2013 News from Kilmacud

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28 October 2013 Mass celebrated by Fr. Paul Murphy, Armagh Diocese

We were privileged to have Fr Paul Murphy from Armagh Cathedral parish for our Mass on this feast of St Simon and St. Jude. He kindly made the journey south with his mother to be with us this morning.
Fr Paul was ordained in June by Cardinal Sean Brady in Armagh and is now working as a curate there.
We have been praying for him since he began in seminary more than six years ago - he was with a group of young people from CYC who attended Mass here when Sr Mary Fionnuala received the Carmelite habit in 2006.

Despite the Bank Holiday, many of our regular Mass-goers were present, and received a "First Blessing" from him after Mass. The photo to the right shows him giving a blessing to Sr. Mary Fionnuala.
After Mass, we enjoyed a lovely chat with Fr Paul and his mother Betty in
 the parlour afterwards.

We ask you all to unite with us and continue to pray for Fr Paul in his ministry in Armagh Diocese.
2 October 2013 Graduation day for Sr Therese-Marie!

On a most enjoyable day, and accompanied by Sr's Mary Brigeen and Mary Noeleen, our
Sr Therese Marie received her Diploma in Carmelite Studies on Wednesday 2nd October, along with three other students. Some others were conferred in absentia.

It was fitting reward for her years of hard work, study and assignments, done through CIBI - www.cibi.ie

The day began at Gort Muire with a tour of the house and library followed by dinner. Then they travelled to Milltown Institute for Mass, Graduation ceremony and reception. It was a day of great joy and celebration!
                                 Many congratulations Sr Therese Marie! We are proud of you!!
1 October 2013 Feast of St.Therese
Despite very wet weather, a large number attended both Masses for St Therese on her feast day. Many people commented on how much they enjoyed the liturgy and the music. Fr Vincent O'Hara presided and blessed roses at the end of each Mass, and in the evening joined the community for supper in the refectory.  It was a lovely end to the novena and week of community retreat.
May St Therese continue to accompany us and intercede for us all.

22-30 September Community retreat
Our annual retreat began on Monday 22nd with two private retreat days.

Fr Vincent O'Hara OCD, prior of the Oxford community, then joined us for the remaining six days, giving us two conferences each day. He shared with us his love for the Scriptures and insights he received from his visit to the Holy Land earlier this year.

The retreat coincided with the novena for St Therese. Over a hundered people joined us each day on this website and on our Facebook page to read the reflections written by our Sisters on the words of St. Therese. We thank everyone who took part and united with us in prayer.
15 August 2013 Consecration of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

The feast of the Assumption of Our Lady to heaven is a very special day, and this year it was even more special as Cardinal Sean Brady on behalf of all the Bishops of Ireland consecrated the country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at Knock Shrine, Co. Mayo.
You can read the prayer of consecration here: Prayer and also the homily at the Mass given by Bishop Eamon Martin here: Homily

At Kilmacud Carmel, we united with this special consecration by holding a rosary procession around the cloister. Different sisters led each decade, and we sang hymns to Our Lady as we moved along. At the end, before an image of the gable wall at Knock, we recited the prayer of consecration together.

May Our Lady, Queen of Ireland, protect our country and our people always and help us to grow in faith, hope and love.
16 July 2013 Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
The beautiful feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel brought many people to our monastery. Our morning Mass was celebrated by Fr. Alexio O.Carm from Zimbabwe and many were enrolled in the Brown Scapular afterwards.

At 5pm we had a special Feast Day Mass celebrated by Fr. Eugene McCaffrey OCD (left) and it was attended by a large crowd who all received Brown Scapulars also!
A young Korean priest - Fr. Joseph - came to concelebrate. He is in Dublin to study English and previously studied at the Teresianum in Rome.
After Mass, Fr Eugene joined the community in the refectory for an enjoyable supper and recreation. Our Lady certainly showered blessings on us for her day!
7 June 2013 Sr Mary Kevin's 90th Birthday!

By a happy coincidence, Sr.Mary Kevin's 90th birthday fell on the beautiful Solemnity of the Sacred Heart - Friday 7th June. She had been looking forward to the occasion for several weeks, and was in the best of form when her big day arrived!

After a quiet morning, Sr.Kevin was in the parlour to welcome many family members and friends for afternoon tea. Down to the youngest great-grandnephews (aged 3 and 1), everyone was greeted warmly by Sr Kevin, and served tea and refreshments by some of the Sisters. Then, all gathered around the birthday cake for a hearty chorus of "Happy Birthday!"

When the party was over, the guests joined the community for a beautiful Mass celebrated by Fr Jim Noonan. Sr. Kevin herself read a reading and an intercession. In his homily, Fr. Jim spoke of the blessing of her long life for the community and her family, and these words were echoed by her eldest nephew Dr.Kevin O'Malley who spoke on behalf of the family at the end of Mass.
The happy day concluded with a celebration tea with Fr. Jim and all the community in our refectory.

Happy 90th Birthday Sr.Mary Kevin!
May God continue to bless you in every way.

You can see more photos on our Facebook page...
6-10 May 2013 On-going formation course in Emmaus Retreat Centre, Swords
Several Kilmacud Sisters joined with many others from the Irish Carmels for an excellent ongoing formation course given by Fr. Matt Blake OCD.
Over three very full days, he shared so generously with us about the life and teachings of St. Teresa, putting her works into their historical context and helping us to understand her more deeply. Particularly helpful was the great clarity with which he explained the dwelling places of the Interior Castle - the book which the entire Carmelite Order is studying this year in preparation for the 5th centenary celebrations of St. Teresa's birth in 2015.
We are deeply grateful to Fr Matt and now we strive to put all we learnt into practice during our daily lives!
21 April 2013 Good Shepherd Sunday
This morning we had the great joy of a visit from our newly ordained Carmelite brother - Fr Dave Twohig (see below 2 February).
He celebrated Mass for the first time in our little chapel and gave us an inspiring homily about the essence of our Carmelite vocation - relationship with Jesus and living with others in community.
After Mass, Fr Dave gave all present his "First Blessing". It was especially significant for him to come to us on this feast day, as it marked the first anniversary of Sr. M.Fionnuala's Solemn Profession, at which Fr. Dave assisted as a deacon! Sr.M.Fionnuala could not resist asking him for a photo with her after Mass!

18-19 April 2013 Meeting with our Superior General, All Hallows

Carmelite Nuns from all over Ireland gathered for two days at All Hallows for meetings with our Superior General, Fr. Saverio Cannistra OCD.
It was a wonderful experience of fraternity and open sharing. Fr. Saverio amazed us by his understanding of our situation and his wise words. There was opportunity for an informal word with him too, over meals or coffee breaks!
Our meetings left us with new energy, gratitude and hope, and the certainty that in our Fr.General we have a true brother in Christ who shares our concerns and is doing all he can for us.
During the two days we were also joined by our Provincial Fr.Jim Noonan, Fr.Gerry Fitzpatrick, Fr.Sean Conlon and Fr. Rafal Wilkowski
28-31 March 2013 Easter Triduum

The Sacred Triduum began on the evening of Thursday 28th March with 7.30pm Mass of the Lord's Supper, celebrated by our chaplain Fr. Robert from Indonesia. Three men from the congregation and three Sisters had their feet washed by Fr. Robert and Prioress Sr. Mary Brigeen. At the end of Mass, the Sisters processed to our upstairs prayer room, which served as the altar of repose, where they kept watch with the Lord until midnight.

The Solemn Liturgy on Good Friday was presided over by Fr. Fintan Burke O.Carm, ex-provincial. This celebration of the Lord's Passion is always very moving, especially the moment when each of us venerates the Cross. For the rest of the day, we kept the large crucifix on our altar, and maintained a reverant silence in the monastery.

Holy Saturday, 30th March, was a day of quiet hope and expectation, as well as preparation for the night vigil which began at 10pm. Fr. PJ Cunningham led us in the journey from the darkness of night to the light of the Risen Christ. Sr. Therese-Marie gave a splendid solo performance of the Easter Proclamation (Exsultet). Many of  the Sisters participated in doing readings or singing psalms, and it was a most joyful and happy celebration.

Easter Sunday morning came quickly ,due to the clocks going forward one hour! But we still managed our traditional early morning visit to the little monastery cemetery, to decorate it with flowers, our very own "Garden of the Resurrection"!

Fr. Alexio from Zimbabwe came for our 9am Mass, and spoke about the need to recognise Christ in every man and woman - only then has night truly ended and day begun!

And now, we look forward to these coming weeks of the Easter Season, a time to reflect on and ponder even more deeply the wonderful mystery of Christ's Resurrection. A Happy Easter to you and all your loved ones.

17 March 2013 Diamond Jubilee of Sr Mary Carmel

With joy and thanksgiving to God we celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of Profession of Sr Mary Carmel. Our Provincial Fr Jim Noonan OCD came for a special evening Mass and joined us for a festive supper afterwards.
14 March 2013 Welcome Pope Francis!! Letter from the Carmelite General:
Holy Father,
Our family of Discalced Carmelite friars, nuns, and seculars bids you the warmest welcome. With the simplicity our fathers and mothers in Carmel have handed down to us, we open the doors of our hearts to you. Count on us, Your Holiness; on us, your sons and daughters in Christ Jesus.
Our Holy Mother Teresa taught us to live the gift of faith in a communion of love with the Church, in the spirit of obedience to the Vicar of Christ, placing our lives at the service of the Kingdom. This we have done with your predecessors and this we will do with you.
Keeping in our hearts a profound gratitude towards your predecessor, Benedict XVI, whose life has helped us so much to set our eyes on Christ, we have lived with trusting serenity, expectant prayer, and elated joy the election of a new Pope. Every day we told the Lord: “Show us who you have elected to guide the barque of Peter in this time of grace.” Now that we have seen you, we welcome in Your Holiness he whom God has sent to us.
Our heartfelt thanks for having said yes. We imagine it was not easy to do, faced with the arduous tasks awaiting you. But we have seen in your countenance the true humility of he who offers himself as an instrument of the Lord, who allows Him to work through his words, his decisions, his actions. In Your Holiness we have once again recognized the work of the Spirit, his renewing strength, which contains continual surprises for his faithful, and for that we give thanks to God.
Holy Father, we want to tell you with a bit of daring that we want to be your friends. We want our family of Carmel to be like a new Bethany for Your Holiness, where you can rest from your labors and where, together, we can talk about what we most love: our Friend Jesus Christ, his Church, the poorest of our times. The name you have chosen encourages us to do so: the name of who, following the footprints of Christ, has always wanted to be the smallest among his brothers.
We will be missionaries with you when you undertake the journey to announce the Gospel to the whole world. We will join Your Holiness when you proclaim with courage and strength the peace and justice of the Kingdom of God. When the cross appears, you will have us beside you to embrace it with you. And we will also be at your side when you retire in prayer to speak to the Heart of Jesus.
We place your pontificate under the protection of Mary, who for us is the “Flower of Carmel, fruitful Vine, Splendor of Heaven, Virgin Mother, Mother most tender, Star of the Sea.”
May God bless you!
Your sons and daughters of the Discalced Carmel.
28 February 2013 Our prayers for Pope Benedict and the College of Cardinals
On this final day of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, our thoughts and prayers are very much with him, and we will continue to remember him and unite our prayers for the Church with his. Over the coming weeks we will also be praying very particularly for the entire College of Cardinals as they meet to discern the selection of a new Pope. May the Holy Spirit guide them to choose a pastor who will guide the Church with wisdom and love.
21 February 2013 Letter from Carmelite General to Pope Benedict

Fr. Saverio meeting
Pope Benedict

We thank you from our hearts, Your Holiness!
We feel the need to tell you this after news of your resignation from the papal ministry reached our family of Discalced Carmelites with lightening speed, from north to south, from east to west. Your words have profoundly moved us.
Among our flood of feelings, the one that stands out over all others is gratitude. Like so many millions of faithful in all parts of the world, we also, members of the Teresian Carmel, nuns, friars, and seculars, want to express our great and deep appreciation.
In these years of your service to the Church from the See of Peter, we have seen in you an open door to cross through to belief in Jesus. We can never thank you enough for this, with all the warmth and passion inherited from our Holy Mother Teresa. Our heart, which daily received your tender and profound proclamation of the Gospel, has allowed itself to be captured by your words of Father and Teacher. With joy and faith we have walked along the way to which they invited us, tasting the beauty of the faith more each day. Allow us today, Holy Father, to contemplate your life and your example in the light of the verses of Saint John of the Cross: “Now I occupy my soul and all my energy in his service; I no longer tend the herd, nor have I any other work now that my every act is love.”
In your message you told us that now your service to the Church will be expressed specially by prayer. How well we in the Teresian Carmel understand the value and greatness of this service! Allow us to accompany you in this new journey in search of the Beloved.
We want to tell you in all simplicity that we still need you, and if we can no longer enjoy your words, we are counting on your silent love, your hidden prayer, and your fraternal intercession. For us, God will transform the weakness you experience today into power capable of inspiring our efforts as Christians and religious.
It is God who traces out pathways, and certainly his ways are not our ways. Your Holiness, we wanted to have you with us always, to continue hearing your Shepherd’s voice that would reassure and encourage us to pass through the dark valleys of this life. Know that we are sorrowfully living your decision to retire, but in your words we feel the resonance of those Jesus spoke to his disciples: “If you loved me, you would indeed be glad, because I go to the Father.” We are sure that like Jesus, you also, Holiness, in retiring, communicate to us the Spirit that has accompanied you from the vernal mornings of your infancy to the evenings of these last years.
Count on our poor prayers. It is the only way we can express our thankfulness for the mission you have carried out with courage, dignity, firmness, and above all, true humility. Your testimony encourages us to offer our lives in a moment of such great need for the Church. As Saint Teresa said, “Happy the lives lost for such a purpose!”
We commend your intentions to Mary, Queen and Mother of Carmel, who always leads us to Jesus, in whose favor we want to live. 

P. SAVERIO CANNISTRÀ-Rome-Italy (15-02-2013). 

13 February 2013 Lenten Season begins
"We have known and have believed the love God has for us" 1 Jn 4:16

For this Lenten season in the Year of Faith, Pope Benedict asks us to meditate on the relationship between faith and charity - between believing in God and working for peace and justice in our world.
Here at Kilmacud, we are praying for the work of Trocaire who work with the poor and marginalised in our world. This year, their focus is on a community in rural India, and this reminds us of our reflections on the Indian  Dalit community during the recent Christian Unity Octave (see below).

We are also united in prayer this Lent with all the poor and suffering of our world, with the sick, dying and bereaved, and with those struggling in our own country due to the economic recession.
9 February 2013 Morning of reflection for Mount Merrion Funeral Ministeries Team

The Funeral Ministeries Team from Mount Merrion Parish attended our morning Mass and then met in our parlour for a morning of prayer and reflection led by Fr Michael McGoldrick OCD. The team are made up of some parishioners who offer their help to families preparing for the funeral of a loved one. The team have been trained and minister in a compassionate and helpful way. They are co-ordinated by Mary McGlynn. Our community was delighted to host this morning of reflection for the Team and will continue to keep their ministry in our prayers.
2nd/3rd February 2013 Congratulations to Br Dave Twohig on his Priestly Ordination
We rejoice with our O.Carm Friars who celebrated the ordination to the priesthood of Br. Dave Twohig on Saturday 2nd February at Whitefriar St. Church, Dublin.
Fr. Dave said his first Mass in his home parish of Beaumont, Dublin on Sunday 3rd February.

Last year, Dave was deacon at the Solemn Profession of our Sr. Mary Fionnuala here at Kilmacud Carmel, assisting our Provincial Fr. Jim Noonan in a beautiful ceremony.

We wish him every grace and blessing in his priestly ministry.
2nd February 2013 Day for Consecrated Life
We celebrated this year's day for Consecrated Life with a simple prayer service in the community to thank God for our vocation. To mark the Year of Faith, the focus this year was different aspects of "Faith" - Faith as Gift, as Experience, as Witness and as something to be celebrated and loved. Each sister had a part to play, reading Scripture passages or short reflections, and we interspersed these with hymns, reflective music and periods of silence.
A particularly moving part of the prayer service was when each sister was invited to thank God for her baptism by naming the Church and date when she received this sacrament.We listened with interest and emotion to the variety of different places and times in which God called each one of us to Christian faith.
1st February 2013 Congratulations on 300 Years in Stillorgan from us to our friends in the local Church of Ireland parish of St. Brigid
We extend our congratulations to Rev. Ian Gallagher and all the people of our local Church of Ireland parish of St. Brigid on the occasion of their celebrations marking 300-years in Stillorgan. Rev. Ian is a good friend of our community, and participates each year in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. We unite in prayer and thanks to God during this happy time of celebration at St. Brigid's.

Click here for more information
18-25 January 2013 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

The desire of the heart of Jesus is that all His followers may be united as one...

During this special week of prayer for Christian Unity, we held a special Evening Prayer at 4.30pm each day. A faithful group of regulars attended every day and there were also many more people who came for one or a few days. We had members of the Church of Ireland and Methodist churches praying with us also.

The theme this year was: "What does God require of us...?" (Micah 6), chosen by the Student Movement of India.

Guest speakers during the week were:
  • Rev. Ian Gallagher, St. Brigid's Church of Ireland, Stillorgan,
  • Rev. Joseph Vellanel, Delhi, India
  • Gillian Kingston, Lay Methodist Leader
  • Rev. Tony Coote, Adm of  Kilmacud & Mount Merrion Parishes
  • Rev. Brian McKay, Prior of Whitefriar St. Carmelite community
We were especially moved by Fr Joseph's description of the plight of the "untouchables" - the lowest Dalit caste of Indian society.

A sincere thanks to all our speakers and all those who came along during this Week of Prayer. We encourage you to continue using the prayers and reflections throughout 2013 - you can download them here...

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