The State of the Faith in Ireland Today: How do you see it?

Discussion in 'Ireland' started by Roger Buck, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. Roger Buck

    Roger Buck Angels

    OK - another thing I'd like to raise/ask is how people here see the state of the Faith in Ireland today.

    To kick things off, I'm pasting in a comment from a twenty something Irishman I found at another forum that hit me pretty deeply. He wrote:

    "Unfortunately I wouldn't be too optimistic about the faith's prospects in Ireland. And I don't think it's just my gloomy temperament. There is a real hostility to Catholicism here among my parent's generation. It is very rare now to see a priest wear his collar in public.

    Among my own generation of 20-somethings there is contempt or indifference. Religious education programmes are fatuous. I certainly didn't take it seriously then.

    Virtually no one of my generation has been catechised in any meaningful way. My friends' ideas about Christianity are often ideas picked up from American TV which actually refer to Protestantism.

    The notion that Catholicism has a rich intellectual tradition is scoffed at. Our Constitution, with its references to the Holy Trinity and natural law, is regarded in all respectable circles as an embarrassment at best.

    Granted, Roger Buck is right about the Dublin/rural division. There's still a very remarkable difference and it's lovely to see. But Dublin increasingly dominates the country, both demographically and culturally. And even along the West coast of Ireland, which I regard as the last bastion of civilization, the new generation is being mentally and spiritually shaped by Anglo-American media culture."

    I am genuinely curious what others make of this. I myself tend to see a lot of truth in it - but perhaps I am too gloomy?
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  2. Torrentum

    Torrentum Guest

    I would tend to agree with all of the above. Especially the hostility element that was mentioned. Ive spent time in a devout catholic asian nation. To come back to ireland and see the state of affairs here now in terms of belief in the faith is very depressing.
    There is one statistic Id like to share : its just my own statistic formed from my own experience:
    Im 34. Taking all my relatives and friends and co-workers into account, Im the only one who attends weekly Mass. I attend alone every week. I look around and its all older people there. What will it be like in 20 years time, I often wonder. This troubles me the most.
  3. maryrose

    maryrose Powers

    If one were to listen to the media one would believe that the faith is finished and the only people still believing are senile or completely living in a bubble but I see many signs of hope. Many many Irish people go to Medjugorje every year and Medjugorje has been responsible for reviving the faith of very many people. Many people in school/college are not getting the teaching that they need but still the faith is not that far away from them, if the parents arent going to mass regularly you will still find faithful grandparents. I think that there will be a great return yet as the faith I believe is still there even in those who dont attend church. I think we need better leadership and example of faith. Still I think we have had to go through this time of cleansing and it will lead to a more authentic witness from all of us who profess to be catholic. There is a great kindness in irish people and in a way this too has led to their not calling a spade a spade. We do live with a very anti catholic government and media at present.
  4. Roger Buck

    Roger Buck Angels

    Thank you Torrentum and maryrose. Find myself with resonances with you both.

    While I AM gravely concerned, I also take the point very seriously about the great, great kindness of the Irish and that in some sense "the faith is still there" even in many of the lapsed.

    The Christian roots of this country are very profound - quite unlike anything I have ever seen, having lived in 9 countries in all. So I share this faith in Ireland.

    At the same time, I think the threat is greater than ever before. Recently I heard someone speculating on the real effect of the countless numbers of children and teens with iPods listening to songs like Katie Perry's "I kissed a girl and I liked it ..."

    The minds of our children are being invaded like never before ...

    I won't say much more now. Hopefully others will.

    However, I will mention I have just put up a blog about Ireland being invaded by my own Anglo-American culture which continues a bit in the same vein as the above:

    Ireland and the Anglosphere, Protestantism and New Age Neopaganism.
  5. miker

    miker Powers

    I hope you don't mind the intrusion onto the state of faith in Ireland, but I see many similarities to what is happening in the US. I'm a CCD teacher and I can tell you first hand, we have lost generations of people. I can't reach the kids I teach because their parents have not been catechized. It is tough and it is disheartening but it is why I expect that God will act soon. Like ancient Israel, we have turned our backs on God; our societies have said we don't need Him. How much longer will He wait?
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  6. maryrose

    maryrose Powers

    When traveling to Dublin at the weekend for the Reform Alliance conference I noted so many people on the bus wearing their earphones and glued to their tablets and phones. Its very hard to get through to young people when they are so taken over with gadgets. Nothing is beyond God though and I think just pray for them. The Lord will take the toys away sooner or later. In the meantime we have to build up and be strong. The day will come when they will need help.
    I also saw the headlines on the newspapers that our Minister for Education wants religion reduced in schools in favor of reading and maths. There is a continuous onslaught against religion in our schools from this government. We need to give them their walking papers t the first opportunity. A man at the conference stood up and asked people to vote next time out for non party people in an attempt to break the party system. The party whip system is turning our democracy into a dictatorship.
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  7. FoundSoul

    FoundSoul Angels

    I am not sure I am gloomy now. For a long tim I was but I think younger people are more religious than their Parents. I was shocked when I moved and started to attend Mass in Knocklyon. This is one of the younger parishes and it was cramed full of young people I think between 16 and 25. They arrived in for Mass in large groups on their own without their parents but with all of their friends.

    Another thing I do remember is a woman I worked with asking me for my rosary beads when she saw them. She said they were for her daughter who was about 17 at the time and going to Ringsend Tech. When I asked her was her daughter religious she rolled her eyes saying yes and she did not get it from us. Then she told me that all her daughters friends had rosary beads - they wore them around their neck. The young might just save us all.

    Its because of all the clerical abuse that people have turned full blast from the Church and no one can blame them. I think we should have saved our anger for the hierarchy though - the ones who let it happen and covered it up.
  8. maryrose

    maryrose Powers

    Found soul,
    I agree with you on picking on the wrong people. I know so many priests who are heartbroken over these scandals and are struggling. Our church leadership has been woefully inadequate. Im hoping these new bishops who are being appointed step up to the plate and lead the people and give some heart back to the faithful priests. Its good to hear about a young parish. Hopefully its catching. Id love to know how this has come about. Do you know what has set these young people on fire?
  9. Indy

    Indy Praying

    I think a lot of my parents generation have become hypnotized by the television and now many onve devout homes have dropped the Rosary beads for the TV remote control. Soap Operas on evening TV have a lot to answer for. But there does seem to be a growing swell of younger recently awoken Catholics who are reminding others of their faith that they have forgotten.. I think there is much hope. I do also think there is a great devotion to the Divine Mercy around Ireland and the consecration of Ireland to the Immaculate heart of Mary last year can only do great things.
  10. FoundSoul

    FoundSoul Angels

    When I moved house and saw how the young were going to Mass, I thought at first is was simply rebellion on their part, they were going just to annoy their parents After a while I thought I saw something more that young people don't do things out of habit so they were going either because their friends were or they were interested enough about God. I see young people as very aware of themselves and what they want out of life. They are all aware of what abuse happened and wat abuse is and they would never let it happen now to them or to any child, but they know as well that ditching the Church leaves them in a worse place in themselves.

    It could be what Indy says that if they did not start off going for the right reasons our Blessed Mother has brought them along to the pint of them feeling something more now.
  11. FoundSoul

    FoundSoul Angels

    I forgot to say welcome to you Roger. Welcome.
  12. Roger Buck

    Roger Buck Angels

    FoundSoul - thank you for your welcome.

    And I completely second this from maryrose. How has this come about? I also hear you say, Indy, that you are noticing this "growing swell of younger recently awoken Catholics".

    I am slightly dumbfounded, as I am not seeing this. Nor are many other people. This does not mean I think "we" are right - and you are wrong.

    I am desperate for some good news. FoundSoul, Indy, anyone else who sees the same thing - can you tell us more?

    Conversely, what do others who feel "gloomy" like me think? Are Indy and FoundSoul noticing perhaps only a small local phenomenon - or is there a large and widespread "growing swell of younger recently awoken Catholics"?

    Not wanting to be critical. I really appreciate these reports and really want to hear more ... :)
  13. Adoremus

    Adoremus Powers

    My impression is that there are many isolated pockets of this phenomenon around the country. Where there is faith among younger people it is zealous, authentic, orthodox and strong so those are hopeful signs.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
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  14. PotatoSack

    PotatoSack Powers

    I hope you don't mind me piping in because I will speak of the young people I see in the US. I believe there are pockets here of great faith too. I see it in areas where there are active youth and young adult groups and perpetual adoration. I volunteered at a young adult retreat put on by Adore Ministries and Paul George spoke, and let me tell you I could literally feel the Holy Spirit workin that weekend and I had a "buzz" for a few days...I can only imagine how the Holy Spirit was working on those kids! You can google Paul George's talks and adore ministry sessions to see the response from college aged kids. The Walk for LIfe in DC this past January was made up of a huge amount of young people so what a hopeful sign that is...such a strong public witness of faith to walk in that rally!

    So, I firmly believe a part of Mary's remnant army will be young people in all countries and she is preparing them now as she is us older folks. So, I see much hope. Less people are living the faith these days, but those that are have a much stronger, authentic faith than in the past, simply because it is so hard to live the faith is a conscience effort to go against the grain of society. so, have hope a remnant army will be changing the world soon!
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  15. maryrose

    maryrose Powers

    I attended to Reform Alliance conference in Dublin last weekend. It was very interesting and very accomplished speakers addressed the conference on reforms needed in our democracy. There was also a lot of input from the floor. It was very well attended by young people and there is an appetite for change. I think many of the young people have come through the pro life movement and certainly there were huge numbers of young people participating in last years pro life marches. I do agree with PotatoSack that people coming back to the faith or discovering it for the first time are stronger in their witness as they have to go against the grain. I am hopeful and keep praying for conversions. they are happening. The Pro Life movement is reaching young people because it cannot be denied now that abortion is the direct taking of an innocent human life. This indisputable fact is making young people think about right and wrong and justice.

  16. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I am always in awe in the morning at mass to see the faith of people. Some of them are real honest to goodness saints. Even the others who well surprise me a little by coming every day I am somewhat in awe of.

    The same goes for the forum, a lot of awe and respect. So many good and holy people.

    As to the people I work with, I don't see hatred or disgust about the Church, it is worse in a way they simply are disinterested, not only in the Church but all religion, they just want to, 'Get on with their lives'. Which is another way of saying going to hell.

    One thing too I notice people are endlessly curious about how how happy I am. This I think is the great witness to the truth to be happy and joyous , this draws souls like bees to honey.

    I am afraid I lose interest in the great issues of the Spirit of Nations. God has put me in my own little spot in my own little world and I do what I can.:)

    A new and better world is coming, a new and better Ireland. I can feel it all around me. It will come at the price of blood, but the New Spring time is dawning.

    I am full of hope. It is never darker than just before the dawn.

  17. maryrose

    maryrose Powers

    Im not into the spirit of the nations either but I went because the TD's running the conference were expelled because of their stand against abortion and I would think all of those attending were pro life people. I think its important to support those who do witness for the truth. They went against the grain and sacrificed their political ambitions and stood by their conscience. That is pretty rare among politicians nowadays. I see so many young people in the pro life movement which is very encouraging.
    I agree with you a happy person is a great witness and draws people towards the faith. I too am hopeful. I attended last years consecration of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart at Knock shrine and it was a very special moment and many graces are coming from that consecration.
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  18. maryrose

    maryrose Powers

    consecration at knock.JPG
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  19. maryrose

    maryrose Powers

    My friend who was beside me took this photo at Knock last year on her phone as the consecration prayer was being said by the bishops. As you can see Our lady's hands and face are in light. She has the same photo taken a minute before and afterwards and this phenomena is not on it. Many graces are coming I think.
  20. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Knock is so special, Mary Nut one thing I find in Knock is it is better to stay a day or two to let the graces sink in. .

    One great sadness for me at the moment is folks seem so hard to bring to conversion. Perhaps it is my imagination but they have grown very hardhearted. They are not so easily touched.

    Perhaps I am imagining this, but they are bought with much more spiritual effort. They are just so...well sad and far from God.

    Whereas those who have stuck with God they...well there is no other word for it, they glow. Boy do they glow.:)
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