Thursday, December 24, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Vocations Ireland is an organisation which supports vocations directors and also promotes vocations to religious life. Over 100 religious orders are members. The Director is a Loreto Sister, Sr Eileen Linehan.
Vocations Ireland has a pretty good website. Take a look - http://www.vocationsireland.com/
The New Vocations Ireland Executive: (left to right) Br Pat Lynch (Franciscan), Sr Gabrielle Fox (OLA), me, Sr Phyllis Moynihan (Mercy), Sr Mary Condon (Bon Secours), Sr Eileen Linehan (Loreto), Andrew O'Connell (our communications director).
Monday, December 14, 2009
I love Christmas time and here in the Brothers' House, we put up our decorations just like anyone else.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
With the Maddens outside St Joseph's Presbytery in Glasthule
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
The Gleeson Family who were visiting the parish from Australia.
The Family Mass Group from the 10.15am Mass in Glasthule.
Sheila McLoughlin and Lisa Murphy who helped out at the weekend.
Enjoying the Open Day
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
A pinnacle of learning, our social development, creativity and community, Pres. recognises and aids both personal and collective talents and is understanding of all forms of individualism. The personal and spiritual development is also a key emphasis specified in the schools' ethos.My time in Pres. has revealed the value of self-belief and self-confidence and the personal freedoms to achieve these are not only encouraged but further inspired.
Our own free will may be, at times, hindered by "rules" and obligations, but we recognise their need on the bases of fairness and equalities - "no running in the corridors!", "homework due on Monday!", "no messing in class!", and, on the soccer pitch, no handling the ball intentionally to get ahead, and then blatantly apologising afterwards!
The Pres. family is one of the greatest versatility. Variety, in all its forms, is immense and dispersed throughout our student body. Whoever we are and whatever our interests, we all find a place to fit in, to belong. We have our Barts, Millhouses, Nelsons and Ralphs, our Cartmans, Kyles, Stans and Kennys, our Charlies, Alans and Jakes.
I truly believe that we are all a product of our cumulative experiences. My experiences here in Pres. could be classed under many headings - good, bad, some challenging, others bringing to mind memories of great joy and contentment, others of disappointment and failure.
Life is not built upon a pillar of sand. Sometimes it rains and floods follow. We are vulnerable, our legs are taken from under us. Life is built, mos fruitfully, on a multitudes of all degrees of experience. In Pres., we know that we will always have a permanent, unwavering hand to pull us back on our feet. Pres. is a sturdy foundation for us all to accumulate our bricks upon, even if we don,t as yet acknowledge it.
Today, we give thanks for the life that Pres. has inspired in us. We pray that the new school Trust, replacing the Presentation Brothers as the stewards of our schools, will endeavour in providing the highest levels of education. We ask God's blessing on all our brother schools, and on, in particular, the Presentation school in Ghana, to which we are intrinsically linked.
For 5 years I have attended this very mass and have not, as yet, heard a satisfactory definition of "The Spirit of Pres." I am only now realising that no simple definition exists - it encompasses countless lives, histories and mores of individuals dispersed throughout Ireland and the world.
We pray for all here present. We treasure the friendships that have flourished during our time here - those based upon truth, sincerity and openness. An ancient, biblical proverb tells us that "friends always show their love. What are brothers for it not to share troubles."
We pray for our fraternal friendships and for the sustenance and continuity of Pres.- a beacon of all that we hold close to our hearts."
Friday, November 20, 2009
marked in different ways by the Brothers and our lay colleagues and friends all over the world.
This morning, I went to Bray to attend a special Mass for the students of Presentation College. There were some 600 youngsters in the church and it was a great experience. Afterwards I was invited to say a few words to the lads about "The Spirit of Pres". I pointed to them and told them that they were the Spirit of Pres and they are the ones responsible for it living on in Bray.
(Above: With Mr. Gerry Duffy, Principal Presentation College, Bray)
I'm driving off to Cork now with Brothers Bernard and Valerius. More tomorrow...
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
The Transition Year students in Pres Bray have been busy over the last few weeks preparing a mural - 7 feet tall and 24 feet long - on the history of Presentation education. It has been prepared to mark the launch of the Presentation Brothers Schools Trust (PBST) in Cork next Saturday.
The lads did a trial run of the speech which they will deliver during the launch ceremony. The speech is great and the mural looks fantastic. Looking forward to seeing the reaction on Saturday!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The goal of the talk is to remind the students that religious life is still a viable option for the future. We're not looking for any of these young men to join - all we're doing is planting a seed for the future...
Later in the morning we spoke to the first year students. This is an introduction to the Edmund Rice story and is also an opportunity for these new students to meet and talk to a Presentation Brother.
The morning went really well and the students were respectful and attentive.
Thanks lads! Appreciate it.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
How did I end up here!!!
I've been a social worker in Cork, a missionary in the West Indies, a school chaplain and a member of the Provincial Council of my congregation, the Presentation Brothers, but being the Vocations Director is probably going to be my most daunting task.
Everyone I meet is saying it to me- "that's a tough job". I feel like saying "I know!!!"
So, how do I face this job in 2009- one of the most difficult years in living memory for the Church in Ireland.
So, where do I get the strength to do it. Firstly, I believe in my own call. I believe that I was created by God to serve Him and His people in this way, as a religious brother.
Secondly, I believe in religious brotherhood. Religious brotherhood is fundamentally about being a brother to other people, especially the poor and those in need.
Thirdly, I believe in the Presentation Brothers, my religious congregation. I believe that our mission - To Form Christ In The Young - is still relevant today.
Finally, here's what I don't believe in- numbers. My role is not to press gang people into religious life. My role is to help young men to figure out the best path to follow to use their gifts and talents to serve God. However, I will unapologetically, offer religious brotherhood as a great way to achieve this.
Our Congregation is named after the Presentation of Mary. We celebrate her feast day on 21st November. My prayer today is that Mary's Yes at the Annunciation will find an echo in the lives of many Irish men and women in our day.