I just returned from a wonderful week back at the University of Notre Dame with Sr. Mary and Fr. James from Clonard, and Fr. Gerry from Harold’s Cross parish in Dublin. The week was full of many happy reunions with former Teach Bhríde volunteers and house directors, and with Steve and Michele Warner and the Folk Choir, of course! I got to reconnect with some of my best friends from college and graduate school, and even attend the 10am Sunday Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart to support the Liturgical Choir, of which I was a member during my time at Notre Dame. We interviewed some spectacular candidates for Teach Bhríde VII, so be on the lookout for an upcoming post introducing our newest volunteers!
In other news, we’re now in the thick of the season of Lent. Ash Wednesday saw Teach Bhríde going down to our schools to distribute ashes to the children, an experience that was both delightful and profoundly meaningful. As I marked the foreheads of 6-8 year olds with the ashes of last year’s palm branches and urged them to “Believe in Jesus” (our modified exhortation for the children), I felt more tangibly connected to our Catholic faith than ever before. Even young children deserve to share and experience the full range of the Catholic faith, from the penitence and sorrow of Lent, to the abounding joy and happiness of Easter and the Resurrection of Christ. During this Lenten season, we are driven to more intensive interior reflection, to intimately assess our struggles, failures, and shortcomings, and to hone our self-discipline through ascetic practices of fasting and offering up to God various personal sacrifices. By doing so, we hope to more actively know and share in Christ’s ultimate sacrifice on the Cross.
Wishing you a blessed and prayerful Lent,