I don’t tend to get very worked up about buildings. I’ve always seen them as things you go into when you want to get in out of the rain. This fascinating documentary from Mark Noonan made me re-think that.  Kevin Roche is Irish but he’s spent most of his life ‘stateside’. He designed over 300 buildings. He’...

Humour is a very subjective thing, and with something I think is funny, others may remain untickled. That being said I find W1A (BBC 2, Friday nights) hilarious. But then it is a send up of the media so I’m in my zone and with my tribe. The target of the satire is political correctness, hipster culture and self-absorption in the...

Anthony RedmondFr Henri Nouwen was one of the most prolific and important spiritual writers of the 20th Century. Since his unexpected death in 1996 his fame and influence as a spiritual writer and guide seem to have grown.This superb collection of previously unpublished letters stretches from the earliest years of Henri’s career through to...

Author Colm Keane will be familiar to many from his earlier books exploring aspects of life, death, and spirituality. They have proved to be both very popular and, in the eyes of some, controversial. In his new book  he explores the life and acts of a modern saint.The Sanctuary of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina in San Giovanni Rotondo has...

Felix M. LarkinThe many plaudits this volume has received since its publication in mid-September are well justified. It is an epic production, running to almost 1,000 pages and weighing in at five kilos. Even Atlas himself would have difficulty holding it in his hands in order to read it.The other and more general use of the word ‘atlas...

It’s quite a while since I saw a documentary as moving and impressive as Ministry of Hope, RTÉ’s new series on the work of lay chaplains.  The programme concentrated on Margaret Sleator in the Mater Hospital, Catherine Black in Shelton Abbey open prison and Philip McKinley, Church of Ireland chaplain at DCU.  Margaret Slater...

In a candid affecting book Alan Shatter takes us into the “deep recesses of my mind”. The deepest, darkest recess holds the memory of the cold December afternoon in 1965 when he returned home to find his mother Elaine dead on the kitchen floor, beside an open oven in a room full of gas, her head resting on a pillow.He grew up in the...

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