The Furrow

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The Furrow is an Irish Roman Catholic theological periodical published monthly by Maynooth College.[1] It was founded in 1950 by Rev. Dr James G. McGarry, Professor of Sacred Eloquence and Pastoral Theology at St. Patrick's College, Maynooth. Canon McGarry was killed in a car accident in 1977.[2] The current editor is the Reverend Professor Ronan Drury who held the Chair in Homiletics at the Pontifical University at St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, for many years, succeeding McGarry in both roles.

McGarry set out his editorial and pastoral ambitions for the journal in the first edition: "The Furrow is something new. It is new in the ground it opens. Many branches of pastoral work to which our times have given a special importance demand a fuller treatment — preaching, pastoral organisations, the liturgy, the Church, its art and architecture. And it is in such matters especially that theory needs to be confirmed and corrected by practice. The pooling of experiences in varying conditions of work and the exchange of views on new pastoral methods are means hitherto little used, yet they can give valuable help to all who are charged by God to keep His field. A new opportunity is offered in The Furrow for the sharing of such experience. Moreover, recent years have given evidence of an increasing interest in writing on the part of our younger priests. Life in the priesthood and Christian culture offer to such young writers rich and fertile themes, opening to them a new way of serving the Church, its faith and civilisation. The Furrow will consider it a point of duty to support and encourage such writers."

The journal has a pastoral and theologically liberal style and is widely read outside of Ireland. Contributors have included Cardinals Cahal Daly, Thomas O'Fiaich, Danneels, Kasper, Suenens; theologians such as Karl Rahner, Gabriel Daly, Rosemary Haughton, Enda McDonagh, Nicholas Lash, Mary Grey; political figures President Mary Robinson, President Mary McAleese, Garret FitzGerald, John Reid, and writers such as Seamus Heaney, Mary Gordon, and Michéal O Siadhail.[3]

A fully digitized back catalogue of every edition is available on the JSTOR website.


  1. ^ Publications from Maynooth College The Furrow.
  2. ^ The Furrow as window on Irish Church By Michael J. Farrell, National Catholic Reporter.
  3. ^ About Us The Furrow, Official Website