Sons of Ignatius
By Sons of Ignatius
Sons of IgnatiusSep 24, 2023
The Pilgrim Experiment: Seán’s Experience
Seán McMahon SJ is a second year Jesuit novice who has just finished his pilgrimage experiment. Even by Jesuit standards this pilgrimage was extreme! In our first episode after the summer break Fr Niall catches up with Seán to talk about the physical, geographical and spiritual highs and lows of his pilgrimage walking over 500 kilometres from Zurich in Switzerland to Paray le Monial in France. Epic stuff.
You Can't Earn the Gift
Often we think we have to earn God's love but when we get something in return for our good behaviour that's a reward - not a gift! God gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us live the Christian life well. While we receive the Holy Spirit is a special way in Baptism and Confirmation, it's not a "one and done" occurance. God sends the Holy Spirit to help us anytime we ask, a million times over. There is nothing we can do to earn this gift. We just have to receive it. This week Fr Niall shares a talk he gave as part of a Life in the Spirit Seminar series at Gardiner Street Parish. It is a reflection on the older son in the parable of the prodigal son and some thoughts on how sometimes we can get it wrong as Catholics when we think that doing all the right things will earn us our salvation.
The Bible and The Big Bang
Happy Easter to all our listeners. This week Fr Niall talks to Fr. Adam Hincks SJ, a Canadian Jesuit and astronomer who looks so far into space that he looks back in time. Adam talks about his life as a scientist and a Jesuit, about the similarities and differences between science and theology, and he shares some of the beautiful discoveries that he has made. He also drops a bombshell about telescopes.
Adam has written some articles for America Magazine which are available here: https://www.americamagazine.org/voices/adam-d-hincks. He also recommends the Vatican Obersvatory website here: https://www.vaticanobservatory.org/
St Patrick, SJ
Fr Niall and Eamonn talk about St Patrick. They conclude that he would have been an amazing Jesuit but he definitely did not invent Guinness!
To Ireland and Back
Fr Michael Simone SJ is an Italian-American priest and an Old Testament scholar who came to Dublin last year for a year of spiritual formation, which in Jesuit lingo is called "Tertianship". In this episode Fr Niall talks to him about his time in Ireland and his impression of the Irish church compared to the USA. Apparently Ireland is still a Catholic country!
Benedict on Love
The freshly caffeinated Irish Jesuit duo Niall and Eamonn talk about recently deceased Pope Emeritus Benedict and love.
O Come Let Us Adore
In this kinda Christmas-sy episode Fr. Niall is joined by Tony Foy, Executive Director of NET Ministries Ireland. Tony once heard Bishop Robert Baron say that the Mass is not really a tool of evangelisation so if the Church wants to attract new people it has to do something else other than invite them to Mass. Like what? Like Eucharistic adoration.
P.S. If anyone has seen Fr. David could they tell him that he is missed.
Saints with a Difference
This week Fr. Niall is joined by Eamonn and Piotr (aka DJ Peter), two Jesuit scholastics (Jesuits studying for the priesthood) from his community in Dublin .
To mark the feast of All Saints of the Society of Jesus, Niall asks them to talk about a Jesuit saint who inspires them. Eamonn talks about St. Alberto Hurtado, a Chilean Jesuit of the 20th Century who did just about everything. Piotr/DJ Peter chose a very different saint, St. Stanislaus Kostka (1550-1568), who died at just 18 years of age as a Jesuit novice.
These two lives reveal two very different ways of being holy which gets them talking about what it means to be holy.
Spice bags and Sea Creatures
In this week's episode, Fr Niall Leahy SJ and the Gardiner Street NET team continue their discussion of Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). Today, they narrow their focus to the Church's mission to young people in particular, drawing from Evangelii Gaudium paragraphs 105 and 106. The way in which we go about sharing the faith with young people is vitally important and, in the past, the Church has failed to reach young people and communicate with them in ways that they can understand. The NET team offer their thoughts and share their experience of being modern day "street preachers" bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to young people today.
The Missionary Option
In a somewhat unexpected turn of events, Sons of Ignatius Podcast is back this week with a slight plot twist! This week's podcast features Fr Niall and members of the NET team who are serving at his parish in Gardiner Street, Dublin this year. The NET team are an amazing group of young people who have taken a year out of their lives to serve God through mission. The NET team share their experience of faith and how they came to encounter Jesus in a personal way. This is the very first step in our journey of faith. But since faith is a gift, we must not keep it to ourselves. We must share it with others. It is when Catholics take this vital (and scary!) step of reaching out and inviting others in that the Church then has what Pope Francis calls "a missionary option". The conversation this week is inspired by Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel).
Hello listeners! After the summer break there is lots of news to report. Fr. Dave and Fr. Niall are back for another season of Sons of Ignatius. Fr. Dave is moving from Miami to Madrid to start his doctoral studies, but he stopped in Dublin en route to visit Niall and see the land of saints and scholars for himself. So for the first time ever this episode was recorded live and in person and IN THE SAME TIME ZONE! Our Jesuit friends look back over the summer and look ahead to what is coming on the podcast. Our Lady of Knock also features.
Catholic Social Teaching: Social Fruitful Hopeful
As Fr Niall and Fr Dave wrap the podcast up for the Summer, they reflect on what they have learned from the series on Catholic Social Teaching and the importance of moving forward to live it out in our daily lives as missionary disciples.
Catholic Social Teaching: Gospel of life
Fr. Dave and Fr. Niall get into Catholic Social Teaching and the dignity of life, which is topical at the moment in both Ireland and the USA. It’s good to talk about these things.
Catholic Social Teaching: Work work work
Given that we spend so many hours of the day working, shouldn’t the church say something about work? It has! Fr. Dave and Fr. Niall share some Catholic theology of work and discuss some of the real issues affecting workers today.
Catholic Social Teaching: God's Creation
Fr. Dave and Fr. Niall catch up after Easter and dive into Laudato Si', Pope Francis' encyclical on the care of creation. If we are going to be disciples that care for the Earth, then we need to see clearly, judge wisely, and act justly.
The promise of death and resurrection
How is Christ's death and resurrection present in the life of the missionary disciple? In this Good Friday episode, Fr. Niall looks at the lives of St. Ignatius, St. Bernadette, and Fr. Peter McVerry through the lens of the Paschal Mystery. Death and resurrection is all that Jesus promises us, so it's really important that we come to recognise it in our own lives and welcome it. AMDG.
From Pastoral to Social
In this episode Frs. Niall and David recap the four pillars of priestly formation and go deeper into pastoral formation, focusing especially on the social and collaborative dimensions of pastoral life. They then transition to their new topic for the next four episodes, introducing Catholic Social Teaching and its general approach to addressing social questions.
In this episode Fr. Niall is joined by Eamonn Walls who is a Jesuit novice. They talk about St. Ignatius's conversion and how being a pilgrim was an important part of his spiritual journey. Eamonn shares about two pilgrimages he has done and how they helped him get in touch with and accept his deepest desires. His advice is simple: follow the little yellow arrows!
In this episode, Fr David flies solo and gives a quick overview of Pastoral Formation, which is the subject of the last episode in their series on the stages or pillars of formation in Pastores Dabo Vobis.
Being spiritual doesn’t mean that we are not human. And having lots of missionary zeal and high ideals does not mean that you don’t have needs. If we want to be missionaries for the long run then we need to be aware of and attend to our human needs. Grace perfects nature, it doesn’t replace it!
In order to be a missionary you have to learn about Christianity and also about the place where you are a missionary. At the end we give some book recommendations.
We have both been through 10 years of Jesuit formation, a formation process which is a preparation for mission. So in this episode we share what we have learned about spiritual formation for mission.
Acceptance, assimilation and adherence—three terms given to us by Pope Saint Paul VI. It’s very simple: in order to change the world for the better, WE have to be changed, both as individuals and as communities.
Proclaimers gonna proclaim
Witnessing with our lives is essential…but it’s not enough. If we are to evangelise then Catholics also need to talk about God! So let’s talk about talking about God.
Proclamation comes in many shapes and sizes. Experience teaches us what is the most appropriate way to proclaim (or not proclaim) the word in a given circumstance.
Good witness bad witness
If we want to evangelise the world, then witnessing to the love of Christ with our lives is essential. What does it mean to be a good witness to Christ? Or a bad one for that matter?
The love of Christ makes us both refreshingly normal and strangely abnormal, but always more human.
We need to talk about the mission
In this first episode we introduce ourselves and our new podcast. Fr. Niall is Irish and Fr. Dave is a US American, and we met while studying theology in Canada. So we bring some cultural breadth to the discussion of the Church and the Church's mission. We are Jesuits so we also bring the St. Ignatius of Loyola angle to the table.
For Fr. Niall, simply saying "God loves me" can be an inadequate way of expressing our faith, because God keeps on asking us to do things that don't appeal to us. Dave says that discernment is meant to lead to decision and action. Get up and move!
Q. What is the Church's mission? A. Evangelization. And what is evangelization? EXCELLENT QUESTION!