Saturday, 24 May 2014
With this Nigerian proverb Bishop Tim Carroll, SMA, emeritus of Kontagora (Nigeria), reminded the pilgrims that their pilgrimage to Our Lady’s Shrine at Knock for the closing Mass of the SMA / OLA National Novena in honour of Our Lady, was only a shadow of the greater pilgrimage we all take – the pilgrimage back to our Father in heaven.
Fr Fergus Tuohy SMA with Liam & Kathleen O’Shea and Ms Ann Wall, parishoners at St Joseph’s SMA Parish, Blackrock Road, Cork.
His brief sermon was well-appreciated by all for its simplicity of delivery yet its profound message. It was interesting to listen to some pilgrims speak afterwards about how they ‘enjoyed’ the sermon.
The SMA Laity Coordinator, Mrs Dympna Mallon, is pictured with Fr John Bowe (FVC Director, Leinster), her husband Paul, Fr P J Kelly (from Lawrencetown, Co Galway is home on holidays from Tanzania) and Fr Michael McKee (from Dungannon, Co Tyrone, also home from Tanzania).
Next Sunday, 1 June, Dympna will be at the SMA House in Claregalway or their annual SMA Family Day. Fr Eamonn Finnegan and the SMA community there look forward to seeing many of our supporters at this annual event. Make sure to give Dympna a shout if you’re there.
Mr Sonny O’Brien assists Fr Gerry Sweeney SMA as they head for a ‘cuppa’ during the breaktime in the pilgrimage.
Fr Gerry is living in active retirement in Claregalway and will be there on Sunday to welcome our visitors. Mr O’Brien is a lifelong supporter of the Society and gives hours of his time every week to help with the Mission Boxes in the west of Ireland.
Some of the OLA connections who travelled to Knock: Kate Farrell, Sr Gabrielle Farrell OLA, Sr Gabrielle’s parents, Sr Kathleen McGarvey (OLA Provincial Leader), Annie and Mary McGarvey (mother and sister of Sr Kathleen).
Mr Colum McConville and his wife, Imelda, from Lurgan, Co Armagh, flank Fr Brendan Dunning SMA (FVC Director in the west of Ireland, based in Claregalway).
Rather than a theological treatise on Our Lady Bishop Carroll reminded us that Mary’s pilgrimage in life is similar to ours – it was in her parents’ home at Nazareth, that the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, not in the Temple in Jerusalem. We go to Church to pray and meet God, it is good. But we do not live in the Church, we don’t eat there, or sleep there. We live out our lives in our homes and in our places of work. And it is in these places, but above all in the home with our families, that we must find God, and talk to him everyday. Like the Holy Family, we must offer to God, the ordinary things we do every day, and ask God to bless them and make them holy.
The International Formation group from Loreto House, Dublin pose for the camera before heading back for Dublin and their final weeks of study. Many thanks for your participation in our pilgrimage.
Some of the Mercy Sisters who came to Knock
Other pictures from Knock
Bishop Carroll’s sermon