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AUTUMN 2007
Vol 41 No 1




PDF (322k)


Editorial:
SELF-APPRECIATION

James Quillinan
WHAT LIES AHEAD FOR THE CATHOLIC SCHOOL?

Neil Darragh
THE VOCATIONS PROJECT IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

Helen McCabe
THE FAMILY IN AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY: Christianity's contribution to understanding the family and its role

Francine and Byron Pirola
MARRIAGE IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH: He sent them out two by two ... Luke 10:1

Brian Lewis
FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE

Marie Farrell RSM
ECUMENICAL CONSENSUS ON MARY

Desmond O'Donnell OMI
A LENTEN MEDITATION

REVIEWS

 



 

REVIEWS

Frank O’Loughlin, The Future of the Sacrament of Penance. Strathfield: St Pauls Publications, 2007. ISBN 9781921032080 (pbk) and ISBN 1 921032 08 1 (pbk).

Frank O’Loughlin is parish priest of Sandringham, Melbourne. He was Director of the Diocesan Liturgy Centre in Melbourne for fifteen years, and he writes and lectures widely on Sacramental Theology and Liturgy. He wrote this book because fellow priests at a Convention of the Australian Council of Priests urged him to.

The Sacrament of Penance has fallen on hard times. The use of the Sacrament is in serious decline and many report dissatisfaction with the experience of the Sacrament, both penitents and confessors. Even high quality liturgical celebrations of the Second Rite draw disappointing numbers of parishioners. The Sacrament is generally considered a spiritual discipline or moral practice rather than a Sacrament. Something has to be done—but what?

The author looks back in history to discover the richness of the tradition of the Sacrament. It has always been a Sacrament that has developed or changed according to circumstances and the culture of the times. He then explores the foundations of the Sacrament in Scripture, especially the death and resurrection of Jesus, and the concept of memorial. He focusses on what is important for the proper understanding of the Sacrament and for finding suitable ways to celebrate it.

What is most needed, he concludes, is a change of mentality. Only if that occurs will we have a Sacrament of Penance worthy of the name.



Barry M Coldrey, Sacred Places, Pilgrim Paths: A Guide to Catholic Pilgrimages in France and Belgium. Tamanaraik Press, 2006. P.O. Box 12792, aBecket Street Post Office, Melbourne, 8006. Tel: (03) 9480-2119 and email: busherw@bigpond.com. $24.95 (postage and packing included).

Australia hs been Christianised for only two hundred years; there are few pilgrimage centres. The shrine to Blessed Mary McKillop in North Sydney is an exception. However, in the British Isles and Ireland, spring and summer pilgrimages are popular, while among Christians and spiritual seekers in Western Europe, pilgrimages are huge, especially among backpackers, the middle aged and the recently retired.
The book commences with an exploration of the idea and purposes of pilgrimage and an historical overview of Christian pilgrimage since the fourth century. The Holy Land, Rome and Santiago de Compostella are the focus at this stage.

However, modern European pilgrimage is predominantly Marian. Mary has made certain places holy by her presence. The author focuses on Mary’s appearances at La Salette, Lourdes, Pontmain, Pellevoisin and L’Ile Bouchard in France; and at Beauraing and Banneux in Belgium.

There are also sections on the appearances of Jesus to St Margaret-Mary Alacoque at Paray-Le-Monial, the shrines of St Bernadette Soubirous at Nevers, St Joan of Arc at Rouen, and St Therese at Lisieux, together with small pieces on Rocamadour, Mont St Michel amd Chartres. Taize is also covered.

The book is intended to assist Australian and New Zealand Catholics to make pilgrimages when they are abroad. Australia has a population of more than twenty million people and at any one time over one million of them are living and travelling overseas. The British Isles are their most popular travel destination, and from London many major centres are easy to access by car, coach or Eurostar. There is much practical information to assist pilgrims to reach their destinations hassle-free and make the most of the pilgrimage experience.