Archive for September, 2011

Social Justice Ireland:No justification to reduce social welfare rates

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from an artilce by Social Justice Ireland as to why there is no justification for the government to reduce social welfare rates in budget 2012.

“There is absolutely no justification for Government to reduce social welfare rates in Budget 2012.  Government can reduce its borrowing by €3.6bn in the Budget while still protecting Ireland’s most vulnerable people who have taken more than their fair share of the ‘hit’ for the reckless and at times illegal activities of those who got Ireland into its present mess.
Addressing the Pre-Budget Forum of the Department of Social Protection today (Friday, September 16, 2011) Michelle Murphy, Research and Policy Analyst with Social Justice Ireland, pointed out that: “those surviving on low incomes continue to struggle and, unlike other groups in society, have no room to absorb income cuts. Any such cuts would simply deepen their poverty and further undermine their attempts to live their lives with dignity.”

  • 14.1% of Ireland’s population is at risk of poverty with incomes below €11,585 for a single person or €26,877 for a household of four.
  • 37% of all the households at risk of poverty today are headed by a person with a job.  A further 44% are headed by a person outside the labour force (i.e. older people and people who are ill, have a serious disability or are in caring roles) and are totally dependent on social welfare.

In the current difficult economic climate, Social Justice Ireland believes that social welfare rates should not be reduced for five reasons:

  1. SW payments are low and for most households do not cover the minimum they require to live life with dignity.
  2. Inflation is likely to rise by 1.5% in the coming year so to stand still welfare rates should rise by that amount.  However Social Justice Ireland recognises the difficult economic position the government is in and accept that an increase would be very difficult to achieve.
  3. Without the social welfare system Ireland’s poverty rate in 2009 (the latest year for which data is available) would have been 46 per cent. The actual poverty figure of 14.1 per cent reflects the fact that social welfare payments reduced poverty by 28.6 percentage points.
  4. Without any social welfare payments 88% of all those aged 65+yrs would be living in poverty.  Similarly, social welfare payments (including child benefit) reduce poverty among those under 18 years from 47.3 per cent to 18.6 per cent.
  5. Government can achieve its fiscal targets without reducing welfare rates. In the coming weeks Social Justice Ireland will publish a fully-costed Budget for 2012 showing how this can be done and how vulnerable people can be protected.”

By Social Justice Ireland

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CiNews:Waterford priest takes part in Ironman event to raise church funds

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from an article in CiNews about Fr. Liam Power who took part in Irelands first Ironman Triathlon to raise funds for church renovations.

“A County Waterford based priest took part in the country’s first Iron Man Triathlon to raise funds for his local church renovation.

Fr Liam Power who is curate in Saint John’s Parish in Waterford City took part in the event which was held in Galway city.

Speaking to the local media in Waterford, Fr Power who trained with the Waterford Triathlon club as part of his training for the event, said he was delighted to complete the course in 6 hours and 25 minutes.

According to Fr Liam, due to the weather conditions on the day the 1.9km swim was deemed to be too dangerous in the conditions and was shortened to 750m which was followed by a 90km cycle and a 21km run.”

By Sean Ryan

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Zenit:Eucharistic Congresses: A Laywoman’s Gift to the Church

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from an article by Zenit on the origins of the Eucharistic Congress.

“As Benedict XVI closed Italy’s 25th National Eucharistic Congress on Sunday, and Dublin is in the thick of preparations for the 50th International Congress next June, the Church is as focused as ever on the fruits of these events.

What many might not know is that the faithful have a French laywoman to thank for conceiving and implementing the concept of Eucharistic congresses.

Lucetta Scaraffia wrote last week in L’Osservatore Romano that Eucharistic congresses are attributable to “the foresight of a woman.”

She explained that the first Eucharistic congress was held in France in 1881.

“Few people know that it was a woman who conceived of these congresses,” Scaraffia observed.

French laywoman Emilie-Marie Tamisier was “one of the many laywomen who dedicated their life to defending the Church in years when anti-Catholic polemics were particularly acerbic,” Scaraffia explained. “Tamisier, who had had a special devotion to the Eucharist since childhood, had the foresight to organize activities for a religious reawakening in a context rapidly becoming secularized, and focused them on Eucharistic worship.”


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CiNews:Pope praises Queen’s visit to Ireland

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from CiNews about the appointment of a new British Ambassador to the Holy See, in which the Pope praises the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Ireland earlier this year.

“The Pope has praised this year’s visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Ireland on the occasion of the appointment of a new British Ambassador to the Holy See at the weekend.

Nigel Baker (45) (pictured) presented his diplomatic credentials in the Vatican at the weekend and succeeds County Down born Francis Campbell, who had spent six years in the position and now goes to take up a post in Pakistan.

Speaking at the ceremony about the normalisation of diplomatic relations between Britain and Ireland, Pope Benedict XVI said “I was very pleased to note the success of Her Majesty’s recent visit to the Republic of Ireland, an important milestone in the process of reconciliation that is happily becoming ever more firmly established in Northern Ireland, despite the unrest which occurred there during this past Summer.”

The Pontiff also stressed that relations between the United Kingdom and the Vatican had been strengthened by his visit to the UK last year.  He said, “The close bond between us was further strengthened last year during my visit to your country, a unique occasion in the course of the shared history of the Holy See and the countries which today compose the United Kingdom.”

By Sean Ryan

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CiNews:Eucharistic Congress Bell and charities for farmer’s event

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Below is a short excerpt from CiNews about the presence of the Eucharistic Congress Bell as well as the charities Concern and Self Help Africa at the upcoming National Ploughing Championships.

“The International Eucharistic Congress Bell, Concern and Self Help Africa are all set for the National Ploughing Championship.

The annual farmer’s event has more than 1,000 exhibitors and 180,000 visitors annually and this year will be held in Athy, Co Kildare from September 20 – 22.

Athy falls within the Dublin Archdiocese so the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) 2012 staff will be sharing an ecumenical marquee with the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin, the Church of Ireland and the Methodist Church.

“Together we are calling people to communion and to prayer.  The Eucharistic Congress Bell will be present at the stand and people are welcome to come and ring it,” IEC organisers said, urging everyone to visit the stand.

Meanwhile the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) will team up with Concern Worldwide and Self Help Africa at the Ploughing Championships to raise funds for the famine relief effort in East Africa.  “Concern will use the funds raised to deal with the immediate impact of the famine.  Self Help Africa will use their contribution to develop long-term sustainable agriculture,” said John Bryan, IFA President.

The IFA President urged farm families to continue to do what they can to assist and said that Concern has given a commitment that 100% of money donated to Concern will be directed immediately to help in Somalia.”

by Ann Marie Foley

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CiNews:New Rector of Irish College in Rome announced

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Below is a short excerpt from CiNews about the appointment of Fr. Ciarán O’Carroll as the new rector of the Irish College in Rome.

“The Episcopal Vicar for Evangelisation in the Archdiocese of Dublin has been appointed as the new Rector of the Pontifical Irish College in Rome.

Fr Ciarán O’Carroll, who is also Administrator of the Catholic University Church on St Stephen’s Green in Dublin, succeeds Mgr Liam Bergin from the Diocese of Ossory,who has been Rector of the College since 2001.

The position of Rector is appointed by the Congregation for Catholic Education in the Holy See on the authority of the Pope, having been recommended by the Trustees of the Irish College.

There are currently 20 seminarians studying for the priesthood at the College of whom 17 are Irish.  In addition, there are 40 priests who studying at post-graduate level.

Fr O’Carroll, who holds a doctorate in ecclesiastical history and is the author of several publications in this area, is a graduate of University College Dublin, the Angelicum University, Rome, and the Gregorian University, Rome.  He has lectured in ecclesiastical history at a number of third level institutes including Holy Cross College in Clonliffe and at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth.

A priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin, he has ministered in a number of parishes including Naul, Sutton, Rathmines and Saggart prior to his present appointment.”

By Sarah Mac Donald

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CiNews:Tipperary priest uses hurling to encourage vocations

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Below is a short excerpt from an article in CiNews about how Fr. Billy Meehan of St. Marys parish in Clonmel used the recent All-Ireland senior hurling final between Tipperary and Kilkenny to encourage vocations.

“Social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter have become commonplace for the church in recent years to get God’s message across.

However, a novel idea by a Clonmel based priest promoting vocations in the diocese of Waterford & Lismore generated huge interest from his local parishioners ahead of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final between Tipperary and Kilkenny.

A huge blue and gold poster promoting vocations was been erected in the car park outside Saint Mary’s Parish Church in Irishtown in Clonmel bearing the logo, Become a member on the panel of our championship-winning parish team.

According to parish priest Fr Bill Meehan the idea came to him one day in a ‘light bulb moment’ as a way of promoting vocations.  The poster says, “You too can be part of a winning team” just like Lar Corbett, Eoin Kelly and the rest of the Tipperary team.  It also says that for “success due to teamwork and team spirit-join the priesthood team in our diocese.”

Speaking about the poster Fr Meehan says that it has attracted huge interest from locals and “as a direct result of the poster or not, “we’ve one fella gone up to Maynooth national seminary to enrol in studies for the priesthood this year.”

By Sean Ryan

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Cath News: Survey finds 19% use digital tablet to work in church

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from an article in Cath News about the number of people using their smart phones and tablets to send work emails from various locations, including places of worship.

A survey of 300 Australian IT workers and their bosses has found employees were frequently using their own smart phones and tablets to send work emails – from bed, from places of worship and while on holidays, said an AAP report in the Sydney Morning Herald.

“It said 19 percent had worked from a place of worship and 34 per cent had sent work emails while on holidays, surprisingly, the same amount that had sent a work email from public transport.

Other private places where work emails were being sent were the bed, for 23 percent surveyed, and restaurants, for 21 percent.

iPad users were far more likely to use their devices for work, with 42 percent confessing to emailing from an entertainment event and 49 percent while on holiday.”

By Sydney Morning Herald and posted on Cath News

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CiNews: Limerick church hosts Indian reunion

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011
Below is an excerpt from an article from CiNewsabout a retreat held in Limerick for Irish and British Catholics

“A Limerick church has hosted a retreat for a thousand Irish and British Indian Catholics.

The charismatic style retreat at St Paul’s Church in Dooradoyle consisted of prayer, meditation and song and was led by one of India’s most highly regarded Catholic preachers, Fr Xavier Khan Vattayil (pictured).

It was the second visit to Ireland of Fr Vattayil, whose retreats are popular for healing and who draws huge crowds in his home country.  “I pray for healings and many take place,” he said, adding that while there have been no incidences of apparitions, he finds the events a “great experience.”

“In India, usually 20,000 to 30,000 people come for this healing ministry and open air Mass on the first Friday of each month,” he said.

The theme of Fr Vattayil’s message, which was delivered in an Indian language but with an official translation provided, was that although it is a difficult time, the faith of the people of Ireland can be built again.”

By Fintan Deere

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Rome Reports:Facelift to St. Peter’s Colonnade revealed

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from article from Rome Reports about the new facelift to St. Peters Colonnade.

“After months of repair work, the initial part of the facelift to St. Peter’s Colonnade has been revealed. The work which began in 2009 will cover every section of the colonnade and is scheduled to be completed between 2013 and 2015.

During the beatification of John Paul II, the colonnade was previously covered by a large image of the Virgin Mary and was recently taken down to show the cleaning and repairs done to the columns.”

By Rome Reports

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