Friday, May 31, 2013

1936 article about Matt Talbot

In searching for information about Venerable Matt Talbot (1856-1925), one Google search link is titled, Matt Talbot - An Irish Saint - Ireland For Real. Clicking this link leads to the actual website page with the different titles, “Matt Talbot, The Unknown Man” and “Matt Talbot – written in 1936” above the article itself.  The website’s “Popular Pages,” however, lists the still different title of, "Matt Talbot - A Living Saint: One of Dublin's Most Famous” at

The original publication source is not stated, but the author may be Dennis Barry, whose name  appears at the end of the article. Please note that the article consists of numerous grammatical and spelling errors and some of its content is duplicated.

Matt Talbot's Story Included in Small Group Faith Sharing Resource

Christopher Ruff has authored a Discipleship Series of compact small-group resources “for busy people with busy lives but open hearts,” which has been used and well received in multiple US and Canadian dioceses and parishes.
One of these is The Greatest of These is Love (2008) which “features 6 engaging sessions, each reflecting on passages from the writings of St. Paul on love and illustrating the themes through brief stories of men and women touched by grace: Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, St. Damien of Molokai, St. Maria Goretti, Blessed Bartolo Longo, Irishman Matt Talbot and Immaculee Ilibagiza. It also includes prayer and discussion questions integral to growth as a disciple of Jesus Christ.” (This paperback has declarations of "Nihil Obstat" and "Imprimatur.") 
Information about the author is available at 
and a 61 page sample of the contents (but without Matt Talbot’s story) can be viewed at

Thursday, May 30, 2013

“I am an Alcoholic, Lord”

This is the title of one chapter from the book,  It's me again, Lord: Heart-to-heart chats between God and myself,” by the late popular Irish author and speaker, Fr. Jack McArdle. It was originally published in 1998 by Columba Press and can be read (and prayed) by anyone with an interest in alcoholism and other addictions at, May, 2013.  We sincerely appreciate the content being available online. Other chapters that may be of interested are also listed. 

Before reading this chapter, however, it is worthwhile to read the introductory chapter regarding prayer and the book’s format at

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Monthly Calendar of Scheduled Matt Talbot Committee Events

Monthly Matt Talbot Committee's scheduled events over the coming months in Ireland and elsewhere are available at
For more information about these events or if you would like to enquire about booking the Matt Talbot Committee for an event, please contact

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Venerable Matt Talbot: Patron of Struggling and Recovering Addicts and Alcoholics

[The source of this article by Terry Nelson can be found at, dated 2013-05-14.  We have posted previous articles as well as his increasingly popular icon of Matt Talbot at Terry’s blog can be found at

"Matthew Talbot (1856 - 1925) lived at an incredibly difficult time. He and his 13 siblings were born into poverty in Dublin shortly after the Irish Potato Famine. One million people died from this largely human-made disaster that saw, even while starvation was rampant, the British government's siphoning off of profit from Irish crops and livestock. Another million people emigrated out of the country, and alcoholism was rampant among those who stayed behind.

Matt's father was one man who succumbed to alcoholism and spend much of the family's income on the cheap whiskey that was widely available. Matt and his siblings spent little time in school and worked odd jobs to bring in extra money. Matt's first job, at age 12, was to deliver Guinness stout to pubs. He began drinking the dregs of the returned bottles and, at the age of 13, he too was an alcoholic. Even then he was known as a very hard worker, but as an adult he spent all his wages on alcohol. His friends later testified: “[Matt] only wanted one thing—the drink; he wouldn't go with us to a dance or a party or a school function. But for the drink he'd do anything.”

Already in his 20's Matt incurred large debts and resorted to thievery, even stealing the violin from a blind street entertainer and selling it to pay for rounds of drinks at the bar. But, at the age of 28, he realized his life had become desperate and small and his relationships extremely shallow. He resolved to take 'the pledge' for sobriety organized by Capuchin Franciscans and others in the Catholic Church began to attend Mass daily. More changes were happening inside him and, even though his hard labor as a dockworker paid little, he began quietly giving money to those around him to pay for shoes for their children or overdue rent.

Matt joined the Third Order of Saint Francis of Assisi (now called the “Secular Franciscan Order”) in 1890. His spiritual life centered him in a joyful way of being, earning him the reputation as a "happy little man . . . who smiled at everything except a dirty joke.” He filled his life with prayer, fasting, and service. He gave away most of his wages every week to the poor in Ireland and to international Catholic missions. His commitment to the lay Franciscans was incredible—the attendance records show that in 35 years he only missed a couple of the monthly meetings.

Matt often read the Bible and the lives of saints, and he also began reading papal encyclicals on social justice and books on the labor movement. His faith and his concern for the poor led him to action, and in 1900 he joined a strike from the Dublin Port & Docks Board to demand a modest raise of sixpence to their daily pay of four and sixpence. When management refused, he was one of four workers who held out from returning to work while the rest slowly gave in to the financial pressure.

He became a loyal member of Ireland's Transport and General Workers Union. When the Dublin Lockout of 1913 led to sympathy strikes throughout the city, Matt consulted a trusted priest as he discerned joining the strike. The priest encouraged him, and Matt joined the strike also came to quote a phrase from a book the priest gave him: “No man has the right to starve a worker into submission.” During this strike, he refused the strike pay given by the union to ease financial hardship, saying that he had not earned it. Later he accepted the pay but shared it among the other strikers. Matt was a vocal supporter of James Larkin, a famous union organizer and major figure in Ireland's labor movement. One union leader, Stephen McGonagle, described Matt as “a beacon of light to Irish workers.”

After a life of heroic perseverance, Matt died suddenly while walking to Mass on June 7, 1925. He was declared Venerable by Pope Paul VI in 1975. He is the Patron of Struggling and Recovering Addicts and Alcoholics and many addiction treatment programs, retreats, and centers throughout the world bear his name.


[More information about the book, The Franciscan Tradition, and its chapter on Matt Talbot can be found at

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Cause for Matt Talbot (in Fiction)

Irish writer and poet Gerry McDonnell has just published Martin Incidentally. While a novella, each chapter can also be read as a short story. 
One chapter is titled, “The Cause for Matt Talbot,” which begins on page 32 at The entire chapter, however, is not available for preview.

Update:  Upon request a complete copy of this chapter can be emailed to you from or us at

Another post related to a Matt Talbot radio play by Gerry is available at

A Link to Avoid

In our continuous search for information about Venerable Matt Talbot, the following  web link and information was found:
Matt Talbot book downloads | pekeiyar - From our blog 27, 2013 – pekeiyar. Writing away with Search ... Please note that this 40 page book can now be viewed or downloaded free at.'”

Fortunately, our Venerable Matt Talbot Resource Center’s antivirus denied access to the supposed free download of Eddie Doherty’s book, Matt Talbot. A random search of other book downloads at this site also resulted in denied access. Therefore, please avoid this site.

As to this particular book, which is not available to download, we have previously posted information about this author and book at

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Novena Mass for Those Suffering From Addiction

Mass and prayers for healing especially for those suffering from addiction and their families in St. Agatha’s Church (, North William Street, begin 3rd May 2013 and every First Friday at 7.30 pm. 

The Parish Team includes Fr. Brian Lawless, Vice-Postulator of the Cause for the Beatification and Canonization of Venerable Matt Talbot.

                             St Agatha's Church