Sunday, June 1, 2014

Parish newsletter item about Venerable Matt Talbot

The following item appeared in a parish newsletter. Perhaps we can suggest that such an item about Matt Talbot be included in our parish newsletter/bulletin.

Venerable Matt Talbot

By Fr John
Newsletter for 5th June 2011- St Agnes’ Parish
Crumlin, Dublin 12

Last Sunday morning a woman who was attending Mass here in St Agnes approached me after one of morning Masses. She was from Donegal and was visiting family in the area. She asked about Matt Talbot and she expressed a wish to visit his tomb. I directed her to Sean McDermott Street.

I feel that he seems to be remembered more in other parts of the country and in the USA especially, then in his native city. On Tuesday next {7th June} we will be recalling the anniversary of his death. He died suddenly on this date in 1925 in Granby Lane on his way to Mass in Dominick St Church. Within a few short years of his death his reputation as a saintly man and especially as a patron and protector of those suffering from all forms of addiction, and their families was established.

From his early teens until the age of 28, Matt was a hard drinker. Perhaps if he was living in our age his problem would have been hard drugs. After his conversion, he led a life of prayer, devotion to the Mass and the Blessed Virgin and he gave away all he had to help the poor. He never wrote a religious book or founded a Religious Congregation. He was devoted to prayer and penance, and his little room at 18 Rutland St was his monastic cell.

Pope John Paul II had a great interest in Matt Talbot and said he would like to come to Ireland to beatify him. In a strange twist, John Paul II was himself beatified after Easter a few years after his death. However Matt Talbot, that saintly man, who died 86 years ago this week still awaits that deserved honour.