With Holy Week and Easter fast approaching, Reality enters into the mood of the season. The leading article is a fascinating story of a young Liverpool Catholic artist who ended up in a prisoner of war camp during World War II. While there, he painted a complete set of Stations of the Cross for the chapel. His niece, Marian McCarthy, has written his story and provided us with the illustrations. Sarah Adams takes us through of the single continuous liturgy that is the Easter Triduum, from the Supper on Holy Thursday to the Resurrection liturgy of the Easter Vigil. Since many churches offer the chalice at the Holy Thursday Mass, an article traces the history of Communion from the chalice how it was done in the early church, why the practise was interrupted and why it has begun again.
This year marks the centenary of the Columbans, or as they were originally known, the Maynooth Mission to China. They tapped into the new sense of Irish self-confidence and idealism after 1916 – so much so that they attracted the attention of the British Intelligence service! Many Irish people will know of their work through The Far East magazine. Forced to leave China when the Communists arrived, they are now in places as diverse as Fiji, Peru, Korea, the Philippines and Taiwan.
Dr Donal McKeown, Bishop of Derry, accompanied an international group of bishops of a visit of solidarity to the Christians of Israel and the Palestinian territories earlier this year. Read his account of the visit.
Among the many reflections specially for St Patrick’s Day, there is one in which former President Barak Obama begins the hunt for his missing apostrophe!