In Cana of Galilee…



Life, Death, Love…and no more wine!

Yesterday was a celebration here in our house: the Parliament in Portugal rejected draft legislation on euthanasia, and the victory of life must be celebrated. But the celebration wasn’t as great as it might have been for it was clouded by the resounding defeat of life in our other country, Ireland, at the end of last week. Niall especially, who loves his country, has suffered terribly with the news coming out of there. How was it possible, and above all, how do the Irish justify the celebrations, the euphoria, the victory cries in the face of rivers of innocent blood(…)

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Soldier of Christ

On Sunday the 27th Clare received the sacrament of confirmation. Such great joy there was here at home! At last Clare completed her Christian identity having received all three sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. By her side, Francisco was the privileged sponsor. Because her Godparents from baptism couldn’t be there on the day, Clare asked her brother, himself confirmed three years ago, to be beside her. What does a confirmation sponsor do? Just this: he is a witness to the fact that Clare is ready to receive the sacrament, and he’s available to accompany her in her faith.(…)

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Our Lady Help of Christians

Today, May 24th, is the feast day of Mary Help of Christians. Here at home we celebrate this day with a cake and by going to Mass, naturally. The Salesian school that David attends organized a trip to Fatima today, as part of a bigger pilgrimage that includes students, teachers and staff who want to give thanks to Mary for the gift of their schools that they consecrate to her every year. I grew up with a strong devotion to Our Lady but did not really ever invoke Mary Help of Christians, a devotion that was little heard of in(…)

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What’s the price of a medal?

One weekend recently we took the family to Braga to watch the first international artistic gymnastics tournament to be held in Portugal at 2nd division level. Clare was going to compete in the four events, balance beam, vault, uneven bars and floor exercise. Clare has been doing gymnastics almost since she learned to walk. At home, of course! At the age of four, five, six…, we became used to seeing her doing cartwheels and handstands alone in the garden and in her room. We watched her grow, tumble after tumble, learning aerials from Youtube and back handsprings with her PE(…)

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Novena for Pentecost

The great day of Pentecost is quickly approaching. In our house we started to pray a Novena for Pentecost on Ascension Sunday, invoking the Holy Spirit and His seven gifts each day. It’s a magnificent way to deepen our understanding about the Spirit and about what the Bible and the Church say about Him. And it’s also a great way to teach our younger kids, because once they’ve listened to the prayer two or three times they begin to memorise the different gifts and fruits mentioned. Try it out! You can find it on the Prayers page in the From(…)

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