Opening up the life of Janet Stuart


sue achesonpf
Sue Acheson rscj


Sue Acheson rscj from the English/Welsh Province
visited Dublin at the weekend
and shared with the rscj, colleagues and Associates
some of her insights into the life and prayer of Janet Stuart.

janet erskine stuart rscjpf
Janet Erskine Stuart rscj

This is part of the preparation for the centenary of the
death of Janet Erskine Stuart rscj
to be celebrated in 2014.

Sue has been doing research on the life of this amazing woman,
who has had such an influence on the education of young women,
in the English speaking world.


aideen and suepf
Aideen Kinlen rscj & Sue engaging with the participants




The meeting was held in Mount Anville and
generated considerable interest and discussion,
with participants,
sharing their knowledge of Janet.

joan h. ide and noreenpf
Enjoying the discussion

Besides being a remarkable educationalist,
Janet Stuart was known for
her depth of vision and wisdom in the area of spirituality.
Sue centred her sharing and insights on
Janet Stuart's journey of integration in prayer,
from a three year old girl to three years before
Janet died in 2014.
juntaposed two different images for Janet's experience,
one of "Sailing into the Sun"
and the other "Following the Difficult Line".

kathleen alda and otherspf
Participants in discussion


Focussing on Janet's Experience in this way,
Sue provided all
those present with the opportunity
 to reflect on their own prayer
and their growth in integration in prayer 
and the spiritual life.


bee collecting nectarpf
Bee sucking nectar



 For one participant
the image of 'a bee sucking nectar from a flower',
which Janet used as an image
of what we do when we go to pray,
put her in touch not only with Janet's Stuart love of nature,
but also her own experience as a child of stopping
and receiving so much from nature.

a fallow field kilgraston mar 2008 016pf

For another participant "there were some channels
opened up on Janet Stuart's life"

The image of a fallow field
stayed with many also,
as a powerful image for prayer..



Sue commented on Janet Stuart's 
prayer at the end of her life as being
something very simple, permeating all things,
just simply this 'atmosphere is altering the quality of my soul.'








 To discover more on Janet Erskine Stuart,
you can find a very short introduction at

or  more detailed information on Janet Stuart
is available, with images,from the English/ Welsh Province
by clicking on this link,


Leaven in the dough: Prayer guides

          Leaveleavened doughn in the dough: 

          Prayer guides       


The Kingdom of God is like yeast which a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until it leavened all over.” ( Matt 13:33) This quote came to mind on reflecting on the initiative organised and taken forward by the Office of Evangelisation in the Archbishops house.

In summary, this initiative is a week of guided prayer based on Scripture and organised in a way to suit busy people both at home and those who go out to work. It is sometimes referred to as “Time out for busy people”.

Initially the parish Priest receives a letter telling him of the weeks of guided Prayer. Many of them have taken up the offer. Then a prayer guide speaks in his Church at weekend Masses telling the congregation what is involved in a week of guided prayer and giving a brief explanation of the format and aim of the programme

Format and Participation

A group perhaps of 20 to 40 parishioners, take on the invitation/challenge, committing themselves to half hour prayer on Scripture each day for the week and to another half hour to share individually with their guide on their experience of the prayer or on what is important to them. Each prayer guide journeys individually with four participants for the week.

It is amazing to witness the commitment of these busy people to prayer and reflection. Some have never prayed on Scripture before and experience new life and closeness to God as they ponder God’s word and give it a home in their hearts, so that it speaks personally to them. Others might have prayed occasionally on Scripture and renew their desire to reflect more on God’s word.

Others again know peace and an awakening to how deeply they are cherished by God as they gradually move from vocal prayer only, to praying the Scripture.

Parishes from Maynooth, Killcullen to Malahide , with many parishes located in between, have participated in weeks of guided prayer.  Hopefully, the leaven will spread throughout the entire parish, enabling the Church to rise to a living and lived faith.


rita kinch sheila mcauliffe
                   Rita Kinch                   Sheila McAuliffe


From the Scottish Isles


Aspects of living in Iona, in the Summer

a busy and social affair 1
A Busy and Social Affair in Mull this Summer


Summer is the time for socialising and festivals and
life on the Scottish Isles is no different.

agricultural exhibition mull 1
The Agricultural Show in Mull this summer
on the boat for mull
On the boat for Mull

Jean Lawson rscj from her home in Cnoc a' Chalmain,
- the Catholic House of Prayer and welcome - in Iona,
took the boat to Mull

for just one of those local island festivals at the
Agricultural Show in Mull.

bunessan prizes
The Betty Logan Memorial Cup - Bunessan Show

The Agricultural Show is held in Bunessan every year in August. 
Bunessan is the small town on the Island of Mull,
the neighbouring island, to Iona.
  Bunessan is famous for the Christmas Carol "Child in the Manger"
written in Gaelic by Mary MacDonald who lived there and the tune is called "Bunessan"

exhibition animals
Sheep of all kinds !

"People are encouraged to enter things as it keeps the interest in the show
and challenges people to make, grow and  exhibit their animals"
Jean tells us.

Jean Lawson rscj

So for those who know Jean’s many creative skills,
it will be no surprise to hear

how she participated fully
in the Show,

contributing some samples
of her work.

Jean had a Carrot Cake and  a Lemon Drizzle Cake
in the Baking Section of the Exhibition.

up close carrot cake up close lemon drizzle cake
Carrot Cake Lemon Drizzle Cake
best model of hat
One of her new creations

As she says she usually enters
'something each year',
Jean also submitted her latest creation
in the knitting,
a hat with colour and form.
The craft tent had exhibits of all kinds,
different jams, knitwear,
needlecraft and

craft exhibition tent
Craft Exhibition Tent in Bunessan in Mull
the bakery table
The Bakery Tent
There was great variety
in the Bakery Tent and
there was also a Competition.
The Betty Logan Challenge
Cup for the Best Exhibit

in the Baking Section

is awarded each year.

Jean was overjoyed this year as she was awarded the Betty Logan Challenge Cup.

prize winning cakes
                                                          The prize winning Cakes

"I won 1st Prize for a Carrot Cake and 2nd Prize for a Lemon Drizzle cake 
and I have won 2nd prize for Lemon Curd in other years."

iona - august 2012
                                                           Iona August 2012

So life on the island of Iona
has a lot more
to it than just
Tourism or,
it's about creating,
growing, socialising,
celebration and
friendship !


Thanks Jean for the photos and sharing this good news with us.
Cnoc a' Chalmain - Catholic House of Prayer - can be contacted
by clicking on the link.


Jesus A Man Of Relationships




How Jesus related with people; the call for us today, especially in community

touching fingers

Jesus and the Samaritan woman   (John 4:3-42)

  • She was practical. She understood “drink” at a literal level at first, and then went on to understand Jesus was talking about the water of life.
  • She was the linchpin - she drew people to Jesus.
  • There was a relationship between Jesus and the woman. It was unusual for men to talk to a woman that they did not know. She was alone and came for water at mid-day - usually women came to a well for water in groups of women, in the morning and evening. It was an unequal relationship, yet it led to a theological discussion. It was a very human relationship, each was very respectful. It was interrupted by the return of the disciples!
  • In community we experience a call to be more tolerant of differences.
  • Our contact with other people is an essential part of our charism as RSCJ - (Const.1815:6)

 Jesus meets the disciples after the Resurrection and forgives Peter (John 21)

  • He cooks breakfast for them, after they have been fishing all night.
  • Jesus forgives Peter even though Peter has let him down in such a spectacular way, and shows how He trusts him, by giving him the responsibility of being leader. New beginnings are possible.
  •   It was a unique relationship. Even though John also had a special relationship with Jesus, Peter’s was also unique in another way.

Jesus and the Syrophoenician woman (Mark 7:25-30 , Matthew 15:21-28).

  • She took him on, in a humorous way. It was a transforming moment for Jesus in his awareness of his ministry. After this, the second feeding of the loaves was in pagan territories.  Her challenge widened his sense of mission.
  •  A challenge - showing us how to stand our ground without having a fight!

                                                                                                             The Community 201 Lower Kilmacud Road
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