Sr. Máire Bríd
Sister Máire Bríd
‘her sins, which are many are forgiven, for she loved much’
Tell us a little about you:
I’m from the parish of Enniskeane in West Cork. I have two brothers and one sister. We lived on a farm in the countryside. While I usually left the farming work to my older brothers, I loved the countryside and having field walks. I did manage one summer of milking cows alright and loved it! Faith was always part of our upbringing but not something we talked about much. I will always remember our annual summer pilgrimage/holiday to Knock shrine for a week living in a mobile home. I loved this precious time and can see now how I was drawn in little ways to the life of prayer from a young age. When it came to filling out the CAO form before the Leaving Cert, I remember being very uncertain about what I wanted to do with my life. I did have thoughts about religious life but ignored it as daftness. I loved children and decided to become a primary school teacher. I spent three years studying in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick and made some great friends there too. In 2011 just after finishing my time in college and ready to start finding work, I got quite sick with what was called a viral infection. It was a difficult time but it led to what I would now call my conversion story, an experience of God’s great and ridiculous love for me…..and the love journey has continued ever since! I gradually got over the sickness and had over four years of teaching, which was both challenging and so rewarding. I got to know about Youth2000 and joined a Youth2000 prayer meeting every week near Macroom. This was a wonderful blessing for me. I also got involved in ACT (the Association of Catholic Teachers) which does wonderful voluntary work in providing additional religion teaching resources and supports. Along this journey, the draw to contemplative religious life was getting stronger. God was gently leading me and with a lot of discernment, I entered with the Redemptoristines here in Dublin on 21 November 2016.
What attracted you to the Redemptoristines?:
In the beginning it was just curiosity….even the red habits were unusual! I was drawn to contemplative life and was searching and had never heard of the Redemptoristines before. I googled them and their life seemed interesting. When I came for my first visit, I felt immediately at home and at ease. I could see they were both crazy and broken like myself! 😉I could fit in here. They were actually normal human beings! The attraction became stronger as I learned more about the Redemptoristine charism and the life of Blessed Maria Celeste and St. Alphonsus.
What Scripture passage inspires you/is your favourite? Why?:
Now it’s very hard to choose one scripture passage as I seem to have so many favourites. A recent favourite is Luke 7:36-50. An unknown, unnamed woman ‘a woman of the city, who was a sinner’ enters the house of a Pharisee, Simon and starts wiping the feet of Jesus with her tears and drying them with her hair. Such love, affection and intimacy! Jesus certainly isn’t unnerved by it. Jesus teaches Simon and all of us a great lesson about judging others: ‘her sins, which are many are forgiven, for she loved much’. I’m amazed by this woman’s courage and expression of love and repentance. I wonder about what her encounter with Jesus must have been like before this event. What was it about Jesus that changed her life around so dramatically? I also wonder about the life of this unknown, unnamed woman after this event. Was she one of the women who supported Jesus and his disciples on the road? Did she have regular encounters and conversations with Jesus? Was she one of the women who followed him all the way to Calvary? Was she one of the women to see the resurrected Jesus? Did she continue to tell others about Jesus through her great love? Did she remain a transformed woman who knew herself a loved and forgiven sinner? I see myself as this woman…