Reality Magazine November 2019

Reality Magazine November 2019

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November is still respected in Ireland as the month for remembering the dead. Salvador Ryan delves into the rich deposit of Irish folk-lore relating to the dead and the afterlife. The collection of stories and practises gathered by children at national school shows how belief in purgatory permeated every level of life in Ireland, in the landscape, in the home and even in the games children played. Some of the stories might be regarded as ghost stories while others are humorous. Maria Hall examines the Catholic tradition of praying for dead and especially the requiem Mass on the occasion of a funeral. The recent canonisation of St John Henry Newman has restored him to his rightful place as a pioneer and creative thinker  in Irish University education. Fr Tom Norris, former professor at Maynooth and expert in the new saint’s theology gives us a brief but helpful overview of him and the project of the Catholic University.   Fr Colm Meaney asked himself some uncomfortable questions when he celebrated the sacrament in a Filipino mountain chapel. Clonard Women’s Confraternity was founded in 1897. It will cease in its present form at the end of November. The first of two articles sketches its beginnings among the women of rapidly expanding West Belfast at the end of the 19th century.

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