To mark the 200th anniversary of the day Mary Aikenhead begun her Novitiate in York, it was decided to plant a shrub at Donnybrook Cemetery on 6th of June.
A tree had to be uprooted in Donnybrook Cemetery recently and when it was removed there was a big bare space left in the corner, behind Mary Aikenhead’s tomb. Sr. Pius Keane, who looks after the cemetery suggested that something be planted to replace the tree that had been uprooted. Rather than plant another tree, which could cause problems again in future, we decided to plant a shrub to mark this special Mary Aikenhead anniversary.
To our surprise and delight, a number of sisters turned up at Donnybrook Cemetery at short notice, for this simple ceremony which included a short prayer and the actually planting of the shrub. Among those present were our own sisters, a few men who attend the Mary Aikenhead Day Centre at Donnybrook – one of whom is a former employee of Donnybrook, Mr John Carew – and Ms Breda O’ Neill the CEO at St Margaret’s, Donnybrook, who is also one of the friends of Mary Aikenhead.
Srs Mary Therese Meaney and Cecilia Mulenga had prepared the hole in which the shrub was to be planted. After Sr. Pius blessed the hole, Srs Phyllis Behan and Pereka Nyirenda planted the shrub – a symbol of our desire to continue sowing the seed of the Charism of Mary Aikenhead in the countries where we live and minister. All the people present then had a chance to throw a shovel or hand full of soil around the plant. We ended the ceremony with a verse of the hymn ‘O Lord my God when I in awesome wonder’.
May Mary Aikenhead give us the courage to be daring women, ever filled with zeal to move out and share our charism.