Click here to read the obituary of Bishop Antonio Riboldi of Acerra, who died on 10th December 2017. Bishop Riboldi, a Rosminian, was one of the Catholic Church’s leading opponents of the Sicilian Mafia.
On the 8th of September 2016, Glencomeragh Retreat Centre was transferred to the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore. It will be run by the Holy Family Mission as a house of prayer for young adults.
Waterford Lismore Diocese
The publication today of the Review of Safeguarding Practice in the Rosminians, by the National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSCCCI), is an opportunity to restate our absolute commitment to safeguarding children now and into the future. We take this opportunity to thank the members of NBSCCCI, who carried out this independent review.
We Rosminians acknowledge our failures in the past, which regrettably contributed to the suffering caused to many children and families. We take this opportunity to again unreservedly apologise to all those who were abused while in our care. We commit ourselves to working with former residents and supporting them as best we can in the continuing healing process.
The review published today rightly highlights our failings in the past. It covers complaints reported from 1975 to date, and includes allegations dating back some 70 years to the 1940’s. The Review acknowledges the work we have done in more recent years, in doing all that is possible to safeguard children. We note that in its Review the National Board recognizes the work undertaken by the Rosminians in relation to safeguarding. The Review states that :
Our safeguarding practices were assessed across 48 criteria within the 7 Standards devised by the NBSCCCI. We are encouraged to note that in respect of 44 of the 48 criteria against which we were measured, our practices fully met the NBSCCCI criteria. In respect of the remaining 4 criteria, all were met partially. The Review by the NBSCCCI makes 5 recommendations (listed below). Implementation of these 5 Recommendations has already begun, and they are scheduled to be fully implemented by the end of this year. We are determined to ensure that our past failures will not be repeated and that the protection of children will continue to be an absolute priority.
We are grateful to the National Board for their work and their support. We also greatly appreciate all of those, especially survivors, who have helped us to improve our Safeguarding. We will continue to welcome all contributions to this important and valuable commitment to the wellbeing of children. We continue to strive to create communities that are safe and which respect the dignity of every person at every stage of their lives. A copy of our Safeguarding policy is available on our website: www.rosminians.ie. We again ask anyone who was abused while in our care to report to the authorities and make contact with our designated person on 01-6877014.
We also ask those who were abused to consider contacting the independent and confidential helpline, Towards Healing:
The Towards Healing Helpline is open, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 11am to 8pm – and on Friday from 11am to 6pm.
Freephone 0800 0963315 (Northern Ireland and UK)
Freephone 1800 303416 (Rep of Ireland)
Hearing impaired Text Line Number – 085 8022859.
For media contact: Young Communications – 087 2471520
Fr. O’Reilly is a native of Kingscourt, Co. Cavan. He attended secondary school in St. Michael’s Omeath, Co. Louth from 1972-77. Fr. O’Reilly was ordained a priest in 1985 and has worked in St. Joseph’s School for the Blind, Dublin and St. Joseph’s Ferryhouse, Clonmel.
He was also Provincial of the Rosminians in Ireland from 2003-10 at which time he was appointed to their College in Rome.
Fr. O’Reilly took up the position of Provincial in September 2014.
“Set in a valley between the Comeragh Mountains and Slievenamon this project’s refinement of making in a special place combines with its lean use of materials to create an architecture of memorable and elegant simplicity. Nestling on a hillside – offering a remarkable array of seasonal colour and scents enveloped by the rushing sounds of the waterfall and stream which is a tributary to the Suir – the scale and complexity of the Poustinia design is derived from its role as a hybrid of architecture and landscape which somehow succeeds in transcending both.”
So said the jury in deciding the winner of The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland’s (RIAI) Triennial Gold Medal for 2004-2006, presented in Dublin last month. Architects Tom Maher and Kevin Bates received the award from President Michael D. Higgins at a ceremony in the RIAI offices, 8 Merrion Square, on Friday, 8th November.
Built to a unique design and constructed and finished to the highest standard, the houses offer the visitor a never to be forgotten experience. Each Poustinia is centred around a sacred space, which invites you to connect with your inner self. This space is open to the elements, symbolizing the vulnerability at the centre of each human heart. At the same time the hermitages reach outward, to bring you closer to the wonders of God’s creation in beautiful natural surroundings.
A month after the presentation of the RIAI Gold Medal, Director of Glencomeragh House of Prayer, Fr. Paddy Pierce I.C., reflects on the event:
“When RTE’s correspondent Damian Tiernan arrived in Glencomeragh House on Friday morning, November 8th, we were excited about the events of the afternoon but had no idea that we had won the Gold Medal Award. We were under the impression that RTE had sent a rep to the four centres which had been short-listed for the award. It was only on reflection later in the day that I remembered the care and attention to detail that he had shown throughout his visit. When we arrived at the offices of the RIAI we were, once again, ‘hoodwinked’! We were told that a representative of each of the finalists would be taken to another room for a short interview but of course, as it turned out, we were the only ones interviewed.
“So, you can imagine the excitement when the winners were announced. We were ‘up against the giants’ as we had been told so it was all the more exciting to win. The hermitages had already won four major architectural and construction awards and this one was the icing on the cake. For an architect in Ireland no higher accolade can be achieved. The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, who presented the awards, was most complimentary in his remarks about the significance of the award going to such a project, one that would reach out to people in a different way than much of what happened during the years when the hermitages were constructed.
“We hope and pray that Glencomeragh House and the Hermitages will be there for many years to come and that people from every creed and race will continue to find peace and solace there.”
Accommodation at the hermitages in Glencomeragh is open to booking for all members of the public and groups. More information, including contact details and pricing, can be found here: http://www.glencomeragh.ie/Hermitages
To read more about the awards go to: http://www.riai.ie/index.php/news/article/the_riai_gold_medal_for_architecture_2004_2006_poustinia
November and early December saw the visit to Ireland by the Provincial of the Rosminian Fathers’ East Africa Province, Fr. Firmati Tarimo I.C.
The purpose of Fr. Tarimo’s visit was primarily to express gratitude for the support received from Ireland by East Africa over the years, and to pay his respects to the Rosminians that worked in Africa and have since gone to the Lord. Fr. Tarimo was pleased to meet with the families of some Rosminian brethren buried in Ireland, particularly those of the late Fr. Peter Kenny and Fr. Maurice Reen. He also visited and prayed over their graves and those of Br. Jim Kane and Fr. Tom Marley who died in recent months.
Additionally, the visit gave Fr. Tarimo the opportunity to visit Rosminian ministries around Ireland. Upon his return to Tanzania, Fr. Tarimo wrote of his visit to Rosminian communities in Cork, Clonmel, Glencomeragh, Kilcurry, and Dublin:
“In each community I was well received and made welcome. I was very happy to see the Spiritual works at the Glen, St. Oliver’s Parish and St. Brigid’s Parish. In the two parishes, I was impressed with the celebration of the month of November, dedicated to the Holy Souls. I believe this can be very enriching for the parishes here in the East Africa Province as well.
“Community life and care of the elderly brethren was another thing that caught my attention. I believe I saw true love among the brethren, especially in the administering of care for the elderly brethren.
The visit also presented the opportunity to reaffirm the continued bonds of love and solidarity between Ireland and East Africa now and into the future. In addition to meeting the brethren, Fr. Tarimo also met with supporters of the Rosminians that have been a rock of friendship over the years. Ireland has been a most valuable and willing source of support during the years of Rosminian ministry in East Africa. As the East African parishes and projects continue to develop and prosper in the years ahead, those bonds of love and solidarity will continue to be relevant, important, and cherished as much as ever before.
In November, four Rosminian Fathers received training in Child Safeguarding. They were Fr. James Browne I.C., Chaplain to Childvision, Drumcondra, Co. Dublin and the Rosminian Retreat and Conference Centre, Glencomeragh, Co. Tipperary, Fr. James Flynn I.C., Chaplain to Childvision, Drumcondra, Co. Dublin, Fr. PJ Fagan I.C., Chaplain to St. Joseph’s Special School, Ferryhouse, Co. Tipperary, and Fr. Emilian Kibiriti I.C, Vocations Fundraiser.
The training day was a joint initiative with the Jesuits and was delivered by Mr. Cormac Ryan and Mr. Joe Greenan on behalf of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCC). Areas of focus included safeguarding and the role of the safeguarding representative, the Three R’s: Recognising, Responding, Reporting, working safely with children, and the seven safeguarding standards of the Catholic Church.
Participants found the day to be rewarding and informative, with good levels of discussion and engagement with a range of challenging topics.
The Rosminian Fathers are committed to promoting the safeguarding and protection of children in all aspects of their ministry and this training will continue to further that goal.
A Novena to St. Jude, Patron Saint of Hopeless Cases will take place from the 2nd – 9th of June at the Calvary, Omeath, Co. Louth. The Novena will consist of Rosary and Mass each evening at 7.30pm
There will be a Mass for the sick on Sunday the 9th which will include annointing of the sick. The Novena will be preached by Fr. James Browne I.C
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
But what happened on that day, so distant from us and yet so close as to touch the very depths of our hearts? Luke gives us the answer in the passage of the Acts of the Apostles which we have heard (2:1-11). The evangelist brings us back to Jerusalem, to the Upper Room where the apostles were gathered. The first element which draws our attention is the sound which suddenly came from heaven like the rush of a violent wind, and filled the house; then the tongues as of fire which divided and came to rest on each of the apostles. Sound and tongues of fire: these are clear, concrete signs which touch the apostles not only from without but also within: deep in their minds and hearts. As a result, all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit, who unleashed his irresistible power with amazing consequences: they all began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. A completely unexpected scene opens up before our eyes: a great crowd gathers, astonished because each one heard the apostles speaking in his own language. They all experience something new, something which had never happened before: We hear them, each of us, speaking our own language. And what is it that they are they speaking about? Gods deeds of power.
In the light of this passage from Acts, I would like to reflect on three words linked to the working of the Holy Spirit: newness, harmony and mission.
1. Newness always makes us a bit fearful, because we feel more secure if we have everything under control, if we are the ones who build, programme and plan our lives in accordance with our own ideas, our own comfort, our own preferences. This is also the case when it comes to God. Often we follow him, we accept him, but only up to a certain point. It is hard to abandon ourselves to him with complete trust, allowing the Holy Spirit to be the soul and guide of our lives in our every decision. We fear that God may force us to strike out on new paths and leave behind our all too narrow, closed and selfish horizons in order to become open to his own. Yet throughout the history of salvation, whenever God reveals himself, he brings newness and change, and demands our complete trust: Noah, mocked by all, builds an ark and is saved; Abram leaves his land with only a promise in hand; Moses stands up to the might of Pharaoh and leads his people to freedom; the apostles, huddled fearfully in the Upper Room, go forth with courage to proclaim the Gospel. This is not a question of novelty for noveltys sake, the search for something new to relieve our boredom, as is so often the case in our own day. The newness which God brings into our life is something that actually brings fulfilment, that gives true joy, true serenity, because God loves us and desires only our good. Let us ask ourselves: Are we open to Gods surprises? Or are we closed and fearful before the newness of the Holy Spirit? Do we have the courage to strike out along the new paths which Gods newness sets before us, or do we resist, barricaded in transient structures which have lost their capacity for openness to what is new?
2. A second thought: the Holy Spirit would appear to create disorder in the Church, since he brings the diversity of charisms and gifts; yet all this, by his working, is a great source of wealth, for the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of unity, which does not mean uniformity, but which leads everything back to harmony. In the Church, it is the Holy Spirit who creates harmony. One of Fathers of the Church has an expression which I love: the Holy Spirit himself is harmony Ipse harmonia est. Only the Spirit can awaken diversity, plurality and multiplicity, while at the same time building unity. Here too, when we are the ones who try to create diversity and close ourselves up in what makes us different and other, we bring division. When we are the ones who want to build unity in accordance with our human plans, we end up creating uniformity, standardization. But if instead we let ourselve be guided by the Spirit, richness, variety and diversity never become a source of conflict, because he impels us to experience variety within the communion of the Church. Journeying together in the Church, under the guidance of her pastors who possess a special charism and ministry, is a sign of the working of the Holy Spirit. Having a sense of the Church is something fundamental for every Christian, every community and every movement. It is the Church which brings Christ to me, and me to Christ; parallel journeys are dangerous! When we venture beyond (proagon) the Churchs teaching and community, and do not remain in them, we are not one with the God of Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Jn 9). So let us ask ourselves: Am I open to the harmony of the Holy Spirit, overcoming every form of exclusivity? Do I let myself be guided by him, living in the Church and with the Church?
3. A final point. The older theologians used to say that the soul is a kind of sailboat, the Holy Spirit is the wind which fills its sails and drives it forward, and the gusts of wind are the gifts of the Spirit. Lacking his impulse and his grace, we do not go forward. The Holy Spirit draws us into the mystery of the living God and saves us from the threat of a Church which is gnostic and self-referential, closed in on herself; he impels us to open the doors and go forth to proclaim and bear witness to the good news of the Gospel, to communicate the joy of faith, the encounter with Christ. The Holy Spirit is the soul of mission. The events that took place inJerusalemalmost two thousand years ago are not something far removed from us; they are events which affect us and become a lived experience in each of us. The Pentecost of the Upper Room inJerusalemis the beginning, a beginning which endures. The Holy Spirit is the supreme gift of the risen Christ to his apostles, yet he wants that gift to reach everyone. As we heard in the Gospel, Jesus says: I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to remain with you forever (Jn 14:16). It is the Paraclete Spirit, the Comforter, who grants us the courage to take to the streets of the world, bringing the Gospel! The Holy Spirit makes us look to the horizon and drive us to the very outskirts of existence in order to proclaim life in Jesus Christ. Let us ask ourselves: do we tend to stay closed in on ourselves, on our group, or do we let the Holy Spirit open us to mission?
Todays liturgy is a great prayer which the Church, in union with Jesus, raises up to the Father, asking him to renew the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. May each of us, and every group and movement, in the harmony of the Church, cry out to the Father and implore this gift. Today too, as at her origins, the Church, in union with Mary, cries out:Veni, Sancte Spiritus! Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love!
A paragraph taken from the Pope’s message…
“Just as he did during his earthly existence, so today the risen Jesus walks along the streets of our life and sees us immersed in our activities, with all our desires and our needs. In the midst of our everyday circumstances he continues to speak to us; he calls us to live our life with him, for only he is capable of satisfying our thirst for hope. He lives now among the community of disciples that is the Church, and still today calls people to follow him. The call can come at any moment.
Today too, Jesus continues to say, “Come, follow me” (Mk 10:21). Accepting his invitation means no longer choosing our own path. Following him means immersing our own will in the will of Jesus, truly giving him priority, giving him pride of place in every area of our lives: in the family, at work, in our personal interests, in ourselves. It means handing over our very lives to Him, living in profound intimacy with Him, entering through Him into communion with the Father in the Holy Spirit, and consequently with our brothers and sisters”.