The Sanctuary, Stanhope Street, Dublin 7 was founded by Sisters Stanislaus Kennedy and Síle Wall in 1998. The address may sound familiar to you, yes Stanhope Street, the street where Mary Aikenhead founded her first novitiate over 200 years ago and on the site where our lineage as Sisters of Charity can be traced back. What an added bonus for the Sanctuary having a wisdom tradition as a foundation stone!
The Sanctuary, put simply, is a meditation centre in the heart of North Inner city Dublin. It is a quiet space, a beautiful space and a welcoming space. Meditation and Mindfulness is its core activity but it also offers a range of programmes, courses, workshops and events each leaning on one or all of the Sanctuary’s four pillars – Meditation / Spirituality/ Creativity/ Community. One yoga participant recently described the Sanctuary as “the well I return to again and again to replenish my soul”.
Like Mary Aikenhead the Sanctuary responds to hidden need – the social, psychological and spiritual needs of people. Like Mary Aikenhead it welcomes people of all faiths and cultures. All seekers and searchers, young and old.
The Sanctuary receives no state funding. It is totally dependent on donations, voluntary effort and what its activities generate. However, nobody is excluded because the Sanctuary has a Turn No One Away policy which enables those who might be going through a difficult time, either financially or struggling with, illness, unemployment, and/or suffering or recovering from mental illness, addiction, homelessness or disability, to have access to all of its services.
On one of the wettest and coldest Saturdays in September 2023 the Sanctuary marked its silver jubilee. It was a wonderful celebration that included people involved with Sanctuary from the beginning and over time. It was inspirational to welcome over 100 guests into its small indoor spaces and outdoor marque. Body temperatures together with Irish traditional music and dance in the marque generated the heat! Shared stories, speeches given, garden viewed, cake distributed and ice-cream cones all added to a very memorable occasion.
Celebrating twenty-five years in Stanhope Street, another stepping stone along the journey of our congregation today.
(The Sanctuary is a Company limited by guarantee, with a strong Board of Governance since 1998. The site was very generously gifted by the congregation of RSC’s to the Sanctuary.)
The Sanctuary featured on Nationwide Monday 11th December on RTE