Faith Matters

Sermon Notes: Reformation, Mother Teresa relic, Liam Lawton

Faithful and pilgrims in St Peter's Square at the Vatican at the ceremony to canonise Mother Teresa in 2016. A relic of St Teresa of Calcutta will be in Armagh next month.

REFORMATION: Fr Oliver Rafferty SJ, professor of modern Irish and ecclesiastical history at Boston College, will be in Ireland next week to deliver a lecture on the Reformation.

The lecture, entitled 'Martin Luther and the Reform of the Church', is being hosted by Haggardstown and Blackrock parish in St Oliver Plunkett's church, Blackrock, Co Louth at 7pm on Thursday June 1.

This year marks the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation, and the lecture will explore why it happened, if it was solely a religious event and ask what politics played in the religious transformation of 16th century European society.

Fr Rafferty will consider how the Catholic Church responded to Luther's protest as well as themes such as 'Catholic Reformation' and the 'Counter Reformation'.

Fr Rafferty's latest book is Violence, Politics and Catholicism in Ireland (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2016).

A photo of Mother Teresa at her canonisation ceremony in 2016.

ST TERESA RELIC: A relic of St Teresa of Calcutta will visit St Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh next month.

Mother Teresa - who spent some time working in Ireland - founded the Missionaries of Charity, a religious congregation which grew to more than 4,500 sisters who are active in 133 countries. She is revered for her work chiefly in India.

The congregation's work includes caring for people with HIV, Aids, leprosy and tuberculosis. Members of the congregation take vows of chastity, poverty and obedience also profess a fourth vow, to give "wholeheartedly free service to the poorest of the poor".

Mother Teresa was canonised in September 2016 - two apparent cures of sick people after her death in 1997 have been attributed to her intercession.

"She defended the unborn, the sick and abandoned and had shamed world leaders for the crimes of poverty they themselves created," said Pope Francis.

"St Teresa of Calcutta had spent her whole life bowing down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity."

The relic if St Teresa of Calcutta will be in Armagh from Thursday June 8 - with a procession in the cathedral from 7.20pm - until Saturday June 10, when it departs at 1pm.

Confessions will be heard on the Friday and Saturday mornings from 9.30am to 9.55am and from 10.30am to 12pm, and on Friday from 4pm to 6pm.

Liam Lawton
LAWTON WORKSHOP: Fr Liam Lawton will be leading a 'The Mass of St Patrick' music workshop in Stonebridge, Co Armagh in June.

It will take place in Stonebridge Pastoral Centre - just off the main A3 Armagh to Portadown road - on Wednesday June 7 from 7.30pm.

The workshop costs £12, including a music book.

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