Loaves of bread and fish.

Sunday’s Gospel – 25th July

John 6:1 After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. 2 A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. 3 Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. 5 When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” 6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” 10 Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. 14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”

Explore more on this Sunday’s Gospel with Kieran J. O’Mahony OSA.

Click HERE to link to the audio discussion.

Click HERE to link to the Gospel Notes.

Fr. Raymond Hickey with four nuns in Nigeria.

Ex-Irish Ambassador Reflects on the Late Fr. Raymond Hickey OSA

Patrick Fay was the Irish ambassador to Nigeria from 2010-2014. He also had responsibility for Ireland’s diplomatic relations with Ghana, Senegal and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). What follows is his reflection on the late Fr. Raymond Hickey OSA:
I wish to express my deepest sympathies on the death of Fr. Ray Hickey.
I was the Irish Ambassador to Nigeria 2010-2014 and since then teach at the American University of Nigeria in Yola. I met you, Fr. John, in Bishop Mamza’s house one evening.
Fr. Ray was a great source of inspiration to me. He was a true Christian gentleman and a person of very strong faith. His understanding of people left me in awe..
As you know, he wrote extensively of the Catholic Church in Nigeria. I have most of his books. Many of them he gave me himself. They were and still are a mine of information on Nigeria and the Church in Nigeria. I remember the former Nuncio, Archbishop Kassugga had great respect for Fr. Raymond as he always called him. And it was well earned!
His last email to me showed the strength of his faith. I’m sure he is now reaping the reward of his hard work
Since I first came to Africa, I have a strong sense of admiration and affection for the Irish Missionaries and the work they have done. As a fellow Irishman and Catholic, I have a great sense of pride that we produce men and women like them. He himself was proud of his Irishness and usually had a few words in Irish at the end of his emails.
While I used to meet Fr. Ray a lot when we were both in Abuja, I have only been able to meet him once since he and I moved. We met in Dublin for lunch when we were both home in summer 2019. He told my wife and I that he proposed to retire the next year, as he felt he was not able to continue. When I first met Fr. Ray, on a recent visit to Abuja a few months before I took up duty there, we talked about missionaries giving their lives and dying in Africa; he told me that he had no wish “to be buried under a coconut tree”, he would retire to Ireland when he felt he was finished here. However, I think it is fitting that he died here, where he dedicated his life to the people for over 50 years.
As we Irish say, we will not see his likes again.
I offer to you both and to the Augustinian Order both my wife’s and my own sincerest sympathies.
May his gentle soul rest at God’s right hand.
Sheep on a hillside.

Sunday’s Gospel – 18th July

Mark 6:30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going and recognised them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34 As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
Explore more on this Sunday’s Gospel with Kieran J. O’Mahony OSA.
Click HERE for the link to the YouTube discussion.
Click HERE for the link to Gospel Notes.