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Equestrian Order of the HolySepulchre of Jerusalem Lieutenancy of Ireland Vol 2 №9

In This Issue: 1 Irish Lieutenancy supports Church in Jordan. 2 Patriarch Twal: Weary We May Be, But Not Without Hope 3 Peace Mass January 2015 3 Knock Pilgrimage 23rd -24th January 2015 4 Visit of Grand Master to Derry February 2015 4 Spring Mass Tuam 5 Northern Region Mass May 2015 6 “Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy”

Summer 2015

Irish Lieutenancy supports Church in Jordan. In the northern Jordanian city of Ajloun, renowned for its 12th Century

medieval Arabian castle, the local parish church stands in need of some urgent repair work: roof insulation, re-painting and electrical wiring, to name but a few elements. The estimated cost for the repairs is €47,800. This project was approved by the Holy Land Commission of the Order and greatly helped by a donation of €30,000 from the Irish Lieutenancy, sent last October.

The Ajloun Governorate has a population of over 142,000 widespread

in 27 villages and towns over an area of about 420 km². Although Christians are a minority in the governorate, they form about more than half of the population in Ajloun city; most Christians reside in Ajloun city along with Muslims of the Al-Smadi tribe. Other tribes are distributed in the other districts of the governorate. Ajloun Governorate has four seats in the national parliament, one of which is dedicated for the Christian minority.

8 Sean O’Dwyer KC*HS, KSS.

Upcoming Events 2015: July 5th, St. Oliver Plunkett Procession in Drogheda July 17th & 18th Promotions and Admissions in Maynooth September 19th Dublin Mass, University Church, St. Stephen’s Green October 3rd Western Region Mass, Cong November 7th Day of Recollection, Emmaus

The City of Ajloun from the Castle and view of the Castle

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Patriarch Twal: Weary We May Be, But Not Without Hope While lamenting that the situation in the Holy Land is troubling and its Christians are being tested, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem said that if we trust in the name of the Lord—and Him only—those suffering can be helped. During this interview with ZENIT, His Beatitude Fouad Twal said that the Psalms remind us that we can have hope. “As the Psalm 27 writer says,” he recalled, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.’ And Psalm 146: ‘Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.’ ”Turning to the situation in the Holy Land, the Patriarch said there is a military strategy. This “attrition warfare,” he said, involves “belligerent attempts to win a war by wearing down the enemy to the point of collapse through continuous losses in personnel and material." “Usually”, he said, “the side with the greatest resources wins the war.”

“This is what I see has happened here in the Holy Land. Sixty plus years of 'grinding down' the occupied

peoples”. ”Launching an appeal, Patriarch Twal urged: “I ask that people pray like never before that the hard hearts of leaders will become hearts that seek the good of the wearied occupied Palestinian people.”

The celebrations of Holy Week and Easter, he noted, are a ‘stark reminder’ of the difficulties that Christians

face in the Holy Land. While for the most part, he said, the world is familiar with the disagreements resulting from conflict between Muslims and Jews, less often remembered are the Christians of Israel and Palestine. “This is not surprising, given that Christians make up such a small percentage of both countries. The vast majority of Christians are ethnic Arabs.”

As a result, the Patriarch explained that many Christians in the Holy Land find themselves more closely

aligned with Muslim Palestinians than Jewish Israelis. He noted that the grievances of Muslim Palestinians are therefore often shared by Christian Palestinians. “One frequently cited difficulty involves access to holy sites.” He explained that Palestinians living in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem hold different residency cards, and they cannot move from one to the other without special permits. “As a result, it can be virtually impossible for a Christian in Bethlehem to travel to Jerusalem to worship in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre,” he said. “That's true during Easter even if a permit is granted, since Easter coincides with the Jewish festival of Pesach, during which time a security lockdown is imposed."

"Of course, he said, the major disagreement is the Israeli West Bank Wall/Barrier and the numerous problems it has generated. At best, he said, the wall effectively separates Palestinian territory from Israeli territory, making travel between the two difficult. The separating of families, Christian and Muslim, by the wall and Israeli policy, has devastating effects. Residency policies also can have a devastating impact on families, he noted”.

Reportedly, there are approximately 200 Christian families in the area living apart today, their members

split between the West Bank and Jerusalem. “Such projects, like the wall, are fuelling growing anti-Israeli sentiment among the Palestinian people and undermining peace efforts” he said. “Arab Christians are also suffering in both Israel and Palestine because of their minority status.” “The truth is that Christians face hardships on both sides of the divide,” he said, “and often for similar reasons.”

Other difficulties, he said, include Christians who have lost land to the construction of Israel's security

barrier or to the expansion of Jewish settlements. In 2012, for instance, 3,000 acres were reportedly confiscated from 59 Christian families in Beit Jala to continue expansion of the Gilo settlement and the separation wall. “Both the Israelis and the Palestinians have work to do in terms of protecting religious minorities,” Patriarch Twal stressed, “above all Christians.”

“Weary, we may be,” the Patriarch highlighted, “but not without hope.”


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Peace Mass January 2015

The annual Peace Mass was celebrated in the Church of the Three Patrons in Rathgar Dublin by Archbishop

Dermot Martin on Monday the 1st January. The Order was represented by H.E. Charles Kelly and a group of Knights and Dames. The theme of the Mass was on freedom from slavery, with special emphasis on the curse of human trafficking.

General View of the entry procession at the Peace Mass

Brendan O’Reilly KC*HS and Gerald Tallon KCHS, attending the Peace Mass.

Knock Pilgrimage 23rd -24th January 2015

Gearoid Williams, Flor Madden, Michael Moran, David Quinn, Brian Sullivan and Jack Fadden at Knock.

H.E. Charles Kelly, Tony Devlin, Jim Leahy and John Dickson at Knock.

H.E. Charles Kelly with Aspirant Jim Coffey, Carmel Murray, Aspirant James Holohan and Fr. Darby.

Procession at Knock, led by the Lieutenant in January.

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Visit of Grand Master to Derry February 2015

His Eminence Edwin Cardinal O’Brien on a recent visit to Derry met with some members of the Order after attending 10.00 a.m. Mass in the Cathedral. During his visit, Cardinal O’Brien presented the awards at the 8th annual Pope John Paul II Award ceremonies being held in the city’s Millennium Forum on Tuesday. Prior to two ceremonies, held at 5.00 p.m. and 7.00 p.m., he celebrated 10.00 a.m. Mass in St Eugene’s Cathedral. The Order was requested to provide some representatives.

H.E. the Grand Master in conversation with H.E. the Lieutenant Charles Kelly at the Bishop’s residence in Derry. Also in the picture are Dr. Seamus Hegarty the former Bishop of Derry, H.E. Nicholas McKenna, John Bosco O’Hagan and Noel Burke.

Pictured in Derry with the Grand Master: Sheelagh Hillen, John Bosco O’Hagan, H.E. Charles Kelly. H.E. The Grand Master, H.E. Nicholas McKenna, John Dickson and Damien Walls.

Spring Mass Tuam

The 2015 Spring Mass was held in Tuam. Some 30 members attended at Mass and Stations of the Cross

in Cortoon Church (outside Tuam) on Saturday the 28th March, which was followed by a formal dinner in the Ard Ri Hotel, with the principal guest Dr. Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam. The Council of the Lieutenancy also held a meeting earlier in the afternoon. For Palm Sunday some 40 members assembled outside the Cathedral, and after the Archbishop blessed the palms, processed with the altar party into the Cathedral. Fathers Mangan and Murren assisted on the altar, together with the Ecclesialstical Master of Ceremonies, Fr. Mitchell, who is the Administrator of the Cathedral. The Order was warmly welcomed and recognised by the Archbishop in his homily. Also in attendance were a number of postulants, who expect to be invested in July.

H.E. Lieutenant Charles and his wife Imelda in conversation with Archbishop Neary.

Some of the members at Cortoon Church in Tuam at the Spring Mass.

Dr. Neary blessing the palms in Tuam prior to the Spring Mass.

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Northern Region Mass May 2015

St. Peter’s Cathedral in Belfast was the setting for the Northern Regional Mass held on the 2nd May 2015, where some 60 members and guests attended Mass celebrated by the Most Rev. Anthony Farquhar, Auxiliary Bishop of Down & Connor, assisted by The Very Rev Fergal McGrady, Rev. Tim Bartlett and the Rev. Enda Murphy. After Mass lunch was served in Belfast Castle under the watchful eye of Carol and Sue Falls. The Lieutenant spoke of the needs of the Christians in the Middle East, and of the importance of pilgrimage to the existing community there.

Part of the entry procession to St. Peter’s.

Some of the group with Bishop Farquhar after Mass.


Congratulations to H.E. Nicholas McKenna KGCHS, who was promoted to Commander in the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great in Belfast on Thursday 21st May in the presence of the Most Rev. Noel Traynor, Bishop of Down & Connor.

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“Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy” Reflection by Fr Derek Darby, KHS

In his first angelus as Pope, (17 March 2013), Pope Francis said, “Let us not forget that God forgives and

God forgives always. Let us never tire of asking for forgiveness.” On the 13th March 2015, he declared, “I have often thought about how the Church might make clear its mission of being a witness to mercy. I have decided to call an extraordinary jubilee year that is to have the mercy of God at its centre. It shall be a Holy Year of Mercy. We want to live this Year in the light of God’s words: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Lk. 6:36) Pope Francis, from the beginning of his pontificate reassures us that God is more interested in our future than in our past and calls us to conversion and repentance.

Most people are familiar with traditional scriptural texts associated with God’s mercy, forgiveness, and

reconciliation – The Prodigal Son (Lk. 15:11-32); The Lost Sheep (Lk. 15:1-7); Zacchaeus (Lk. 19:110); the woman caught committing adultery (Jn. 7:53-81). Each one in turn offers a message of spiritual conversion, of mercy and ultimate freedom which brings people to the heart of Christ in the sacramental life of the Church. Although not strictly a ‘reconciliation’ text, the account of the Transfiguration in the Gospel according to Mark (9:2-10) can help our understanding of the mercy of God through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In order to appreciate the various nuances, let us examine the text more closely.


‘They went off to a lonely place where they could be alone by themselves’. Despite our own personal reservations, fears and inhibitions, when we attend sacramental confession, we too are alone by ourselves before God. It is the most intimate encounter we will ever have with the love and mercy of God. We recall the voice that ‘spoke from heaven’ as Jesus was baptised and came up from the water: ‘This is my Son, the Beloved…’ (Mt. 3:17) This is the starting point: we are God’s Beloved and He wants us to experience His Divine Mercy and Love which leads us to inner freedom, inner peace and the joy the sacrament bestows.


Mark tells us that ‘Elijah appeared to them with Moses’. Together, they represent the two principal components of the Old Testament: Elijah, the Prophets; Moses, the teacher, the giver/guardian of the Law. Jesus says, “I have not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets;..but to fulfil them” (Mt. 5:17). In the context of sacramental confession, the three are inseparable. Moses and Elijah assist with the examination of our conscience: Elijah and the prophets remind us of the continual call to repentance, the call to regular confession in the life of the Christian; and Moses, having received the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai offers an examination of our lives and actions against the moral code of God’s law. Jesus, the High Priest, is the one who takes away the sins of the world (Jn. 1:29).


The Disciples remarked, ‘It is wonderful for us to be here.’ These words are rarely uttered from the lips of most penitents when contemplating sacramental confession. There is a fear of judgement; there is vulnerability in acknowledging that we are fragile and weak, and that we make mistakes.

However, when we hear the words “Your sins are forgiven” or “Go in peace” or “I absolve you from all

your sins”, the weight or burden that weighs us down begins to lift and we can experience first-hand how it is “wonderful for us to be here.” Therefore the sacrament is a work of mercy where the joy of forgiveness heals and restores.


‘There in their presence, He was transfigured.’ In other words, He let his true nature as the Chosen One, the Son of God, be seen. When we go to confession, we too let our true identity, our true nature be revealed before ourselves and before God. We are completely changed through God’s grace and mercy. We can see ourselves as we really are in the sight of God – his Beloved.


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‘And a cloud came, covering them with shadow…’ Can I suggest the cloud is that moment where we realise the effect our sin has had on ourselves and others. But it also has another meaning: the scriptural understanding of this shadow is the Holy Spirit. The Greek word for overshadowing is episkiazein; it appears in Luke’s gospel, in the words of the angel Gabriel to Mary: The “Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy” (Lk 1.35). The Holy Spirit enlightens our understanding, strengthens our will and purifies our mind in openness to God’s grace.


‘…his clothes became dazzlingly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them.’ In the context of sacramental confession, can I suggest that is absolution? “May God grant you pardon and peace,” the priest says, “I absolve you of all your sins”, not in his own name, but in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Cardinal Walter Kasper, in his book: ‘Mercy-the essence of the Gospel and the key to Christian life’, recalls a debate in the early church about Christians who had become a new creation through baptism and how they fall back into the life and vices of their former world. The question was asked: could they not avail of a second or third baptism in order to return to that state of grace? St. Gregory of Nazianzus described the Sacrament of Confession as a second baptism, not by means of water but by means of tears. These tears are the tears of burden and hurt, but also the tears of relief, joy, freedom and peace having experienced the saving mercy of God. Through absolution, penitents are forgiven and brought back to fellowship with God and the Church.


‘…so let us make three tents.’ Peter wanted to preserve that moment of grace, that moment of encounter by building three tents. We too want to preserve the moment of grace when we go to confession. That is why we make an Act of Sorrow and promise never to sin again. We want to try and live that moment of grace/encounter in our daily lives.


‘As they came down the mountain he warned them to tell no one’. The mountain is the place of encounter. Warning them to tell no one, can I suggest, is the Seal of Confession. What is revealed by someone in that moment of openness to God’s healing and mercy is bound by the seal and can never be revealed to anyone.


‘They discussed what rising from the dead could mean’. Rising from the dead is a new beginning, a sign that the power of sin is broken through the resurrection of Christ. In our lives this freedom can only become a reality, if we let it go! If God has forgiven us, we have to forgive ourselves and leave everything on the mountain where we met the Lord.

The Sacrament of Confession is an opportunity for all of us to climb the mountain of the Lord. When we make the effort to climb the mountain to be with the Lord, live the experience, and allow the saving mercy of God to permeate our lives, then it is ‘good for us to be here’. May the up-coming Holy Year of Mercy be a source of personal renewal, but also a fresh understanding of the Church’s mission of mercy.

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Sean O’Dwyer KC*HS, KSS. Sean

passed away on the 20 March 2015 after a long illness. We extend our sympathy to his wife Evyleen and daughters Sinead and Sile and to the wider family. Sean was an Engineer who worked with the Health and Safety Authority and was always active in parish and diocesan affairs. He was admitted to the Order in 1995, became a Commander in 2005 and a Grand Officer in 2010, and was a constant supporter of the Order’s activities. For his church related activities he was awarded a Knighthood of Saint Sylvester, and was later promoted to Knight Commander. th

Dr. Frank Hurl with his wife Eleanor and Bishop William Shomali after receiving his Pilgrim Shell in Jerusalem.

Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem Lieutenancy of Ireland Council of the Lieutenancy

H.E. Charles Kelly, Lieutenant H.E. Seán Cardinal Brady, Grand Prior Peter Durnin, Chancellor Ivan Healy, Secretary Fintan Flannelly, Treasurer Vy. Rev. Francis Mitchell, Ecc. Master of Ceremonies Donal Burke, Lay Master of Ceremonies Latest Updates at: Design by: Eric Dumas, Solid Space Printed by: Bethlehem Abbey Press

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Brendan O’Reilly Patrick Durcan H.E. Nicholas McKenna Monica McGill

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Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem - Newsletter - Ed.9 Vol.2 - July 2015  

Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem - Newsletter May 2015 Number 9 Volume 2.

Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem - Newsletter - Ed.9 Vol.2 - July 2015  

Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem - Newsletter May 2015 Number 9 Volume 2.