25th October

Fr Morty O'Shea

Blessed_Margaret_of_Castello_statueSt John Paul II often spoke about the “school of the saints”. It is through devout reflection on the lives of the saints that we too can learn holiness. This is the heroic testament of Blessed Margaret of Castello who is incorrupt (from Wikipedia).

Margaret della Metola was born in Perugia in 1287 to the nobles Parisio and Emilia in the Metola Castle near Mercatello sul Metauro. Her father served at the garrison at the castle.

Margaret was born blind with a severe curvature of the spine had difficulties in walking; she was also a dwarf. Though her parents (who were embarrassed of her and their pride hurt) hid her from all a kind maid found her and gave her the name Margaret meaning “Pearl”.On one occasion when she was almost discovered aged six her parents imprisoned her for about a decade in a room attached to their…

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11th October.

Fr Morty O'Shea

Yesterday evening I attended a large meeting in Derry City on Consecration to Our Lady. The main speaker was Fr Michael Gaitley who wrote the acclaimed work 33 DAYS TO MORNING GLORY which brings together the Marian spiritualities of St Louis de Montford, St John Paul II, St Maximilian Kolbe, and St Teresa of Calcutta. A million free copies are being given out in Ireland so that as many as possible will do the 33 day consecration from Nov 5 – Dec 8th. This is the best response to all the challenges that the Church faces in our present times. St Louis de Montford said that this a QUICK, SURE and EASY way to be a saint. St John Paul II said that it was “decisive turning point” in his life. If you want to do the consecration and don’t have the book, it can be got…

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9th October – St Denis & Companions.

Fr Morty O'Shea

St Denis martyrAs might be expected for a saint of such an early period, practically no hard facts about Saint Denis (+256 ?) survive. According to St Gregory of Tours, writing some 300 years later, Denis came to Gaul from Rome in the middle of the third century. He arrived at what is now the Ile de la Cité in Paris, where he built a church, arranged the regular celebration of Mass, and preached the Gospel. Together with two members of his clergy he was martyred near the city.

In the Office of Readings, St Ambrose speaks about various types of martyrdoms. The word ‘martyr’ means ‘witness’. In the ordinary sense, a ‘red’ martyr refers to one who dies for Christ and the gospel. But we can be a ‘white’ martyr who witnesses to Christ by the effort to live faithfully to the Lord Jesus and his Commandments in our everyday life.


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7th October – Our Lady of the Rosary.

Fr Morty O'Shea

Yesterday I had another routine chemotherapy clinic in Letterkenny and everything was FINE! Today is the 3rd anniversary of my arrival in Donegal and taking up the parish of Lettermacaward and Doochary. It has been a great privilege!

379_rosary1Today’s gospel for Our Lady of the Rosary is the well-known Annunciation of Gabriel. Here is the commentary from the Bishops’ website.

Gospel Reflection    Saturday,      Our Lady of the Rosary       Luke 1:26-38

Today we celebrate the memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary. The Catechism of the Church refers to the rosary as ‘the epitome of the whole gospel’. The Rosary invites us to reflect on the great mysteries of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Luke in his gospel presents Mary as a reflective person. In the second chapter of his gospel, in response to the words of the shepherds, Luke says of…

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6th October – St Bruno.

Fr Morty O'Shea

Today is the memorial of St Bruno (*1033 +1101) who lived mainly the solitary life of a Cathusian contemplative. His life is summed up by the Opening/Concluding Prayer:

Lord God, you called Saint Bruno
  to serve you in a life of solitude.
Amidst this world’s changes
  help us, by his prayers [and by his example too],
  to set our hearts always on you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  one God, for ever and ever.

pray-for-mercyA recent article of Fr Ron Rolheiser was entitled A PRAYER FOR STILLNESS – below. Can I suggest that your read his list of prayers, ask the Holy Spirit to highlight one or two of them. Then copy them out and perhaps pray them on a daily basis.

Be still and know that I am God. Scripture assures us that…

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1st October – 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

Fr Morty O'Shea

This past week the government announced that a referendum would be held next Mayprollife 001 or June on the pro-life 8th Amendment. Also yesterday there was a national pro-choice march in Dublin. Given that the Bishops’ Conference has dedicated this Sunday as a DAY FOR LIFE, I decided to address the issue in this weekend’s homily.

On a regular basis I find myself talking to young people about choosing their vocation in life. I say that God has a great big plan for us that extends across time and space. Because God is our loving Father, this is a wise and good plan. Much of our personal happiness and fulfilment depends on finding this unique place that God has given to us in his jigsaw plan.

If we stay close to God by a life of daily prayer, worshipping him at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days and by keeping…

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