Easter ceremonies at Mount Saint Joseph Abbey, Roscrea take on a new dimension from this Good Friday, with an invitation from the Cistercian Community to the general public to join them in walking the new Stations of the Cross that have been developed in the beautiful monastery grounds.
All are invited to join the monks, their neighbours and visiting pilgrims in the stations walk which will commence at 7.00 pm.
The 14 Stations of carved stone are laid out in a route that circles the Abbey’s walled garden and are the generous gift of Cistercian College past-man, Ronan Egan. The installation of the stonework and the development of the route are the fruit of a collaboration between the monastic and the college communities
The Prior of Mount Saint Joseph, Dom Malachy Thompson said: “The new Stations of the Cross in the monastery grounds will be a serious prayerful asset for all, from those who live and work on the campus along with our beloved neighbours, to the many visitors who pass through our gates each day. The Stations will play a central role in the Lenten life of the campus.”
“As monks who have dedicated their lives to encountering God in one place, we appreciate that spiritual journeys are a long-term venture: a life-long walk through the ups and downs that any human will tackle. The physicality of walking has always been important in the life of prayer, as testified by historic pilgrimages and Caminos. The new installation is a perfect accompaniment to prayer, offering a physical reflection of the spiritual life as we journey up and down the roads of life. We are open daily, and it is open to all who wish to come. We hope that our quiet surroundings will be conducive to the spiritual life of many.”
In expressing the community’s gratitude to Ronan Egan, Dom Malachy also said, “we should also like to sincerely thank Mr Paddy Smyth and Fr Aodhán for their foundational and exceptional support, not only relating to this project, but in all the exceptional projects that in the past few years have sprouted a time of growth and community bonding. The prayer path, the Esker walk, and the walled garden are all examples of these excellent collaborations between the monastery and the college led by Fr Aodhán and Paddy, and we cannot underestimate the importance of these projects here at Mount Saint Joseph Abbey, or our thanks for such a blessing. From the very concept to seeing the final work completed, Paddy and Fr Aodhán have been fundamentally crucial and innovative.”
“Most importantly, we are ever grateful to our wonderful Cistercian College students, not least our TY Programme contributors. They have eagerly participated in our Stations of the Cross project with their trademark hard work and dedication. They will, like all our past students who made a mark before, leave a powerful symbol of community and prayer here at Mount Saint Joseph Abbey. We thank the College staff, who supported the project in many ways, and we thank all those who attended our memorable event on Friday.
Please come along and walk and pray the Stations of the Cross for yourself.”
Dom Malachy Thompson ocso