Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Christmas!

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!

Happy Christmas, dear friends.

Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God,  that we, who are gladdened by participation, in the feast of our Redeemer's nativity, may through an honourable way of life become worthy of union with Him.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Preparing a welcome...

Already people are wishing each other a happy Christmas, but it's important not to forget that we are still on our Advent journey. Advent is all about having the patience to wait and making the spiritual preparations for the coming of Our Lord. 

Preparing a real welcome for Christ is the goal of Advent. That welcome was expressed beautifully on Christmas Eve in my parish as a child. A big candle would be lit and placed on a window in every house in the area. It was a tradition that existed in many places throughout rural Ireland. In some houses it was a privilege given to the youngest child, but in others it was the eldest or the father of the family who lit the candles. It was to light the way of the Holy Family, Joseph, Mary & Jesus who were travelling the roads in search of shelter and to show they were welcome in an Irish home, even if they could not find a place to stay in Bethlehem. It was also lit to welcome visitors.

Former President Mary Robinson placed a candle in the window of Áras an Uachtaráin (the presidential residence) as both a symbol of the Irish diaspora and as a welcome home beacon.

Lighting candles was a particularly important tradition in my childhood. The candle is symbolic of the light which is at the heart of Christmas.

There are only a few days left in Advent - let's make the most of it!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Soul Food in Waterford

Mount Sion, Barrack St, Waterford city.
We're going to hold our next 'Soul Food' vocation discernment evening at Mount Sion, Barrack St, Waterford at 6.30pm on Thursday, 11th December 2014.

We've held several of these evenings in Dublin over the last few months and they've been very popular.

Soul Food is an opportunity for men (aged 18-40) interested in religious life to come together for some prayer, a short talk, some discussion and some food!

We meet in a relaxed, prayerful, and supportive environment. It's informal and, hopefully, helpful too!

We start with some pizza before praying the Evening Prayer of the Church. We finish with Compline (Night Prayer). We usually take a look at a good article on discernment and discuss some of the themes and challenges it raises. Discerners usually find these articles very useful and thought provoking.

Booking for our Waterford gathering is essential. RSVP before Tuesday, 9th December.

Please e-mail me at or book a spot or if you have any questions.

Here are some comments from previous participants:
"I've found this meeting to be very helpful. It's good to meet other guys who are thinking about a religious vocation."
"The articles are very good - the content helps me to move forward in my discernment process."
"I like that it's relaxed and there's no pressure. It's good to be able to stop and to pray."

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Some help with our Advent praying 

Here's another good prayer resource for you for these Advent days...It's called Sacred Space.

It was one of the first online prayer initiatives to be launched on the web.

Take a look...

Advent is also a great time to focus on the discernment of our vocation. Get in touch if you have any questions or need any help,