We held our 3rd Annual Family Day in the Edmund Rice Centre, Westcourt, Kilkenny on Saturday, 20th May. Again this year Blessed Edmund granted us a dry day in a week of heavy showers. Over 40 members and friends of Timirí Éamainn Rís gathered for this special day.
The theme this year was “Welcoming the Stranger” and the liturgy was based on the words of Jesus, “In my Father’s house there are many rooms”. Our celebrant for the day was Fr. Stephen Cummins OP and the musical accompaniment was provided by Gerard Flynn and Criostóir Ó Beaglaoich.
People began to gather around 2pm and were welcomed with a cuppa. The official welcome, by Dick Fields, took place at the cottage – birthplace of Blessed Edmund. The full text of his welcome is here >TER Family Day Callan Presentation & Welcome 20th May 2017>
The celebration of the Eucharist took place in various parts of the grounds. From the cottage the gathering walked in procession to the chapel while accompanied by sacred music. In the chapel, our member, Neasa Ní Argadáin, introduced us to the sacred space and the children held each of the objects as they were explained. The theme here was that ‘we are all strangers at some time”. From this emerged the Opening Prayer of the Eucharist. We were invited to introduce ourselves to someone new and to walk with them to the WELL. Again we were accompanied by sacred music and singing.
At the WELL we listened to the WORD OF GOD with the Gospel story of the Woman at the Well. Here we reflected on Jesus’s greeting a stranger and how the Samaritan woman became the first missionary to carry Jesus’s message to others. There were jugs of water on the well and our member, Br. Tom Costello, invited each of us to take some water and offer another stranger in the group a drink while introducing ourselves.
Back in the CHAPEL we were invited to share our stories of being STRANGER and to offer PRAYERS around this experience. Fr. Stephen then led us in the LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST and the “Ár nAthair” was sung in Irish, then followed in other languages of those present and culminating with everyone holding hands and saying the Lord’s Prayer in English.
At the conclusion of the Eucharist we were invited to walk with another stranger back to Edmund Rice cottage. Here Fr. Stephen gave the final blessing and Dick Fields gave the final dismissal asking those present this question, “What will you carry home in your head and your heart today?” Everyone was then presented with the gift of a pot plant as a sign of hope and growth. Thanks to Brian Curran who supplied the plants.
We then assembled in the Edmund Rice Centre where we were treated to very tasty cakes, buns and other treats. Many thanks to Mary, Paddy and Denis who made themselves very busy attending to our needs. We are also very grateful to the members of the Callan Timiri group who did a lot of the baking.
It was a wonderful gathering and our thanks to Joe Tynan, Neasa Ní Argadain, Mary Shanahan, Dick Fields, Br. Tom Costello, Denis O’ Reilly, Paddy Keegan and Br. Raymond Maynes for all the preparation. A special thanks to Fr. Stephen Cummins OP, Gerard Flynn and Criostóir Ó Beaglaoich for making our liturgy so meaningful and memorable.
And as always, thanks to the Christian Brothers Community in Westcourt for their warm welcome and hospitality.