Thursday of this week was a very special day in the life of the community at Glencairn as we witnessed Sister Fiachra making her Final Vows – the third sister in our community to make Solemn Profession at St Mary’s Abbey, Glencairn this year.
Sister Fiachra entered St Mary’s Abbey, Glencairn in 2006 after managing her family’s garden centre for some years and latterly studying horticulture at Writtle college in England. She made her First Profession on 22nd June, 2009.
Fiachra, the seventh century Irish saint, whose feast day is celebrated on 30th August, is renowned for his hospitality and healing powers in the growth and use of medicinal herbs. Saint Fiachra is the patron saint of gardeners and florists.
The prominence of gardens and plants in scripture was highlighted at the Profession Mass in the liturgy and in the homily by Dom Augustine, Abbot of Mount Melleray Abbey. The Bible begins, he notes, in the garden of Eden – which he likened to the natural beauty of Glencairn, and ends in the Book of Revelation with the Tree of life. The mystery of the growth of a plant from a tiny seed, he observed, can be paralleled to our own growth on our monastic journey in our life of conversion and transformation in Christ.
As Sister Fiachra received her black veil and new cowl, symbol of her monastic commitment to God, the professed members of the community gathered to welcome her in her definitive commitment as a fully professed Cistercian nun of our community.
We were delighted to share the joy of this event with Sister Fiachra’s family and friends with whom we spent a lovely afternoon following the ceremony and our festive meal together.
We thank God for the gift of Sister Fiachra on this day, together with Sisters Mary and Denise who made their Solemn Profession earlier this year. We pray for their future happiness and fulfilment in the monastic life. We also look forward to celebrating the upcoming Solemn Profession of Sister Maria Therese on 6th November, our fourth Solemn Profession this year!
We continue to pray for new vocations for many more to follow them in the Cistercian life at Glencairn in the years to come.
Photo: Sister Fiachra with her eldest brother Stephen, 30th August, 2012
View more photos of the day in our Events Gallery