25th Anniversary of Mothers’ Union Quiet Day in Ballydehob

Mothers’ Union members at the 25th Quiet Day in Ballydehob

Hilary Dring, President of the Mothers’ Union in the Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, writes:

For more than 25 years members in Ballydehob/Aughadown Mothers’ Union branch have organised an Annual Quiet Day open to everyone from across the diocese. Each year the message about the date would arrive, branches were informed, and members and friends invited. Faithfulness is a wonderful attribute; it is indeed one of the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22. We take this opportunity to thank all those who have been involved over the years; many of them are no longer with us. Their legacy lives on.

Each year the gathering in St. Matthew’s Hall near Church Cross offers a wonderful opportunity to take some time out of our busy lives to recalibrate at the beginning of the year. The Quiet Day has always been in January but, as with so many other events in recent times, COVID got in the way. So, on Wednesday 5 th October almost 30 members and friends met for a wonderful day of renewal and fellowship. Our speaker was former Diocesan President, Patsy Devoy, well known and much loved by our members. Patsy was the speaker at the very first Quiet Day on 15th January 1996 and so it was very appropriate that she should be invited to facilitate this special occasion. She chose gratitude as her theme and shaped the day around Psalm 139, especially focussing on the words “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Each of us has a very personal and special story to tell, a story unique to us. Patsy shared some of her special story, relating memories from her own life, as she reflected on who and what has shaped her into the person she has become. We each then had time to think about our own special story and to reflect on the things for which we are especially grateful. She said that this remembering “…might sometimes make us think of people we need to forgive…or are in the process of forgiving! Or sometimes we may think of someone of whom we need to ask forgiveness.”

Patsy then shared some stories from a book called ‘Fearfully and Wonderfully Made’ by Philip Yancey and Paul Brand. We were encouraged to think about our faith journeys and who/what has helped us along the way so far. She remembered former Bishop Roy Warke coming to Carrigrohane to share some of his faith journey; she described how Bishop Roy spoke his experience of a gradual process of coming to faith rather than a ‘light-bulb’ moment. This was very encouraging to hear. A reminder yet again that every person’s story is unique to them, and no journey is better or less important than another.

We finished the day using Psalm 139 as the framework for our prayers and then joined the Archbishop of Canterbury as we listened to him reading the prayers for the 28 th of September on the Lectio365 App which also used some words from Psalm 139. LECTIO365 is a wonderful App which has prayers for morning and evening each day; the morning prayers end with this prayer –

Father, enable me to live this day to the full, being true to you in every way.
Jesus, enable me to give myself away to others, being kind to everyone I meet.
Spirit, enable me to love the lost, proclaiming Christ in all I do and say. Amen

Our thanks go to the local members who organised the day with tea and coffee, soup for lunch and a beautiful 25 th anniversary cake for the special occasion. Everyone who came was delighted to share in fellowship and friendship on the day, catching up with people we hadn’t been able to see for quite some time; a reminder again that Mothers’ Union is about reaching out into our communities and parishes and about being friends to and supporting one another.

Hilary Dring, Diocesan President of the Mothers’ Union, Patsy Devoy, and Maria Swanton
Patsy Devoy, Maria Swanton and Essie Shannon
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