With fact and legends colliding, SINÉAD MOLLOY takes a brief look at the history of the two Skellig Islands, the larger famous as a Christian heritage site, located in the Atlantic Sea off the coast of County Kerry.
Now in its sixty-ninth year, Pioneer magazine is a favorite in many families. With articles on Spirituality, personalities, short stories, a crossword and games, there is something to appeal to everyone. Below find some of the recent articles and some of the highlights from the past.
You may be aware by now, that the Jesuits have elected a new leader to guide us. His name is Father Arturo Sosa. He was born in Venezuela and is in his sixties. Both he and Pope Francis come from Latin America and it is the first time ever for a Pope and a Jesuit General to come from Latin America!
A Greek myth tells the story of a hero who had to roll a heavy stone to the top of a hill. The snag was that, just as the stone was teetering on the top, it would roll the whole way down to the bottom. Not just once, but time and time again. Yet, he would have to begin his task all over again.
SR THÉRÈSE MARIE OCD recalls the life of the recently canonised French saint, Elizabeth of the Trinity.
Elizabeth Catez was a Carmelite nun at Dijon in France, but if God had not called her to Carmel she might well have been a celebrated concert pianist. She had one younger sister Marguerite, known as Guite. When the little girls were aged four and seven, their father died suddenly, as the result of a heart attack, and some time afterwards their mother enrolled them both in the Dijon Conservatoire to study music. Elizabeth began her studies there when she was eight. She practised the piano for several hours each day and was an exceptionally gifted pianist. She often played in concerts and when she was thirteen she won first prize for her playing, having already won first prize for theory of music. The following year she won the much coveted Prize of Excellence for piano, but already her heart was set on God.
During the nineteenth century, there lived in France a most extraordinary parish priest. At first he was noted for his lack of academic ability but later he surprised the French nation and further afield with his power of ferreting out the forgotten or hidden sins of those entering his confessional, writes PATRICK P ROWAN
ANTÓIN O’CALLAGHAN addressed a gathering at the Matt Talbot Novena held in Togher earlier this year. We appreciate his permission to publish what he had to say about the Venerable Matt Talbot.
CHARLES SEARSON SJ, National Director of the Pioneer Association in Zambia and Malawi, takes a look at the essence of what it means to be a Pioneer, with love of the Sacred Heart at the core of our commitment to temperance and sobriety.
What is it about the number seven that attracts our attention? Perhaps, it has something to do with star-gazing. There are seven stars in the constellation of the Plough, which we associate with the O’Casey play The Plough and the Stars. Then again, there are seven stars in the constellation called Orion.
When we think of the apostolate we think of action, of going and of doing. Influenced by the achievement-oriented culture in which we live we think of the indefatigable labours of Saints Paul and Francis Xavier. But strange as it may seem, the first, the last and perhaps the most effective apostolate we will ever exercise is the apostolate of being - of being me; of being happy to be me.
Pope Francis' call to be merciful comes from the merciful loving kindness shown to us first.
By Alan Mowbray SJ
The sun now high in the heavens is warm on our backs and chestnut trees with white ‘candles’ on their branches tell us the month of May has arrived. Mother Nature is fresh and alive. Creativity is bursting out all over. Our ancestors celebrated the source of this new birth of life by offering gifts to a goddess of spring. However, early Christians were aware that God the Creator was the true source of all life and that Mary, mother of the Lord of Life, would give a new dimension to the month of May.
There is a story about an infamous Greek innkeeper who would stand at his door and invite passers-by to stay the night at his inn. If someone said ‘yes’, the inn keeper would then invite the person to lie down on the bed. The innkeeper would measure each person’s exact height carefully to ensure that the bed and the visitor matched. Now comes the rub! If too tall, he would chop off the ankles; if too small, he would stretch the visitor to fit the bed. You see there was only one bed and visitors had to fit that bed. Yes, it was an Ancient Greek myth but its message was clear.
What bells ring in our heads when we hear the word ‘mercy’? Does it suggest that we are to let people walk over us? Does the word confuse us and leave us uncertain? If we decide to have mercy on someone, is it that we just appear weak in a world that admires only the strong? asks ALAN MOWBRAY SJ
Continuing on from last month, FRANK BURKE takes a look at the last days of seven more of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising
FRANK BURKE, well known to the alumni of Synge Street CBS, Dublin where he was a popular teacher for many years, presents lesser-known aspects of the last days of some of the Leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising.
Martyr for Faith and Justice
PATRICK P ROWAN recalls the life and death of martyr Oscar Romero
There were two priests who were very much alike in outlook when they began their ministry. Both were considered ‘conservative’ in their thinking. One lived in Central America, while the other ministered in South America. Both were very highly regarded as priests and eventually became archbishops. By this time, each had changed his outlook regarding the priorities of his ministry so that now standing up for the poor and deprived was of primary concern.
Homily delivered by Most Rev EAMON MARTIN – Archbishop of Armagh, at the Pioneer Association’s National Pilgrimage to Knock Shrine on Sunday 19 July, 2015
"I would like to thank God today for the many missionaries of mercy around this country who unselfishly reach out to help those who are addicted by offering prayer, providing counselling and therapy, recovery programmes and pathways of mentoring and support for addicts and their families … few Irish families that have not been impacted in some way by the problems of addiction, whether it be to alcohol, tablets or other drugs, online gambling, pornography or some other dependent behaviour” – Archbishop Eamon Martin
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- Louis and Zélie Martin: Saints of a Saint
- St Peter:Teaching Us to Start Again
- Coach for our Lives: The Holy Spirit
- The Fifth President of the PTAA
- The Struggling World of Marriage
- WHAT KEEPS THE PIONEERS GOING?
- NOVENA of GRACE
- Forgiveness - The Keystone of Human Values
- Forgiveness - The Keystone of Human Values
- St. Teresa of Avila
- THEOBALD MATHEW: Temperance ‘Precursor’ to Fr Cullen
- FRANCIS wants to KNOW
- Build a Bridge
- THE MIRACLE MAN OF MONTREAL
- The Late Vocation
- Single Ticket to Heaven