A letter to our European SSS Confreres

Mar 31, 2009 |

Greetings from the brethren in Dublin.

On January 6th this year of Our Lord 2009, we entered in to our 39th. year of Eucharistic ministry to the people of Dublin and to the many tourist, and Irish people who visit this capital city.

For 25 years our ministry was conducted in a building which was formerly a fish restaurant – from a place that served sole to one that served souls, the People of God. In those early years we were part of the American province and had American priests serving in the Chapel and it was known as “the American Chapel” It was very popular with the local office workers and shoppers, who appreciated the more welcoming style of celebration that these early priests fostered. The Catholic faith of Ireland was very strong and a keen understanding of the value of daily Eucharist was evident in the people of that generation, which meant that our daily Eucharists were very well attended. Now thirty-nine years later the young office workers and shoppers that frequent the city today do not have that same strong faith and the habit of daily Eucharist of their parents, so the age profile of our patrons reflect this modern reality. Thanks to free bus passes for the retired our chapel still attracts good support from the people of Dublin. Young adults do frequent our chapel but not in the numbers of yesteryear; as you will see there are several groups that meet in the ‘new’ chapel.

In October 1995 we moved our centre of Eucharist worship from D’Olier Street on the south side of the city to the north side to our present address Bachelors Walk. A short move in reality, because our new place is simply across the river, a distance of 2 or 3 hundred metres. The chapel is situated on the ground floor of a 5 storey block of apartments, our living accommodation is on the floor immediately above the chapel and the rest of the block is divided into apartments that are rented (we own the first two floors only, ground and first floor). As well as the chapel we have a small meeting hall which enables us to offer talks, LITE seminars, formation for our ministers and fundraising events. We also make it available for other catholic groups on a regular basis, in the evenings usually, thus: Mondays a charismatic prayer group meets there. Tuesday, Youth 2,000 an international movement dear to Pope J.P.II, to foster the faith and devotion of young adults 18-30 they meet to recite the rosary during Adoration of the Eucharist, meditate on the coming Sunday gospel and enjoy the fellowship of young Catholics. Wednesday Jesus Youth a movement found in India for youth hold their charismatic type prayer meeting; it is popular with the Indian students studying in Dublin. Thursday the well known Cursillo movement use our facilities for a meeting of one of their cells.

The daily Chapel programme is the focus of our S.S.S. ministry. Holy Eucharist is celebrated four times per day (8.25, 11.00, 12.45, and 5.15). Confessions are offered 6 days from 3.30 – 5.15 and 7.00 – 7.45. Each weekday evening one of our Brothers leads the rosary at 7.30 followed by Benediction, the chapel closing at 8.00 p.m. Morning and Evening prayer are celebrated every weekday. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is begun after the 8.25 mass and continues throughout the day, apart from when Eucharist is being celebrated. Our priests help in local parishes as the need arises. We are the national centre for the People’s Eucharistic League in Ireland; we have an active LITE group, a generous fund raising committee which raises money to support the chapel and the Province at large.
Servitium Christi plays a valuable part in our Eucharistic ministry through its Irish member Miss Mary Keane. Mary gives a lot of her spare time to help run the P.E.L. and the LITE programme Most of the printed material produced for the Chapel will have been prepared by Mary. We are very grateful for all Mary’s work; an example of collaboration between our two Institutes.
For priests we have a special confessional apostolate which allows them access to the sacrament at the call of a button, in a special area of the chapel,
Cardinal Daly has expressed his appreciation for this service we offer.

Our community numbers eight, from various countries, the average being 65,

Irish: Bro. Joe Donegan 84 (1924) served in England, Scotland,
Fr. Jim Hegarty 75 (1933 known as Brother Columba till ordination, he served in England, and in Rome, America, Ireland
and after ordination to the priesthood in England and Ireland
Fr. Pat Costello 63 (1945) served in England, Scotland, Ireland, he serves now as Provincial Superior based in Dublin.

English Bro. Andrew McTeigue 71 (1937) served in England, Ireland.
Bro. Timothy McLoughlin 64 (1944) served in England, Rome, Ireland.

Scottish Fr. Jim Campbell 57 (1951) served in England, Scotland, Ireland.

American Fr. Maurice Rouleau 79 (1929) served in America, England, and Ireland.

Filipino Fr. René Esoy 42 (1966) served in Philippines, Ireland.

The community meet regularly for community meetings and several times a year have a day of recollection. Every Sunday evening we gather together for a time of fellowship before our evening meal.

The Dublin foundation can be described as an oasis of prayer and reconciliation in the heart of the city, as we strive to bring Christ to the world of today.
We especially look forward to the coming Eucharistic Congress in 2012, seeing it as an opportunity to revitalise our commitment to the Eucharistic Mission established in 1970. The many pilgrims that come to the Congress will we hope visit a vibrant centre of Eucharistic life; and that some of our brethren from Europe will be among those Congress pilgrims.

With fraternal greetings to you all
The Dublin Community.

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