May the Lord give you peace and let me take this opportunity to wish you a St. Patrick’s Day full of fun. It’s an opportunity for all of us to thank and praise God for our Christian heritage and to reflect on how well we are living the Gospel of Jesus in the world of 2011.
The city of Galway is very cosmopolitan and on one Sunday of each month we celebrate Mass with a different cultural group. We refer to it as our ‘Unity in Diversity Mass’. For the last two St. Patrick’s Days we took part in the St. Patrick’s Day parade under the organization of the Abbey Secular Franciscans but today we joined forces with one of the ‘Unity in Diversity’ groups, the Galway Filipino Community. They led us in dance from the beginning of the parade to the end so we got great attention. Along the way, I, together with some of the Secular Franciscans handed out Franciscan prayer cards. Attached is a picture of Hilary and I as we were about to set out through the city. It was quite cold but sunny for the most part. This afternoon I’m just relaxing as I had a busy couple of days. On Tuesday I went to Cork Friary where I met two men who are discerning their vocation with me. On that night I hosted a meeting of the Munster Branch of ‘Vocations Ireland’. Yesterday morning I went to Dublin for my own spiritual direction, always a great experience as it gets me back on track for another month or so. Last evening I drove back to Galway so needless to say I was pretty tired after the long drive, Cork-Dublin and Dublin-Galway. After a good nights sleep I was up for the 8 am Mass so I’m up and running again and ready for more.
On Sunday night a couple of us head to Gormanston where we will stay for the night as we have a pre Provincial Chapter meetings in Emmaus, Swords, Co Dublin on Monday. Afterwards I return to Galway as I’ve a directee for Spiritual Direction on Tuesday morning before heading to the Institute of Technology in Sligo with another Friar, Liam Kelly to give a mini-retreat. If you are a student at the I.T in Sligo please come along and join with us for the retreat, we’d be delighted to see you. Just let me know that you saw it on my blog. That night I will probably stay at our Friary in Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal. On Wednesday please God I’ll drive to Killarney as I’ve a meeting with the President of Vocations Ireland at the Friary there on Thursday morning. On Thursday afternoon, Friday and Saturday I’ve ten people for Spiritual Direction before meeting a couple of men who are discerning with me on Saturday afternoon. Hopefully, with the help of God I’ll get back here on Sunday.
Continue to enjoy this great Feast Day.
God bless you wherever you are. You are in my prayers.
Pat If you want to know more about the Franciscans e.mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org