|Do you remember the day the Pope was shot in St. Peter・s Square? I
watched the television coverage of the attempted
assassination. I remember seeing a Bishop, cornered by the media, and a
reporter asking him: Do you think the Pope will
travel again? Being a smart Bishop he said, "Of course he will travel
again. . . . . . it will take more than a few bullets to
hold him back!" The part in italics is my bit. The next question began
with: "Your Pope is right out there on the world
stage confronting the major issues of our times," but before the reporter
could get to his question the Bishop jumped in
and said, "Of course he is out there on the front line. . . . . . sure, sure, that
is definitely true." Then a woman reporter
popped the question, "But Bishop, are you Catholics ready for that kind of
involvement?" He answered honestly and said,
"No, I・m afraid we are not ready to take our position on the world
The bishop・s words have stayed with me. We claim to be Catholic but
now at this moment in history one of the big
issues is to be Catholic in both the local and universal dimensions. I said in
last week・s Bulletin how easy it is to
concentrate on our little parish. (I have been Parish Priest on six occasions
on three different continents.) The local parish
is important but, and that but is important, at this time the challenge facing
us is how to be universal in our little parish, in
our little Ireland and in our great big world. That is one of the real tests of
our times. How do we hold together the local
and universal in unity, while at the same time honouring and respecting
the cultural differences of the immigrants and
refugees in our midst? Only these honoured guests in our land can tell us
how well or badly we are doing. We should have
the courage to ask them.
I am going a step further. I have no doubt that the present Holy
very aware of the need for this universal
dimension in our understanding of Church. If he has made ninety or so
trips outside of Rome to visit all parts of the world
(including Ireland in 1979), it was in order to pull together and hold
together that universal Church. He is trying to do it by
the force of his own personality. We know that can only last for so long. It
is essential that we find a way to cultivate a
universal mentality that relates to the diversity of the many races, colours
and nationalities that make up the Church today.
I・ve had the privilege of serving as a priest in many different parts of
world. I think I・ve had diarrhoea in twenty
countries! One of the things you learn when you have that kind of privilege
(!) is how Irish we are. Every attempt I tried at
not being Irish I ended up with one mistake or another. But I quickly
discovered that was alright. People know when you
are trying to reach out. It・s when you don・t try, that・s when you make the
mistakes. But when you try, people do forgive.
My Portuguese on a Sunday morning in Lisbon was the best sideshow in
town. The Church of Corpo Santo rocked to
the gales of laughter. But the Portuguese were "muito simpatico" towards
my efforts. They willed me on. They "loved me"
for trying to communicate the gospel to them in their own language.
St. Thomas Acquinas once defined beauty as unity in diversity. I
that is the face of beauty we Catholics are called
to show one another today. To show it, especially, to those new to our
land so that they can go on and say of us, "I was a
stranger and you made me feel welcome and at home."
Napoleon when asked if he believed in God, answered simply: "Look
A sea captain waved his arm towards the sea in the moonlight and
said, "Anyone who can see that and say there is no
God is a fool."
The Bible says: "The fool has said in his heart there is no God."
Tennyson said: "Poems are made by fools like me but only God can
When Robinson Crusoe saw the imprint of a foot in the sand he knew
there was someone else on the island besides
himself. He knew that nothing just happens, that everything must have a
The Bible says: "In the beginning God made heaven and earth."
Teacher: "In 70 million years this world will wear out."
Pupil: "Did you say 70 million?"
Pupil: "Oh, Thank God! I thought you said 7 million."
When you come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to
step off into the darkness of the unknown, Faith is
knowing one of the two things will happen: There will be something solid
to stand on or You will be taught how to fly.
~ Barbara J. Winter
Website Log onto our website. Beginning on Easter Sunday, we will be
putting out a weekly programme under the
heading: Sunday Morning Ireland. We will invite our worldwide website
audience to join us in spirit at the 10.30am Mass
here in Bridge Street. If you have family members, friends or neighbours
who have access to the Internet, we ask you to
advise them of this initiative. The website provides us with the unique
opportunity of joining together in prayer and
reflection in a way that transcends boundaries, time zones, oceans and
continents. We must, in this day and age, seek
every opportunity to carry the good news worldwide.
E-mail Note our e-mail address. If you have any comments, criticisms,
insights to offer, we would be pleased to hear
Wishing all our friends and family here and abroad a very happy St.
Dominican Shop Full selection of Confirmation and Communion prayer
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