The Irish Jesuit Mission (IJM) office celebrated its new location with a house blessing and gathering of friends and colleagues on the 2nd March.
IJM moved offices from its former home in Sherrard St after almost 14 years to Gardiner Street, opposite St. Francis Xavier Church. Fr Donal Neary SJ officiated and reminded all present that they were gathered to remember, and to be renewed, in the mission of faith and justice that looks outside of our own small world, to pray and to hope.
He recalled the words of Pope Francis:
““Baptism makes us Ã¢â‚¬Ëœmissionary disciples’ within the communion of the Church. In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples (cf. Mt 28:19). Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus: we no longer say that we are Ã¢â‚¬Ëœdisciples’ and Ã¢â‚¬Ëœmissionaries’, but rather that we are always Ã¢â‚¬Ëœmissionary disciples’.
““Missionary outreach, he writes, must be Ã¢â‚¬Ëœparadigmatic for all the Church’s activity’. All Church institutions, from the papacy to parishes, must be reformed so that their structures are directed not toward maintenance, but toward a permanent state of mission. We are to be islands of mercy.”
A celebratory lunch was held afterwards at which the Trojan task of preparing the new offices and managing a smooth transition from the old - undertaken by Winnie Ryan and Bro.Tom Phelan SJ - was recognised and appreciation expressed by Fr John Guiney SJ.
Fr John Dooley SJ, a special guest of honour, attended from Cherryfield, Dublin where he lives in retirement. Fr Dooley worked in Zambia for many years and his life, dedicated to the spiritual development of the Zambian people, was honoured. Indeed, as expressed by Fr Guiney, it is on the shoulders of dedicated Irish missionaries that today’s successes are built. Fr Dooley’s presence added greatly to the sense of mission on the move across the decades.
House blessings date back to the early days of Christianity and in the Catholic Church, they are usually performed by a parish priest who sprinkles holy water as he walks through each room of the house. He is accompanied by the occupants of the house for whom he prays.
The occasion provided a special opportunity for the gathering of the members of the community to mark the joyful event and to thank God, from whom all blessings come, for the gift of a new home.