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Friday--Last Day in Dublin

One final walkthrough to say farewell

storm 54 °F

After a bit of preliminary packing, I went into town. It was raining off and on, cold and gusting wind, especially along the Quay where the cottage is located. Catching the Luas (Tram) I alighted at the NCI (National College of Ireland), having spotted a barber shop. No matter where you go in the world, you need a haircut. The young girl was on a work visa from Brisbane, Australia, and afterwards, I got a scalp massage.

Shaggy no longer, I headed downtown and retraced the steps sister Robin and I had walked. I was not in a mood to explore further than I had; I was in a mood to retrace what had now become familiar haunts, and had one last meal of fish & chips (with mushy peas, of course) at a pub across from Trinity College, and where Robin and I had eaten. It was time to go, but I was feeling a bit melancholy about it.

Then it was off down Grafton St, a major shopping pedestrian lane; sort of the Rodeo Drive of Dublin. Wandering through this chancel of commercialism, I saw a sign pointed down the alley saying, ‘Carmelite Church’.

So I went in for a quick chat with God. It turns out to be a huge and, by all standards, very traditional Catholic Church. I instantly felt like I was on holy ground; something I never quite felt at Kildare. There are 6 daily Masses and 7 on Sunday. Votive candles were blazing. But what astonished me most was the number of people praying or just having a quiet ponder: housewives with their shopping; one old lady; a young man with his head in his hands, as if he had the whole world on his shoulders and was on the verge of not coping. There is a sentiment that only the old go to Church; but fully 75% in there praying were under 50 years of age.

I sat in quiet for longer than I intended, lit a candle for all my friends and family and the Parish of S. Bride, and God’s protection as I took my leave of Ireland; but not of my Good Shepherd of this journey.

Priorities in order, I wandered down to S. Stephen’s Green and found a park bench. The rain had subsided, and there was a bright blue sky; a true final gift from Ireland. I passed by a man in his early 40s reading a book entitled God: A User’s Manual, and thought of S. Philipp and the Ethiopian eunuch spoken of in the Acts. I sat down on the bench next to what appeared to be a Moorish mother and her child, speaking in French. The girl sang, ‘Fre Jacque, Fre Jacque, do me vu?’, a song our mother taught us when we were young. My final sight was a paralytic man in wheelchair, being pulled at fast clip by three little terriers, who appeared to be having the time of their lives.

Wandering back up Grafton St, which past Trinity turns into Connelly, I picked up a spare duffle bag to carry my stuff on short jaunts when I don’t need to schlepp my complete (and large) case.

At the bridge, I spied two Sisters of Charity, talking with a homeless begger. I stopped and observed the interaction, and overheard them enquiring about his health. I was impressed with their tenderness and compassion to one whom I had earlier passed. His face shone and he seemed much encouraged by their concern and assurances they would pray for them. I don’t really support beggers in the street, but I’ll certainly support the Sisters in their ministry to them.

Then it was on the Tram and up the South Quay to the Cottage. As I walked along the Quay-wall, my ship, the Ulysses, was pulling in, awaiting my boarding the next morning. It was time to pack in earnest.

Posted by stbrides 02:32 Archived in Ireland

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All of your information on Ireland, makes me think that I would love to tour there again. Now that the Easter Season it completed, maps and photo's are go up on the bulletin board at St. Bride's, so every body will be able to see where and what you have been doing.

by Texaslady

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