Irish Life Day Focuses on Hope, Solidarity

Church Leads Reflection on What It Means to Be Happy

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MAYNOOTH, Ireland, SEPT. 27, 2011 ( This Sunday marks the annual Day for Life in Ireland, with the theme «A call to solidarity and hope in difficult times.»

The event this year is reflecting on «what it means to lead a full and happy life,» a statement from the bishops explained.

The theme springs from Benedict XVI’s visit last year to England, when he said, «Happiness is something we all want, but one of the great tragedies in this world is that so many people never find it, because they look in the wrong places. The key to it is very simple — true happiness is to be found in God. We need to have the courage to place our deepest hopes in God alone, not in money, in a career, in worldly success, or in our relationships with others, but in God. Only he can satisfy the deepest needs of our hearts.»

Bishop John Fleming of Killala explained that the choice of theme responds to «the economic recession and all of the difficulties people are finding in their personal lives.»

«There is a danger in these times that people feel disconnected from themselves, from hope and ultimately from God,» he said. «We are saying that God knows us and loves us for who we are, rather than what we have.»

The bishops have published a pastoral letter for the Day for Life, which is available in English, Irish and Polish.

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