Friday, 30 August 2013

God calls the unlikely ones.

God has always called the unlikely ones to follow him:
Moses stuttered.
Timothy had stomach problems.
Jacob was a liar.
David had an affair.
Abraham was too old.
John was self-righteous.
Naomi was a poor widow.
Paul was a murderer.
Jonah ran from God.
Miriam was a gossip
Gideon doubted -
as did Thomas. the apostle
Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.
Elijah was burnt out.
Martha was a worrier.
Amos’ training was in fig-tree pruning. Interesting is it not that God doesn’t so much look at our weaknesses, shortcomings or the faults or our past, only rather our willingness to follow the way of the Lord.
If you happen to be discerning your vocation at the moment and would like some support you are welcome to come along and spend time with us here in our community in Kilkenny; a week-end, a week, a few weeks. My phone number is: 086-3230638. Email:     (Br. Terence Harrington, vocations director)

Monday, 26 August 2013

Good news from Maynooth.

Twenty new seminarians to commence priesthood studies at Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth

Twenty new seminarians to commence priesthood studies at Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth
“ … have the courage to go against the tide of the culture of pragmatism and efficiency.”  Pope Francis
Today, Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth welcomed twenty new seminarians, who will commence their formation for the priesthood at the National Seminary.  At the conclusion of the Introductory Programme at the end of September, three of the new seminarians from Northern dioceses will continue their studies at Saint Malachy’s Seminary in Belfast.
Welcoming the new candidates, their families and friends to Maynooth, the President of the College, Monsignor Hugh Connolly, recalled the recent words of Pope Francis in Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day in July:  “Dear seminarians who are preparing for ministry: have the courage to go against the tide of the culture of pragmatism and efficiency. Be courageous! Be servants of communion and of the culture of encounter.”
Monsignor Connolly continued:
“As the Church continues to celebrate this Year of Faith may the year ahead be an opportunity for all of us to appreciate the gift of our faith, deepen our relationship with God and strengthen our commitment to sharing our faith with others.”
Notes to Editors
  • At the end of September the total number of resident seminarians in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, will be approximately seventy. [A further twenty non-resident students from religious congregations pursue their academic studies there].
  • Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth is the National Seminary for Ireland and has been forming men for the priesthood since 1795.
  • The Trustees of the College are the Governing Body of the College. The membership is defined by successive Acts of Parliament. The current Trustees are the four Archbishops of Ireland together with 13 other senior bishops.
  • The College comprises the Seminary and the Pontifical University, which offers degrees in theology, philosophy and theology and arts.
  • A breakdown, by diocese, of the seventeen [+3] first year seminarians for 2013 is as follows:
    • Ardagh &  Clonmcanois         1
    • Clogher                                   1
    • Cloyne                                     2
    • Cork & Ross                           1
    • Derry                                       4
    • Elphin                                      1
    • Ferns                                       1
    • Kilmore                                   2
    • Limerick                                  1
    • Raphoe                                    2
    • Tuam                                       1
    • Down & Connor                     3 [These students will continue their academic studies in Belfast after one month of formation work in Maynooth]
For media contact: President’s Office, Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth. Tel: 01 708 3958
Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678

Sunday, 18 August 2013

You are in our prayers.

New Postulants in one of our American Provinces.
Please pray for our five "old" candidates who begin their Capuchin Postulancy today at St. Conrad Friary in Milwaukee: Anthony Kote-Witah, Joe Doern, Brenton Ertel, Luke Giebel, and Merwyn D'Silva.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

What did ya' get?

Undoubtedly, this will be the most asked question over the next few days: What did ya' get? It's Leaving Cert results day, a day we all remember. Though over time we come to realise that this day, though important, is just one of many important days we will experience: a milestone.

Milestones were used in the past to mark distance on a journey, long before big blue motorway signs. They were very significant as they allowed the traveller to figure out how far they had come and if they were going in the right direction or not. The Leaving Cert is one of life's milestones. It is an opportunity to see where you have come from since you began your school career at the age of 4 or 5..a long way, no doubt! It also allows you to check the direction you want to go in from now on. However, the thing is that there are always a few directions to go. Some may seem to be right at the start and when we travel a bit we decide that they are not so good. Some may be good from the start and continue to be good. Some may be influenced by others and not really the direction we want to go in. Some may even seem closed off to us at this point in time.

From my own experience, I have been down all those options since I left school until I reached a point when I had the confidence, courage and experience to be able to chose a road that was a narrower path but one I really wanted to go down. I couldn't have done this at 17 when I left school or even at 27! I could only do it when the time was right for me and that's the point... each path, each direction we take teaches us something. Sometimes this lesson is difficult or challenging and sometimes uplifting: that's part of the deal. Hidden in each turn we take is a milestone carved just for us and on it are three things:
  • The direction we have come from and the distance we have travelled; 
  • where WE want to go and how far away it still is and finally 
  • where GOD needs us to be and the direction we need to travel in for that. 

We often don't pause at this milestone to appreciate just how far we have come, to be thankful for that journey, no matter what we have encountered along the way and to appreciate all those people who have made that journey possible. Imagine if we did different would then next leg of the journey be?

Often we can be so focused on what WE want for us that we don't even see the part of the milestone that tells us what GOD needs from us, it can be overgrown and hidden by our own desires for success, achievement and recognition. When we stop, for a short while at this milestone, we will see that there are other options, other ways forward. We will see that we have an opportunity to clear the growth from the stone and see the whole picture.

Leaving Cert results day, and the time that follows, is a great rite of passage for everybody involved: students, parents and teachers. It is a time of celebration, whatever the results say. Most of all, it is a time of beginning, beginning a new leg of the journey. So maybe an answer to the question 'What did ya' get?' is 'I got time to pause, to breathe, to be thankful and try to see the whole of the milestone that is in front of me'.

Sucess to all who begin the next leg of their journey assured for our prayerful companionship along the road.

Br Martin

Sunday, 11 August 2013


    Tomorrow more than 50% of the Capuchins in Ireland will be on the move, pilgrims and strangers. This is one of the results of our recent Provincial Chapter. I'm on my way from Priorswood Parish to our Friary in Kilkenny where I will continue vocations ministry as co-ordinator of our new vocations team. We plan to set up a Vocations Discernment Programme in Kilkenny. More about that later. Please do keep us in your prayers as we journey on following the example of St. Francis and the encouragement of Pope Francis. My new address is Capuchin Friary, Friary Street, Kilkenny. Email: Phone 0863230638. (Br. Terence Harrington).