Spiritan Features

Address to the celebration of 25th, 50th and 75th anniversaries of religious profession Kimmage Manor, 07/09/2019

My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;
He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid;
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed;
Because He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.

Dear confrères, this is our song, The Lord has done mighty things for us and through us - and continues to do so.

Moments of time, such as we have here today, are indeed times of celebration, but they also call us to a responsibility, to take stock and do our very best to tell the narrative. To be as faithful as possible to the truth, so as to leave accounts of our collective and individual stories for those who will follow.

We may not think of ourselves as being particularly noteworthy or important, but we are part of a great story, a great tradition, an epic that has in many ways transformed the world we live in. We have played our parts as individuals, and the single person in the multitude is the most important.

How many times in the Gospels, did Jesus look into the crowds before him, only to seek out the individual, the one person he wanted to speak with?

So, firstly today, I want to celebrate, in my own case, fifty years of professed religious life.  I think I made the right choice. How many 18- or 19-year-olds today would be given this decision to make?

One thing I am certain about is that I joined the best congregation in the world; thank you Claude Poullart and Francis Libermann.

No missionary goes out on his or her own; there are always so many angels on our shoulders to give courage to our endeavours and fresh wind in our sails. I thank the Lord for the blessings of my parents, family, friends and confrères, those from whom I have derived my passion for spreading the Gospel.

We are not done, this is not just a time to reflect, to look back. It is a great opportunity to look forward.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am only getting started! The Lord has brought me to this new phase of my journey. Am I a little afraid? Of course, but I am excited too.

None of us is a permanent member of the Kimmage Community because of being in excellent health but we have our wits and all our experiences to rely on. We are indeed missionaries in situ. We live in the here and now, but we have our eyes on the future, whatever that brings, and if it is anything like what we have already experienced so far, then bring it on!

Because He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.


Brendan M. Smyth C.S.SpBrendan M. Smyth C.S.Sp.  - Originally from Cabra West, on Dublin’s northside and a past-pupil of St. Declan’s CBS in Cabra, Fr. Brendan was ordained in 1976 and appointed to The Gambia in west Africa.  He later served for over a decade in Brussels. In Ireland his various roles have included as Director of Vocations and as Director of Promotions. A singer-songwriter, he launches an album of his own songs, Hand Me Down The Moon, at a charity fundraiser event in Dublin in October 2019.


 

ASSOCIATED ARTICLES:

Celebrations of 25th, 50th and 75th Anniversaries of Religious Profession, Kimmage Manor, 7th September 2019.

Missionaries from Mayo celebrate 75th anniversary of religious profession September 2019