Recently my brother and his wife renovated our family home where we all grew up. I was very happy that along with the many wonderful changes they have made they retained the Sacred Heart lamp and picture which had been there since my late father and mother moved in almost 60 years ago. The practice of placing a picture of the Sacred Heart in...

I’ll never forget Michael Parkinson, the television host, telling me about his experiences as a young reporter in the north of England during 1966, when he was sent to cover the trial of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, the Moors murderers. The press gallery, he said, was packed with experienced and even hard-bitten crime reporters who had...

Pope Francis has something of a cuddly image with the general public and with many priests. The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP), for example, wants the incoming Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo of Nigeria, to seek out bishops in the mould of Francis. I’m all for that, so long as they are truly in Francis’...

Finola KennedyWhen stepping down from the role of Taoiseach, both Charlie Haughey and Brian Cowen quoted household names: William Shakespeare and John F. Kennedy respectively. Not so Bertie Ahern who quoted the Jesuit priest Blessed John Sullivan: “This day now, at least let this be a good day. Be always beginning, let the past go....

Hardly a week goes by without more venom and innuendo against Catholics and their faith in the mainstream media. Now, here’s where certain commentators try to accuse Catholics of media-bashing. But, that’s often little more than a thinly-veiled attempt to deflect criticism and silence people pointing to media hostility. As a journalist...

Like a lot of women (and many men), I’m an episodic dieter. There’s always an ongoing battle of ‘fighting the flab’, as the late Sir Terry Wogan put it, and like many ongoing battles, some I win, some I lose. The scales are sometimes satisfactorily down: other times dismayingly up again. But like all battles of discipline,...

Once French presidential candidate, Francois Fillon, was damaged by the scandal of paying his wife and family out of public funds for jobs that seemingly did not exist, it was inevitable that Emmanuel Macron would win the French election. Le Pen was just too unacceptable.Fillon was the most Catholic-friendly of the candidates and was also a good...

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