We, the IJ sisters in England, meet at least twice a year to catch up with each other and to share IJ news. We are sometimes joined by visiting IJs. It requires a bit of organization as our work is very varied and not confined to the working week. However, it’s well worth the effort; afterwards we disperse to the four corners of England renewed and refreshed.
Last month we gathered to celebrate the silver jubilee of Mary Murray and to mark the end of Mary de Courcy MacDonnell’s mission in England as she will soon start a new chapter of her life in Mallow, Ireland.
Mary Murray teaches in a special unit for children who cannot cope with main-stream education. Mary Mac has spent the last thirteen years in Burton-on-Trent, mainly helping troubled children through art therapy. She also travelled to Myanmar several times and trained teachers there in Art Therapy.
That this gathering of the WELLBEING GROUP was for a special celebration came as a surprise to both Marys. We were joined by Sr Marie Pitcher and Sr Kitty Ellard on this occasion. We stayed at a Mercy convent in Birmingham where our evening began with a time of prayer and reflection on what the two Marys have contributed to so many people in the past and to ask for God’s blessing on their work in the future.
The following day we attended Mass together at the Cathedral of St Chad; Sr Margaret Walsh IJS runs a centre for immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers there. Their plight was brought home to us when we met a young man who was waiting to find out if he would be allowed to stay in England or if he would be deported back to his own country. We ended our celebration with a meal together, looking forward to our next WELLBEING gathering in a few months.