Columban Sister Inspires Radio 4 Daily Service

16th May 2014 - by Fr Denis Carter

The-book-of-Luke web750

Sister Angela McKeever’s article in the latest issue of the Far East – Rivers of Pain – provided the inspiration for the BBC Radio 4 Daily Service on Monday 12th May, presented by Far East subscriber John Forrest.

The broadcast on Radio 4 Long Wave is available as a podcast in Windows Media Player only.  Click BBC Radio 4 Daily Service Mon 12 May (this may only be available until Sunday 18th May). For those not able to listen, John Forrest has kindly provided below a written extract from the service.

You can also read Sr. Angela’s article in full by downloading the latest issue of the Far East

Extract from BBC Radio 4 Daily Service on Monday 12th May 2014

Today’s reading tells of the anticipation that people had as they gathered to hear Jesus towards the beginning of his ministry.  Word about him had spread and so there was great expectation as a fair crowd had gathered to hear and meet the man at a synagogue in Nazareth.

Read how the event is recorded in Luke’s Gospel chapter 4: 14-21.

A good speaker inspires us. And we hope that the inspiration will change our life in some way — perhaps by giving us some new understanding or wisdom and in doing so to helping us work out some action to take.

Hearing Jesus speak in Nazareth must have been inspiring because, even without the benefit of technology, so much of his teaching been passed on and lived out over the centuries. Today, people are still finding their life journeys are inspired and affected by it.

I was recently reading a report by Sister Angela McKeever, a nun who’s spent the last 20 years working amongst huge social problems in the prisons of Chile. Many inmates there are young men whose childhood development has been through life on the streets. They’ve only known lives of crime and addiction.

She writes movingly about ‘rivers of pain and suffering which flow through the prison cells. The awful power of addictions which destroy young lives and families, turning young men, so full of promise, into criminals and thug’.

Often the good work she’s able to do with some of the prisoners is completely undone when they’re eventually released and hit the streets again. It seems to me not only like a thankless task, but often a potentially futile one. But, Sister McKeever gets her inspiration from Jesus.

She writes “My hopes have been dashed so many times; it’s only by God’s grace we keep going. It is by faith in him, who loves the very worst of these prisoners, that we find deep peace and a joy in reaching out to these men.’

I think Sister McKeever is describing something of the saving power that’s the theme of our Daily Services this week. It’s saving power linked with the ’Spirit of the Lord’. And this is given a musical expression in part of Elgar’s oratorio ’The Apostles’ — which is sung now by the John Powell singers.

You can still listen to the Daily Service by visiting http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/ram/dailyservice_mon.asx

Our thanks to John for contacting us and providing the extract.  We would be very interested to learn how articles in the Far East have inspired you.  Please contact us at or write to St. Columban’s, Widney Manor Road, Solihull B93 9AB.