This will be my last blog from Ireland for a couple of months — the Folk Choir will be returning here after Commencement Weekend on May 21st for two full weeks of touring, but for now, it's time to say "slán" to our Brigid community and let them get back to their labors. Liturgies and many labors await back at Our Lady's University.
I've spent a very engaging and awe-inspiring week in Wexford. My friends in the House of Brigid, shown below, have been exceptional hosts.
They, however, would probably scratch their heads when I say they have been the cause of much admiration these past few days. Perhaps they'd not really see that much to admire — they've been running choir rehearsals, putting together kits for Confirmation classes, running laptop projection units, going to Mass, repeating the whole process, day after day.
But it is precisely this kind of dedication, the attention to matters both big and small, inane and grandiose, that makes them, in my mind, so worthy of admiration. A lot of what we do as ministers is tied up in detail-driven, seemingly irrelevant minutiae. It is the rare assignment that brings with it a "mountaintop experience." But watching these four over the past week, their daily discipline and passion for the day that awaits them — this example has fed my own sense of spiritual joy and commitment.
Four adults, fresh from college. A little town on the eastern shore of Ireland. And yet, here is something new — do you not perceive it? Four of our graduates are giving young people permission to be spiritually engaged once again. They are allowing them the unusual freedom to be joyful in the midst of a secular tidal wave.
Last week, Jessica, their house director, shared a dream with me. "I've been hoping that some of the pilgrims that went on World Youth Day might be interested in helping us with Confirmation retreats...that we could actually teach them how to lead."
And this week, the Teach Bhride community actually trained their first two teachers for Confirmation — from the ranks of those whom they led on pilgrimage to Madrid. They are teaching others to be evangelists.
Something new is happening here. Something worthy of our admiration. Do you not perceive it?