Columbans Ireland

Tuesday
Feb 21st
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"We should be ashamed of our country"

As Irish people we should have more empathy for the plight of migrants, writes Fr Alan Hilliard in an article for the irish Catholic.

"Writing and speaking on the subject of migration in Ireland falls on deaf ears most of the time, unless of course it is about tragedy that befalls Irish people abroad or the subject revolves around the plight of groups of Irish emigrants who are suffering under the weight of a seeming injustice overseas. 

I am often perturbed that a country like Ireland with such a tragic history of emigration cannot draw the parallels with contemporary European migration. The simple wish to live in a place where one can find safety, security, even happiness, is the key to every migratory journey whether that is a journey out of Europe or a journey into Europe. 
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Climate Change and the Preferential Option for the Poor

A principle which is helpful in the search for an ecological theology is the preferential option for the poor. This is a relatively recent moral principle which emerged, especially from the struggles of poor people in Latin America, during the second part of the 20th century. It is now enshrined in Catholic Social Teaching. It challenges individuals and societies to examine ethical and economic choices from the point of view of how it will affect poor people, not just in their locality, but globally as well.
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President Higgins' Address to Misean Cara

I was very delighted to accept the invitation to come here today and to pay tribute to the inspiring work that missionary members have long carried out – and continue to carry out – in providing education and health services to those in greatest need, in promoting their human rights, in working with them to boost their opportunities for better livelihoods;  and also to pay particular tribute to the work of Misean Cara in facilitating and supporting that work.
 
May I thank your chairperson Matt Moran for his kind references to our own family connections to this area, and indeed Sabina’s family is perhaps the most connected with the work that you have been speaking about.  My sister-in-law Margaret Coyne spent, I think, just about twenty-seven years in Tigre Province in Ethiopia and we are delighted to be able to hear that the work we visited, to hear that the work is continuing and my brother-in-law Fr. Paddy Coyne spent a great deal of time in the early days establishing schools in Kenya.
 
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Big Tobacco Flexes its Muscles

At the moment we are witnessing an extraordinary event. Big Tobacco, in the guise of Japan Tobacco International (JTI), is planning to take the Irish government to court over its attempts to introduce plain tobacco containers.  Dr. James Reilly, the Children’s Minister in Ireland has adopted this position as a way to further reduce the number of smokers in the country.   Minister Reilly pointed to the fact that in Ireland 5,200 people die each year from tobacco-related diseases. The tobacco industry dispute the claim that plain packaging leads to fewer smokers.   In Australia, where plain packaging was first introduced, John Player circulated data recently which shows that in the 12 -17 age-cohort tobacco use grew by 32 percent since plain packaging was introduced in 2012. Many question these figures, and wonder why they plan to take the Irish government to court if plain packaging will increase their sales!.
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Unlikely encounters show connectedness

Mystery is at the heart of creativity. That and surprise. (Julia Cameron)

It was a hot tropical morning as I set out for a distant hill barrio of Illigan City in Mindanao. Every few miles the jeep conked out. After checking various plugs, connections and a dose of coaxing it started again went another few miles and spluttered to a halt. Again, after another dose of persuasion it started only to break down again. Frustrated, I abandoned it and took to shanks mare. Eventually, I arrived at my destination two hours late. The local people waiting to celebrate the feast of their patron understood as they frequently experience similar travails with transport.
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Heart to Heart - Kevin O'Rourke ssc

Columban Kevin O'Rourke was the first foreigner to receive a PhD. in Korean literature from a Korean university.
He has been translating Korean literature into English for nearly 40 years. His work has concentrated mainly short stories and poetry, and is widely regarded.
He taught at Kyunghee University from 1977 until he retired from the post several years ago. He won the Korean National Literature Prize in 1989 for his translations of Korean poetry.
In this extensive  television  interview he talks about his work and his life in Korea
 
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Enjoy Christmas...

Enjoy Christmas...At Christmas, Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus who is the saviour of our world. During Advent, which is a time of preparation for Christmas, we listen to the voice of the prophet Isaiah promising true liberation, hope, peace and joy. Five hundred years before the birth of Christ Isaiah tells us: "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone. You have made their gladness greater, you have made their joy increase; they rejoice in your presence as men rejoice at harvest time, as men are happy when they are dividing the spoils. For the yoke that was weighing on him, the bar across his shoulders, the rod of his oppressor, these you break on the day of Midian.... for there is a child born for us, a son is giving to us and dominion is laid on his shoulders; and this is the name they give him: Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace. (Is. 9: 1-5).
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A Christmas Dinner Goes Wrong

Jim Dwyer discovered a turkey somewhere. In the 1960s turkeys were a scarce species in the Philippines. We never discovered the origins of this particular bird other than it came from a freezer and would be the central dish for our Christmas dinner a few weeks hence. Jim took great pride in the presence of the bird. As Christmas day approached the rectory cook, a plump chap named Jaime, declared that the cooker was too small to accommodate such a large bird. Long intense discussions followed this declaration as to how and where this valued bird could be cooked and celebrated.
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Losing market Share?

"Cities are multicultural; in the larger cities, a connective network is found in which groups of people share a common imagination and dreams about life, and new interactions arise, new cultures, invisible cities. Various subcultures exist side by side, and often practice segregation and violence. The Church is called to be at the service of a difficult dialogue...The proclamation of the gospel will be a basis for restoring the dignity of human life in these contexts, for Jesus desires to pour out an abundance of life upon our cities." (The joy of the Gospel)
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Missionaries -  we're just trying to match the generosity of those with whom we work and those who support us.

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