Kildare Ministries is built on the solid rock of the story of Jesus Christ and his life, and then on the stories of our founders – Nano Nagle, Bishop Delany and St. Brigid. In these days it can be so easy to lose hope in our institutions like the Church, the banks, government – to name a few - because of scandalous behaviour which impacts so tragically on the lives of people. Strengthening our hope in a future is important work for all of us in Kildare Ministries.
We reflect on Jesus and his story and actions; they show us how to be mission focussed in our daily lives as enablers of hope in our ministries. There is no doubt that in our community ministries, and in our colleges, HOPE does spring eternal.
Our young people need all leaders to be beacons of hope, story tellers of stories of hope, and most importantly people who, by our words and deeds, give them hope. Hope is not a product of the amount of wealth we accumulate nor a product of fame. HOPE is definitely the product of how we understand that each of us is born in the image and likeness of God, and then how we act because of that. St. Brigid, Bishop Daniel Delaney and Nano Nagle all came from privileged backgrounds as we know – but look at their lives in action! Their lives were dedicated to bringing HOPE to others. Brigid and Daniel went against the accepted norms of the day. Anne Lyons pvbm says that “Nano became a prophetic, pioneering, courageous daring voice for people who had been held in the throes of despair and hopelessness….”. The challenge to each of us is to ask how are we doing this in Kildare Ministries?
We congratulate the staff and volunteers whose work gives HOPE to refugees, asylum seekers, and families at a time when they most need it. In turn they are often supported by the actions of students in our colleges through volunteer work, fundraising, and hospitality. Building connections, strengthening communication and understanding means we don’t live in an atmosphere of ignorance and fear; it means that we regard our fellow human beings with respect for their potential for the future.
The members of our Kildare Mission and Ministry Team and the office staff are also working to bring HOPE through their work. In that context we especially look forward with Hope to the forthcoming KM conference to deepen our understanding of being Church in the contemporary world.
The Trustees visit colleges and ministries, and we hear about and witness evidence of the work that is done in the name of HOPE in these places.
We have recently spoken with Archbishop Mark Coleridge (Archdiocese of Brisbane) and Bishop Vincent Long (Diocese of Parramatta) to engage in dialogue regarding the future of this battered church. They both acknowledged that change is necessary. As Trustees, we HOPE that the 8,500 students in our schools in future years will see something different in the structure and actions of our Church. Pope Francis has likened the Church to a field hospital. An understanding of the work of a field hospital is that it too brings HOPE to the wounded. The wounds will leave scars which remind us of what not to be. Let us keep on with being like Jesus, like our founders “prophetic, … courageous and daring” in HOPE for the future.
Maree Marsh csb & Rosemary Copeland
Co-Chairs Trustees Kildare Ministries