News archive 2009

St Patrick’s Day Homily of Bishop Denis Brennan of Ferns

PRESS RELEASE
17 March 2009

St Patrick’s Day Homily of Bishop Denis Brennan of Ferns

9am in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Bride Street, Wexford

“In recent times many institutions, the Church among them, have been forgiven much by the people of Ireland, now we have an opportunity to return that forgiveness…” – Bishop Brennan

First of all I would like to wish you all a joyful and peaceful St. Patrick’s Day.

On this most Irish of days we think of our own family members abroad, we think also of our missionaries following in the footsteps of St Patrick.

St. Patrick’s Day has always been an occasion to be aware of our emigrants, those who for one reason or another have left our shores and travelled the world.

In recent years the emphasis has understandably been more on our immigrants, those people who have chosen to live here, rather than those who have chosen to live elsewhere.

However with the downturn in the economy emigration is on the agenda again.

At home this year there is a great deal of fear and uncertainty, Irish people have not felt like this for many years, young people have never known life to be like this.

Speaking recently at a commemoration for the victims of the wildfires Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said ‘’ every so often the soul of a nation is sorely tested.’’

Most people would agree at the moment that the soul of our nation is being sorely tested indeed.

Last week the Bishops had their Spring Meeting in Maynooth. The current economic difficulties were obviously high on the agenda. One of the concerns the Bishops had was the possibility of people losing their family homes.

The implications of this, should it happen, would be far reaching. In Ireland the ownership of the family home has always been considered important, disruption of families and family life should be avoided where at all possible.

So the Bishops asked the State, as it is obliged to do under the Constitution, ‘’ to protect the family…..as the necessary basis of social order and as indispensable to the welfare of the Nation and the State.’’ (Article 41, 1,2).

The Bishops asked that the Government, explore with lenders, ways in which the family home can be protected from repossession in these extraordinary times.

I would like to re-iterate that request on behalf of families in our Diocese who may be in danger of losing their family homes.

This is not a blank cheque proposal. Each case would have to be appropriately assessed by a competent authority.

If this were to take place it would enable families in difficulties to repay at a level appropriate to their current circumstances.

The Bishops also appealed to everyone to have regard for the common good when responding to taxation measures and to pay adjustments where they are needed to ensure economic stability.

In recent times many institutions, the Church among them, have been forgiven much by the people of Ireland, now we have an opportunity to return that forgiveness.

To all who rejoice with us today, at home and abroad, we commend the prayer of St Patrick himself…….’’I pray God that he gives me perseverance…… that I should be a faithful witness for his sake right up to the time of my passing.’’

We know how richly Patrick’s prayer was answered, his name has become a byword for perseverance, we pray on this, his feast-day, that we, as individuals, and as a community, will be blessed in like measure. 

ENDS

Further information:
Fr. John Carroll, Diocese of Ferns Communications Office
Tel: (053) 9122177

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