The “Rise of the Roses” Team arrived in Fernbank, Limerick on the 31st of July to begin preparation for the 8th stop of our Summer Tour.
We were immediately overcome with the sheer joy which radiated from the Salesian Sisters, and it became clear that we were in for a weekend full of fun, laughter and faith.
As we prepared for the event we were assisted by the Sisters and began to glean an insight into what Salesian life is like. For many of us we had never encountered Salesian Sisters before, but it soon became clear that we were in the midst of something very special. As we prayed that night we reflected on the days’ events and anticipated with excitement the next day and all the fun that was to be had.
As with all the tour dates so far, Our Lady once again gifted us with beautiful weather. As people began to arrive, they were welcomed with music, tea and lots of happy faces.
As we began to move from the tea area into the assembly hall there was a real sense of excitement as we prepared to listen and learn from the Salesian Sisters. They encaptured us with stories of John Bosco and Mary Mazzarello, and what Salesian life is all about. They shared with us the history of Salesian life in Ireland and the very nature of their life today.
Afterwards we processed out to the grotto at the front entrance to plant our 8th rose. We reflected on the journey a rose makes to become what it is, and prayed that God would help us on our journey to reach our potential.
As the day progressed we discussed with one another how successful it was and how welcome we had each been made feel. During our tea break we moved around the crowd talking to many people about their thoughts of the day. It became clear, that they like us, felt truly blessed to be present today. During Adoration as we prayed and sang together, a true sense of peace overwhelmed us. We reflected on each of our lives and that although we may never sit in this Chapel with the same group of people again we would always remain united through prayer.
The day concluded with the ‘Salesian Goodnight’. Sister Mary Doran shared the origin of this custom with us and focused on the words ‘Thank you’. Thank you to us, thank you to the Sisters, thank you to God for all that He does and will continue to do for each of us.
By Michaela McHugh and Finnuala Conuell