We said goodbye to Kinsale and loaded up the bus to head for Tullow. We began the day with the beautiful rendition of St Patrick’s Breastplate by Rita Connelly
The bus journey was a lengthy one and I used the time to catch up with this blog (ignore the lateness of this one!)
Our first stop was a place called Paddock in Mountrath where we walked out into a paddock to see the birthplace of Bishop Daniel Delaney.
Linda led us in a liturgy to acknowledge and celebrate his legacy. Listening to the gospel reading amidst the lowing of the cattle added another dimension to the simple rural examples and language that Jesus used. His hearers of the time and those even today who farm and work the land receive such deep insights into God’s heart. Simple language and simple illustrations of profound truths.
“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary. A hired man is not a real shepherd. The sheep mean nothing to him. He sees a wolf come and runs for it, leaving the sheep to be ravaged and scattered by the wolf. He’s only in it for the money. The sheep don’t matter to him.“I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me. In the same way, the Father knows me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before myself, sacrificing myself if necessary. You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen. I need to gather and bring them, too. They’ll also recognize my voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd.”
Finally we arrived at Teach Bhride, the convent of the Brigidines.
After a hearty lunch we had our first session. Christy gave us a lesson which was a mix of early history of St Patrick and the various battles and political and religious machinations that led to the introduction of the harsh penal laws (“to prevent the further growth of popery”) that created such hardship for the Irish Catholics and hence gave rise to Nano Nagle and Bishop Delaney and his Brigidines.
Another tidbit of Kildare Ministries links I’m collecting; St Columba of Iona (First missionary out of Ireland) has a church here in Tullow: St Columba’s! Our principal of Marian College, Rita Grima who has. Even so instrumental in setting up Kildare Ministries, finishes up this year and moves to St Columba’s Essendon. St Columba’s is a Sisters of Charity school. The Sisters of Charity were founded by Mary Aikenhead who was born in Cork!
Back to our lecture…
Irish monasteries spread throughout Europe
The painting depicts the 1170 marriage of the Norman knight Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (“Strongbow”) to the Irish princess Aoife Ní Diarmait in Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford. It is portrayed as a pivotal moment in the Norman conquest of Ireland and the death of Gaelic Ireland.
In the foreground are the bodies of dead Irish warriors. To the left is a broken-stringed Celtic harp. Richard stands on a broken high cross.
The last of the Penal laws were repealed in 1829.
Growth of republicanism, was dangerous to oppose the laws.
Father John Murphy – Rebel leader 1753. He was Tortured in Tullow square, beheaded and his head placed on a spike and his body placed in tar.
Into Thai time Daniel wa born and became a priest and reformed the Sisters of St Brigid on 1 feb 1807. Those first women were taught by Judith Wogan – Browne who found it difficult. She is buried with the Brigidines although she never became a nun.
Daniel got an oak from Kildare and planted it here in Tullow. It is over 200 years old and is sadly, dying. A sapling was grown from it and is thriving.
The Brigidines took seriously the Great Commission – Matthew 28:19-20
“Go into all the world and make disciples. ”
And they have!