A hundred-thousand welcomes is perhaps more students than little All Hallows College could actually accommodate, but that’s the welcome the Irish seminary extends to mature international students.

One-hundred-thousand welcomes in the Irish tongue is céad mile fåilte. And the first person to extend that Irish greeting to international students in the Renewal for Life Sabbatical program is a Canadian, Sr. Mary Ann Maxwell.

Published in Features

DUBLIN - Declassified British documents reveal the extent to which Pope John Paul II tried unsuccessfully to intervene to end a 1981 hunger strike by Catholic prisoners in a British jail in Northern Ireland.

The documents claim that, after the pope sent a special envoy, the leader of the Provisional Irish Republican Army prisoners, Bobby Sands, was willing to suspend the fast just days before he died.

Published in International

ROME - Vatican representatives have completed the first phase of an investigation of major Catholic institutions in Ireland, ordered by Pope Benedict XVI to examine the response of Irish Church authorities to the clerical sex abuse scandal.

A statement from the Vatican press office June 6 said that apostolic visitators to four metropolitan dioceses, as well as seminaries and religious institutes, had turned over their reports to the competent Vatican agencies. Among the visitators were Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins and Ottawa’s Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J.

In the coming months, the statement said, bishops and leaders of religious orders will receive notices on what they should be doing “for the spiritual renewal” of the Irish Church.

The visitation was announced by Pope Benedict in March 2010 in a pastoral letter to Irish Catholics after an independent report showed widespread and historic abuse of minors on the part of Church figures in the overwhelmingly Catholic country. The report accused authorities of covering up and enabling a “culture of secrecy” regarding the problem.

Published in International

DUBLIN - Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley reportedly will tell Pope Benedict XVI that the Catholic Church in Ireland is “on the edge” of collapse due to the fallout from clerical abuse scandals.

O’Malley is one of several senior prelates — including Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins and Ottawa’s Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J. — charged by Pope Benedict with carrying out an apostolic visitation of the Irish Catholic Church following a series of highly critical judicial reports that revealed abuse by priests and a widespread culture of cover-up for decades among Church leaders.

Published in International