Nano’s Lantern is still shining

Day 7 Cork and Kinsale 

Yesterday I asked who the Nano’s of today were. and it was just typical of God to answer that today!  

We ventured back to Nano Nagle Place to hear about the Lantern Project which is the living heritage of Nano’s work in the 21st century. They have Ministries to asylum seekers, men and those in mental distress. It was begun in 2007 to create a sense of community in Cork. The founders asked themselves “Is this a convent or a place we can use?” They decided it was a place they could use and the Lantern Project came a beacon of direction, warmth and safety. Today three have a ‘cook and share’ program, guitar lessons and whatever volunteers are happy to provide!


We heard from people the Lantern Project has had an impact on – Johnny who is a recovering alcoholic and Lindetta who came from Albania with her family and found a new family here. She quoted Mother Theresa: “If you want to change the world, go home and live your family.”


Our time at the Lantern Project ended with this poem:

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

 Lunch was on the run

Trouble Club

Our next stop was the Blessed Edmund Rice Garden at Mardyke House where thee is also a youth ministry being run by the Presentation Brothers.



The brothers have a strong connection. To the sisters therefore a heavily feminine emphasis. We walked the circular two-part meditation garden — the first part invites us to contemplate and honour the seven women who played a role in Edmund’s life, and the second part relates the story of the Presentation Brothers. 


Am I imagining the Brigididine cross in the space between the jigsaw pieces making up the Eucharist?


Next was a visit to Mount St Josephs to hear from the students who participate in SHARE .

SHARE 

“Students Harness Aid for Relief of Elderly” is a charitable organisation based in Cork, Ireland, dedicated to providing housing and other support for the elderly poor. One newspaper summed up that: “SHARE has brought help and hope, homes and happiness to the lonely old people who have been forgotten by society”.

The organisation was founded in 1970 by Brother Jerome Kelly and students of Presentation Brothers College, Cork, to deal with the social issues of the time. As it gathered momentum, other schools in Cork joined, and today students from 18 secondary schools collaborate in organising every aspect of the charity. Since its founding, over 200 custom-built homes have been provided by the organisation.

Work by the members of SHARE is year-round, but its most active period is the Christmas Fast & Fundraising Campaign, when over 1800 students collect in Cork city centre. The charity’s sole collection period lasts only ten days, which has made it a recognisable part of the Cork Christmas season. It has received recognition from the media, important Irish political figures, and the people of Cork; but it is the involvement of students from all of Cork city’s secondary schools has made SHARE “a truly unique and effective organisation” in Ireland today.

We meet some of the students who have been involved over the last year and they were a joy to listen to. Well spoken, empathetic and forever changed by the work they have done. 


 Christmas campaign 



Around the grounds 


Green hair Jesus needs a clean

Our next stop was in stark contrast to Cork. Kinsale is a beautiful seaside town with bright colored buildings. We are staying in a lovely place with a nice big bed and view of the harbour. 


Tomorrow is our day off and we had a celebratory dinner out in he Gourmet capital of Ireland. 


Dinner out



The night ended with a beautiful rest in a “cloud bed” (Kristen’s words) with our ‘bladders close to our eyes’ assured that Nano’s work is in capable hands.

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