September 2021: Editorial

A Time to Build Up

The traditional September devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows follows on from a year of trauma and tragedy suffered by many families in Ireland and across the globe. Isolation and bereavement were just two of the seven sorrows ascribed to the Mother of Sorrows. A Mhuire Mhathair is well placed to offer comfort to the grieving and those whose lives have been scarred by the pandemic. As well as bringing comfort, Mary, who left her grief at the foot of the cross to bring encouragement and hope to her son’s distraught followers, points a way forward for those who feel lost and shell shocked. We need a new path to follow, a renewal of our confidence in future possibilities and Mary, Mother of Sorrows but also Cause of our Joy, has shown that nothing is impossible with God.
This month also brings fresh impetus for our Synodal Pathway, the journey the Irish church is making alongside the church universal over the coming years towards a renewed way of being Church. All the baptised are invited to contribute and participate along the journey with the hope that through a shared experience and real communication each one of us may find energy rekindled so that we may bring deeper joy to our task as missionaries of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Inevitably challenges face this journey like any journey and there is an understandable weariness among faithful people lay and clerical alike who have endured extended disruption to the public practise of their faith and been further hurt during the troubled times of church scandals and hostility to their beliefs. The Synodal Pathway allows for opportunities to listen respectfully to each other’s story and to affirm one another in faith. Patience and gentleness with truth spoken in love will always be needed and perhaps too the frequent reminder; by this everyone will know you are my disciples – by your love for one another. (Jn.13:35)
It is a privilege to return to ‘team’ Intercom and I thank most sincerely outgoing editor Fr John Cullen for his personal courtesy and very generous assistance during the transition period. Intercom was established fifty-one years ago and its first advertisement was from a company offering to build a house for 3,650 Irish pounds. Since then much has changed in the housing market and in the house of the Lord but for both who have known a time of tearing down it is once more a time to build up (Ecclesiastes.3:3).

Paul Clayton-Lea