Redemptoristines welcome two new postulants in DublinFriday, June 29th, 2012
The Redemptoristines are giving thanks to God for another new postulant.
Johanna was welcomed by the nuns at the Monastery of St Alphonsus on the June 21. Sr Gabrielle, Prioress (pictured), opened the cloister door so Johanna could enter the enclosure. Just seven weeks earlier another postulant, Lynette, did the same.
“We have two new vocations, and it’s a miracle really," Sr Gabrielle told ciNews. She explained that the two are in their 30’s; one from Ireland and one from England. Both were working before entering the cloister with one being an IT teacher and the other was in the caring / medical profession.
The Redemptoristines have had their ups and downs as regards vocations in recent years. They refurbished their monastery in Drumcondra to cater for members of the community who were getting on in years, but then six new sisters joined the community, changing the range of ages to between 26 and 91.
Although an enclosed contemplative community, they avail of the modern means of communication and recent professions of the sisters were broadcast live on the internet via www.ChurchServices.tv and their own website. Sr Gabrielle also initially communicates via email with those discerning their vocation.
“I think people hear about us from the website and from our Monastic Vocations Weekends,” she told ciNews. However no one turned up for the last planned monastic weekend, and Sr Gabrielle thinks there may be too many such weekends.
On the upside, two people interested in the contemplative life plan to come to live in the community at the monastery of St Alphonsus soon, one for a week and one for a month.
Fr Michael Kelleher, C.Ss.R., Provincial of the Redemptorists in Ireland was present for the ceremony of Johanna’s entrance. Fr Michael Cusack, C.Ss.R. was also present with the nuns and read the Gospel and spoke a few words welcoming Johanna into the community, where the nuns reach out to the world in prayer and work with joy.
On the April 26, Lynette joined the Redemptoristine Nuns in a similar ceremony that involved knocking on the door of the cloister to ask Sr Gabrielle, Prioress to enter the cloistered life. The sisters were waiting to greet Lynette to her new life as an enclosed nun.
Fr Dan Baragry, C.Ss.R. joined the nuns in welcoming Lynette. When Lynette changed into her habit, the sisters processed into the chapel singing, Joy was in my Heart, Alleluia, when I heard them say, let us go to God’s house.(Psalm 121).
Fr Dan read the Gospel and spoke a few words, saying , “In this house, this monastery, Lynette has chosen to give her life to God, where prayer, the Liturgy of the Hours and the Eucharist are the centre of the Redemptoristine vocation, and the peace of Christ will dwell in her heart when her focus is on Christ alone.”
When asked why young women choose religious life in a world, which is increasingly busy and noisy with all the modern media and means of communication, Sr Gabrielle said, “I think it is a very exciting life and we are very passionate about it, enthusiastic. The sisters put all their heart into it and they are encouraged to do that ... they give glory to God in their study whatever they are capable of doing.
“Nobody is forced into anything, at the same time any talents or interests they have are developed as far as possible which is very important. It is not really a matter of always giving up but of reaching their full potential as human persons in God.”
The Redemptoristine nuns attended the International Eucharistic Congress and they had a stand in the Exhibition Space.
“We went really to witness that there are young religious in the country ... it is important that people know that,” said Sr Gabrielle.
“We had a prayer box and people put in their intentions in, or spoke to us about what they wanted us to pray for and what is in their heart as well. We wanted to tell them that we are there to pray for them. And it gives people heart to see the sisters there; the red habit stands out.”
The Redemptoristine Nuns will host a Monastic Vocations Weekend on the October 12 to 14. Contact: Sr Gabrielle at email@example.com or phone (01) 830 5723 (from our side Ireland, +353 1 830 5723).
by Ann Marie Foley