FATHER Brian D’Arcy is set to release a captivating collections of writings in his upcoming latest book, ‘The Best of Brian’ (inset right) which is due for publication on November 14.

The book offers readers a unique opportunity to delve into the insightful reflections and articles of the renowned Passionist priest who has touched the lives of many.

In today’s edition of The Impartial Reporter, we have some exclusive extracts from ‘The Best of Brian’.

In 2019, just before the onset of the global pandemic, Fr. Brian resolved not to author another book, believing that he had exhausted the wellspring of his creativity.

However, Red Stripe Press recognised the enduring value of his words and asked him to compile a ‘best of’ book, drawing from his extensive body of work.

And so, this new collection encompasses articles and excerpts that have been a source of inspiration to countless readers over the years.

In additiont to offering words of comfort and reflection, royalties from the book’s sale will be donated to charities dedicated to aiding the less fortunate and the homeless.

The enduring impact of Fr. Brian’s earlier writings is shown by the numerous heartfelt interactions from readers who continue to draw solace and inspiration from his works.

Throughout the years, families have shared stories from cherished copies of his books, which have offered comfort to so many during challenging times – a testament to the profound and lasting influence of his words.

Fr. Brian reflects on his extraordinary journey, acknowledging the role of divine intervention that “writes straight on crooked lines”.

The release of The Best of Brian holds special significance for Fr. Brian as he celebrates 60 years as a Passionist priest.

His journey – which began in September, 1962 – has been marked by unwavering dedication to communicating his belief in the boundless love of God through sermons, broadcasts, and articles.

Throughout the years, he has embraced modern media to reach individuals where they are, rather than where he wished them to be, contributing to his lasting influence.

He expresses his deep gratitude to the readers and experts who have shared their wisdom and insight with him over the years.

Their contributions have played a pivotal role in shaping his thoughts and ideas, and he now returns their wisdom and thoughts with readers in his new book, which people are encouraged to savour at their own pace.

Fr. Brian suggests reading a few pages at a time, allowing the messages to resonate before returning for more.

His hope is that this book will not only be an enjoyable reading experience, but that it will also help readers to recognise their worth as cherished human beings.

The Best of Brian promises to be a compelling addition to any home, with its timeless collection of writings sure to inspire and uplift readers for generations to come.

The following are some exclusive excerpts from ‘The Best of Brian’, published by Red Stripe Press, with a RRP of €19.99.


Excerpt from ‘The Best of Brian’.

A spiritual writer I admire, Anthony De Mello, says that when you become guilt-ridden, it’s not your sins you hate but yourself.

I don’t normally suffer from guilt – Catholic or otherwise. Yet in recent weeks I’ve found myself fighting those negative feelings. And as you know: “a guilty conscience needs no other accuser”.

So it was time for a little chat with myself.

One of my biggest failures is allowing guilt to creep in and take over when things go wrong. That’s fatal.

On the contrary, my mistakes should open up the gateway to happier living. Once a person is determined to help themselves, nothing can stop them.

What’s in the past cannot be undone; it is essential not to let feelings of guilt linger.

To keep on replaying negative tapes won’t change what happened. It was time to acknowledge what I was doing wrong and learn from it.

No amount of guilt can change the past and no amount of worry can change the future.

Just turn the page and begin a new chapter.

The best way to avoid making the same mistakes repeatedly is to analyse what went wrong in the first place.

Once you recognise the patterns of behaviour that led you down the wrong path, you’re less likely to go there again.

I began by accepting it was all my own fault.

I had become a crisis-oriented person; I left everything to the last minute. I was living on the edge and loving.

Yet I was putting reckless pressure on myself. And that’s not me. I like to be prepared. I believe that failure is not fatal but failure to prepare invariably is.

Some people work better under pressure – that’s how they get their kicks. I’m not like that.

My motto is to prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and accept what God sends. “We make our plans; the Lord determines our steps.” (Proverbs 16:9).

So live for today and prepare for tomorrow!


Excerpt from ‘The Best of Brian’.

It’s a mystery to me why there is not a major outcry against dealers who sell cocaine in every town and village in Ireland – North and South.

Ireland has the fourth-highest rate of cocaine abuse in the world. Why does officialdom continue to turn a blind eye to the widespread availability of drugs in general, and cocaine in particular?

Even an amateur like me can spot drugs around pubs, cafes, street corners, sporting events and concerts.

I am aghast at the profile of many of the abusers.

Younger people are cocaine crazy, but there are many men and women on the wrong side of middle age dicing with addiction and worse.

Far too many abusers are from the professional classes – sports stars, lawyers, entertainers etc. – mostly well-heeled, well-dressed and well-educated in all aspects of life – yet they are ignorant of the dangers of drug addiction.

Those who work in bars tell me of the growing number of professional classes who regularly binge on cocaine in pubs.

Many no longer mix cocaine with alcohol; the trend is to take cocaine at home, alone and without alcohol (known as dry snorting).

A young woman explained to me how it is no longer a shame to be caught with drugs. She writes that in her circle of friends, drugs are widely available.

They stop at filling stations and roadsides to exchange drugs and money. Workplaces are also convenient places to stock up on drugs.

The Border regions are where most dealing is centred.

I cannot understand why so-called recreational abusers of cocaine fail to see they are supporting vicious criminals when they buy illegal drugs to feed their habit.

Abusers come from every stratum of society, including medics, lawyers, musicians, elite athletes and financiers.

In their daily work, they condemn drug pushers and may even help to prosecute them. In their off-time, they support them.

Where’s the integrity, ethics or morality in that behaviour?

Cocaine abuse is easily spotted. The eyes tell the tale. Diluted and bloodshot eyes don’t just happen.

Since cocaine is a stimulant, it can stop users from sleeping, which is another cause of red-eye.

Cocaine is never sold ‘pure’; it is mixed with other substances – how can you possibly tell what damaging stuff is in there?

The young woman who spoke to me is kicking the habit. For her, the warning signs were a constant cold and sporadic nose bleeds from snorting.

She never felt hungry; eating regular healthy meals became impossible.

A lack of nutrition made short work of her achievements. After the highs, she felt exhausted, tense and ill.

The withdrawal symptoms were shattering.

When you consider that in many urban areas, one in five 16- to 24-year-olds are coke users, the cost to health services will be astronomical.

One of the most common effects I come across is chronic mental health issues leading to anxiety and paranoia.

Dodgy ‘coke’ increases suicidal idealisation among vulnerable users. Days are lost dreaming about the next fix, and nights pass without proper sleep, leading to nightmares and cravings.

The addict on a cocaine buzz talks arrogantly and too much because they feel on top of the world. Coming down is awful – depression, feeling edgy and anxious, soon erases the memory of the high. Watch out for agitation, mood swings and irritability.

After a week or two of constant use, the temptation to chase the dream kicks in. That’s when to seek help – otherwise, the downward spiral will be hard to stop and soon the brain will need more and more cocaine to feel normal.

Cocaine abuse has taken such a hold here in Ireland because we are a nation in denial. But isn’t that typical?

Didn’t we do the same with alcohol, drunk driving and cigarettes? Those on the frontline know that this country is saturated with illicit drugs.

Why can we not admit the obvious?

When you pay exorbitant amounts of money for a substance you cannot be sure what it is mixed with, and you stick it up your nose knowing it could kill you, you have to realise it is Russian Roulette by another name.

There’s nothing glamourous about secretly snorting lines off dirty tops in smelly toilets.

The truth is that every cocaine user usually becomes a dealer eventually. Why do we accept the blatant lie that cocaine abuse is normal? Wake up and be honest!

“There is not a part of this country where drugs are not available 15 minutes from where you live,” the recovering addict told me.

“Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from today and create a brand-new ending.”