( Part 23 )
In about half of this year our neighbour sold his flat, which he had been renting for some time, and thanks to this we got a new permanent neighbour. Nice, young, and energetic. We used to see each other at first, bumping into each other in the hallway. She was preoccupied with making herself comfortable and working, and she didn’t really stand out to me 😉. I had my life and she had hers. And so it was for a while.
However, since Anna’s last stay lots has changed. The church was never in my way. Every time I had an explanation that the Polish church is in the City Centre and with small children it is difficult for me, especially since we had one car which my husband drove to work. As for the Irish churches, my explanation was that I didn’t speak English and that I wouldn’t understand anything. But as you can see, God found a way through Anna’s visit and with our daily Eucharist. After Anna left, I decided that I will be attending Polish Mass on Saturday evenings, which was held in the district about 20 minutes away from us. By that time my husband was already at home and I could attend the Mass in peace. I also received a cheat sheet from the priest with the order of the Mass written in two languages. That way, I could sometimes go to the church during the day and practice what Anna taught me. On our way back after Mass, we talked to Anna on the phone about what came to us during Mass and how we understood it. It was a beautiful time for me, full of unknown and still surprising spiritual discoveries.
Coffee with Anna
I didn’t have to wait long for another visit. On February 12, 2016, Anna again flew to Ireland. I remember telling her when we were moving to Ireland that we are going to fly to each other’s houses for coffee ☕. As you can see, I was not mistaken 😉. This time she came to stay longer, up to 16 days. For me, it was always too short, but good as that’s it.
During this Anna’s stay with us, a lot was happening. In the morning, I was taking the kids to school and kindergarten, and then we had breakfast together. At breakfast, we listened to the Gospel for the day. Around 9.30 a.m. we were leaving for the church, and on the way, Anna was explaining to me how to understand the Gospel, because I can’t hide the fact that it was black magic for me. During the Mass, she was telling me what was happening at a given moment and how to pray. I wrote it all down on a cheat sheet from a Polish priest to make it easier for me to understand what the whole rite of the Mass consists of. From then on, I began to look at attending Mass in a completely different way. Now that I was more aware, and I knew what was going on, I was more willing to go to church. At first, I felt a little strange, because there were very few people in the church and a lot older than me. Over time, I got over it when I saw my friend, who also went to Mass during the week. There were already two of us, after a while three, and even four 😉.
Church of the St Saviour
Let’s go back to Anna’s stay. During these 16 days, we visited church every day, and on Saturdays, after dropping kids at a Polish school, because living in Ireland, every Saturday our children also attended one, I was showing Anna Dublin. Of course, that day also had to be Mass, so right after school, we were going to the City Center for Mass in the Church of the St Saviour. This also became our routine during Anna’s stay in Ireland. After Mass, we’d go out to eat, and then we’d go sightseeing. It was only Anna who showed me that the Risen Jesus was lying on a bench in front of the Cathedral of the Church of Christ, whom I had not recognized when I visited this cathedral before.
Jesus lying on the bench
Jesus lying on the bench
Cathedral of the Church of Christ
On Sundays, we were going with our kids to the children’s Mass, which was held in the church, which we were visiting during the week. The wonderful Father John ran it. A man with a calling. All the kids loved him. The Mass was conducted differently than in Poland, but I think it was better for children. The Gospel was displayed in the form of a fairy tale so that the children were more focused, and it was easier to get to their hearts.
Sunday Masses for children
In the evenings we also listened to the meditation of the Bible. I was just learning because I didn’t even know what was going on. Anna was telling me what had happened in her life after her conversion, and also was going through the retreats she had attended with me. Almost every day, we visited someone for coffee ☕. At first, I was a little afraid of these meetings, because faith in our society is a difficult topic, and Anna talked a lot about it then. My fears proved unfounded. On the contrary, the girls were very happy and wanted us to come and visit them. One of these friends I met in the church, Iwonka, invited us to her house for catechesis, i.e. a meeting with her group, where they studied the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Honestly, somehow I did not want to go there, especially since it was my beginnings, and I was a little afraid, but after the meeting I was satisfied. We met new people there, a new Polish Father Verbist and in general, it was very nice and pleasant.
During this stay, of course, we could not miss a trip to Glendalough 😉. There was so much going on this time, that not knowing when, and Anna had to fly home. This time she had company in the person of my husband because he also had to go to Poland. I also took a 3-day break from Ireland and also flew to Poland on 9 March. True is that it was not a real holiday, but always a little respite and time for yourself. I had a wonderful three days in Poland and on March 11, around midnight, I landed back on Irish ground 😉.
Moment for You