Emily is in a sugar coma from all the Nutella she ate, so I’ll pick up where she left off.
Last Friday we took the Wexford bus up to Dublin to provide music for our first ACE (Alliance for Catholic Education) Mass of the year! (We’ll be doing this once a month…the next one is on October 12th if you want to join!) When we got to the bus stop there was a maintenance guy working on the bus, but the bus driver let us on so we thought we were good to go. But then the bus was having some difficulties, so we got about 2 miles away from the stop and then had to wait for another bus. We were moved to a short bus and then had a miserable journey up to Dublin…motion sickness, crazy traffic, A BEE LANDING IN MY HAIR, etc.
But the Mass made up for the terrible trip. Fr. Sean McGraw presided at the Mass and gave a wonderful homily about the cross being our hope and about carrying our own crosses and offering our suffering up to God. (Did I mention it was the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross?) He talked about his time in community in the novitiate and how it was a cross for him. I will remember this homily when Molly, Emily, and Nick are testing my patience. (Just kidding! I love you guys!) After Communion, Stephen McNamara, who graduated from ACE in July, gave a really beautiful testimony about his experience with ACE. He related his experience to the three pillars of the ACE program: professionalism, community, and spirituality. He shared how he has grown in all of these areas and how he will be using these skills when teaching in Irish schools. And Stephen and I discovered that we were at the same wedding in St. Paul, Minnesota this summer for our mutual friends, Kevin Bailey and Becca (Antonelli) Bailey. Small world! After the Mass we all shared a meal of lasagna and heard about an exciting new program for a diploma for Catholic secondary school teachers. More on that in the future!
The bus that we were supposed to catch at 11:00 pm was full so we had to wait until 1:00 am when the next bus came. But we didn’t mind so much…we stayed in a pub for those hours and eventually made it home!
Saturday was our first Mass with the Vigil Choir, under the direction of Molly Mattingly. It was lovely and I’m excited for next week when our youth choir (made up of secondary school children) will join together with the Vigil Choir for Mass!
Sunday morning we sang with the Folk Group for the 11:15 am Mass which was a lot of fun! There were a few songs in Irish that were new to me (and that I’ll need to write out phonetically)! And Sunday night we had the opportunity to sing with the Folk Group for a wake service for Paul Butler, a former Folk Group member. It was a very touching service and an impressive turnout. It’s clear that saying a proper goodbye to loved ones is a very important part of Irish culture.
Yesterday was my day off so I started a crochet project! I’ll keep you updated on that….
This morning Emily and I went to Kennedy Park School and met with the 6th classes in preparation for the Opening School Mass. And Molly and Nick had their Opening School Mass with Scoil Mhuire. And afterwards we had an impromptu barbeque lunch with Fr. James in his sunny backyard! All the prayers for fine weather are paying off!
And that’s all folks! Nick will do some more updating on Friday!