Irish Jesuits International celebrated a wonderful Mass at the chapel in Gonzaga College on Sunday 7 November. Fr John Guiney SJ as the Celebrant warmly greeted the family and friends in attendance and also welcomed those who would watch the video recording later. We were delighted to see a larger than usual group attending, as this was the first occasion since Covid that we had been able to arrange this event. Also on the altar was Fr Ashley Evans SJ the Homilist; Ashley gave a lovely talk on the First Reading which told the story of the poor widow asked to share all she had. He also explained that there was usually an incident for most of the men which changed them during their mission. Ashley told us a story which had ‘changed him’ during his early years as a missionary in Cambodia, giving him a real insight into the people and helping him to connect more with the those he served. Also on the altar was Fr Leonard Moloney the Irish Provincial, Fr Richard O’Dwyer, Fr Hector Mwale, Fr Donal Neary and Fr Kevin O’Rourke.
During the Mass Fr John invited the congregation to come forward to light a candle for their deceased family member or friend and Fr Kevin spoke the names given. We particularly remember those men who had passed away in 2020 & 2021 Fr James Hurley, Fr Jeremiah O’Connell, Fr Michael J Kelly, Fr Dermot P Brangan, Fr Joseph Keaney, Fr Sean Coghlan and Fr Francis Wafer.
This is always a very moving part of our Mass and we were delighted that so many came forward. We also had some younger members of the gathering come forward with offerings including items from different areas where our men work in Africa and Asia and an item made by JRS Refugees in South Sudan. John also displayed a book by Fr Arturo Sosa, ‘Walking with Ignatius’.
The Mass concluded with Fr Leonard thanking the families for the support they gave to the missionaries and volunteers and explaining how the men who ‘listened to God’ and went forth could not have done this without the support of their families.
The Mass was made even more special by the wonderful music of Berna & Brian Cunningham.
Click on the image below to watch the Mass