by Sister Gerard Earls, CCVI

A bright sunny Spring day on March 25th, 2017, marked the Sesquicentennial Celebration of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, in County Clare, Ireland. The event began with the celebration of the Eucharist with the main celebrant being Bishop Fintan Monahan, Bishop of the Diocese of Kilaloe, and the retired Bishop Willie Walsh, along with members of the local clergy. As part of the entrance procession, symbols in the history of the Congregation. Local musicians from Shannon along with Sister Brenda Williams, CCVI, provided the music. Invited guests represented friends, benefactors and the local Board of Directors of Carrigoran House.

After the celebration of the Eucharist, everyone walked to the inner garden and gathered for the planting of the Castanea Sativa, “The Sweet Chestnut,” or “Spanish Chestnut” not to be confused with what we know as the ‘Horse Chestnut.’ The genus derives its name from an ancient city in what is now modern day Turkey: The City of Kastanaia, whence the Latin name.

The founding sisters of the Congregation would have been very familiar with this tree as it was abundant about the environs of Lyon, France and would have been a part of their folk memory.

This is one of the reasons why this particular tree was chosen to commemorate the Sesquicentennial Anniversary the tree planting, everyone gathered in the Wellness Centre for the reception and fellowship. The day could not have been more perfect with the warmth of the sunshine and the gratitude of so many recognizing the mission and contribution that the Sisters and dedicated co-ministers have made to the care of the elderly in Ireland.

It truly was an opportunity to give thanks to God and to all those who have supported and continue to support Carrigoran House and its Wellness Centre. Praised be the Incarnate Word! 

Pictured above:
1. Bishop Fintan Monaghan, Sr. Gerard Earls, Sr. Brenda Williams, Sr. Vicenta Miranda, Sr. Elizabeth Ann Hayes, Sr. Sheila Sullivan and Valerie Vaughan, CEO of Carrigoran House, celebrated the Sesquicentennial at the tree-planting at Carrigoran House.
2. Mr. Martin Duffy, former Carrigoran Board Director; Mr. Kevin Barry, Carrigoran Board Director and Chair; Ms. Assumpta Murray, Carrigoran Board Director; Ms. Ann Fitzgibbon, Carrigoran Board Director; Ms. Mary Stafford and former Carrigoran Board Director, Ms. Valerie Vaughan, current CEO of Carrigoran House gathered at the Sesquicentennial Celebration in County, Clare, Ireland.
3. Sister Elizabeth Ann Hayes addressed the attendees of the Sesquicentennial Celebration of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, in County Clare, Ireland.

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