Inauguration day

Almost 30 sisters from Britain and Ireland gathered at Provincial House, Aberdare, on 1 December 2018, for the inauguration of the new Leadership Team consisting of Sr. Catherine Lavery (Unit Leader), Srs. Claire McGrath, Margaret Muldoon, Lucilla Bonaventhoor and Maria Crowley.

Service, Relationships, Mission, Thanksgiving were recurring themes in the deeply meaningful prayer reflection that preceded the reading of the Ordinance installing the new Team. We prayed that the quality of their relationships with God, the source of all goodness and mercy, with one another and with all creation would inspire and guide them in the challenges that would inevitably lie before them. We prayed that, as a Unit, our hearts would be open to the wonder that life sets before us confident that, with God’s guidance, we would embrace the journey before us as a great adventure.

Gemma read the Ordinance from the GLT. Then, Jesus’ mandate to his disciples, “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you… Go, make disciples of all nations… and remember I will be with you always till the end of time”, served, not only as a reminder of Jesus’ abiding presence, but also as a reflection on the meaning of mission. It is a journey with others on a basis of equality and respect for all who travel the same road, a journey into the unknown but undertaken in hope as people called to bring life and promote communion to all.

At the conclusion of the prayer, Catherine thanked Gemma for her vision and service as Leader over the past six years done with the help and dedication of the outgoing Team, members of which had served for three, six and twelve years.

The time for table companionship arrived. The food offered was Michelin star quality. Heartfelt thanks and praise are due to the hard work of the members of both the outgoing and incoming teams who worked for the best part of Friday preparing all the ingredients for a delicious meal to be cooked on Saturday morning under the direction of the chief chefs. Special mention has to be made of Kathleen’s chicken and Lucilla’s rice and the trifles, but there were lots more to savour and enjoy. The Oblate priests from the parish and vicinity came to join us, as and when their duties allowed, adding to the conviviality.

By late afternoon many who had long train journeys to take, had left and others were beginning to depart. The day had been a lovely and, may we say auspicious, beginning to a journey that, with God, will be a great adventure.

Síle McGowan

Britain and Ireland