Interview by Soul Wave Radio with Father Brian Grogan SJ
The ancient monastery of Clonmacnoise was founded by St Ciaran c.545 AD. It became a major monastic settlement in the Early Middle Ages. On Sunday 23rd October people gathered there to pray with Loving Sister Earth. Among the round towers, sculptured high crosses and ruined churches of Clonmacnoise prayers were offered for the care of creation and for universal harmony.
The ritual opened with a hymn which is one of the most expressive of Irish Spirituality, St Patrick’s Breastplate. A Litany was recited asking mercy for our destruction of creation and to intercede for the poor, the lonely , the sick and the dying. In song the presence of God was acknowledged in this holy place and in life’s varied circumstances.
Praise of creation resounded from Pope Francis “Prayer for our earth” and from the “Canticle of Creatures” of St Francis of Assisi. The beauty of these prayers brought the participants to a deep prayerful place.
The ritual concluded with the hymn “How Great Thou Art” rejoicing in God’s presence in the beauty and grandeur of all Creation.
Loving Sister Earth
Celebrating God’s Creation and Praying for Universal Harmony!
Continues in the Sacred Place of Clonmacnoise join us in prayer and song on Sunday 23rd October 2016 at 3pm
Refreshments to follow
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The Story of Love Concert including a magnificent overview of the www.lovingsisterearth.com prayer rituals praying for Universal Harmony, all from Knock Shrine Ireland Saturday 15 October 2016 Live Streaming at 8pm (Irish Local Time) on Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.
At Knock Shrine doors open for the concert at 6.45pm concert begins at 8pm.
https://www.clicktopray.org/en/news Click to view live concert at 8pm worldwide
Throughout Ireland people have been gathering with Loving Sister Earth to pray for Universal Harmony. The following videos show us some of these prayer rituals. We ask you to view them mindfully. Please join in the prayer of gratitude for the gift of creation and intercede with us for the Care of Our Common Home and the Healing of Humanity on the 15 and 16 of October.
Brigid of Kildare
Peace Garden Donegal
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On 29th September at the parish church of the Ascension of the Lord, Balally, Co Dublin, a ritual took place to celebrate God’s gift of creation.
The ritual started with a procession of participants bringing baskets of fruit, vegetable and plants to the sanctuary which created a sacred space representing the earth’s bounty.
“Glance at the sun. See the moon and the stars. Gaze at the beauty of earth’s greenings. Now think what delight God gives to humankind” (Hildegard of Bingen).
With these opening lines all were being invited to praise God for creation and to say together Psalm 148 “Cosmic Hymn of Praise”.
This was followed by a reflection on how humans have sinned against the animals and the earth, prayers of repentance and intercession for healing were said.
The ritual reflected on Laudato Si’ and conclude with the singing of the hymn “How Great Thou Art”.
It was a very prayerful evening which left people reluctant to leave and disturb the meditative silence which followed.
On the feast of St Francis of Assisi, a group of friends from different Christian backgrounds met to pray together and give thanks for the beauty of God’s creation. They met at one of our ancient Christian sites in Cong Co. Mayo. Close to the ruins of the 12th century Augustinian Abbey on the outskirts of Ashford Castle are the present day Anglican Church and Catholic Church. The group prayed at each of them, giving thanks for how God has been with his people and blessed them throughout the ages. They prayed for an outpouring of blessings on all who worship at both churches and on all visitors to Ashford Castle and the village of Cong. The gathering ended with a blessing from Laudato Si’.
The Diocese of Killaloe is taking part in the Loving Sister Earth initiative with an event called Celebrate the Wonder Around Us in Lorrha on Sunday afternoon, 16th of October from 3 – 5 p.m. The ‘Monastic Village’ of Lorrha is a wonderful place for this celebration. The first monastery was established here by St Ruadhán in the 6th century. A centre of learning, this monastery was the source of the Stowe Missal, one of the great manuscripts of its time which today can be seen in the Royal Irish Academy. Later, St Ruadhán’s Monastery became associated with the Céile Dé Movement, a reform initiative within the Celtic Church. In the 13th Century, the Dominicans drawing on the rich faith and cultural heritage of the people, established a famous priory in Lorrha. These were followed by a second foundation set up by the Augustinians.
This rich history will form a background to the celebration in Lorrha on Sunday 16th October. People are invited to gather at the Community Hall at 3 p.m. and walk to Friar’s Park where a short ritual will be led by the Mercy Ecology Centre in Portumna celebrating the unfolding story of God’s creation. Local Farmer, James Heenan will then lead a walk focusing on the history of water and how its availability in the local river and well helped shape the monastic story of the village. At stopping points along the way we will celebrate and give thanks to the Creator for the gifts of creation and especially the gift of water. The event will end with a display of the fruits of creation and a cup of tea in the Community Hall around 5 p.m.
All are welcome!
On the 12th September a ritual took place at St Brigid’s Well in Kildare. The pilgrims gather outside the entrance to the garden where the well is located from where they walked to the statue of St Brigid. They were accompanied by a musician playing the tin whistle. A reflection was offered on the life of St Brigid as a woman of the land, to whom peace, hospitality and the marginalised were important.
Elaine O’Leary, a mother and grandmother with a degree in applied Christian Spirituality and Helen Grealy, a Sister of Our Lady of the Cenacle talk with Miriam Gormally about the importance of opening ourselves up to the wisdom of our ancestors and how Loving Sister Earth started.
Listen to soul waves radio interview (mp3)
Loving Sister Earth live streaming from the following Irish locations on the 15 and 16 October.
Cill Inion Monastic Site Killiney Co Dublin
The Upper Lake, Glendalough Co Wicklow
The Celtic Garden, Muff Co Donegal
Teampaill Chiarain, Inis Mor, Aran Islands
St Brigids Well, Kildare
Knock Shrine Knock Co Mayo.
On Sept 9th a Loving Sister Earth creative prayer ritual was held in Kilronan, Inis Mór on the Aran Islands. This was the feast of St Ciarán. The intention was to hold the ritual at Teampaill (church) and Tobar (well) Ciarán. However weather conditions were prohibitive and the ritual took place instead in the parish church of Kilronan.
The ritual was conducted mostly in the Irish language which is the spoken language of the Aran Islands. Participants included 50 school children and many adults from the community. Creativity was expressed in music, song and dance glorifying God for the wonder of creation. Prayer was also offered that there would be peace and harmony among the peoples of the earth.
At a later point when weather conditions were more suitable some of the participants did go to Teampaill and Tobar Ciarán. As being in tune with creation is at the heart of Loving Sister Earth they took the time to feel the waterlogged earth beneath their feet and to drink the pure water from the well of St Ciarán
On the afternoon of Friday 26th August another Loving Sister Earth Creative Prayer Ritual took place in a Celtic Garden in Donegal near the border of Derry. Both of these counties are strongly associated with St Colmcille, now better known by his Latin name St Columba.
The Celtic Garden and the Prayer Ritual were created by the Columba Community, a modern day lay community founded by Fr Neal Carlin to pray and work for healing, reconciliation and peace.
The prayer began with the playing of the harp in the Trinity circle in the centre of the garden. Then the participants processed to the mound of St Patrick where a fire was lit and prayer was offered that the fire of strong faith may spread again throughout Ireland as it did in the Golden Age and for a fire of a new Pentecost.
At a Cross in honour of St Mura, thanksgiving was offered for the fruits of the earth.
At a Beehive Cell erected to commemorate St Columba the group experienced a profound meditative silence.
The pilgrims then walked quietly to a shrine in honour of St Dympna the patron saint of mental health. Here prayer was offered for all who suffer from anxiety, for those struggling with addictions and for all seeking the peace and freedom that only God can give.
The group then travelled to a well that is actually located on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Here people were invited to drink form the pure crystal water of the well and to pray for creation, and the renewal of faith, courage, humility, truth and a new joy in building Christian community.
Irish Messenger July 2016 Special Feature – Brian Grogan SJ – Care of Our Earth.
More than a year ago, a small group of people got together because they wanted to play their part in building a better world. Pope Francis’ call in ‘Laudato Si’ (May 2015) for Care of Our Com¬mon Home resonated with them, and they have come up with two exciting projects in response. The first is Loving Sister Earth and the second is The Story of Love.
A Creative Prayer Ritual ‘ took place at the Upper Lake, Glendalough, Co Wicklow on Thursday 18th August. This was the area that St Kevin was first attracted to because of its natural beauty and that it provided him silence and solitude that facilitated his communion with God.
The Prayer Ritual was led by Fr Michael Rodgers and team. It began by connecting with the elements light, air, earth and water. Each of these elements was aligned to the four seasons. Turning south, east, north and west the participants were also asked to reflect on the seasons on their own personal life’s journey.
The next part of this prayer ritual was a silent walk by the lakeside to the place where ‘St Kevin’s bed’ is visible. Here there was time for reflection and contemplation as ‘it is the power of the place that speaks’. The prayer ritual was concluded by all reciting together the Prayer for Universal Harmony and singing the section of St Patrick’s Breastplate, Christ be beside me.’
A creative prayer ritual took place in Killiney last Sunday. It was at Cill Iníon Leinín a 6th century monastic site believed to have been founded by the daughters of Leinín a Celtic chieftain of that time. Their names were known as Druigen, Luigen, Luicell, Macha and Riomtach. It is from this site that Killiney derives its name.
People approached the site on pilgrimage from three different routes including an ancient pilgrim path. The pilgrims ranged in age from 1yr to 93yrs. There was a prayerful meditation on creation and prayer for universal harmony.