Thought for the week

 A Period of Transition

Over the centuries the Catholic Church has gone through pronounced changes: from being a collection of small communities who shared what they had, to becoming (in the western world) a powerful force in society. It owned vast tracks of land and much property. Church dignitaries began to wear gold rings and assumed titles (regrettably) proper to monarchs: ‘Your Grace, My Lord’ and so on. And the poor novice in the convent parlour was so nervous serving the bishop’s breakfast that, when offering him the sugar bowl, blurted out: ‘how many lords, my lump.’

   Rome became supreme; kings and princes made sure they were in good terms with the reigning pontiff. That all changed in the 19th century, but the power of the Church insured a privileged position especially in our country until soon ‘after the Beatles first LP,’ and Mick Jagger couldn’t get any satisfaction!

   Now all is changed, ‘changed utterly’ and whether a ‘terrible beauty’ is being born remains to be seen. The Vatican Council was a big influence in the changes that have occurred in Church thinking. Now in many parts of the world, especially in the southern hemisphere, a leadership group in many parishes, along with the priest, offer the vision for the future.

   And that precisely is what is happening all over Ireland, as it is here in Rathmines. It will take time for this to come to fruition, but surely with God’s grace it will come about.

  This Sunday at the 11 Mass, our pastoral council which is showing the true Christian spirit as a leadership group will be recommissioned to carry on the work they have begun.       

Fr William