Picture - Alive!

No. 207 ● January 2015
240,000 Copies Nationwide
Catholic Monthly Newspaper
6th January: Feast
of the Epiphany
Pope Francis:
have a right
to a father
and mother
We need a ‘new ecology’
that values marriage
and the family
● See Page 3
Pope Francis
meets young
refugees from
Syria and Iraq
during his
recent visit to
‘Wars solve nothin
g, create new prob
lems’…..page 2
World athlete
comes home
to her faith
Page 2
● US drone strikes kill
Page 6
many innocent people
Page 9
Case exposes
‘gay’ grip on
US politics
Page 5
Secularism is
a religion in
Pages 4, 7
● Bishop sets out vision
of Catholic education
Page 13
● New series: Celebrating
the Wonder of Marriage
● The content of the newspaper Alive! and the views expressed in it are those of the editor and contributors, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Irish Dominican Province.
Mormons admit
founder had up
to 40 wives
Alive! January 2015
MORMON leaders in the
US have acknowledged
for the first time that
founder of their community had up to 40 wives,
including a 14-year-old
Some of the marriages, it is
said, were “for eternity
alone”, implying that they did
not involve sexual relations.
However, the disclosure has
shocked many members of
the Latter-day Saints.
Until now Mormon leaders
presented Smith as happily
married to his wife Emma, but
speculation on various internet sites have challenged this
An essay on the group’s
website has now admitted
that “careful estimates put
the number of wives between
30 and 40”. Some of these
women were already married
to other men.
The essay also notes that
“plural marriage was difficult
for all involved” but for Emma,
Smith’s first wife, “it was an
excruciating ordeal.”
Indeed, after Smith’s death
in 1844 Emma fiercely
opposed attempts to expand
the practice, even to the point
of denying that her husband
was ever involved in it.
Smith was a farmworker and
treasure hunter who claimed
Joseph Smith
in the late 1820s to have
found the Book of Mormom
inscribed on golden plates
and buried in upstate New
One outcome of the group’s
early practice of polygamy was
that it rapidly increased the
Mormon population.
“A substantial number of
today’s members descend
through faithful Latter-day
Saints who practised plural
marriage,” says the essay.
It argues that Smith was a
reluctant polygamist but gave
in when faced with an angel
who “came with a drawn
sword, threatening Joseph
with destruction unless he
went forward and obeyed the
commandment fully.”
Utah, the group’s home territory, abandoned polygamy in
1890 when it became part of
the United States.
A nice little earner
■ A speed camera in Cardiff raked in an estimated £800,000
in fines in the first six months after it was put in place last
year. It caught an average of 71 motorists per day breaking
the limit.
This was more than three times the amount earned by the
previous most lucrative camera, on the M60 in Manchester.
But angry drivers have claimed the 30mph speed trap is
just “a cash cow” and does nothing to improve road safety.
Research conducted by LV insurance revealed that in 2013
speed cameras cost British motorists £22million in fines.
Cross removed
■ Real Madrid football team has produced a special version
of its official badge, without a Christian cross at the top, in
what looks like an attempt to win followers in a Muslim country, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“From the looks of things, the club is willing to compromise
on aspects of its identity in pursuit of these new fans,” said
Marca.com, a website which
reports on Spanish football.
The change has provoked
cynicism among many fans,
even though the badge
remains as it was outside
the Muslim region.
The design change follows
a lucrative 3-year sponsorship deal with the National
Bank of Abu Dhabi, the lead- • Real Madrid badge with and
without the cross.
ing bank in the UAE.
Study finds US drone strikes
kill many innocent people
A CLOSE study of US drone strikes, using data available to the public, has revealed that an estimated
1,150 innocent people, many of them children, have
been killed in various attempts to “take out” 41 militants.
On 13 January 2006 drones
hit a village called Damadola
in Pakistan, killing innocent
adults and children, but
missing their target, Ayman
Zawahiri, who went on to
become al-Qaida’s leader.
Ten months later the drones
tried and failed again.
Zawahiri is still alive. But the
two attacks left 76 children
and 29 adults dead.
Qari Hussain, a deputy
commander of the Pakistani
Taliban, was killed by missiles from a Predator drone
on 15 October 2010. It was
the sixth attempt to assassinate him.
But in its efforts to kill
Obama’s favoured weapon,
the US military unintentionally ended the lives of 128
people, many of them
women, 13 of them children.
A human rights group
Reprieve has found that even
when operators target specific individuals, what Obama
calls “targeted killing”, they
kill vastly more people than
their targets.
“Drone strikes have been
sold to the American public
on the claim that they’re ‘precise’,” Reprieve’s Jennifer
Gibson told the Guardian
“But they are only as precise as the intelligence that
feeds them. There is nothing
precise about intelligence
US Drone flight
Shakira was left disfigured
by a US drone attack.
that results in the deaths of
28 unknown people, including women and children, for
every ‘bad guy’ the US goes
The numbers given in the
report, however, are only a
fraction of the total number
of people killed by US drones
Reprieve did not examine
named targets struck only
once. Nor did it examine
drone strikes that do not tar-
Top award honours
Vatican astronomer
AMERICA’S astronomers have awarded the 2014 Carl Sagan Medal, one of
planetary science’s most prestigious
honours, to a Vatican astronomer, Bro.
Guy Consolmagno (right).
The Jesuit brother, from Michigan, has
charge of the Vatican’s meteorite collection,
one of the largest in the world. His research
explores the connections between meteorites and asteroids.
The American Astronomical Society,
announcing the award, said that the Jesuit
“occupies a unique position within our profession as a credible spokesperson for scientific honesty within the context of religious
Bro. Consolmagno entered the Jesuit Order
in 1989 at the age of 37. Before that he lectured at Harvard College, MIT and in 1985
he became assistant professor of physics at
Lafayette College, in Pennsylvania.
The Sagan Medal “recognises and honours
outstanding communication by an active
planetary scientist to the general public.”
It is for “scientists whose efforts have significantly contributed to a public understanding of, and enthusiasm for, planetary science.”
‘Wars solve nothing, create new problems’
ON his recent visit to
Turkey Pope Francis met
young refugees from
Syria and Iraq and told
them that the conditions
in which so many
refugees are forced to
live are intolerable!
“Yours is the sad conse-
quence of brutal conflicts
and war, which are always
evils and which never solve
problems,” said Francis.
“Rather, they only create
new problems.”
The Pope went on to
remind political leaders that
the great majority of their
people “long for peace, even
if at times they lack the
strength and voice to
demand it.”
He thanked Turkey for its
great efforts on behalf of
refugees and called on the
international community to
provide the support that is
needed by so many people.
get specific people, but attack
people because their behaviour just looks suspicious.
A report by the US Council
on Foreign Relations reckons
that 500 drone strikes outside
of Iraq and Afghanistan have
killed at least 3,674 people.
Another problem with
monitoring the use of drones
is the secrecy surrounding
Analysts must rely on local
media reporting about their
aftermath, with all the problems that beset journalism in
dangerous or denied places.
Anonymous leaks to the
media, citing an unnamed
Pakistani official, are the only
acknowledgements that the
strikes actually occur, or target a particular individual.
“President Obama needs to
American people about the
human cost of this programme,” said Gibson.
“If even his government
doesn’t know who are filling
the body bags every time a
strike goes wrong, his claims
that this is a precise programme look like nonsense,
and the risk that it is in fact
making us less safe looks all
too real.”
on TV
■ Irish TV viewers may
accept the endless Fr Ted
repeats on RTE 2, but UK
viewers expect more.
They were not amused
when told that 2 out of 3
(63%) programmes over
Christmas would be
From 20 December to 2
January BBC1 and BBC2
would fill 331 viewing
hours with 315 repeats
such as Eastenders or old
game shows.
ITV and Channel 4 were
as bad. The four broadcasters between them
would show 670 hours of
“Viewers will wonder
why the cost of a TV
licence is not falling when
they are subjected to more
and more repeats,” said a
“They will ask why it
costs £145 a year to watch
Dad’s Army for the
umpteenth time when
they could buy the DVDs
if they wanted it on endless repeat.”
Alive! January 2015
Pope says: Children
have right to father Mass-centred spirituality
and a mother C
POPE Francis has made
an impassioned plea to
society to foster a deeper appreciation of the
true nature of marriage
and the beauty of the
family based on marriage.
He also urged people to
grasp more deeply how a
father and mother complement each other in the task
of rearing their children.
Warning that marriage is
under attack from many
sides, he called on society
to vigorously defend the natural institution, and to focus
on its essential nature and
With marriage being a relationship between a man and
a woman, he pointed out, it
is where the two sexes complement or complete each
other as persons and in their
role as parents.
“Children have a right to
grow up in a family with a
father and a mother capable
of creating a suitable environment for the child’s
development and emotional
maturity,” said the Pope.
He made his remarks at
the opening of a major conference in Rome exploring
how men and women complement
Marriage and family are rooted in this complementarity,
he noted.
The family grounded in
marriage “is the first school
where we learn to appreciate our own and others’
gifts, and where we begin to
acquire the arts of cooperative living,” said Francis.
He recognised that tensions arise in families:
between egoism and altruism, reason and passion,
immediate desires and longrange goals.
But it was important to
The two sexes
complement each other
in their role as parents.
realise that “families also
provide frameworks for
resolving such tensions,”
contributing to peace in the
Today marriage and the
family are in crisis. “We live
in a culture of the temporar y, in which more and
more people are simply giving up on marriage as a public commitment,” he said.
It was a point he had made
at an earlier meeting with
the German Schoenstatt
association of families.
Speaking without notes he
told that group that the
many attacks on the family
were “ver y sad, ver y
Various “new forms” of
unions were being proposed,
but such unions were “not
marriage,” he said. “It’s an
association but not a marriage. Sometimes we have to
say very clear things, we just
have to say it.”
He urged engaged couples
to take part in a solid preparation for marriage and to
understand the meaning of
‘forever’ which is now disputed by the “culture of the
The new forms of relationship are “totally destructive
and limit the grandeur of the
love of matrimony: so many
persons living together, and
separations and divorces.”
At the Rome conference he
noted that a revolution in
behaviour and morals “has
brought spiritual and material devastation to countless
human beings, especially
the poorest and most vulnerable.”
Francis noted that not only
the natural but the social
environment is under threat
in today’s culture and that it
is “essential that we foster
a new human ecology” that
values marriage and the
He urged the gathering to
focus on another truth about
marriage, that “permanent
commitment to solidarity,
fidelity and fruitful love
responds to the deepest longings of the human heart.”
Adults should also uphold
the dignity of marriage as an
example to young people.
He wanted young people to
with the courage to seek
true and lasting love, going
against the common pattern,” and not giving themselves to “the poisonous
environment” of temporary
Nor should people allow
themselves to be swayed by
“We cannot qualify the
family based on ideological
notions or concepts important only at one time in history,” he said.
“We can’t think of conservative or progressive notions.
Family is family. It can’t be
narrowed down by ideological notions.”
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For further info or to talk about vocation discernment,
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atholic spirituality
can take on many different shapes and
colours. We can be inspired
by the Gospel of St John or
the life of St Teresa of Avila
or the events of Fatima.
But ultimately the spirituality of every Catholic
should be centred on the
celebration of the Eucharist,
on the Mass.
This is particularly true for
priests, whose lives, whose
very being, is defined by the
Mass. A priest exists to celebrate Mass, to act in persona
Christi in offering up the
sacrifice of Calvary.
Everything else in a
priest’s life flows from this.
And that includes his spirituality, his path to holiness.
For the priest who is serious about becoming a saint,
the key question is: How do
I enter as fully as possible
into every celebration of
This question can be broken into two parts: (a) how
do I enter into the mind and
heart of Christ the priest?
and (b) how do I enter into
the mind and heart of Christ
the victim?
And each of these questions can be broken into a
further two questions: (a)
How do I enter into Christ
during Mass? We examined
this briefly last month;
And (b) how do I enter
into Christ in the rest of my
daily life, making it a continuation of the Eucharist?
Here the appeal of St Paul
to all Christians applies to a
priest in a special way:
“Present your bodies as a
living sacrifice, holy and
acceptable to God, which is
your spiritual worship”
(Roms 12,1).
Pope Benedict chose to
speak on this theme in his
first general audience of
2009, just months after his
election. His words are still
very timely (see box).
You are a living sacrifice
LET us stir up within us
the commitment to
open our minds and
hearts to Christ, to be
and to live as his true
His company will
ensure that this year,
even with its inevitable
difficulties, will be a
journey full of joy and
Only if we remain united to Jesus will the new
year be a good and
happy one. The commitment of union with Christ is the example that St Paul also
offers us.
He says: “I appeal to you, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable
to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
There is an apparent paradox in these words: while the
sacrifice normally requires the death of the victim, Paul
speaks on the contrary of the life of the Christian.
The expression “present your bodies”, independently of
the following mention of sacrifice, carries the religious
nuance of “giving as an oblation, an offering”. The exhortation “present your bodies” refers to the person in his
“Spiritual worship” does not mean less real worship or
even worship that is only metaphorical but rather a more
concrete and realistic worship.
It is a worship in which the human being himself, in his
totality as a being endowed with reason, becomes adoration, glorification of the living God.
— Pope Benedict XVI
A Happy New Year
to all our readers and supporters.
Special thanks to all of you who gave time, energy,
prayer or a donation to keep Alive! going in 2014.
Is your marriage
unloving, cold?
Do you feel alone or distant from your spouse?
Have you lost the desire to
communicate with each
Do you feel disillusioned
or bored in your marriage?
Have you separated,
divorced, or are you thinking of doing so,
but want to try again?
The Retrouvaille
programme can help you
recover your marriage.
Next weekend:
13th-15th February
2015 in Dublin
Contact: Tony & Anne
01-4953536; Mike &
Anne 01-4500922
Or text or call 086-4135440
Alive! January 2015
State imposing its own religion on us
by Gerard Murphy
IN A recent TV interview Agriculture Minister Simon
Coveney stated that he “makes decisions on behalf of lots of
non-Catholics, lots of non-Christians,” and that “government decisions should not be taken on the basis of religion.”
Rather, decisions “should be
taken on the basis of equality
and of what is a reality in a
Simon is not the first Minister
to declare himself a Catholic
and then disclose that his faith
does not affect his decisionmaking. Indeed, this seems to
be a widespread mentality in
Irish politics.
We could examine what it
means to be a Catholic and
how that should shape one’s
decisions. But that is for another day.
Here I want to look at what
does shape the politicians’
decisions, particularly Simon’s
focus on “equality”. Others
would add in “tolerance”,
“rights”, “freedom of choice”,
There are massive problems
with each of these notions. For
example, did Fine Gael consider “equality” for unborn children when voting to legalise
abortion up to birth? Again,
that’s for another day.
But why would a Minister
think that equality, tolerance,
rights, etc should be the basis
for government decisions?
What makes these notions
acceptable in decision-making?
They are fashionable, of
course, so ministers can feel
self-satisfied that they have
conformed to “modern” standards, something clearly
important for Simon.
Why are they fashionable in
• Minister Simon Coveney
does base his decisions
on religious grounds.
Western countries? Principally,
it seems, because they provide
a substitute for “religious”
moral principles.
If, as Simon says, “government decisions should not be
taken on the basis of religion,”
then equality, etc. appear to be
the only alternative basis.
These principles, we are told,
are based in “reason” not in
“faith”, so one’s religion can be
practised in private while the
public life is ruled by reason.
And everyone, Catholic,
Protestant, Muslim or atheist
can be happy.
However, once we start probing it emerges that matters are
not so simple. None of these
principles is really much help
in deciding how we should act.
The call to be tolerant doesn’t
tell us what we should tolerate. Drug-dealing, for example? Family betrayal through
adultery? Or how do we
square a “right to choose” with
“the right to life”?
In fact, it turns out that each
of these notions has become
simply a disguise for self-will,
especially the self-assertion of
the powerful. Calling what I
Monthly Musings
with guest columnist, Rebecca Roughneen
Rebecca is the Creative Director for Youth Defence
A ‘drop box’ for babies
THE Drop Box movie is a heartwarming documentary featuring a pastor
in Korea who adopts unwanted
babies who have been left on his
After a disabled baby boy was abandoned in a cardboard box at his
church in Seoul in 2009 Pastor Lee
(right) came up with the idea of the
Drop Box.
“The prejudice against disabled
people is severe,” said Lee. “People
neglect them. They find them repugnant. They don’t treat them as human
“Had these children gone elsewhere, they would have died. I’m
glad they’ve come here. I’m so thankful that I’m able to help them.”
The Drop Box allows mothers to
have their baby and leave him or her
in a safe, warm place.
South Korea has one of the highest
abortion rates in the world, and disabled babies are viewed as disposable.
Banning an
offensive term
EVERY Life Counts recently launched
its Compatible with Life, Compatible
with Love campaign.
The organisation is led by the families of children who were diagnosed
before or shortly after birth with a
profound disability, and might not live
long after birth.
They teamed up with Tipperary TD
Pope Francis prayed at an aborted
children memorial during a recent
visit to South Korea.
Abortion, he said, is evidence of
“the throwaway culture”, and “it’s
horrific to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will
never see the light of day.”
Recently, I had the privilege of
meeting teenager Josiah Presley at the
Love Life Festival in Dublin.
Josiah was born and placed for
adoption in South Korea. His mother
Mattie McGrath to launch what will
be a ground-breaking Private
Members Bill.
Campaign members seek an end to
use of the term “incompatible with
For them it’s a callous, offensive
term often used unfeelingly when
parents receive the devastating diagnosis that their baby has a profound
Such language, plus a lack of suitable perinatal hospice care, can
leave families facing a bleak situa-
had attempted to have an abortion
while pregnant.
Josiah survived, thank God, but he
bears a disability, probably due to the
attempt on his life before birth.
“Often people look down on people
with disabilities like myself,” he says.
“We need to remember that these are
people. To a degree, I would say we
all have disabilities.
“We all have our limits, and for disabled people their limits may just be
a little lower than others’, but we’re
still precious, we still have value and
people should respect that.”
The Drop Box movie challenges how
we view “unwanted” or disabled
children. Pastor Lee said “I adopted
these children because God adopted
This movie, for release in March,
challenges us all to give more, to do
more for babies such as these. It’s
inspiring to see the difference one
person can make.
The term robs a child of his or her
humanity, and is medically inaccurate, since these babies are alive in
their mothers’ womb.
It makes a very difficult time for
parents so much worse. Often the
parents are pushed towards aborting
their little sick babies.
• See www.everylifecounts.ie for
beautiful videos, stories of love, precious memories and hope.
RIGHT: Members of Every Life Counts.
want a “right” is a clever ploy,
making my demand sound
“reasonable” and not simply
The truth is that the effort
over four centuries to find a
rational basis for morality
apart from religion has failed
again and again. The great failures in this dismal history
include Hobbes, Descartes,
Bentham, Hume, Kant and
All we are left with is
“choice”, “what I want”, toddler morality dressed up in
fine sounding words.
When we examine this history of failure it turns out that
each of the proposed moral
systems was rooted in a particular view of what it is to be
human, what the purpose of
life is.
Ultimately it was rooted in a
particular view of God, his
existence, his involvement
with humanity, what he has
revealed or not, what he
expects from us, etc.
The same is true of today’s
secularist morality, it is rooted
in a definite view of God,
though this is ignored.
In Secularism God may or
may not exist, but either way,
he’s to be ignored. We are on
our own. What happens after
death, if anything, is of no
interest. And we have to concoct our own “values”.
Secularism, then, is as much
a religion as is Islam or
Catholicism. The State tries to
hide this because admitting it
would shatter its game plan,
and it has no other plan.
But a false religion and a
false, destructive morality are
being imposed on our society.
The fightback needs to begin
Take one step more
THIS summer I spent a week on the ancient pilgrim route,
the Camino to Santiago de Compostella in Spain, the final
resting place of St James the Apostle.
I took the Camino Del Norte route, along the breathtaking
rocky coast of Spain, beginning in Irún and ending in the
beautiful city of Bilbao.
It is very challenging physically, but most difficult is the
time you have alone with your thoughts on a mountain
side, all your belongings in a pack on your back.
This forces you to consider where you’re at in life, your
values, what you hold dear, what you should do when you
return home, time to reflect, to pray.
My Camino took me across the Basque mountains. Often,
we saw tiny but beautiful chapels in the woods or high up
on a mountain.
Sadly in this part of Spain these little ‘Hermitas’ were
often locked. Locals told me they were often victim to antiCatholic vandalism.
My favourite aspect of the Camino was meeting people
from all walks of life, backgrounds, and faiths (and of no
faith), from across the world.
On the ‘Way’, everyone is a pilgrim. We each had our
struggles and, as pilgrims, helped each other as best we
The Camino was like our journey through life. We all have
baggage to carry, hills to climb, good and bad days, but we
can help each other through it.
As the New Year begins, I am reminded of the many resolutions I made on my Camino: trying to better myself, eating healthier, getting fit (thanks to the mountains), praying
more – all of which I’ve found difficult at times to adhere to.
But my Camino walk reminds me that to continue on our
journey we must simply take one step more.
As Mother Teresa said: “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has
not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
Alive! January 2015
CARDINAL Vincent Nichols of Westminster has said
he was shocked by a recent trip he made to Gaza.
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Two children stand amid
the rubble in Gaza.
the extremists” was taking
over in the Middle East. And
in a veiled message to
Israeli authorities he called
on leaders to find a political
solution and “not be satisfied with a security or military response.”
He also highlighted the
plight of “the innocent citizens of Gaza caught in a
vice of conflicting ideologies
– an almost impossible situation for them.”
MPs take first
step to protect
baby girls
BRITAIN’S MPs voted 181 to 1 for a motion declaring
that “sex-selection” abortion is illegal. But this is
only the first stage in a bid to make the law clearer.
The move followed a decision by the DPP not to bring
charges against two doctors whom the Telegraph caught on
camera agreeing to arrange abortions of baby girls purely
because of their sex.
A statement from the DPP said that doctors had “wide discretion” in deciding whether continuing a pregnancy could
threaten the physical or mental health of the mother or her
existing children.
Fiona Bruce MP, the driving force behind the motion, singled out the BPAS, which kills about 60,000 unborn children
per year, for special mention.
“Even today they are advising women in one of their leaflets
and on their website that abortion for reasons of foetal sex
is not illegal because the law is silent on the matter,” she
Major issue
The Medical Association was little better. “They argue that
having a child of a particular gender may be a legal and ethical justification for an abortion on the basis that the child’s
sex may severely affect the pregnant woman’s mental
health,” said Bruce.
With new technology available the abortion of babies simply because they are girls is turning into a major issue for
It is already a serious problem in parts of China, India and
Pakistan but thanks to immigration is now spreading to western countries.
Feminists are divided on the issue, some wanting to sacrifice baby girls for the sake of “women’s right to choose” and
others wanting to limit choice to protect the babies.
I wish to support Alive!. Enclosed is my donation for
Among the places he visited was an orphanage run by
nuns which cares for dozens
of traumatised children,
some of them given up by
parents unable to care for
He also visited a hospital
and an industrial zone, both
of them badly damaged by
Israeli air strikes and
shelling in the last bombardment of Gaza.
The archbishop told the
Guardian he had seen “a
deeply depressing situation
in a devastated region
where people are trapped”
and was “shocked at the
effects of war and endemic
He added: “It’s astonishing the number of people
who appear to have nothing
to do, people just sitting on
the streets. There is only the
barest sense of order. This
economy is not going to be
able to support its population.”
He warned that the “rule of
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Abuse case exposes ‘gay’
grip on US politics
TERRY BEAN, a major
fundraiser for Barack
America’s most influential
campaigners for the “gay
agenda”, has been arrested
and charged with having
sex with a young teenage
boy on two occasions in
Bean was arrested at his
home in Portland, Oregon.
He has denied the child rape
allegation, claiming it is
linked with an attempt to
blackmail him.
His 25-year-old boyfriend
at the time has also been
arrested in connection with
the same incidents.
According to police, “the
indictment charges Bean
with two counts of 3rd
degree sodomy (a felony
that carries a jail sentence)
and one count of 3rd degree
sex abuse.”
His arrest comes after a 5month investigation into
claims that he made secret
video recordings of encounters with his then boyfriend
and other men in his bedroom.
The case, however, is particularly important because
it shines a light on the extraordinary hold the gay lobby
Democratic Party, going
right to the top, and on
Obama himself.
It will be a major embarrassment for the Party if it
turns out that one of its big
fund-raisers and string-
Terry Bean
pullers is a paedophile.
Bean, aged 66, a wealthy
property developer, was a
founder of the Human
Rights Campaign (HRC), the
world’s largest, wealthiest
and most powerful organisation dedicated to fighting
for homosexual demands.
The Campaign backed Bill
Clinton for President in 1992
and was rewarded afterwards with an official meeting of its leaders with the
new President to promote
the gay agenda.
It boasts on its website that
it “worked tirelessly across
the country” to elect Obama
in 2008, “from raising
money online to rallying
volunteers in key states.”
One year later it got its
payback when Obama, then
US President, was the
keynote speaker at the
homosexual group’s annual
National Dinner.
It endorsed Obama again
in 2012, and committed itself
to getting him re-elected,
“mobilising thousands of
volunteers, steering committee members, and HRC staff
around the country.”
Bean himself is reported to
have donated more than $1
million to HRC, and his
arrest came just a few days
before its major fundraiser
for gay demands in Boston.
The media have lauded him
as Obama’s top money-raiser
in Oregon state, and Obama
himself, having received a
donation from him of
$500,000, described him as a
“great friend and supporter.”
Indeed, he shared a
Christmas visit with Michelle
Obama at the White House
and has travelled with
Obama on Air Force One,
though the photos have now
been removed from his
Facebook page.
It would be no surprise
then, if he played a significant role in Obama’s rapid
“evolution” from being
against same-sex “marriage”
before his election to becoming one of the most fanatical
campaigners for “gay”
demands both in the US and
Researchers have found
that Bean also repeatedly
gave thousands of dollars in
donations to the Democratic
Party’s most powerful figures, leaving many of them,
including Hillary Clinton,
deeply indebted to him.
Bean’s arrest has, however,
been played down by most of
the US media. Newsbusters
website pointed out that
CNN covered the story but
the big three TV networks
censored it, remaining silent
about it.
“An alleged child rapist
who has travelled on Air
Force One isn’t something
that happens every day. But
the story got almost no
national attention,” said USA
Journalist Brett M. Decker
of the White House Writers
Group pointed out that if one
of George Bush’s “bundlers”
had been charged with child
rape, “the media feeding
frenzy would have been
uncontrollable – which
would be legitimate given the
severity of the allegation.”
So, the silence surrounding
the Bean arrest, he said,
media’s partisan double
standard in obscene detail.”
Alive! January 2015
We need to think
Top athlete
about resolutions
‘comes home’
FORUM to her faith
Scottish pupils
given mad advice
with Anne Nolan
magine a school
where the pupils
were told that
cheating at exams
was risky but since
some were going to
cheat they should
read the school’s
booklet on how to
get away with it.
Or where pupils
were asked not to
bully other pupils,
but since some were
going to bully others, they should
read the tips pinned
on the classroom
door on how to avoid
being caught.
think the teachers
were all crackpots. Nor would you be impressed if the
teachers argued that some pupils were going to cheat
or to bully anyway, so they should do it safely.
If they explained that they were being “non-judgmental” about such behaviour you would rightly think they
were suffering from melted brain.
Well, melted brain seems to be a big problem in
Edinburgh at the moment where the city council has
produced a booklet for 13 to 25-year-olds.
The booklet contains “tips” on how to “stay safe”
when taking drugs, drinking alcohol or having casual
sex. And schools have started handing it out to pupils
as young as 13.
The pupils are advised to “sleep well” before and
after snorting cocaine, to avoid mixing it with alcohol,
to “wash out your nose after each session” and to
“avoid sharing rolled-up bank notes or straws.”
If taking ecstasy, the teenagers are told to “start
with half a pill and wait at least two hours before redosing” and to “sip water regularly” but no more than
“one pint an hour.”
They should “take regular breaks from dancing to
cool down,” and only take “short puffs” of cannabis if
inhaling. The advice on sex is too gross to repeat here.
The booklet, which treats 13-year-olds as if they were
25, or the other way round, says it gives “non-judgmental, accurate information about alcohol and other
drugs and how to stay safe.”
First of all this mention of “how to stay safe” is
deeply dishonest, it is a dangerous lie that will seriously mislead lots of young people.
There is no “safe” way to engage in casual sex or
drugs. The schools might as well be giving advice on
how to “stay safe” when putting your bare hand in boiling oil.
Secondly, these adults have little respect for
teenagers, they expect so little from them. Instead of
calling young people to greatness they endanger
them, and spread their own moral confusion.
Thirdly, this advice is coming from a bunch of adults
who haven’t the courage to stand up for what is right
and condemn what is wrong or bad. How could young
people trust or respect such foolish cowards?
lanka Vlasic from
Croatia is one of the
best high jumpers in
the history of athletics, and
was declared the women’s
World Athlete of the Year in
Recently she was in Rome
to speak at a conference on
sport, organised by Italy’s
Olympic Committee and the
Vatican. The theme was the
benefits of sport for body
and soul.
In an interview with Zenit
Blanka, aged 30, spoke about
her return to the practice of
her Catholic faith, and how it
gives her the strength to face
suffering and disappointment.
“I grew up in a Catholic
home but our faith was more
of a tradition, and after our
Confirmation it was not even
that,” she said. “It was only
recently that Mum and Dad
were married in the Church.”
The family had the usual
ups and downs, but without
Christ at the centre they often
made decisions which led to
anger and even alienation
from each other.
In 2012 Blanka had an ankle
operation and an infection set
in. She found the road to
recovery and the return to
jumping very tough.
At the time she had fallen
out with her eldest brother,
Marin. “We weren’t as close
as we had been and I didn’t
know what was going on in
his life,” she said.
He too had an ankle problem (from basketball) and
major health problems, but
Blanka wasn’t aware that he
had begun once again to
attend Mass.
So she was “quite astonished” when he told her one
day that he was praying for
her. “I was shocked, this wasn’t the Marin I knew,” she
She continued: “He started
to talk to me about God, conversion and how Jesus reaches out to us. At first, I put a
high wall around myself, but
the Holy Spirit was at work,
as all walls eventually fall
down like a tower of cards.
“I’ll never forget that special
moment of grace. My tears
started to fall and suddenly
everything became crystal
“It was as if I had been
Blanka Vlasic competing in
a high jumping event.
brought up in the faith my
whole life and everything I
never thought about, I suddenly knew. Jesus took the
place in my soul where he was
always meant to be, like a
missing piece of a puzzle.
“That night I fell asleep calm
and I thought: ‘whatever happens in the future, should I
jump again or not, the Lord is
with me and I have nothing to
fear.’ I started to go to Mass
regularly, to confession and to
receive Communion.”
In 2013, she publicly supported the referendum campaign
to have marriage legally
defined as the union of a man
and a woman, stating, “every
family should begin with a
man and a woman.”
Despite opposition from
Croatia’s leftwing government
and most of the media, the referendum was supported by
two thirds of voters.
Asked about the Rome conference, Blanka remarked that
people are not strong enough
to simply rely on themselves,
yet today’s world promotes
such thinking, seeing everything else as a weakness.
“We have been taught to hide
our flaws behind a mask of
‘strength and self-confidence’,
which is just a smokescreen
that disappears at the first sign
of trouble,” she said.
“Only when we turn and
look to Jesus can we find the
meaning of the cross, which
we always seem to run away
For her, “as an athlete who is
in the public spotlight, life is
easier and more complete
knowing God’s mercy and
infinite love. A feeling, in fact,
of coming home,” she said.
by Caitriona Lynch
have come to the conclusion that one of the reasons I do not stick to my
new year resolutions is that
I try to do to many things at
Even if I had been wise
enough to stick to one
issue, for example, keeping
my room tidy, I’d insist that
I’d have to do 10 things
every day to have it tidy.
Invariably I would stick to
my plan for a week and then
things would begin to fall
We are now told by the
powers that be that it takes
at least 21 days to adapt a
new discipline into your routine. It seems to me, however, that in fact it takes more
like 60 days.
In light of that, one very
good piece of advice I was
given, was to decide on one
action, and one action only.
Do that repeatedly every day
for 8 weeks. Then and only
then should you move on to
your next action.
So I made the decision to
make the bed before I left
the bedroom in the morning.
Or maybe, in caring for
myself, I’d decide to walk for
5 mins away from the house
and then 5 mins back.
It was so much easier to
do and I was less inclined
to drop it than I would be if
going to a session in the
Frequently in the past
things would crop up that
put the trip to the gym on
the long finger. However no
matter what happened I
could take my self or my
bike out for ten minutes.
Using this analogy I could
You’ve got
make 6 changes to my life a
year. As regards a healthy
body, walking ten minutes a
day and eating 116 calories
less per day than you normally do could result in a
loss of one stone weight a
So maybe ask yourself
what 10 or 12 things you can
do this year to improve the
relationships in your family.
Here are a few suggestions:
1. Take 10 minutes a day
either writing or texting or
emailing an encouraging
note to a member of your
2. Maybe take a few minutes to have a cup of tea
and a sandwich ready for
someone when he or she
comes in tired and hungry.
3. Take some time you listen to the person you feel is
listened to least in the family.
4. Spend a quiet ten minutes every day to put yourself undisturbed in God’s
It’s amazing what new
things you can make a part
of your life with just 10 minutes a day.
Be part of, and help to promote, the
Ictus Movement
● Praying and fasting for the legal
protection of human life at all its stages
● Keeping society alert to respect for
human life as a serious moral issue
What Is Asked Of You:
● Prayer: Take part in Mass and Holy Communion
on the 1st Friday of each month (Ictus Friday);
● Fasting: Abstain from meat each 1st Friday. This
public witness helps to establish solidarity in the
prolife cause.
● Mission: Invite others to join the Ictus Movement
To receive a monthly reminder for the First Friday or a
reminder for the parish notices/newsletter please email us.
Alive! January 2015
A closer look at
stories in the
Is Christian unity
still on the cards?
IN The Unintended Reformation, US historian Brad
Gregory outlines the impact on Western history of
the key Protestant principle, “sola Scriptura”,
Scripture alone.
This principle claimed that God spoke directly to
each person through Scripture, so there was no need
for a teaching authority to explain what anyone
should believe – God’s word was enough.
The principle reflected, and further boosted, the
growing individualism of the time, and was badly
tainted with arrogance.
Not only the Church’s teaching authority could be
ignored, but also the insights and wisdom of earlier
saints and theologians, in favour of one’s own personal opinion.
Catholics often ask what Protestants believe. They
assume that Protestants hold to a unified body of
teaching, similar to the Catholic Church’s teaching
summarised in the Catechism.
This, however, is a serious misunderstanding of
Protestantism. As Gregory shows, from the very
beginning of the Reformation, the only thing that
united Protestants was their rejection of the
Church’s authority to teach and what she taught.
It was soon clear that the Scripture was telling
something very different to each person who read it.
The Reformation split into two general patterns.
Some reformers, like Luther or Calvin, backed by
local political leaders, succeeded in imposing a state
religion. England under Henry VIII did likewise.
But these reformers often despised each other and
rejected each other’s teachings, whether on the
Eucharist, the role of the Spirit, infant baptism, and
so on.
The other pattern saw a huge multitude of little
communities, each with its own beliefs. They hadn’t
rejected the Pope to be told by a king, a political
leader or some theologian what to believe!
And if any disagreed with some teaching in their
own little community they broke away and formed
a new grouping with its own unique beliefs. The
same pattern is now happening more and more
right through Protestantism.
This month we celebrate
Christian Unity Week. But
it’s no longer clear what this
is about. We can have
friendly relations at a local
level, but we have to admit
that thanks to sola Scriptura,
unity in both doctrinal and
moral beliefs is getting ever
farther away.
John Calvin
Secularism is a religion in disguise
IN a recent homily the
remarked on the deep hold
that secularism has taken on
Irish life.
The whole society, said Dr.
Neary, knows “that a great
struggle, social, political,
intellectual and profoundly
cultural has been fought. And
that we have lost.”
But did this great struggle
really happen? What evidence is there for it, apart
from a few small skirmishes?
Did not the Church in
Ireland simply capitulate,
step by step, to secularism,
with barely a flicker of resistance, the latest stage being
the debacle in the St VdeP
Instant surrender has generally been the strategy adopt-
ed by our generals and officer
corps, both clerical and lay.
have maintained, at best, a
prolonged, negligent, fearful
silence on issue after issue.
With many lay Catholic
leaders the situation is worse.
From journalists to government ministers, from college
lecturers to school principals,
they have been intellectually
captured by secularism.
And like Isis captives, but
without the captives’ excuse,
they have adopted the religion of their captors, often
becoming its fanatical advocates.
Far from being over, however, the social, political, intellectual and cultural struggle
has not even begun. And
when it does begin both sides
Neglect of Mass
is root of problem
THE biggest crisis facing
the Church in the western
world today is the fact that
vast numbers of Catholics
no longer take part in
Sunday Mass.
This may not seem like a
crisis since few people seem
to be bothered by it and
there appears to be little
urgency in discussing how
to respond to it.
But it is an utter disaster,
especially for those who
have fallen away. When
people stop practising their
faith they begin a journey
away from it, and soon no
longer even know what
they should believe, in doctrinal or moral matters.
What we see today in so
many lives are religious
ruins, with hardly one stone
standing on another.
People no longer even
think of God, much less
worship him or, at best,
they concoct an individualistic religion to suit their
own tastes. This is idolatry.
But the loss of faith is also
a disaster for society. A society without ultimate hope
has no future. Nor can
objective morality survive
without a religious foundation, as experience over 400
years has shown.
Finally, it is a disaster for
the Church. How can she
fulfil her Christ-given mission to bring the gospel to
the whole world when so
many of her members have
A religion to suit one’s
own taste.
walked away?
Tragically, the crisis is, to a
large extent, of the Church’s
own making. Obviously the
various scandals have done
immense harm.
But long before that, inadequate preaching and teaching, especially about the
Mass, left many people spiritually deprived.
How could we have continued for generations to teach
little children that the Blessed
Eucharist was “holy bread”,
whatever that might be?
Worse still, for 60 years theologians have downplayed
the Mass as a sacrifice in
favour of the community
meal dimension. St John Paul
II tried to change this but
much still needs to be done.
Ultimately there is only
one reason for taking part
in Mass, and that is because
of what it is: the sacrifice of
Calvary made present for
us, forming community.
Only when we recognise
and proclaim the true wonder of the Eucharist can we
hope for a renewal of the
Catholic faith.
• Secularism, like Islam, is a
are in for a huge surprise.
They will discover that secularism is a massive confidence
“weapons” are made of cardboard. We have no need
whatever to fear it or its
At the core of this deception
is the true nature of secularism, what it really is.
Liberalism or secularism
has always presented itself as
a “neutral space” between
the various religions, a place
of reason alone where believers of all kinds can meet and
Looking at it closely, however, we discover that, in fact,
it lacks any real respect for
reason. Rather, it advances
principally by suppressing
debate and manipulating
Far from being “neutral” it
is, in fact, a religion, with its
own beliefs about God (if he
exists he’s irrelevant), about
the meaning of life (consumerism is the path to happiness) and about morality
(each of us makes his or her
own rules).
It’s attraction, especially for
money or power elites, is that
excluding God allows us free
range for our own desires,
pleasures and ambitions.
Secularism promises “freedom” but it’s a distorted freedom, flowing from a distorted understanding of human
It promises “equality” and
“tolerance”, but delivers violence and even terrorism, the
oppression of the weakest,
especially children, the rule
of the powerful and, ultimately, despair.
Why would we esteem, or
even fear such junk ideas and
practices? Casting off fear,
the whole Church in Ireland
must arm itself with truth,
love and zeal and confront
this disguised religion.
Above all, it must vigorously proclaim the Gospel of
Christ with the joy, freedom,
hope and peace it brings.
Using bogus science
A NEWBORN baby boy who survived for five days without food
or fluids was recently found in a drain in Sydney.
Commenting on the baby’s survival a prominent Australian
obstetrician claimed that babies have evolved to be able to live for
days without feeding.
“If it has underlying good health - they’re evolved to be able to
withstand malnutrition in the first few days,” he said.
The mention of evolution here was bogus science. There is no
concrete evidence that babies have “evolved” in this way.
Perhaps the doctor just wanted to sound more authoritative,
“scientific”. As if we needed an “expert” to tell us what is evident
from this case: that a newborn baby can survive for days without
“It’s my body”
DRUG addicts have begun selling a new
magazine, Illegal, in London. The aim of
the venture is to allow addicts to earn
money for drugs rather than resorting to
theft and prostitution.
Illegal, an English version of a Danish
quarterly, seeks to make drug use more
acceptable. The theme of the first issue is
“safer and more enjoyable drug use”.
The foreword states: “Everyone has a right to do with their body
as they wish and, if that means a two-day acid trip in Camden or
an ecstasy-fuelled night in Shoreditch, then so be it.”
A slogan that is used to justify the abortion of babies, “no fault”
divorce and casual sex is now being used to argue for the social
and legal acceptance of hard drugs use.
The case here is based on “the right to choose”, the core of selfcentred secularist or ‘humanistic’ morality.
And once we accept secularism, with its exclusion of God and its
dead-end view of life, there is no real argument against these positions.
The only way out of this moral quagmire is to recognise that
there is an objective or God-given morality.
FILM Review
Alive! January 2015
Dawn of the
Planet of the Apes
20th Century Fox - Directed by Matt Reeves
Peace or war?
cience fiction is a terrific genre for looking at mankind.
50 years on from the classic Planet of the Apes, is the
metaphor of a world ruled by apes still relevant?
This blockbuster sequel is set ten years after a man-made
virus has wiped out the vast majority of humanity. Scientific
follies have also resulted in apes becoming more intelligent.
That species has occupied the forests and flourished whilst
the remnants of mankind are left cowering in the ruined former cities. This film is told mostly from the apes’ viewpoint.
They have developed into a society with hunters, teachers
and healers. Their leader, Caesar (Andy Serkis), rules with a
firm hand but with compassion and a deep sense of responsibility.
Like all great leaders he worries about his community, fearing that one day mankind will emerge again. History shows us
that the greatest challenge for any society is co-existing with
another society.
Herein lies the theme of this film. A small band of humans
led by a man called Malcolm (Jason Clarke) arrive at the apes’
village and request access to a disused dam that can re-power
and save their city.
Malcolm is a humble man and gradually he and Caesar learn
to trust and help each other. But other apes, led by Koba, had
suffered cruelty under humans and do not want peace.
As apekind’s intelligence has advanced, so has its tendencies for bigotry, deceit and hatred. As with humans, division
and war among the apes is inevitable. This movie warns of our
worst potentials.
It has some stunning imagery, created by extremely complex
visual effects. The complexities of the characters are even
more interesting.
Rather than portray the clichés of cruel humans and victim
animals, there is nobility, sacrifice, cowardice and betrayal on
both sides—a microcosm of the challenges within every society and every culture in our richly diverse world.
Ads for Avonmore and condoms
■ After the Nine O’Clock News
(4/12/14) a Prime Time report
on RTE 1 explored how young
people using social media
leave themselves open to sexual exploitation and worse.
Aoife Hegarty’s 35-minute report highlighted the dangers of
these media and the major concern that adults are using social
media to “groom” young people for sex.
But before the programme, and just after Avonmore’s nightly
family-friendly ad, RTE broadcast an expensive advert for condoms.
Highly suggestive, it glamorised casual sex, and said nothing
of a possible pregnancy, the danger of sexually transmitted diseases or the failure rate of condoms.
It could be argued that this itself was a polished form of sexual grooming.
No wonder young people are confused about sex when they
receive such contradictory messages from morally confused
• Call Avonmore, Tel: 1850 202366.
Fury at ‘death knock’ exposé
■ It’s known in media circles as “The Death Knock”,
a journalist turning up at
the home of a person who
has died tragically, looking
for pictures, information or
a statement from the family.
We see the results in
newspapers and on TV
news bulletins almost
daily, but do we ever question the media intrusion
into the grief of a family
which may be in shock and
deep distress?
Journalist Darragh Peter
Murphy has come under
fire from other reporters
since he revealed this ugly
side of the news business.
“It’s a practice carried out
by at least one Irish newspaper reporter every day of
the week,” wrote Murphy.
“After the death or serious
injury of any Irish person,
the same procedure applies
In an unsigned piece for
the Irish Times (30/9/14)
Murphy wrote: “I have
heard, on multiple occasions, news editors cheering at the news of a tragedy
involving an attractive
Even when a baby dies,
he said, “the pressure is on
reporters from radio and
TV stations to talk to the
family and to get the allimportant quotes and pictures.”
He told how a colleague
had once been sent to the
funeral of a young GAA
He was ordered by his
editor “to pressure the dead
man’s parents to leave their
only son’s funeral, walk to
the local pitch, and stand in
the goalmouth holding his
‘Dole queue’
At one death knock
almost a dozen news and
radio journalists and photographers were scrumming outside the home of
an accident victim.
A senior reporter advised
the family “if you just give
us a few words and a picture, that’d be the end of
Murphy hung back, but
couldn’t leave. “If you’re
the only reporter without a
picture or quotes in the
next day’s paper, you
might as well be joining the
dole queue,” he said.
Reporter: I’ve heard editors
cheering at the news of
a tragedy involving an
attractive woman.
After three hours of harrassment from reporters,
the grieving family finally
gave the media what they
were looking for.
The journalist commented: “Maybe the real disgrace is not that we are
ordered to be so insensitive,
but that we acquiesce in
being so.”
But if Murphy thought he
could protect himself by
anonymity he was badly
mistaken. “Within hours of
the piece being published,
the finest minds of the
Sunday World’s investigative
unit took to social media to
name me as its author,” he
wrote in his blog.
“The reaction from some
of the country’s foremost
death-knockers was vitriolic.”
He was warned by the
news editor in one paper to
“watch” himself, and told
by another reporter that
“the first rule of hackery
[journalism] is that we
don’t talk about hackery.”
In a piece for the Sunday
Times (30/11/14) Murphy
wrote: “It was disheartening to see some journalists,
supposed upholders of free
speech, attempting to
silence debate on a matter
that affects untold numbers
of grieving families every
They reacted “just like
every other threatened
power structure that is
faced with an examination
of its practices.”
He questioned the morality of private companies dispatching reporters to the
doors of distressed families
to extract the maximum
amount of information, pictures, and gory details in
order to repackage and sell
it at a profit.
He was glad that he told
the truth despite the damage it may have done to his
job prospects.
“For a couple of days
though,” he wrote, “I could
feel what it must be like to
be hounded by death
phonecalls, texts and
“Well used to the rough
and tumble of the fourth
estate, I can take it. I’m not
grieving, after all.”
Who now has the power in politics?
■ George Monbiot, a columnist
with the Guardian, recently did a
series of articles examining the
colossal power big business exercises over government decision-making in the UK.
We can take it that what he wrote
about Britain applies in Ireland too,
maybe even more so, since politicians here have even less power to
resist these multinational businesses.
“Do you wonder why those who
want a kind, decent and just world
so often appear to be opposed by the
entire political establishment?,”
asked Monbiot (8/12/14).
Or why there is a “severe limitation of political choice” in a nation
“crying out for alternatives?” No
real choice is certainly a problem in
Ireland too.
Even leftwing parties, he pointed
out, “seem incapable of offering
effective opposition to market fundamentalism, let alone proposing
coherent alternatives.”
The answer to these and similar
questions is that big business or corporate power is responsible for the
undermining of democracy.
There are many ways in which
The whole world in his hands!
Pic by Nicola Jennings
these giant corporations operate,
Monbiot explained.
Perhaps the most obvious “is
through our unreformed political
funding system, which permits big
business and multi-millionaires in
effect to buy political parties.”
And “once a party is obliged to
them, it needs little reminder of
where its interests lie. Fear and
favour rule.”
Monbiot was not giving just his
own outsider opinion. Before the
last election, he recalled, David
Cameron himself, now prime minister, had warned about the whole
lobbying industry.
“It is the next big scandal waiting
to happen,” said Cameron. “…an
issue that exposes the far-too-cosy
relationship between politics, government, business and money.”
And he added: “Secret corporate
lobbying, like the expenses scandal,
goes to the heart of why people are
so fed up with politics.” In power,
however, “Cameron has ensured
that the scandal continued.”
There is also the problem of officials keeping an eye on their own
ambitions and future interests.
“Ministers and civil servants know
that if they keep faith with corporations in office they will be assured of
lucrative directorships in retirement,” said the journalist.
With so many major decisions now
made at global level and beyond the
influence of voters, multinational
business and its lobbyists fill the
political gap.
For Monbiot “the key political
question of our age, by which you
can judge the intent of all political
parties, is what to do about corporate power.” It is a question “perennially neglected within both politics
and the media.”
Alive! January 2015
COMMENT Bishop sets out vision
St. Mary’s Priory, Tallaght, Dublin 24.
Tel: 01-4048187 Fax: 01-4596784 E-mail: alivepaper@gmail.com
Protect marriage
The loving union of a man and woman to procreate
and rear children is the most remarkable and wonderful institution in the world. It existed before state or
religion and is the basis of every society in history.
Utterly unique, no other relationship is anything like
it, so we give it a unique name: marriage.
For health or age reasons not every marriage leads to
children, but procreation in love remains its intrinsic
It is in the family that children learn from both father
and mother, complementing each other, the joy of
being loved, how to love, the sacrifices that are
It is in the family that the foundations of justice,
peace and civilisation are laid, for the benefit of the
whole community.
From the beginning, of course, and due to human
selfishness and sin, the family has been wounded in a
multitude of ways.
It has been wounded from within by self-centredness,
abuse, adultery, cohabitation, violence, contraception,
divorce, polygamy and so on.
It has been wounded from without by famine, unemployment, emigration, and recently by anti-family state
policies and destructive UN and EU ideologies.
More and more we see how undermining marriage
and the family causes immense suffering, especially to
children but also to spouses and the whole society.
Until recent times we did not even question the
importance of marriage and the family. “Blood is thicker than water” summed up our esteem for them.
But today we can no longer take them for granted.
They are under attack as never before in history.
Today we must deepen our appreciation for this
fundamental unit of society and do everything possible to protect it.
‘The greatest work on earth’
— St John Paul II —
of Catholic education
BISHOP Kevin Doran has
outlined in broad terms
the Catholic view of education, the primary role
of parents and the place
of the Catholic school in
forming young people.
For him the key issue was
the dignity of children, their
happiness and their purpose
in life.
In his first pastoral letter,
entitled A Future Full of
Hope, Bishop Doran reminded politicians, with all their
change, that the economy is
for children, not children for
the economy.
As a result, schools must
look to the education of the
whole person, without ignoring the essential needs of
the economy.
Bishop Doran first posed
the fundamental question,
“For what are we raising our
children?” He listed some of
parents’ practical hopes,
then pointed out that it is
above all for a relationship
with God that children are
“It is in this friendship with
a loving God that they will
find their true and lasting
happiness,” he said. But
how, in fact, can parents be
“the best of teachers” in the
ways of faith?
“If Jesus is spoken about
in your home,” said Bishop
Doran, “if there are pictures
or books about his life that
the children can identify
with; if there is a prayer at
mealtimes and at night, then
Jesus will be part of the family circle.”
needs your help today.
We provide free services to women with an
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Children preparing for
Confirmation, he recalled,
had told him their parents
could help by teaching them
their prayers and bringing
them to Mass.
A young woman preparing
for baptism had told him:
“My parents were kind-of
hippies in the 1960s. They
thought it would be a good
idea to let me make up my
own mind when I grew up.
“What they didn’t seem to
realise was that, by not having me baptised and by not
bringing me up in the faith,
they were already making up
my mind. Fortunately, I had a
grandmother who brought
me to Mass.”
Religious education must
have a place in school, and
taking it out of school would
suggest that it is not really
part of life.
“The school supports the
• ‘By not bringing me
up in the faith, they
were already making up
my mind’
form our children in faith, we
are also teaching them to
love others as God loves
“This means being good
citizens, respecting the lives
and the property of others,
doing an honest day’s work,
caring for the sick, working
for human rights and social
Bishop Doran recognised
that religious symbols are
important in a school but
were not enough to make
the school Catholic.
Among other things, a
Catholic school is essentially a community of faith, living
by the faith.
The bishop recommended
an evaluation process
already used by some
Catholic primary schools to
measure how they were “living” their Catholic ethos.
This process, he said, “will
support the whole school
community in developing a
renewed sense of identity
and of mission.”
Grateful for the faith commitment of so many teachers, he noted their important
influence in the lives of children, “not always or primarily by what they say, but by
who they are.”
religious formation that parents give their children at
home, and provides the
expertise that parents lack,”
said the Sligo-based bishop.
“But no school, however
excellent, can adequately fill
the gap if parents fail to play
an active part in the education of their children.”
Religious education also
greatly contributes to the
common good. “When we
Conference on
the Family
Designed by God
“I bow my knees before the Father, from whom
every family in heaven and on earth derives its
name” (Ephs 3:15)
West County Hotel, Chapelizod, Dublin 20
Saturday, 31st January 2015.
10:30am – 4:45pm including Mass
Talk 1: “The Family” – What does Rome know anyway?”
Joseph Meaney, Director of International coordination, Human Life International,
Rome, and HLI liaison with Pontifical Council for the Family.
Talk 2 : “Parents : from legal outcasts to outlaws ; parents’ rights usurped.”
Dr Thomas Ward, (UK) International speaker. Founder of National Association of
Catholic Families, Corresponding member Pontifical Academy of Life, Vatican.
Talk 3 : “Hope for every moment in the home – Pope John Paul II to the
rescue!” Joanna Bogle (right), UK, Journalist, author, TV documentary host.
Talk 4: “Family Matters – Healthy Families, Healthy Nation”
Patrick McCrystal, Human Life International (Ireland).
Talk 5: “Christians : Breaking the chains of our contraceptive revolution.”
Dr Thomas Ward, (UK) Corresponding Member Pontifical Academy for Life.
See www.humanlife.ie/ for more details.
Sunday 1st February 2015: Family Retreat Day
- St. John Paul II, Saint of the Family Rest and Care Centre, Knock
Shrine (left) 11am – 3pm, with Mass, talk, lunch, social. Bring a packed
lunch to share!
Human Life International (Ireland), Guadalupe Centre, Main St. Knock,
Co. Mayo. Tel 09493 75993 www.humanlife.ie email:
mail@hliireland.ie Charity CHY 11138
Alive! January 2015
We face collapse of the Big Lie
Dear Nettles,
look at the modern secular
world and I wonder how we
pulled it off, how we sold it to
so many smart people. And I
wonder how long we can keep
the charade going before the
whole thing collapses in on
Meantime it provides us with
much needed amusement down
here as we listen to the latest
crackpot idea that the moderns
consider cool.
I think it was Joe Goebbels
who said: “If you tell a lie big
enough and keep repeating it,
people will eventually come to
believe it.” A smart guy in his
own way was Joe.
I hope that by this stage you
are ransacking your tiny brain
in a bid to figure out the Big Lie
at the heart of the modern
A clue. This one Lie is at the
root of all that is banjaxed with
modernity, so it has to be really
fundamental. Got it yet?
Ok, I’ll tell you. It says that
when it comes to running society today, Him above, if he exists
at all, can be simply ignored.
In practice this says, all individuals or groups can have
whatever religious beliefs and
practices they want, but they
have to be boxed off into their
private lives.
In other words, the state and
public society must operate as if
Him above does not exist or, if
he does, he is totally irrelevant.
Imagine a biology professor
telling his class that he was
Letters from a Master
to a Trainee Tempter
going to explain to them the
functioning of the human body,
but he would exclude from his
lectures any mention of the
heart and how it works as irrelevant.
If he was smart enough and
arrogant enough, and repeated
the Lie often enough, he might
succeed in silencing the class.
But the students would end up
Irish Water is ‘daylight
robbery’ — Creighton
has accused Enda
Kenny’s Government
of cronyism, arrogance, incompetence
and of daylight robbery.
“Irish Water epitomises
all that has gone wrong
with this Government,”
the TD wrote in the Irish
Ramming the legislation
through just before TDs
went off on holidays, she
said, “showed the sheer
contempt” of ministers
for the Dáil and for voters
who elect them to safeguard the public interest.
When the CEO of Irish
Water let slip on radio
that “rather hefty sums of
money had been paid to
‘consultants’,” Minister
Phil Hogan simply criticised the media for daring to question him about
But Creighton argued
Lucinda Creighton
that “when a minister
takes in excess of €1 billion euros of taxpayers’
money to set up a new
semi-state company” he
ought to keep a careful
eye on the project.
She pointed out that
Irish Water, which collects all of its income
from taxpayers, will “tax
homeowners to collect
€200 million each year
until 2018 and we are
unsure what the sum will
be after that.”
But the greatest scandal was the secret deal
Government and the
trade unions.
This “stitch-up” added
€2 billion to the costs of
establishing Irish Water,
bought the silence of the
trade unions, and resulted in a super-quango.
“With 4,000 staff members, rather than the
2,000 it requires, it has
become a sprawling monster – inefficient, unresponsive and unmanageable,” said the TD.
“This is daylight robbery, once again based
on secret deals between
the Government and the
Creighton sacrificed her
political ambitions and
her ministerial salar y
when she refused to support Enda Kenny’s evil
law allowing the killing of
unborn children.
UK water bills set to hit €505
■ The average household water bill
in England is expected to rise to £400
(€505) by April this year, according to
the website, money.co.uk.
Private water companies in the UK
are allowed to increase their bills each
year in line with inflation, which currently stands at 2.3%.
What the different companies
charge varies considerably, so that the
average bill can range from £202 in
Bristol to £485 for Wessex customers.
“For many people prices are going
to be rising faster than wages and
that’s why one in five people are
struggling with their water bills,”
said Labour MP Maria Eagle.
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with a totally distorted view of
human biology.
Of course the Lie would eventually collapse in on itself. And
those who had clung to it in the
past would be mortified at their
own stupidity, their gullible
acceptance of fashionable nonsense.
Well, eventually the same
thing will happen with the Big
Lie at the heart of secularism.
And multitudes will be astonished that, on issue after issue,
they ever accepted utter nonsense.
Put simply, Him above can’t be
excluded. No state, for example,
believes that education is just
about preparing pupils to be
cogs in the economic machine.
But if officials ask what the
purpose of education is they
y two sisters and I grew up on the outskirts of London. My childhood and teen
years had a strong spiritual foundation.
We went to Mass every week as a family and my
father was a Special Minister of Holy Communion
and would take Communion to the sick and the
Once a month, we went up to Cane Hill Hospital,
the local institution for the mentally ill, and escorted one or two patients to chapel there.
In my late teens, I had a strong love and admiration for Jesus and the example he showed in the
way he lived, demonstrating compassion, kindness, understanding, mercy and faith. I knew this
was the Truth.
Unfortunately, due to personal and environmental influences, about this time I stopped attending
Mass and turned to drink and drugs to feel comfort
or relief, or what I perceived at that time as excitement.
This wasn’t a problem at first, or so I thought, and
that puffed up my ego no end. However, by the age
of 27, I realised I had a serious problem with alcohol addiction in particular, but also with smoking
(which is far from just a harmless 'vice').
I began the process of drying out and having to
start life all over again, but sober, which I continued to the age of 36. Several things collided during
this period and I buckled under the pressure and
started drinking again.
The next five years were a total nightmare. I
became a chronic alcoholic, drinking from morning
till night, usually passing out at some point in the
I quit my job where I had been working for 9
years and got into financial trouble. Then my flat
was repossessed. I offended just about everyone
and alienated friends and family alike.
I felt God was nowhere, that my life was a mess
and I was a total failure, one of life’s losers. It got to
have to ask what it means to be
human, what the purpose of life
is and how to achieve it. And
that inevitably brings up the
God question.
Again, no society can function
without some moral principles,
like truth-telling and care for
children. But ask how to ground
these principles and again the
God question comes up.
Should the health system cure
or kill the elderly sick? Once
again the God question arises.
So any attempt to bracket Him
above, as secularism tries to do,
is pure stupid, a con job. And a
lot of people, I’m afraid, are
beginning to realise that.
Yours anxiously,
the point where I would have terrifying seizures
after a binge as I was coming down.
There was a short series of these and I got so
scared I stopped drinking. I was okay for about
three months which can make you feel quite cocky
and again under some pressure went to the off
licence and began another binge.
This lasted for about five days and nights and
took me to the most frightening moment of my life:
I felt completely poisoned, weak, and in a terrible
state physically but I could not drink any more.
I had reached my final limit and knew it. I started
getting muscle cramps and broke out in a sudden
and profuse cold sweat. My heart rate went right
up and I couldn’t breathe properly, but I was on my
own so I couldn’t ask anyone for help.
I knelt down where I was and asked God to help
me as I thought I was going to die. The cold sweat
stopped and my heart rate came down so I went
upstairs to rest on the bed.
As I made my way to the bedroom, I picked up a
statue of the Blessed Virgin and held on to it. As I
lay on the bed, my breathing became very shallow,
and I felt I was on the way out.
I closed my eyes and saw a white light and a figure approaching me from the light. I knew it was
Mother Mary and my eyes snapped open. I looked
at the statue, and clearly heard the words: “I can
take you back now, or do you want to live?”
In my mind, I answered: “I want to live!”
Immediately, I ran to the bathroom and was sick. It
took three days before I could eat anything, and
some time to get back to normal, but I knew in that
moment I would never drink again, and I haven’t.
I owe all I am to the Lord; I owe my very life to
the blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary. She has given
me a second chance to live, and came to me in the
crucial moment, just when I thought it was all over.
I realised because of my battle with alcohol addiction, that most things are in the mind and emotions,
but they aren’t real. I realised that only God is real,
only love is real, and only spiritual development is
of true worth.
That doesn’t mean you opt out of life - you just
live it in a different way, with a different approach,
and a different attitude.
I attend Mass regularly
again. It keeps me grounded in some way and gives
me a more accurate perspective on things, and my
place in the world. And I
thank Mother on a regular
basis for saving my life.
Justin John Carroll, 42, is a
poet, artist and actor.
Alive! January 2015
‘Anger, frustration’ at how VdeP being run
THE scandal over the St Vincent de Paul Society’s
decision to give a grant of €45,000 to a homosexual,
‘pro-choice’ lobby group in Galway is bringing to the
surface deeper concerns about the way the Society is
being run.
In a letter to Alive! an officer in one branch has written
about the “anger and frustra-
tion at the way the Society is
being changed” without consultation with the members.
The man, who wishes to
remain anonymous, began by
saying how he had read with
interest the piece in the
November issue of Alive!,
entitled: Resignations as
VdeP row raises wider
● 400 human rights
Each of the six major human
rights treaties has been ratified by more than 150 countries, yet many of these countries remain hostile to human
In most countries people
formally have as many as 400
international human rights –
rights to work and leisure, to
freedom of expression and
religious worship, to nondiscrimination, to privacy, to
pretty much anything you
might think is worth protecting.
The sheer quantity and variety of rights, which protect
virtually all human interests,
can provide no guidance to
— Professor Eric Posner, in the
● Truly Catholic
If our bankers had been
truly Catholic bankers and
not simply bankers “who
happened to be Catholics”,
then we wouldn’t be in the
mess we are now.
Because they would have
acted justly, with a concern
for the common good and not
just greed for their own profits and bonuses.
Is anybody screaming that
this would be detrimental to
our democracy?
— Fr John Harris O.P. in public lecture
● Unique relationship
What makes marriage
unique is the orientation of
this committed relationship
to the procreation and care of
I choose to use the term
believe that parents transmit
the gift of life in partnership
with God. The term ‘reproduction’ seems to reduce
everything to biology.
There is a proposal to redefine marriage so that it
would no longer be a life-long
commitment between one
man and one woman which is
open to the gift of life…
In a culture of ‘live and let
live’, there might be a tendency to say, sure what harm will
it do, if the two men or the
two women love one another?
However, to extend civil
marriage to include a rela-
More debate needed
tionship between people of
the same sex would change
the meaning of marriage. It is
not just a case of adding
‘another kind of marriage’
alongside what we already
The unique relationship
between marriage and procreation would disappear
completely from the definition of marriage.
— Bishop Kevin Doran, in a
public lecture
● BBC’s licence fee
The BBC are in a fight to the
death over the future of the
licence fee. They know that if
Labour comes along it’s business as usual but if the Tories
come in the licence fee will be
cut or abolished.
This is going to be a very
tight election now and the
corporation’s lack of balance
could tip the balance in
Labour’s favour.
— Andrew Bridgen, Tory MP
● Censorship
Last week, a student mob
University’s Christ Church
College to cancel a debate on
abortion, claiming that the
debate threatened students’
This week, students’ censorship-seeking continued. At
Glasgow University, proPalestinian students shut
down a debate featuring an
Israeli delegate.
And at East Anglia
University a student clique
successfully petitioned for the
no-platforming of a UKIP
MEP, saying he would make
some students feel uncomfortable.
Universities are meant to be
places where students have
their ideas challenged – intellectual discomfort ought to be
embraced, not avoided.
There are stirrings of resistance with the news that
Cardiff University students
voted against plans to ban
pro-life speakers from campus. We need more of this more free speech, more
debate, more intellectual discomfort.
— Brendan O’Neill, editor of
● Don’t say thanks
For many women nowadays, they’re angry that they
had a choice. It’s too bizarre,
but it’s like “If you weren’t
here, I wouldn’t have to have
made this choice.”
And so, instead of feeling
gratitude toward the physician and a sense of, you know,
“You’ve helped me so much”
a lot of the time that woman
is in her own pain or anger,
and the doctor may not get a
lot of gratitude…
When a woman doesn’t
want an abortion, but simply
accepts it as her fate, she is
unlikely to feel any gratitude
toward the one who provided
it. As one doctor said “No one
ever says ‘Thank you’ to an
— Charlotte Taft, US abortion
clinic owner
● Parents’ views
Misplaced niceness is the
enemy of goodness. If you are
too nice to children, and keep
letting them off, they never
We had some teachers with
pins in their noses telling the
children to take the pins out
of theirs. Teachers are supposed to be role models.
One parent told me: ‘My
daughter doesn’t do detention.’ And a child insisted: ‘I
don’t wear school shoes
because my father’s arranged
it with the school.’
Another parent told me:
“My child likes to swear at
people, that’s just how she is.
It’s none of your business to
try to change her. We like her
how she is.”
You can’t run a school like
that. You have to be consistent. It’s about fairness.
— A Bristol headteacher, in the
“Whilst I am sorry that so
many members resigned
from one conference, I can
appreciate their reasons for
doing so,” he wrote.
He continued: “We had a
members’ meeting some
weeks ago in Cork. It was the
first meeting of the Cork and
Kerry regions, now called the
South West Region.
“Unlike other years, this
year we were only given a
half day, with just over an
hour for volunteers’ questions and answers. The
meeting was chaired by
Geoff Meagher, the National
no one except the National
Council may speak to the
“When a regional president
brought our concerns to the
Council he was threatened in
print that legal action would
be taken against him,” he
“This is bullying and we feel
we are being bullied and
pushed aside with no say or
The officer concluded:
“Never in the history of this
Society has there been so
much anger and frustration
in the way the Society is
being changed by such a
The controversial use of
money donated to the
Society and the refusal to
cancel the donation to the
Galway lobby group, to be
paid in three stages, continues to damage the Society’s
reputation and its mission to
the poor.
‘No input’
“Volunteer after volunteer
complained about the raft of
changes introduced by the
Council without any input
from the members.
“Volunteers and members
were not asked for an opinion on the changes and it
would appear that the volunteers’ and members’ opinions are not wanted.”
The officer went on to say
that these changes alter the
structure of the Society in a
very serious way. Yet members have been silenced and
Catholic Activist Training School
Easter Week 6th-10th April 2015!
With world-leading Catholic apologist and evangelist
Tim Staples, daily talk show host with Catholic Answers radio,
former Assemblies of God minister.
Empowering you to be salt and light in today’s secular world!
Discover the glorious vocation of Christian witness.
Training, media skills, apologetics, fellowship, formation, equipping for the
spiritual battle, prayer, outdoor pursuits/activities,
preparation for real activism, lives of the saints. Residential.
Being Catholic is not a spectator sport!!
Pope Francis said, be “protagonists of transformation. Don’t be observers, but immerse
yourself in the reality of life, as Jesus did.”
Don’t be a
spectator - get
answer the
Come on Catholic Boot Camp – Corralea Outdoor Education
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Human Life International (Ireland), Guadalupe Centre, Main St,
Knock Co. Mayo Tel 09493 75993
email: mail@hliireland.ie www.humanlife.ie Charity CHY 11138
Have you a call?
he Latin word ‘vocare’
means ‘to call’. From
this we get English
words like ‘vocal’ and ‘advocate’. We also get the Latin
word, ‘vocatio’, or in English
‘vocation’, which means a
So, we say that nursing or
teaching is a vocation, that
is, a calling. Or a young person might say that he felt a
calling to be a doctor or perhaps an athlete.
We can appreciate that
being a husband or wife, a
mother or father, is a vocation, a way of life that a person is called to.
Feeling called to some
occupation or job generally
indicates that the person is
not motivated by money or
prestige but by some kind of
desire to serve the community.
All this, of course, raises a
key question: Who is doing
the calling?
And in the Catholic faith
the caller is God or Jesus.
This reminds us that everything we do is a response, it
does not come from our own
Rather, the initiative
always lies with God. And
that applies to our very existence. Every single person
is called by God into existence. This is the fundamental call for each person.
It is also a unique call.
Each one of us exists only
because of God’s specific
call, because God loved us
into life.
It is hard to grasp the awesome fact that God is so
aware of each one of us,
that he knows each one of
us far better than we know
ourselves, that he knows
every detail of our lives.
Step further
Having called us into existence, God then goes a
huge step further, he calls
us into friendship with himself. Indeed, this was his
very purpose in creating us
– to bring us into union with
Again, this is a personal,
unique calling, each of us is
called as an individual.
Loving union with God is our
But here we see a new
stage of God’s plan. He
wants our free response to
his call, a response that we
may or may not give.
St Augustine captured this
neatly in one of his sermons. He told his listeners:
“He who created you without your cooperation will not
save you without your cooperation.” (Sermon 169).
Augustine is stressing
here the great drama of our
freedom and the immense
importance of our response
to God’s call.
No one else can give that
response for me. It lies
solely within my power.
Alive! January 2015
Ebola: behind the headlines
he current Ebola crisis
in Africa will have farreaching consequences
for generations to come.
Advances in development
that took years to accomplish
are starting to vanish as three
of the poorest countries in
West Africa struggle to get
Ebola under control.
Official estimates say that
more than 5,000 people have
lost their lives. However, the
true number is likely to be
far higher as underresourced contact teams cannot cover the vast distances
in these countries.
“Already some of our
members have had to stop
part of their work,” says
Misean Cara CEO, Heydi
Foster. “Water, sanitation,
health and education projects in the works for years
are now on hold.
“Our members tell us that
local communities desperately want the schools and
health clinics to re-open, but
there is little they can do
until curfews and quarantines are lifted.
“The people’s needs cannot
be over-estimated. For Ebola
directly, our members provide new beds and medical
equipment for hospitals,
protective clothing for frontline medical staff, food and
water supplies, and temporary shelters.”
Heydi explains that there is
Speaker’s Corner
by By Tara Finglas
also a great need for maternal and child health care.
Pregnant women are not getting proper care, resulting in
an increase in miscarriages,
breech births, and preeclampsia.
In Sierra Leone women
make up 51% of the population. Before this Ebola outbreak the country had one of
the world’s highest mortality
rates with almost 9 women
in 1,000 dying from pregnancy-related issues.
Statistics are not available,
but our members report an
increase in the death rate as
women pay the ultimate
price for the Ebola crisis.
As the only organisation
funding Irish missionaries,
€250,000 to our Emergency
Response Funding scheme
so that missionary organisations can receive money as
quickly as possible.
Since August, Misean Cara
has made Ebola a priority,
giving over €350,000 in
response to requests for
emergency funding.
Sr. Teresa McKeown from
the Sisters of St. Joseph of
Orphans with ebola in
Sierra Leone.
Cluny, Streamstown, Co.
fundraising efforts in Ireland
at present. She was in Ireland
for a holiday when her
return ticket to Sierra Leone
was cancelled in September.
Sr Teresa is in constant contact with her sisters in
Freetown by phone and it is
their determination to stay in
solidarity with the communities they support that
spurs her on.
“The sisters are all working
there and they are scared.
That’s the common word
that comes through all the
time,” says Sr. Teresa.
“They’re scared and all I can
tell them is take care.
“I would say Freetown is
one of the hardest hit places
because it was over-crowded
after the war and the people
never went back to where
they are from. There’s no
proper sanitation there, so it
will be very difficult to get
control of the situation.”
She explains that even
before the Ebola outbreak, the
people would come to the sisters if there was an emergency, an operation or something out of the ordinary,
because they are so poor.
“It’s just very difficult to
accept the situation and I am
60 years there,” she says.
She believes that governments and international
organisations have a responsibility to act. “The international response was too slow.
I was just so angry that they
were too slow, taking it too
easy at the beginning, especially organisations like the
World Health Organisation
that should be responding
“Now they’re coming in,
but you almost feel that it’s
too late, too little too late. I’m
just hoping and praying that
they get a drug that will be
able to control it.
“Although the drug will
control the Ebola, the sickness itself, it won’t cure the
poverty,” says Sr. Teresa.
• Tara Finglas is
Communications Officer
with Misean Cara, Tel: 01405 5028.
Pr o c l a i m i n g G o d ’ s wi l l
Monthly Meditation
A man
n war you needed to have the man decent,
patriotic. But no matter how patriotic he was,
if he ran away he was no good.
So it is in citizenship; the virtue that stays at home in
its own parlour and bemoans the wickedness of the
outside world is of scant use to the community.
We are a vigorous, masterful people, and the man
who is to do good work in our country must not only
be a good man, but also emphatically a man.
We must have the qualities of courage, of hardihood,
of power to hold one’s own in the hurly-burly of actual life.
We must have the manhood that shows on fought
fields and that shows in the work of the business world
and in the struggles of civic life.
We must have manliness, courage, strength, resolution, joined to decency and morality, or we shall make
but poor work of it.
Finally, those two qualities by themselves are not
enough. In addition to decency, and courage, we must
have the saving grace of common sense.
We all of us have known decent and valiant fools who
have meant so well that it made it all the more pathetic
that the effect of their actions was so ill.
— Theodore Roosevelt, (US President, 1901–1909)
he prophets preached
the Covenant and the
Law, including the Ten
Commandments. They were
defenders of true worship,
purity of intention, truth and
Some scholars present
them as spreading a “spiritual” religion independent of
the priesthood or the cult,
that is, the organised worship of the Temple.
However, this is not the
It is certainly true that the
prophets sought a pure and
interior worship of God. They
also criticised strongly the
abuse of the cult, especially
worship that went hand in
hand with injustice (see
Amos 5:21ff; Hosea 6:6;
Isaiah 1:11ff; Jer 7:21ff).
In God’s name they
demanded an authentic cult,
free from idolatry and impurity and lived with innocence
and justice.
Nor were the prophets
against the priesthood.
Jeremiah and Ezekiel were
themselves priests and
Fr Joseph
linked to the Temple.
Haggai, Zechariah and
Malachi were also concerned with the Temple and
its liturgy.
Nor were the prophets individualistic figures. They were
firmly rooted in the commuTheir
revolved around Israel as
the chosen, covenanted
People of God.
the past and continued to
Prophecy is the opposite of
forgetfulness of God. It
recalls people to the
covenant and to the Lord.
This is clear, for example, in
Hosea 2:15. There the Lord
says of Israel: “… and me
she forgot completely.”
In the Bible, to “forget”
means “to hold the Lord’s
saving acts in contempt that
they no longer have any
effect on the life and consciousness of the people
and the individual” (Francis
There were also false
focused on the covenant
relationship between God
and his people. They called
people to holiness and
denounced sin. If God is
holy, then the human
response must also be a life
of holiness.
Forgetfulness of God was
the great sin in Israel. The
prophets’ role was to remind
people of how God acted in
‘Me she forgot completely’
prophets whose self-interest
and desire for money led
them to tell the king and his
court only what they wanted
to hear.
Deuteronomy 13:2ff gives
the criterion for distinguishing true from false prophecy:
a true prophecy will conform
to God’s will and plan as
expressed in the Covenant
and the Law (i.e. the
Israel must conform to
Commandments, in life and
in the cult. Anything contrary
to this could be no true word
of God.
The different prophets
have much in common as
regards doctrine and teaching. They also express God’s
word in a way that is personal, reflecting their individual personalities and circumstances.
They rarely refer to each
other. As Bruce Vawter says,
their authority comes from
“their individual serene confidence of having the mind of
the Lord.”
Celebrating the Wonder of Marriage
Alive! January 2015
Male and female
he created them
harisees look for laws and legal judgments, but Jesus
looks at the person. We see this again and again in
the gospels.
Thus Jesus heals on the Sabbath and says to the
Pharisees about the woman caught in adultery, “Let him
who is without sin cast the first stone.”
They ask about the laws and how they can use them to
inflict pain on her, but Jesus looks at the woman herself
and the healing she needs.
He doesn’t just save her life from the Pharisees, he also
saves her from the choices that make her unhappy. He
talks to her, encourages her (Jn 8). He’s interested in her as
a person.
Asked about divorce, what conditions can justify it (Mt
19:3), Jesus doesn’t talk about the laws.
Rather, he says: “From the beginning, God made them
male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his
father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two
shall become one flesh.”
These words “from the beginning” are ground-breakers.
They mean from the very act of creation, God “made them
male and female…”
“From the beginning” means it’s written into human
hearts. When God made us, he put marriage in our hearts.
This can’t be too surprising. We see it all the time in the
wish of so many people to get married and in their joy
when someone they love gets married.
Have you ever been to a wedding where the groom cried
because his bride was so beautiful? I have.
Everybody understood why he did, and that shows us
that marriage is written into the human heart “from the
Now they have a child, and their marriage is written into
another person’s life as well.
hen Jesuit missionaries went to North America
in the 16th and 17th centuries, the native peoples
they met were interested in the Catholic Church,
but they had a different idea about marriage. When the
men turned forty, they liked to replace their wives with
new ones, so they wanted the missionaries to change the
Lord’s teaching that marriage is forever to make it fit in
with their customs and practice.
The missionaries lost out on a lot of converts because
they wouldn’t break Jesus’ teaching. John the Baptist was
beheaded for the same reason, as were St. John Fisher and
St. Thomas More.
For all of them Jesus’ words were clear, “From the begin-
From the beginning, God made them
male and female.
ning,” meaning from the very act of creation, God “made
them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave
his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the
two shall become one flesh.”
The Catholic Church has always stood by this teaching
that marriage, the loving, lifelong, fruitful commitment of
man and woman, is the gold-standard because it’s written
on the human heart.
The teaching of Jesus on marriage is one of his greatest
teachings. When two people commit their lives to each
other, they learn what it means to have something to live
for and something to die for.
It makes life precious in a unique way: someone hopes to
get home safely now not just “because”, but because the
people they love couldn’t live without them.
Marriage means that someone has found me worth giving their life to. It means that my life has meaning too,
because now I have someone to give my life to as well.
It’s Jesus’ teaching that gives the person a chance to live
their deepest hopes in reality. In teaching us about marriage Jesus wasn’t looking at laws, but at the real person.
— Fr Terence Crotty O.P.
Marriage made them saints
In October 2001, Pope John Paul
made histo
dream: for the first time in the
Church’s history he beatified a married couple jointly.
The couple were Luigi and Maria
Quattrocchi, and three of their four
children were still alive and present
in St. Peter’s Basilica, taking part
the Mass and
their parents.
Soon we may have the first married
couple to be canonised jointly as
saints. Their youngest daughter
already a cano
of Lisieux, popularly known as the
Little Flower.
On 4th November last the Vatican’s
Department for Saints declared that
prayed to Our Lady and began a nove
na to Louis and Zélie Martin. Than
to their intercession Carmen did not
die as the doctors had predicted and
was instead completely cured.
She is now a perfectly healthy and
delightful little girl who has just celebrated her 6th birthday.
With this healing of little Carmen
now accepted as the “presumed mirz
acle”, we can expect that Louis and
the healing of little Carmen Pere
Zélie Martin will shor tly be declared
saints. Blessed Louis and Zélie, pray
ical inter vent
for us!
Carmen was born in 2008 after a
• A booklet, A Nest of
difficult pregnancy. Shor tly after her
ts, the life of Zélie
birth she contracted double sepLouis Martin, is
ticemia and also suffered a cere
available from Alive!
Cost: €2.50 incl. p&p.
Her parents, Santos and Carmen,
‘Your marriage is your
project for the world’
feyinwa Awagu (pictured) from Lago
s in Nigeria is a wife and mother,
a lawyer and educational psychologist.
She spoke in the first of six sho
rt videos made for the recent
Humanum conference in Rom
e, organised by the Vatican’s
Department for the Doctrine of the
Preparing for the conference the orga
nisers had to reduce 200 hours
of footage from speakers in man
y parts of the world (Argentina,
France, Lebanon, Mexico…) into six
short films.
But it was Ifeyinwa’s insight which
made the
biggest impact on those involved.
In talking about her mar riage she said
has a ripple effect that stretche
s out
from the couple to the family and
keeps getting wider and wider, affe
their relations, their neighbours,
kids’ friends and their families,
community, their region, their coun
She told all couples: “your mar riag
e is
your project for the world.”
At morning Mass during Advent
Francis spoke in his homily about
mar riage
and holiness.
“So many mothers and fathers, with
so much
effort, raise their families, educate
their children, carr y on their daily
bear their problems, but always with
hope in Jesus. They do not strut
but do what they can. They are the
saints of daily life.”
What parents do – from making thei
r children laugh to comforting
them when they cry; from teaching
them colours and numbers to
reminding them for the hundredth
time to say ‘please’; from carr ying
or ferr ying them around all day to feed
ing them and rocking them back
to sleep at night – this may be uns
een but it is heroic.
They make the whole world a better
place, even if nobody notices.
Pope Francis is right that mothers
and fathers, in their mar riage and
in their parenthood, are becoming
“the saints of daily life”.
All of us know men and women who
live their lives to the full in this
way. Let us notice them and admire
them. Let us recognise them and
celebrate them.
Let us be like them and love like
them, embracing the whole world
in the simple act of wiping away a
child’s tears.
• The Humanum videos are grea
t and can be viewed at:
Let’s celebrate our marriages
St Valentine’s Day (14th Feb.) is a great time to celebrate the wonder
of marriage in our parishes and communities.
• Do we pray for the married couples in our parishes, both in our
private prayer and in the bidding prayers at Mass?
• Do we pray for young people who are getting married or who
would like to be married?
• Do we support each other, as married couples, through meeting
and sharing meals and conversation together?
• Could we have a Renewal of Vows for the married couples of the
parish at a special annual Mass with a meal afterwards?
St. Valentine was a Catholic priest who lived in the
200s in Rome. Tradition says the Emperor forbade young
men from marrying. Unmarried soldiers made better
fighters because they cared less about dying in battle.
Valentine continued to promote marriage. Many couples were attracted by the Catholic Church’s vision of
marriage, and Valentine married them in secret.
Eventually, however, he was caught. In 269 AD,
Valentine was sentenced to death, beaten, stoned, and
finally beheaded; all because he promoted the Christian
ideal of marriage.
Alive! January 2015
ALGARVE, Albuferia, Portugal.
Luxury 1 or 2 bed aparts for rent.
Sky TV, shared pool, long/short
term. Special Winter rates. Tel:
087 2371716, 087 2856636.
KNOCK. Near Shrine, beautiful 2
bedroom bungalow, furnished,
€63,000. Tel: 094 9362216.
VIBRANT B&B for sale on the
Beara Peninsula. 4 bedroom,
fabulous location, 2 mins walk
from the village of Glengarriff.
For further details Tel: 087
ROOM to rent for 1 person,
Raheny area, D.5. Close to Dart
and buses. Tel: 087 7781797
after 7pm.
CAMINO Drug rehabilitation, run
by Fr. Denis Laverty since 1997,
is in urgent need of funds. Please
send what you can. Camino
Project, Meadowbrook, Cloncurry Cross, Enfield, Co. Meath.
Tel: 046 9549241. Email:
Charity no: CHY 12826.
PART-TIME worker (6-8 hours
per week) wanted for a Catholic
group in Dublin. Work mostly
from home, hours flexible. Must
have initiative and internet
access and ability. Applications to
Box 7400.
WATERFORD Volunteers wanted to help distribute Alive!
papers, please. Tel: Julie 086
ALOE vera. Forever living products. Distributor: Phil Colgan 016281436; 086 2437653.
Offers. www.holyjoey.com
SUPPORT Family & Media
Association. See www.fma.ie,
Monitoring media for you.
Gillespie, by Dr Brian O’Hare.
Many people who have read this
book have described it as ‘lifechanging.’
Retreat Day
Sunday 1st February
11am – 3pm
Rest and Care
Knock Shrine
Mass, talk, lunch, social.
Bring a packed lunch to
Human Life International
Guadalupe Centre, Main St.
Knock, Co. Mayo
Tel 09493 75993
☎ Breda 01-404 8187
ON YOUTUBE. Search for “The
Irish Times Way” for a short video
exposing anti-life bias in the Irish
ALFIE Lambe (1932–1959) Holy
Mass for his Beatification, will be
celebrated in Church of Our
Immaculate Lady Refuge of
Sinners, Rathmines, Sunday, 8th
Feb at 12.30pm. Principal
Celebrant and Homilist will be Fr.
Michael Maher S.M. Work on
Alfie’s cause is progressing.
What is needed is a miracle
through his intercession.
ON YOUTUBE. Search for “Fr
Brian McKevitt” for two homilies
given in Medjugorje.
DEAR Sacred Heart of Jesus in
the past I have asked for many
favours. This time I ask you this
very special one (mention
favour). Take it, dear Heart of
Jesus, and place this request in
your broken Heart where your
father can see it. Then in his merciful eyes, it will become your
favour not mine. Amen. Say this
prayer for three days. Pub
promised and favour will be
granted. Never known to fail. EQ,
MOST beautiful flower of Mount
Carmel, fruitful vine, splendour of
heaven, Immaculate Virgin,
assist me in my necessity. O star
of the sea, help me and show me
herein you are my mother. O
Holy Mary, mother of God, queen
of heaven and earth, I humbly
beseech you to succour me in
this necessity (make request).
There are none that can withstand your power. O show me
herein you are my mother. O
Mary, conceived without sin, pray
for us, who have recourse to
thee. Say prayer for 3 consecutive days. MB.
MALE early 40s, single, solvent,
RC, 5’11”, handsome build,
good-looking, blue eyes, smart,
honest, with sense of personal
Remember Your
Loved One with a
Special Keepsake
• Memorial Cards
• Bookmarks
• Acknowledgement Cards
• Key Rings
• Wallet Cards
email: mail@hliireland.ie
Call 053-92 35295
for a catalogue
Shrove Tuesday - Feast of Holy Face
17th February 2015
11:45am Apparition chapel, Knock Shrine.
With Holy Face devotions.
Order our 9 day novena booklet, Coupon on back page.
Cuppa afterwards.
Human Life International (Ireland), Guadalupe Centre,
Main St. Knock, Co. Mayo Tel 09493 75993
Email: mail@hliireland.ie Charity CHY 11138
Classifieds: €1 per word; Box No. €3.00 extra
value. Very outgoing, loves travel, adventure, music, meals out.
SD, NS, VGSOH. Seeks single
lady up to 37, nurse, medical, or
other profession for friendship,
possible relationship. Absolute
confidentiality assured. Midlands.
Box 7401.
DONEGAL single male, 54, tall,
likes music, dancing, NSND,
wltm female for relationship. Tel:
086 3458489.
GENT early 50s, likes home,
family life, seeks lady for friendship/relationship. Box 7402.
MONAGHAN gent, 42, 5’7”, slim
build, quiet, shy, NDNS, kind,
Christian values, no ties.
Interests are GAA, keep fit,
nature, likes the coast of Ireland,
and would like to learn the Irish
language. Wltm a pretty lady for
a long lasting relationship. Tel:
087 9401068.
DUBLIN sincere honest male,
NSND, refined, seeks, sincere
attractive lady, for friendship/relationship. Tel: 089 9563856.
GARABANDAL only €395. All
incl. 4-day packages. Fly (midday) ex Dublin to Spain with Sp.
Dir. & guide to full board hotel
accom. in Garabandal. Departs
18 Apr, 9 May, & 23 May. Early
booking with €195 deposit is
essential to secure places at
€395pps price. Contact group
leader Benny Woods tel 086
8976569. Email: benny.woods@
MEDJUGORJE, 17-24 May, exDublin, £499. Staying opposite
church. Sp. director, Fr. Brian
McKevitt O.P. Tel: Brenda Smyth
028 (RoI 048) 90833730. Also
23-30 Sept.
€395 pps includes return flights
& full board hotel accom 4 days
in Spain. Departs twice monthly.
For free info package, contact
group leader email benny.
woods@hotmail.com Tel: 086
SAINT Thérèse Pilgrimages.
Malta, In the Footsteps of St
Paul, 24th February £549/€619.
Divine Mercy, Krakow, 9th April
from £459/€539. Other dates
available. Contact Danny NI 028
90245547; RoI 048 90245547.
MEDJUGORJE dentist, Dr.
Davor Planinic. White fillings,
implants. High quality work &
DVD Transfers
Cine films, photos and slides
transferred to DVD with music &
titles added.
Also Camcorder and video tapes
edited and transferred to DVD.
Tel: 01 2807838
or 087-9132265
Email: alleventsvideo@eircom.net
End of Year 2014 Returns
Alive! is a registered charity.
● If you are an individual
donor (PAYE or SelfAssessed) and your total
donation to Alive! was €250
or more in 2014 we can
reclaim your tax.
Please ask us for a form
or Tel 01-4048187 for more
● If you are a company and
your donation to Alive! was
€250 or more in 2014 you can
claim tax relief on your donation.
excellent rates. In accord with
European standards. 00387
36651889; 00387 63447840.
MEDJUGORJE, special offers
for 2015. €150 off if paid by 10
Dec., €100 off if paid by 2 Feb.
10 June and 9 Sept, both accompanied by Joe Dalton and Phyllis
Mulligan. Tel: 042 9336705; mob.
087 2028492.
2015. 5 night pilgrimage, flying
Accommodation/Tour Information
etc. Starting from €350/£280
sterling per person. Web: www.
FATIMA pilgrimage with Sp. Dir.
21-28 May. Full programme.
Ceremonies at Chapel of
Apparitions & Rosary Basilica.
Contact Jo Morris 087 6163648.
AVILA 500th Anniversary. 9-17
Oct 2015. Visiting foundations
Nth & Central Spain. Sp. Dir. Fr.
€1,195pps. Single room sup.
€250. Details Marian Pilgrimages
01 8788159. info@marian.ie
FATIMA 21 May, 7 nights, €714,
discount €100 if paid by 2 Feb.
Details Joan Bourke Tel: 061
MEDJUGORJE. Departing 20
May, 2015. Contact group leader
Michael Buffini 086 1564105 or
01 4936700.
MEDJUGORJE 2015: 11th May,
9 nights, €599 (€100 deposit
secures €599; after 17th February
price of €649 applies). 13th May,
7 nights, €599. Liam Cotter 087
6381157 or 01 4928194. Marian
Pilgrimages 01 8788159.
2015. 30th March, 7 days, ex
Dublin, €639. Sp Director, Fr
Paul Gallagher. For details contact Bernie at 087 9353953.
PILGRIMAGE to the Holyland
from 4-12 May, Sp. Dir. Fr. Dan
Sheridan. Also pilgrimages to
Medjugorje Easter Sun 5 Apr, Fr.
Johnny Cusack; 10 June, Fr.
Sean Maguire; 9 Sept, Fr. Paul
Casey. Tel: Anna Brady 049
4336291 or 087 2549960.
HOLYFACE. Reparation books,
medals, & various scapulars.
Write to: Michael Gormley, 68
Melvin Rd, Terenure, Dublin 6W.
SACRED Heart thanks for
favours. P.
THANKS for the Sacred Heart of
Jesus for many favours received.
ALL unwanted home waste
removed. Cookers, fridges, beds,
suites, wardrobes, carpets, etc,
removed and disposed of in
proper manner. No job too small
or big. Contact Tommy 087
OLD photos, torn, cracked,
stained, etc. Repaired and
enlarged as new. B/W or colour.
Tel: 01 6265243, 087 2915672.
TYPEWRITERS repairs, sales,
ribbons, most makes, Tel: 01
OIL boiler servicing, maintenance & breakdowns. Tel: 086
SHEEP equipment. Everything
supplied for handling & feeding
Machinery, 0402 37182, nationwide.
CHAINS saws comprehensive
selection new & used. Spare
parts & repairs. B.T.G. Esmonde
Machinery. 0402 37182. nationwide.
kitchens, floors, doors, roofs,
anything else. Tel: 087 9816809.
Towerbells, Altarware, Furnishings, Statues of wood, marble,
plaster, bronze, etc. Repair,
repaint. Altar cleaning. Specialist
in statues. Nationwide. Refs.
Visit: www.studio-michele. com.
091 556735 mob. 087 2203898.
RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
21st & 22nd February 2015
Theme: ‘Our Father…
forgive us our trespasses’
Tickets: Weekend €35
Saturday €30,
Sunday €20,
Contact: Divine Mercy Apostolate,
22 Castle Grove, Clondalkin,
Dublin 22.
Tel: 086 – 0669203
Alive! January 2015
Prize Crossword...No.187
S’’ C
Hiya, Kids,
We all love what’s new – a new toy,
a new car, a new book. And this
month we have a new year, 2015.
But why do we love what is new?
Because it is full of promise. It promises
us more fun, more excitement, more happiness.
But soon what is new gets old, it loses its
magic, it no longer excites us, and we
may even throw it aside if something
newer comes along.
This gets some people asking, is there
anything that can bring me full and lasting
happiness? This, in fact, is the most
important question we can ever ask.
And it has an answer: Jesus. The more
we get to know Jesus the newer he
seems, the more full of fun. This year,
then, let us try to really love Jesus and talk
to him often.
Slán go fóill,
Cryptic Clues: €25 for the first correct
entry out of the bag. Entries before 16th
January. One entry per family. Winner and
answers next month.
Changing only one letter at a time, can
you get from TIME to WALK and from
Find the answers to
the clues and when the
circled letters are put in
the right order, they
spell the answer.
Last Month’s Colouring Picture Winner was:
Jackie Kenny, Rosewood
Lodge, Black Bog Road, Carlow.
Age 9.
Lives of the Saints
St. Oliver Plunkett
● Part 10: On the run
ews that spies had been
sent out by the authorities to
track down fugitive bishops
and priests reached Oliver
Plunkett in his woodland hovel on
18 January 1674. He was forced
to take flight again. He wrote:
“There was a cutting north wind
blowing into our faces and it beat
the snow and hail so fiercely into
our eyes that even now we are
hardly even able to see with them.
Many times we were in danger of
being lost in the valleys and of
dying of suffocation in the snow.
“Finally we arrived at the house
of a gentleman who had lost so
much he had nothing more to
“As ill-luck would have it, however, he had a stranger staying in the
house whom we did not want to
recognise us, so we were placed
in a large attic without either chimney or fire where we have been for
the last eight days.
“It may all work for the glory of
God and the salvation of our souls
and the flocks entrusted to our
Mae Keegan,
Sooey, via Boyle,
Co. Sligo.
Dec. X-word Winner:
Solution to Dec. Crossword:
Across: 7. Orator 8. Putter 10.
Recount 11. Slogs 12. Earl 13.
Drill 17. Debar 18. Warn 22.
Alibi 23. Landing 24. Docile 25.
Down: 1. Journey 2. Dancers 3.
Lotus 4. Mussels 5. Stoop 6.
Crush 9. Eternally 14. Vehicle
15. Rations 16. Knights 19.
Bands 20. Hitch 21. Angle.
“The cold and the hail were so
terrible that my eyes have not yet
stopped running nor have those of
my companion.
“I feel that I shall lose more than
one tooth, they are paining me so
much, and my companion was
attacked with rheumatism in one
arm and can scarcely move it.” His
companion was his old friend,
Bishop John Brennan of Waterford.
Then came more bad news. The
Catholics in the Scottish Highlands
Protestant Parliament – union with
England was still three decades
away – was even more virulently
anti-Catholic than London or
They declared that the crime of
being a priest was high-treason.
The Dublin Parliament, to show
that it was not going soft, was
1. He is charged a vast
amount? (7)
5.Different loans needed for beauty
parlour (5)
8. Children’s magazine from Casco,
Michigan (5)
9. Shorten a river structure (7)
10. It’s normal when mad aunt and
Mr Corbett return (7)
11. Ken somehow gets the Spanish
to pray? (5)
12. 1,000 I’d led out from the
centre (6)
14. A noisy disturbance over a
scarf! (6)
17. Right oven for beef, perhaps (5)
19. Piece of furniture for a big
lad! (7)
22. So I lied in order to worship (7)
23. A 12-inch king? (5)
24. Silver turns fluorine to iron,
what a blunder! (5)
25. Abandons barren lands (7)
1. Graduate has a reason against
meat (5)
2. Restricted company? (7)
3. Suffer in being a worthless dog (5)
4. Nobleman arrives in New York,
almost! (6)
5. Footballer not working? (7)
6. Deposit money at the gatekeeper’s
house (5)
7. Irritates with pins? (7)
12. Lamenting we hear, at this time
of day (7)
13. Retinal surgery in the
lavatory! (7)
15. Get an iced drink for the
shoemaker (7)
16. Be present at a non-drinker’s
funeral? (6)
18. An idiot returns and seems
distant (5)
20. Entices when rules are broken (5)
21. Measurements of enclosed
grounds (5)
Solution to Alive!, St Mary’s Priory, Tallaght, Dublin 24.
expected to follow the Scottish
Ever ything looked more and
more like the era of the Roman
persecutions. Oliver again briefed
“Here we are in greater fear and
trembling than ever. In Scotland
the Parliament enacted that in
future it should be considered
high treason to hear Mass.
“It would seem that the days of
Nero, Domitian and Diocletian
have returned; the penalty for this
crime of high treason is to be disembowelled and quartered. So we
shall have the blood of martyrs in
abundance to fertilise the Church.
“It is like the time of the early
Church; and it is my hope that the
Church will once again be made
glorious by the sufferings and
martyrdoms of her northern children who are humble and devoted
servants and imitators of Christ
and the Apostles, and that the
adverse storm will help us even
more than the favouring breeze.”
Then, suddenly, things calmed
down. Having made ferocious antiCatholic noises, having reaffirmed
the draconian laws of the Tudors,
the authorities backed off.
The registered bishops and
priests for the most part slipped
back to their dioceses and priestly duties. Oliver came out of hiding and took up his mission where
he had left off.
But the paranoia had not gone
away. It would give rise to a new
and deadly agent two years later,
the grotesque and corrupted figure of Titus Oates.
The Holy Face: Divine Remedy for evil
Alive! January 2015
YOU have a direct part to play!
Catholics are labelled as
bigots if they express their
The attacks afflicting our
faith are effects and manifestation of atheistic communism.
It is in our faces.
However, there is a remedy!
The enemies of the Church are
ultimately destined to fall.
● Divine Remedy:
Jesus’s Holy Face
To Blessed Maria Pierina De
Micheli - beatified by Pope
Benedict XVI in 2010 – Our
Lady said in 1938:
” … in these times of sensuality and hatred against God
and the Church… evil spreads
… A Divine remedy is
required; and that remedy is
the Holy Face of Jesus.”
Imagine that!!! Jesus’s Holy
Face as heaven’s remedy to
these attacks on faith and the
Under inspiration, Sr. Mary
of St. Peter in the 1840s composed powerful prayers to the
Holy Face for the utter failure
Imagine the difference if
Jesus turned His Face anew
upon Ireland!!
Imagine an Ireland where
the enemies of God are vanquished, even coming to conversion and receiving Christ’s
mercy! That’s what Holy Face
devotion is all about.
Endorsed many times by
successive Popes for 150 years,
Holy Face devotion is a work
of REPARATION against blasphemy and attacks on God
and His Church.
Great promises are attached
to the medal, revealed to
Blessed M. Pierina De Micheli
and for those who promote
this devotion.
Imagine an Ireland where
anti-Catholic godlessness is
no more!!
● Enemies of God
Blessed M. Pierina De
Micheli was beatified by
Pope Benedict XVI in 2010
Why should some be
allowed to impose Godless
laws on us?
Why should scoffing media
personalities be allowed to
foment Ireland with massive
disillusionment against the
Church. They act to cut off the
Irish people from the Church
and her sacraments; the channel of eternal salvation and
God’s healing and peace!
Should those acting as enemies of God be freely allowed
to rob Christ’s children from
eternal salvation – won by
Christ’s Blood? NO.
● Victory Possible
Imagine if the power of
Christ’s Face shone on
Ireland!!! Everything would
We don’t have to be slaves to
Atheistic Communism!
But we DO have to use the
If we can pull off Victory in
Ireland…. it could spread
across the world!
Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Turn to God
As well as
action, prayer is crucial. A
lady wrote to me a few weeks
“We’ve had the rallies,
we’ve lobbied politicians, now it’s
time to turn to God.”
YOU can help
YOUR COUNTY. Don’t leave
your COUNTY OUT! – order
your “Holy Face Power Pack.”
Let’s Cover all 32 Counties.
Let’s call on God’s Face to
directly shine upon and especially bless, by name:
● every politician in
● every TV station,
● every radio station and
newspaper, local and national
● the bishop of each diocese, his priests and people,
doctors, pharmacists and personnel or promoting prescribing abortifacients and
contraception in all forms,
● schools, especially those
promoting sex education and
anti-Christian values,
● All organisations – secret
and public – attacking the
Church and opposing the
Gospel… and much more.
Tick and return immediately
the coupon below.
Receive your Holy Face
“Power Pack” – brimming
with prayers, graces, blessed
items and instructions to
greatly release Christ’s Power
in Ireland!
Join this “De
Micheli Holy Face prayer
movement - The promotion
of good and downfall of evil!”
● Hear the Call
Help launch this Divine remedy to attacks on God, religion and the Church.
You’ve got the power. Let’s
play OUR part. Then let’s see
Imagine if the power of
Christ’s Face shone on
would change!
what GOD does.
Every Blessing,
Patrick McCrystal,
Executive Director
Human Life International
PS Let’s act for conversion
of sinners and vanquish the
enemies of God.
PPS You are invited to Mass
in honour of Holy Face in
Tuesday 17 February, Feast
day of Holy Face at 11:45am.
Put in your diary!
Order your Nine Novenas
for Shrove Tuesday Feast Day
on coupon below!
Cut out and return immediately:
Yes Patrick, Let’s call on the power of the Holy Face for Ireland!
Let’s Call on Heaven for end to attacks on God and Church!
Please tick:
❑ I will pray the prayers when you send me my prayer booklet and cards.
❑ Please send me your Holy Face “Power Pack”.
❑ I will pray for my county_______________ as well as ALL Ireland!
❑ Please send me 9 day Holy Face Novena before Shrove Tuesday!
❑ Please accept my donation of €_______ towards this Holy Face initiative
Please cut out and return to:, Human Life International (Ireland), Guadalupe Centre, Main Street,
Knock, Co Mayo, Ireland Charity no: CHY 11138
Tel +353 94 93 75993 email: mail@hliireland.ie
Published by Alive Group, St. Mary’s Priory, Tallaght, Dublin 24. Tel: 01-4048187 • E-mail: alivepaper@gmail.com • Editor: Fr Brian McKevitt OP • Design/Sub-editing: Tom English • Printed by Datascope, Enniscorthy
It’s affecting YOU.
Our nation convulses with a
ferocious attack on Catholic
values and the Family; hatred
against the Church, surrogacy,
IVF, sex education, sensuality,
attack on marriage, loss of
parental rights, secular takeover of schools.
of all disposed to evil, their
plans “overthrown”, “split up
by disagreements” and conversion of sinners (that’s us
all!) and all propagating atheistic communism.
The Psalmist writes: Let the
light of your face fall upon us
O Lord.
Dear Alive! Reader,