The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, celebrated Mass for over 250 women from Ireland and parts of Europe at a women’s retreat in Dublin last weekend. The two-day ‘Blessed is She’ retreat, the largest of its kind in Ireland, took place at the Emmaus Centre in Swords, Co Dublin on November 23 and 24.
The retreat was organised by Emma Sisk, 28, from Ballyporeen, Co Tipperary, who invited a women’s ministry from the Diocese of Phoenix called Blessed Is She to host one of their retreats outside the US for the first time. Blessed is She is an online Catholic women’s ministry devoted to Scripture, the Sacraments and sisterhood.
At the Vigil Mass for the Feast of Christ the King on Saturday afternoon Archbishop Martin told those on retreat that in Scripture it is a woman who, more than any other, shows us what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. The Archbishop said: “Mary the mother of Jesus pondered the words and actions of her Son. She remained faithful until the end. She was given to us as a mother and as one who can lead us faithfully into the reign of her Son, through her humility and obedience to that reign”.
Commenting after the retreat, Ms Sisk said, “We were delighted the Archbishop of Dublin was able to be with us. His presence with us meant a lot to all the women who were there and the words he spoke to us during his homily shows just how much we as women are in his heart.
“The theme of the retreat was ‘Wild’. It was drawn from John 3:8 which says: ‘The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit’.”
Ms Sisk concluded: “The Blessed Is She retreat in Dublin was a phenomenal success. We had women come from all over Ireland and others who flew in from parts of Europe. The feedback I received over the course of the retreat tells me there is a real thirst for this to become an annual retreat. Most importantly it also shows the need for an authentic Catholic women’s ministry here in Ireland”.