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Jesuit tertians inspire students

CYRIL MURPHY ::

Mr Cyril Murphy, Director of Liturgy at Clongowes Wood College SJ in County Kildare, reports on the recent visit of international Jesuit tertians to the school. This included the celebration of Mass and a sharing in the Jesuit mission worldwide.

Whilst the church celebrates the end of Christmas with the ‘Feast of the Epiphany’ and the visit of the three wise men, we in Clongowes celebrate our first Sunday Eucharist of the new year with a visit from ten wise men – just not to be out-done!

This year’s annual visit of the Jesuit tertians to Clongowes took place on the 12th of January. Their visit is a highpoint in our year and one which underlines, for our student community, the huge internationalism, diversity and intellectual strength and depth of the Society of Jesus.

Tertianship is the final element of formation before a Jesuit takes solemn vows to the Society. It is, in effect, a second novitiate and represents a return to the school of the heart. Already ordained, these Jesuit priests have been in a career for several years, and come from all over the globe – America, China, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and many more European countries. They have taken a year out for a period of reflection and examination of their mission. During this time, they will reside at Manresa House, a Jesuit retreat centre located in Dollymount, Dublin. Rooted in prayer, this time affords them the deeper opportunity to allow Christ to permeate their whole being and to guide and inspire them in being even more effective in their chosen apostolate.

On the first Sunday Mass of the new year, the tertians join us for our liturgy and one of them gives the homily – this year it was Fr Robert Murphy SJ from Saint Louis University Campus, USA. They introduce themselves at the beginning of Mass and say a little about themselves and their work. It is always a moving occasion to hear and witness the depth and breadth of the Jesuit mission throughout the world, from working with refugees in Syria to university posts in Europe and teaching in high schools in America. Their joy and serenity in their chosen career were radiantly evident. Fr Robert Murphy SJ gave an excellent homily which was pitched perfectly for the student congregation, encouraging them to be open to the Spirit of God in guiding their career choices in life.

We wish our visiting tertians every blessing and God’s guidance as they embark on their new missions.