Faithcast is the weekly podcast from www.catholicnews.ie the news source for the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, and is a mixture of interviews and news from the Catholic Church in Ireland.

This week’s episode features an interview with Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland and Administrator of the Diocese of Dromore. Archbishop Martin speaks to presenter Brenda Drumm about the newly launched #LivingLent social media initiative and about this year’s Day of Prayer for Survivors and Victims of Abuse.

#LivingLent 2020 

Speaking about the #LivingLent social media campaign Archbishop Eamon said, “This modern and fast-paced world invites us every so often to stop. The Church invites us during Lent to step back and to undertake a journey. Lent is very much a journey as we enter into a space within ourselves that perhaps we don’t normally enter into.

“Lent offers us the opportunity of renewal, of refreshment and of conversion. That is why we hold to the three traditional pillars of Lent: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. These are as old as the Scriptures. People have always found that if we stop for a moment and enter into daily prayer, and then allow that to encourage us to reach out in charity and alms to others, then Lent will be worthwhile but it can only happen if we are also prepared to do that little bit of self sacrifice.”

Responding to a question asking him what he is giving up or taking up for Lent, the archbishop said, “I am going to have a go at all three of the pillars of the Lenten Season. I am going to make a special effort for extra time for prayer in the early mornings. There are a number of charities that I want to help this Lent and as for sacrifice – well there are some foods I will try to stay away from that are not good for me.”

Concluding his interview on #LivingLent Archbishop Martin said that it is a simple click away each day on the social media pages of the Bishops’ Conference and using the hashtag #LivingLent. He said it’s a simple initiative but could make a big different to your Lenten observance this year.

Day of Prayer for Survivors and Victims of Abuse

The annual Day of Prayer for Survivors and Victims of Sexual Abuse will take place on Friday 28 February 2020, the first Friday of Lent.

The bishops of Ireland have blessed and dedicated candles of atonement for use in their Cathedrals and parishes throughout the country on 28 February and thereafter during the celebration of Mass and other liturgies.

Speaking about this Day of Prayer, Archbishop Eamon said, “This prayer initiative is important as it sets aside time in churches around the country for the many people in Ireland affected by abuse. It also gives the Church herself an opportunity to think about atonement. We have failed as bishops and priests and atonement has to be part of our response.”

Candles of Atonement will be lit in cathedrals and churches across Ireland tomorrow. Explaining the background to these candles, Archbishop Martin said, “The Candle of Atonement was an idea that was brought to me by a survivor of abuse.  We introduced it last year. It’s a simple candle with a prayer attached in which we ask for forgiveness for our great failings in the Church in terms of neglecting the young and those who were vulnerable. In lighting these candles we will bring to mind our brothers and sisters, and their families, who have been left with a lifelong suffering as a result of abuse, whose trust was so deeply betrayed and whose faith has been so cruelly tested within the sanctity of the Church by perpetrators of abuse.”

Concluding his interview on the Day of Prayer, the archbishop said, “I hope that the Candle of Atonement reminds people to take care of each other. During the Season of Lent as we enter into prayer, charitable acts and self-denial, we do so for the good of all. If we can protect our children, give them an opportunity to grow u in a wholesome and health way in our homes, families, in workplaces and especially our Church then it can make a great difference for the future.

To listen to the full episode of Faithcast, click here.

ENDS