Friday 31 December 2010

Father Prout

Today is the birthday of Francis Sylvester Mahony known as 'Father Prout'. With a nom de blog like mine, the thought came to me that I ought to make some tribute to the author of The Bells of Shandon. As it turned out, his story brings side-lights into many of the stories that I have already published.

The Catholic Encyclopedia gives a good biography upon which the authors of wikipedia have been unable to improve and which the Diocese of Cork and Ross has adopted in its entirity. The most notable points are that having studied with the Jesuits in Clongowes Wood, he spent a few years as a novice with them and became a teacher of rhetoric at his own school, the great Canon Sheehan being one of his pupils, but he was dismissed for leading some of the students on a drunken outing to Celbridge. He studied in a variety of Continental Seminaries and was ordained at Lucca in Italy in 1832, against all advice. He returned to his native Diocese, where he served as a zealous and hardworking hospital chaplain during a cholera epidemic, where he won the life-long friendship and admiration of Father Mathew, the Capuchin Temperance campaigner. Among the ecclesiastical misadventures of 'Father Prout' was to be the attempt to have Father Mathew made Bishop of Cork!

The misadventure that led to Father Mahony's leaving the Diocese - and the active Priesthood - was his campaign to be given the living of 'the brickfield chapel,' that was to become St. Patrick's Church on the Lower Glanmire Road, then a chapel-of-ease to the Cathedral Parish. Father Mahony had been the principal fundraiser for the building of the new Church, which, I think you'll agree, is a fine building, and a magnificent achievement that was virtually the first new Church built in the City in two generations. The disappointment of Father Mahony, who had proved himself apostolic and capable, was understandable, especially when met with the immovable object of Bishop Murphy (r. 1815 - 1847).

He moved to London and held his own amid the literary greats of the time, although his name is now 'writ in water.' We read in The Catholic Encyclopedia: "Dowered with a retentive memory, irrepressible humor, large powers of expression, and a strongly satiric turn of mind, an omnivorous reader, well-trained in the Latin classics, thoroughly at home in the French and Italian languages, and a ready writer of rhythmic verse in English, Latin, and French, he produced... an extraordinary mixture of erudition, fancy, and wit, such as is practically without precise parallel in contemporary literature. The best of his work appeared in "Fraser's Magazine" during the first three years of his literary life. He translated largely from Horace, and the poets of France and Italy, including a complete and free metrical rendering of Gresset's famous mocking poem "Vert-Vert" and Jerome Vida's "Silkworm". But his newspaper correspondence from Rome and Paris is notable chiefly for the vigours of his criticisms upon men and measures, expressed, as these were, in most caustic language."

The Catholic Encyclopedia is not noted for its forgiving tone towards renegades but it expresses itself generously towards Mahony: "Although for thirty years Mahony did not exercise his priestly duties, he never wavered in his deep loyalty to the church, recited his Office daily, and received the last sacraments at the hands of his old friend, Abbé Rogerson, who left abundant testimony of his excellent dispositions."

His roguish humour caused him to adopt the name of a certain Father Prout of Watergrasshill as his nom de plume.

The original Father Prout had been forced from his Diocese (Cashel) on account of a wrangle with Archbishop Butler over his refusal to agree to the amalgamation of his Parish, which he described as "the greatest injustice since the partition of Poland." Fortunately, he was welcomed into the neighbouring Diocese of Cork by Dr. Moylan.

Mahony's fictional Father Prout seems no less sanguine, although he claimed to be a French-educated parish priest, the son of Dean Swift and Stella, who writes works such as The Apology for Lent in scholarly praise of fish!

When he died on 18th May, 1866, as we have read, fortified by the rites of Holy Mother Church, his body was taken back to Cork for a Solemn Requiem Mass in St. Patrick's Church "the church which", in the words of his biographers, "was the dream of his impetuous youth," as his biography says, from where he was taken to his family vault in St. Ann's Churchyard, Shandon, to be buried in the shadow of the bells he immortalized.

The Reliques of Father Prout, is perhaps his most famous work and it is in that collection that his true claim to fame, The Bells of Shandon, is to be found as part of The Rogueries of Tom Moore.

In my opinion, it is the true anthem of Cork, although the words of The Banks and Beautiful City were handed out to every school child in the city by the Lord Mayor last year! The Bells has none of those shameless hussies pressing wild daisies and Beautiful City lifts "the sweet bells of Shandon were dear to my mind." I may stand on a Shandon Belle ticket in the next mayoral election!

The clip consists of that fine ecumenical anthem Iníon an Phailitínigh (a Kerry song, mind you) and a verse of The Bells sung by Seán Ó Sé, whose own voice is another contender to be the true anthem of Cork!


With deep affection
And recollection
I often think of
Those Shandon bells,
Whose sounds so wild would,
In the days of childhood,
Fling round my cradle
Their magic spells.
On this I ponder
Where'er I wander,
And thus grow fonder,
Sweet Cork, of thee ;
With thy bells of Shandon,
That sound so grand on
The pleasant waters
Of the river Lee.

I've heard bells chiming
Full many a clime in,
Tolling sublime in
Cathedral shrine,
While at a glibe rate
Brass tongues would vibrate —
But all their music
Spoke naught like thine ;
For memory dwelling
On each proud swelling
Of thy belfry knelling
Its bold notes free,
Made the bells of Shandon
Sound far more grand on
The pleasant waters
Of the river Lee.

I've heard bells tolling
Old "Adrian's Mole" in,
Their thunder rolling
From the Vatican,
And cymbals glorious
Swinging uproarious
In the gorgeous turrets
Of Notre Dame ;
But thy sounds were sweeter
Than the dome of Peter
Flings o'er the Tiber,
Pealing solemnly ; —
O! the bells of Shandon
Sound far more grand on
The pleasant waters
Of the river Lee.

There 's a bell in Moscow,
While on tower and kiosk o !
In Saint Sophia
The Turkman gets,
And loud in air
Calls men to prayer
From the tapering summit
Of tall minarets.
Such empty phantom
I freely grant them ;
But there is an anthem
More dear to me, —
'Tis the bells of Shandon
That sound so grand on
The pleasant waters
Of the river Lee.

Tuesday 28 December 2010

The Massacre of the Innocents in Irish Sources

The Martyrology of Oengus devotes its entire entry for December 28 to the commemoration of The Massacre of the Innocents by King Herod:

28. Famous is their eternal acclamation,
beyond every loveable band,
which the little children from Bethlehem
sing above to their Father.

to which the scholiast has added a commentary:

28. Famous the lasting acclamation, i.e. famous and lasting is the shout of the children who were killed in Bethlehem by Herod pro Christo.
a loveable band, i.e. they are a dear band propter innocentiam.
who sing above to their Father, i.e. canunt laudes, etc.
A hundred and forty - bright fulfilment - and two thousands of children
were slain in Bethlehem with victory by the ruler, by Herod.
Thirty plains famous, pleasant, all about Bethlehem ;
in every plain were slain a hundred of the pleasant children of the nobles ;
a hundred and forty - sad the doom ! - in Bethlehem alone.

The Massacre of the Innocents is also commemorated in other Irish sources, appearing, for example, in the poems of Blathmac. He records in the first of his poems translated by James Carney:

20. In seeking Christ (pitiful this!) the infants of Bethlehem were slain. It was by Herod (bloodier than any prince!) that they were put to the blue sword.

21. Happy the good gentle infants! They have happiness in an eternal kingdom: Herod, miserable creature, has eternal sorrow and eternal Hell.

James Carney, ed. and trans., The poems of Blathmac, son of Cú Brettan: Together with the Irish Gospel of Thomas and a poem on the Virgin Mary (Dublin, 1964), 9.

Below is the text of another poem, found in the Leabhar Breac, which reflects the raw pain of the bereaved mothers and the sheer horror of the deed:

The Mothers’ Lament at the Slaughter of the Innocents

Then, as she plucked her son from her
breast for the executioner, one of the women said:
‘Why do you tear from me my darling son,
The fruit of my womb?
It was I who bore him, he drank my breast.
My womb carried him about, he sucked my vitals.
He filled my heart:
He was my life, ’tis death to have him taken from me.
My strength has ebbed,
My voice is stopped,
My eyes are blinded.’
Then another woman said:
‘It is my son you take from me.
I did not do the evil,
But kill me — me: don’t kill my son!
My breasts are sapless, my eyes are wet,
My hands shake,
My poor body totters.
My husband has no son,
And I no strength;
My life is worth — death.
Oh, my one son, my God!
His foster-father has lost his hire.
My birthless sicknesses with no requital until Doom.
My breasts are silent,
My heart is wrung.’
Then said another woman:
‘Ye are seeking to kill one; ye are killing many.
Infants ye slay, fathers ye wound; you kill the mothers.
Hell with your deed is full, heaven shut.
Ye have spilt the blood of guiltless innocents.’
And yet another woman said:
‘O Christ, come to me!
With my son take my soul quickly:
O Great Mary, Mother of the Son of God,
What shall I do without my son?
For Thy Son, my spirit and my sense are killed.
I am become a crazy woman for my son.
After the piteous slaughter
My heart’s a clot of blood
From this day
Till Doom comes.’

‘Anecdota from Irish MSS’ (III), ed. Kuno Meyer, The Gaelic Journal 4, no. 38 (May 1891), 90.

A powerful lament, indeed. I close by noting that the Feast of the Holy Innocents is commemorated on the Eastern Orthodox calendar on December 29, one day after the Irish and other Western calendars.

This post originally appeared here.

Monday 27 December 2010

Saint John the Beloved Disciple and the Early Irish Church

The Martyrology of Oengus devotes its entire entry for December 27 to two of the apostles - Saint John and Saint James. It reads:
D. vi. cal. lanuarii.

27. The sound sleep of John in Ephesus
splendid the bordgal (?)
-with the ordination of James his brother, who is highest.

The scholiast adds:
27. a splendid bordgal, i.e. John's valour (gal) was in Ephesus a splendid valour, i.e. a valour that went out over the border (bord) quasi dixisset Ephesus was full de operibus eius. his brother is highest, i.e. the greater is sollemnitas etc.

I haven't read any specialist commentary on this entry but would imagine that this word bordgal was an archaism which the later scholiast did not himself understand and sought to explain. There is a body of material concerning the beloved disciple preserved in the Irish sources. In an earlier post on the Irish tradition of the Antichrist, I had mentioned an Apocalypse of Saint John as one of the sources for this. In the article by Father Martin McNamara that I looked at then, he mentions that the Liber Flavus Fergusiorum preserves a composite Irish text containing episodes from the Beatha Eoin Bruinne, the Life of John the Beloved Disciple (literally John of the Breast), plus fragments of what seems to be an Apocalypse of John. Saint John received this epithet because he reclined on the the breast of Jesus at the Last Supper (Jn. 13:25). This composite text was translated from Latin into Irish by an Augustinian friar, Uighisdin Mac Raighin, who died in 1405. It has been translated into English in a volume of texts edited by Father McNamara and Dr. Maire Herbert and so below are some extracts from the Apocalyspe and Death of John to mark the feast of the repose of the Beloved Disciple, still commemorated on December 27 in the West, although the Eastern Orthodox celebrate this feast on September 26:

10. Thereafter John said to his disciples: "go and make a burial-place for me in front of the altar. Cast out the earth far away from it, and make it very deep". This was done, and he himself went into it and lay readily down on the ground, and stretched up his two hands towards the Creator, saying:

11. "I thank you, O Creator,
Christ, the mighty Lord,
great Heavenly Father,
gentle soft-spokem brother,
excellent noble teacher,
who gently and lovingly
calls me to your banquet,
who well understands
that I desire to go
to be with you in your kingdom.
You perceive, O divine kinsman,
how my heart has loved
your truth and your word,
loved to contemplate
and look on you totally,
I give you thanks."

15. Now I entrust and hand over your people believing in Christ, who have obtained wisdom, true knowledge and sagacity, and have been blessed and baptized. Take me to you, as you promised me in the company of my brethren, Paul, Peter, Matthew, and Thomas, and the other apostles, so that I may partake of the great feast which you have created from the beginning, and which has no end. Open the divine gates and beautifully-draped windows, and the path which is undarkened by the devil, without opposition, without hostile onset. Send your splendid angelic messenger to cherish and protect [me], for you are the almighty Christ, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who lives and flourishes for all eternity". And all the people answered: "Amen".

16. Then a great brightness came upon the people for the space of one hour of the day. Such was the extent of the illumination that it could not be looked on. Everyone threw themselves on the ground. Then there came to them a beautiful fragrance, and perfume of angelic incense.

17. Thereafter they raised their heads, and looked at the burial-place. They found nothing there in place of the valiant priest, the eloquent judge, the devout helper, the wise preacher, the splendid confessor, the merciful dispenser of forgiveness, red-cheeked and blue-eyed, namely, John, the beloved apostle.. And thus John parted from the final things of this world.

18. The suffering and afflicted of the nearby district gathered to that place, and they were cured of all their ills.

19. As for the body of John, it is in a beautiful golden tomb, and at the end of each year, the best youth, who is without defilement or sin, is chosen, and he goes to cut John's hair and pare his nails, and when he has completed that task, he partakes of the body and sacrifice of Christ, and he himself ascends to heaven on that day.

Thus John's body remains without putrefaction or corruption. Indeed, it is as if he were in a deep sleep, and it will be thus until Doomsday.

Maire Herbert and M. McNamara, trans., Irish Biblical Apocrypha: Selected Texts in Translation (Edinburgh, 1989), 96-98.

This post originally appeared here.

Sunday 26 December 2010

St. Pius X - Part VI

On this day one hundred years ago, Pope St. Pius X issued his Encyclical Letter Ex Quo on the return of the Eastern Schismatics to the Catholic Church.

Sancte Pie Decime, Gloriosae Patrone ora pro nobis!

Saturday 25 December 2010

Friday 24 December 2010

A Thought For The Day by Pope Benedict XVI

This morning Pope Benedict XVI broadcast 'Thought for the Day,' a regular two-minute-forty-second pious meditation during the morning news programme 'Today' on BBC Radio 4, which airs every weekday morning.

The BBC website gives the text of the broadcast:

"Recalling with great fondness my four-day visit to the United Kingdom last September, I am glad to have the opportunity to greet you once again, and indeed to greet listeners everywhere as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ.

Our thoughts turn back to a moment in history when God's chosen people, the children of Israel, were living in intense expectation.

They were waiting for the Messiah that God had promised to send and they pictured him as a great leader who would rescue them from foreign domination and restore their freedom.

God is always faithful to his promises, but he often surprises us in the way he fulfils them.

The child that was born in Bethlehem did indeed bring liberation, but not only for the people of that time and place - he was to be the Saviour of all people throughout the world and throughout history.

And it was not a political liberation that he brought, achieved through military means; rather, Christ destroyed death forever and restored life by means of his shameful death on the Cross.

And while he was born in poverty and obscurity, far from the centres of earthly power, he was none other than the Son of God.

Out of love for us, he took upon himself our human condition, our fragility, our vulnerability and he opened up for us the path that leads to the fullness of life to a share in the life of God himself.

As we ponder this great mystery in our hearts this Christmas, let us give thanks to God for his goodness to us and let us joyfully proclaim to those around us the good news that God offers us freedom from whatever weighs us down: he gives us hope, he brings us life.

Dear Friends from Scotland, England, Wales and indeed every part of the English-speaking world. I want you to know that I keep all of you very much in my prayers this Holy Season.

I pray for your families, for your children, for those who are sick and for those who are going through any form of hardship at this time.

I pray especially for the elderly and for those who are approaching the end of their days.

I ask Christ, the light of the nations, to dispel whatever darkness there may be in your lives and to grant to every one of you the grace of a peaceful and joyful Christmas.

May God bless all of you!"

Sunday 19 December 2010

Saturday 18 December 2010

CHRISTVS REGNAT - Short Story Special Issue

This special short story issue of the journal of St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association is now available here. Past issues are also available for download here.

Included in this issue are the following short stories:

  • Letter from the Pontiff A Short Story by Revd. Deacon Raymond Tucker Cordani
  • The Trail Before Cell Phones A Short Story by Kathleen Culligan Techler
  • The Liturgiologist and the Antiquary An ecclesiastical tale by Ritualist
  • The Guild A Tale of Old Dublin by Des Hannon

    Revd. Mr. Cordani was born in Torrington, Connecticut and earned a Bachelor of Arts in American Literature with a minor in Creative Writing and Theater from the University of New Hampshire 1995. In 2002, he earned a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. He had been a working journalist since 1993, having written for the Associate Press, Catholic News Service, Columbia Magazine, Our Sunday Visitor, and the National Catholic Register. Between 2002 and 2007 he taught English at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

    In 2007, he entered Blessed John National Seminary near Boston, the result of a long discernment to priesthood. He is sponsored by the Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts, and, God willing, was ordained to the diaconate on Saturday, 27th November, 2010. Currently he ministers in a parish called Immaculate Conception, “a hardscrabble assignment in the Puerto Rican and Dominican barrios in Western Massachusetts.” His Sacerdotal Ordination is scheduled for Saturday, 4th June, 2011. He adds that writing while in the seminary has been difficult, more than a labor of love but a “dual vocation,” as Merton said of his own vocation to writing and service of God in the Church.

    Kathleen Culligan Techler decided decided in second grade to become a writer, although she was to became a physical therapist, wife, mother of five, and grandmother of nine, before actually writing her first book. For Shalom, Mary: Letters the Blessed Virgin Mary might have written, (2001) thoughts came to her in church during a Christmas sermon and wouldn't leave her alone until she wrote the book. The ideas for Barriers (2001) and The Secret of Pirate Key (2004) came from the barrier island off the coast of Florida where she and her husband have a vacation house. Her time as a "skating mother" sitting in a cavernous old auditorium gave her plenty of ideas for Summer Ice (2006). She has also written in Holiday Hearts a collection Christmas Short Stories for her regular publisher Diskus Publishing. When she is not writing or reading she delivers Meals on Wheels, knits hats for newborns, and tutors second graders in reading.
  • Thursday 16 December 2010

    St. Pius X - Part V

    On this day one hundred years ago, the S. Cong. of the Holy Office authorised the use of Scapular Medals in place of Scapulars.

    Sancte Pie Decime, Gloriose Patrone, ora pro nobis!

    Saturday 11 December 2010

    Our Catholic Heritage - Kildare and Leighlin (Part 2)

    The sanctuaries of Kildare and Leighlin have hit the headlines in recent years - and for all the wrong reasons. As Clare V. Johnson writes in Ars Liturgiae: "Since the Second Vatican Council, no building in Ireland has caused such public controversy as the proposed renovation of the Cathedral of the Assumption at Carlow." He goes on to remark: "Unfortunately the tabernacle is located directly behind the main altar; it is placed in the old main altar, which is embedded in a new reredos construction of stone and located in front of the east window."

    The remark beginning: "Unfortunately..." gives a hint of the ground over which the controversy was fought, even in the Irish High and Supreme Courts. On behalf of the Diocese, it was pleaded that the concept of the sanctuary was no longer relevant since Vatican II. Thus it is that, in the three decades before it, the Diocese witnessed an avalanche of wood and stone as sanctuaries were "reordered in keeping with the requirements of the New Liturgy" or "the requirements of Vatican II".

    Carlow Cathedral c. 1900

    Carlow Cathedral c. 1956

    In the course of an High Court action regarding the reordering of Carlow Cathedral, the Judge asked the Bishop to produce a letter received from a certain Cardinal Ratzinger. The letter of 12th June, 1996, reads as follows:

    "Thank you for your letter of April 18th in which you ask for a clarification of certain observations attributed to me by Mr. Michael Davies in a letter recently published by a local newspaper in your diocese. The context of those comments was a discussion of the Church's liturgical legislation in the period after the Second Vatican Council. I could not but acknowledge that in this legislation there exists no mandate, in the primary sense of the term as a command or order, to move the tabernacle from the high altar to another position in the church."

    "With respect to the placement of the tabernacle, the instruction Inter oecumenici (26.9.1964) par 95, which implemented the decisions of Sacrosanctum concilium, states quite clearly that the Blessed Sacrament be reserved on the high altar, a possibility envisaged also by Eucharisticum mysterium (25.5.67) par 54."

    "The fact that the postconciliar legislation of the Church does not impose architectural changes, while at the same time not excluding them, provides the diocesan bishop with the necessary latitude for making decisions in the light of the pastoral needs of his particular Church, taking into account also the situation in neighbouring diocese. It is certainly true that a great number of churches since the Second Vatican Council have been re-arranged; such changes, while inspired by the liturgical reform, cannot however be said to be have been required by the legislation of the Church. In conclusion, it is the right and duty of the local bishop to decide on these questions and, having done so, to help the faithful come to an understanding of the reasons for his decision. Trusting that this explanation proves helpful to you in your particular circumstances and with an assurance of kind regards. I remain sincerely yours in Christ."

    "Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger."

    Carlow Cathedral c. 2009

    The three images images above give some idea of the changes that have taken place in the arrangement of Carlow Cathedral over the past century. It is interesting to note the change from wooden to marble Altar and the change of stencil-decoration between 1900 and 1956. The contrast between both and the sanctuary of today is that which interests. The precise liturgical significance of trellis, which is also found in the Cathedral of Cork, is lost upon me.

    It's our Catholic heritage and we want it back, please!

    Wednesday 8 December 2010

    The Immaculate Conception I - Cum Praeexcelsa

    I thought I might start a small intermittent series on the Immaculate Conception, and hopefully maybe on the Masses and Offices connected with it.

    Cum praeexcelsa was one of the first bulls that gave rise to an intermittent controversy. On one side were the Franciscan who supported the doctrine of the Imaculate Conception, and on the other the Dominicans who were opposed. The bull was issued at a time when plague was ravaging the country.When we investigate with the scrutiny of devout consideration the exalted insignia of the merits with which the queen of the heavens, the glorious virgin mother of God, advanced to the ethereal dwellings, shining amid the constellations as the morning star, and revolve beneath the secrets of our breast, that she herself, as the path of mercy, the mother of grace, and the friend of piety, the consoler of the human race, the sedulous and vigilant advocate on behalf of the salvation of the faithful, who are oppressed by the load of their offences, intercedes with the King whom she has brought forth:

    We consider it meet, nay, rather due, to invite by indulgences and the remissions of sins, that they may thereby become more fitted for divine grace, by the merits and intercession of the same Virgin, all the faithful in Christ to return thanks and praises for the wonderful conception of the immaculate Virgin to Almighty God (where Providence regarding from eternity the humility of the same Virgin, for the reconciling to its author human nature, which, by the fall of the first man, became subject unto eternal death, by the preparation of the Holy Ghost, constituted her as the habitation of his Only Begotten, from whom he should take on him the flesh of our mortality for the redemption of his people, and she should remain, nevertheless, an immaculate virgin after the birth), and offer up Masses and other Divine Offices instituted for that purpose in the church of God, and be present at them.

    Induced, therefore, by this consideration, confiding in the authority of the same Almighty God, and in that of his blessed apostles Peter and Paul, by the apostolic authority, which is to be in force for ever, by this constitution, we decree and ordain, that all and every one of the faithful of Christ, of both sexes, who shall devoutly celebrate and offer up on the day of the festival of the Conception of the same Virgin Mary, and during its octave, the mass and office of the Conception of the same glorious Virgin, according to the pious, devout, and praise-worthy ordinance of our beloved son Leonardi de Nogarole, clerk of Verona, our notary, and the institution of such Mass and Office which emanated down from us, or shall be present thereat in the canonical hours ;

    As often as they shall do so, they are to obtain the same precise indulgence and remission of sins, which, according to the constitutions of Urban IV., of happy memory, approved at the Council of Vienna, and of Martin V., and of other Roman pontiffs, our predecessors, those are entitled to, who celebrate and offer up the Mass in canonical hours at the festival of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ from the first evening and during its octave, according to the constitution of the Roman Church, or who are present at the mass, at the office, and at such hours ; these presents to be in force for all time.

    Given at Rome, at Saint Peter's, in the year of the incarnation of our Lord 1476, third of the calends of March, in the sixth year of our pontificate.

    First Published in December, 2008.

    Saturday 4 December 2010

    CHRISTVS REGNAT - December, 2010

    The December, 2010, issue of the twice-yearly journal of St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association is now available. You can subscribe to CHRISTVS REGNAT here. Past issues are also available for download here.

    The following articles are found in the Fourth Volume, Number One, for the feast of the Immaculate Conception, 2010:

  • Opening Comments from the Report of the International Federation Una Voce
    The introduction to the third annual FIUV Report to the Holy See on the implementation of Summorum Pontificum across the Church.
  • The Sarum Use
    The first part of a detailled examination of the origins, sources, structure and features of the former Rite of Mass particular to England by an eminent Anglican scholar.
  • The Eminent Dignity of the Poor By Msgr. Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
    An extract from the famous sermon by the greatest of pulpit orators.
  • The Real Saint Patrick
    Scholarly insights into the personality of the Apostle of the Irish as revealed by his mission and his writings.
  • An Interview with Prof. Duncan Stroik
    The theories of an outstanding Catholic architect and academic on the interaction between Faith and Architecture in the Church today.
  • A Sermon for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception
    The meaning of the Immaculate Conception considered in light of ancient and modern revolts against God and the interventions of Our Blessed Lady into history.
  • The Architects of Kildare and Leighlin
    The first part of a detailed survey of the physical Catholic heritage of the Diocese, which is closely linked with our liturgical Catholic heritage. The series examines its theme under four headings, the first being 'the Bishops who built.'
  • The use of Greek in the poems of John Scotus Eriugena
    This article explores the learning and compositions of an Irish scholar at the Imperial Court in the 9th Century and what it tells us about the extent and impact of Irish medieval scholarship during the middle ages.
  • Flann O’Brien and Catholicism
    Viewed in the context of his near contemporary and some-time companion James Joyce, this article considers the relationship of the famous Irish Author, under his various pseudonyms, with his own Catholic Faith and the Catholic Church he experienced in Ireland in the mid 20th Century.
  • Reports on Masses during 2010