Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

BLAST FROM THE PAST

December 6, 2017

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For yet another rare occasion, we see Neil from a different angle, on the other side of the microphone discussing his early life with Dennis Trudeau for the show Sunday Night.

Aired on 13/04/97

BLAST FROM THE PAST

March 23, 2017

 

 

McKenty Live with host Neil McKenty.

On today’s program, Neil is chatting with guest Charles Tempelton and the live callers.

RADIO WAVES

March 13, 2017

Exchange on CJAD with host Neil McKenty.

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Neil takes another call

What’s on your mind?  On today’s show, a medley of different subjects being debated and discussed with live callers.

TUESDAY WRITING CONVERSATION

March 7, 2017

The Blackbird of Derrycairn

by Austin Clarke

The Blackbird of Derrycairn by Austin Clarke. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Stop, stop and listen for the bough top

Is whistling and the sun is brighter
Than God’s own shadow in the cup now!
Forget the hour-bell. Mournful matins
Will sound, Patric, as well at nightfall.

Faintly through mist of broken water
Fionn heard my melody in Norway.
He found the forest track, he brought back
This beak to gild the branch and tell, there,
Why men must welcome in the daylight.

He loved the breeze that warns the black grouse,
The shouts of gillies in the morning
When packs are counted and the swans cloud
Loch Erne, but more than all those voices
My throat rejoicing from the hawthorn.

In little cells behind a cashel,
Patric, no handbell gives a glad sound.
But knowledge is found among the branches.
Listen! That song that shakes my feathers
Will thong the leather of your satchels.

The poem is about the dominance the Catholic church held over the government in Ireland.

PIT STOP

March 2, 2017

Here’s Neil with his column in the Senior Times

Pit Stop

Look to Northern Ireland for a way to peace in Middle East

The recent outbreak of violence in Northern Ireland seemed at first like a black cloud threatening the fragile peace process. Until the silver lining appeared.

What happened after two British soldiers and an Irish policeman were murdered by a discredited IRA dissident group is almost unimaginable. The forces that had been at each other’s throats for decades came together to publicly denounce the killings.

Thousands of people, Catholic and Protestant alike, took to the streets to express their outrage and abhorrence. And the republican splinter groups who have claimed responsibility have been roundly condemned by the mainstream republican organization, Sinn Fein. Martin McGuinness, deputy first minister in the power-sharing executive, stood shoulder to shoulder with the protestant first minister, Peter Robinson, to condemn the killings: “We were elected to lead and, through democratic institutions, deliver for everyone throughout the community. We will not allow a tiny mindless minority to set our political agenda or divert us.”

McGuinness called those responsible “traitors to Ireland” and urged Catholics to cooperate with police in catching the culprits. Such an unambiguous display of support for the Northern Ireland Police Service from the leadership of Sinn Fein is unprecedented. As the London journal The Tablet wrote: “Twenty years ago they would have been plotting the killing of soldiers and policemen themselves.”

Those responsible for the bloodshed plainly intended to destroy the power-sharing structure of the Assembly at Stormont and escalate sectarian tensions across the community. However, the response from politicians and even more importantly from ordinary citizens, who took to the streets in significant numbers at short notice to support vigils and peace rallies, made clear that any attempt to turn back the clock on the peace process would not be tolerated.

These public displays were followed by the unprecedented image of Catholic republicans and Protestant loyalists attending the funeral of Stephen Carroll, the murdered Ulster police officer. In a highly personal address at the end of the service, in the presence of Carroll’s widow, the head of the Police Service, Sir Hugh Orde, told her:

“He will not be forgotten, Kate. I promise you. My staff and officers will not forget what he did. I know the community will not forget what he did.”

The hard fact is there will be no united Ireland for the foreseeable future. But the blinkered IRA dissidents refuse to recognize that. They first demonstrated their hostility to the peace process when they planted a car bomb in Omagh in August 1998 that killed 29 people in the main shopping street. (I walked on this street in a trip to Ulster a couple of years ago. The Omagh blast is still fresh in the minds of the citizens there).

Undeterred by the hostile reaction, pockets of disgruntled republican activists throughout Northern Ireland vowed to defy majority public opinion, re-arm and revive “physical force” republicanism as the traditional and only effective means they could see of ever achieving a united Ireland.

For a time there was nothing much more than propaganda stunts with armed, hooded figures on manoeuvres in remote Irish boglands. From time to time police on both sides of the border intercepted arms and explosives in transit to a planned atrocity. The dissidents suspected that the mainstream IRA was double-crossing them by infiltrating its own people into their ranks to betray them.

But several well-planned ambushes over a year ago, in which police officers were wounded, underlined the growing dissident threat. Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde warned that the dissidents were intent on killing a police officer, a grim prophecy that has now been fulfilled.

Still, tragic as the killings were, what remains is the virtual universal condemnation of them in Ulster by the ordinary people and their elected leaders. Remember these same leaders had been fighting each other for decades. Now they are united for peace, an extraordinary accomplishment and a way forward for others.

It is no coincidence that U.S. President Barack Obama chose as his new envoy to the Middle East the very man who played a large role in bringing the warring Irish factions together in the Good Friday Agreement. Former democratic senator George Mitchell now brings his negotiating skills, honed in Ulster, to building peace between Israel and the Palestinians, whose enmity is perhaps the most dangerous in the world.

But the peace process in Ulster is a paradigm for a similar development in the Middle East. There are dissimilarities of course, but if the hard men in Ulster can unite for peace, so can those other warring factions – the Israelis and the Palestinians.

The peace process in Ulster points a way to peace in the Middle East.

The Senior Times

Pit Stop April 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NEIL

December 31, 2016

After many requests, here again is Neil on a different format, on the other side (No, not the force!) but the other side of the microphone on a personal level.

Here are two videos of Neil.

”Amazing privilege to have shared nearly 40 years together.  Remembering with gratefulness and joy.  What a guy!”  Catharine

”Neil McKenty was one of the most complicated and interesting men who ever lived.  For much of his life he wrestled with demons, but through it all he had a great capacity for friendship”  Daniel Freedman

BLAST FROM THE PAST

December 7, 2016

For yet another rare occasion, we see Neil from a different angle, on the other side of the microphone discussing his early life with Dennis Trudeau for the show Sunday Night.

Aired on 13/04/97

TUESDAY WRITING CONVERSATION

November 29, 2016

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Journalist, soldier, barrister and Benedictine monk, John Main’s spiritual odyssey was a deep seated quest for an authentic life of prayer.  The door finally opened when he met an Indian swami who taught him to meditate using a mantra, only to close again when he entered the Benedictine novitiate and adopted a more traditional form of prayer.

Long after ordination in 1963, John Main discovered that the form of prayer advocated by the swami already existed within the mainstream of Western Christianity but had fallen into disuse.  From then on, he was to devote his life to restoring this form of Christian meditation to its rightful place within the Church.  His work began with the foundation of a meditation center at Ealing Abbey in London and led, some years later, to the foundation of the Benedictine Priory of Montreal and the establishment of a worldwide spiritual family liked through the daily practice of meditation.

Neil McKenty paints an attractive portrait of this compelling Irish monk whose teaching and writing on meditation were to transform the lives of thousands of men and women.

BLAST FROM THE PAST

October 20, 2016

 

 

McKenty Live with host Neil McKenty.

On today’s program, Neil is chatting with guest Charles Tempelton and the live callers.

TUESDAY WRITING CONVERSATION

October 18, 2016

 

 

Report from Regi.

Catharine writes:

I was fortunate indeed to be in Kingston, Ontario, for the magnificent, multi-generational celebration of Regiopolis-Notre Dame High School’s 175th anniversary this past weekend.

My husband Neil McKenty taught there as a young Jesuit in the early 50’s.  The 1954 annual yearbook shows him right in his element surrounded by the keen members of the highly-acclaimed Regi Debate Society, at ease in the book-lined, tall-shelved school library.

There’s Joe Coyle the president and Ed Koen, the vice-president, with their team who have just won a prize from radio station CKWS (Neil had won his first oratorical contest at age nine back in his hometown of Hastings.

By a stroke of luck, Rosemary Koen helped me reach her uncle Ed by phone at his home in Toronto.  We walked for an hour.  ”I can still visualize Neil after all these years.”  Ed remembers.

”He was a pretty commanding personality in the classroom.  He taught us to articulate; there was no mumbling or slurring your words, no sloppy diction.  I can still hear him pronouncing the word ”Squirrel”, exaggerating each syllable, until you could practically see the little critter scampering across the room.”

”I was a bit introverted, quite shy – having grown up on a farm 12 miles north of Kingston and gone to a one-room wooden schoolhouse.  Imagine the impact coming to Regi with its cosmopolitan student body from all over North, Central and South America, Mexico and China.  Our football quarterback, Palyeo Gutierrez was later shot with all his family in the Cuban revolution.”

”Neil understood where I was coming from and encouraged, pushed me along.  I can still remember the excitement of the Debating Society trip to Hastings, the small town where Neil had grown up.  I think we stayed at the rectory.”

”There were some real characters among the students, wild-oat types sent by their harried parents to shape up.  Jesuit discipline for 40 years when they took over the school was pretty strict.  Some of the wilder students considered it much like a penitentiary.  Any noise after lights out in the dorm immediately resulted in two hours on your knees out on the hard floor of that drafty corridor.”

”Neil taught English and History.  When I was still in grade 12, he encouraged me and others to have a shot at preparing for and trying one of the tough Grade 13 exams, to lighten our load in the last year and he spent hours tutoring us to get us through.”

”I also remember one day when he was briefly out of the classroom, a fellow sitting near me got fed p with the mess of old notes in the wooden drawer of his school-desk and set fire to it.  The whole drawer went wildly up in flames, so he simply picked it up and calmly chucked it out of the nearest window – luckily there were no repercussion that time!”