Peace cannot and should not be taken for granted – Bishop Noel Treanor
In his homily for this year’s World Day of Peace on 1 January 2020, Bishop Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Connor has said that peace cannot and should not be taken for granted and is a precious value that requires cultivation and tending in every generation.
Speaking in All Saints’ Church, Ballymena, Co Antrim, Bishop Treanor said, “Citizens have made it clear that the hard-won peace in Northern Ireland is their abiding wish.
Bishop Treanor went on to reflect on Pope Francis’ World Day of Peace message this year in which he says the opposite of peace is war, which is fueled by poor relationships, abuse of power, fear of others and seeing diversity as an obstacle.
Relating the World Day of Peace message to Northern Ireland, Bishop Treanor said the peace process requires “enduring commitment”, that it is “a patient effort to seek truth and justice, to honour the memory of victims and to open the way, step by step, to a shared hope stronger than the desire for vengeance”.
He said, “We are called to listen to one another, and especially to victims of conflict in such a way that we achieve mutual understanding and esteem, and even to seeing in an enemy the face of a brother or sister.”
He went on to say that while this is an ambitious, almost impossible objective, “the poignant examples of many of our fellow citizens who suffered indescribably during The Troubles have shown us the way. We stand in debt to the power and Christian example of their historic and eternal witness.”
Bishop Treanor went on to echo the sentiments in Pope Francis’ World Day of Peace message in which he refers to peace as “a journey of hope to be undertaken in a spirit of dialogue, reconciliation and ecological conversion”.
The bishop concluded by suggesting that the Church’s social teaching on democracy, the rule of law, and under-development, as highlighted in the World Day of Peace message, could be used during the annual Catholic Schools Week at the end of January 2020. This would help young people as they discern the “pertinence of their Christian faith and identity”.
“For them and for all of us, as we enter a New Year, let us keep in our hearts and minds the words of Pope Francis: ‘the culture of fraternal encounter shatters the culture of conflict’.”
The World Day of Prayer for Peace was established by Pope Paul VI in 1967 in response to Pope John XXIII’s encyclical Pacem in Terris, It is marked on 1 January each year and this year’s theme is “Peace as a journey of hope: dialogue, reconciliation and ecological conversion”.
We can build a more just and peaceful world for ourselves and others if we live our faith authentically – Archbishop Eamon Martin
Speaking to the congregation in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh Archbishop Eamon said, “At the beginning of this new decade it is worth asking ourselves – does my faith in God make a real difference in my life? Does faith challenge me or have I settled for an ‘easy listening’ comfortable way of living which allows me simply to go on the way I am, relaxed in my choices and perhaps even in my prejudices, in my abuse of created things, my sin and my disobedience of God’s laws?”
He added, “If our only New Year’s resolution was to be more authentic as people of faith, and to become courageous witnesses to Christ in the world, then with the help of God’s grace and blessing, we can build together a more just and peaceful world for ourselves and others.”
1 in 10 Rosary
Archbishop Eamon also announced his intention to visit Fatima this year as part of a new prayer initiative on the Rosary. The @1in10Rosary which he will launch next month, aims to encourage at least ten percent of the population of Ireland to pledge to pray the Rosary, or a decade of the Rosary, every day for their personal conversion and the transformation of Ireland.
Archbishop Eamon said, “In July, I will lead a pilgrimage to the Marian Shrine of Fatima to dedicate this campaign to Mary and to pray that we can be, like her, courageous witnesses of faith. As pilgrims in Fatima we will remember in particular the witness of our Christian brothers and sisters who are persecuted in many parts of the world.”
The archbishop went on to highlight how the Rosary has for centuries sustained faith and life in Ireland, and helped countless women and men to discover God’s will in their lives. He said, “It can do so again, enabling us to be courageous witnesses, by pondering every day in our hearts, as Mary did, the deepest mysteries of our faith.”
Building relationships on the island of Ireland
Referring to Brexit, Archbishop Eamon said,“the early years of this decade will be crucial in sustaining peace and rebuilding relationships on the island of Ireland and between us and our neighbours in Britain and Europe.
“Archbishop Richard Clarke and I said recently that our country, north and south, truly needs the rekindling of wholesome relationships – socially and politically, nationally and internationally, and this will require men and women of integrity, generosity and courage to take the initiative in making these crucial relationships work.”
“Just as peace emerges from the depths of the human heart, so also do the answers to the greatest problems facing our country and world in this new decade.”
A Living Christian Faith
Archbishop Eamon went on to reflect on what it means to really live the Christian faith. He said a living Christian faith emboldens us to promote a culture of life, to defend the unborn, to reach out to the homeless, to welcome the stranger, to visit the sick.
He said, “It is only when the hearts and consciences of individuals are moved and troubled by the plight of the suffering and the marginalised, that change begins to happen at a societal and global level. The voice of God, speaking in our hearts, stirs faith and moves us to action. It opens our ears to the ‘cry of the poor’ and the ‘cry of the earth’, calling us to wise stewardship of God’s gifts of creation and personally to a more ‘responsible simplicity of life’. A living Christian Faith inspires us to turn towards God in holiness of life, to seek forgiveness for our sins, and to make personal resolutions for change, not only at the beginning of a New Year, but continually on a lifelong journey of conversion.”
The archbishop concluded his homily and message by inviting the faithful to “begin afresh this New Year your journey of faith – a journey nourished, like Mary’s, by prayer and contemplation on the Word of God and on the mysteries of the life of Christ.”
Some of the children in the Junior room of Keash N.S, prepared the above (which are fantastic)…….
Why do Brides Wear White?
Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl whispered to her mother, “Why is the bride dressed in white?”
The mother replied, ‘Because white is the color of happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life.’
The child thought about this for a moment then said, “So why is the groom wearing black?”
Applying the 10 Commandments
A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six-year-olds. After explaining the commandment to ‘Honor thy father and thy mother,’ she asked, “Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?”
Without missing a beat, one little boy answered, “Thou shall not kill.”
It was Christmas and the judge was in a merry mood as he asked the prisoner, “What are you charged with?”
“Doing my Christmas shopping early”, replied the defendant.
“That’s no offense”, said the judge. “How early were you doing this shopping?”
“Before the store opened.”
The roof was caving in by the minute. I spent my few seconds deciding what to do…
Personalised Parish Christmas Cards and Calendars going on sale in Culfadda Church next weekend
There are 8 public access defibrillators in the Keash/Culfadda area outside the following locations:
1. Higgins Lounge, Culfadda (box unlocked)
2. Sean Gallagher’s House, Culfadda/Gurteen road (box unlocked)
3. Jason Higgins House, Ballymote/Culfadda road (box unlocked)
4. Pat Walsh’s House, Ballymote/Gurteen road (box unlocked)
5. Anne Higgins House, Boyle/Culfadda road (box unlocked)
6. Dermot Casey’s House, Keash/Ballymote road (box unlocked)
7. Ward’s shop, Keash (key code to open the box 12345)
8. Mac’s Pub, Keash (box unlocked)
The group have purchased a 9th defibrillator which will be installed locally in the coming weeks.
O Jesus, send labourers into your fields,
which are awaiting Holy Apostles,
saintly Priests, heroic missionaries and
dedicated sisters and brothers.
Enkindle in the hearts of men and women the spark of a vocation.
Grant that Christian families may
desire to give your Church, helpers in the work of tomorrow.
We pray for young people to assist and support the religious of our Parish in the daily needs of our Church. We pray for our young people to see a need to take part in different ministeries of our Church, for example readers, ministers of the Eucharist, maintaining places of worship etc.
We pray that the young people will meet together and develop new ways of reverently honouring God within our Parish. We pray that they will see the need for a vibrant and healthy Church within our Parish. We pray that many blessings will be bestowed upon them for doing so.
We pray that their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles will guide them in doing so.
We pray that St. Anthony will help those within our parish who have lost their faith, to find it.
Thank you Father for our Parish Priest Fr. Murphy, the previous Priests of our Parish, living and dead and in particular Fr. Finan.
We pray that the Holy Spirit will direct and assist Fr. Murphy in continuing to guide the people of our Parish, spiritually.
We thank you Father for the blessing of regular masses in our Parish churches, in particular on Saturday evenings and Sunday. We prayer that this blessing of celebrating the Eucharist (Mass) regularly within our Parish, together with the opportunity to experience the sacrament of reconciliation (confession) within our parish will live on within our Parish to infinity.
We pray for all the Priests, Nuns and other religious who left our parish to help nourish our faith elsewhere.
We pray that the Holy Spirit will help the good people of our Parish understand the value of nurturing our faith, maintaining places of worship and developing new initiatives and ideas to help hand down our faith to the next generations.
Finally, we pray that the Holy Spirit will direct our Holy Father and those that make the decisions in appointing a new Bishop to our Diocese. We pray that the right man will be chosen at this most important of times. We pray for a man that will engage with the different Parishes on a regular basis, helping our Parishes to work together in bringing a new spiritual life to our Parishes.
We ask all of this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
If you are praying for someone to return to a life of prayer and to our Church; maybe consider asking St. Monica to intercede on your behalf. Please see the article in our news section (of this our website), to read about St. Monica…….