Fr. Paddy's Blog

These posts and more are also available on Portlaoise Parish website.

Remembering Ashling

The recent tragic death of Ashling Murphy, has left a deep sense of vulnerability and pain, in the heart and soul of our nation. Ashling’s, horrific murder has brought with it renewed                 consciousness, of how so many women constantly feel afraid, regarding their fundamental human right, to be […]

Some Spiritual Tips for New Year 2022

The best resolutions are elastic, they cannot be broken with a single act. If you swear never to touch red meat, one burger ruins the resolution. If, on the other hand, you pledge to eat healthier food, each day you have a chance to fulfil the resolution anew. Below are five elastic spiritual resolutions that […]

Happy New Year

A new year is here! This means new beginnings, new journeys and new resolutions. The New Year is often seen as an opportunity to improve ourselves or what we have, but while this can be a healthy practice, it is also beneficial to reflect on the blessings that we already have. On New Year’s Eve, […]

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This has been a tough year. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect all our lives. The scriptures tell us that after their visit to the new-born Saviour in Bethlehem, the wise men ‘went home by a different way’. The pandemic has also forced many of us to change our ways, to do things differently,    nobody […]

Let The Light Shine

At this time, every year, we hear these words from Scripture: ‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light’. Familiar words indeed, and easily left unheeded. But this year the darkness is more immediate, more encircling. Knowing the darkness helps us to appreciate the light. Have we not seen these months of […]

‘O Holy Night continues to inspire hope and comfort.’

The gun should never have been left lying around in the first place. Making the carelessness even worse was that it was loaded. With two unsupervised eight-year-old boys messing with it, something catastrophic was bound to  happen. It did. Young Brignon squeezed the trigger. There was a loud, sharp, crack, a whiff of gun smoke, […]

First Week of Advent

Christmas seems to arrive now by the start of November and ends on Christmas day. In a secular culture the  season of Advent, a time of waiting is certainly counter-cultural. This week we begin Advent. This is the period when we prepare to celebrate the coming of the Christ among us two millennia ago, but […]

Christ The King

This week, we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, we are called to work with this King. And this King is the one who dies on the cross, rises from the dead, and is with his people. And what then is expected of us? A google search for images of Christ the King adds […]

COP26

The two young ladies were noisy. Vinisha Umashankar and Greta Thunberg. Vinisha said: “We’ll build the future, even if you are stuck in the past. I’m not just a girl from India. I’m a girl from Earth.” (15 years old!). Greta Thunberg said: “The politicians are pretending to take our future seriously.” She said more […]

Overcoming Phobias

Many situations in this pandemic world present themselves as almost impossible: coping with stress, keeping going under pressure, addressing tough health issues, coping with death (our own and others) and facing our fears. I had to go in for dental procedure recently, which I have a bit of a phobia about, and found myself driven […]

November- A Time to Remember

Halloween did not come from Hollywood but rather its origins are strongly connected to ancient Celtic roots. In Celtic Ireland, about two millennia ago, Samhain was the point between the lighter (summer) and darker halves (winter) of the year. At Samhain, the gap between this and the other world was at its thinnest, allowing spirits to […]

In The Name of God

Pope Francis, in a keynote address to the popular movements, a group that includes activists working on a wide variety of justice causes, called for a universal basic income and the shortening of the working day. He also praised the protest movement that followed the murder of George Floyd. He also made specific appeals “in […]

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One key biblical image is that of building solid foundations, making a dramatic distinction between building on rock as opposed to on sand (Matthew 7:24-27). The point of foundations is that they have to be done in advance, this largely hidden, deep digging, has an enormous impact on the stability of the building. The importance […]

Leave The Phone At Home

“God brings forth His Son in thee, whether thou likest it or not, whether thou sleepest or wakest; God worketh His own will. That man is unaware of it is man’s fault, for his taste is so spoilt by feeding on earthly things that he cannot relish God’s love”. The above quote was written by […]

Feast of St. Francis

This week we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis. St. Francis is among the most beloved and most familiar of all the saints of western Christianity. He remains as popular today as he was in his lifetime. His love of animals and of God’s creation have made him an icon of the environmental movement. His […]

Wisdom of Life

George Carlin at age 102, offered the following  wisdom that is deeply relevant for us all. If you don’t read this to the very end, you have lost a day in your life, and when you have finished, reflect and put it into practice. George Carlin’s Views on Ageing Do you realise that the only […]

Harvest Thanksgiving….. A Time for Justice

Perhaps this harvest time is an opportunity for us all, to acknowledge the fruits that we all have in the depth of our being. Fruits that take a lot of time to grow and mature into the beautiful personality and unique qualities that are particular to all our stories. The gift of grandparents who embody […]