In his lenten message this year Bishop Jim Moriarty of Kildare & Leighlin comments on the change since this time last year. He reminds people that Lent is an invitation to rediscover hope, to know what the Lord has done for us and to follow his example. He talks about the economic downturn, the worry about repaying mortgages and the fear of home repossessions. He spoke to Eileen Good.

trocaire_2009_lent_bishop

Click on link to download the Lenten Leaflet which includes the Bishop’s Lenten Message

My dear friends

Since we last celebrated the season of Lent, the economic downturn in Ireland, but also globally, has been truly dramatic. It is a grave concern that our nation’s financial crisis is rapidly becoming a profound social crisis. For many people it has been a shattering experience at a deeply personal level.

There is now a collective sense of grief, fear, anger but also a kind of re?awakening. We can all see that our position as a nation has been made much worse because we failed to regulate our society in the interests of community ahead of capital, in favour of family life before financial gain.

While it is necessary to point to past failures in governance, to move forward we each need to consider the deeper question ? the Lenten question ? what really governs my life? The power of the Lenten season is not confined to repentance; rather this power is released by the call to believe in the Gospel.

Christians are people of Good News. We celebrate the enduring truth that the Lord has set us free and called us into communion with him and one another. Above all else Lent is an invitation to rediscover hope, to know what the Lord has done for us and to follow his example.

This year’s Trcaire Lenten campaign focuses on people in the developing world who have been forced from their homes because of armed conflict. As always, the Lenten campaign widens our horizons and allows us to look with a new eye on our own society. It brings us in touch with our common humanity, our deepest values.

Human rights are universal rights and we need to be equally radical in their defence nationally and internationally. So as we encourage people to do what they can this Lent to help displaced people in Somalia, Sudan and elsewhere, we also need to make a deeper commitment to supporting family life in our own country.

The collapse of the ‘double income/stamp duty’ economic model has left many families in a financial cul?de?sac. People already burdened with inflated mortgages are now overwhelmed by unemployment.

There are numerous policy areas needing attention, but first and foremost we need to speak up for measures designed to enable families to keep their homes. We need to do all we can to avoid a tide of repossessions sweeping across the land. What is needed here is a set of long?term solutions to the crisis and not just a temporary deferral.

In the long economic recovery which lies ahead, I pray that a deeper strength may be revealed as we care for the weakest and most vulnerable at home as well as in the developing world. May the Lord’s grace empower us and give us his peace in this new season.

Jim Moriarty

Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin
Trcaire 2009 Lenten campaign

The Trcaire 2009 Lenten campaign is focused on the needs of people in the developing world who have been forced to leave their homes because of conflict to seek safety elsewhere.

Displacement and poverty go hand in hand. Displaced people have less or no access to employment, education and other facilities. They are not only forced to leave behind their livelihoods and homes but practically all their material possessions too. The 2009 Lenten campaign is an opportunity to help rebuild the lives of the world’s most vulnerable families.
Trcaire – our organisation

Trcaire (Irish word for “compassion”) is the official overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland. It was set up by the Irish Catholic Bishops in 1973 to express the concern of the Irish Church for the world’s poorest and most oppressed people.
Kildare & Leighlin’s contribution

Kildare & Leighlin Diocese has a close working relationship with Trcaire. Along with promoting the Lenten collection within our diocese, we are also partners with Trcaire in the work of helping people become more familiar with Catholic Social Teaching. We thank all concerned for their generosity for past Lenten campaigns in our 56 parishes. See below diocesan totals for recent Lenten campaigns –

2008 389,609.63
2007 423,794.27
2006 440,040.43
Further information

Click on link for our full coverage and resources for the Trcaire 2009 Lenten campaign

For further information please visit www.trocaire.org