Maeve Louise Heaney

Merging Music and Theology

Song Unfinished

February 7, 2016
Maeve Heaney

This is long overdue. I usually send a new year’s message to those of you who are part of my world but just a bit out of reach. Well new year has passed, and we’re approaching the start of semester …

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In the Lord, Michael Paul Gallagher

November 8, 2015
Maeve Heaney

            It is a grey day – the sometimes-fickle Irish weather knows its place. With a mixture of sadness and deep gratitude, I say goodbye to one of the people who has most influenced my life …

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Today’s blog is a personal one. Forgive me if you will. But there is value in sharing that which moves us most. Many years ago I understood that when something touched and gave me life, it was precisely that which would give others life, if I was generous enough to share it. It is not always appropriate, but today it’s where I am, so I will write a bit of my inner world, my sacred place, the ground I grew from, the space in which I am myself and that knows me as such.

This month I have been graced by the presence in Australia of my mother and one of my sisters…


IMG_20150627_102003480_HDRmum for a six weeks


Gráinne for two.

Yesterday morning they both hugged me tight and said: “now go!” as I left them at the airport to take their 23 hour flight to the other side of this tiny and huge planet we inhabit.


And once again, with no regret and grateful for God blessing us at every step of the way, I wept as I walked away from the amazing family who sustain, from a distance, who I am. And it reminded me of the first departure, many years ago, when I was seventeen. My missionary calling is mine and theirs – no doubt about it.

Jesus by TrungWe know God through those who love us unconditionally. Prayer life is important, of course. It is vital. I could not take a step without it. And it takes us deeper. But there is a sixth sense to recognise what’s worthwhile, and a strength that comes from having a family that knows and loves you for who you are no matter what that is so powerful I stand in awe of what I have received and share in. It is moving, sacramental, graced, profound, strong as rock, solid as stone, healthy and cleansing as natural running water. And I thank God for it. It is no wonder that a Synod on marriage and on family is so important. And it is complex – so let’s stop being so polarised  about things. What is at stake is too high.

My mother was more vulnerable than normal in this time. IMG_20150605_140438581She fell and broke her wrist… while in my care! I still blame myself a little for a fall I perhaps could not have predicted 🙁 . But caring for a month for the person who gave me life, tolerated my introverted infancy, my snotty-nosed childhood, my precocious teen years and the heart-wrenching decision to follow the call of a missionary Christ at the age of sixteen, was a privilege. Simply. So thanks Kathleen! The butter in my fridge will never have the same meaning.





And I thankful also of those of you who have recognised this and shared in it, in some way.


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This time has allowed my family access where I am and what I do. They have been able to see where I work and live, meet those whom I trust – those who ‘fill in’, in some way, for their absence – and in some way ‘verify’ that I’m doing what I say I do 🙂 .  They have sensed what makes me get up early in the morning and keeps me awake at night, where I invest my energy, what makes me laugh and what robs me of joy. In some cases they have begun to taste the friendships that are becoming important to me. Christian faith is as divine as it is human.

I am so profoundly grateful, even as I miss them. But that’s ok – one of the reasons I chose to follow Jesus was because he offered me a life to the full; a life in which I would “laugh with all my laughter and cry all my tears” (cf., Kahlil Gibran “Speak to me of love”). Anything less is fast food, cardboard tasting life.

BibleSymposium2015_Poster_(ForOnline)I write this as I fly to Singapore to participate in a Symposium organised by the Archdiocese and in collaboration with my ‘second’ family: the community that taught me how to pray: Verbum Dei. A workshop on music in evangelisation and a concert on praying through music. It will be  fantastic…and tremendously hard work :).  But that’s ok. Because I have amazing roots that ground and sustain me, through which God has blessed and continues to bless me abundantly.

This amazing song Conor wrote that says this more eloquently than I could with words: beautiful lives living beautifully.

July 7, 2015
Maeve Heaney

On a personal note…

Random or planned? Reflections…

April 13, 2015
Maeve Heaney

  Being a missionary can feel a bit random, at times… as if Someone else rather than you holds the thread of who you are and where you land. And that’s ok – the way it is meant to be, …

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Coming up: my first visit to the Philippines

January 23, 2015
Maeve Heaney

Very much looking forward to two concerts: For You, for Them, in Manila               and Break the Crystal Frame, in Cebu, as well as a conference on The Word Made Song: Music in Evangelization     …

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God’s Justice is called Mercy…

January 19, 2015
Maeve Heaney

One of my new year resolutions… or desires, rather (as I don’t really believe in resolutions), is to hold, taste and be grateful for the life-giving moments. And I had one such extended moment this past week: the possibility of …

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The Incarnation: God’s “I trust you”

December 25, 2014
Maeve Heaney

I don’t like Christmas carols. Sorry! I never have. Or at least they do not move me as other music does. However, this morning I found myself in tears as I sang Gloria in Excelsis Deo with the members of …

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The Power of Gentleness

December 19, 2014
Maeve Heaney

Lately I feel drawn to blank pages and dark empty spaces…places where I can breathe, and hear, and sense, without much noise. And I know God indwells all things, and I have often sensed Jesus presence in the midst of …

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Pray Theologically

December 5, 2014
Maeve Heaney

This is  a short one, and I don’t usually simply re-post, but this is simply worth it. It is the message of the Pope to the International Theological Commission on December 5th. I guess it is good to simply note …

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Sunday Afternoon Meanderings…

October 20, 2014
Maeve Heaney

Sometimes when I write, or when I have time to delve into a theologian’s life work and allow it explain myself (and my God) to me, I find myself, even in my office at the the end of a  beautiful …

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