ISSUES 1, 2 & 3 AVAILABLE

Leaven Magazine

‘The Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened.’

ABOUT LEAVEN

'The Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened.'

Leaven is a bimonthly digital magazine mainly for and by young Catholics in Ireland, providing readers with thought-provoking material from a range of voices, talking about everything, and holding to what is true. Bringing a spiritual lens to the world, we aim to showcase a coherently and distinctly Irish Catholic vision that is kind and thoughtful, honest and faithful, balanced, relevant, and fresh. We are firmly committed to getting beyond stereotypes and stale talking points, highlighting that smart, young, curious, compassionate people – and especially women! – are integral to our Church, and helping their voices be heard. Leaven is for anyone who wants to grow a genuine living faith in their own life and become a leaven for Ireland and the world.

Each issue explores a mix of topics from science to literature, pop culture to social justice, history to philosophy and beyond, with regular features including scriptural refections and round-table discussions about issues of interest and importance to ordinary Catholics. The third issue is available from 9 August, under the editorship of Greg Daly, formerly of The Irish Catholic, Aleteia, and Catholic Voices.

NEW

Volume 1 Issue 3

leaven cover 3 1

01

From the Editor

As the Church in Ireland begins to embark on a synodal pathway leading to a national synodal assembly, editor Greg Daly reflects on how taking responsibility for our Church is something we too rarely do. Going forward our synodal processes should enable us to do this, but we also need to accept responsibility for our part in the actions of the Church in the past, recognising how we can hardly boast of our saints without also expressing shame for our sins.

02

Looking into our national mirror

Irish Times journalist Derek Scally suspects he’d have abandoned Catholicism entirely if he’d not left Ireland for Germany as a young man. Now in The Best Catholics in the World, he explores what it was about the Church in twentieth-century Ireland that enabled mindsets that see the Irish Church as somehow distinct from the Irish people, and suggests that Germany may offer a way for the Irish to reintegrate their national identity, rather than denying so much of it.

03

Finding rest for your soul

Although some have seen Pixar’s 2020 film Soul as a vision where our souls are pure mind, Niamh White argues that on the contrary, the film is a study in the joy of incarnation, where humanity is at its fullest only when our souls have bodily form, able to enjoy the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings of the world that God made. Viewing it during the strange depths of the Covid pandemic brought home just how precious these small pleasures can be, and how they should be appreciated.

04

Distant glimmerings of Irish light

In the seventh, eighth, and ninth centuries the monasteries of Ireland were beacons of learning, but little remains of them now but broken ruins. In the Swiss monastery of St Gall, however, remarkable traces of Irish monkish scholarship can still be found, writes Fr Conor McDonough. Library catalogues there list books consulted and studied by Irish monks, while one book contains thousands of marginal notes that speak eloquently of the language and world in which such monks worked.

05

Truth and denialism in the Church

Recent discoveries of cemeteries in Canada’s residential schools, many of which were run by Catholic religious orders, may not be evidence of massacres, writes David Lafferty, but neither should they be drawn upon to contest the reality that Church bodies in Canada played key roles in a project of cultural genocide. It’s crucial, he argues, that we not leap at excuses or rationalisations that – even if partly true – allow us to play down or deny wrongdoing by our fellow Catholics.

06

Glimpses of final victory

Themes of loss and suffering abound in the elegiac poems of the Anglo-Saxons, the first English, writes Rachel Sherlock, with their surviving poems drawing both on their Germanic heritage and their Christian faith. Despite this, she observes, the poems carry in them seeds of hope, inspirational recognitions that even our losses here are losses only of passing things, and that true and lasting victory remains something for which we should hope and strive.

07

Not by Bread Alone: August

The readings for the feast of the Assumption present us with an image from Revelation of a woman giving birth to a child who is the Messiah. Fr Columba McCann notes how the woman is often seen as a figure of the Church, which though earlier pointed to as a set of flawed communities, is here depicted gloriously dressed and crowned with stars. It can take an apocalyptic vision to recognise this reality in the Church around us, but it is worth remembering.

08

Round table: Synodality – listening to the Spirit together

Synodality is a buzzword in the Church nowadays but its roots go back to the Church’s beginnings. Leaven editor Greg Daly talks to papal biographer Austen Ivereigh, theologian Eamonn Conway, diocesan education coordinator Maeve Mahon, and parish catechist Natalie Doherty about the nature of synodality and its links with Vatican II, what Ireland’s coming synodal process might entail, hopes the four have for the process, and challenges the process may face.

09

Liturgical Living

In trying to build a ‘thick’ and ‘intentional’ Faith into her home life, Maria Connolly has been inspired by her own parents. Looking back on the sort of ways her parents sought to give their children a sense that all comes from God, and that our lives should be lived in joyful gratitude for that fact, she describes Christian seasonal delights and points to traditions both decorative and culinary that mark key days in the Catholic calendar.

10

Facing a Christian politics of fear

It is easy for Christians to confuse our interests and our aims, especially at a time when our interests may feel – may even be – under attack, writes Ben Conroy. This can tempt us to vote out of a sense of self-preservation, or simply to freeze as though paralysed by our situation. Despite that, we should remember that we are called to seek to build his kingdom, trusting in God and remembering how ultimate victory has already been won.

11

Shining like the brightness of the heavens

Harvard Astrochemist Karin Öberg is an expert in how planets are formed – and especially in how planets form in ways that might be conducive to the development of life. She’s also a convert to Catholicism, and in this Leaven interview describes how she was led to the Faith with the help of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and G.K. Chesterton, and maps out what her work with the ALMA telescopic array involves.

12

The best money I spend: in defence of tax

Too often we think of tax as a personal cost rather than an investment in our societies, writes Kevin Hargaden, despite our duties as Christians to the common good. With Christ himself having made clear the perilous nature of personal wealth, there is a long pedigree of Christian thinkers including Ambrose, Augustine, and Aquinas who recognised that the common good must be nurtured collectively, even if we know that building any kind of utopia is ultimately beyond us.

13

Not by bread alone: September

Fundamental to the Gospels is the question of who people say Jesus is, a question that is of enduring relevance to us today, according to Sr Eleanor Campion. The Gospels give us all manner of pointers to this question, but in truth our there may be a gap for us between what we express in the Creed and what we seem to experience in our lives, so it is worth taking time to explore and clarify how we would answer this question.

14

What it means to be free to believe

Watching young children pray in the fashion they like best has been a strange and powerful education for Sr Carino Hodder, who sees this as a key to the relationship between catechesis and freedom. It may be surprising to some, but the Church teaches that freedom and faith are inextricably linked, and Sr Carino explains how a new Directory for Catechesis spells out how only a freely embraced faith is likely to be able to weather today’s challenges.

15

Wild western Christianity

Westerns may not be as popular in the cinema as they once were, Ronan Doheny says, but they never quite go away and in one form or another remain a valuable genre, one that offers up studies in how we ought – or ought not – to behave, morality plays that question the nature of truth or justice, meditations on war and peace, and reflections on changing times and worlds that pass away. 

Curated Events

Newman Lectures

Newman Lectures - John Henry Newman's Enduring Englishness

6pm, Tues 14 Sept
Online Lecture (Online event)
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Royal Irish Academy - Charles Dillon agus Colm Ó Cuaig, ‘Colm Cille: Lúireach agus Beatha’

1pm, Wed 15 Sept
Lunchtime Lecture (Online event).
Click title for more information

Talking about bicycles

Talking About Bicycles: Rediscovering Hope with C.S. Lewis

The Institute of Catholic Culture
Saturday, September 18 8:00 PM EST

Click title for more information

National Gallery Ireland

National Gallery of Ireland - Adrian Le Harivel, 'Divas and Martyrs - the Romantic view of Elizabethan England'

3pm, Tues 21 Sept
Online Talk (Online event).
Click title for more information

dublin 2757937 640

A Wilde Fan

Draíocht
Thu 23 Sep 2021 , 8pm

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Collegium Institute

Between Two Laws: A Virtual Campus Seminar on Sigrid Undset’s Olav Audunssøn: Vows

Virtual Campus Seminar on Global Catholic Literature
Monday, October 4, 20217:00 PM
Monday, October 25, 20218:30 PM

Lunchtime Lecture (Online event).
Click title for more information

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Volume 1 Issue 2

LEAVEN Issue 2

01

From the Editor

02

Interview: Evolving Ideas: Darwin’s God

03

Spooky signposts for a broken world

04

Fighting fire with fiction

05

Not by bread alone – June

06

Interview – Grown-up words for a grown-up faith

07

Enchantments of the ordinary

08

Sifting for gold in Greece and Rome

09

Not by Bread Alone

10

Round Table: Catholic Social Teaching

11

The best possible world?

12

Monkish lights in modern darkness

13

Arousing the conscience

14

Sanctity’s supernatural signals

15

Not by bread alone – July

16

Interview – A time for every matter under Heaven

17

Public projects and the common good

18

Silver hairs on the silver screen

19

‘Let us now praise famous men’

20

Thinking outside the ballot box

Volume 1 Issue 1

Leaven Magazine

01

From the Editor

02

Interview: A Revolutionary Myth

03

Hearing God in the Silence and Darkness

04

Interview: Heavens that tell the Glory of God

05

Not by Bread Alone

06

1916: Revisited

07

Putting Evil in Proportion

08

The Sword of the Spirit

09

Parlour Games in the Jury Room

10

Not by Bread Alone

11

Round Table: Catholic Social Teaching

12

Against Political Fashions

13

Liturgical Living

14

Interview: Shoots Grown from Roots

15

Mercy’s Appalling Strangeness

16

Review: Peering into our Pagan Past

17

Running on Vibes in the Caucasus

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