Archive for the ‘Saint Charles’ Category

The Father Charles Train

A news item for the Feast of Saint Charles of Mount Argus, which I came across at the Pater Karel site:
In Limburg, the region of the Netherlands where Saint Charles was born, a train has been named after the new local saint. As well as having his picture on the outside, the train seems to show video clips of his canonisation on the inside! Here is a news clip about it (in Dutch). Watch out for the unstoppable Father Harry Broers (the Parish Priest of Munstergeleen), Father Giovanni Zubiani (Postulator General), Father Luigi Vaninetti (General Consultor) and Dolf Dormans, whose miraculous cure through the intercession of Poor Old Charlie made the canonisation happen.

Since all the Aer Lingus planes are called after Saints of Ireland (including Saint Patrick who, like Charles, was born elsewhere) what about a Saint Charles plane for next year’s feast day?

Read Full Post »

Icon of Saint Charles by Michael Galovic,
for the Passionist Community,
Saint Mungo’s, Glasgow

Copyright © Michael Galovic

On Saturday, 5 January, we will celebrate the Feast of Saint Charles (-his first since canonisation). In Saint Mungo’s, Mass for the Feast will be at 12.15.

Father Gary has posted the prayers and readings for the Mass of Saint Charles of Mount Argus here.

Read Full Post »

Herald of Hope

Ovada, the new Passionist publisher based at Saint Mungo’s, has brought out in book form the nine sermons from last year’s Novena of Hope at Mount Argus, Dublin. These nine reflections on the life and spirit of Saint Charles of Mount Argus have been published under the title Herald of Hope. Copies (at £5.95 or €8.95 plus postage) are available from Thomas Davie at Saint Mungo’s Bookshop, Glasgow: phone from UK 0141 552 1823; phone from outside the UK 0044 141 552 1823 or something like that; the e-mail address is mungoshop(at)gmail.com. To give you a taste, here is the text from the book’s back cover:

What can someone who died over a hundred years ago possibly say to us today? Saint Charles of Mount Argus died in Dublin in 1893. Can his life speak to people who live in a very different world? These nine reflections on Charles’ life and spirit attempt to allow him to dialogue with us, to share with us his sense of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

The secret of Father Charles – his love for God, his love for people – came from the truth that he was an intimate friend of God. He can teach us how, through loving God in prayer and loving our brothers and sisters in their need, we can become in truth the friends of God.
Paul Francis Spencer c.p.

Charles of Mount Argus spent every day and many a night facing the reality of suffering. He never denied it or cloaked it. Following his example, we are called to grapple with suffering and not be afraid. Somewhere in the suffering is a trace of Jesus.
Aidan Troy c.p.

Charles is not a remote saint with nothing to offer our generation. Look at his life and discover that our greatest gift is to be people of compassion; to be willing to walk with people along their way of the cross, in search of meaning rather than handing out futile answers.
Brian D’Arcy c.p.

He truly was a man of God. And people instinctively, intuitively, recognised that. It didn’t matter that he couldn’t speak very well or preach very well. What he said came from the heart – and from a heart in tune with God.
Ignatius Waters c.p.

This is what inspired and motivated Father Charles: he loved the sick as Jesus loved the sick, he had time for the sick as Jesus had time for the sick, he blessed the sick as Jesus blessed the sick, and this led people to recognise true holiness in him.
Frank Keevins c.p.

Like all Passionists, he stood with Mary at the foot of the Cross and had his gaze firmly fixed on Jesus giving his life in love for us. Everything he knew about love and kindness and the service of others he learned there.
Martin Coffey c.p.

Read Full Post »

(Photo: Reuters)

We gathered at Saint Peter’s on a very wet Sunday morning to celebrate the Canonisation of Father Charles of Mount Argus and three other new saints. Each new saint had a crowd of pilgrims, including among them four presidents, one for each saint: the Presidents of Malta, Poland, the Philippines and Ireland. Here is a close-up of the image of Saint Charles we saw hanging in Saint Peter’s Square today. (Photo: Reuters)

Pope Benedict described Saint Charles of Mount Argus with these words: During his many years of priestly ministry in England and Ireland, the people flocked to him to seek out his wise counsel, his compassionate care and his healing touch. In the sick and the suffering he recognized the face of the Crucified Christ, to whom he had a lifelong devotion. He drank deeply from the rivers of living water that poured forth from the side of the Pierced One, and in the power of the Spirit he bore witness before the world to the Father’s love. At the funeral of this much-loved priest, affectionately known as Father Charles of Mount Argus, his superior was moved to observe: ‘The people have already declared him a saint’.

I was privileged to concelebrate with the Holy Father today. Fortunately, we were allowed to use umbrellas; the red one at the end of the line of concelebrants (on the left-hand side) belongs to Father Kenneth Brady C.P. from Mount Argus community. (Photo: Associated Press)

Here, the Postulator General of the Passionists, Father Giovanni Zubiani C.P., stands holding a black umbrella as Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins asks Pope Benedict XVI to enrol George Preca, Simon of Lipnica, Charles (Houben) of Saint Andrew and Marie-Eugene (Milleret) of Jesus among the saints. (Photo: Associated Press)

The most essential pilgrim’s item today seems to have been an umbrella. Unfortunately, because of the sea of umbrellas, it was difficult for pilgrims to see the altar. However, the rain didn’t dampen their enthusiasm. (Photo: Associated Press)

After the Mass, Pope Benedict met the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese. In the afternoon, President McAleese came to the Basilica of Saints John and Paul to venerate the relic of Saint Charles and pray at the tomb of Saint Paul of the Cross. She also visited the monastery to see Saint Paul’s cell where he died in 1775 and to meet the community. President McAleese was baptised by a Passionist, Father Anselm, and her guiding light was another Passionist, the late Father Justin; both of them are classmates of our own Father Hubert who celebrated his sixtieth jubilee of ordination here in Rome last Thursday.

Read Full Post »

Rome Tomorrow

Tomorrow afternoon we leave for Rome and the Canonisation of Father Charles. The Scottish group is going from Wednesday to Wednesday as there is a direct flight on Wednesdays from Edinburgh. The Irish contingent (=the main pilgrimage) will arrive on Friday.
Here is our Mass schedule for the week.
Thursday 31 May
10.00 a.m. Mass in the Church of Saint Alphonsus, Via Merulana (Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour).
Friday 1 June
11.00 a.m. Mass in the Church of Our Lady of Graces, Nettuno (Shrine of Saint Maria Goretti).
Saturday 2 June
8.30 a.m. Mass with the Irish pilgrims at the Papal Altar in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major.
Sunday 3 June
10.00 a.m. Canonisation Mass in Saint Peter’s Square.
Monday 4 June
6.30 p.m. Mass of Thanksgiving in the Passionist Basilica of Saints John and Paul.
Tuesday 5 June
11.00 a.m. Mass at the Shrine of Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Isola del Gran Sasso.
Wednesday 6 June
10.30 a.m. Papal Audience in Saint Peter’s Square. Mass in the afternoon at an (as yet) unknown location.

Read Full Post »

This weekend, Patricia has put up a web version of my life of Father Charles of Mount Argus. It includes the new preface for the canonisation edition which should be ready at the printers next week. The illustration shows the cover from the first edition. I will show the new cover when it has been printed. You can find the result of Patricia’s labours at a new website called www.charlesofmountargus.org
Also in the works at the moment is Herald of Hope, a series of nine reflections on the Life and Spirituality of the man who next Sunday will be called Saint Charles of Mount Argus. These reflections were given as sermons at last year’s Novena of Hope at Mount Argus and will, from next Sunday, be available in written form. Like the new edition of To Heal the Broken Hearted, Herald of Hope is published by our own Ovada Books and will be available from Saint Mungo’s Bookshop, Glasgow G4 0RX (0141 552 5523; e-mail mungoshop@gmail.com), Saint Paul’s Retreat, Mount Argus, Dublin 6W (01 499 2000) and in the United States from www.crossplace.com

Read Full Post »

Father Charles on TV

Sorry for the lack of posting in recent weeks. I’m very busy at the moment with preparations for the Canonisation of Father Charles of Mount Argus on 3 June. Meanwhile, Limburg’s T1 Television has made a short (eight minute) programme on Father Charles, starring both Father Harry Broers, parish priest of Munstergeleen, and our own Father Frank Keevins, rector of Mount Argus. The voice-over is in Dutch, but Father Frank and his parishioners can be heard in English. Here it is.

Read Full Post »

A Spring Day in Dublin

The sunlight was quite strong when I arrived at Mount Argus in the early afternoon, so the photos are a bit washed-out looking (Sorry, David!). I was there today for a meeting to discuss formation. A number of young men have asked to begin formation for the Passionist Life in our province later this year. This meeting was about how we prepare ourselves to receive new people who wish to share our life (not just for a time).

The cherry blossoms give a real sense of spring to this picture, as the news of the four people who wish to join us gave a sense of spring to our meeting. My visit to Mount Argus also allowed me to see the Canonisation Poster for Father Charles , with the new image by James Hanley RHA (Royal Hibernian Academy).

Read Full Post »


This painting of Jesus Crowned with Thorns, which is in Livorno (known to John Henry Newman and his generation as Leghorn), is attributed to Fra Angelico. It was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2005, where one reviewer described it as the most arresting painting in the exhibition, and perhaps in all of Fra Angelico’s career. The reproduction, although striking, doesn’t do it justice; I can remember the hair standing up on the back of my neck when I saw it for the first time. One of the amazing things about the painting is the bloodshot eyes of Christ, showing the intense suffering of the Passion and at the same time the openness of the love of God which is revealed in the Passion of Jesus.

What is the means to be used to overcome our passions? It is to meditate on the Passion of Our Lord. A person who is proud, for instance: if he sees that Jesus Christ is derided, mocked, sent from one place the other and keeping silence, he sees a great motive of humility in Our Lord. Another is impatient: he may look to the Crucifix and he will find a model of patience.
(Blessed Charles of Mount Argus)

Read Full Post »

Last Friday’s Consistory

I arrived at Rome Ciampino airport last Thursday night to attend the Consistory for Blessed Charles (Houben) of Mount Argus et alii and was met by Father Mirek, the rector of Saints John and Paul. My room this time was in the Reparto Campanile, just beside the bell tower.

The next morning, we set out for the Vatican to attend the Consistory which was to begin at eleven o’clock. Fortunately I was with some Passionist Vaticanisti, otherwise I probably would have got lost once I went through the Bronze Door. A flight of stairs brought us to the Court of Saint Damasus. We crossed the courtyard and, after politely stepping back to let some cardinals go first, we entered the building on the other side and took the lift to the second floor. The buttons on the lift were not marked Ground Floor, First Floor, Second Floor, but San Damaso, Prima Loggia, Seconda Loggia. At the end of the long corridor (I should really say Loggia) was the Sala del Concistoro. The five future saints were each allowed twelve guests and, in recognition of the humility of Blessed Charles, the Passionists had been given the seats at the back, which meant that we could misbehave in comfort.

However, just in case we forgot ourselves and started singing and dancing with joy when the Pope made the announcement, the Postulator General (Father Giovanni Zubiani) came up to remind us where we were. Here are the General Consultors revising Courtesy for Clerics with Father Giovanni.

And here is Father Frank Keevins, rector of Mount Argus and vice-postulator of the Cause of Blessed Charles, looking quite chuffed.

I don’t usually put pictures of me on Laus Crucis, but since I’ll probably never be so high up in the Vatican again (Seconda Loggia), here’s a picture of myself and Father Frank.

Sitting in front of us was a group from Malta. I spoke to the lady in front of me and told her that I had received a comment on this blog from a member of M.U.S.E.U.M., the movement founded by Blessed George Preca; you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that this was the lady who had posted the comment.

Here are some of the cardinals waiting for the Pope to arrive. The cardinal in black (with his back to the camera) is the Archbishop of Toledo; Cardinal Arinze is just walking through the door.

Everyone sat down when it was nearly time for the Pope to come in.

The Consistory began with a celebration of Midday Prayer; the schola and organ were just behind us. Here is the Holy Father joining in the singing one of the antiphons.

After the Office, the Cardinal Prefect read something about each of those to be canonised and asked the Holy Father to enrol them among the saints. This (and everything else) was done in Latin.

The Pope then asked if any of the cardinals or bishops had any objections; after a moment of silence, he then said that the five Beati were to be canonised and announced the dates of canonisation. (You can see and hear this bit on the previous post.)

There were some other bits of consistorial business to be done, after which the Holy Father gave his blessing and left. This gave me a chance to take a picture of the room, as everyone else went too.

Here is a picture of the ceiling.

And here is a picture of the hall taken from outside which shows that, in fact, I wasn’t the last one to leave.

Whispers in a Loggia

Father Luis Alberto Cano, General Consultor from Spain.

Father Denis Travers, First General Consultor, apparently being arrested by the Swiss Guard. Father Denis represented the General, Father Ottaviano, who was in the north of Italy presiding at the Provincial Chapter of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Province

On our way downstairs (quicker than the lift), we almost took a wrong turning but were given directions by Cardinal Re; since he appoints the new bishops, I think we’ve all managed to get struck off that list. Here he is in the Court of Saint Damasus (he’s the one in red and white in the centre of the picture) talking to another cardinal before going to lunch.

Father Denis was rescued by Father Frank and the Dutch Provincial, Father Leo.

Father Frank on his way to phone Mount Argus to tell the community to get moving, as the canonisation will be at the beginning of June and not in October as we had expected.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »