K Lynch Round towerThe Sublime Tower: An Iconic Call to Contemplative Prayer by Sr. Kathleen Lynch  

Sister Kathleen launched the book in 2014 “The Sublime Tower”. “The Sublime Tower: An Iconic Call to Contemplative Prayer” by Sr. Kathleen Lynch, FMDM.    A Synopsis  The challenge to follow Christ so aptly applied by a Desert Father John Cassian, (c.360-433), in the parable of the tower (Lk.14:33) is the call to every human being to realise their full personhood in a faith-awakening contemplative experience of God (Ep.4:23). It is an invitation to mature fully as a human person, into a glorious destiny of communion in the Trinitarian Love of God (Ep.1:4-6, 11-13), and which appears to be the particular hunger of this present time.                 

Cassian made his way from Egypt to Gaul where he founded two Monasteries. Here his use of the ‘sublime tower’ metaphor is a pedagogical masterpiece in presenting an ‘Icon’ for this spiritual journey into contemplative prayer. It images and compares powerfully the reciprocal dynamic between the foundation, walls and uppermost cone of the tower, with the three transformational stages of the spiritual journey in prayer. Namely: foundational purification of the heart, gradual illumination through conversion of lifestyle leading into contemplative union respectively. These stages are clearly defined, and appropriately applied in Cassian’s teaching. “All the guides to spirituality in which Western Europe later abounded, were his descendants”. (O. Chadwick).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For Cassian, imitation of Christ is the way to recover the full image and likeness of God in the perfection of love. (C.Stewart)  He wants to encourage his readers to move beyond Jesus’ instruction on prayer, or example of prayer in His earthly life, to real participation in the Resurrection Consciousness of the Glorified Christ. I propose that this could be a timely clarion call for the Synodal Renewal in the Church today ?

Sr Kathleen Lynch FMDM (Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood)

Trócaire Inaugural Romero International Award 2018 for Sr Bridget Tighe

Blooms Garden Trocaire

Blooms Garden Trocaire

Trocaire Bloom GardenTrocaire Bloom Garden

It was a very special day for Sr Bridget Tighe when she was presented with the Trócaire Inaugural  Romero Award 2018 on Saturday 18 August 2018 in the Franciscan Convent Chapel Ballinasloe Ireland. This award recognises outstanding contributions to global justice.

Mr Sean O’Healy led the ceremony. Sean spoke of  the outreach of Trócaire and the missionary work of the Sisters of the Congregation of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood. The presentation to Bridget was made by Trócaire Executive Director Éamonn Meehan.

Sr Bridget also gave a speech and thanked Trócaire and all those who supported her mission with Caritas International in the Middle East – Gaza Mission and Jerusalem. Until very recently, Sr Bridget had been living in the Gaza Strip and working as the head of the Caritas Jerusalem medical centre for Gaza.  Earlier this year she was asked to take on the role of General Director with Caritas Jerusalem and is since based in Jerusalem.   The Trócaire Romero International Award is given to Sr Bridget Tighe as a testimony to the years she has spent living and working among Jordanians and Palestinians, and especially now among the suffering people in Gaza.

After the ceremony, guests and sisters were invited to the Convent Garden and for the blessing and installation of Trocaire’s exhibit at the Bloom 2018 festival followed by a celebratory tea.

Golden Jubilee celebration of  St Mary of the Angels, Beaufort, Co. Kerry

SJOG Bro Donatus Forkan, Sr Mary Rose Doyle, Bro Liam Towmey. FMDM Srs Marie and Finola Kidney, Mary Rose Doyle, Colm SheilsSJOG Bro Donatus Forkan, Sr Mary Rose Doyle, Bro Liam Towmey.
FMDM Srs Marie and Finola Kidney, Mary Rose Doyle, Colm Sheils

On 17 July 2018, there was great rejoicing and celebration when over 400 people residents and their families, FMDM Sisters, Saint John of God Brothers along with staff past and present and the many people who have helped and supported St Mary of the Angels over the years came together for this momentous day  in Beaufort to celebrate the golden milestone of St Mary of the Angels in Beaufort, Kerry, IRELAND. We share with you the video clip of this celebration. (Photos by Don MacMonagle)

The celebration began with Mass, concelebrated by Bishop Ray Browne with Archbishop Emeritus Dermot Clifford as parents, family and friends expressed their heartfelt appreciation for the wonderful care provided by the facility, which is home to 76 people with physical and intellectual disabilities. In 1968, St Mary of the Angels was built as a residential facility for children with varying degrees of disability by the FMDM Sisters on land donated to them by local couple Denis and Mary Doyle after their only child, Mary Rose joined the FMDM congregation. In May 2005, the services and ownership were transferred from the FMDM Sisters to the Hospitaller Order of St John of God. Today it is operated by Saint John of God Community Services Limited.

Congratulations to Golden Jubilarians – Srs Margaret, Maria and Lucy.

Renewal of vows On 24 May 2018, Sisters Margaret Murphy, Maria Leahy and Lucy Martinez celebrated their Golden Jubilee with FMDM Sisters, families and friends in the Franciscan Convent Ballinasloe Ireland. They remembered with gratitude and thanksgiving to FMDM Sisters who shared their life in the various  missions – Africa, Gibraltar, Australia, Scotland and UK. The Jubilarians offer their thanks to the concelebrants at Mass – Frs Liam McCarthy OFM, Pat Kenny, Bernie Costello and John Killian. They are grateful for their own families and friends who came and remembered with gratitude those who have died and firmly believe that they surround them with their loving presence on this special day.

Mary B & Brid Golden web

CONGRATULATIONS to our Golden Jubilarians – Srs. Mary Byrne and Brid O’Sullivan. Click here to read about this joyful occasion Golden Jubilarians Srs. Mary Byrne & Brid O’Sullivan


Sr. Colm Shiels  gave the opening address: “As an outgoing member of the last Regional Team, it gives me great pleasure to welcome each one of you on this special occasion of the Missioning Service of the New FMDM Ireland Leadership Team which involves both FMDM and our Lay Colleagues.”

On 17 July 2017, another milestone on our journey has been reached as we warmly welcome Sr. Kathleen Murphy FMDM, Sr. Theresa O’Sullivan FMDM, Mr Sean O’Healy, Eamonn Feely in taking up the service of Leadership for FMDM Ireland.

FMDM Irish Region Ministry of Prayer and PresenceFMDM communities in Ireland

 The FMDM presence in Ireland began in 1942 when our community in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway was established and we opened Portiuncula hospital which we ran before handing it over to the Western Health Board. Today we have 10 communities in Dublin, Ballinasloe, Killarney and Drogheda. Early beginnings of FMDM Sisters in Ballinasloe. Click here to read the brief history.

FMDM Community in St. Mary of the Angels, Beaufort, Killarney

FMDM Community in St. Mary of the Angels Beaufort, Killarney

Brief history of St. Mary of the Angels, Beaufort, Killarney, Co. Kerry. To read, click here

We  have Irish sisters all over the world as they have responded to the missionary call to serve wherever they are sent. Our ministry in Ireland was traditionally in health care, especially general nursing, midwifery and care of children with special needs. Today we have diversified to minister in retreat work, justice and peace, pastoral care, parish work, care of the elderly and needy in society, counselling and psychotherapy as well as collaborative ministry with other religious orders.


The sense of Divine Presence in everything created gave the Irish an awareness of God that penetrated all the circumstances of life, the flow of happenings, ordinary and extraordinary.

In Ireland,  it is a popular myth that the Celtic Christian cross was introduced by St. Patrick during his time converting the pagan Irish. It is believed that St. Patrick combined the symbol of Christianity with the sun cross, to give pagan followers an idea of the importance of the cross by linking it with the idea of the life-giving properties of the sun. The Celtic Cross has long been associated with the people of Ireland as a symbol of heritage.  Although traditionally, crosses have been given a religious connotation because of the crucifixion of Christ, Celtic Crosses were in evidence long before the Celtic people converted to Christianity in the fourth century.

St. Brendan and the Voyage

The Diocese of Clonfert was founded in 557 by St. Brendan the Navigator, in a sheltered cluain or meadow near the Shannon shore, at the eastern extremity of the County Galway. FMDM Communities are situated in the Diocese of Clonfert. Therefore St. Brendan the Voyager has a great significance for us.