St Patrick's Day Scholarship Appeal
I hope these lines find you and all you care for well and safe. On behalf of St Patrick's College, my concern, prayers, and thoughts go out to you, and especially anyone you know who is dealing with Covid-19. This crisis has had a profound impact on all of us and on our loved ones. Our worlds have been turned upside down. The situation of our lives changes day-by-day, shattering our illusions of certainty and control. These are anxious times; we are fearful about the welfare of our loved ones, especially those who are vulnerable. Above all, we are profoundly confronted with our collective and personal fragility and mortality.
At this time I want to reach out to our Maynooth family and friends, and generous benefactors in a gesture of solidarity, and words and encouragement. To take Pope Francis’s powerful image from his reflection last Friday, we are in a storm and “on the same boat—all of us—fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other…”
The crisis that has come upon us both tests and strengthens our faith. Faith is not only about belief in God; faith is relying on God. While life shows our dependence on each other, faith reveals to us how we depend on God. But we have to embrace this dependence: “let us invite Jesus into the boats of our lives,” to cite Pope Francis again. “Let us hand over our fears to him so that he can conquer them. … Because the strength of God is this: to be able to turn for the good everything that happens to us, even the bad things. He brings serenity into our storms, because with God life never dies.”
I want to assure you that we are remembering you and your family in our prayer. And I ask you to remember us before the Lord. We are united in praying for each other. In this way we express our care and concern during this crisis that has not spared anyone of us. While we may be far apart, we are not alone. We are stronger when we are together. In our prayer, we place our deepest hope in a goodness and power that transcends our own capabilities. Prayer is hope in action. No matter how simple or short, when we pray we become people of hope.
Our mission and ministry still continues: the National Seminary and the Pontifical University have been able to address the crisis and its disruption, and our students and staff are finding new ways of working online. Thankfully, we had a solid on-line learning infrastructure that is now being used to its full potential to ensure the completion of this year’s seminary and academic programmes. Working this way is not without its challenges. We feel the separation, but we are able to continue, and we are counting our blessings.
I want thank all of you who have generously given— over many, many years—to the College’s fundraising campaign “Alive in Hope!” Our ability quickly to adapt was in no small part due to the investment we had been able to make in securing our future over the last few years. Your confidence in St Patrick's, and your generosity, is permitting us now to work in a future that has overtaken us in a way that nobody imagined a few weeks ago. The life of St Patrick's and the hope of our faith allows me look forward not only to welcoming new classes of seminarians, lay students and post-graduates in the autumn, but also to working in new ways nationally and internationally.
Over its 225 year history, St Patrick’s College Maynooth has come through many hardships and navigated many storms. Our resolve is to continue to educate our future priests and laity to offer new vision and depth, and find new ways of bringing good news to their local Churches and communities in a rapidly changing and radically changed world when we come through this. And through this we will come!
Once again, be assured of my prayer for your good health, and for renewed hope.
With gratitude and many blessings,
Rev Prof Michael Mullaney
When you remember St Patrick’s in your will, you join a tradition of giving that dates back over 200 years – and reaches far into the future.
By leaving a legacy to support Ireland’s national seminary and St Patrick's Pontifical University here in Maynooth you are inspiring many future generations. You are enabling young people from diverse backgrounds to join the priesthood and helping train Catholic laity to support parishes in Ireland and across the world. You are helping to preserve our unique campus, heritage and culture for new generations. Your generosity, no matter how big or small, and foresight will leave a lasting imprint on the Church’s future.
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