AN  GÁIRDÍN  SPIORADÁLTA

 

The Spiritual Garden of Remembrance was officially blessed and opened on Sunday, 30th May 2010.  It is situated at the rear of the Church.  (To gain entry, go through the small archway, near the side door of the church, at the eastern or town side, and proceed to the gateway in the rear wall).

The Spiritual Garden of Remembrance represents the blending of two significant strands: an aspect of our Catholic tradition and the involvement of the local parish community.

It is especially true today that few of us are aware of the richness, variety and depth of our Catholic tradition.  That tradition has hugely influenced European culture, spiritual and secular: from art and architecture; to the promotion of learning through philosophy, science, and the legal system; to Biblical study, contemplation and popular spirituality.

In developing this garden we have made an attempt to recover one small feature of this great Catholic tradition.  It sources our native Celtic tradition too.  Here we praise the God of creation and reflect on his many gifts to us.  The garden contains flowers, shrubs and plants as well as a wild garden area.  It has a waterfall and some stone features, wooden structures, a labyrinth, and seating areas.  We have added a number of appropriate verses from the Bible here and there.

Our garden is dedicated in a special way to children who have died in infancy or before birth.  We pray that their parents and families may find some comfort here.

In the beginning there was just an ordinary field, somewhat wild and rough, outside the church grounds.  On Saturday, 23rd June 2007, work began on the erecting of a concrete fence to define the area.  The real work began in the summer of 2008 when the ground was levelled out for the first time, wooden panelling erected inside the perimeter concrete fence, and some of the paths were laid.  In the spring of 2009 the water feature and bridge were put in place.  The pace of development seemed to increase with the passing of time.  From the autumn of 2009 through the spring of 2010 the garden took on the shape it has now, with further levelling of the ground, the addition of a pergola, árasán and labyrinth, and the planting of various flowers and shrubs.

The most extraordinary feature of the Spiritual Garden is that everything was done by voluntary labour.  But for those of us involved it has been a privilege, as the enterprise seemed to take on a life of its own.  In fact, as we worked, the garden seemed to evolve rather than follow an exact and clear-cut plan.

We hope that all visitors to our garden will experience the beauty, peace and stillness to be found here.  It is intended to be a place where we can get in touch with the deeper aspects of ourselves and the goodness of God and of his creation.