Monday, 29 September 2014

The Solemn Profession of Brother Martin Bennett OFM Cap 27th of September 2014

'In the Lord I'll be ever thankful, in the Lord I will rejoice. Look to God, do not be afraid, raise up your voices, the Lord is here...' 

To the sound of this Taize chant we processed into the Oratory of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Raheny, as I prepared to take vows which will commit me to life as a Capuchin Franciscan Friar, until death. The ceremony was heavy with symbolism and the air rich with a palpable energy, as surround by Friars, family and friends, I made my vows into the hands of Brother Adrian Curran OFM Cap, our Provincial Minister.

I am immensely grateful and humbled to be counted as a Brother of St Francis of Assisi and pray that the life of St Francis will inspire more men to come and follow Christ as a Capuchin Franciscan Friar.

Here are some images of the day.
Pax et Bonum!!
Brother Martin OFM Cap.

Brother Bryan and Brother Iggy

Brother Lucjen (British Province) with Brother Bryan

Sublime and moving music provided by the Taize Community

Brother Kevin (Church Street) and Brother Pius (Halston Street)

Brother Jeremy (Rochestown, Cork)

Brother Adrian (Provincial Minister), Brother Martin and Brother Bryan (preacher)

Brother John (Carlow) and Brother Jeremy

Brother Martin lies prostrate on the floor as the Litany of the Saints is chanted 

'In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, I Brother Martin Bennett...'

'Into your hands, Brother Adrian...'

Solemn prayer of Consecration

After Brother Martin is consecrated as a Capuchin Friar for life, the assembled Friars exchange a sign of peace with him

Brother Tom (Holy Trinity, Cork) and Brother Kevin

Brother Sean (Kilkenny) and Brother Eustace (Raheny)

In the presence of the Provincial Minister and two witnesses, Brother Martin signs the Solemn Profession register

Brother Bryan (Guardian, Church St), Brother Adrian (Provincial Minister), Brother Martin & Brother Mike (Guardian, Raheny)

Brother Richard (Church St) and Brother Martin

Brother Sean Kelly (Raheny) & Brother Martin

Brother Anthony at 92 years young!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

There were raised eyebrows when Jesus tells Nicodemus in John's Gospel that the Son of Man is destined to suffer, and to die on the cross. What he was saying didn't make sense to the disciples and to Nicodemus. They all felt that the promised Messiah should fit into their category - that of saviour who would be powerful and influential in the eyes of the world. God's ways are not our ways. 

The language Jesus speaks is at variance with the language the world speaks. Pilate couldn't understand why Jesus seems to be indifferent to whether he could save him or condemn him. "Don't you know that I have the power to set you free or to crucify you?" "You would have now power over me if it had not been given you from above." This attitude of Jesus rattles Pilate. Jesus is on a mission and is unconcerned about himself. He wants only what the Father wants. He is interested in God's will and nothing more. 

The shadow of the cross is something that many people live with today. Parents of sick children, people coping with the loss of a loved one. Those who are living with a new reality following a health scare, and families making a decision to leave home to find work elsewhere. The homeless and those who are marginalised. Innocent people living in the crossfire of warring factions in places crippled by war and injustice. The cross of Jesus Christ is there to show all who struggle that their sufferings are not ignored and that God sees this clearly. And he sends generous people to help make a difference. At fist glance the cross of Jesus is a symbol of pain and shame. But look deeper and the cross is the theatre of redemption.