It’s officially the Christmas season here in Dublin and boy, have we been busy! In the past month, House of Brigid Dublin has traveled to Amsterdam, run two or three more catechesis sessions for our First Communion and Confirmation programs, we all have gone on our own respective trips (Emma and her sister to London for a weekend, Geoff to America for a week, and I to London as well), and we celebrated Thanksgiving! It’s been a whirlwind and the holiday season is only beginning but we’re enjoying every minute of it.
The lesson I’ve been learning over and over again since I’ve joined House of Brigid is the importance of community and the busyness of November brought that importance to light! Now that we’re three months into this year, I feel like Geoff and Emma know me pretty well and that I’ve gotten to know them a bit better than I did that first day in South Bend. I think I can speak for the Dublin community that we do work very well together and we’re also pretty good friends. As I said on our retreat in Ballyvaloo in September, we are each other’s family over here and everyday that grows more and more true.
We’ve also talked about how the idea of community is so central to the mission of House of Brigid. We’ve reflected on how different it would be if we only worked together and didn’t spend any other time with one another. It’s so fruitful to be able to process all of these experiences together whether it’s laughing at something funny one of the children said during school or supporting one another after a hard day.
I especially noticed how essential being a team was when Geoff and Emma were both gone last week. Whether it was not knowing how to set up the piano at Saturday Mass because Emma normally does that or being a little stuck when asked to explain a deep, philosophical question by a sixth class student because Geoff is more knowledgable than me in that department, I was given plenty of opportunities to recognize how important it is to have a strong community.
While I managed fine without them, it was very nice to have them back especially because I missed having them around the house and spending time with them. We all came together and had a great show of teamwork this weekend when we hosted about 20 of our friends here in Ireland for a Friendsgiving dinner! The dinner party was a total success and I think that can be attributed to our strength as a community.
At the end of this Thanksgiving weekend, I’m glad to say that I’m very thankful for the community I have here in Dublin. I often reflect on how difficult this transition to Ireland would be if I didn’t have Geoff and Emma here with me. We were reflecting tonight on how it’s more than just a coincidence that we all ended up together. It’s definitely an instance of divine intervention. And I’m thankful not only for them but the whole community here in Harold’s Cross and the Wexford crew and all those supporting us in Ireland and back home. I’m very grateful to be part of something so wonderful!