Meeting Pope Francis- audience for the 9th PDDM General Chapter
|Sr. M. Louise pddm|
From the 29th of April to the 29th of May, two Sister Disciples of the Divine Master (PDDM), originally from Athlone, Sr. M. Louise O’ Rourke and Sr. Josephine Fallon, gathered in Rome, together with 51 other Sister Disciples of the Divine Master for their General Chapter. During this gathering the Sisters, representing the 1400 sisters in 31 nations in which the Order is present, elect the new Superior General and her team, deal with pressing issues, promote renewal and discern priorities according to the changing times of the Church and society.Sr. M. Josephine Fallon, originally from Wolfe Tone Terrace was present at this gathering, representing the Disciples of the Divine Master in United States of America. Sr. Josephine joined the Order in Ballykeeran in Ireland and went to the States in January 1971 where she has been ministering since in different roles. Presently she is the Delegation Superior there and resides in New York. In that same community, there is another Disciple of the Divine Master from Athlone, Sr. M. Anne Breen.
Sr. M. Louise O’ Rourke, originally from St. Ruth’s Park, represented the Disciples of the Divine Master in Ireland, who are especially known to the people of Athlone for their Centre and Adoration Chapel in Castle Street. At present, Sr. M. Louise is based in their Dublin community where she works as a church lawyer for the Archdiocese of Dublin, co-ordinating the Office for Religious and assisting in the Office for Clergy.
|Sr. Josephine meeting the Pope|
Recalling her experience, Sr. Josephine says it was indeed a great privilege and a special grace to meet Pope Francis. During the brief conversation, he thanked her for answering the call of God and asked her to pray for him. In almost every encounter that the Pope has, he ends it, asking people to pray for him. In turn, Sr. Josephine also thanked him for the wonderful work he is doing. The conversation was in his broken English, but they both understood each other.
After the Sisters met the Pope, they were given a gift of blessed Rosary Beads, The beads, they say, are a reminder to pray for the Pope: “He doesn’t have an easy job. Pray for our Pope, he’s breaking new ground in many different areas and he’s not afraid to push people out of their comfort zones in the name of truth and justice, especially for those most marginalised. He’s belongs to a religious order, like us, so he knows the challenge which religious men and women are faced with today and speaks from experience. What we can bring away from the gathering with him are his words to us: “Do not join the prophets of misfortune, who do great damage to the Church and to consecrated life.” Yes, nowadays it’s a hard time to be a nun or a priest but it’s a blessing to be able to serve God in this way, with joy!”