All of the Things

Friends and fans of the House of Brigid,

We have A LOT to tell you about this week.

First of all, this past weekend was the epic Fortieth Anniversary of our beloved Clonard Parish. In the choir alone, we had about seventy people singing in what we refer to as the “megachoir” as it is the combination of the four choirs we have at Clonard – folk choir, vigil choir, children’s choir, and family liturgy group. The Church was packed to capacity for the celebration and the parish community did an amazing job preparing. The event was well advertised, the grounds were beautifully decorated, the music was well-rehearsed, and many hands contributed to the serving of tea, coffee, sandwiches, and deserts in the main hall following the mass. The main presider for the Mass was the Papal Nuncio of Ireland, Archibishop Charles Brown


Not only was the Mass an awesome celebration for the Parish, but it was also a pretty big deal for us as Angie, Sarah, Brigid, Joy, Laura, and I were commissioned by the Papal Nuncio, himself. Laura took the opportunity to set up an interview with him and wrote an awesome story that outlines Archbishop Charles Brown’s insights about the Church’s past, present, and future. I highly recommend taking the time to read it if you get the chance:

As an awesome little addition to the craziness that has stemmed from the anniversary, the house has gotten the chance to host some pretty cool people in the past couple of weeks starting with John and Ann Calcutt.  As two people who have helped build the program from the very beginning, having the opportunity to explore the town and Parish where their contributions have effected so many in the past six years was pretty incredible. We accompanied them as they talked with the Parish community, took them to Cistín Eile to have the best Irish food in town, and had them over one evening to attempt (unsuccessfully) to find the Notre Dame game on the internet. At one point during the visit, while talking about the program and their future travels, Ann stopped, smiled and frankly stated, “I have a pretty good life, you should you want to be me”. We laughed and gave no protest.

Our next visitors were Steve and Michele Warner and Chuck Lamphier from Notre Dame, who are also in the select group of the awesome people who have supported this program with all their heart. The three took time to speak with us about how we are doing and how effective the program has been so far. Being able to show them the Fortieth Anniversary Mass as an example of the work of the House was fantastic. After the Mass, we all made a quick trip across the street for a small celebration with the parish team at Fr. Denis’ home. As always, a small Irish session broke out and all was well with the world.

Our final visitors were Lynne Bauman and Emma Fleming, who decided to spend their Autumn break with us in Ireland to check out the program. From singing in the choir for the fortieth anniversary, to a trip down to our favourite pub, “Maggie May’s”, to an Irish session at Fr. Dennis’, a walk on the Quay, and lunch at (of course) Cistín Eile, they were able to see things that have made this program so awesome for us and meet the people we serve.  They also fit in extremely well with the House and a few discussions were had about just not letting them leave, but we figured we would let them finish college and stuff. As all friends of the House of Brigid, however, they are welcome back anytime.

Finally, Wednesday night marked the beginning of the world famous Wexford Opera Festival. The whole town was packed with people to see fireworks shot off over the water and then the pubs filled up to begin the celebration. Through generosity of different members of the Parish, we were able to get tickets to see the dress rehearsal of the American Opera “Silent Night”. It was absolutely fantastic to see and it primed us for the excitement of the festival that will carry on through the next week amongst the parish community.

In short, friends, we all feel very blessed and if you have been praying for us at all lately, we definitely have felt your intentions. Know that we will continue to pray for all those near and dear to the House of Brigid as well.


Ben Wagner