What's Being Born In Ireland?

Sister Sally and I met family in the Republic of Ireland's second city of Cork. Our brother Tony, pastor and artist, and his wife Anita, have tirelessly served the Travellers over the years. Jesus healed ten lepers, but commended the one that bothered to return and thank him. Recently a Traveller they brought to faith years ago returned and asked to look at old photos of his family being taught Gospel stories through puppets. Like that healed leper, they came to thank them

Their son Peter and his wife Fiona, in Ballincollig, have a two week old baby named Aodhna whom we held with loving care. The saint who inspired our Community is Aidan, whose name means Flame. Aodhna means Born of Fire. Peter will become carer of the three infants. He has turned their garden into a model of permaculture. We both aim to put things into practice we learned from him.

Seven of us met at Neenagh and launched a tentative new network of pilgrims who seek to support people who wish to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ even if they find their church sterile, and to support people who want to build up resources linked to cradle places such as cathedrals which might evolve into villages of God.

We visited a new Saint Aidan's Monastery at Ferns. We counted at least fourteen new hermitages built in the old style, and prayed in their church. This development is near the town centre, but is secluded. It welcomes contemplatives to rent a hermitage for a period, and is named after Saint Aidan of Ferns.

We visited Sister Declan of the Presentation Sisters of Kildare to discuss how to inculturate The Community of Aidan and Hilda within Gaelic-speaking areas. With delight we discovered at the Kildare Heritage Centre that a major centre will be opened by the Brigidine Sisters: Solas Bhride Centre and Hermitage. Its aim is to create an environment where right relationship with self, others, the cosmos and God is nurtured. Visit www.solasbhride.ie

Many things are dying in religious Ireland. Gods of money and celebrity vie to take their place. They will not succeed. We have already seen enough to know that from the deep soil of saints and scholars wonderful new growths are already coming into shoot.

Posted at 11:34am on 3rd August 2013
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