The publishing organisation of the Jesuits in Ireland.

The Messenger | January 2021


Supporting our Readers and Promoters:
The monthly Messenger continues to be despatched to subscribers and promoters as usual. Please note that we do not expect promoters to distribute copies unless it is absolutely safe for them to do so.



January is a time for both reflection and anticipation and the Roman god who gives the month his name is often depicted with two heads, one gazing forward and the other looking back. Although 2020 was a turbulent and unsettling year, there was a lot of creativity and innovation in response to its many challenges. The first Messenger of 2021 carries articles that encourage us to make choices to create a more just and equitable society and a more sustainable natural world. Michael Barnes SJ writes about living in fellowship with those of other faiths; Shane Daly SJ reminds us that Christ’s vison of how to be human is to foster relationships of mutual love and support and Kevin Hargaden notes that this also applies to those that we perceive as different to ourselves. The life and work of Michael Hurley SJ, one of the founding fathers of ecumenism in Ireland, is celebrated in a piece by Tom Layden SJ. The call to love reaches beyond borders and beyond species and Sean McDonagh encourages us to respect and value the biodiversity of our earth with a new liturgical focus based on Laudato Si’.

We have a new series by John Feehan on the natural heritage of the Irish landscape plus all our popular regulars such as Hidden Gems, crosswords, cookery, our RE section for teens and young peoples’ pages.

A pull-out supplement for teenagers and younger readers that addresses the subject and concerns of Catholicism today. RE:LINK supports the Junior Cert curriculum and is an educational resource for all teachers of Religion Studies.

December’s RE:LINK takes a look at the new Junior Cycle Religious Education Specification. This method of assessment, based on Classroom-based Assessments, will replace the Junior Certificate RE exam from 2022.