A Lesson from the Nuns of Kylemore

As you may have read elsewhere on our website, on Sunday 21st August, Irish Unitarians held an historic service in the chapel of Kylemore abbey, a service at which I was honoured to deliver the sermon. As well as a major tourist attraction, the Abbey is primarily home to a community of contemplative Benedictine nuns. Living their lives within the abbey grounds they do so in the spirit of the Benedictine motto; Ora et Labora– Pray and Work. After and during the service, I couldn’t help be struck by a number of things as I chatted to Abbess and members of her community. First, their openness to other faiths, their sense of God as the God of all people, their humility, warmth and kindness but most of all their smiles and humour, all blending wonderfully to make a group of Irish Unitarians feel welcome and at home. People often ask; well what is the point of monks and nuns who lock themselves away to live a life of prayer away from the world? That question misses the whole point; they are not removed from life but are very much a part of it, what’s more they offer a powerful witness as to the depth and joy of life, if only we take a moment to stop and recognise it.

All the best for now

Rev Mike