Time for a Confessional Tune Up

The Irish Catholic

There’s something deep within human nature which means that most of us tend to pick and choose the things that reinforce what we already think rather than challenge and expand our thinking or worldview. It’s all too easy to spend all of our time reading writers who reinforce our deeply-held opinions. For Catholics, this is a dangerous pursuit. Is there anything less Catholic that an approach to faith which sees our religion as a narrowly-focused or single-issue sect?

This approach is sometimes evident in the way some Catholics view the papacy. I’ve sometimes heard people describe themselves as ‘John Paul II Catholics’ by which many mean that they were highly-motivated by the Pope’s unwavering defence of the right to life of the unborn, the elderly and those living with life-limiting disabilities. This is a vital part of our faith and cannot be set aside. But, John Paul II was so much more than bioethical issues. In every corner of the globe while preaching what became known as the ‘Gospel of Life’, John Paul pricked the conscience of Catholics and the wider world to sharpen the focus on social justice.


In a vision to Sr. Faustina, Jesus revealed a powerful prayer that He wanted everyone to say – the Chaplet to the Divine Mercy. He promised extraordinary graces to those who would recite it. Prayed on ordinary rosary beads, it may be said at any time. But Our Lord specifically requested that it be used as a novena on the nine days before the Feast of Mercy on the second Sunday of Easter. It is also especially appropriate to say the Chaplet during the Hour of Mercy

‘Calvary’ sweeps the boards at IFTAs


The film ‘Calvary’ took both best actor and writer awards at this year’s IFTAs (11th Annual Irish Film & Television Awards).

Brendan Gleeson won the best actor award for his portrayal of the lead character – an Irish rural priest.

The best script award was given to its writer/director John Michael McDonagh.

The film, which was shot on location in Sligo, is in Irish cinemas next weekend.

At the IFTA ceremony last weekend, Brendan Gleeson thanked his primary school teacher, a Christian Brother called Pat Grogan whom Gleeson said was a good man and had a huge influence on him. He said he had been “brave enough to allow creativity appear normal”.

Pope Francis: There is No Limit to The Divine Mercy

(Vatican Radio) At the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis spoke on the day’s Gospel, which relates the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. This miracle, the Pope said, “is the culmination of the wonderful ‘signs’ performed by Jesus: an act too great, too clearly divine to be tolerated by the high priests, who, aware of the fact, make the decision to kill Jesus.”
Pope Francis reminded the crowd of the words of Jesus, words “words which are forever impressed upon the memory of the Christian community: ‘I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.’” Because of this promise, he said, we believe that those who believe in Jesus and follow His commandments will rise to new life after death.

Pope Francis and Queen Elizabeth II: Shared Christian Heritage

(Vatican Radio) A focus on the shared roots of Christian faith was a theme which emerged from the meeting Pope Francis had with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip on Thursday afternoon. Also attending the private encounter in a small study beside the Paul VI hall was Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, former archbishop of Westminster and the first Catholic bishop to preach for the Royal Family since the Church of England broke from Rome in the 16th century.
Philippa Hitchen was following the encounter…..

Strategic Partnerships, Latest Technology for Papal Canonizations

(Vatican Radio) The Vatican Television Centre (CTV) has partnered with Sky and Sony to broadcast the April 27 canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II in HD and in 3D in about 20 countries. The announcement was made at a press conference at the Vatican on Monday in the Paul VI Hall.
CTV will produce the event in 3D and it will be screened in 500 movie theatres worldwide, in addition to 120 theatres in Italy alone. Admission to the screenings, made possible through the collaboration of Nexco Digital, is to be free.
Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, said the communications technology being used offers a “great opportunity for relationship, knowledge, participation, an opportunity to live history”.

Canonization gives ‘certainty’ of John Paul II’s Holiness

Today marks the ninth anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II, who is to be canonized later this month, along with Pope John XXIII. The prelate, who nine years ago on 2 April announced the death of Pope John Paul II, says the emotion he felt that night was great and has only doubled in light of the late pontiff’s upcoming canonization.
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, currently prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches but then Substitute for General Affairs to the Secretary of State, said he feels “unworthy and far from having been an instrument, in that moment, of someone who was a true evangelist, a man of peace, … of a person who lived with great austerity and with great poverty throughout his ministry.”

Canonizations: A Festival of Holiness

(Vatican Radio) A youth gathering on April 22 at the Basilica of Saint John Lateran and a prayer vigil in all of Rome’s parishes on the eve of the highly anticipated canonizations Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. These are two of the major events leading up to the April 27 canonizations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II.
At a press conference held at the Vatican Monday, the Holy See unveiled some of the events in view of the April 27 canonizations of these much loved Popes. The upcoming canonizations were described as “a true festival of faith” and a “festival of holiness”.

Baby-killing US abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell to be next subject of acclaimed Co Tyrone film-maker Phelim McAleer

The Belfast Telegraph

Phelim McAleer has accused Hollywood and the mainstream media of ignoring the story of Dr Kermit Gosnell who was convicted of the murder of three newborns and the manslaughter of a patient in Philadelphia last year.

Mr McAleer from Beragh in Co Tyrone, who is now based in Los Angeles, is making the movie with his Co Donegal-born wife Ann McElhinney, and Magdalena Segieda.

It will be a scripted television drama by Hat Tip productions based on the Gosnell trial transcripts. The 73-year-old doctor regularly performed terminations beyond the 24-week time limit in his backstreet abortion clinic.