My latest on Esker — in the current Connacht Tribune

In my recent article in this paper about the imminent closure of Esker monastery I briefly mentioned that the monastery was considered by many people as a place with a healing ministry. This ministry was intimately connected with one of the earliest Redemptorists, an Italian from the eighteenth century, Gerard Majella, who is now a canonised saint. My memory of the monastery in my young days was that there was always one particular priest associated with the gift, and who used a relic of the saint in his ministry.

Church authorities failing to nurture Faith

The parish I was born and reared into is situated between the towns of Athenry and Loughrea in Co. Galway, in the diocese of Clonfert. It is known as Kiltulla/Killimordaly. The parish priest lived in Kiltulla, and the curate in the other end which is where I lived.  Here he served the lovely little church in Killimordaly, along with another one in Clooncah. Killimordaly church has many memories for me. I was baptised there in January 1947, in the middle of a long period when the ground was covered with snow.

The Closure of Esker Monastery

Esker monastery is to be closed. The community, to which I belong, is to be moved out before the end of the year, and then an attempt will be made to offload the building.

It was obvious for many years that this day was coming. Twenty five years ago I wrote a book, The Death of Religious Life?, which predicted that we would probably live to see the collapse of monasteries and convents, and now we are witnessing it.

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