Monday, August 29, 2016

Recovery Services This Week in Dublin

SAVE THE DATE - Matt Talbot 2016

The Venerable Matt Talbot Shrine (including his tomb) is located at Lourdes Church. More information is available at

First Friday Novena Mass and prayers for healing in St. Agatha’s Church, North William Street, Dublin 1 on 2nd September at 7.30 pm.  We pray especially for those suffering from any form of addiction, those in recovery, their families and the wider community affected by alcohol and drug misuse. All are welcome.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Matt Talbot Wagon Club in Cleveland (1939)


"Clarence Snyder (who got sober in 1938, was sponsored by Dr. Bob, and started AA group #3 in Cleveland, Ohio) wrote in a letter to Ruth Hock (the first secretary of A.A.) on December 12, 1939, that the “Matt Talbot Wagon Club” now had 88 members and “is doing a wonderful job.” The “wagons” were used to collect old furniture, which members reconditioned and sold. As Clarence put it, they “had caught fire from the Liberty article and the Plain Dealer.” (See

“We are working closely with them. They have no benefit of hospitalization or home setup. All are transients, stumblebums, and social outcasts. There are nine of them working now. They are using our stuff and following much the same pattern in every way that it can be applied to their needs and setup.”



Friday, August 26, 2016

The Journey of Terry Nelson with Venerable Matt Talbot Continues

The most popular artist painting Venerable Matt Talbot today is Terry Nelson. Each year more and more websites, articles, videos, and prayer cards that feature Matt include one of his paintings.

Fortunately for us, Terry is not finished with Matt.

Terry announced a week ago that “I have to get back to painting. I'm not happy with anything I've done. So I'm going to continue to work on Matt Talbot. I'll never be finished." (

Needless to say, we wish him well of his continuing journey with Matt.
At some point in the future, perhaps Terry will bless us with an in-depth perspective on his relationship with Matt through the years in both words and paintings.

Note: Some additional links for Terry are:

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Two "Minor" Venerable Matt Talbot Images

Images of Venerable Matt Talbot continue to be created.

Of the many images of Venerable Matt Talbot we have posted over the years, some are (or appear to be) created as a commission, some because of a very personal connection between Matt and the artist, and some seemingly for commercial reasons.

The first image is a hand painted (with ink and gel pens) Cahier Journal cover that may have been created for the latter reason but at least Matt Talbot was chosen to be included with saints..

 Venerable Matt Talbot

The sketch below accompanied the article, "Matt Talbot, francescano secolare (1836-1925), venerabile" dated 07 Giugno 2016 at


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Call Upon Jesus for Healing from Addiction

Rev. Msgr. Ralph Chieffo, Pastor of St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Media, PA, made the following remarks at the beginning of a homily on 02/25/2015 at
“One of my dear friends, Father Douglas McKay, who ministers full-time to the addicts of Grays Ferry through his OUR HOUSE MINISTRY, firmly believes that through the intercession of Matt Talbot and the Calix Program, there is a greater percentage of addicts healed by calling upon Jesus as their “Higher Power.”
Father encourages all of us to entrust our addictions and sinfulness to Jesus because: “Only Jesus can transform a mess into a message, a test into a testimony, a trial into a triumph, a victim into a victory and our cross into a crown”
If God can transform a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly in two weeks, imagine what Jesus can do for us in these six weeks of Lent.
We must believe like Fr. Doug that we are more than our sins and addictions.
For if we repent and turn away from sin and turn to Jesus, his Holy Spirit will transform us into amazing Christian disciples...”

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Praying for Those With Addictions

Besides being a very informative magazine that has published five Matt Talbot articles which we have posted, Word Among Us Press has published a new book that may be of interest: Praying for Those With Addictions: A Mission of Love, Mercy, and Hope.

“All know people who struggle with addictions. Sometimes they are our dearest loved ones. We often feel helpless in the face of their struggle, and yet our prayers are the best weapons we have to help them break free. Anne Costa shows us that we can cooperate with God's grace as we wait in hope for healing to come. And as we wait, our prayers will help us as well. The book features a weekly Scripture verse that readers can pray, claim, and reflect on, as well as two simple prayers to pray that same week."

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Informative Programme about Venerable Matt Talbot


An informative programme (of 26 minutes) about Venerable Matt Talbot, which was first presented in 2011, is available for viewing during this month of August at  It includes photos, film clips, interviews, ballads, and reenactments.

Monday, August 8, 2016

A Brief Recorded Overview of Venerable Matt Talbot's Life

Fr. Anthony Casamento, a priest of the Congregation of St Michael the Archangel and currently the Director of Identity and Mission at the Australian Catholic University, provides a two minute overview of Matt Talbot’s life, which was posted 18 June, 2016 at

Friday, August 5, 2016

Wooden Statue of Venerable Matt Talbot

Matt Talbot and Saint Maximilian Kolbe, O.F.M. are the patrons of the Recovery Ministry on Enders Island, Mystic, Connecticut (USA).

Matt’s statue is located in the Enders Island Chapel of Our Lady of the Assumption. Click on the Chapel's interior photos.

 Wooden Statue of Matt Talbot, Enders Island Chapel

Monday, August 1, 2016

2016 PTAA and Matt Talbot Pilgrimage to Knock Homily

Bishop Denis Nulty gave the homily at the Annual PTAA and Matt Talbot Pilgrimage to Knock 17th July 2016, which can be read in its entirety at Only a portion of this homily is posted here. 

“…Today on pilgrimage I’m going to offer you a pairing that I think gives substance and life to our two pilgrimages, traveling as one today. I speak of Fr. James Cullen and Venerable Matt Talbot. Both men I have a deep affection for – the former in more recent years, since my appointment to Kildare & Leighlin Diocese, living now in Carlow and the latter, for close to twenty-eight years when I organized the very first Matt Talbot Mission in Mullingar.

James Cullen was born in New Ross in 1841. A comfortable background, allowing the family to send young James off to boarding school at Clongowes Wood College. That was in 1856, the year when Fr. Theobald Matthew of the great Temperance Crusade died. The Father Matthew Medal is still a very much revered possession amongst Pioneers. Returning to James Cullen, he was determined not to become a Jesuit, so he signed on for his native Ferns Diocese and studied for the priesthood in Carlow College.

The story goes that two years before his ordination, while home on holidays he had a chance encounter with a priest who certainly wasn’t a teetotaler, an encounter which set his mind firmly in the direction of temperance and in the founding of the PTAA. He was ordained in the Cathedral in Carlow. His early years of parish work brought him up front with the harsh reality of poverty and homelessness and identifying alcohol as the root cause then of both. His yearning towards the Jesuits never left him and he succumbed in 1881. The rest is history.

The second part of the pairing on this double pilgrimage day is Venerable Matt Talbot. I’m not sure what sparked my initial interest in this man to begin organizing missions around promoting his cause in Mullingar. It might stem from the account of his death, found bundled in a heap on Granby Lane – June 7th 1925. On that same date, thirty-eight years later I was born. The newspaper account of Matt’s death talked of the body being taken to Jervis Street hospital. Staff at the hospital would later discover three chains on his body – a heavier one around his waist; a lighter one around his arm and another below his knee. Matt, apparently was on his way to his third Mass that day and it was still early morning. An eight year-old attended that Mass accompanying a hard of hearing aunt, who liked to get up front, in case she missed what the priest was saying, remembered well the announcement at the end of Mass: ‘A poor old man has been found dead on Granby Lane, we’ll pray for him’. That eight year-old later became a priest Fr. Dominic Crilly. I spoke with him shortly before he died – he always believed too much was made of Matt’s excessive drinking; for forty years of his life he was a fervent Pioneer.

Some people, who know my interest in Venerable Matt Talbot wonder why he hasn’t been raised to the realm of the beatified or better still canonized. The miracle of a saint must be unexplainable; the miracle of overcoming addiction, like Matt Talbot once did, is even harder to prove or classify. You can be cured of a tumor; you can be cured of cancer but an addiction can linger.

And that’s why for me the Saints are those who attend AA meetings up and down the country and overcome addiction through the step programme of prayer and mutual support. They will never be canonized on this earth; but like Venerable Matt Talbot, their behavior will be richly rewarded in eternity..."