Friday, January 13, 2017

Religion 'very important' to fb founder.




The founder of social media giant Facebook has asserted the importance of faith in a Christmas message to followers.

The previously avowed atheist took to social media over the festive period to wish one and all a “Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah”, prompting one viewer to pose the question: “Aren’t you an atheist?”

Zuckerberg was quick to reply: “No. I was raised Jewish and then I went through a period where I questioned things, but now I believe religion is very important.”

Zuckerberg’s words on faith came just months after he and his wife Priscilla attended a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican, a meeting which had a profound effect on the industry leader.

We told him how much we admire his message of mercy and tenderness, and how he’s found new ways to communicate with people of every faith around the world.” Zuckerberg wrote later, “It was a meeting we’ll never forget. You can feel his warmth and kindness, and how deeply he cares about helping people.” From humble beginnings as a computer programmer, Zuckerberg became a universally recognised individual when, along with fellow college students in 2004, he came up with the idea of an online networking site, Facebook. The site is used today by one billion people. Zuckerberg is currently ranked by Forbes magazine as the 10th most powerful individual in the world.

Together with his wife, the Facebook founder is responsible for the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation, an initiative tasked with donating some 45 billion dollars of his internet earnings to charitable causes focused on education and curing diseases.
(Irish Catholic, January 5, 2017)



A Man of God!





The footballer responsible for a spectacular ‘scorpion kick’ goal during a New Year’s game in the English premier league has said God helped him to carry off the near-impossible shot to bring his team to victory.

Playing with Arsenal in the January 1 face-off against south London’s Crystal Palace, French international Olivier Giroud made the most of a pass delivered behind him to flick the ball with the back of his heel and send it on target for what was immediately described by pundits as an early contender for ‘Goal of the Season’.

Clearly delighted with the results of the masterly display, Giroud afterwards thanked God for the goal: “I needed God’s help to score this goal,” he told an interviewer at full time, when Arsenal had beaten Palace 2-0. A proclaimed Catholic- he has stated that he is “a strong believer”.

Olivier Giroud carries a reminder of his faith into every game in the form of a tattoo on his forearm which is a Latin rendering of Psalm 23: Dominus regit me et nihil deerit – The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Though he does not cross himself in preparation for competition as so many athletes do, Giroud has said he says a prayer before every game.


(Irish Catholic, January 5, 2017)

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!







May the new year bring you abundance of amazing opportunities, beautiful moments, and joyful experiences. May your positive actions and attitude inspire others. May you be brave enough to take on and overcome rewarding challenges. My you find yourself in high spirits and excellent health. May you love with all your heart and find peace in even the most turbulent of times. May the love you give always find its way back to you multiplied. And may you forever be filled with the hope and strength necessary to make your dreams a reality.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Cristus Natus Nobis, Venite Adoremus!



Advent has reached its end! The waiting is over! As we look at the infant in the manger we are not only reflecting on a wonderful moment in history - we are also challenged to find room in our hearts for the birth of Christ. A night of sublime comfort and extraordinary challenge!

Monday, November 28, 2016

It's Advent!

Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent which is a reminder to gather fir branches, holly and ivy for the Advent wreath.

Advent wreaths are usually the first Christmas decorations to go up, followed by the Christmas tree.


People have already started to wish one another “Happy Christmas”. But it’s not Christmas yet. The season of Advent has just begun – a time of waiting and preparation in joyful hope and expectation.

Take a look at this 2 minute clip which explains what Advent is all about...


Sunday, November 27, 2016

To West Africa and Back

                                     (Thaddeus Jude, Ronald Anthony & John Mary) 

I have returned from a visit to our Brothers in West Africa. I joined them for their three-day Province Chapter Assembly in Sunyani, a two hour drive from the second largest city Kumasi in Ghana. The purpose of the gathering was to prepare for the forth coming Chapter in Rome in April, 2017. There were discussions on matters of relevance to the Province and reports were made on the developments during the past six years. Delegates were also elected to represent the Province at the Congregation Chapter in April. I took time to visit our student community in Sunyani where three Brothers are studying at the Catholic University.

Following the meeting, I travelled a day-long journey to the Upper East Region where the Presentation Brothers have established a number of other communities, our newest at Logre, close to the Sahara desert. I met with friends and visited some of our ministries in the area. It was great to witness the wonderful work and progress being made by the Brothers since my departure in 2011.

I visited an impressive completed and furnished Educational Outreach Centre (EOC) building which includes a resource library, computer room with laptops and multi-purpose hall. The EOC project exhibits a high level of innovation in its aim to benefit not just the Presentation schools at Logre but also the students, teachers and parents from other participating local schools and communities in the area.

While there, I also celebrated the Feast of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple on November 21st in our community in Navrongo. The wider Presentation Family joined us for the occasion and three young men began their journey with the Brothers in a meaningful ritual on this special day, all adding to the significance of a wonderful day for the Province and the Congregation. Preparations were also in hand for the Final Profession of Br. Franklin Bilipe on December 10th.


Prior to my arrival in the North were students from Presentation College, Bray. They undertook a ten-day immersion trip to Ghana during their mid-term break. The students spoke passionately of their visit and it was clear that the experience had a massive effect on all of them. The students have captured their memories on our gallery page; presentationbrothers.org/Gallery Page. It was a very inspirational, encouraging and life-giving visit.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

In November we Remember!

We celebrate the feast of All Saints on November 1st which reminds us that October 31 truly is All Hallows Eve. It is the beginning of the last month in the Church’s Year so we call on all the saints of all time to intercede for us before the Lord. We have many saints in the Church calendar. The Church devotes the month of November to prayer for our loved ones beginning with All Souls Day on November 2nd. Often overshadowed by the two days preceding it, Halloween (Oct. 31st) & All Saints Day (Nov 1st), All Souls Day is a solemn celebration commemorating all of those who have gone before us! Indeed, the Church encourages us during the month of November to take time to pause, remember and pray for all our loved ones.   

But the month is not limited to the many saints whose names are in the calendar and are celebrated at an appropriate date with a feast day and memory. It includes all the faithful departed who have gone before us and are now in the presence of the Lord. The vast majority of these are not canonised but are known to those with whom they lived and loved. We all know many good people whose lives were exemplary and a testament to all those around them. During the month of November, we have all of these in mind as we remember with confidence our saints.

Many people pay a visit to a cemetery with a flower or a night light. ‘It is a holy and a wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be freed to eternal life. In prayer we are in God’s presence and we believe we are in some way in communion with our loved ones. 

We may wish of course to avoid talking about death, we don’t like being reminded of our mortality. Woody Allen famously quipped, “I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” It strikes a chord because that is how many of us deal with death. We joke about it while keeping our real thoughts and fears to ourselves.

Some of our deceased relatives we got to say goodbye to, while others left us before any goodbyes could be exchanged. By remembering our deceased in prayer or by visiting their resting place is an attempt at saying we haven’t forgotten them and that they will always be a special part of our lives.  

It’s a custom too in Ireland to abstain from alcohol and or cigarettes during the month of November. Fasting and sacrifice help us to focus our mind on prayer. ‘I’ve given up alcohol. And, yes, it’s tough!’ As we spend the month recalling the example of people of faith who went before us, spare a thought for your future too. Would life as a religious help you to be the saint that you are called to be?

May all our loved ones who have died, rest in peace!