Saturday 3rd September was a special day in the Irish Province as the new Leadership Team was commissioned.
Sisters arrived in Merrion in great numbers from early afternoon to show their support and encouragement for the incoming team and their grateful appreciation for the outgoing team.
Each sister received a warm welcome from Sr Mary Christian and the other members of the General Leadership Team on arrival at the hall door. It was a great source of joy to see so many elderly sisters present and very re-assuring to know of their prayerful support for the Province.
At the beginning of the commissioning service the outgoing team: Srs. Miriam Hennessey, Agnes Reynolds, Geraldine Byrne, Síle Wall and Mary Kernan were acknowledged for all they contributed to the life of the Province, their availability for leadership and their commitment to leadership.
Following this Srs. Phyllis Behan, Catherina Kenny, Rita Wynne, Angela Kelly and Anne Marie Costelloe were then called forward to accept the ministry of leadership for the next six years. They were each handed a lighted candle from the outgoing team. Each team member also received a beautiful wooden carving of the ‘Washing of the Feet’ a lovely symbol of service – the symbol chosen by Mary Aikenhead to remind each one of their commitment to the service of God’s people and particularly to the service of the poor.
Prayers of blessing were recited by all assembled, invoking the God of Light, Compassion and Strength to be with the team on their journey in the months and years ahead.
The whole experience was deeply moving and the thoughts and preparation that went into the service was very much appreciated by each one.
After the sisters had an opportunity to greet the new team, all were invited to enjoy lovely refreshments and of course, each other’s company. Like all Province days such as this there was great chat and laughter as news and stories of the latest happenings were exchanged.
No doubt there will be many challenges ahead for the team and the Province but trusting in God’s Providence and believing in the gifts of each Sister and the desire to ‘Open to the Gift of the Now!’ we will, in the words of Mary Sarton:
who know that without darkness
nothing comes to birth
as without light nothing flowers.”