Professor Salvador Ryan introduces us to what will be for most of us an unfamiliar Madonna, Our Lady of Letnica in Kosovo. Salvador became acquainted with this shrine it during his student days in December 1999 while he was doing aid work in neighbouring Macedonia. This was shortly after the Kumanovo treaty, which brought an end to the war in Kosovo. The shrine of Our Lady of Letnica was a much-loved place of pilgrimage of Mother Teresa. Her parents were from the region, and it was during one pilgrimage there at the age of 17 that she realised she was being called to religious life. One of the traditional devotions at the shrine to give the pilgrims pieces of cloth cut from the robe that clothes the statue. These are renewed every year and the old ones are cut into pieces for the pilgrims. It is a religiously diverse place, often painfully so, but it unites Catholic, Orthodox and Muslims in a common devotion to the Mother of the Lord.
Last month we asked the question “Is the Pope Still Infallible?” This month, Shaun Blanchard takes up a second possible answer to the question: “the pope is more infallible now than he’s ever been!” This month marks the 60th anniversary of the Secretariat (now, Council) for Promoting Christian Unity. In many respects, the Catholic Church was a late comer to the work of Christian Unity. It did so under the guidance of Pope John XXIII and Paul VI. Professor Andrew Pierce of Trinity College describes some of that important work. Jim Deeds, a father of young adults, discusses how to talk to them at a time of pandemic. Our long absence from Sunday Mass in church provide an opportunity for parishes to take another look at their weekly celebration. Maria Hall, in “Let the People Sing”, outlines what might be a fresh approach to the music of the Sunday Mass. Fr Tom Surlis offers some advice to those who might be wondering if God is calling them to serve his people as priests. Fr Peter McVery wonders how we will cope with the a collapsing economy in the aftermath of the pandemic.