On Saturday 21st May, Fr John, Carol and Rosaleen from the Irish Jesuit Missions in Dublin travelled to the Dromantine Retreat Centre near Newry to meet our supporters from the North of Ireland.
We gathered to celebrate Mass, to remember our missionaries, in particular those from the North and to thank their relatives and friends for their support over the years. The weather was very mixed but when the sun shone, Dromantine and the surrounding countryside was glorious.
The Oratory was just the right size for our small group.We decorated the room with items from overseas to give a touch of Africa and Asia to the event. Our group gathered close to and around the altar.
John welcomed all and celebrated a lovely, positive and inspiring Mass. As it was the Trinity Sunday weekend, his homily was based on this subject and he spoke of his complete faith in God and his trust that God would always be there and could be relied upon in all situations.
He also spoke of the Year of Mercy and told us about a lady in Kenya whom he felt showed God’s infinite Mercy. Her son was a thief and spent his whole life doing wrong but John saw this mother praying in the church for him every day and when he was dying of AIDs she contacted John and asked him to attend him at his deathbed. She never gave up on him as God never gives up on us.
Janice Gribben sang and played the keyboard and her music added greatly to the Mass. John invited those present to pray for their own special intentions and many of our group asked for special prayers for their family or friends.
Individual candles were lit in remembrance of deceased friends and family members. After Mass we took the opportunity to catch up with old friends and greet new ones.
We would like to thank all our supporters in the North for their friendship and solidarity.