Cardinal Sean Brady has said suicide is now the biggest killer of young men in this country and has stressed the urgency of listening to people and offering them hope.
In a New Year homily the Cardinal said suicide is gripping the country, but it’s not only young men who are victims.
He said it is vital that society takes on board its responsibility in this matter and gives careful consideration to the challenge of listening appropriately to the concerns of young people.
“I recently met some people who are involved in providing support for families affected by suicide,” the Cardinal said. “Their aim is to discover how to offer hope to people who feel that they have lost hope.
“One such organisation SOSAD (Save Our Sons And Daughters) has as its slogan ‘There is Hope’.
“Its founder, Peter Moroney, set up SOSAD to raise awareness of suicide and to help combat suicidal feelings through support, counselling and emergency phone lines.
“The ability to listen is necessary in many areas of life but this is one which it is extremely urgent.
“At the present time young people see how difficult it is to find a job. The greatest challenge facing us is that of communicating to young people an appreciation for the positive value of life.
“We Christians believe that God created the visible world in all its richness and beauty. The human person is the summit of the work of the Creator – and human life is sacred.”
But what makes for genuine happiness someone may ask. If we were to set about drawing up a shopping list of the components of happiness, I am quite certain that peace would always come at the top of the list.
He said the Pope has has asked parents to spend time with their children. To tell their children of the happiness they get from helping others, and of the importance of one generation looking after another.
“If everyone really appreciated the positive values of life, there would be no bullying, no exploitation. What a difference it would make if we all really wanted to spend our lives in the service of the good.”
He also spoke about those who have worked for peace.
“They have done so by recognising the dignity of everyone and by respecting that dignity. They were able to do so, not alone because they were able to see further than others, but because they experienced peace in their own lives.”