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The origins of the Novena of Grace

by Donal Neary SJ The Novena of Grace originated in Naples, Italy in 1643, when a Jesuit, Fr Marcellus Mastrilli, was cured through the intercession of St Francis Xavier, who promised that those who made the nine days of prayer in preparation for the anniversary of his canonisation would receive many graces and favours. Thus the name: Novena of Grace. ...

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Remembering James McPolin SJ

January 26, 2006 Remembering James McPolin SJ Michael O’Sullivan’s homily at the funeral of James McPolin SJ by Michael O’Sullivan SJ About two years ago Jimmy said to me that he felt most alive and of most use during the years he was in El Salvador (1989- 96) - despite the awful suffering among the people and the deadly danger that shadowed his own life. He went there straight after his term as President of Milltown Institute (1983- 89). He did so because of his commitment to and companionship with the God whose love makes the promotion of justice an absolute requirement. Jimmy had hardly arrived in the country when six Jesuits, a woman (Elba

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Lessons in love

A Slí Eile volunteer, Karen Mooney, recalls her intense emotional responses as she worked this summer in an orphanage in Bogotá, Colombia. She reflects in awe on the character, playfulness, love and humanness of the children she met there. With a need to do something different and more meaningful in my life, I headed off with ten volunteers to Colombia ...

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Ferns: a pastoral response in a ministry to young adults

Last Sunday, Gerry Clarke presided at the Gospel Mass in Gardiner Street. He reflects here on how he approached the matter of the Ferns Report in the homily. Reading the Ferns Report is difficult and disturbing. As a pastoral minister with young adults I feel that the matters raised by the Report need to be faced head on rather than ...

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When children are forced to kill

As one project to commemorate the anniversary of St Francis Xavier, the JRS is sponsoring the making of a film about former child soldiers in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia. Liam Greene explains the project. To celebrate this centenary year of Saint Francis Xavier, who ‘went to the ends of the earth,’ the Irish Province, among its other celebrations, is ...

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Both sides now – the EU and Globalisation

Does the EU need more integration or less to meet the challenges posed by globalisation? Eugene Quinn, Director of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, reports on a lively debate in Milltown on this subject. On Monday, 24 October 2005, at Milltown Park, the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice (CFJ) and Studies, the Irish Jesuit quarterly, hosted a ...

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Not so long a way from Clare to here

Pat Coyle recounts her heart-lifting experience of addressing novena congregations brought together by the Pioneers in Kilrush and Shannon, Co. Clare – over 1000 people in all! The lovely west Clare seaside holiday town of Kilrush (next stop America) looks a lot bleaker on a freezing cold November night, and as we were driving to it the voice of Ralph ...

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Decoding ‘The twelve days of Christmas’

Barney McGuckian examines a theory that the popular Christmas song ‘The twelve days of Christmas’ might have been a 16th century coded message invented by Jesuits to communicate the tenets of the Catholic faith. Nowadays everybody loves Christmas. It does not lead to many divisions among us. This is something to be thankful for. It was not always that way. ...

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Finding Ireland’s favourite saint

It all came down to two great men – St Padre Pio and St Anthony – but which one of them would be crowned Ireland’s favourite Saint? ‘Gerry Ryan Show’ reporter Evelyn O’Rourke details a quest that captured the imagination of thousands of radio listeners. On Wednesday, the 12th October – which was the 30th anniversary of the canonisation of ...

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To travel through the world

In the first of a series of Messenger articles, Gerry Bourke prepares us for the 500th anniversary of St. Francis Xavier’s birth (April 7, 2006) by recalling a life spent in fulfilment of the Jesuit ideal of travelling “through the world…in God’s service”. This series of articles is to commemorate the fifth centenary of the birth of St. Francis Xavier ...

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