Late Mid-May??

Yet again, we have found ourselves in the middle of a month, with no idea how the time went so quickly. We have just finished a busy week at Clonard, and are heading into another! This week we have tirelessly advertised the Notre Dame Folk Choir’s imminent visit with newspaper articles, radio programmes (May 20, 3:30pm EST on South East Radio’s site), mailers to parishes, email blasts, and posters. If anybody in Wexford hasn’t heard about this choir tour, it’s not our fault. We are very excited to welcome our friends from ND to our Irish home next week!

We practiced for the Folk Choir’s visit by welcoming some other visitors to our home. I enjoyed a visit with one of my MSM classmates, Laura. I think she got a pretty good taste of Ireland, between the Heritage Park, Irish dance class, and a pub with a trad session in full swing. We also had a lovely evening with the Diocesan Retreat Team. Jess made some chicken pot pie, I made brownies, and we all enjoyed one another’s company outside of Confirmation retreats. (We enjoyed each other’s company on the retreats too, of course, but there’s something to be said for some relaxed social time outside of work, even volunteer work.)

This week also saw the final preparations for Kennedy Park’s First Holy Communion celebrations tomorrow. On Monday, Kurt, Dan, and I gave church tours for the second classes. Kurt pointed out some cool stuff in the sacristy, which requires the knack of escaping knots of over-eager 7-year-olds as they press in to see Gospel books and chalices up close. Dan led an exploration of the main church. Since there was adoration going on in the day chapel, I talked them through what they would see in the chapel, including the stained glass window of Mary and the Brigid tapestry. Then, we had a minute of silent prayer and an “Our Father” in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. As we left the chapel, one boy whispered to me, “That window was really cool.” I had to agree. Jess and I are particularly excited for this weekend’s First Communion, because we have personally led three students from the Educate Together School through preparations since November.

It seems we have come to the “first lasts” of our year. We returned late last night from our last ACE Mass of the year at O’Connell House in Dublin, where a large group had gathered to send the two newest members of the community on their way to Notre Dame. We have enjoyed being part of that community all year, and it was heartwarming to hear how much they enjoyed our presence with them, too. We each boarded the Wexford bus with a Brigid cross to hang on our walls, wherever those walls may be next year.

Kurt and I ready to play for ACE Mass
The ACE community gathered at O'Connell house for Mass to celebrate its two newest members!