November is a month when many people like to reflect, pause and remember beloved family members and friends who have died. The month begins with the Feast of All Saints. It was instituted to honour all of the saints, both known and unknown, and, according to Pope Urban IV, to supply any deficiencies in the faithful’s celebration of saints’ feasts during the year. The Feast of All the Saints of Ireland was instituted in 1921, by Pope Benedict XV.
My eldest son Kieran was a bit mystified when I told him I was going on silent retreat for a week. “What are you going to do?” he asked. “Good question”, I replied. And my youngest son Sean was surprised (pleasantly, I think) when I phoned him a day into the retreat. “I thought you weren’t allowed to speak!” he said. “It’s your birthday”, I explained.
There were two impressive cycling achievements at this year’s Barmouth gathering: one of the group travelling there by bike from Liverpool (Paul Devlin: 91 miles); and somebody (me!) making a successful ascent of what has been officially declared this year as the steepest road in the world. Continue Reading