Saturday, November 30, 2013

When Home is Far Away

Folks belonging to the Notre Dame community are familiar with this aspect of the lived experience: having that tangible feeling of "home" even when you're far away. Most often it is embedded on Our Lady's campus (you know of what I speak: the feeling one gets with that turn onto Notre Dame Avenue, with the Golden Dome down at the end of the lane). Some places just have a way of tugging at our hearts strings, of making us feel secure and a bit more complete on this earthly pilgrimage.

It is that way with me when I make a journey to Wexford, the southeastern county of the Republic of Ireland. Riding southward on the bus, there comes a point when the highway turns toward the sea, and the route meets up with the River Slaney, one of the most beautiful tributaries in this fair land.

And then comes Enniscorthy, now the cathedral town of the Diocese of Ferns, where the river, the cathedral, and castles all cluster together. It says to me that I am only a few short kilometres from sea, from Wexford Town, from a turf fire (literally), from smiling friends and a welcoming parish.

There are, as we all know, those geographic places that we call "home." They are, and always will be, pole stars of our journey, places we launch from and places we return to. But, as our hearts know, there are other places that earn this distinction as we make our way through life. Most often, we bestow this honor because there are more than a pocketful of memories that have contributed to our own story.

For me, such is the case with Wexford. For almost fifteen years, this community has unconditionally welcomed our choir when we tour. And then they created a home for our graduates. And now they are walking with us as we plan even greater things in Ireland for the future of ministry.

Thanksgiving week soon comes to a close. And many of us will departing those significant places that we call "home." But let us keep our eyes wide open: there are many hearths, many open arms, many faces that can bestow this sacred title – the title of "home" – upon the journey of our life.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Ferns, County Wexford, Ireland

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