Caught the second half of Ireland v Georgia World Cup qualifier last night. Three points are three points but by all accounts the first half was far from impressive. I still have happy memories of meeting the Irish team during their visit to France this summer for 2016 Euros.
Last night was the launch of another year of Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). This is the way for people wishing to prepare for Baptism in the Catholic Church to prepare. Others come to RCIA who are already baptised but have never received the Sacrament of Confirmation. Still others are baptised in other Christian denominations and are received into the Catholic Church, receive Confirmation and receive Holy Communion. Last night we began with six adults - one Muslim, one from Baptist tradition, one other not baptised but married to a Catholic and three baptised Catholics who wish to receive Confirmation. Two of these candidates are preparing also for the Sacrament of Marriage. It is a lovely group and I am looking forward to share in accompanying them until Easter 2017. The RCIA team is made up of three of our lay parishioners and me. This is the ninth consecutive year that I have been privileged to be part of RCIA at St Joseph's.
The whole 'Brexit' debate interests me greatly. Please God there will be no return to 'Border Checks' that I and so many went through in the 1970's and into the 80's. Free movement of people has been enjoyed on the island of Ireland and the MI motorway brings home to me every time I drive it how close Belfast and Dublin are to each other.
Life is settling into a busy but wonderful rhythm here at St Joseph's. A few bumps on the road over the Summer months are not completely smooth yet, but with the help of God we will get there. If I could get people concerned to talk it could lead to the peace and justice for which Christ prayed and for which He down his life.
The chaplaincy at Marymount School is another bright spot in my life. I love going there to see a truly great community of young, their families, teachers and staff.
It's my birthday on Sunday but I love it once it is over because that means I don't get any older for another year! A.T.