Thursday, July 25, 2013 Dublin!

A great event is taking place this weekend in Dublin for those who have not travelled to Rio de Janeiro for the World Youth Day. It's called "Rio in Dublin". I will be a volunteer at the event with Brother Barry, our Novice Master from Killarney. We have five novices attending the event and a sixth young man who is discerning his vocation.

Best wishes to everyone involved in the organisation of the event. You can read more about the event at

Don't forget to keep up to date with all the WYD events in Rio - you can follow events on the Vatican Player, on the Vatican YouTube Channel, on EWTN, on Salt and Light TV .

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

World Youth Day theme song

Here's the theme song of the World Youth Day in Rio. It is called "Hope of the Dawn"...What do you think?

You can read the words and download the music here.

The scenes from the streets of Rio were remarkable last night. Huge, enthusiastic crowds welcoming our first Latin American Pope to Brazil.

Pope Francis greets the hundreds of thousands of young people in the first hours of his visit to Rio.

Monday, July 22, 2013

And he's off...

Pope Francis arrives in Rio in Brazil for the World Youth Day today, Monday! Let's keep the Holy Father and the hundreds of thousands of young people in our prayers this week.

You can follow the events of the week on the official website of the World Youth Day, via the WYD Facebook page ("World Youth Day") and the official Twitter feed (@wyd_en).

You can watch all of the events on the Vatican Player too.

Many young people discover their vocation in life at the World Youth Day. Let's pray for all the people who are discernign their vocation this week in Rio.

Here is the official prayer of the World Youth Day...

World Youth Day 2013 - Official Prayer

Oh Father, You sent Your Eternal Son to save the world, and You chose men and women, so that through Him, with Him and in Him, they might proclaim the Good News of the Gospel to all nations. Grant us the necessary graces, so that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the joy of being the evangelists that the Church needs in the Third Millennium may shine in the faces of all young people.

Oh Christ, Redeemer of humanity, the image of Your open arms on the top of Corcovado, welcomes all people. In Your paschal offering, You led us, by the Holy Spirit, to encounter the Father as His children. Young people, who are nourished by Eucharist, who hear You in Your Word and meet You as their brother, need your infinite mercy to walk along the paths of this world as disciples and missionaries of the New Evangelization.

Oh Holy Spirit, Love of the Father and of the Son, with the splendor of Your Truth and the fire of Your Love, shed Your Light upon all young people so that, inspired by their experience at World Youth Day, they may bring faith, hope and charity to the four corners of the earth, becoming great builders of a culture of life and peace and catalysts of a new world.

Amen !

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Some food for thought...

Pope Francis met with thousands of novices and seminarians (women and men training to become priests and members of religious orders) as part of the Year of Faith activities in Rome last week.

His address to the seminarians and novices was very challenging. You can see a video of the event (above). I will return to some of his comments in the coming days as they are very helpful for people who are discerning their vocation in life.

For now, I want to focus on what he said in his homily at a Mass for the novices and seminarians the following day in St Peter's Basilica. The Pope points out that we do not choose our vocation - we are called in freedom to it.

"Religious is not primarily our choice. I don’t trust the seminarian, the novice who says: “I have chosen this path.” I don’t like this. It’s not right! But it is the response to a call and to a call of love. I hear something within me, which makes me restless, and I answer yes. The Lord makes us feel this love in prayer, but also through so many signs that we can read in our life, so many persons that He puts on our path. And the joy of the encounter with Him and of His call leads not to closing ourselves but to opening ourselves; it leads to service in the Church."

Discerning our vocation in life is not about us deciding or choosing what we want to do but rather it is a slow process, often conducted in the silence of prayer, of listening to what the Lord might be saying to us.

If life as a religious brother is something which you'd like to know more about, feel free to contact me at

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Light of Faith...

Pope Francis has published the first encyclical of his pontificate.
You can read it on the Vatican website.
The encyclical finishes with a prayer for faith. I think this will be very helpful to anyone discerning their  vocation...

Mother, help our faith!
Open our ears to hear God’s word and to recognize his voice and call.
Awaken in us a desire to follow in his footsteps, to go forth from our own land and to receive his promise.
Help us to be touched by his love, that we may touch him in faith.
Help us to entrust ourselves fully to him and to believe in his love, especially at times of trial, beneath the shadow of the cross, when our faith is called to mature.
Sow in our faith the joy of the Risen One.
Remind us that those who believe are never alone.
Teach us to see all things with the eyes of Jesus, that he may be light for our path. And may this light of faith always increase in us, until the dawn of that undying day which is Christ himself, your Son, our Lord!