J. Anthony GaughanThis little biography of Walter Carpenter is an authentic expression of Pietas. Written by a granddaughter, a retired nun based in Dublin, it was published in connection with the unveiling of a plaque honouring him by the East Wall History Group.Walter Carpenter was born in Lewisham, Kent, England on April 3, 1871. He married...

How often do people involved with the book trade meet people parties, who say “I would love to write a book about my life, or even a novel, but I haven’t the time”.Of course that is the difference between wanting to do something and doing it. Those that really want to do it, do it.But what kind of time is really involved? There...

SilenceMartin Scorsese, who studied for the priesthood as a young man, has divided his directorial career between mainstream dramas and revisionist religious works like Kundun and  The Last Temptation of Christ. Silence falls into the latter category. It’s been in gestation for many years and chronicles the fortunes of a 17th-...

One of the most interesting programmes shown over the Christmas period was the film Strange Occurrences in a Small Irish Village on RTÉ 1. This documentary told the story of Knock Shrine, mainly through interviews with some of the people involved in that parish. Parish priest Fr Richard Gibbons was a central focus of attention, with one...

Well, there’s another year down, a year full of significant stories and media developments, with the prospects of a rather uncertain 2017 ahead. It strikes me that social stability and civilisation are fragile enough and that complacency would be a bad mistake.It was a year of high drama on the political front, from Brexit in June to the...

Christmas is now generally a time of universal celebration and festivity. But the days after the Nativity were different: after the joy of the new child came cruelty and persecution. As always the Bible is pervaded by a sense of the reality of human affairs that people, swept away by sentiment, so often overlook: cruel things happen to good...

In a world where commercialism rules OK, Strange Occurrences in a Small Irish Village – ostensibly a documentary about the Marian shrine in Knock and the people who visit it but ultimately a commentary on the state of religion in Ireland today - was never going to wipe the more mainstream releases off the screen. Even so,  it drew huge...

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