Search Results for 'Christian Church'
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If there isn’t some dramatic change, and matters as they stand are allowed to drift, it is easy to see that the impact of the child abuse scandals within the Catholic church have had a very negative impact on the present and future generations in Ireland. Despite being one of the most generous generations ever when it comes to helping others, young people today are quite indifferent to the church. In fact many are openly hostile.
I do not think that it is a coincidence that the famous Galway Races coincide with the ancient festival of Lughnasa, celebrated on Garlic (Garland?) Sunday or, in the west, on the last Sunday in July. Máire Mac Neill, in her epic and scholarly study*, tells us that the date marked the most important farming benchmark of the year, the harvest, and it was robustly honoured. There were many Lughnasa gatherings throughout Ireland. Perhaps the most famous one in Connemara was at Mám Éan in the Maamturk mountains. People would camp out for days, musicians and hawkers would entertain the crowds; but the main event was a massive faction fight often resulting in serious injury or death.
Former dancehall and well-known hotel, the Beaten Path, at Brize, Claremorris, is to reopen as a Christian church tomorrow (Saturday).
Parents of children in Ballinasloe and Roscommon are to be asked what patrons they would like operating their local primary schools.
Between the haunted castle and the spooky graveyard, Halloween is set to be very scary this year at Shankill Castle, Paulstown, Co Kilkenny. There are a variety of activities for all ages, but not much for the faint of heart.
It’s a relatively unassuming building on the outside, and many people who walk past the recently-opened Kilkenny Community Church in Irishtown are possibly not even aware that it’s there.
I have always thought it strange why so many women feel isolated from the Catholic Church, when it has at its centre a woman, Mary - the Mother of God. It is not right that many women feel they are ‘second class citizens’ within a church that attempts to reach out to all. Surely without Mary, the New Testament would be worthless. Surely after the Nazarene Himself, the Mother of Jesus, who is venerated by the Catholic and Orthodox churches, is the first and greatest saint in heaven. Mary is revered by all Christian churches, and honoured by Islam. At the very first council of the Church, at Ephesus four hundred years after Christ, she was declared to be the Theotokos, Mother of God (the actual God bearer). But even before that her image, holding the Child, was etched into tombs in the Roman catacombs. Being the Theotokos, Mary could have become remote, unreal from the human experience. After all we are told that she was born free from Original Sin, which as a total ‘theological illiterate’ I don’t fully understand; but I accept the logic that if Mary was not the mother of God, then Jesus was not God. I believe that He was. Yet despite the supreme position of Mary many women feel isolated, uninvolved, as if they have no contribution to make.
Last Easter Sunday, I was privileged to attend a dawn Mass, near Cong, on the Lough Corrib shore. About 300 people stood close to a blazing fire, as daybreak slowly lifted the darkness revealing the wide expanse of water, its wooded islands, and in the distance, the mountains of the Maam valley. It was perfectly silent and peaceful. Fr Ray Flaherty welcomed us with these opening words: ‘It was here many saints like Meldon, Fursey, Brendan and Feichin made their homes of peace and prayer. There are many sanctuaries scattered today in ruins along the shores of this lake, silent ruins where the soft tones of bells and the church’s solemn chant floated over the waves...’
GEORGE HARRISON sang “My sweet Lord”. St Augustine said: “To sing is to pray twice”, while Islamic Sufis and Native American holy men dance and sing themselves into trances, leading to religious ecstasy.