The Redemptoristine Sisters are no strangers to social distancing. As an enclosed order of they remain inside their monastery on the northside of Dublin all year round.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, their daily audience for the online broadcast of Mass has reached over 3,000. The Mass is offered each day at 5:45pm by Father Pat O’Donoghue from their chapel on Saint Alphonsus’ Road in Drumcondra.
Sister Lucy Conway, Prioress of the Redemptoristine Sisters, spoke to The Irish Times this week. She said, “Due to government restrictions on movement everyone is a contemplative at the moment, which may be a problem for most people but it is easy for us.”
As a contemplative order, the sisters remain inside the monastery except for in exceptional circumstances. There are 14 sisters in the community and their day begins at 6.30am. Most of their day, up to 10.00pm, is spent in silence and prayer.
Sister Lucy continued, “There is a lot of silence in the cloisters and the enclosed garden which, now in spring, lets you know that there is a God when you see the beauty of nature all around.”
Each year the sisters make around 25 million altar breads for Communion. These are used in churches all over Ireland and in the UK. This is their sole source of income to the monastery and this has now come to a halt when public Masses were suspended two weeks ago.
Their daily Mass is live-streamed via webcam and can be viewed on rednuns.com.