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Latest Space #14

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Dear Friends of Sacred Space,

I am hoping this issue of Latest Space will reach most of you during Holy Week. It brings greetings for Easter, the greatest feast of the Christian Year, from all of us here in Dublin. May the joyful message of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ bring peace and joy to all of you who listen and respond to His word in Sacred Space.

This issue may be a little shorter than usual. One reason is that Easter is very early this year and there has not been much big news since the Christmas issue. Another reason is that, recently, I have been, like Martha in the Gospel, “busy about many things”, and have not had the time to gather more material. However, I hope you will rejoice with me at the good things that have been happening in our community.

Please keep all of us in the home of Sacred Space in your prayers, as you and yours will continue to be remembered in ours.

Gerry Bourke, S.J., Editor of Sacred Space

Sections within this issue of Latest Space:

  • Welcome to our new Manager
  • The Community continues to grow
  • The Sacred Space Lenten Retreat
  • An Electronic Shrine
  • News from Our Polish Translator
  • A Word of Thanks
  • “Bubbaz Daily Prayer” – Another Use of Sacred Space

  • A Booklet for Campus Ministry
  • Five Ways to Promote Sacred Space
  • Easter – A Time For Reflection

    With the departure at the end of 2004 of our Jesuit Communications Centre manager, Garry O’Sullivan, for his new post as Editor of The Irish Catholic newspaper, the search began for a successor. We are happy to announce that after Easter his position will be taken by Ms Pat Coyle, a Senior Producer in our national RTE television and radio service. Pat has helped out from time to time in the JCC on Media Training Courses, and has trained priests in homiletics, and parish lectors in liturgical reading skills. She has won several awards for her work in broadcasting. We look forward eagerly to her arrival, convinced that she will bring great creativity and dynamism not only to the JCC itself, but, through it, to the development of our own Sacred Space.

    The material for our Lenten Retreat this year was prepared by Fr. Paul Andrews, who, for some time, has been contributing “thought for the week” and “inspiration points” as helps to prayer in Sacred Space. He has faithfully continued to send us material from Dunedin, New Zealand, where he has been serving three parishes over the past three months. We look forward to his return to Dublin in Holy Week, when he will take up once more his ministry at our Spirituality Centre in Manresa House, Dublin, while continuing to be a pillar of support for us in Sacred Space.

    The number of those who have registered for the retreat from Ash Wednesday (Feb. 9, 2005) to Monday of Holy Week (March 21) has reached 2,472 from 95 countries. The largest number were from the USA (1,347), followed by the UK (219), Canada (207), Ireland (116), Philippines (106) and Australia (104). The remaining 373 were from 89 countries in almost every corner of the globe, giving further testimony to the international character of our Sacred Space community.

    The Lenten Retreat will continue to be available for some time, and can easily be adapted by each visitor for personal use at other seasons of the liturgical year.

    On the Feast of St. Joseph, March 19, ’05 – the day before Palm Sunday – our counter registered 13 million visitors since Sacred Space was launched on Ash Wednesday, 1999. Over the six weeks from Feb. 7 (Monday before Ash Wednesday) of this year to March 20 (Palm Sunday) the average number for each day was:
    Monday: 15,585; Tuesday: 15,610; Wednesday: 15,498; Thursday: 11,480; Friday: 11,475: Saturday: 8,971; Sunday: 9,472. The average for the five weekdays was 13,920, and for the days of the weekend the average was 9,221

    Last year, we noted in Latest Space the average number of daily visitors for each day during the five weeks between Sunday, April 18, and Saturday, May 22. Below you can see the average data given at that time. There has been a significant increase.
    Monday: 11,470; Tuesday: 11,290; Wednesday: 11,075; Thursday: 15,023; Friday: 13,196: Saturday: 5,890; Sunday: 6,830. The average for the five weekdays was 11,360, and for the days of the weekend, 6,360.

    “AN ELECTRONIC SHRINE” – a letter from Chile
    It is 7:30 AM, and I am about to start a new workday. I am sitting in my office and the first thing I do is to turn on my computer and log on to Sacred Space. As I stare at the screen, I feel like I am in front of a shrine, an electronic shrine.

    These days I am under a lot of pressure from my business as I face considerable challenges to improve it. I am exhausted but thankful. Thankful to have a business, thankful to have a family, thankful to feel part of this anonymous praying community all over the world, thankful to be alive.

    It is curious, surprising, maybe even paradoxical, to pray in front of a computer screen. Yet it is only natural to do so. In our days, technology is among us – just as air, noise, bread and TV. It’s just a natural part of our environment. Then it is as natural to pray in front of a nice shrine amidst a forest as it is to do so in front of a virtual shrine at your desk.

    For the real shrine is within ourselves, as we gather in silence and intimacy with Jesus. I thank you all at Sacred Space for bringing us this shrine every day. May God bless you with unending grace and strength to continue with this shrine forever.

    – Rolando Carmona, Santiago, Chile


    The Polish version of Sacred Space is still alive, and all is going really well. It is already 3 years since the Polish version was first set up, and we rejoice that 69,178 visitors have been registered by our counter. We are getting really good and positive feedback. It is a delight to hear from visitors to Sacred Space that it helps them in their everyday prayer, and in finding God for short periods during their work day.

    We do not confine our Sacred Space activity to the daily translation; it is growing and growing in other ways. Last year we started with the online Lent retreat and we have continued that work through Advent and Lent.

    Sacred Space also collaborates closely with another online activity which is addressed to people associated in the Christian Association of Sacred Art called ECCLESIA, and, thanks to it, another part of online prayer called “icon on-line prayer” has been started.

    The big interest and good feedback has brought about two online chapels of prayer – one where you insert the names of deceased, , and another for any intention for which a person can ask prayer, In future we hope to develop a prayer and art portal which would be a space for prayer on line.
    Presently we do not have big troubles with translation, although sometimes it’s difficult to adapt poetry from the original version. It’s of big value to have the spiritual care and the content-related help of Fr. Zygfryd Kot, S.J. who is at the same time chief of the Christian Association of Sacred Art and an Icon painter. Finally, our link is now

    – Marzena Frolow

    A Word of Thanks
    The Sacred Space team thanks you again for your response to our “Support Sacred Space” appeal both for the financial year 2003-2004 (€26,669.44) and for the first six months of this financial year (€19,252.82). Many of you also used the occasion to encourage us by expressing your thanks for the help you have received on the site.

    Our campaign is ongoing, and we would be happy to hear from those of you who have considered responding to our appeal, and would still like to. Cheques can be made out to Sacred Space in your own currency, and sent to 36 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2, Ireland. Or you can make your donation to Sacred Space in euro on our secure link, which you will find at the end of the Sacred Space prayer page.

    “Bubbaz Daily Prayer” – Another Use of Sacred Space
    In Latest Space #13 we informed Sacred Space visitors, who might like to receive by e-mail the Scripture and “inspiration points” of Sacred Space, that they might contact Bruce Heidt with the request at [email protected]. He sends out an e-mail daily which he calls “Bubbaz Daily Prayer”, including, usually, points from our site.

    On Palm Sunday he sent us this message: Since you mentioned “Bubbaz Daily Prayer” in #13, I have received 122 requests to be placed on our list. Added to the 80 or 90 I already had, the total is now about 200. Some of the prayers are forwarded to others, and one Catholic School administrator distributes it in his high school. The worldwide impact is that I have 3 readers in Singapore, and many in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Scotland, the US, and, yes, even in Ireland….Many report having received comfort from the prayers and some report opening the prayer e-mail first before any other e-mail. I have also received positive comments on the Sacred Space website. One subscriber dropped his “bubbaz” subscription in favour of staying with your website for its meditations. All in all, I would say your help has been tremendous. I receive between one and four requests each day….. I keep you and all the subscribers in my prayers…

    Bruce Heidt (aka – bubba)

    A Booklet for Campus Ministry
    At the end of January, 2005, we received this letter from Sr. Carla Kovack, OP:

    Dear friends,

    I have used Sacred Space for my own prayer pauses when using the computer. But today as I prayed for the elections in Iraq, I was drawn to the prayer for peace on your site. As I scanned it, I had the inspiration to print it in a booklet that could be picked up and used on the university campus where I serve. I work in campus ministry at Dominica University of California. We have students, faculty and staff with rich religious diversity. This booklet would invite and unite us all in a common desire and prayer for peace. I don’t want to do this without your permission. I have written the following for the cover, showing readers the source of the prayers and your site to visit: “You are invited to take one of these prayer booklets and use it for nine days of prayer. Keep it by your computer, or in your backpack or beside your bed. Spend 10 minutes each day for nine days praying for peace –

    • within yourself,
    • upon those with whom you interact each day
    • and for all members of the human family.

    This series of prayers has been adapted with permission from the web site Sacred Space. Visit it at”

    Needless to say, we were happy to grant permission.

    Five Ways to Promote Sacred Space

    1. Check the website of your local diocese, parish, or other similar organization – Do they have a link to Sacred Space? If not, why not recommend a link?

    2. Do any friends have homepages? Ask them to include a link to Sacred Space.

    3. Has your local newspaper (diocesan or otherwise) featured an article on Sacred Space? Would they be interested? If so, do not hesitate to suggest one. You may even put them in touch with us, and we will cooperate with them as best we can.

    4. Download and print a poster or some cards from the endpage of Sacred Space, and spread them around.

    5. If you have an idea for a new Sacred Space poster, please send us a copy.

    Easter – A Time For Reflection

    Easter is a time for reflection, and

    a time for making some changes too.
    People all over the world, as of Lent,
    have given something up; one or two.

    Now Jesus died on the cross,
    out of the love He had for us,
    and He wants us to die to self, so our
    lives can be better than what it was.

    We can make a difference, those
    changes can lead others to do the same.
    He doesn’t want us to suffer, He already
    did that on the cross; that’s why He came.

    Let us continue those changes, not just
    once a year; let us go out on a limb.
    Let us give His death a purpose by living
    a life that will bring people closer to Him.

    As we make those changes
    better people we will be,
    more content; more at peace,
    His love is what others will see.

    Through Him there is
    nothing we cannot face.
    He will help each one of us
    make this world a better place.

    Written by Frances Berumen for Latest Space #14 on 3/13/05 <

    Sacred Space Daily online prayer Sacred Heart Novena Podcast feed for Novena