While it’s generally true that Irish people love song and dance, once we go inside a church our tongues seem to be stiffen and our legs become rigid. Traditionally, we find ourselves solemnly self-conscious when we gather to worship: to express ourselves spontaneously before the Lord can seem irreverent. Generally, this means that it is difficult for us to freely express the joy that comes from our faith during a liturgical celebration.
Despite this cultural background, as a newly ordained priest I had wanted my first Mass to be a truly joyful occasion. While I planned to celebrate it in the rural church where several generations of my family and neighbors had faithfully attended Mass, I was determined that it wouldn’t be another regular Sunday Mass. However, I was unsure about how to evoke a real sense of celebration in such a traditional setting.
Soon after I began the preparations, providence intervened: five Columban lay missionaries from the Fiji islands in the South Pacific arrived in Ireland...
The world was shocked after World War II when the news of the sterilization of Jews and Gypsies by Nazi Germany was reported. Horrible indeed as was that inhuman episode, it didn’t seem to have made a difference in Peru in 1995 to the population planners who set about sterilizing all the Indian and rural women of the Peruvian highlands.
My Name is Mercy Gawason. My Subanen ancestors were the first humans to occupy Zamboanga peninsula in Northwestern Mindanao, the Philippines. In the old days we survived by foraging in the forests and later by growing corn and root crops on small hillside plots next to the forest.
God, Enable us to be attentive to the Holy Spirit speaking to us in and through one another. Help us to trust that You desire to do great things for us once again. Grant us wisdom and courage to...