150 Year of Carrigoran Sisters

Sesquicentennial Celebration of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, Carrigoran House, Saturday, March 25th, 2017.


Celebration of 150 Years

What a great celebration today as we mark not just a centeniel but the sesquicentennial celebration of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.  By any standards 150 years is a serious reason to celebrate and shout out loud!


Founding Motto

I love mottos and really like the motto of the Sisters of Charity, “Serving with gladness – Yesterday, today and tomorrow”. Service, joy, past present and future!


Kahil Gibran 1883-1931

The modus operandiof the congregation echo the words of the spiritual poet Kahil Gibran “I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy.  I woke and I saw that life is all service.  I served and I saw that service is joy.”


Vision of Bishop Claude Marie Dubuis

Invariably with any institution we look back to the source, the origen, the roots, the early beginnings.  Who or what was the vision of the founder?  What we celebrate today was in response to the call of the founder Bishop Claude Marie Dubuis, in 1866 “Our Lord Jesus Christ, suffering in the persons of sick and infirm of every kind seeks relief at your hands.”


From Humble Acorns, great Oak trees Grow.

We know the story, the humble origens, Bishop Dubuis from France to Galveston, Texas, back to France with three sisters who became the springboard for the foundation of a Religious congrgation who would minsiter in the US, Africa, Central America, Ireland and have great influence all over the globe. From small acorns, great oak trees grow!


4 Primary Ministries

For the sisters of Charity of the Incarnate word their mission revolved around 4 great noble pillars, Education, Health Care, Social Concerns and Spirituality.  This Mission was to provide hope to people in a world full of sadness and sickness.  Health care for the sisters is a basic human right, not a luxury or a privilege.  Immigration, Human Trafficking, Families in need are some of the great social concerns of the congrgation along with the healing mission of Jesus Christ.


Future full of Hope!

One of the most attractive thing I have found in coming to know more and more about hte congregation is that they offer a bring and positive vision for the future, a future full of hope.


History of Carrigoran House, Newmarket

In 1925 the sisters bought Carrigoran House and in 1974 the Nursing Home as we know it today came into existence. Uniquely designed and purpose built to cater for the elderly, Carrigoran House prides itself on its long track record in setting new standards in care and retirement and offering and maintaining the highest standards and comfort to residents.  (Tadhg Ó Móráin story, RIP).


Carrigoran House had its beginnings caring for a small number of local residents in a modest cottage.   The mission of the House commenced when a homeless woman arrived at the convent and requested care and respite. It grew from there to a 113 bed centre that offers a variety of services to residents of the immediate areas of Shannon, Newmarket on Fergus and Limerick City and the wider communities of Counties Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary, centred around the diocese of Killaloe.



The vision of this centre of excellence includes the following:

  • Dignity, value and worth of each person
  • Offering a Caring Service
  • Compassion with a spirit of empathy, love and concern
  • Stewardship, using resources to promote healing and wellbeing



The philosophy of Carrigoran House is to maintain the independence of seniors for as long as possible and to provide them with the dignity they deserve in the harvest time of life.


The Annunciation, 25th of March

What a great day to celbrate the founding of any great venture, the feast of the Annunciation.  The feast of the annunciation reminds us that it is exactly 9 months to the celebration of the Incarnation!  A strong reminder that we have only 9 calendar months to get all our Christmas shopping done!!!


The Annunciation marked an outstanding beginning, the start of our salvation, the initial “Yes” of Mary in today’s Gospel.


Annunciation – New Years Day

The history of calendars is very interesting and one of the calendars that came into existence at the Council of Tours in 567 AD the feast of the Annunciation, the 25th of March, the significant day of beginning was designated as new years day! In some countries today still marks the beginning of the financial new year.


Lady Day

In many countries and cultures this day is called “Lady Day”.  They say it is a man’s world!!!  But with Lady Day today and Mother’s day tomorrow, perhaps that might not be the case, at least this weekend!


On the feast of the Annunciation we mark God’s great intervention into human history, when he began to make all things new again.


Theologically and Spiritually

Theologically what we celebrate on this great feast day are two great events of our faith: The Beginning of Salvation and the Great Yes of Mary!


St. Ireneus of Lyons

St. Ireneus of Lyons, a 2ndcentury divine, saw the Conception of Jesus coinciding with the Passion, an interesting observation or pairing of two major hinges of the faith.


St. Leo the Great

In one of his homilies Saint Leo the Great says, “Thus the Son of God enters this lowly world. He comes down from the throne of heaven, yet does not separate himself from the Father’s glory. He is born in a new condition, by a new birth. He was born in a new condition, for, invisible in his own nature, he became visible in ours. Beyond our grasp, he chose to come within our grasp. Existing before time began, he began to exist at a moment in time. Lord of the universe, he hid his infinite glory and took the nature of a servant. Incapable of suffering as God, he did not refuse to be a man, capable of suffering. Immortal, he chose to be subject to the laws of death.”


Beauty of this feast day!

What a beautiful feast of our Lady this, feast, the Annunciation is!


A traditional hymn for the feast the Annunciation goes back to St Athanasius. It runs:

Today is the beginning of our salvation,

And the revelation of the eternal mystery!

The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin

As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace.ay

Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:[

“Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!”


Congratulations, Celebrations and Blessings

Today we rejoice in this great sesquinenniel celebration of the Congregation.

Thank God for the outstanding work done by so many of the sisters and collaborators over so many years.


According to the monumental historical work of Fr. Reuben Butler and Máire Ní Ghruagáin on the history of Newmarket on Fergus, since 1925 94 sisters have been missioned at Carrigoran’s St. Michael’s convent.  In addition 538 young women passed through passed through Carrigoran on their way to Texas to become members of the congregation.  These statistics speak volumes for themselves!


Congratulations, blessings and best wishes!

Congratulations to all the sisters and staff, past and present on this great commemorative day!

The phrase is often thrown out – go maire tú an céad.  In this case go maire sibh an dá chéad agus i bhfad le cois ar sin, le cúnamh agus grásta Dé!

May the good Lord continue to bless them and enrich their ministry and great work – as their motto says “Serving with gladness – Yesterday, today and tomorrow”.