McDarby Institute Reflection: Final Thoughts

At the airport again, this time in Shannon. We have passed through the Duty Free shop – the final shopping lure before boarding our plane for Boston. There are so many beautiful things here – the products or Irish creativity and artistry – but nothing matches the magnificent views we have enjoyed over the past two days as we traveled through Kerry and Clare. The beauty of the scenery was heightened by clear blue skies and warm temperatures

Last night we sat around the dinner table and talked of lasting memories, of gifts that will carry us through the years. Here are some of our reflections.

“The highlight of this incredible trip for me was trying on Catherine McAuley’s ring. Visiting the Presentation Convent where she founded my community was also very in spiritual.”

– Sr. Mary Joy

“This is an experience I will not forget. So many favorite things, I cannot list them all. Connecting with people who were coworkers who are now friends. And reconnecting with ancestors in the place they lived.”

-Dottie Antonucci

“We’re going home and bringing Catherine with us. Our connection to Ireland and the roots of the Sisters of Mercy will last forever. I feel more connected to today’s Sisters.”

-Jen Roth

“This was such a wonderful and inspiring experience- walking through the life of Catherine and connecting with colleagues and new friends. Learning about the Irish culture was exciting and beautiful.”

– Laurie Petty

“Watching Sister Mary exit Carlow convent with arms outstretched and walk toward us touched my heart. I’ve never felt so welcomed and loved when having tea with all of the Sisters of Mercy we met. I especially hold dear the vision of Sister Philomena’s smiling face. Truly a trip of a lifetime. Forever grateful to Sister Sheila.”

– Sandy Ortolani

Make Mercy Real is a term that I heard on campus prior to our trip. After experiencing Irish hospitality and spirit of the Sisters of Mercy (both current and historical), I feel that I understand our Mission in a whole new way.”

– Lisa Sharfstein

“An absolutely awesome experience that was shared with new absolutely awesome friends. Thank you Sister Sheila!”

– Cindi Karaffa

“What an experience of a life time. Our beloved Catherine is even closer to me than ever. The hearts of Ireland are as wide as the smiles of the people. To be given this blessing is a treasure of Ireland to impart to others. Thank you, Sr. Sheila.”

– Judy Halterlein.

One of the unique features of flying Aer Lingus is that every plane has a patron saint. We are flying home on Saint Boice, companion of Saint Patrick. Every facet of our pilgrimage has been blessed and we trust in Saint Boice to end this rich and amazing experience by bringing us safely home.

Sister Sheila, with Charlotte the lamb

Read more posts from the pilgrimage.

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