Celebrating the Day of Consecrated Life 2015 in the Archdiocese of Dublin

A blog post written for the Office for Religious blog:

Photo by Sr. Aneta, Redemptoristine
A nippy but bright day set against the Dublin seacoast of Killester provided the scenic backdrop for the Diocesan celebration of the Day of Consecrated Life at the Church of St. Brigid’s, Killester. Religious from all over Dublin arrived in great numbers for the celebration of the Eucharist, presided over by His Grace, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

Following the liturgy for the Feast of St. Brigid, the liturgical assembly was lead in prayerful song by the Diocesan Choir under the direction of Fr. Pat O’ Donoghue. The Liturgy of the Word was very appropriate with the Gospel inviting us to ‘be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.’
Photo by B. Foley, Cssp
In his homily (full text can be read here), Archbishop Martin took up the message of the Gospel: “One of the themes of our Gospel reading this afternoon – which is also taken up in the prayer of the Mass of Saint Brigid – is that of generosity.   Generosity means breaking out of the closed logic of everyone getting their just-deserves and nothing more….Generosity is never just about plans or strategies or programmes.  Generosity can never be simply CEO pre-packaged and driven, much less outsourced to others. It is something that touches the very essence of being a person.  Being a generous person is part of being a true human being.  There will always be something lacking in the make-up of any person who fails to be generous.” He continued, saying, “The evangelical counsels must leave one free to be generous and compassionate and indeed they find their true meaning only when they result in someone who becomes generous and compassionate because they identify with Jesus who is compassionate and who wish to be like Jesus who is compassionate and generous in compassion.”
Photo by John McElroy
The 5th Year prefects from St. Mary’s Secondary School were present and distributed 500 St. Brigid’s Crosses which were made by the local girls school as part of Catholic Schools Week. It was a lovely surprise for the religious men and women who received them! A special thank you to the girls, their teachers and their principal.

It was a tight squeeze and the Church was filled to capacity but what a wonderful complaint! Looking around the Church, it was wonderful to see so many people of different ages and cultures representing the different religious orders and societies, associations and movements joined with the common scope of thanking the Lord for the gift of our vocation and the treasure of consecrated life. In an era when there is so much negativity around religious life, it was uplifting to be present to and with each other as a reminder of the commitment that each person has made to serve God in a specific mission according to a certain charism, each different from the other. Such is the creative work of the Holy Spirit!  In the joys and challenges that we face, we take consolation in the words of Julian of Norwich which were translated into song for us during the time of Communion Song: ” All will be well and all manner of things will be well”. Before the Recessional hymn, Archbishop Martin blessed the St. Brigid’s Crosses and then blessed the assembly with a relic of St. Brigid which is housed in this very Church.
5th Year prefects from St. Mary’s Secondary School

The celebration continued after the Eucharist over in the Pastoral Centre. The refreshments and the space to exchange greetings and catch-up was appreciated by all. Thank you to those who filled our cups and welcomed us warmly! Indeed, we are thankful to all contributed in various ways to the liturgy and who made the day memorable. Thanks also to John McElroy, Sr. Aneta Milecka, Redemptoristines and B. Foley, Spiritans for sharing their photos with us! They serve as a lovely reminder of the day.
We look forward to your continued collaboration in the future here in the Office for Religious as we count on your prayerful and practical support. Come back and visit soon for more news about upcoming events during this Year for Consecrated Life!  

Sr. M. Louise, PDDM,
Office for Religious.