A Busy May in the Centre: looking to the future
May was the month of gatherings! The women Congregational Leaders of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Ireland were in Dublin for a meeting and were hosted at the Centre for an evening. It was a pleasure to welcome the Contemplative Canon Law group for their study day. They came bearing gifts of biscuits and chocolates! Venturing to the north side of the Liffey was a women’s group from Fettercairn accompanied by six of our sisters who live in communities in Fettercairn/Tallaght. All the visitors were astonished to find such an oasis of green so close to the city.
Our donors, friends and colleagues were delighted to meet Sr Margo Delaney on leave from our school in Riwoto, South Sudan and to hear the story of the development of the school which is now 18 months old. We are there with the Kiltegan Fathers and it was great that two priests from Kiltegan were present for the occasion. Sr Brenda Quinn spoke to a video clip she had taken in Riwoto which focussed on girls’ education. The four senior students from St Mary’s Secondary school were astounded and began to feel immensely grateful that, in our society, going to school is taken for granted. In this context we continue to pray for the 200 girls abducted from their school in Nigeria and hope that they will be returned to their families very soon.
Last Sunday about 170 relatives of our deceased sisters gathered for Mass in the chapel in Glasnevin convent. This is an annual celebration but could not be held last year because of the construction on the site. It is wonderful to welcome the relatives of our sisters and to see family connections that run so deep. Some of our sisters long since dead are represented at the Mass by grand-nephews and great grand-nieces. Almost 150 visitors accepted the invitation to visit the centre. A common reaction was how marvellously well the architect, Ralph Bingham of MOLA, had succeeded in bringing ‘ the outside in’ and in exposing the wonderful views commanded by the Centre.
Urged on by visit of Pope Francis to the Holy Land and his interaction with people of Jewish and Islamic faith, in the second half of the year, we will turn our attention to the dialogue part of the mission of the Margaret Aylward Centre for Faith and Dialogue.