they are welcomed and given a ter. I called him ‘dad’ and my Father chance. never blinked or reacted to that. He My cousin John, ‘The Baptist’ they knew well enough how much Joseph called him, I told them about him had done for my mother and I. He and how he refused to baptise me! 32


Feature

Sunrise over Mount of Olives, Jerusalem, Israel

They smiled at that – imagine had I not been baptised. It is such a gift and John felt unworthy to share it with me but, in fairness, he gave in and did the right thing on the day. My Father and the Spirit nodded in agreement, ‘Didn’t we split the clouds that day?’, they said. Indeed, they did! I’m thinking of children who will be baptised today – including two in this very parish – and wanting them and their families to know that the clouds will split too and there will be a joining of minds and hearts and a journey begun. I spoke to them about the twelve and how glad I was that they said ‘yes’ when I asked them to follow me. I don’t think they will ever fully grasp

how much that meant. At its core, it meant I was not walking alone but in the company of like-minded people. I remembered, as I talked, some of the confusion the twelve felt and I thought of Judas too. I don’t remember him just for his final act but for that first ‘yes’ and the many steps he took with us. I had a real sense of all here knowing what I meant. Miracles! There were so many to recall and they were not all about blind people seeing, deaf people hearing or the lame finding their feet. Many of them were so subtle that only the ones involved knew. We talked about the woman in the crowd and the healing that came – not through her touching the hem of a garment that 33


Feature could be discarded but rather through her reaching out to and through me, because she saw something deeper. I loved that miracle, that moment and the look on her face when I asked, ‘Who touched me?’ I don’t think she fully knew what I meant by that – I meant that she had touched my heart through her recognising her chance for healing. How I wished more would recognise that opportunity and, like her that day, reach out for it. Everyone here, nodded at that memory and, no more than that day, a few tears were shed. There was so much to tell – the small boy in the large crowd with his few loaves and fish, that supper we shared in the borrowed room and its

place in all you are doing right now. Yes, I spoke about the final days and the confusion, but my Father drew my attention to the moments of kindness and faith those days contained – the centurion, Simon, Veronica, the ‘good’ thief, Joseph of Arimathea and of course, my Mother. Yes, there was much good to be found, even in the darkest hour. So maybe that’s enough for today. I’m where I need to be but I’m with you too. You remember the Spirit I mentioned earlier – keep your eyes and hearts open, I have a real sense that the Spirit has a message for all of you. Don’t lock the door! Peace be with you, Jesus.

PETITION Jn 6: 52–59 “I will raise them up on the last day.” First Friday: 1st May 2020

Petitions may be sent to us on this form, or on any piece of paper.

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All petitions received are placed on our Sacred Heart altar, and Mass is offered for them once each week.

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Feature

What Makes for Effective Protest? Kevin Hargaden of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice (JCFJ) offers a perspective on effective protest. He looks at the different approaches taken by the farmers, Extinction Rebellion, and, in the past, Occupy.

Image by Michael O’Connor

Farmers protest outside Messenger offices, Leeson Street, Dublin, 2019

Earlier in the year, farmers brought Dublin city centre to a standstill with a tractor blockade. This was an escalation of a campaign that began last year to protest the unjust pricing situation in relation to beef-processing plants. Widespread fury followed. People missed flights, were late for hospital appointments, or had to cancel business meetings as everything seemed

to grind to a halt in the capital city. When hundreds of tractors descend en masse, buses, trucks, vans, and cars become useless. Striking video footage went viral on the internet of the evening rush-hour traffic progressing along the M50 at a snail’s pace behind an advance guard of tractors. While some commented wryly that ‘at least it was moving’, the reality is that extensive and widespread disruption 35


Feature

disproportionately affected people who otherwise would be favourably disposed to the farmers’ complaints. While we might often hear of an urban/rural divide, and there might be some substance to the idea that Dubliners have a bit of a superiority complex towards the rest of the country, the reality is that most of the commuters rendered stationary by this protest recognise that without farmers, they would be without food! Nobody takes pleasure in the idea that a worker is being exploited, and it does seem to be the case that farmers get a raw deal in contrast to the massive supermarket chains and the huge beef barons. Most people are happier to pay more to ensure that the producer gets their fair share. Most people would gladly pay more to ensure that the communities that make up rural life are sustainable – not just environmentally but socially and economically as well. Support of protest tends to be one of those virtues that is best practised in the abstract. We can affirm it in theory, but then when it occurs around us, we are tempted to declare it a ‘disgrace’ – as the farmers were labelled in one national newspaper. Earlier this year, The Messenger (January 2020) featured an article I wrote where I defended the right of the protestors who make up the Extinction Rebellion group. I sought to remind people that they now nostalgically celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, but they forget that in his day, he was hated for the inconvenience created by his protests. 36

Extinction Rebellion protest, GPO, Dublin 2019

There are cases where protests are pointless. A group of pranksters sustained a long protest in California demanding that McDonalds restore a sandwich called the ‘McRib’ to their local menus. Students in the expensive American college, Oberlin, went on protest once because the Asian food for sale in their cafeteria was so poor they deemed it racist! But for the most part, we can assume that when people go out on strike, they have tried all the other, easier approaches to remedy their problems first. Instead of thinking about whether protests are legitimate or not, we can ask if they are effective. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, after all, clearly states that strikes and protests are legitimate when they ‘cannot be avoided or at least when it is necessary to obtain a proportionate benefit’ (CCC, 2435). This is a better question


Image by Brendan McCarthy

to ask: does this protest aim at a proportionate benefit? I supported the protests during the great financial crisis after 2008 that were known as ‘Occupy’. I appreciated that there were people willing to take a stand at the injustice of a system where bankers and developers almost ruin the country and the poorest have to pay the bill. I am grateful for people who are willing to sacrifice their personal comfort for the sake of the common good. But on reflection, the Occupy movement did not achieve its aims. They were ineffective. There was no clear leader, there was no clear agenda, there was no path to success. There was no proportionate benefit. It seems that the farmers need to learn from this example. Protests have to inconvenience people to work – this is what Martin Luther King taught us. Our political system is moved much

faster by simple annoyance than by fine sermons on morality. But the protest should then be targeted to cause the most peaceful annoyance for the political leaders. The Irish wing of Extinction Rebellion are a good example of effective protesting. They have clear demands: telling the truth about the climate and biodiversity crisis, serious action to repair the damage, making sure people (like farmers) don’t get economically left behind with the changes that have to be made. They had a broad alliance of support from churches, charities, and civic groups. They have a proportionate benefit in that politicians are now taking the threat to our common home much more seriously. Protests work to change political and cultural opinions, but the real problem that the farmers have is that these are not the things that need changing. Many politicians eagerly support farmers. Most Irish people appreciate the vital work they do, but it is the market, not the parliament, that is causing their problems. If we let profit be the sole concern in our food production, then the beef barons will continue to get rich and the small farmer will go to the wall. Here’s where Extinction Rebellion and the farmers have a common cause. The best way out of the decline in Irish agriculture is a courageous, ambitious transformation of how we farm so it is more sustainable, more ecological, and more geared towards the families of farmers. That’s a protest movement we should all be willing to support. 37


Cookery

Salmon on a Bed of Roast Mediterranean Vegetables Messenger’s new cooking expert Seamus Buckley, a trained chef, offers easy to cook and easy to clean up meals for May. This month I have a recipe for salmon cooked on a bed of roasted mediterranean vegetables. It is a colourful and delicious dish. It is what we call a one pan dish (everything is cooked in one dish for maximum flavour and ease of clean-up), and is simple to prepare. If you omit the salmon, the roast vegetables are a lovely dish on their own or as an accompaniment to most grilled or roast dishes. Ingredients

4 Darnes of Salmon. 2 Medium Red Onions cut into wedges 1 Red Pepper diced into 3/4 inch squares 1 Courgette cut in 1/2 length way and then sliced into 1/2 moons I Small Punnet of Cherry Tomatoes 2 Cloves of Crushed Garlic (optional but recommended). 2 Tablespoons of Olive or Vegetable Oil Salt and Pepper for seasoning.

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Method

n Preheat the oven to 185°C/Gas Mark 5. n Prepare the vegetables as per the ingredient list. n Toss the courgettes, peppers, red onions and crushed garlic with the oil and lightly season with the salt and pepper. n Place the vegetable on a baking tray and into the preheated oven for 20 minutes. n After 20 minutes remove the tray from the oven and stir the vegetables. n Add the cherry tomatoes and place the salmon on the roast vegetables. n Lightly season the salmon. n Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes till cooked. n Remove from oven and serve. Serving Suggestions: Keep it simple and serve with new season potatoes.


Twice Baked Potatoes with Leek and Ham Twice Baked Potatoes are full of flavour and straightforward to make. They are an ideal accompaniment to grilled meats, or on their own, they can be a meal by themselves. Ingredients

4 large Potatoes, washed. I Leek, sliced down the middle, cut into 1/2 inch slices and washed. 2 Slices of Ham, diced into 3/4 inch squares. 60g or 2oz of butter. 100g or 4oz of grated cheddar cheese. Salt and Pepper for Seasoning

Method

n Prick the potatoes a couple of times and place in the oven at 185°C/Gas Mark 5, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until tender. n Remove from oven and let them cool down a little, enough for them to be easily handled. n Meanwhile place the leeks and butter in a saucepan and gently cook. n When the leeks are soft add in the diced ham and remove from heat.

n Cut the baked potatoes in half and with a spoon scoop the potato into a bowl. n With a fork mash the potatoes, season with salt and pepper and then mix in the leeks and ham. n Put the potato mixture back into the skins and top with cheddar cheese. n Turn down the oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 3 and cook the potatoes for a further 15 minutes. This is a fun and simple dish that children could help out with. You could customise your baked potatoes by changing the filling, try different cheeses, gruyere, mozzarella or parmesan, different vegetables, spinach, onions, peppers, mushrooms or peas, try bacon or cooked chicken.

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ACROSS 1 Staff needed for anatomy lectures? (8) 6 Bar for all of us (6) 9 Horse in River Ebro NCO found (6) 10 Lady reportedly putting pin on Canadian city (8) 11 It’s a fitting pastime (6,6) 13 Retiring copper first is comfortable (5) 14 Thrifty lady having knowledge (5-4) 17 Part of universe where life is possible is green and round (9) 19 Alvin removed metal block (5) 21 Little investment in agriculture? (12) 24 Musical shape (8) 25 Burdened with much money? (6) 26 Risk not completing part of church (6) 27 Disclosure needed to produce photograph (8)

DOWN 2 Some walker by the roadside (4) 3 Yearns to see fellow in underpants (4,5) 4 He leaves the rough depression (6) 5 Was acquainted with, say, swell music (3,4) 6 Sharp ringing sound and smell during game (4-4) 7 Bachelor with Elizabeth took time inside for attack (5) 8 Utopian cities laid out (10) 12 Prompt to act over border with command to start military walk (5,5) 15 A wingless sort of container for drink (9) 16 Article hothead with fever had in Holland (3,5) 18 Eli ever disposed to ease burden (7) 20 Said bloke’s incentive (6) 22 Get to know awkward real name (5) 23 One entitled to look closely (4)


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Birth of John the Baptist (Lk 1:5–23; 1:59–66) Zechariah and Elizabeth thought they were too old to have kids of their own. One day, when Zechariah was at work, the angel Gabriel appeared to him. Naturally, he got a bit of a fright. ‘Calm down Zechariah,’ said the angel ‘God wants me to let you know he has heard your prayers, and that you and Elizabeth will have a son named John.’ ‘But how can this be possible?’ asked Zechariah. Gabriel did not like being questioned. ‘Listen, bub, I’m an angel, I stand in God’s presence, and I am

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telling you this is going to happen. Seeing as you don’t believe me, however, you are going to lose your voice, and it will come back to you only when what I have told you has come to pass.’ As it happened, Elizabeth did become pregnant. When the child was born, Zechariah and Elizabeth’s friends and family wanted to know what name they would give to the child.


1. Crocodile 2. Rhino 3. Monkey 4. Zebra 5. Elephant 6. Lion 7 Giraffe 8. Meerkat 9. Ostrich 10. Hyena 11. Flamengo 12. Hippo 13. Camel 14. Gorilla

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Elizabeth told them he would be named John. But no one in our family has ever had that name, they protested. At this point Zechariah, who still could not speak and who had thought long and hard about what the angel Gabriel had told him, grabbed a pencil and wrote ‘HIS NAME IS JOHN’. Immediately, his speech returned. Everyone was astonished, and they all wondered who John would grow up to be.

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Feature

The Mary of the Pietà John Scally, of the school of religion TCD, offers a reflection on the role of sorrow and trust in Mary’s life. All of us who have lost a loved one know what it is like to experience a hidden grieving that rises to grab the heart. We are occasionally ambushed by painful emotions, and these can often bring on a very human experience of doubt. This is not unusual. Jesus himself suffered from uncertainty. At the wedding feast of Cana Jesus initially did not want to perform the miracle of turning water into wine because he did not believe he was yet to do so. He was only spurred into action when Mary said to him: ‘Do you not know yet who you are?’ In times of suffering I find myself thinking of Mary the Mother of God. However, I do not think of the holy woman whose picture we see on countless Christmas cards. Instead, I think of the Mary of Michelangelo’s Woman and Son. This is the Pietà, the Mother of Jesus, holding the body of her dead son in her arms. In the Pietà we see great love and strength but equally a heart-wrenching moment of lamentation and agony at life’s capacity for cruelty. This Mary speaks loudly of suffering, of pain and of agony. While Mary recognised God’s love and had hope in the power of God working in her life she had to live with 44

the imperfections of the present. She is united today with all people who suffer and who are open to allowing God to grow in their lives and in their sadness. God grows in them as in Mary like a seed in winter that grows silently, most often in darkness, so that frequently no one recognises what is happening. Often it is only in retrospect that people can see the signs of the divine presence. While Mary was honoured with the greatest gift of all, she also had her own trials and tribulations. She received the Good News at the Annunciation, but she also had to watch her son suffer in agony on the cross at Calvary. Her gifts were matched by her crosses. In this way she is close to our own lives, which are unique mixtures of joy and sadness. She wondered and reflected as she nurtured the child growing within her. We often think of Mary as different from ourselves, but, reflecting on her life, we discover that she herself walked in darkness and uncertainty. She herself knew our fears and insecurities. That is why we can turn to her with confidence in our moments of crisis. This does not mean that all our problems will melt away. Rather Mary points us to a new reality that will give


La Pietà (‘The Pity’) 1499 Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti, inside St. Peter’s Basilica.

Image by PhotoFires © Shutterstock.com

In the Pietà we see great love and strength but equally a heart-wrenching moment of lamentation and agony at life’s capacity for cruelty. us the strength to face up to the harsh aspects of modern life, to experience and to transmit the touch of God’s gentle love. The message of Mary is not that we get a ladder to climb up to heaven, but instead we have joy because God has come down from heaven to raise us up to new heights. This month we remember Mary. She understands our suffering but is

also a woman of hope. She invites us to place our trust in God who never leaves us or abandons us. She was open to learning from all her experiences and came to understand that God speaks to us through all the events of our lives, be they good or bad. In this way we can face the future with confidence knowing that God will give us what we need for each day. 45


Young people of Faith

Saint Dominic Savio John Murray, parish priest of Downpatrick, County Down, writes about the life of one of our youngest saints, St Dominic Savio. He continues to inspire young people to bear witness to their faith. In his letter to young people Christus Vivit (March 2019) Pope Francis wrote, ‘Saint Dominic Savio offered all his sufferings to Mary. When Saint John Bosco taught him that holiness involved being constantly joyful he opened his heart to a contagious joy. He wanted to be close to the most abandoned and infirm of his fellow young people. Dominic died in 1857 at fourteen years of age, saying: “what a wondrous thing I am experiencing”’ (CV, 56). Dominic Savio was born on 2 April 1842 in the village of Riva in Piedmont in Northern Italy. His parents were poor but hardworking – Charles a blacksmith and Brigid a seamstress. Their large family was devout and very happy. Within two years of his birth the family returned to a place called Castelnuovo d’Asti close to where John Bosco had been born. Bosco – later to be canonised himself – was to have a profound influence on the young Dominic. The life and example of Dominic Savio may seem a long way from the age in which we live today. Yet dig beneath the stories and you will find a steely toughness and courage. When we read the threads of his story, Dominic can seem like someone from a different age, but does Ireland not 46

need today young witnesses to the faith like Dominic? Even from the earliest days the young boy was quickly recognised as an exceptional student who worked hard and performed well in school. He became an altar server and asked to be able to receive holy communion – not the normal practice in Italy at this time. But Dominic’s local priest was so impressed by the boy’s faith and overall integrity that he pushed for permission to be given. One early story of his moral fibre stands out – a fellow pupil had done something very wrong but somehow accused Dominic of the offence. The teacher scolded the class and even threatened Dominic with expulsion. The boy said nothing and accepted the scolding. Some days later the culprit was discovered and the teacher apologised to Dominic – ‘why did you say nothing ?’ ‘I knew he was in trouble for other things; I hoped that if I kept silence he would be given another chance.’ On the day he received communion – which he described as the happiest day of his life – Dominic made four promises: to go to confession often, to sanctify Sundays in a special way, to make Jesus and Mary his friends and finally to choose death rather than sin.


Images © Shutterstock.com

He was to be deeply influenced by John Bosco, the founder of the Salesians. It was an order which focussed on the formation of young people and Salesians are famous the world over for their schools and training centres. When they first met, John wanted to test Dominic’s intelligence and understanding of the faith. He gave the boy a pamphlet which dealt with apologetics or explaining the faith. He fully expected Dominic to provide a summary the following day. But just ten minutes later he recited the text and gave a full explanation of its meaning. John was impressed.

At the oratory the boy studied directly under John. He had indicated his desire to become a priest but six months into this period he delivered a speech in class in which he spoke about the desire to become a saint. Perhaps little did he know that one desire might be more easily realised than the other. Initially Dominic’s path to sainthood took him along a path that John corrected. Dominic tried to do voluntary penances and some mortification in order – as he thought – to draw closer to Jesus. For instance he wore lighter clothes in winter and made his bed 47


Young people of Faith uncomfortable; he ate less food. John could see that these practices were not making his saint any happier. He took Dominic aside and simply told him to devote himself to his studies and to be cheerful. Within a short time Dominic’s usual smile and demeanour returned. ‘To do the ordinary things of life but in an extraordinary way’ – that was the way of John Bosco and so of Dominic. Despite his progress in his studies and his growing reputation, Dominic’s health began to fail. Bosco was worried when the boy began to lose his appetite. The local doctor recommended he be sent home for a while. Dominic wanted to remain, sensing

intuitively that he might not return. At home his health continued to worsen. Dominic asked for the local priest so that he could make a final confession and when he did so he fell into a sleep. Hours later he awoke and said to his father who was at the bedside: ‘Goodbye, Dad, goodbye … oh what wonderful things I see’. Within a few minutes he was dead. It was 9 March 1857 – he was fourteen. Through the various stages – and despite some thinking he was too young for canonisation – Dominic, patron of altar servers as well as young offenders, was declared a saint by Pius XII in 1954. His feastday is 6 May.

Messenger Pilgrimage To Knock Join readers, promoters and friends of The Messenger magazine at Knock Shrine, Co. Mayo on Sunday, 21 June 2020 11.00 am Meeting & Greeting in St John’s Rest and Care Centre. Fr Donal Neary SJ will speak on ‘Messenger and the Message For Today’. 11.45 am Pilgrims can perform Pilgrimage Exercises in their own time. Throughout the day, meet with Messenger Staff in Café le Chéile. 2.30pm Anointing of the Sick. 3.00pm Mass.

Booking: No need to book, just arrive to Knock Shrine.

All Welcome! 48


Gardening

Missing May This month Helen Dillon advises us on how to handle the ‘May Gap’, why she puts her faith in the economies of fastigiate plants and tells of the poppies of her native Scotland. Hesperis matronalis

Photo: Helen Dillon

The month of May can be the most magical month of the year for the gardener. If, however, you have lime in the soil and cannot grow rhododendrons and other lime-hating plants, then you may struggle with what is known as the ‘May Gap’. The May Gap is a period of a couple of weeks during May when spring flowers are quickly disappearing and summer plants have not got going yet. For years I had a brilliant source of colour for this time of year, Hesperis matronalis. Then, I stupidly forgot to

bring some seed with me when we moved house, so I have been without this excellent, cheap and easy colour filler ever since. I did get seed from the UK last year, but didn’t read the instructions on the packet, so I never noticed that it is imperative not to cover the seeds with soil or they will never germinate. Serves me right! For months I was pacing the ground nearby with not a sniff of a seedling. Hesperis matronalis is a biennial, and seed should be sown in early summer to flower the following year. It 49


Gardening

An excellent example, ideal for a small garden, is the slender habit of Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’. is a member of the mustard family and has white or purple flowers. It goes under many different names, such as ‘Sweet Rocket’, ‘Dame’s Rocket’ or ‘Dame’s Violet. In many countries, such as US, it is naturalised and considered an invasive plant. But Sarah Raven (who runs an excellent nursery in the UK, and whose opinion I trust) reckons it is one of the best plants of all for sun or shade. I love how much it contributes to the colour in my early summer garden, not to mention its lovely evening scent. Make sure to leave one or two plants after flowering to set seed for next year. Luckily I managed to buy some young plants this January or I’d have yet another year without it! I must tell you about a brilliant piece of planting in a friend’s garden. He grows many different shrubs and small trees, which he loves. But, like many of us, his garden is medium-sized, so there’s not a lot of space for a keen gardener. He has very carefully chosen those plants which have a fastigiate form (that is ‘plants with erect branches which point up’ or which have a ‘narrow, spire-like shape’). Obviously, fastigiate plants take up much less space than typical trees and shrubs 50

usually do. An excellent example, ideal for a small garden, is the slender habit of Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’. Utterly hardy, this is a nice little tree with a healthy display of dark green leaves and creamy white flowers in spring. And a super plant, which I’ve grown for the last forty years and never tired of, is Arundo donax, the ‘Giant Reed’, which grows six metres tall and hardly spreads more than two feet each way after many years. When I remember the noughties, when Bamboo was all the rage, and people didn’t realize how invasive it could be, it’s a pity so few gardeners tried growing Arundo. May is the time when the Meconopsis or Himalayan blue poppies start to flower. I grew up in Scotland, which is cooler and wetter than Ireland, where these poppies are relatively easy to grow. You need a cool and shady position, with damp but well-drained soil, sheltered from the wind, but in full light, where no other nearby plants would attempt to squash them. To tell the truth, Dublin is the last place to try and grow these heavenly, high altitude plants. Even with one plant in flower, however, you have every excuse to keep going back and having a look!


Q Recommended Reading

New from Brian Grogan SJ Creation Walk, The Amazing Story of a Small Blue Planet

This new booklet by best-selling author Brian Grogan SJ offers a unique presentation of the unfolding of our universe. It interweaves the insights of contemporary science with Christian faith, and reveals the divine orchestration of the Creation Story in a dramatic, fresh and appealing way. 112pp â‚Ź9.95 Order from our website www.messenger.ie from your local bookshop or phone us on 01-7758522 51


Feature

Different Faiths: Shared Gifts of Grace In our multi-racial and multi-faith cultures today we need to look at what unites our major faiths. Fr John Cullen, of the diocese of Elphin, introduces us to ways in which we appreciate our shared faiths.

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Both artistic styles reflect the interactions between humanity and the divine. Catholicism in particular, expresses this as ‘sacramental imagination’, a belief that grace is shared and celebrated through the elements of water, oil, light, touch, bread, wine and ritual blessings. Christians believe in a God who shares our human nature as our saviour, redeemer, friend and a God-

Photo: Liam O’Connell SJ

My first encounter with Islam came when I watched the 1977 film, The Message, starring Anthony Quinn, which tells the story of Muhammad. A visit to Granada in Spain many years later to the Alhambra brought me face to face with an exquisite example of Islamic architecture, which is described as ‘a pearl set in emeralds’. It marks the Muslim presence, culture and tradition in Granada. Islamic art is invested with intricate, creative designs of flourishing colours. Take for example images of the Blue Mosque of Iran. It combines colours, designs and light to create a majestic glimpse of the eternal. Christian and Islamic art are complementary. They are not in opposition! One emphasises the concept of replicating life as it is seen around us. The other recognises the inner workings of life through the ordered patterns of mathematical artistic designs of intricate accuracy.


Image by Nastya Arsentyeva© Shutterstock.com

with-us forever. Islam expresses the intersection between God and humans. It strives for an excellence that encompasses all that is worthwhile in the areas of learning, science, art, nature and human endeavour. All these gifts and much more reflect divine glory. Islamic literature searches for enlightenment. It has similarities to the works of St Ignatius of Loyola,

The Bible and the Koran have much in common as literary retellings of ancient stories from the same part of the world. St John of the Cross, St Teresa of Avila, St Francis of Assisi, Thomas Merton and many other mystics of the Christian tradition. A good example of the overlapping of Muslim and Christian mysticism is in the writings and art of Lebanon-born Khalil Gibran as expressed in his words: ‘Let there be spaces in your togetherness’. The Bible and the Koran have much in common as literary retellings of ancient stories from the same part of the world. Both books fluently convey the tenets of religious ethics, law, art, tradition, culture, history, literature, prose and poetry. The tradition of memorisation and oral recitation is an art form which is shared by all ‘People of the Book’. This makes the written word vital to the faith story and ritual worship of Christians, Muslims and Jews. Both the Islamic and Christian traditions contemplate the transcendence and presence of the divine in our world. They remind us to weave our shared tapestries of storytelling, visually and vocally. This is a crossroads on our shared journey of life that unites all of us. 53


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Know that I am with you always Mt 28:16-20

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Do you believe at last? Jn 16:29-33

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St Gregory VII

Ascension of the Lord

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Consecrate them in the truth Jn 17:11-19

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St Augustine of Canterbury

St Philip Neri

Father, glorify your Son Jn 17:1-11

I have many things to tell you Jn 16:12-15

You are sad at heart Jn 16:5-11

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The Spirit of truth will be my witness Jn 15:26-16:4

I live and you will live Jn 14:15-21

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St Bernardine of Siena

St John I

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Make your home in me Jn 15:1-8

Our Lady of Fatima

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I have come to save the world Jn 12:44-50

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6th Sunday of Easter

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My own peace I give you Jn 14:27-31

SS Nereus and Achilleus S. Pancras

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The Father and I are one. Jn 10:22-30 Bl. Edmund Rice

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The Holy Spirit will teach you Jn 14:21-26

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I know the Father Jn 10:11-18 St Conleth

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How can we know the way? Jn 14:1-12

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5th Sunday of Easter

I am the gate Jn 10:1-10

3

4th Sunday of Easter

Receive the Holy Spirit Jn 20:19-23

Pentecost Sunday

S 31

21

28

May they all be one Jn 17:20-26

You are now in anguish Jn 16:16-20

SS Christopher Magallanes & Co

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That my own joy may be in you Jn 15:9-17

St Matthias

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I know the ones I have chosen Jn 13:16-20

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You know I love you Jn 21:15-19

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Your grief will become joy Jn 16:20-23

St Rita of Cascia

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Love one another Jn 15:12-17 St Carthage

St Isidore

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Trust in God still Jn 14:1-6 Bl. John Sullivan SJ

Jn 6:52-59. (Proper Gospel for Joseph: Mt 13:54-58).

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1

30

You are to follow me Jn 21:20-25

St Joan of Arc

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You believe that I came from God Jn 16:23-28

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They will persecute you Jn 15:18-21 St Brendan

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It is the Father living in me Jn 14:7-14

Does this upset you? Jn 6:60-69

St Athanasius

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St Joseph the Worker

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MAY 2020


To every stone it’s shape and colour; to every man and woman their unique personality. ‘As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you’ (John 15: 9)

Photograph by Liam O’Connell SJ ISSN 1649-4450

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Sacred Heart Messenger - May 2020  

As we combat coronavirus by cocooning or curtailing our activities, our May Messenger has arrived. In what now seems like a different world,...

Sacred Heart Messenger - May 2020  

As we combat coronavirus by cocooning or curtailing our activities, our May Messenger has arrived. In what now seems like a different world,...