“We are asked to challenge ourselves with questions like, ‘Is the Gospel truly the manual for our daily living and the decisions we are called to make?’” So asked the Bishop of Clogher, Ireland, Liam MacDaid when he addressed upwards of 200 people who took part in Evening Prayer at St Joseph’s church in Monaghan on Sunday evening to mark the Year of Consecrated Life.
Members of Religious Congregations in the diocese and their families and associates, together with parishioners from around the diocese of Clogher took part in Sunday evening’s liturgy. The liturgy was planned by the Clogher Diocesan Liturgy Commission and hosted by Monaghan & Rackwallace parish.
Bishop MacDaid quoted St John Paul II in exhorting all religious orders to show the same “generosity and self-sacrifice” which guided the founders of their orders and congregations and to keep alive their charisms, constantly enriching their lives and adapting to new realities, while losing none of the characteristics that make their contribution unique.
Speaking directly to the religious men and women gathered for the liturgy, Bishop MacDaid thanked them all for their “enormous contribution to our local communities and to our diocese as a whole.” He went on: “The Holy Spirit can still do great things with us. Pope Francis describes the consecrated life as a gift to the Church, a decisive element of the mission which expresses the deepest nature of the Christian Vocation.” Bishop MacDaid urged all to continue with their mission and to recognise that there is still – and will continue to be – a valuable contribution to be made by those living consecrated lives.
The Year of Consecrated Life was proclaimed by Pope Francis for this year and continues until 2nd February next. Its purpose is to celebrate the charisms, role and contribution of consecrated and religious life in the Church; to honour its passion for listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church today; and to embrace the future with hope so that the Church can do great things to make the joy of the Gospel known.
Presently, there are five religious orders in Clogher diocese – the Passionist Order at the Graan outside Enniskillen and the Sacred Hearts Community at Tanagh, near Rockcorry make up the two male religious orders. The Sisters of Mercy have sixteen houses spread across the diocese, in addition to the Northern Province headquarters at Clogher; the Sisters of St Louis have three communities, including Monaghan which was their first Irish foundation; and the Daughters Our Lady of the Sacred Heart have a community in Ballybay.