The Irish Province of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart has bid farewell to MSC Superior General Fr Absalón Alvarado, following a three-week visit throughout April and May. Spending a great amount of time travelling around mission projects and ministries across Ireland and the UK, Fr Absalón met with MSC members across the Province and gained a true sense of the challenges and triumphs of mission and ministry here.
Arriving in Ireland from Rome on Easter Monday, Fr Absalón enjoyed a fruitful visit that took in trips to MSC communities in Cork, Dublin, and Galway, visits to schools and nursing homes, a four-day stay with MSC communities in Kirkby and Princethorpe in England, and meetings with the Irish Provincial Council in Dublin.
Speaking during Fr Absalón’s trip, MSC Missions Office Director Fr John Fitzgerald said, “Our Superior General is here on a visit; firstly, to meet all the members individually, to experience all our ministries, here, there, and yonder, and he’s also conveying an awful lot to us about the rest of the provinces throughout the world.”
“When Fr Absalón says he wants to meet everybody in the Province, he actually means everybody!” continued Fr John. “He goes into every street alley, every foundation… Anything at all that happens, this man calls to see the place, he knows what it’s about, and he makes sure that the job is done.”
Fr Absalón enjoyed the Irish sunshine with Irish Provincial Superior Fr Carl Tranter (left),
and with MSC Missions Office Director Fr John Fitzgerald (right).
Making life possible
One highlight of our Superior General’s visit was a beautiful ceremony at the Sacred Heart Church on the Western Road, Cork, where Fr Absalón concelebrated Mass with his MSC brothers Fr John Fitzgerald and Fr John Finn on Sunday, April 24th. Over 700 people tuned into the live stream of the ceremony, joining the parishioners and mission friends who filled the church in Cork City.
In his sermon, Fr Absalón expressed his gratitude to the mission friends and benefactors in the Irish Province who make it possible for our MSCs to do the work they do, at home and abroad. “I am originally from Guatemala, in Central America,” said Fr Absalón. “Through my service as Superior General, I have had the opportunity to visit many projects throughout the world, where you, and the Mission Office of Ireland, have made life possible. All of you have made it possible.”
“Thank you so much for being with us, for being part of our history, for being part of our lives,” he said. “You are the reason for us to be MSC, you give sense to our consecration as Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. Thank you so much for that.”
Our Superior General also spent some time in England, meeting with MSC members in
Kirkby and Princethorpe.
Building hope together
Fr Absalón also acknowledged his MSC confrères in the Irish Province for their “testimony of missionary life”.
“May we continue to build together hope for today’s world, convinced that the Risen One walks the path with us,” he prayed.
We are very grateful to Fr Absalón for his time, his enthusiasm, and his dedication, and we wish him every blessing as he leaves our shores having brought these great gifts to the members of our Province, as we continue to journey together in the Way of the Heart.
MSC Superior General Fr Absalón Alvarado meets with the members of the Irish Provincial Council.