Celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life

Image (59)On Saturday 20th June, all Religious in the Archdiocese of Dublin were invited to a special mass for Consecrated Life in the ProCathedral Dublin, at 3 p.m. A group of the Sisters from the Churchtown community attended.

The chief celebrant was Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. Other bishops and priests concelebrated with him namely Eamonn Walsh and Dr Fields as well as many other priests. The Columban Fathers and Sisters were very well represented at the mass. The Procathedral was full to overflowing. The beautiful music and singing was led by the renowned celtic musician and composer Liam Lawton.

The Procathedral itself was appropriately decorated with banners depicting the logo ‘Celebrating the year of Consecrated Life’, and Saint Columban. The Vicar for Religious Life, Elizabeth Cotter, welcomed the congregation and each one of us was presented with a smaller version of the banners on display.

Archbishop Martin took up the theme of the Gospel Mark 4:35-41, The storm at Sea. He began by asking the question, who was Jesus for the Disciples, who is Jesus for each of us now and every day of our lives?’ He emphasised how tired Jesus was and how the Disciples (concerned for Him) literally ‘took Him as He was’ into the boat. However, their concern was short lived, when they found themselves sinking, so they quickly roused Him again, fearful for their own safety. They had now taken their eyes off Jesus. He stressed the importance of Religious Life, -an alternative life – which in the midst of a very materialistic world gives us the freedom to know Jesus, the only One who can calm our hearts. We live in a space where we can build up a sense of communion, love, tenderness for every creature while we respect the cry of the earth and the poor.

He put before us that great Irish Missionary Saint Columban, before us as one who knew and loved Jesus, who wanted to spread His message of love. He emphasised that Religious Life could actually harm society and the universe, if God was excluded from their lives. We were reminded of the words of Pope Frances in his recent Encyclical that we all play our part in our care for our Common Home, the earth.

It was a strengthening of our faith to meet so many priests and Religious at the mass and to renew some old acquaintances. This was yet another occasion when Consecrated Life was joyfully and fittingly celebrated in the Archdiocese of Dublin.

Charita Montgomery