Our Mass leaflet today contained some reflections on the spirituality of the men who fought for our freedom: The centenary of the Easter Rising marks the watershed moment of our political history. This pivotal anniversary provides an opportunity for us learn from the faith and courage of the people who made freedom possible. Fr Aloysius heard James Connolly’s last confession in the hours before he was shot, stood behind the firing party as Connolly was placed on a chair and executed and remarked afterwards, “It was a scene I should not ask to witness again. I had got to know Connolly – to wonder at his strength of character……(and) now I had to say goodbye” Padraig Pearse was willing to pay the ultimate price with his life and reflected on the circumstances of his own mother – who lost two sons in the Rising – like Mary at the foot of the cross Roger Casement formally embraced Catholicism and receiving his first Holy Communion just before his execution Con Colbert told a prisoner that he expected to be executed and added “We are all ready to meet our God” Seán Heuston recited acts of faith, hope, love and contrition as he faced his death at just 25 years of age Thomas Clarke – of whom there was little evidence of faith - refused to repudiate his involvement in the Rising. He said “I was not sorry for what I had done…..I was not going to face my God with a lie on my tongue” Thomas Kent entrusted one of his prized possessions – his temperance badge – to a local priest Seán MacDiarmada said he bore no malice to any man and “I die in perfect peace with Almighty God” Joseph Plunkett in his last words to Fr. O’Brien said “Father, I am very happy. I am dying for the glory of God and the honour of Ireland."