Ever since the Carmelite nuns sold up and moved out of their Delgany home since 1843, we’ve been having a little trouble breaking their sudden vow of silence.
Which is a shame, because we used to be pretty darn close.
And, besides, talking to even those you regard as your enemy is the Christian thing to do, right? Or so it says in the Bible. Somewhere near the back.
Perhaps it’s because we’ve occasionally taken the St Michael out of all the religious orders in Ireland suddenly cashing in on all their expansive real estate porfolios – land often donated, of course – that has caused Sister Gwen and co to go off radar. Or maybe it’s simply because all the religious orders in Ireland are cashing in on all their expansive real estate portfolios.
The Carmelite spread in Delgany sold for a tidy €15m in November.
Still, when we saw a Wicklow County Council notice stuck to the railings outside the monastery today, we thought the actual plans for the St Mary’s Church, and all who sailed in her, might have finally been dragged out into the light.
Not on young Aunt Nellie. The notice sees Sr Gwen Collins, on behalf of The Carmelite Sisters Delgany, and Fr John Daly, on behalf of the Parish of Holy Rosary and St Kilian, applying for permission to move three stained glass windows from St Mary’s to the Parish Centre at the Holy Rosary. With the empty spaces being ‘replaced with new lancet windows to match existing leaded windows using clear glass’.
In other words, take another little piece of my heart, now, baby. But what of the life-sized crib inside St Mary’s, donated to the Carmelites in 1870, records reveal, ‘by a pious woman from Bray‘? Good to know they had one once.
Inspired by today’s notice, we emailed Sr Gwen once again, to see if she could let us know where the baby Jesus and the rest of the nativity scene would next be seen. No answer. We tried calling Fr Daly, to see if he might know. No answer. So, we left a message.
If and when we do find out where that crib will be seen again, we’ll let you know.
In the meantime, if anyone spots one of the nuns down Bray seafront, playing the slot machines, see if you can wangle the good word out of ’em…
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