One of the very many blessings the Sisters of Charity enjoy is the fact that two of our major celebrations occur in the summer months: 22nd July, the anniversary of our Foundress, Mary Aikenhead’s death and 15th August the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary which is the Patronal feast of the Congregation. Understandably then, a number of the Sisters of Charity who work abroad, are likely to be ‘at home’ in Ireland for their summer holidays.
In 2010 we have been doubly blest as the weather for both feasts has been truly magnificent. On the 15th August, approximately 90-100 Sisters assembled in Caritas, Gilford Road, Sandymount, Dublin. The joy of the Sisters on a day like this is palpable, partly because from the time that we entered the Congregation we know that each Sister and each Community in the Congregation is marking this special feast in an extra-special way.
All were gathered outside the Convent, in front of the very beautiful statue of Our Lady and the Child. Seating was provided for all so we were all very comfortable. Our Congregational Leader, Sr. Mary Christian, welcomed all and told us of the greetings from all over the Congregation – England / Scotland, California, Nigeria, Venezuela and Zambia – and from our Sisters in Australia.
Among the greetings was special news from our Nigerian Region. We were told that on the night of the 15th seven Postulants would begin their first retreat in the Congregation and that there were four Novices in the Novitiate. In these difficult days for the Church we rejoice in this ‘new life’ for the Sisters of Charity.
After a very inspiring, prayerful liturgy, during which we rejoiced with the Mother of God in singing her Magnificat, we had afternoon tea. Those who wished had a ‘garden party’ – they were seated at tables in our very beautiful garden. Others preferred the comfort of the Community room in the Convent – all talked to their hearts content and all were loathe to leave as evening drew near.
It was a day on which we experienced, at a deep level. The truth of our motto:
Caritas Christi Urget nos
The Love of Christ urges us ever onwards