Columns

 

June 25, 2014

This one goes out to the person who inspired it

They say the scariest moment is just before you begin. Sitting in silence, you dream of ways to get started. Then, like a flash, it comes to you. The first phase is always the hardest. Thoughts and ideas feed off each other until…

 

June 18, 2014

Teachers are key to a life less ordinary

Most evenings, my two older sons take off to their rooms to imitate their teachers. ‘Have you got that worksheet for me yet, Ms McGann?’ ‘Not yet, Ms Cooke. I’ll have it in a minute. I’m just dealing with a few bold children.’ This hilarious dialogue, which could continue for more than an hour, speaks volumes about …

 

June 11, 2014

I mourn for sweet cake and sincerity

I had just dished out the evening meal when I scrunched up my face, contorted my body and waddled over to my eldest. Slamming his plate on the table, and in my best Dublin accent, I huffed: …

 

June 4, 2014

Miracles and wonder… by my back door

A minute spider gently spins its fine web, the majestic detail illuminated by the morning sun. Through rays of splendid light, the web glistens like crystal. Unaware that it has just created…

 

May 28, 2014

Give every kiss as if it could be your last

It is hard to know whether the whole thing was premeditated. He looked unsuspecting, a normal young man simply attending church. Yet, …

 

May 21, 2014

A triumph of parental love over autism

It is not often you find yourself sitting among saints. In a society so consumed by selfishness, people who give without hope of reward are rare. Last week, I had the honour of…

 

May 14, 2014

Colton Burpo and the truth about Heaven

Recently, our eldest provoked an interesting discussion around the dinner table. ‘What is Heaven like?’ he inquired.  I was tempted to…

 

May 7, 2014

Toilet training is ‘finished!’… and I miss it

We in the Dooley household are on edge. We are trying to carry on as normal, but it is simply not an option. No sooner have we started…

 

April 30, 2014

The curious incident of the stray cat in the night-time

My children long to have a pet. My wife believes that no family is complete without a dog. I oppose the idea, because…

 

April 23, 2014

How a baby is a real lesson in life and love

It all happened in a single day. Our youngest child, who will turn three at the weekend, got his first haircut. We loved his long curls, but we also knew he was beginning to resemble…

 

April 16, 2014

How I found St Patrick in a secular city

On Sunday morning I found myself in St Patrick’s Basilica in Montreal. I did not search for a church with an Irish connection. It just happened that…

 

April 9, 2014

My boyhood memories of a royal visit

Tomorrow I fly to Montreal to address a conference at McGill University. Regular readers will know I don’t like…

 

April 2, 2014

A message for parents from Mrs Dooley

As a schoolteacher, my wife is acutely aware of the dangers young people face. She sees the impact of the internet on their social and personal lives. She is also mindful of how…