In 2015 we have been called in a special way to celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life. It’s an opportunity to give thanks for the men and women who have worked so selflessly to serve the people of God at home and abroad. It has led the priests and brothers of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) to minister in over fifty countries around the world, working with some of the most marginalised communities. However it’s not just about the past. This is a story that is ongoing and that today moves us into areas that are both challenging and prophetic. The call to mission, wherever it may lead, is as important now as it ever was before.
The Holy Spirit continues to inspire people to follow their vocation as a religious sister, brother, or priest. Some may question if such a way of life has anything to offer our world today. However it’s clear that in a society that esteems money, sex, and power as all-important, perhaps the gentle witness of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience may call us to a more genuine living out of our human dignity.
We are, each of us, called to be part of God’s great mission, to be bearers of Good News and witnesses to hope, truth, and compassion. According to Shaw “This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. Being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can. … Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”
In addition this coming year once again we’ll be running our MSC Volunteering Project. Participants will be trained and sent to work with our sisters in South Africa who care for children who have been orphaned by HIV / AIDS and TB. 2016 is also going to be the year of World Youth Day. We had an incredible trip to WYD in Rio 2013 with a group of young people from Ireland and England. Next year we’ll be travelling to Krakow to join over 4,000,000 other pilgrims to meet Pope Francis and rejoice in hope together.
In addition for those who are exploring the possibility of a vocation to religious life or priesthood we have our Road Trip. Over a weekend we’re going to be travelling to a number of different MSC communities in Dublin and Galway. You will have an experience of the richness of religious life and the breadth of MSC ministries, including our parishes, student community, hospitals, prison chaplaincy, and our retreat spirituality centre. The Road Trip takes place this coming November.