February 2023: New Resources
New Resources of Intercom Magazine
Fr Paul Clayton-Lea
OF LIMERICK SAINTS ANS SEEKERS
Edited by David Bracken
Veritas Publications, 2022
pp. 282 • €24.99/stg£22.50
This unusual and engaging resource was inspired by Dr Brendan Leahy, bishop of Limerick; whose 2019 Lenten pastoral entitled This is What God Wants of Us: Our Holiness. Editor David Bracken, archivist for the diocese of Limerick, makes it clear that Bishop Leahy was a positive and ‘cajoling’ force throughout the project which has brought together a colourful and varied group of people from diverse traditions throughout the centuries associated with Limerick and its history. Bishop Leahy too pays his own tribute to the editor describing him as someone with a formidable knowledge and love for Limerick, its place and history and who has edited this book ‘like a conductor who brings out the best in his orchestra and contributors’. The number of contributors over 10 chapters amounts to fifty-five in all including Conor McDonough OP, Thomas O’Connor, Colm Lennon and Sean Gannon. Historians, younger scholars, experts in the area of art, architecture and the material culture of Catholic Ireland also feature strongly throughout. One of the many outstanding articles is that by Daithí Ó Corráin on Councillor Martin Maguire which shines a light on a dark corner of history, the abuse in Glin Industrial School. As well as contributions from many in church ministry there are also stories of Limerick’s Methodists. It would be difficult to imagine a richer storytelling compendium of any diocesan or county history and the editors and contributors are to be congratulated on achieving such an important milestone in the story of Limerick.
THE MINDFUL OUR FATHER
Thomas G. Casey SJ
Messenger Publications, 2021
pp. 152 • €14.95/stg£12.95
On the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem below the Chapel of the Ascension is the Church of Pater Noster now part of a Carmelite Monastery also known as the Sanctuary of the Eleona (Olive grove in Greek). In this peaceful place apart from the bustle of the city a cave once enclosed in the crypt of a Byzantine church is designated as the space in which the Lord taught the disciples to pray. Around the walls of the half-finished 20th century church built on the site established by the Empress Helena in 330AD can be seen the ‘Our Father’ in many different languages where pilgrims gather in groups to pray or sing the prayer which St Augustine described as the inspiration for all prayer.
In his latest book on spirituality Fr Tom Casey SJ has revisited the prayer given by the Lord himself as the model of how to pray. He does so to encourage those of us who have perhaps become overfamiliar with its usage and therefore are in danger of praying it unthinkingly to re-examine our understanding and use of the prayer that is more than a prayer, that is in fact a guide by which we shape our values.
Over ten, carefully crafted chapters Fr Casey slows things down, calling the reader to reflect and meditate on the words in order to unearth the hidden treasure within. In addition he focuses on what the prayer has to say to us about today rather than on the time when it was taught so that we might turn it into the language of our own lived experience.
A spiritual gem that could bear much fruit for any parish prayer group or personal library.
A Guide to Green Therapy
Beehive Books, 2022
pp. 112 • €9.99/stg£8.99
In the opening pages of his remarkable little book, the author Tom Gunning – co-founder of the Parable Garden Education project in Wexford – asserts; ‘There is nothing novel in stating that nature is good for us but it is only recently that it has emerged that our woodlands are green pharmacies that offer free prescriptions to those who are willing to spend a generous amount of time there.’
Within that sentence lies the heart of the author’s thesis that nature acts not only as a therapist but also as a teacher for optimal human living.
Drawing upon the latest research on how to make the most of this great healing resource on our doorsteps the book in three parts and nine chapters outlines how nature ‘renews, repairs and restores depleted physiological systems. Each part ends with practical and helpful tips on how to benefit from the process.
In our post-Covid times where many people seem to have renewed their appreciation and bonds with nature this is a timely and wise resource on how to recalibrate our relationship with the earth, our common home.