From Ghostly Legends to Divine Transformation: The Story of Donamon Castle

By Fr Nilora SVD In a world captivated by tales of gothic vampires, where Dracula’s image often springs to mind with his pale visage and sharp teeth, there lies a castle in Ireland with its own fascinating history – Donamon Castle. While there are no vampires lurking within its ancient walls, the castle has seen its share of mysteries and transformations over the centuries. Donamon Castle, nestled in the Irish countryside, is a place where history and legend intertwine. Its story begins long ago, dating back to 1154, as mentioned in the Annals of the Four Masters. The name itself, Donamon, evokes a sense of ancient strength: Dun Lomghuin, the fortress of Lomghuin. Throughout the ages, Donamon Castle witnessed its share of destruction and renewal, a testament to the resilience of its stone walls and the spirit of its inhabitants. Yet, it also harbors a tale of a 19-year vacancy from 1920 to 1939, during which locals believed it was haunted by the ghost of a former bailiff. A shadowy cha

Graffiti: The Unspoken Canvas of Society

In the vibrant streets of Bristol, I embarked on a journey to visit a sick individual in Elton Road. However, my attention was diverted by the captivating graffiti adorning Princess Row, Dighton Street, Cheltenham Road, and Picton Street. Intrigued by the “smile-inspiring” artworks, I returned the next day with my Nikon to immortalize these urban masterpieces.  Graffiti, often dismissed as mere vandalism, serves as an unfiltered expression of societal nuances. Bristol, home to the renowned artist Banksy, showcases his thought-provoking graffiti at the Bristol Museum. Despite attracting over 230,000 visitors, opinions on Banksy’s work remain divided.  Banksy challenges the traditional art world, stating, “When you go to an art gallery, you are simply a tourist looking at the trophy cabinet of a few millionaires.” This sentiment echoes in his exhibition’s title, “Banksy vs Bristol Museum,” prompting reflection on the role of art in a socio-economic context.  As graffiti emerges as the vo

Sir Bobby Robson: An Ode to the Power of Gratitude and Companionship

Amidst the glitz and glamour of the 2007 BBC Sport Personality of the Year awards in London, a hushed anticipation settled over the audience as Sir Bobby Robson ascended the stage to receive the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award. Yet, it was not a grand soliloquy or boastful speech that graced the occasion. Instead, Sir Bobby’s words were a masterclass in humility and gratitude, echoing through the hall: “Nobody wins anything on their own,” he declared, “This award really is an extension and opportunity for me to say thank you very much to everybody that has supported me.” In that crystalline moment, Sir Bobby gifted the world a profound lesson - that our journey through life is not a solitary pilgrimage but a collective tapestry woven from the countless acts of kindness, support, and sacrifice by those who have traversed our path. He reminded us that our present existence stands upon the foundation laid by countless hands, both past and present. Sir Bobby’s words invite contempla

In the Whisper of a Bus Ride: Children’s Dreams and the Symphony of Hope

One evening aboard Dublin’s 121 bus, a tired journey was transformed into a canvas of innocence. Amidst the humdrum of daily life, a child’s proclamation echoed hope – “Mum… I want to have 16 children!” As the bus resonated with dreams, the simple chatter of youngsters revealed profound aspirations. In the enchanting realm of children’s conversations, these innocent exchanges paint a portrait of hope and optimism. When little minds envision a future with numerous offspring, it sparks a gentle reminder that hope is the silent melody underlying their musings. As adults, we might dismiss these talks as mere childhood fantasies. Yet, in the simplicity of their dialogue lies a profound truth – a hope for life that transcends our adult complexities. The children’s uninhibited discussions unveil a positivity born from their nurturing relationships with one another. Beyond the innocent banter, this conversation becomes a beacon of hope. Amidst a world sometimes overshadowed by challen

In the Joyful Art of Smiles: A Lesson from Schoolyard Innocence

In the sun-drenched afternoons of my secondary school days, a simple yet beautiful game defined our youthful camaraderie. Gathered on the road in front of the boarding school, we aimed not to cause mischief but to play our version of a ‘positive game’ — making passers-by smile. This delightful game wasn’t about deceit or tricks; it was an earnest attempt to elicit joy. Standing by the road, one of us would flash a smile at strangers, and if they reciprocated, we celebrated the shared moment. No prizes were exchanged, just the simple joy of making someone smile. Reflecting on this cherished memory, a quote recently received via email echoed its essence: “The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.” While this sentiment rings true, I’ve come to realize that the best smiles emanate from the purity of one’s heart. In the book of Samuel, it’s written: “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appear

Transformative Messages: Unveiling the Power of Advertising, Inspired by Catholic Wisdom

By Nilora In a world inundated with advertising’s myriad faces, each vying for our attention, they’re designed to tantalize our senses, beckoning us to explore their offerings. These cleverly crafted messages are a tapestry of persuasion and allure, with the hope that we’ll yield to their siren call. But not all ads are born equal; some transcend their role as mere marketing tools and become powerful reminders of our duties and responsibilities. Take a moment to consider this peculiar advertisement (see the photos). It’s the kind of ad that tickles your funny bone and, at the same time, delivers a profoundly resonant message. Whenever it shares the stage with its peers, this advertisement consistently stands out, captivating my gaze and coaxing a smile from my lips. This ad, in all its whimsical glory, issues a compelling challenge to all who cross its path: If you thoughtlessly drop litter, your once-dignified nose will undergo a remarkable transformation. It will take on the uncanny

Life Lessons from Two Worlds: A Journey Through Time

In the bustling digital world of Cyber Kompas Online, on a crisp October day in 2007, I found myself immersed in the celebration of a musical maestro and the wisdom of an Irish writer, worlds apart yet strangely connected. Gesang Martohartono, the revered composer of the soul-stirring Bengawan Solo, had just marked his 90th birthday on the 1st of October. Solo’s community had bestowed upon him a heartfelt gift - a lifelong promise of health. A gesture, some might say, timed with the grace of twilight years. However, delving into Gesang’s “Tips for a Long Life,” published a few months prior, reveals a man who would undoubtedly accept this honour with humble gratitude. One might expect longevity advice from a maestro to revolve around diets and culinary secrets, but Gesang’s counsel transcended the mundane. His life’s philosophy, simple yet profound, resonates with wisdom we could all embrace: “Enjoy what you have in moderation,” he’d say. “If you’re angry, don’t let it consume you; cont