Daily prayer online

Latest Space #06


Update: We are in the middle of summer here and Fr Gerry is away on holidays. However, on his return in early August, we hope to bring you all the latest news here on latest space. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

This is Holy Week, the most sacred week of the year. As we prepare to send you this issue of Latest Space, it is a joy for me, as Editor, to wish you, on behalf of the Sacred Space team, all the blessings of Easter, but, especially, an ever deepening awareness of the presence of the Risen Christ with you, yesterday, today, and forever. May the ALLELUIA of the Easter season resonate in your hearts with joy, as you recall that the Risen Christ IS with you now and forever.   ALLELUIA!   ALLELUIA!


The year 2003 began with good publicity. Peter Scally SJ, who was assisting at the Jesuit Communications Centre four years ago, and played an important role in the launching of Sacred Space, had a front-page article on our website published by THE TABLET in its issue of January 18. The picture below shows our Sacred Space team chatting about the article. From left to right, they are Alan McGuckian SJ (Creator of the site and Director of the JCC), Gerry Bourke SJ (Editor of Latest Space and Feedback Respondent), Jae-Hong Cheon (Webmaster).

On the same day, two other articles, speaking highly of Sacred Space, appeared in the DAILY TELEGRAPH and the TIMES of London. As a result, there was a significant increase in the number of visitors and quite a few sent feedback saying they had learnt about us from these articles.


The response to our nine days of prayer for world peace from February 23 to March 3 was very positive. This was evident not only in the increased number of visitors to the website, but also from the letters that we received at that time from so many visitors. They appreciated, especially, the fact that we commemorated the 40th anniversary of Pope John’s encyclical, Pacem in Terris, and quoted from it, and that we introduced prayers for peace from other religious traditions. There were even some who thought it appropriate that the nine days of prayer concluded on 03.03.03! For those who may have missed the Novena, there is still a link to its content on the front page of Sacred Space.


As many of you may have noted, on March 19, Feast of St. Joseph, the counter of Sacred Space recorded our six millionth visitor. Christine Peterson, an English teacher from Des Moines, Iowa, USA, sent us this short message:”With the circumstances of the world on my mind today, I thought I’d take a moment to use your wonderful page to pray for peace. I glanced at the counter at the bottom when I finished, and I am the 6th millionth visitor…..I pray that many out there are praying for peace today, and to soften the hearts of our leaders. I also pray that God may protect us with His arms like a hedge around our world.”

In response we wrote: “Congratulations, Christine, on being the six millionth visitor to Sacred Space…..One of the ‘wits’ at our Centre suggested, jokingly, that we might offer you, as a prize, a weekend visit to Sacred Space, all expenses paid! But, seriously, we would like to send you a little token – a small booklet, Praying in Lent by Donal Neary, SJ – to commemorate the event. Please send us your home address…..We hope to send out the Easter issue of LATEST SPACE before the feast. It will announce that you are the winner! It would be nice if you could send us a photo to brighten up the page!”

The month of March surpassed all records in the total number of visitors for the month. The counter was at 5,793,837 on March 1, and had reached 6,139,863 on April 1, which meant there were 346,026 visitors during the month of March, which works out at an average of 11,162 per day, including weekends, when the numbers are usually less.


Our sister website at plans to launch on Easter Sunday an adaptation of Sacred Space, which. it is hoped, will help younger children to pray. The page displayed is a sample from the helps given to prayer in the context of the calming of the storm on the lake in Luke 8/22-25.


Hello. I’m Dermot Roantree, the latest addition to the team of I’m a teacher by training and trade, mainly of History and English Literature. In recent years, however, I’ve diversified quite a bit. A few years back – back when being involved in website businesses was both profitable and popular – I joined with some colleagues and formed an education resource website for Irish students in their later secondary school years. Later I worked for a start-up e-Learning company, sourcing, writing, editing and managing content.

And that’s close enough to what I’m now doing with There’s a good deal of quality content on the site as it stands, but we want to develop it much much more. Shortly the whole site will be database-driven, and we intend then to make it a top-notch portal for Catholic content and resources. Make sure you check out the site at – and come back often to see it grow, grow, grow!


One visitor from Drogheda, Ireland, wrote: “If Christians all over Ireland (and, indeed, from all over the world among the 6 million + visitors to this site) were to light a single candle at this time of strife in Iraq as a sign of peace. And leave it lighting until we have peace. My wife and I have lit a candle in our sitting room window and intend to leave it lighting, day and night, until peace prevails.”

Another wrote from Denver, Colorado, USA: “I’ve been coming here to Sacred Space for the last few weeks and have found it very helpful. It has become a sacred part of my day, almost as important to me as going to Sacred Heart Jesuit Retreat Center near here, which I try to do once a month or so. I’d like to find a few other people who are using Sacred Space each day and are here in the Colorado Springs-Denver area, who might like to meet together at the Retreat Center or elsewhere to discuss our experience….”
Although the writer gave his contact number and address, we feel it would be better for those who are interested in such a project to begin by making it known in their local community (e.g. church bulletin, or local newspaper) and see how it develops from there.

One more suggestion came from Collingsworth, New Jersey, USA: “In World War II, there was an advisor to Winston Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace. There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate, every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time, stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, its citizens, and for PEACE IN THE WORLD. Together, we CAN make a difference!!”

This request for prayer came a day before Rashonda Johnson, with six other POWs, was released by her captors: “On the Tom Joyner Show, they discussed the young, black, single mom (RASHONDA JOHNSON) that is now a POW. This is the first time in many years that a woman has been captured and held as a POW. Iraq is known for extreme measures when it comes to torture and especially rape chambers. The possibility is that they will beat, rape and torture her for punishment and to extract information.. We as Christians can do something special. Special days for us to pray together, or something major for us to do as a unit. Sisters and brothers taking action for another child of God…We may not be able to physically do anything for our Sister, but we know a mighty God Who has already dispatched a host of angels to aid and watch over her. The key is that, through prayer, we empower those angels to fight the demonic forces that desire to take our Sister’s life and dignity through rape and abuse..We know that the angels of God will guard and protect her..This we will rejoice in, as we know it is already done…in the mighty name of Jesus. So, we also say a prayer of thanks for what God has already done and is doing for Rashonda.”


After 35 years, the Holy Spirit had its way and I returned to the Church. I am therefore a Catholic by choice, not simply by birth. I am part of a Centering Prayer group which includes an Episcopal Minister and an Evangelical Minister. I feel very at home having been at both ends of the spectrum in my ‘protestant’ years. My Catholic prayer partners knew of Sacred Space, but never thought to pass it on. One day, perusing the Evangelical Minister’s website, I found it under ‘devotions’. What a beautiful site – so Catholic and yet so Christian and even universal. God must be rejoicing!

I had not thought to come today. I was in my husband’s office to fix my rosary beads in the daylight. As I looked at the television and at the computer I was drawn to the latter and decided at that moment to open favorites to Sacred Space. There are no coincidences, I wept at the very first words….that God had invited me and although I hadn’t realized it, He was waiting for my prayerful response.

I had spent the past week feeling completely unworthy, having a very difficult time doing what I was supposed to do, what I owed to others – even praying. The previous week on vacation, my prayer life had gone out the window trying to keep pace with the family. I prayed as if I didn’t deserve to. And then I came here and once again read the parable of the prodigal son and the preceding prayers. Thank you for reminding me again that all it takes is turning back to Him…that He will not grab or push…maybe gently nudge….He will wait hopefully for us to simply turn back to Him. Wilton, Connecticut


From the United Kingdom came this poem:

Each day when work is done,
the call comes, hushed, insistent,
a breath of memory
that urges me to switch on.

My choice then to connect –
wait while the computer whirrs
into life, the bright screen
mapped out with shuttered icons;

link with the world wide web,
go through the sunlit portal,
hold still in the tall space
where water flows over stone;

select with the bright white
cursor that swoops like a bird
on a backdrop of sky
where each cloud is a window;

look through to the measured
words that lead me step by step
to a considered pause,
while the cathode ray dances;

click with the mouse to move
on in this vast cathedral
where thousands pray with me,
our thoughts like incense rising.

– Written by Helen Overell

From an Irish person, who suffers from fibromyalgia/chronic fatique, came this poem:

It’s a time to be quiet, a time to rest.
I tell myself that would be best.
All will be well, just wait it out,
It will pass, look around and about,
see all the beauty there is to see.
created by God for just such as me.

But a still small voice inside me cries,
Lord grant that this time quickly flies,
for I’m finding today so very tough
and I honestly feel it’s been long enough.
Calvary came just once for you;
for me it begins each day anew.

And yes, I’ll look all around me and see
the beauty created for just such as me,
and hope that someday I’ll get up and go
out in the wind and the rain, yes even the snow,
and not have the worry, the fear and the pain,
but lift up my face to the soft gentle rain,
and know that tomorrow I’ll wake up and find
that this time of suffering is left far behind.”

– Written by Áine Ní Máille

With best wishes from the Sacred Space team – Alan, Gerry & Jae-hong
Jesuit Communication Centre, 36 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2, Ireland

For previous issues, click here: Latest Space #1  Latest Space #2  Latest Space #3  Latest Space #4  Latest Space #5

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