October 2020

In all the debates and variances of views on measures, there needs to be an articulation for whom we are doing this. Primarily we are doing this for the most vulnerable in our society and in this case, those most susceptible to the life threatening capacity of this virus. We may or may not be just fine if we get it and we may not care for restrictions but that is not quite the point. Are we prepared to be part of driving down infection in the community and not being a carrier of the virus? This thrust is entirely resonant with the Gospel imperative to love our neighbour as ourselves and to exercise radical kindness to those who are weak and vulnerable.

Sundays in October

Some Sundays in the church calendar are set apart for special reasons, saints days or major festivals. Every Sunday this month takes us to a particular celebration.

Sunday 4th: St Francis’ Day

On this day, when we are usually joined by animals in the Cathedral, we still celebrate them. Unfortunately, we cannot invite them this year. You might bring a photo of your pet, or e-mail me a short account of why your animal means so much to you, which I will include, montage style, into our celebration of the blessings our pets offer and the importance of all animals.

This Sunday falls within Creation Time in the church calendar. We begun that season 27th September with a Harvest Eucharist, then celebrate the animals on the 4th and culminate on the 11th, with our Harvest Thanksgiving in the decorated Cathedral. Other churches in the Union will already have had their harvest celebration by then. It will have been a more subdued affair than other years; but none the less celebratory and maybe just a little more reflective on God’s creation, our care for the planet and our sharing of the world’s resources.

Sunday 11th: St Philip the Deacon

Harvest Thanksgiving in the Cathedral.

Sunday 18th: St Luke’s Day (Celebrating Healing & Healthcare)

St Luke (see article below) was a physician and author of two books in the Bible, including his eponymous gospel. We will celebrate Healing and Wholeness as we do with our Iona Fellowship and during these times we will give profound thanks for those in Healthcare and hold them up in prayer.

Sunday 25th: Bible Sunday

On this Sunday, we give our focus to the amazing book that is the Bible. What a friend at Glenstal Abbey calls the “text of meeting”. And then we come to… Sunday 1st November: All Saints Day.

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September 2020

A More Contemplative Church

Contemplation is often seen as a luxury for those who are not busy, or for those who like that sort of thing. Yet, it is in the DNA of being a Christian. To be present and be deeply aware is to contemplate. This is the kind of relationship Jesus calls us to—to be drawn ever deeper by his Spirit into the intimacy and transforming power of his loving presence. Instead of taking us away from other people and their needs, it becomes who we are|: to be present, aware of others and there for them. Rowan Williams puts it strongly:

“Contemplation is very far from being just one kind of thing Christians do: it is the key to prayer, liturgy, art and ethics, the key to the essence of a renewed humanity that is capable of seeing the world and other subjects in the world with freedom—freedom from self-oriented, acquisitive habits and the distorted understanding that comes from them. To put it boldly, contemplation is the only ultimate answer to the unreal and insane world that our financial systems and our advertising culture and our chaotic and unexamined emotions encourage us to inhabit. To learn contemplative practice is to learn what we need so as to live truthfully and honestly and lovingly. It is a deeply revolutionary matter.”

Since the lockdown and accompanying restrictions, we have become a quieter and more contemplative church. Not only have spaces opened up in the pews for social distancing but also in our liturgies, to listen, be still and contemplate. Contemplation is an opening up of space within for God, something we can do at home and together. It might just be where God is leading us as church.

COVID-19

As with everything we write about Covid-19, there is a sense that things can change, or will have changed by the time of going to print. Currently we are restricted, outside of church services, to no more than six people (from no more than three households) meeting indoors. Because of this, the Easter General Vestry already rescheduled for 1st September will need to be rescheduled again beyond 13th September. We continue to meet by Zoom, or outside in the Cathedral grounds when the weather permits. Please pray for the Vestry, the treasurers and officers as they seek, in challenging times, to address the financial impact and how to continue necessary projects.

Creation Time and Harvest Season

This will, of course, be a different Harvest season though not without thanksgiving. The Harvest celebrations will be at the regular morning services, on 27th September and 4th October. We can still symbolically decorate the church, bring hearts full of praise and prayer and advocate for those cut off from the world’s resources. In this edition of the Chapter, you will see the Environmental Charter drawn up by this diocese. It was a groundbreaking exercise which has been taken on by other dioceses and many beyond these shores. Of course, it is only as good as the action that it promotes. Eco-Congregation Ireland have an audit programme for churches to examine how eco-friendly they are and where they can make change. This would be a good year to make a start. If anyone has a keen interest in this and would like to help in doing the audit then do contact me (see back page).

A Prayer for Our Earth from the Encyclical “Laudato Si”

All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures. You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.

Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty.

Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one. O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes.

Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction. Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth.

Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light. We thank you for being with us each day. Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace. Amen.

Dean Paul

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AN EASTER REFLECTION 2020

In a poem by Luci Shaw, she sees us as the first disciples who…

“…witness a miracle of fish

dawn-caught after our long night

of empty nets. Handling

his Word, we feel his flesh,

his bones, and hear his voice

calling our early-morning name.”

Clergy may think that people are missing their sermons! So it is good to remember that there were really no sermons in the first Holy Week and Easter.

On Maundy Thursday what does Jesus leave them? He takes water and washes them—an example of deep service. He prays for them to be one and to love one another. These are the sermons every day now. During this pandemic, we are witnessing such depths of selfless service, care and a recovery of deep and humane community. This is what it is to be disciples and indeed how the world will be blessed; not by our buildings, fine words and being right, but by the quality of our relationships…

“see how they love each other…”

…and on resurrection morning and all the appearances following there is no sermon, or workshop on interpreting his resurrection. He encounters people where they are, as they are:

A lonely woman in a garden

A weary and regretful fisherman by a lake

A shattered couple on a long trudge home

Frightened friends hiding in a room

A man full of doubts and questions

In Holy Week Jesus doesn’t give a sermon, He gives himself.

At Easter, there is still no sermon, He just speaks our name, “our early-morning name” where we are. We don’t need the right words, we just need to receive His love, hear His call and live in His risen presence…which is strangely the best sermon of all.

On Good Friday, the curtain of the Temple tore in two and the rocks split. Ranieri Cantalamessa writes that God has nothing against rocks; rather the hardest heart that watches through the passion must break before such forgiving, self-giving love.

On Easter Day, the rocks again shake and the great rock is rolled away. As the hardest heart will yield before the dying Saviour, so the hardest problem, difficulty, place, the immovable hurt, the thing that blocks out the light and pervades a deadening presence… all these are rolled away in the presence of a Risen Saviour, who simply calls our early morning name.

So, we are called back to the most powerful sermon of all—a life of deep service, heartfelt prayer, listening to and staying close to Jesus, cross-shaped sacrificial love and yes…life-changing, resurrection joy.

Caravaggio : Supper at Emmaus

The Emmaus Road is a most wonderful resurrection account. Two people shattered by what has happened walk home, frightened, unsure of what has happened and uncertain about their future. They share together and as they do the risen Jesus walks with them, though as yet they do not recognize him. He listens attentively to them. Ponder that. He listens to them attentively. Then, and only then, he helps them see the events they have gone through by the lens of his cross and resurrection. Their hearts begin to warm and they invite the stranger into their home at Emmaus for the simple fare of bread and wine. As he takes, breaks and blesses the bread and wine to give to them, they recognize that this is Jesus alive.

Caravaggio’s painting startlingly captures the moment of recognition with drama. To the right a disciple flings his arms wide and his left hand nearly comes out of the painting to pull us in. The basket of fruit looks like it will topple into our laps and we feel like pushing it back in. The front of the painting is wide open so that we too are at the table.

We too walk an uncertain path these days and new ways of sharing have been a great blessing. The risen Lord walks with us and enters into our felt experiences, our fears and worries. In our simple acts of kindness and sharing we see him in our midst. As he holds the brokenness of our world our hearts numbed by so much suffering begin to warm again.

May we know this Easter on the journey of our lives, that we have each other, and that the risen Jesus walks with us. May we see the depth of all he endured on the cross, and rejoice in his resurrection, and have our eyes opened to his presence. Pope John Paul II said…

Stay with us, Bread of eternal life, broken and distributed to those at table:
give also to us the strength to show generous solidarity towards the multitudes who are even today suffering and dying from poverty and hunger, decimated by fatal epidemics or devastated by immense natural disasters. By the power of your Resurrection, may they too become sharers in new life. We, the men and women of the third millennium, we too need you, Risen Lord!
…Sustain us, we pray, on our journey. In you do we believe, in you do we hope,
for you alone have the words of eternal life (cf. Jn 6:68). Mane nobiscum, Domine! (Stay with us Lord)
Alleluia!

Dean Paul

Download the MORNING PRAYER EASTER III 2020HERE

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An Easter Reflection 2020

In a poem by Luci Shaw, she sees us as the first disciples who…

“…witness a miracle of fish
dawn-caught after our long night
of empty nets. Handling
his Word, we feel his flesh,
his bones, and hear his voice
calling our early-morning name.”

Clergy may think that people are missing their sermons!

So it is good to remember that there were really no sermons in Holy Week and Easter.
On Maundy Thursday what does Jesus leave them?
He takes water and washes them – an example of deep service.
He prays for them to be one and to be lovers of one another.
These are the sermons every day now. During this pandemic we are witnessing such depths of selfless service and care, and a recovery of deep and humane community.
This is what it is to be disciples and indeed how the world will be blessed; not by our buildings, fine words and being right, but by the quality of our relationships…
”see how they love each other…”

…and on resurrection morning and all the appearances following there is no sermon,
or workshop on interpreting his resurrection.
Just this…he encounters people where they are, as they are

  • A lonely woman in a garden
  • A weary and regretful fisherman by a lake
  • A shattered couple on a long trudge home
  • Frightened friends hiding in a room
  • A man full of doubts and questions

In Holy Week Jesus doesn’t give a sermon he gives himself.
At Easter there is still no sermon, he just speaks our name, “our early-morning name” where we are.
We don’t need the right words, we just need to receive his love and hear his call, and live in his risen presence…which is strangely the best sermon of all.

On Good Friday the curtain of the Temple tore in two and the rocks split. Ranieri Cantalamessa writes that God has nothing against rocks ; rather the hardest heart that watches through the passion must break before such forgiving, self-giving love.

On Easter Day the rocks again shake, and the great rock is rolled away. As the hardest heart will yield before the dying Saviour, so the hardest problem, difficulty, place, the immovable hurt, the thing that blocks out the light and pervades a deadening presence… all these are rolled away in the presence of a Risen Saviour, who simply calls our early morning name.

So we are called back to the most powerful sermon of all – a life of deep service, heartfelt prayer, listening to and staying close to Jesus, cross shaped sacrificial love, and yes…life changing resurrection joy.

Dean Paul

Download the MORNING PRAYER EASTER II 2020HERE

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April 2020

Palm Sunday & Holy Week

Dear Friends, here we stand on the verge of a Holy Week
such as none of us have ever known.
Perhaps that dislocation will help us enter in and integrate ourselves
with the Passion of our Lord  like never before.

Like the disciples we now enter with uncertainty, confusion and concern.

Each day of Holy Week and thereafter I will go to the Cathedral at 11.00
to read the lessons of the day and pray for you and yours,
and all our common humanity. Daft as it may sound I feel that the cathedral is lonely!
At 12.00 the bells will ring as a sign of hope into the quieter streets of Lismore.

Attachments here are for the liturgy for Palm Sunday
and a sermon by Rowan Williams (abridged).
Do sit and reflect on his words,
which seem so pertinent 17 years after this sermon.

From Monday you can go each day to the Union website
www.stcarthagescathedral.ie
and click on a link to a short reflection for each day of Holy Week.

Stay close to Jesus, to each other though apart, stay safe and stay at home.
With love and prayers.

Dean Paul

Download PALM SUNDAY SermonHERE

Download PALM SUNDAY LiturgyHERE

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March 2020

Saint Patrick : An Unlikely Patron Saint?

Patrick was a very hesitant and under confident person.

The following is from Patrick’s own writing.

For this reason I had in mind to write, but hesitated until now; I was afraid of exposing myself to the talk of men, because I have not studied like the others, who thoroughly imbibed law and Sacred Scripture, and never had to change from the language of their childhood days, but were able to make it still more perfect. In our case, what I had to say had to be translated into a tongue foreign to me, as can be easily proved from the savor of my writing, which betrays how little instruction and training I have had in the art of words; for, so says Scripture, by the tongue will be discovered the wise man, and understanding, and knowledge, and the teaching of truth.

Not alone was he hesitant, but he could have rejected this island with its memories of captivity.Yet he was reconciled to his own experiences here, and came back in love with the message of the Gospel. In a land that in our generation has known such animosity and division, he is actually the perfect saint.

“Patrick was a humble man,well aware of his own shortcomings, but he believed that grace is a transforming gift which enables the believer to do great things in God’s service.As our redemption cost Christ his life,Patrick believed that wholeheartedness was the only possible response.”
Lesley Whiteside “The Spirituality of Saint Patrick

So where lay the source of his humility? Again Patrick writes
As a youth, nay, almost as a boy not able to speak, I was taken captive, before I knew what to pursue and what to avoid. Hence today I blush and fear exceedingly to reveal my lack of education; for I am unable to tell my story to those versed in the art of concise writing—in such a way, I mean, as my spirit and mind long to do, and so that the sense of my words expresses what I feel.

But if indeed it had been given to me as it was given to others, then I would not be silent because of my desire of thanksgiving; and if perhaps some people think me arrogant for doing so in spite of my lack of knowledge and my slow tongue, it is, after all, written: The stammering tongues shall quickly learn to speak peace. How much more should we earnestly strive to do this, we, who are, so Scripture says, a letter of Christ for salvation unto the utmost part of the earth, and, though not an eloquent one, yet… written in your hearts, not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God! And again the Spirit witnesses that even rusticity was created by the Highest.

This is a wonderful belief of Patrick that we are letters of Christ. He takes this from the letter to the Corinthians
…and you show that you are a letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (II Corinthians 3.3)

We are a walking text – so what do people read there when they are with us?
Could they read hope, solidarity, encouragement… especially in these days.

As the South American proverb goes
…  Don’t tell me what you believe, let me observe you and I will tell you what you believe.

As another saint (Francis of Assisi) said to his students –
Go and proclaim the Gospel, and use words if you have to.

May we who celebrate Saint Patrick today be letters of hope and healing to our wounded and frightened world.

Take care.

Dean Paul

 

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In a world where you can be anything, BE KIND

There is a rise of ‘non listening’ among individuals and society. We are losing the ability to listen–in–depth and as a result there is increasing depersonalisation and a corresponding number of people who feel themselves disenfranchised. This can and does lead to violence, towards oneself and others.” Bill Kirkpatrick

I came across this quotation about a week ago, before the troubling and sad news arrived of Caroline Flack’s death. The depth of her pain and hurt should cause reflection in an age when we can communicate extensively but barely know how to listen, empathise, or even gauge how damaging and toxic our communications have become.

Silence, solitude, attentiveness, repentance, hospitality and selflessness are not arcane Lenten practices; they are what our culture is silently screaming for. Caroline tweeted profound and prophetic words shortly before her death…..

“In a world where you can be anything, BE KIND”

Kathryn and I attended a day last month with Russ Parker on attentive listening. It was challenging but very helpful and we plan to have Russ visit the Cathedral in 2021. The following was written about another day he facilitated.

There is a rise of ‘non listening’ among individuals and society

The importance of listening to one another in the context of our centenary commemorations in Ireland.

Dr Russ Parker (International Ambassador with the Acorn Christian Healing Foundation) is the author of Healing Wounded History. Russ has worked internationally in reconciliation and dialogue. The ‘Acorn’ programmes were adopted as part of the resourcing of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa and its Director, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, became the president of ‘Acorn’s’ work in that country. Dr Parker recently led a day in Cork entitled The Church as New Acoustic Community: the proactive role of listening in conflict resolution. To set the scene, Russ Parker quoted the author, nurse and priest Bill Kirkpatrick, using the quotation attributed to him in the first paragraph.

Reflecting on the training day in Cork, Russ Parker said: ‘In the midst of a season of sensitive commemorations which have the potential to re–polarise the divisions within a Community we held a day conference to reflect on how the Church of Ireland can offer the gift of listening to all affected by their still wounded history. With the talk of the need for reconciliation between the divided communities we explored how reconciliation requires dialogue and how that dialogue, is impossible, without listening.

Right Reverend Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, added that … “In the context of our centenary commemorations, attentive listening to one another, dialogue and engagement have become more important than ever”. This article was adapted from The Church of Ireland website.

 

Lent

Lent can be “…a time of joy because it is a time for coming home, a period when we can come back to life. It should be a time when we shake off all that is worn and dead in us in order to become able to live and to live with all the vastness, all the depth and all the intensity to which we are called.” (Metropolitan Anthony Bloom)

Lent began with Ash Wednesday on 26th February. At the 10.00 a.m. Wednesday morning Lenten Eucharists in the Cathedral we will be reflecting on T. S. Eliot’s poem ‘Ash Wednesday’ and particularly the lines:

Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood (4th March)
Teach us to care and not to care (11
th March)
Teach us to sit still (18
th March)
Even among these rocks (25
th March)
Our peace in His will (1
st April)

 

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February 2020

Ministry Matters

Sunday 19th January at Evensong in the Cathedral Daniel Fleming was commissioned as a Diocesan Reader. Daniel will now be able to lead Morning and Evening Prayer, The Service of the Word and other liturgies that are not sacramental. This is an exciting moment for Daniel and for the Union, as he joins Brian Dungan as a Reader. Brian has exercised a diligent and fruitful ministry in this capacity since 2012. Indeed the day of Daniel’s commissioning was the 30th anniversary of Winston Boyle being made a Parish Reader. Winston often leads Morning Prayer at Kilmacthomas and Comeragh.

Once a month, I strive to meet with readers and retired clergy to plan services. Again, at Christmas, we saw how blessed we are to have such gifted priests as Revd Jenny Crowley, Canon Herbie Dunwoody and Canon George Cliffe.

Assistant Priest

Canon George Cliffe is now Assistant Priest within the Union, taking services across the Union and doing pastoral work at the Stradbally side. George will also cover for me when I am away. George is much loved and appreciated already for his work among us and this forward step is good for us all.

The Feast of the Presentation 2nd February CANDLEMAS

This day is often thought of as the hinge in the church year when we look back one more time to the birth of Jesus and then turn to look ahead through Lent to his Passion and death. As the Candlemas hymn puts it…

The candles invite us to praise and to pray

when Christmas greets Easter on Candlemas Day.

This day has Simeon and Anna holding the baby Jesus in the Temple as he is presented by his mother and father. They rejoice in his birth and proclaim the salvation he will bring and the suffering he and his parents will undergo. At our Service of the Word in the Cathedral at 11.30 a.m. we will, appropriately, have a baptism as Robin and Elena Turk bring their son Malachy for Holy Baptism.

 

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December 2019

Advent: Waiting

‘And puzzled wakers lie and listen hard To something moving in their minds’ backyard.’

These words appear in a poem by P J Kavanagh called ‘A Blackbird in Fulham’ comparing the eponymous bird with John the Baptist. At our Clergy Conference we were fortunate to have Bishop Stephen Platten as our speaker. A respected writer on Liturgy he gave gentle wisdom and humorous insights. In his most recent book ‘Animating Liturgy’ he refers to mimetic liturgy, a kind of performative liturgy that reveals truth. This seems so true of how we start the liturgical year in Advent. Movement—darkness into light; sharing light; dispelling darkness; stillness; waiting—texts of hope and yearning. These speak first to the sub-conscious before comprehension. Something stirs in the mind’s backyard. May we all stir and be stirred by Advent.

‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded.’

 

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November 2019

Tree Planting & Harvest at the Cathedral

Before the Harvest Liturgy in the Cathedral on 11th October, there was a short tree planting ceremony in thankful memory of Peter Dowd. The tree is appropriately positioned between the spire and the school, reflecting the two places he gave such service to as well as to the wider community. The order of service had these words as an introduction.

Peter served the School, the Cathedral and the whole community over many years. He was Chairperson of the School Board of Management for over a quarter century and oversaw the new building. He was an officer of the Church of Ireland Primary Schools’ Association, a member of Diocesan Council and Synod. He was also churchwarden of the Cathedral during many renovations. In the community he was Mayor of Lismore and an integral part of the flourishing Immrama Festival. He was a colleague and friend to many.

The Trees by Philip Larkin

The trees are coming into leaf Like something almost being said; The recent buds relax and spread, Their greenness is a kind of grief. Is it that they are born again And we grow old? No, they die too, Their yearly trick of looking new Is written down in rings of grain. Yet still the unresting castles thresh In full-grown thickness every May. Last year is dead, they seem to say, Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

Bishop Michael was with us. The church was bountifully and beautifully decorated and the choir led us in joyful worship. Bishop Michael spoke about prayer as so aligning ourselves to the will of God, as to rise up and be a part of the answer to that same prayer, particularly in relation to climate change and the environment.

A great supper was held afterwards, followed by the draw for the wonderful quilt made and generously donated by Gwen Roe. This raised €1,800 for the Cathedral Restoration Fund.

As we await the season of Advent (beginning December 1), these words remind us of the glory of the upcoming season:

Advent
This is the season of solitude, when we listen and watch.
We find warmth in the signs of your presence.
This is our season to make room, a time to make ready.
For we shall join in the angels’ chorus. Peace on earth, goodwill to all.

 

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October 2019

Creation Time

The following prayer expresses thanks for the beauty of the world and for its resources, but quickly puts us in a parable with Lazarus at our gates, with no access to those same resources. This year as we give thanks to God, let us also express solidarity in our prayers and giving to those in need. The Harvest collection this year is for Bishops Appeal. Bishop Michael will be in the Cathedral on Friday 11th October, to tell us more about the relief work that they do.

A prayer for solidarity
God of all creation
you have given us the beautiful land.
Teach us to see those who are at our gates,
to act justly so all may come to the table and
to weep for those who perish before they are invited.

Where there is hunger in our world,
may we share our food and resources
and contribute our skills and knowledge
to create a sustainable food supply.

Where there is disaster,
may we respond quickly and generously,
to bring relief to those injured and deprived of homes
and help them to rebuild their lives and communities.

September 2019

Recent Bible readings from the prophets have alerted us to their words against people and nations plundering resources and using inequality as a measure to divide out their extorted gains. How should we enter ‘Creation Time’ and then celebrate Harvest this year? By next year that ‘window of possibility’ (environmentalists are talking about) will look even nearer to being closed. Can our liturgies combine beauty, thanksgiving, urgency and engagement? Can we give a place to prophetic voices this year?

Greta Thunberg sounds like one of the prophetic voices of our times. Speaking to a group of MPs at the Houses of Parliament in London she said:
“We children are not sacrificing our education and our childhood for you to tell us what you consider possible in the society that you have created. You don’t listen because you are only interested in solutions that will enable you to carry on like before. We have not taken to the streets for you to take selfies with us and tell us that you really admire what we do.
We children are doing this to wake the adults up.”

Vocation Sunday

“One day you understood that, without your being aware of it, a ‘yes’ had already been inscribed in your innermost depths. And so you chose to go forward in the footsteps of Christ, a choice no-one can make for another. In silence, in the presence of Christ, you heard him say, ‘Come, follow me; I will give you a place to rest your heart.’ And so you are led to the audacity of a ‘yes’ that lasts until your dying breath. This ‘yes’ leaves you exposed. There is no other way.” No Greater Love (Brother Roger of Taizé)

For every Christian there is the call to follow Christ at the heart of our lives. There may be a particular call, within that, to serve in many different ways. One of these is ordination: to being a particular kind of person, not just doing particular things, as Rowan Williams so succinctly put it. On Sunday 15th September the Church of Ireland is observing a Sunday to reflect on and pray for vocations. At the heart of vocation, Christ does the calling and we pray for attentiveness, over the din of our own lives, to hear him and for the grace to respond.

July/August 2019

Vision
In May, we held an open meeting for anyone interested in the evolving plans for the Cathedral. The work will be extensive and I would very much like to stress two things:

Firstly, the careful planning is to enhance the integral holiness in the DNA of the building and is not an intervention. So many people comment on the stillness and charm of the Cathedral and it does not need us to add to it; just let it be what it is—unhindered. Some alterations will increase the sense of light and space and will be a reversion to what the Cathedral was in its past.

Secondly, while we have to be business-like in our application and in our future planning, the primary motivation remains the glory of God and the blessing of all people. Indeed, the vision is of engagement with a much wider community through spirituality, the arts and to being a place where we can offer retreats, quiet days and diverse artistic events. These are exciting times and much in need of your prayers.

As these notes are being prepared, we are in the season of St Columba, the dove of the Church. His collect expresses beautifully what we might all pray for:

Almighty God, who filled the heart of Columba with the joy of the Holy Spirit and with deep love for those in his care;
may your pilgrim people follow him, strong in faith, sustained by hope,
and one in the love that binds us to you;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
from “Exciting Holiness”

© ST. CARTHAGES CATHEDRAL 2020 | Built at Red Heaven Design
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