In The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis encourages parishes to be “a community of communities”, a family of families – a place to belong. In our cover story for May, Archbishop Eamon Martin teases out what this will mean for the future of our parishes and dioceses, as we try to discover what the Spirit wants of the church in Ireland today and tomorrow.
The month of May is a time of devotion to Mary. This month is particularly special, as we mark the centenary of the first apparitions at Fatima to the ‘little seers’ – Blessed Jacinta Marto, Blessed Francisco Marto and the Venerable Lucia Santos. Fr Seamus Enright reflects on the events of May 1917, Our Lady’s message, and the enduring legacy of the apparitions. You might be surprised to learn of the Marian origins of the European Union, but Fr Richard Tobin offers some food for thought and prayers for healing for today’s Europe. And in our series on the Liturgy, Sarah Adams focuses on the figure of Mary and how we might follow in her footsteps.
Our archive piece this month brings us back to Reality’s roots – that is, the name change in 1966 from the Redemptorist Record. We have tried to remain faithful to our mission of “informing, inspiring, and challenging” readers, and to facing the real questions of the day. With this in mind, Kevin Hargaden offers a thoughtful reflection on a Christian approach to economics, while Susan Gately asks: Can a weekend save your marriage? For married couples who have lost the spark of love that first drew them to each other, Retrouvaille offers a programme that can help them to reconnect.
As we approach the Feast of the Ascension (May 28), Fr George Wadding’s Prayer Corner invites us to put ourselves in the shoes of the disciples of Jesus who experienced the rollercoaster of his life, death and resurrection. And there are articles on American social justice activist Dorothy Day, Thomas Cranmer and his role in the English Reformation, the visit to Ireland by Josiane Umumarashavu, 13 years after her image featured on the Trócaire Box, and lots more.