Paul O'Reilly SJ

Fr Paul O'Reilly SJ
On 31st October Fr Paul O’Reilly SJ will be sleeping out overnight at Lord’s cricket ground with 150 people who want to help fight poverty and homelessness.Fr O’Reilly is a GP at the Dr Hickey Surgery at the Cardinal Hume Centre, which serves street homeless people.“I am taking part to help raise vitally needed funds for the Cardinal Hume Centre’s work tackling poverty and homelessness” said Fr Paul.“While sleeping out for this one night does not...
Old books
“It seems that no one has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.”When the Falklands war started, I was about 18 and we happened to be living next door to the Argentinean naval attaché. My mother heard the news on the radio and (being that kind of woman) immediately went next door to ask him what it was all about – and what in particular the Argentinians wanted with what she thought were some semi-detached bits of Scotland. He was horrified at the news, “...
A man lights a cigarette in the dark
I have a very good friend who is a drug addict. He hasn’t used any “stuff” for about four years now, but he still calls himself a drug addict. And his story is the usual one.At about age 12 he started smoking cigarettes, not because he really liked them, but because it was fashionable, all his friends were doing it and also because it was a really good way of annoying his parents. About age 15, he began using a little marijuana because that made him feel good and because there...
Boy flicks through text book
Pope Paul VI was once approached by an enthusiastic spirit-filled young man who told him that he wanted to be a martyr.“No,” said the Holy Father after due consideration, “be a teacher. That is much, much harder.”Well, my father was a schoolteacher. He was never really happy with that. He had hoped for more in life – a sparkling career in what he thought was more a glamorous profession and certainly a better paid one. But, for many reasons, he did not succeed in...
The Young Adult Mass at Farm Street Church
Mount Street Jesuit Centre in central London welcomes a new Director this month. Fr Christopher Pedley SJ will be taking over from Fr Paul O’Reilly SJ who has led the team adjacent to Farm Street Church since the Centre began more than ten years ago. And its Young Adult Ministry has been described as one of the ‘gems’ in the Archdiocese of Westminster’s initiatives for young Catholics in the region, as it launches its programme for the new academic year.Underpinned by...
The communal sharing of food
There used to be a tradition in Ireland that at a christening the godparents would give the newly baptised infant a little silver christening cup. But when my mother was asked to be godmother to my cousin Catherine, she didn’t have the money to get it immediately.But eventually it was bought.And then it had to be engraved.And then it had to be polished.And then I think if we are honest, it got a little bit forgotten about, gathering dust on a high shelf.Then my family moved to another...
Community of hands outreaching
“It is Mary who has chosen the better part; it is not to be taken from her.”Gospels mean many things to different people, but what I think Jesus means in this Sunday's Gospel () is that all of us – each and every one of us - have a part to play in building God’s Kingdom. And it is not to be taken from us. So, when I read this passage I think of something that happened to me in school that made me think more deeply about fairness and justice, about what it is to be a...
Polling Station by Elliott Stallion on unsplash.com
About 20 years ago, there was a terrible famine in East Africa. I’m sure that anyone over 30 will remember it. When television pictures were shown around the world of thousands of sick and starving men, women and children crowded into refugee camps, there was a global public outcry that, in this day and age, the rest of the world could permit over a million people to starve to death. Many people said: “somebody should do something.” A very few said: “I must do something...
Photo by João Silas on unsplash
I wonder if you have been enjoying the football.I happen to know a former professional footballer, now sadly fallen on harder times. He often likes to say that the worst player is better than the best commentator. And he tells a story of a footballer waiting to take the first penalty of a penalty shoot-out in a cup final. The player is visibly exhausted after full time and extra time and obviously nervous as he approaches the ball.High up in the gantry, the commentator remarks, “I wouldn...
The Dr Hickey general practice was opened in 1987 to meet the medical  needs of homeless people in Westminster. Located in the basement of the Cardinal Hume Centre, it cares for people living in hotels and hostels, squats and refuges, as well as street homeless.  It was founded by Sister Dr Mary Hickey a nun from Newcastle. You can read about her and the founding of the Surgery on the Cardinal Hume Centre website >>Dr Hickey's GP practice partner is Fr Paul O...

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