This week has been another great week in the House of Brigid. We’ve welcomed visitors from across the pond, led another Confirmation retreat, visited with second-class students about First Communion and the importance of the Mass, celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin with about a zillion of our closest friends, and today, we had the opportunity to sit down with the members of the pastoral staff so that we could evaluate the work of the community over the past few months.
Admittedly, this meeting was supposed to take place a little closer to the halfway point of the year, but due to conflicting schedules and various members of the parish staff and of the community being in and out of the country, that didn’t quite happen. As they say here, though, ’twas no bother, and today’s meeting was an honest and thorough assessment of the work that has transpired these past 7 1/2 months. Yes. It’s been 7 1/2 months since the start of season 2.
In the midst of the day-to-day activities, it sometimes doesn’t seem like there’s a whole lot going on ministerially from our perspective. I think that we as Americans, and particularly we as alumni of Our Lady’s University have been hard-wired to think that, if we’re not going 100 mph (or 200 km/h give or take), we’re not succeeding. Our experience here has certainly opened our eyes in that regard. The pace is certainly slower than what we were used to, coming from one of the most demanding colleges in America, but the amount that we’ve been able to accomplish this year is staggering when you look at it all at once. We’ve helped form a choir for the Saturday Vigil Mass. We’ve become part of the two other choirs at our parish. We’ve assisted with the formation of young people as they prepare for their sacraments by leading retreats and other events. We’ve cultivated a love for the Mass by giving children the opportunity to take ownership of their prayer as a class. We’ve brought new resources (thanks to the generosity of our benefactors) to a group of musicians from around the diocese hungry to learn more. We’ve prayed. We’ve sung. And yes, we’ve drunk our fair share of tea, Guinness, and all the rest, while having the craic with some of the greatest people ever to grace this planet.
All in all, it was a gratifying meeting, one that enabled us to look back as well as look ahead, to see that what has passed has been good, and to hope that what will be in the coming months and years (please God) will bring the same grace and blessings that the past 7 1/2 months–and indeed the past year and 7 1/2 months–have brought to all who have had a hand in this community and this vision.
May the examples of St. Patrick and especially St. Brigid continue to guide our efforts as well as all of yours, and may we all trust in the goodness and providence of the Trinity in every facet of our lives. Here’s to a successful conclusion to what has been a grace-filled year.