Friday, June 24, 2016

Return to Ireland - the people

The people of Ireland. Maureen put this video together of some of the pictures of the people of Ireland.

One thing Fred and I both noticed about the people we met in Ireland. They are very gracious. And they have an amazing sense of humour. They weave these lovely character traits into everything they do and say.

From the musicians, to the residents of Lahinch, to the servers in the pubs and restaurants, to the owner of the house we stayed in, to the priests who said Mass and carried the Eucharist through Lahinch on Corpus Christi. All are lovely genuine people. No wonder I love the fact that my roots are from County Clare.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Novena to our Lady of Perpetual help for Canada

The Feast day for Our Lady of Perpetual Help is Monday June 27th.

This is an invitation for you to join many others who will be praying a Novena to Our Lady asking for Her intersession for the intentions related to euthanasia and assisted suicide as listed below.

The Novena starts this Saturday June 18 and ends on June 26. 


        -  for the abolition of euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada and in 
                the world,
        -  for the of conscience rights of health care professionals and others  
               who may be required  to participate in anyway, and of institutions,  
        -  for the protection of children and the vulnerable from these acts.


Oh Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke your powerful name, the protection of the living and the salvation of the dying. Purest Mary, let your name henceforth be ever on my lips. Delay not, Blessed Lady, to rescue me whenever I call on you. In my temptations, in my needs, I will never cease to call on you, ever repeating your sacred name, Mary, Mary. What a consolation, what sweetness, what confidence fills my soul when I utter your sacred name or even only think of you! I thank the Lord for having given you so sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name. But I will not be content with merely uttering your name. Let my love for you prompt me ever to hail you Mother of Perpetual Help. Mother of Perpetual Help, pray for me and grant me the favor I confidently ask of you.

(Three Hail Marys) our-lady- of-perpetual- help.html

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Year of Mercy pilgrimage

This is the year of Mercy. Maureen made a mini pilgrimage yesterday to our own Holy Door at Notre Dame Cathedral. Here is her post on this wonderful Year of Mercy.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Return to Ireland - Fleadh Nua part two

Well we are back home in Canada. The land of moose, maple syrup and eh. Great to be home but I miss the rolling hills, the narrow roads, the grand scones, and the lovely people. And the music.

Videos I took at the Fleadh Nua in Ennis.

One more video here of the children dancing.

The one of the little girl dancing was taken in O'Connell Square.

The others are with Yvonne Casey and company, and were taken at the Bia Agus Caife. I love the casual and seemingly effortless way these musicians play.

Thanks to Pete McNamara for the picture he took of us at the Burren.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Return to Ireland - The Mass

While here in Ireland, I have been able to attend Mass at three different places, Ennis (the Franciscan Friary), Lahinch, and Corofin.

The priests here really inspire me. It's almost as if instead of saying the Mass, they experience the Mass. I feel as if they are including the congregation in the Mass, and that we are the Apostles.

It has been such a blessing to be able to witness these priests and be present at their masses. During the week the priest has no altar servers and no readers. Usually there is no music and no choir. There are no ushers on Sunday. Mass is shorter. Mass here seems simpler. But it is always inspirational and very reverent.

Sometimes I wonder if we in Canada over-produce our Masses. That we make them too complicated, instead of just being with Jesus and the apostles on the night before Jesus died. There's nothing wrong with beautiful hymns at Mass, but it is also lovely to have silence where we can quietly meditate.

I also noticed the first couple of times we attended Sunday Mass in Lahinch, that collections were being taken outside the church for different causes. I assumed these were Church sanctioned causes. But then at the end of the Mass on the second Sunday, the priest said from the altar that he didn't think it right that these collections take place, that outside the church was not the right place. And they stopped, I haven't seen those collections since. I can't imagine a Canadian priest saying something like that from the pulpit. But the priest was right.

I love going to Mass wherever I am and feel blessed that I can do it often. When I return to Canada, I will remember being at Mass here and how I felt, sharing the Body and Blood of Christ with the priest as Jesus, and with the other Apostles.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Return to Ireland - Irish Artist Michael Hanrahan

This morning Fred and I walked to ennnistymon again. I hadn't planned on taking any more pictures but apparently I couldn't stop myself.

Anyway you won't see those pictures today because when I get back to Canada I'll get Maureen to make me one of her lovely videos with the pictures (right Moe?).

We were going to the bus stop to go back to Lahinch after our scone and coffee at Ginger Lou's, when we bumped into Michael Hanrahan.

We had met Michael when we are here three years ago. He is a lovely Irish artist and my daughter's had bought one of his prints of a beautiful painting he had done of Lahinch.

Today we went into his gallery in Ennistymon and he showed is what he is currently working on. See below. It is a lovely work of something similar he painted before (that was sold), to commemorate the Queen's visit to Ireland in 2011.
"Michael was the only artist accredited to paint the historical occasion of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's State visit to Ireland in May 2011. This was the first visit of a British Monarch to Ireland since independence in 1922. One of Hanrahan's paintings commemorating the visit is now in the Royal collection."

This is Michael's second painting to go to Buckingham Palace.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Return to Ireland - Faith and the potato

Today Fred and I went back to Ennis. I checked out the Clare records office again and Fred shopped.

I also went to Mass again at the Franciscan Friary.

The priest quoted another priest during his homily. This other priest said that Faith is a precious gem that we pass down from generation to generation. And we do it with our dirty hands. But Faith itself never gets dirty.

I remember challenging a doctor once on the nutritional value of the common potato. He wrote a diet book and he strongly disagreed with me that the potato was in fact nutritious. He basically said that the potato had no nutritional value and that people should avoid eating them. I guess he'd never heard of the Irish and how they survived on potatoes. I don't listen to anything he says anymore.

 From the book Flight from Famine, the coming of the Irish to Canada by Donald MacKay

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Return to Ireland - finding our roots - eventually?

Yesterday we went to Corofin to the Clare Heritage & Genealogy Centre. My distant cousin Michael Maloney had hired them four years ago to find the three Maloney brothers (John, Michael and Patrick) who came from Ireland before or during the potato famine. Our file was actually begun 25 years ago by Eileen Maloney, another relative (daughter of Bill and Clara Maloney who complied our existing family tree). We didn't have any luck, as the woman Michael was dealing with was on holiday. They are supposed to get back to me with results, hopefully before we return to Canada next week.

We had a lovely bus ride into Corofin with a lovely bus driver who chatted with us all the way there.

There isn't much in Corofin and we did manage to check out the entire village. As luck would have it Mass was being said about ten minutes after we arrived (the church was easy to find like it is in all the villages here). Like all the priests who have said Mass in Ireland, this one was very expressive as he said the Mass. As if he really meant all the words he was saying. Before Mass he prayed for all expectant mothers and their unborn children (it was the Feast of the Presentation of Mary).

Downtown Corofin

Testament to the potato famine in the restaurant where we had lunch.

No potato famine now as you can see from Fred's lunch. Clearly the Irish are making up for lost time as far as potatoes are concerned. Just in case.

Where we had lunch.

Many villages have grottos. You see them everywhere.

Scary selfie.

Vegetation seems to grow wherever there is stone.