Pastoral Work in the Community: Cuan Mhuire | Missionaries of the Sacred Heart

During his novitiate year, Br Daniel Filipek MSC spent three weeks working with the community in Cuan Mhuire treatment centre. Here, he shares his thoughts on his experience.

“This was not a walk in paradise, but a real and valuable experience.”

After 10 months of novitiate life in Myross Wood, my MSC brothers and I were given the opportunity to go to work in the community on pastoral placement.

I spent three weeks in an addiction treatment centre called Cuan Mhuire. The team here offer help to people struggling with addictions such as alcoholism, drug addiction, and gambling.

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Before my placement started, I was a little bit afraid – I was nervous about my role at the centre. Some of the questions I asked myself were “Will they accept me?” and “Will I get along with the community there?”

I soon realised that the community in Cuan Mhuire were very welcoming, and my apprehensions disappeared. I had several opportunities to talk to the people there, and I also lent a hand in the kitchen and the coffee bar. Often, I just listened to others talking about their daily issues and worries.

I found that the people in Cuan Mhuire were humble and meek, and I realised that their life was and is full of struggling. Meeting with them, and hearing their stories, I can only express great admiration and praise for their courage.

It was also an important experience the reality of life, particularly the life of the non-religious community. I learned to become a listener, someone who sits quietly and observes, which taught me more than direct conversation with the community members.

My three weeks of pastoral placement were not a walk in paradise, but they gave me a real and valuable experience that will be very useful in my future.

Br Daniel Filipek MSC

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