Last Sunday we began our amazing journey with mass in Abbey House and today we joined the community again for mass. At the end of mass we were presented with a document prepared by the Archivists, with copies of the letters of Archbishop Murray and Mrs. Coyney, indicating that Teresa Ball was being formed and sent to found a “house of the Institute” in Dublin.
After mass we processed to the cemetery where Jane planted a rose bush on the grave of her Great-Aunt, Sr. Claude. The community were all present and the sun shone brightly.
We then had the unexpected opportunity to visit the old Loreto Abbey Rathfarnham, which is now an Irish school. Even though schools are now on summer holidays, Maria Hyland manage to arrange to have the Abbey opened, and many of the community joined Jane and Noelle for a trip down memory lane! Following coffee in Abbey House we left for Dublin airport. It only remains for us to say a very warm and sincere THANK YOU to Ita and the Irish Province for all the welcomes, kindness and hospitality we have received during this week. It has been overwhelming. Thank you all very much indeed. Thank you also to all who have accompanied us on this journey, commenters and non-commenters. To those of you who did comment, thank you for the encouragement. We are delighted to have been able to share it with you all and we leave you with some previously unpublished photographs…
Our hope and our prayer is that this week has been another step on the journey towards becoming one Mary Ward body. We are both more than ever convinced that this would be her desire.
Jane and Noelle
Today began with a final lovely walk to the nearby small harbour of Ervallagh, where, although there was cloud cover, the temperature was benign and the views once again glorious. En route we passed someone having their breakfast.
When we returned to the house, we had our own very traditional Irish breakfast, cooked by Chef Noelle. It was delicious.
We then headed back to Dublin via Galway, arriving in time to watch England qualify for the semi-finals of the World Cup! A good day!
Tomorrow will be our final post as we return to Rome in the afternoon. We will join the Abbey House community once again for Mass and coffee and Jane will plant a rose in front of the grave of her grandaunt, Sister Claude.
We leave you for today with two pictures from the garden of the Burkart family house where we enjoyed, with enormous gratitude, both unstinting hospitality and the glories of the Connemara coast.
Today was a day of rest, when we enjoyed the sunshine and beauty of Connemara. We started the day with a 9km walk around Goirtín Headland and enjoyed the beauty surrounding us, the extraordinary flora and rock formations, animal life small and big, and the normally wild Atlantic, that today calmly shimmered in a mirror of shades of blue and turquoise.
Find the hare!
Following our visit to the craft centre in the fishing village of Roundstone, our day was complete when we watched a Galway Hooker come into the harbour. Tomorrow we return to Dublin, and will publish our last post before we return to Rome on Sunday.
After a night spent in the seaside town of Bundoran, where we had a wonderful walk along the cliffs after supper, we worked together on a forthcoming letter to all the members and then set off for the nearly three hour journey to Galway, to visit the Poor Clare community there. On the way, Noelle realised that our route would take us via the shrine of Our Lady of Knock, so we took a small detour to briefly visit and pray at the shrine. Whilst there, we bumped into Sister Lucy from the Gorey community (whom we had earlier met at Bray) who was there for the day with Carmel and Sheila Ann. Another very providential and happy encounter.
We then continued to Galway and to the Poor Clare convent, which is situated beside the Cathedral there. The community came there in 1642 from Athlone, to where the founding members had come in 1629, after their formation in the Gravelines Poor Clare convent. It was extraordinary to realise that the Poor Clares have been in that very place since before Mary Ward died.
We had a lovely hour with some members of the 10 member community, hearing about each other’s history and our shared history. We all felt very at home with one another and grateful for our shared Mary Ward heritage. We also exchanged gifts – from us, a set of the postcards of the Painted Life and copies of “Go Close To Him” and “The Little Book of Mary Ward” and from them a copy for each of us of their recent book (which hit the bestseller lists in Ireland in 2012), entitled “Calm the Soul – A Book of Simple Wisdom and Prayer”. We left the community with a great sense of having been blessed by our time there. For anyone interested, their website is http://www.poorclares.ie. On it, they have some information about their history, including the part played in it by Mary Ward. They also told us that they would post some photos on their Facebook page before the end of the day so any Facebook users might like to have a look at those.
We then continued to Roundstone, on the Connemara coast, to stay in the family house of Mary Burkart until Saturday, when we return to Dublin. Tomorrow’s post will, therefore, contain fewer words and more pictures of the glorious countryside and coastline of this more than beautiful part of Ireland.
The day started with mass in St. Malachy’s Church in Coleraine, which boasts a beautiful icon of the Madonna and child, which belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots, and when St Malachy’s church was built it was donated to the Church by the family who had kept it for centuries. After the mass we met Bridie, a lady who had worked for over 60 years as Bursar at Loreto College, Coleraine and who knew Sr. Consiglio.
Coffee was at Osborne Park house and afterwards Mary Jo took Jane and Noelle to the convent cemetery where Jane’s great-aunt, Sr. Consiglio, is buried. Then we visited St. John’s Parish church. Maura Hamill opened the church for us. Sr. Consiglio had been the choir mistress and organist here and in fact died, in October 1982, while playing the organ at mass. In the quiet of the empty church they sat in silence in the Organ Gallery and remembered this great lady and her sisters. May they rest in peace.
After another delicious lunch with the Osborne Park community they drove to Letterkenny in County Donegal and met with Srs. Eveleen, Marian and Gerardine. Here they visited the grave of Jane’s third Great-Aunt, Sr. Carmella, who is buried in the convent cemetery at Loreto Convent Letterkenny. May she rest in peace.
As they left Letterkenny, part of the purpose of their visit complete, the three graves had been visited, Jane and Noelle had a great sense of appreciation of the many memories shared with them on the journey by the members of the IBVM Irish Province, and of the many tales and memories of the three Glynn sisters: Carmella, Consiglio and Claude. Tonight they head to Bundoran, before going to Galway tomorrow to visit the Poor Clare Convent, a convent founded from Mary Ward’s Poor Clare convent in Gravelines circa 1640.
The day began with a visit to Loreto College, 53 St Stephen’s Green, where Jane’s mother and aunt were at school. We were shown round by Meghan, Noelle’s niece, who could not get over being in school in July!
As you can see from the pictures below it is a beautiful Georgian building, which carries a great deal of IBVM history, including the tragic death of six members of the community in a fire in 1986. May they rest in peace.
We then visited the Provincial House and team, both IBVM and lay, at Beaufort House for coffee and, of course, scones and cake! Members of other communities in the Dublin area also joined us. Once again, it was a gathering full of memories and laughter.
Then began the journey north to Coleraine, which we broke in the beautiful location of Laytown, where, naturally, we had lunch!
Two and a half long hours driving (for Noelle) later we arrived in Coleraine, having seen Ireland once again in wall to wall glorious sunshine. We joined members from Coleraine, Omagh and Belfast for supper and once again stories were shared, in particular this evening about Sister Consiglio, one of Jane’s grand-aunts, who spent many years teaching in the school in Coleraine and, latterly, regularly playing the organ in the parish church, where she went to God whilst playing at Sunday Mass in 1982. It was just the death she would have wished. May she too rest in peace.
We continue our pilgrimage in Coleraine tomorrow with a visit to her grave and from there to Letterkenny. Thank you for coming with us…
The day began in Loreto Abbey Dalkey and was cloudless from beginning to end. On arrival in Dalkey we went to mass in the Parish church and met some of the Dalkey sisters there.
At Loreto Abbey we were warmly welcomed by the members of both Dalkey Communities and enjoyed freshly baked scones for coffee and afterwards a delicious lunch prepared by Dolores, who cares for and cooks for the community and is much loved by them. Jane got to sit beside Noelle’s Novice Mistress, Mary Teresa, and was also regaled with lovely stories about her Great Aunts.
As they stood on the lawn looking out to sea, and watched the ferry sail from Dublin to England, Noelle told Jane the story of Mother Teresa Ball who often stood on that same spot, to watch the ship from Dun Laoghaire take the sisters who brought the Institute to faraway lands, just as she had brought it to Ireland.
In the afternoon Jane and Noelle went to Loreto Bray, Noelle’s Alma Mater, and one of the places Jane visited as a child, on her annual trip to visit family. As well as coming from local houses some sisters travelled from as far as Gorey and Mullingar for the visit. There was a great re-union with Teresa McGlinchey who is on sabbatical in Ireland after 6 years as General Secretary in Casa Loreto. More delicious afternoon tea, and lively conversation!
At the end of day 3 we are happy that our blogging skills are improving and are grateful your patience and the many encouraging comments. Tomorrow we will visit 53 St Stephen’s Green where Jane’s mother was Head-Girl, Beaufort House, the Provincial House in Ireland, Laytown and finally Coleraine.