Jubilation

As Jessica mentioned, this past weekend marked the 25th anniversary celebration of Fr. Martin’s ordination to the priesthood. Saturday evening’s Vigil Mass was packed with family and friends from all over the world, representing different parts of Fr. Martin’s ministerial life. It was amazing to see–a living collage of people and places and memories, a poignant manifestation of a vocation that continues to be well-lived. Bishop Denis Brennan provided the homily for the evening, and I felt that many of his remarks about vocation could have been directed to the members of Teach Bhríde.

The fact that we’re nearing the end of Season 2 has been at the forefront of the past few posts, as it has definitely been at the forefront of the communal consciousness. In fact, Clarisa and I had another “last” yesterday–our last Mass with the Family Liturgy Group, where we were presented with tokens and words of gratitude and heartfelt best wishes. The snowball has officially started rolling down the mountain, and it was Saturday’s retrospective on Fr. Martin’s ministry that got that snowball rolling, serving as a catalyst for retrospection on the year that I’ve spent serving with Jessica, Clarisa, and Patrick, as well as the year I spent serving with Chris and Martha. I’ve already posted the reflection I shared with at the April ACE gathering, so I won’t bore with repetitive naval-gazing. Instead, I’ll just repeat the simple and beautiful prayer of Dag Hammarskjold, with which Bishop Denis concluded his homily on Saturday night. As we of Teach Bhríde find ourselves poised on the cusp of ending one chapter (or season if you like) and beginning another in our own journeys of vocation, it seems particularly apt:

“For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes.”

Teach Bhríde with Fr. Martin Doyle at his Silver Jubilee reception