Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Blessed Edmund Rice Day!

Greetings to all! Today, 5th May, is the feast of Blessed Edmund Rice, our Founder. I want to wish you all every blessing on this special day.

Edmund was a man with a vision for his time but it is also for our time. Our values and norms are often focused on ourselves and not on those on the margins. We must be willing to put Christ back in our lives and follow both Him and Edmund so that we can be a beacon of light to the world around us-to our communities, our parishes, our families and our young people.

Let us focus today on the man called Blessed Edmund and see what we can do in the 21st century that would inspire more men to join us and continue the mission of Blessed Edmund.

If you wish to learn more about the Presentation Brothers, don't hesitate to get in touch. I'm at; vocation@presentationbrothers.org

May is Mary's Month

Today is ‘la Bealtaine’ which translates as May Day. It’s a day that goes back many generations in Irish culture and history. It officially marks the arrival of summer ‘though it may not feel like it just yet. It was a day when the cattle were released to summer pastures. At the heart of Bealtaine is a reminder of growth and abundance at this time of year.

The month of May has traditionally been a time of special devotion to the Mother of God. A memory I have of growing up in a loving, faith-filled home was of my mother erecting the May altar with a statue or portrait of Mary, surrounded by flowers. Parish grottos were attended to and there were May traditions in many parts of the country. I came to discover later that we, Presentation Brothers, have a special devotion to Mary and are named after the Presentation of Mary in the Temple. 

Here in our community, in Glasthule, we have a series of three talks to honour our Lady during the month of May. You are welcome to join us. (cf. events@presentationbrothers.org)

Let's seek her intercession for all those who are discerning their vocation. Let today's young men and women echo her words, "Be it done unto me according to thy Word".

Friday, April 27, 2018

Saints needed...!

Here's a little reflection for you...It has appeared on a lot of Facebook pages and is often attributed to Pope Francis. It almost certainly wasn't written by the Pope but appears, at least, to be inspired by him...
These are the kind of people we need in the Presentation Brothers too! If you would like more information, send me an e-mail vocation@PresentationBrothers.org
We need saints without veil or cassock.
We need saints who wear jeans and runners.
We need saints who go to the movies,
listen to music and hang out with friends.

We need saints who put God in first place,
but who let go of their power.

We need saints who have time every day to pray.
We need modern saints, Saints of the 21 Centenary,
with a spirituality that is part of our time.

We need saints committed to the poor
and the necessary social changes.

We need saints who live in the world and
who are sanctified in the world,
who are not afraid to live in the world.

We need saints who drink cola and eat hot dogs,
who wear jeans; who are internet savvy
and who listen to CDs.

We need saints who passionately love the Eucharist
And who are not ashamed to eat a pizza
at weekends with friends.

We need saints who like the cinema,
theatre, music dance and sports.

We need saints who are social, open, normal,
friendly, happy and who are good companions.

We need saints who are in the world
and know how to taste the pure
and nice things of the world

but who aren’t of the world.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

It takes only a few moments of reflection to realise that I have to love something really deeply to bring it back from the dead. It is self-hatred and disregard for others that keeps our world the way it is. It is a lack of care on the part of some that imprisons communities and even nations into endless cycles of poverty, neglect, starvation, unemployment and hopelessness.

If I love sufficiently, our seas and waterways would be clean again, stars would reappear, trees would be healthy and green. Moreover, the strained relationships in families, work-places, offices and schools, the strange distances between colleagues and family members need only a smile or a word of love and acceptance to be healed. Who can love enough to resurrect our world and all who dwell in it?

The only great love that can deal with all this is to focus on the Easter celebration. It is God’s immense love for Jesus, the Christ.  God demonstrated boundless love and affection for Jesus in a resurrection. Jesus is swept up by God’s immense love and stands alive with a new kind of life, proclaiming peace and acceptance to all his friends, even to those who had denied and deserted him in his greatest need. Jesus associates us with himself and elicits from God the same kind of creative love that God has for him.

Best wishes to you all for a blessed and peace-filled Easter!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Discerning in Lent!

Part of a regular medical check-up is to have tests taken of your pulse, blood pressure, a heart check and perhaps a blood test. With the season of Lent, there is the invitation for a spiritual check-up – one that lasts for forty days!

Just as many of us do not like visiting doctors, many of us may not like the season of Lent. Perhaps it is for the same reason. Are there issues I may not wish to face up to? Perhaps I am not as well as I would like to be; perhaps changes in life-style will be called for, when I would prefer to continue as I am. Nevertheless, in both cases, I know it is for my benefit and I am being irresponsible if I avoid looking after body, mind and spirit. I don’t know about you, but the above certainly applies to me!

Lent can perhaps be seen as a check-up on how well we have been transformed into the mind, heart and vision of God. St. Paul puts it like this: do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2) 

Let us use the remaining time of Lent to examine our minds and hearts and to commit ourselves to transformation and renewal so that we truly can “discern the will of God” – what is good, acceptable and perfect”! 

If you wish to learn more about the Presentation Brothers, don't hesitate to get in touch. I'm at; vocation@presentationbrothers.org

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

St. Valentine

Wednesday, February 14th, is of course St Valentine's Day, a day when we talk about love more than usual. A lot of the discussion you hear today will be light-hearted and fun.

But who was St Valentine? There are some conflicting accounts but we know he existed and his remains have been identified in the catacombs of Rome. This feast day has been celebrated for 15 centuries!

Three things you need to know:
1. He was a Catholic priest
2. He was arrested for tending to the needs of the persecuted Christians of Rome. 
3. He was executed for refusing to renounce the Catholic faith during the persecution of Roman Emperor Claudius.

For men and women discerning a vocation, then there is an obvious resonance here.

For a start St Valentine answered the call to serve by embracing a religious vocation. Secondly, he served those in need and risked his own life to do so. Finally, he refused to deny his faith and has since been remembered as an icon of love. 

It's ironic that at a time when celibacy and chaste love are dismissed, the day on which the world celebrates love is in fact a day in honour of a priest who died for his faith!

(Take time to read this beautiful reflection below)

Fall in Love
Attributed to Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ (1907–1991)

Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.


Friday, February 2, 2018

The Feast of St. Bridget!

The beginning of February is traditionally associated with the heralding of the start of spring and the arrival of fertility to the land. The land dormant during the winter months begins to stir and new life embarks on its journey towards the light. Precious seeds, deep within the soil are germinating, awaiting the breath of spring to accompany them to the earth’s surface.

These are days when we are invited into our own spring space – a space where new life is stirring, awakening and becoming, a space full of potential and possibility. These are days of rebirth and re-growth, of renewal and resurrection. Then with their first appearance they adorn the earth with their beautiful presence and remind us of resurrection.

The 1st of February marks the feast of St. Brigid, patroness of Ireland, and we celebrate this great woman of prayer and her great devotion to God and neighbour. She dedicated her life to God and to the poor. She became known for her good works and many young women were inspired to follow her.

The following day is the feast of the Presentation of the Lord. We conclude a year of celebration for Consecrated Life as we celebrated the many priests, brothers and sisters whose faith, devotion and commitment influenced many of our lives. We remembered the young men and women who continue to discern a call to priesthood or religious life. We continue to pray for them all and thank God for their lives of quiet dedication.

We also celebrate the feast of St. Blaise on the 3rd of February, whose life was very simple and ordinary. He is known worldwide for his care of those who were sick and particularly those with ailments of the throat. Many churches will give a blessing on the day. If you can't make it to a church, then our own quiet prayer to St. Blaise will be just as effective and important. 

At the beginning of spring, maybe now's the time to go deeper in your discernment journey...

I'm always available at 
vocation@presentationbrothers.org if you'd like more information.