Jan 3, 2017

Mass for World Day of Peace - a new song of non-violence

"The new song of “active nonviolence” being sung in Limerick today can be held up as an example to other areas affected by gangland crime, Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy said in his New Year’s message.

In his ‘World Day of Peace’ homily at New Year’s Day Mass at Corpus Christi Church in Moyross, Bishop Leahy paid tribute to the women and men of Limerick impacted by gangland crime from the late 1990s through to the latter part of the last decade for ensuring peace triumphed over disorder and crime. Taking from Pope Francis’ New Year’s Day message of ‘active nonviolence’, Bishop Leahy said that people in areas such as Moyross, Southill, Ballinacura Weston and St. Mary’s Park had gone “the extra mile in nonviolence and non-retaliation in the face of violence”. And he said that Limerick is now a city that can be held up as an exemplar elsewhere with regard to how to ensure peace wins out over violence.



This is the text of his homily ...

Bishop Brendan Leahy. Diocese of Limerick.

January 1st, 2017. World Day of Peace.

Mass in Corpus Christi Church, Moyross, Limerick

"For the past fifty years, the Catholic Church all over the world has celebrated January 1st, New Year’s Day, as the World Day of Peace. The First Reading today gives us a wonderful prayer for this day: “May the Lord bless youand keep you. May the Lord let his face shine on you and be gracious to you.May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace.”

Each year the Pope writes a message on an aspect of peace. This year Pope Francis has chosen the topic of “nonviolence”. He asks all of us to make active nonviolence our way of life.The Pope sees our world is broken. He speaks of a world war being fought“piecemeal” as he puts it. The vicious circle of violence, retaliation and more violence is having disastrous effects leading to forced migrations and enormous suffering with vast amounts of resources being diverted to military ends and away from the everyday needs of young people, families experiencing hardship, the elderly, the infirm and the great majority of people in our world.”

In this year’s message for the World day of Peace, Pope Francis quotes Pope Benedict XVI who wrote once that when faced with too much violence, toomuch injustice, we can only overcome it with more love, with more goodness. This ‘more’ comes from God”.

I am pleased that we are celebrating this year’s World Day of Peace here in the Corpus Christi parish of Moyross in Limerick. From the late millennium to much of the last decade, Limerick knew its fair share of violent crime. Tragically,people in the city got used to seeing or hearing about gunfire, murder and houses being burned out. We never want to go back to those days again. Today Limerick is a different place. It’s not that all problems are resolved.There is still a journey to travel. But we have to acknowledge with gratitude that crime in Limerick is way down, murder is rare and communities are safer. It’s not just that peace alone has won out over crime; regeneration is now being given achance and social justice is now winning out over anti-social neglect. ...