Ireland now started experiencing really cold and wintry conditions. We had light snow too on one of the days here in Dublin.
We watched a few movies during this period – ‘The English Patient’ was one of them.
On New Year’s eve we had haustus that went on way into the night. We sang for a long time and also said a little prayer together at midnight thanking God for the year gone by, and asking for God’s blessings on the year ahead.
A strict new lockdown (level 5) got imposed here in Ireland once again as covid cases kept rising. The covid vaccine is in sight though. We’re all hoping and praying for the best.
On 3rd night Michele cooked Lasagna for the community. This turned out really well, so much so that the chef himself was impressed and surprised to see how well it turned out.
We have also received news of Dublin now having a new Archbishop – Dermot Farrell.
We completed our 30-day Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, a beautiful journey with the Lord, on Dec 20 2020. After two days of brief sharing on our experiences, we are now preparing to celebrate Christmas.
With deep gratitude, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your great support and prayers for us during our Exercises. May the good Lord continue to bless you all, and grant you and your family a joyful grace-filled Christmas and a happy New Year.
For Christmas mass on 24th night and for lunch on the 25th we joined the Manresa community. This was live on zoom for a few people who are in regular touch with the retreat house. The mass was celebrated by Fr Mike Drennan. His short reflection was directed towards us all noticing Christ’s birth in the world today, especially in situations that need urgent attention. He urged us to live the spirit of Christmas.
Before the mass we sang carols just outside the retreat house. A number of people from the neighbourhood gathered to hear us sing. It was a lovely moment with them. And this was a first here at Manresa.
Lots else happened during the Christmas week and the week that followed:
The tertians travelled to Glendalough on 23rd Dec on a cold rainy morning. The place was beautiful though.
The tertians (a few days earlier) also visited Ardgillan castle, the National gallery of Ireland, Dun Laoghaire, and a few other locations. Lukas in particular was delighted to see the famous painting of Caravaggio at the National gallery. This painting was previously held in a Jesuit house in Dublin, and is now loaned indefinitely to the museum.
One day the tertians together cleaned the kitchen too.
Some of the tertians’ families and friends sent them sweets and other goodiesfor Christmas.
Some of the tertians became chefs for a day – Michele made some lovely Tiramisu for the community. Lukas cooked steak for the community. This was much appreciated.
We watched movies too during this period – Wolfwalkers (at Manresa house), Soul, and Dunkirk
We watched a music festival on TV of Irish performers performing traditional Irish songs.
We started having our noon meal with the Manresa community. This arrangement will carry on for some time. This has been an excellent chance to mingle with the retreat house community and talk with them about their ministry and other things.
O God, give me the courage and strength to be worthy of being called a Christian. Karl Rahner SJ