Fr. Brendan O’Rourke, the Rector in Esker for the past eight years, says farewell to us, this weekend of March 31st. He will be Celebrant and preacher at the Masses on this Sunday. We in the Esker Redemptorist Community want to say a huge Thank You to him for his service over these eight years, his dedication to Esker and all it means to so many people near and far, and his kindness and courteous ways. He has exercised great leadership among us, always encouraging each one to give of his best in whatever way we can. So many people who have been blessed by his counselling skills are grateful for his presence to them. God bless you, Brendan, as you head for a time of well-deserved break. The Lord direct you in all that lies ahead. Míle Buíochais! Our prayers go with you.
P.S. We do not know as yet who they new person will be who will come as Rector to Esker. We hope to have white smoke before too long.
Fr. Brendan’s Words of Farewell:
Sunday March 31st brings to a close my time as Rector of Esker. Eight years have passed quickly! From time to time the years have brought challenges, as is the way of all life. I have no reservation in saying that the eight years have been, for me, very happy years.
I would like to thank all of you who come to Esker, and are part of Esker, for your welcome, friendship and encouragement. Many volunteers have shown great support for Esker. Long may such generosity continue! I thank all who are part and parcel of Esker for making it a place where we find welcome, and food for our souls!
The humanity and family spirit of the priests and brothers in Esker have enriched my life over these years. We have all pulled together and functioned well as a team and a community!
I am deeply indebted to and appreciate also, all who work or volunteer in Esker Monastery,the Retreat House, the Youth Village, and the grounds of Esker. I thank also the nursing and care staff who bring professionalism but also joy and laughter into the lives of our elderly and sick community members.
Back in 2011 Gearoid Mulrooney began as manager in Esker. I have relied heavily on Gearoid and thank him for his hard work, his dedication and loyalty to Esker and to all our ministries.
There is so much to be grateful for. There is so much I will miss as I leave Esker. But also, so many happy memories and blessings to carry away. Please hold me in your prayer as I will each and every one of you!
I wish the new Rector of Esker every blessing and happiness! And, please God, I look forward to visiting Esker from time to time in the years to come!
Your brother in Christ,
Brendan O’Rourke, C.Ss.R.
———- Brendan is from Wexford town and fell in love with the sea and beautiful Wexford beaches in his boyhood years. Joined the Redemptorists in 1967, and completed his philosophy studies in Galway, his theology in Dublin. He spent 6 years in the Philippine Islands in the early days of his ministry. Worked and studied in New York for ten years where he qualified as a Psychotherapist. Brendan returned to Ireland in 1992 and has been involved in retreats to priests and religious, counselling, spiritual direction, teaching and parish missions and novenas. He spent three years as Rector of Clonard Monastery in Belfast and then 5 years as Director of the Marianella Pastoral Centre in Dublin. After that he moved to the Redemptorists in Cork City in 2008 where the community focus was primarily youth ministry. In January 2011 Brendan was elected as Vicar to the Irish Provincial of the Redemptorists, and in the following April he was appointed as Rector of the Redemptorist Community, Esker. In January 2015 Brendan was re-appointed as Rector of Esker for a further four years.
The annual Galway Cathedral Novena to the Mother of Perpetual Help – or Our Galway Festival of Faith – began on Monday February 18th and concluded on Tuesday February 26th inclusive. The number who attended each day, at one or other of the six sessions, was astonishing. It was a great witness of solidarity and faith together. Thanks to all who came and to all who made it happen.
The dates for next year, 2020, are from February 17th to 25th.
NOTE CHANGE OF TIME, THIS YEAR: 7.30am not 7.45am! on Weekdays
Weekdays: 7.30am, 11.00am and 1.10pm. 3.30pm, 7.30pm, and 9pm.
Sunday: 9.00am, 10.30am, 12.30pm 4.30pm, 6.30pm, 8pm.
Sacrament of Reconciliation: Thursday, 21st February: three sessions (NOTE THE CHANGE, THIS YEAR): 7.30m, 1.10pm, 9pm: MASS at 11am, 3.30pm, and 7.30pm, with confessions before and after.
Mass with Anointing of Sick: Saturday 23rd February at 11am.
Blessing of Babies and Children: Sunday 24th February after all sessions.
Candle-light Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament: Wednesday 20th February at 10pm, Monday 25th Feb. at 10pm.
A Novena means Nine Days, after the nine days that the Apostles and other disciples, men and women, spent in prayer in the Upper Room, ‘together with Mary the Mother of Jesus and other women’, waiting for the promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
It is for us a time of reflecting on the Word of God, treasuring these things in our hearts, and pondering them, – as Mary herself did, all her life. It is a festival for us, a celebration together, of our Christian faith in the Risen Lord among us all days. It is a festival also in honour of Mary, the Mother of Perpetual Help – always ready to run to our aid. It is a joy to be gathered together in song, in stillness, in prayer, in petition and thanksgiving for all the concerns of our lives, individually and with others.
Please tell your friends! Maybe even offer a lift to the Cathedral to someone who needs it.
Galway beckons! The Lord and his Mother beckon, as well. Time to come home!
Our Preachers are:
Fr. Tony Rice, C.Ss.R.: Fr. Tony hails from Belfast city where most of his family still live. He joined the Redemptorists in 2001 and was ordained in 2009. Tony currently is our Vocations Director, has responsibility for Redemptorist Students and also works as a psychotherapist. To relax, Tony enjoys watching the lates movies, having meals with friends and catching up on sleep!
Fr. Denis Luddy, C.Ss.R.: Fr. Denis joined the Redemptorists in 1982 and was ordained in 1991. Apart from two years in the Philippine Islands, Denis has spent his life giving parish missions, novenas and school retreats. A native of Co. Cork, he has had assignments in our Redemptorist Communities in Limerick, Dundalk, and Esker. Denis is a highly regarded preacher!
Fr. Gerry O’Connor C.Ss.R.: Fr. Gerry is a native of Limerick City, a member of the Irish Redemptorist Leadership Team, a popular preacher, and Redemptorist Procurator for Africa and Madagascar. He’s also the founder of SERVE*, an organisation in Ireland offering opportunities to young adults to volunteer in some of the poorest areas of the world. Gerry is an ardent rugby fan and has even more passion for the kingdom of God! (If he wears red, it’s because he’s both an ardent ‘Red’ -as in Redemptorist – and a keen Munster Rugby fan!)
Neil Foley: Neil lives near Wexford Town in the Diocese of Ferns where he is involved in several prayer and music ministries. His latest collaborations are on the Hook of Faith digital evangelisation project and with the Mustard Seeds contemporary worship group. He is married to Helen, he works as an environmental scientist, and has a Certificate in Pastoral Theology. Neil works frequently with our Redemptorist Parish Mission teams.
*SERVE: for more information, see www.serve.ie
‘Only for the snow, I would have been a White Father!’
Brother James Casey, Redemptorist, celebrates 70 years as a Redemptorist on Monday, February 11th, 2019. He took his first vows on February 11th, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, in 1949.
Only for the snow, he would have been a White Father! -or a Brother with the White Fathers. He had written his letter to them, but the great snow of ’47 prevented his posting it. Then he read in the Redemptorist Record magazine that the Redemptorists had Brothers as well as priests. He changed the address, posted the letter, and got a reply back within a week. And so, on May 19thin that year of the great snow, 1947 -two years after the war being finished -he made his way to Cluain Mhuire, Galway, to begin life as a Redemptorist brother. Only for that snow, he says, he would have been a White Father Brother!
Brother James hails from Co. Longford, near NewtownCashel -from Clonfower, Lanesboro, Co. Longford, to be precise. He comes from a family of 7, three boys and four sister, some now deceased.. He met the Redemptorists through a mission. Later, while snow-bound, he spotted in the Redemptorist Record magazine that the Redemptorists had Brothers: he changed the address and wrote to them Instead of the White Fathers. He posted the letter to Fr. Hugo Kerr in Dundalk. He got a reply within a week. Two months later, he was in the Redemptorists. On the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, February 11th 1949, Brother James (known then as Brother de Sales, after the gentle Saint Francis de Sales) took his first vows.
Beginning in Cluain Mhuire, Galway, he moved, in the course of the years, from there to Limerick, to Esker, Cluain Mhuire, Esker, Limerick, Belfast (Clonard), Limerick, Dundalk, Limerick – also for six months in a Redemptorist Mission Community in the States – and finally, in 1984 to Esker. He has been here in our community of Esker, Athenry, for almost 35 years! He is still hale and hearty, thank God! He celebrates 70 years as a Professed Redemptorist, on this February 11th, 2019. Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. We ask her prayers for him, and we pray God’s blessing on him in every way.
P.S. Brother James is a cool hand at the bodhran! He still goes to his seisiúns twice a week.
From our Redemptorist Constitutions:
‘All are Missionaries’:
54b: Religious profession, therefore, becomes the definitive act of the whole missionary life of Redemptorists.
55. This profession makes all Redemptorists truly missionaries, whether they are engaged in different activities of the apostolic ministry or hindered from working at all, whether they are occupied with various services on behalf of the Congregation or the confreres, or are advanced in age, sick, or incapable of external work or whether, above all, they are suffering and dying for the salvation of the world.
‘… like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaves do not wither…’: (Psalm 1:3)
We wish every blessing on our Fr. Tony Mulvey whose ninety seventh birthday is on January 30th. Born in 1922, he is as old as the State!
Fr. Tony is a Leitrim man and proud of it. A few months ago, he celebrated 75 years of being a Professed Redemptorist. He took his first vows on Sept, 8th 1943.
After his Ordination to the Priesthood in 1951, he taught in the Redemptorist College (now St. Clement’s College) Limerick, until the summer of 1970. After a short spell in Belfast, he worked in Luxembourg from the beginning of the Irish membership of the then Common Market. He spent about thirteen years as Chaplain to the English-speaking community in Luxembourg.
Soon after that, he went to Rome and spent many years there, assisting in the office of the Superior General of the Redemptorists. He retired back to our Redemptorist Community in St. Joseph’s, Dundalk, and, when that was closed for renovation almost three years ago, he moved to Esker, where he is happily ensconced, and well cared for. His mind is as sharp as ever, and he has an extraordinary memory over all the decades.
Rath Dé air, ar lá a bhreithe! God bless him, on his birthday.
FR. ANTHONY ‘TONY’ MULVEY, C.SS.R.
Where were you, and what were you doing on September 8th, 1943? That’s a while ago, now! On that day, Feast of the Birthday of Our Lady, a young man of 21 took his first vows as a Redemptorist, in the Novitiate in Dundalk. His name was Anthony Mulvey.
Seventy five years on, this same Fr. Tony is hale and hearty, now aged 96, and residing here in Esker. He came here as a ‘refugee’ from our Dundalk Community about two years ago, when our house there was temporarily closed for restoration. He has put down his roots here and hopes to be here for some time to come!
Born in Co. Leitrim in January 1922, young Anthony went to the Redemptorist College in Limerick and completed his studies there in 1942, before going to Dundalk to do his Novitiate year. 75 years ago, this weekend, he became a professed Redemptorist. He did his early studies in Cluain Mhuire in Galway, and then went with some others to Belgium to finish his studies there.
Ordained a priest on August 26, 1951 in Galway, he soon after went to teach in the Redemptorist College (now ‘St. Clement’s) in Limerick, where he taught many of the current crop of Redemptorists in Ireland. Leaving the college in 1970 after 17 years of teaching there, he spent a time in Belfast in charge of the Novena to the Mother of Perpetual Help, and then in Dundalk, before going to Luxemburg in 1973 when Ireland joined the then ‘Common Market’. He spent twelve years there, ministering mostly to the English-speaking community, people from various countries. He then returned to work in Belfast (St. Gerard’s Parish) in ’85, before being called to Rome over a year later, in 1987, to work as translator with our General Government there. He spent 23 years there, before returning to Ireland in 2010. He has resided in Dundalk since then, until he came here to Esker about two years ago.
At 96, Fr. Tony is the oldest member of the Dublin Province of the Redemptorists. We thank him for all those 75 years of dedicated service to the Lord and his people, as a Redemptorist Missionary. Rath Dé ort, Antóin. Míle Buíochais!
P.S. He points out that, if you add his five years in the Redemptorist College as a boarder, and his year of Novitiate in Dundalk, he has spent 81 years with the Redemptorists! And he still loves us, – and prays for us!
We regret to announce that the death has occurred, on Thursday, November 30th, of Fr. Louis Eustace, Redemptorist, who passed away after more than three years in a Nursing Home, following a stroke. May he rest in peace.
Fr. Louis was a member of the Redemptorist Community of St. Joseph’s,
in Dundalk, Co. Louth, Ireland, since the 1980’s. He was the well-known preacher (and singer) at the weekly Novena to the Mother of Perpetual Help, which he conducted faithfully for many years, until his illness in 2014.
Louis was born in Co. Longford, in NewtownCashel, on November 5th, 1935. He attended St. Clement’s College (then known as the Redemptorist College) for his second-level education. He then entered the Redemptorist Novitiate in Esker in 1953, was Professed 1954. He did his studies for the priesthood in Cluain Mhuire, Galway, where he was ordained a priest on January 21, 1962.
Soon he was sent with others to the Philippine Islands, where he ministered on Parish Missions and then in St. Clement’s College until about 1969, when he returned to Ireland.
Fr. Louis was in the first group of Irish Redemptorists to go to the Diocese of Springfield Massachusetts in Autumn 1970. He ministered in the Parish of Our Lady of Hope, on what was known as ‘Hungry Hill’, for four years, in a parish that then consisted of very many Kerry people, especially from Dingle and Ballyferriter and parts West. (Others who travelled with him or after him included Fr. John V Corbett C.Ss.R. , Fr. Seán Horgan C.Ss.R., Fr. Séamus Devitt C.Ss.R., later Fr. John Moran C.Ss.R, Fr. Denis Canny C.Ss.R., Fr. Séan Bennett C.Ss.R., Fr. Jackie Whyte C.Ss.R.).
Fr. Louis returned to Ireland about 1974, and was very involved in the Mother of Perpetual Help Solemn Novena Ministry, all over Ireland, for over ten years, along with the late Fr. Vincent Kavanagh and others.
Since the mid-80’s, Fr. Louis had been a much-loved member of the Redemptorist Community and Parish in St. Joseph’s Dundalk. He was a man of great humour and wit, with always the kind heart for people.
His Redemptorist confreres tell many stories about him and remember him with great affection. Those among whom he ministered have also many fond memories of him.
Fr. Louis was predeceased by his brothers Andy and Kieran. He is deeply regretted by his loving sister Eithne Kane, brothers Des (Shannon) and Gerry (Birmingham), extended family, relatives, friends, Redemptorist Community and Confreres.
His funeral took place on Saturday, Dec. 2nd, in Dundalk.
May he rest in peace. Rath Dé air! – may the blessing of God be with him.
Fr. Pat was Rector here in Esker Community from about 1999 to 2005.
Fr. Patrick (Pat) C.Ss.R., died on 22nd November 2017, in the care of the staff of Our Lady’s Hospice Harold’s Cross.
Formally of Mungret, Co. Limerick, the Philippines and Cherry Orchard Parish Ballyfermot. Predeceased by his brother Fr. Gerry C.Ss.R. and deeply missed by his brother Michael (Mungret), sister Noreen (England), sister-in-law Kathleen, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, relatives and many friends in Ireland and the Philippines and his Redemptorist Confreres.
Reposing in the Church of the Most Holy Sacrament, Cherry Orchard, Ballyfermot,
from 3 to 6.45pm on Thursday 23rd November followed by a
Celebration of the Eucharist at 7.00pm
Removal immediately afterwards to Mount St. Alphonsus Church Limerick.
Funeral Mass will take place at 12.00 noon on Friday 24th November followed by
Burial in the Redemptorist Community Plot in Castlemungret Cemetery.
May he rest in peace.
Fr. Pat was Rector here in Esker from 1999 to 2005. He was well known and loved in the local community, because he knew so many people by name.
For some years past, he has been based in CherryOrchard Parish, in Ballyfermot, in Dublin, until illness in the past few years kept him away from his parish for a good period. Following a remission, he returned to the parish there, and until quite recently ministered there again.
He was ordained in the Philippine Islands on December 1963, along with two others, John Goode and Tom Devitt. He ministered there until 1982, when he returned to Ireland for what was to be a holiday. However, we was asked to take over the office of Prefect of Students in Cluain Mhuire in January 1983, and, though his heart was still in the Philippines, he very generously accepted and took on the office for several years, possibly until about 1990.
For a time, he worked in Scala, in our Youth Ministry Community there in Blackrock, and then more recently, in CherryOrchard Parish.
Much loved by all, he will be deeply missed by his family and by his Redemptorist Community, in Ireland and in the Philippines. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him during his time in CherryOrchard Parish.
Go móide Teaghlach Dé dá anam! May his soul increase the household of Heaven!
THIS COURSE IS CANCELLED FOR THE TIME BEING: FEBRUARY 2017
MBSR stands for Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, and is an 8 session course, each Tuesday morning from February 7th from 10am to 12.30pm, and a one-day retreat (Saturday March 11) run by Dr. Sue Redmond PhD.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction - this 8 week course and 1 day retreat enables participants to experience the benefits that mindfulness has in helping to slow down, pay attention and capture the precious moments in our lives.
Who will facilitate this course? Dr. Sue Redmond PhD
Sue has a PhD from the School of Political Science & Sociology based in Galway, in the area of Leadership, Resilience & Social Support amongst Youth.
Sue has practiced meditation for over 10 years. She teaches and is passionate about mindfulness. She completed her training in MBSR/MBCT with the Institute for Mindfulness Based Approaches. She also holds a MA in Health Education & Promotion, Dip in Youth & Community Work, Dip in Executive & Business Coaching and Degree in Science (Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Psychology).
What will participants learn? This is what Dr. Sue says about it:’This 8-week courses introduces participants to different forms of mindfulness practice including: sitting meditation, mindful eating awareness of physical sensations and gentle mindful movement Research shows that mindfulness helps manage stress anxiety, depression, illness pain, improve performance and lead to significant improvements in well-being‘
Participants learn, over those weeks, how to find peace in a sometimes frantic world; it is for those who want to free themselves of anxiety and stress. It reveals a set of practices, very simple yet powerful, that you can incorporate into your everyday life, to break the cycle of anxiety, stress, even exhaustion. You find a new joy in life, by learning how to be present to yourself, to what goes on within you, and skills that allow you meet the challenges that come your way, with new-found courage. It helps us in our struggles to keep up with the many demands of life that come our way.
A few skills, and a few minutes here and there in the day to practise them, gives us new confidence and a more relaxed way of dealing with what each day may throw at us.
When is it held? On eight consecutive Tuesday Mornings from 10.00 to 12.30, beginning Tuesday February 7th. It will also include a day retreat Saturday 11th March 9.30am to 4pm.
Where will the event take place? In Esker Retreat Centre, near Athenry. Contact Secretary 091 844007.
Prerequisites: Just come as you are, ready and open.
Cost: €250 total.
Contact Dr. Sue Redmond with any questions, on 086 8102770
or Contact Esker Retreat Centre, Secretary 091 844007, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.