Ireland, Holy Island …


Sacred Heart altar in Thurles Cathedral not far from Roger’s and my old home in Ireland. Photo: Courtesy of Andreas F. Borchert GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

Here I am now in Ireland. A new home, in a new country.

I am bewildered by the move, but very happy in my heart and in my soul.

I have moved from my homeland, England – which has not felt like home for a long time.

I was brought up by atheist parents, in a supposedly Anglican country, which seems far more secular than Christian.

A country in which I felt at home, until I converted to the Catholic faith.

Since then I have lived very little in England and feel it is no longer my home.

I have been like a diaspora, living here, there and everywhere, in Switzerland, Germany, Wales, Ireland, France and Spain, receiving from each and every land and culture, both good and bad.

And now I have returned to Ireland – a great nation of prayer, a great nation of faith.

Although the Irish people themselves say that the faith has dwindled (which is true) it has dwindled far less than in other countries I have been. In particular, the beautiful France, where my heart was so happy, but the faith so very impoverished.

My heart wept there to see how many of the once thriving catholic communities had been so reduced.

We met priests who were responsible for up to forty parishes. Many a church had no Mass at all. Many had one a month or even one a year. And most were locked, except for Holy Mass.

Thurles Cathedral again – South nave. Photo: Courtesy of Andreas F. Borchert GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

But here in Ireland – which has echoes of the beauty found in French Catholicism – where the people were treated so harshly by my kind, the faith is still very much alive. The churches are open and people still pray within their walls.

It seems to me that the faith is deep within the soul of the nation. Deep within the soul of the people and therefore although it has dwindled it can easily be reignited.

For this I pray.

Our secular Godless world has destroyed so much; it must be checked.

The truth must live on and triumph once again.

Rose window in Thurles Cathedral. Photo: Courtesy of Andreas F. Borchert GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Posted 26 February 2014 at 16:10 | Permalink

    Now, Sweden had even ceased to feel like home to me before my conversion to Catholicism. Which started while I was on a boarding school where social authorities forced me to go.

    • Posted 28 February 2014 at 16:19 | Permalink

      Hans-Georg, it is interesting that you say this …

      Because you have reminded me of something from when I was very young.

      From age four, I would hear the bells from the Protestant church near
      to my home and feel incredibly cold, even dejected. When I heard these
      bells, I would feel an unbearable absence. Of what, I did not know.

      In fact, you have inspired me to write a post concerning this, where I hope to elaborate a bit …

      I would be interested to hear why you ceased to feel that Sweden was your home?

  2. Hans-Georg Lundahl
    Posted 1 March 2014 at 11:22 | Permalink

    “… before my conversion to Catholicism. Which started while I was on a boarding school where social authorities forced me to go.”

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