The 11 November marks the centenary of “The War to End All Wars.” Sadly it did not. Alongside the soldiers at the Front, were many chaplains of all faiths. Catholic chaplains were more likely to go to the very edge of the battle-field with their men to offer them the consolation of the last sacraments as they lay dying in no man’s land. Two articles in this issue describe the work of the chaplains Chris Reynolds tells of some remarkable Redemptorists in the Front and John Cronin focuses more closely on the story of Dromcollogher born Fr James Stack.
There articles tell the story of two remarkable Irish women. Olivia Taaffe founded the St Joseph’s Young Priests’ Society over a hundred years ago. In times when even moderately comfortable families were hard put to provide an education for a boy who showed signs of a vocation, the Society worked away quietly to provide help throughout his seminary years. God only knows how many priests they have quietly assisted over that time – first in Ireland, but now all over the world. Her story is told by a young Dublin priest, Fr Seamus McEntee who is the national chaplain to the association. The other woman is Sister Brigid Tighe, a member of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood (Portiuncula Ballinasloe, for those who have passed it on the way to Esker). She has worked in various parts of the Middle East and after many years running a Catholic hospital in Gaza, she is now director of Caritas Jerusalem, the main Catholic relief agency in Israel/Palestine. The usual articles are here. Fr George Wadding concludes his series of meditations on the Mysteries of Light. Sarah Adams writes about helping children to celebrate at the liturgy.