All welcome, especially parishioners and past pupils, to gather for a special Mass as the Brigidine sisters celebrate 200 years in Mountrath.
Sunday 19th April 2pm
The Brigidine Congregation in Mountrath is celebrating its bi-centenary. The Brigidine congregation was established first in 1807 in Tullow by Bishop Delaney and followed by a new community in 1809 in Mountrath.
All are welcome especially parishioners and past pupils to join the Brigidine sisters in celebrating 200 years in Mountrath at a special Mass on 19th April at 2pm in the Parish Church.
Re-enactment of arrival in 1809
Before the church ceremony begins, there will be a re-enactment of the arrival of the first Brigidine Sisters to Mountrath in 1809.
Three Sisters travelled by horse and dray-cart on an eight hour journey over bumpy roads, from Tullow, Co. Carlow, to Mountrath, Co. Laois on April 18th, 1809. The Sisters were Margaret Kinsella, Catherine Doyle and Mary Fitzpatrick. Margaret and Catherine were natives of Tullow and Mary was from Camross, Mountrath.
Together the Sisters, Margaret, Catherine and Mary arrived at the White Horse river, Mountrath. This river is a tributary of the River Nore. The White Horse River flowed past the little church where Daniel Delany worshipped as a young boy and where he celebrated Mass when he returned to Ireland from France in 1777.
The horses in the 2009 procession will be driven by two men representing Mr. Delany and Mr. Fitzpatrick, both relatives of Bishop Delany who travelled to Tullow to accompany the sisters to Mountrath. Camross Ceoltas will lead the way today. Following the “Sisters” will be Brigidine Sisters and past pupils, carrying flags of the countries where the Brigidine Sisters have and are ministering -Ireland,† Australia,† New Zealand, England, Wales, Kenya, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, China
The Brigidines have St Brigid as their patroness and when Bishop Delaney set up the community he said this was not a new congregation but rather a re-founding of the Sisters of St Brigid with the spiritual heritage of St Brigid of Kildare, Patroness of Ireland. The Brigidines were set up to provide education in penal times and they continued the tradition with a boarding school in Mountrath which was attended by students from all over Ireland.
In 2009 a new community school will amalgamate the Brigidine Secondary School, Patrician College, Ballyfin and St Aengus’ Vocational School and a new era will be born.
Although the Brigidines started in education they are now involved in a variety of works which address the needs of modern society. These include education, parish ministry, spirituality centres, retreats, chaplaincy, counselling, advocacy and justice, caring for travellers, care of the earth, missions, and refugee support work. The congregation is focusing on the very disturbing issue of trafficking of women and children worldwide.