Reflections

Come Holy Spirit

As we celebrate this feast-day, there’s something we need to grasp and take hold of, because this is what the Church has taught since the beginning: through the grace of the liturgy it is as though what happened in Jerusalem over 2000 years ago is repeated again on this holy feast-day. The same Holy Spirit who came down upon the disciples huddled together in the Upper Room descends on us too.

Remind yourself that the Holy Spirit is with you. When the Holy Spirit came down at Pentecost, he instilled in the Church a dynamism and power which since then has been the principal agent behind all its fruitful work and mission in the world. Our plea to our readers today is to let the Holy Spirit come into your lives: invite him, welcome him and pray to him.

‘Whenever the Spirit intervenes, he leaves people astonished; he brings about events of amazing newness; he radically changes persons and history. Faith is not abstract talk, nor vague religious sentiment, but new life in Christ instilled by the Holy Spirit. Christ says to each of us: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15). He is counting on every one of you, and so is the Church. “Lo,” the Lord promises, “I am with you always to the close of the age” (Matt, 28:20). I am with you. Amen!’ (Pope St John Paul II)

Taken from Bible Alive for Sunday 31st May – Pentecost. www.alivepublishing.co.uk

Readers I encourage you to also open Robert Barron YouTube and you will find a most remarkable treasure of teaching.

Dominican friar returns to medical frontline

Staff reporter in The Irish Catholic, May 7, 2020

While many priests and religious are in the frontline comforting and consoling those suffering from coronavirus and their loved ones, an Irish Dominican friar who is a trained doctor is back treating patients with Covid-19.

Brother Chris Gault OP, who has been studying for the priesthood with the Dominicans, has returned to his native Belfast and donned surgican scrubs to be part of the fight against the virus in the Mater Hospital where he was once a junior doctor.

Having graduated from Queen’s University in 2013, and then completed foundation training, the 30-year-old had left this life behind when he decided to answer a call to enter the priesthood.

“I talked to my superiors and they were happy and encouraging,” he said.

“I just volunteered. The trust and the health service is undergoing a lot of change. They are adapting to a lot of change in these current circumstances.

“I never wavered and once the backing came, I was happy to go for it,” he said.

Courier-turned-Volunteer

by Jade Wilson in The Irish Times Monday 4th May 2020

Oscar Little (21) lost his job as a courier last month, but as a volunteer he is now on his bike six days a week making deliveries for the Capuchin Day Centre to families who are in need.

On a typical Saturday afternoon, he packed his cargo bike full of food parcels and take-a-way dinners to deliver to several hostels for the homeless in Dublin city centre before heading to Tallaght to deliver more meals to families isolating in their homes.

Despite losing his job, the music student with the British and Irish Modern Music Institute has refused any payment from the centre.

“They asked me to invoice them but I don’t want to. The centre is a charity. If I take their money, am I taking food out of someone’s mouth? They don’t have unlimited money and they’re doing twice the amount of work they normally do. There’s a lot more presssure on the centre now,” he said.

At the start of the outbreak, the charity was handing out about 650 dinner packages a day, but in recent weeks that number has grown to 870, with lots of people who had never used the service before now getting in touch, according to manager Alan Bailey.

“We have a lot of new people who’ve lost their jobs and don’t know what to do or where to go. These are people who were totally self-sufficient and, all of a sudden, the rope has been pulled from under them,” Mr Bailey said.

“It’s a huge pressure on the centre because we’ve split the staff in two to work opposite days. Half work the first three days and the other half work the latter half of the week, because we’re afraid of staff getting sick with the virus.”

Describing Mr Little as “a vital part of our service”, Mr Bailey added: “He’s a quiet, unassuming chap and very good to the people he’s dealing with. People have told me they’s have no money for cigarettes and he’s buying cigarettes for them. Gestures like that mean so much to people.”

Really happy

Mr Little said: “It’s really fulfilling work. Everyone is friendly and very appreciative.” He recalled delivering Easter eggs to a Roma family in Tallaght last month. “The kids got really excited…over something as small as an Easter egg. One of the parents let the kids out front to get them from me and they ran back into the houses jumping around, really happy.”

The deliveries are “really helping” and making things “much easier” for families who are isolating in their rooms, according to the receptionist at Maple Hotel on Gardiner Street, who takes the meals from Mr Little and leaves them outside the bedrooms of residents who are sick and unable to leave to cook or shop.

Mr Little’s mother, Angy, is a doctor at the Capuchin Day Centre – “she kind of roped me into doing this” – while his father, George, works in a hospital A&E department.

“If I can help out in any way when this is over, I will stay involved with the centre,” the student added. “When I finish my music degree, I want to do medicine at some point. I like helping people and being able to do things for people that they can’t do for themselves. Maybe it runs in the family.”

Well done Oscar and well done Jade and well done all those working in the Capuchin Centre