February 1st is the Feast day of the Patroness of our Diocese-St. Brigid. This year her feast day is the exact bicentenary of the foundation of the Brigidine Sisters.

Kildare diocese owes its origin to the development from about the year 470 of a monastic complex at Kildare (Church of the Oak Tree) associated with the figure of St. Brigid, the second national patron. Brigid of Kildare worked closely with St. Conleth, a monk from Old Connell near modern Newbridge.

Reading and responding to the signs of the times led Daniel Delany, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, to establish the Congregation of the Sisters of St Brigid (Brigidine Sisters) in 1807. The Brigidines will mark their bicentenary with a range of celebrations including a special Mass to be celebrated by Bishop Moriarty at 12 noon on St. Brigid’s Day in Tullow.

On 2nd February 1808, Bishop Delany received four men to start the Brothers of Saint Patrick (Patricians).

In the shadow of the penal days in Ireland the need for education and revitalizing the faith was stark. Six ordinary Irish women came together in Tullow on the first of February to begin this work. The fledgling congregation was placed under the patronage of Our Lady and St. Brigid and Bishop Delany planted a sapling from the oak at Brigid’s abbey in Kildare as a sign that the work begun by Brigid had sprouted again.

The Brigidine Sisters have a strong presence in our diocese, with communities in the parishes of Kildare (see below), Tullow, Paulstown, Portlaoise, Mountrath and Abbeyleix. Their Congregation also has a presence in Dublin and Galway, the UK, America and Africa. The Brigidines are most well established in Australia and New Zealand.

For more information see Brigidine Sisters website and article on Bishop DelanyFile Brde 2007
Jan 26 – Feb 3

In recent years there has been a very full programme of celebrations under the banner of File Brde to mark the feast of St. Brigid in Kildare Town. This programme includes talks and events organised by Afri – a justice, peace and human rights organisation.

For more details visit the website of the Brigidine Sisters in Kildare www.solasbhride.ie