Fr.Dermot Murray SJ today reiterated the Jesuits’ commitment to serving the people of Limerick through education, faith and spirituality in accordance with the Jesuit tradition.
Speaking as the ‘For Sale’ sign went up on the historic Sacred Heart Church and residence on the Crescent, Limerick, Fr. Murray added, “It’s a very sad day for Jesuits as well as for the people of Limerick who loved the church and worshipped faithfully in it over many years.”
But Fr. Murray explained that in the light of changing needs in the Church, reduced Jesuit resources and the significant number of existing Churches within the city centre, the Jesuits believed the best way forward was to develop a Centre for Spirituality for Limerick. “Jesuits have been serving the people of Limerick with the arrival of David Woulfe SJ in 1560, and the opening of Crescent College in at the beginning of the 17th century, and they continue to serve it through the Crescent College Comprehensive. Continuing this tradition of working with the people of Limerick the Spirituality Centre will be initially based in the Jesuit residence in Dooradoyle until the most appropriate location for the new centre is determined”.
Commenting on the need for such a Centre Fr. Murray said that many people find the way they prayed and understood their faith has not changed since childhood and as adults they may feel a need to deepen their faith and spirituality in their everyday lives. He had been deeply impressed by his recent experiences of such centres in the United States where many people responded to the offer of structured help toward a more developed spirituality. “The Jesuit Spirituality Centre in Limerick will be building on the Spiritual Exercises of our founder St. Ignatius, the cornerstone of which is helping people to find God where they are at here and now, in the mundane, the wonderful and the difficult experiences of life. That means we will be there for people of great faith, little faith and even very little faith!”
Fr. Murray quoted a recent commentator who kindly noted that for centuries the Jesuits had given so much to Limerick in terms of spirituality, education and even music and sport and added that the Jesuits enjoy a special relationship with Limerick. “We are grateful to the people of Limerick for their ongoing support and the development of this spirituality centre is a sign of our commitment to continuing and furthering that special relationship”, he concluded.