|One of the aspects of our lives over which we have absolutely no
when we were born. We are left with little
option but to come to terms with the times in which we live and do the
best we can to fulfil our mission and role in life in
our allotted space of time.
As I come to a better understanding of local history the thought has
crossed my mind that I just might have been a great
Dominican Prior during the time the Vikings come to Waterford (I・m
speaking with tongue in cheek), but that・s not how
life turns out to be. Here I am instead, struggling to make sense of life at a
time when the Celtic Tiger rules our minds and
hearts. That・s how it is and that・s how the cookie crumbles.
I have learned a few things along the road of life and one of them is
when times change a great deal (and we are living
in a time of tremendous change, even if we are not always aware of it)
there are two things to keep in mind. One is, don・t
presume anything because almost everything is, in one way or another, up
for grabs. Secondly, keep in mind the bigger
picture, the longer journey. Failure to do so inevitably results in getting
caught up in the details, being hung up on what is
insignificant, and losing sight of how it all fits together.
Bulletin space allows no time for dilly dallying so I am pressing the
button to get to one of the main issues that
confronts me on my return to Ireland after a most rewarding pastoral
sojourn on the Pacific North coast of Canada. We,
Irish, have a chronic love hate relationship with the Church. We see it
every time we pick up the newspapers and read
letters to the editor. We are the only Church that publicly criticized itself in
the newspapers. We cannot seem to get the
love, hate relationship out of our gut.
There is another thing I have noticed. We identify Church with our local
parish. And so discussion on Church often
becomes an extremely parochial affair. Many times, I have taken a hard
look at the thousands of young people pouring
into the streets after school and I have said to myself, "most of these
youths are not going to live out the rest of their lives
in Waterford." They will leave home, change their addresses and alive
elsewhere. I have two nieces and nephew raised in
the Ardkeen area of the city. One is living in Boston, one in Holland and the
youngest in Dublin. Parish was important to
them growing up. Hopefully it still is, where they now live. Hopefully, they
feel included not excluded, in their new
Rahner and Conegar, two of the great 20th Century theologians of the
2ndVatican Council in the 60・s are on record as
saying that for the first time in history, the Church was becoming truly
Catholic. Up until then the Church had identified
itself with Western civilization. Missionaries were white and European.
There are changing times. I have just served as
Parish Priest for 4 years in West Vancouver in a multi-cultural parish of
eighty-two nationalities. Without realizing at first, it
then suddenly dawned on me that the parish was both local and universal.
It was a gathering place for the people of God
of every culture and race on the globe. I came to Vancouver with a local
vision of Church and left with a universal one.
What a blessing that was for me.
I have come home to Ireland to discover that we are not immune to
great phenomenon of people migrating on a scale
never seen before in world history. We have in our parishes men, women
and children from lands near and far, reminding
us that for the first time we are privileged to belong to the global
The universal Church is the bigger picture. The more we connect the
with the universal dimension the more we will
emerge from the small mindedness and pettiness of local politics, hang-ups
and failures which have undermined and
damaged the mission and role of the Irish Church today. The more we see
the Church as bigger that the Irish experience
the more we will embrace and welcome the stranger in our midst. The
more too we will be clothed in love and summoned
beyond where we are now to a Church vision that is, at the same time,
both local and universal in lifestyle and outreach.
I went but a little way, and sat down upon the ground, looking out
the sea, which was just before me, and very calm
and smooth. As I sat here, some such thoughts as these occurred to me:
What is this earth, of which I have seen so much?
Whence is it produced, and what am I, and all the other creatures, wild
and tame, human and brutal? Whence are we?
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson
A man and a woman must have a dream that is larger than he or she
else life has little meaning.
A teacher told the class that God saw all the good people as red and
the bad people as white. Then she asked this
question, "If all the good people are red and all the bad people are white,
what colour are you?"
The response was somewhat predictable. The good children
that they were red. The children who thought of
themselves as bad remained quiet. That left Sally wildly waving her hand in
a desperate attempt to be recognized by the
teacher. Finally the teacher said, "OK, Sally, if all the good people are red
and all the bad people are white, what colour
She blurted out, "Streaky!"
What a great answer. What honesty! Sally was not speaking just for
herself but for all of us. We are at best streaky. Lent
is an opportunity to examine our streaky behaviour and root out what is
mean and ugly.
Weekday Mass 8.00am and 10.30am only. No 8.00am Mass on
Stations of the Cross 7.30pm on Fridays during Lent.
Website Log onto our website. Beginning on Easter Sunday morning,
will be inviting our Website audience to join us
in spirit at the 10.30am Mass under the title: Sunday Morning Ireland. If
you have family members living abroad who
have access to the Internet, please advise them of this initiative. We must
seek every opportunity to carry the good news
St. Patrick・s Day Mass schedule: Friday 7.30pm. Saturday 7.00am,
and 12 noon.
Happy St. Patrick・s Day to all our friends at home and
Dominican Shop Full selection of Confirmation and Communion prayer
books, beads, rosettes and souvenirs now in