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Columban Fr William Carrigan RIP

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  Fr William Carrigan 18 July 1933 - 21 May 2022 The funeral took place today in his native Conahy, County Kilkenny, Ireland, of Fr William Carrigan. He died last Saturday after an illness of only a few weeks. Father Billy spent 45 years in parish, work in Mindanao, Philippines where he showed an extraordinary love for persons, especially children, with little or nothing in life. You will find a short obituary of Father Billy on the website of the Columbans in Ireland  here . In his retirement years in Ireland Father Billy served the Filipino community in County Kilkenny and surrounding counties. Many of these attended his wake and his funeral Mass. They also started the traditional Filipino novena for the dead, celebrated in the home of the deceased. At the Our Father in the Mass they surrounded his coffin and sang it in Cebuano Visayan,  Amahan Namo . Amahan Namo (Our Father) St Colman's Church, Conahy, County Kilkenny [Photo:  National Inventory of Architectural Heritage ] Fathe

For Whom No Bells Toll

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Labeling People

I drove past a church on my way to work and noticed the rainbow banner on their sign.  It said, "You are beloved.  You are welcome." Nice message. That should be the message to everyone who enters a church, regardless of the denomination.  It is a sad day, however, that it had to be aimed at a specific (albeit not limited to) group of people (based on the rainbow banner). A Catholic priest I know was once asked by his diocese how he was doing welcoming same-sex couples to his church.  I love his answer.  He said, "I don't know.  I don't check people at the door!"  And he didn't, because he treated everyone the same--loved and welcomed. Of course, loving and welcoming people does not mean changing your church's tenants to meet everyone's desires.  It would be impossible to satisfy everyone even if you tried.  But you can still love and welcome people where they are, personally. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone who graced the steps

TAE and ITER: A Few Steps Closer to Fusion Power

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One way or another, energy is in the headlines nearly every day. But I won't be talking about the latest energy crisis, shortage or agreement. Instead, I'll be looking at developments in fusion power from a few months — and a few days — ago. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

A Beautiful Image

In Mother Teresa Come Be My Light, Saint Teresa is quoted as asking Cardinal Picachy to pray for her.  In June of 1976 she asked: "Pray for me--that I keep my hand in His hand and walk all the way with Him alone." It's a beautiful image.  Picture yourself walking hand in hand with Jesus.  Do you ever, like a small child, try to pull away and run from him, or do you walk alongside him, trusting him to guide your steps?  When one of our daughters was young, we were shopping and she left my side.  I knew where she was because I had my eye on her, even though she thought she was hiding from me under the clothing rack. Can we ever hide from Jesus?  Do you imagine that as you try to live your life without him, that he doesn't know where you are?  He always has his eye on us.  He is always looking for us. Waiting patiently. Let's say you are living your life with him.  That you walk along, by his side, hand in hand.  What does his hand feel like?  Are you

'I will ask the Father and he will send you another Paraclete, to abide with you for ever.' Sunday Reflections, 6th Sunday of Easter, Year C

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  The Trinity El Greco [ Web Gallery of Art ] Readings ,  (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) Readings ,  (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel ,  John 14:23-29 ( English Standard Version Anglicised: India)    Jesus said to his disciples: “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me. “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I

Why the Ascension?

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Death, Orders, and a War Crimes Trial in Ukraine

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(From BBC News, used w/o permission.) I hadn't planned on doing another "Ukraine" post for quite a while. But this news item caught my attention.... (Not good news, but not entirely bad news, either.) More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Death of Columban Fr Joseph Houston

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  Fr Joseph Houston 14 December 1940 - 14 May 2022 Fr Joseph Houston was from Belfast, Northern Ireland, and was ordained at Easter 1969. He spent the early years of his priesthood in Chile before coming back to Ireland to teach in our seminary. He later returned to Chile but was to spend the last 25 years of his life in China. Father Joe was a Christian gentleman to the core.  Solas na bhFlaitheas air -  The light of Heaven upon him. You will find his obituary  here . My Lagan Love Played by Innisfree Ceoil, featuring the uilleann (elbow) pipes The River Lagan flows through Belfast, Father Joe's native city. St Columban's Cemetery, Dalgan Park, Ireland

Words of Wisdom from Chesterton

  As posted on Hallow: "To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it."                                                                           G.K. Chesterton
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(From Birczanin, via Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.) If no news is good news, then there's good news from Manyava, Ukraine. Or maybe it's Maniava. I've seen both transliterations of Манява. In Polish, I gather that it's Maniawa.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America . (A look at the Bohorodchany Iconostasis, a masterpiece of Baroque art; its travels from 1698 to the present, and Ukrainian history.)

If Not Now When?

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Am I Good Enough?

  I love it when I can share something written by an author that explains exactly how I feel.  In the current issue of FAITH Magazine, Father Joe Krupp addresses a common problem:  What do we do when different people insist we have to do certain things to be a good Catholic? But let's not limit ourselves to Catholics, because this is a universal problem.  I was talking to a woman of a different faith years ago, who said she quit practicing her faith because she felt like someone was always looking over her shoulder, waiting to judge her. This is terrible and it is real pet peeve of mine. In his FAITH article, Father Joe shares some pearls of wisdom from his own experiences.  He identifies himself as a passionate person while warning about passionate people: "I've noticed that some folks take their personal call from God and assume it should apply to everyone." He further wrote, "Passion does not equal rightness." These are two very important poi

'If you have love for one another' - the hallmark of every Christian. Sunday Reflections, 5th Sunday of Easter, Year C

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  The Last Supper El Greco    [ Web Gallery of Art ] Readings ,  (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) Readings ,  (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel ,  John 13:31-33a, 34-35 ( English Standard Version Anglicised: India)    When Judas had gone out, Jesus said,  “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.   If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once.   Little children, yet a little while I am with you.  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.   By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”   Léachtaí i nGaeilge John 13: 31-33a, 34-35 in Filipino Sign Language A familiar sight four years ago here in St Columban's, Dalgan Park, Ireland, where we have a community of more than 60 Columban priests, mostly

The Gate

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Need a little wisdom?

During Lent, my Alma mater, Augustine Institute, did a weekly discussion on My Imitation of Christ by Thomas è Kempis.  It is such a wonderful little book, dense with wisdom.  So much so, that I couldn't complete it on time because I often had to pause to ponder a particular insight! Anyway, in Book III, Chapter 30, like the entire book, there is a lot to consider, so I thought I would share some of it with you. The language is a bit archaic, so I'll paraphrase as needed. I am hoping that you will find something that speaks to you, that you might pause on as well, and find some relevance to your life. In the beginning of this chapter, Jesus is speaking.  He reminds us to come to him "when it is not well" with us, because what prevents us from "heavenly comfort" is that we are "slow in turning thyself to prayer." The other problem is that before we pray to him, we seek "many comforts and delightest thyself in outward things."

Unseen And Invisible

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Learning From History: It's an Option

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(From Wikipedia, used w/o permission.) From 1803 to 1806, Napoleon Bonaparte was defending France from the United Kingdom, the Holy Roman Empire, the Russian Empire, Naples, Sicily and Sweden. Or being thwarted in his dreams of conquest. At any rate, tens of thousands of dead bodies later, European politics had changed a tad. But not, arguably, all that much. Wars of the Coalition got up to at least number six. And a century after that, what we call World War I started. More at A Catholic Citizen in America . (The Channel Tunnel: imagined by a mining engineer, feared by some Englishmen, and finally built. And how I see history.)

'May the Lord Jesus Christ receive thee with a smiling and benign countenance.' Sunday Reflections, 4th Sunday of Easter, Year C

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  The Good Shepherd Early Italian Christian Sculptor [ Web Gallery of Art ] WGA note on this sculpture :  The allegorical figure of the Good Shepherd was originally based on the pagan representation of a man bringing his offering to the altar but, by the 3rd century, had also come to represent the 'ram bearer' with its connotations of philanthropy and loving care. The latter image accorded well with the Christians’ understanding of a divine Shepherd who would lay down his life for his flock.  In a period of persecution, such images had the advantage of directly addressing the adherents of the Christian faith while not drawing attention to them, since the images were already popular with non-Christians  [ emphasis  added]. Readings ,  (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) Readings ,  (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel ,  John 10:27-39 ( English Standard Version Anglicised: India)   

Are you taking a trip?

In the Acts of the Apostles, (Chapter 8, verse 26+) Philip took a trip.  An angel spoke to him and he headed off down a desert route to Gaza.  Have you had an angel speak to you, directing your journey? Along Philip's journey, he came across an Ethiopian * eunuch riding along in a chariot, reading the prophet Isaiah.  The eunuch needed some help understanding what he was reading, so Philip " opened his mouth and, beginning with this scripture passage, he proclaimed Jesus to him."  (He was reading Isaiah 53:7-8 ) This account usually focuses on the Ethiopian's conversion, but I think there is something additional for us to consider. This encounter took place because Philip listened and followed God's prompting.  And, he was ready to accompany the Ethiopian, teach him, walk with him to his baptism, and--here's the interesting part--after he had completed the task God had given him, move on to continue his work. Now you may not be in a position to instr

Welcome To Hell

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'Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May'

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Garland of Flowers with Madonna and Child Christiaen Luyck [ Web Gallery of Art ] Bring Flowers of the Rarest This hymn, very popular in Ireland particularly in May, was written by Mary E. Walsh in the late 1800s. The words are  here . It was sung by the late Irish tenor Frank Patterson at the  Faith of Our Fathers  concert in Dublin in 1997. Frank was a deeply committed Catholic and died in 2000 at the age of 61. May he rest in peace. Continue at Bangor to Bobbio .

Not Now ... I'm Busy

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Christianity Isn't What It Used To Be

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Ukraine, Russia, Annexation; and Learning from History

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(From Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs, via Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.) (Looking for bodies in Chernihiv's secondary school number 18. (March 6, 2022)) I hadn't planned on writing about the mess in Ukraine this soon. But stuff happened. So I'll be writing about Russia's purported military. Also what two alleged generals said, and a whole lot of allegedly-dead Ukrainians. More at A Catholic Citizen in America : Ukraine and genocide claims. The Moskva: pride of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, until it sank. Goals and Fears. And a newfangled idea that makes sense.

'Do you love me? Follow me'. Sunday Reflections, 3rd Sunday of Easter, Year C

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The Crucifixion of St Peter Caravaggio [ Web Gallery of Art ] Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.   (John 21:18, today's Gospel). Readings ,  (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) Readings ,  (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel ,  John 21:1-19 [1-14] ( English Standard Version Anglicised: India)    After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way.   Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together.   Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they