Holy Faith Congregation
The Holy Faith Congregation was founded by Margaret Aylward in response to the
plight of the poor of her native Waterford and the extreme poverty she found in Dublin of the 1850's. She burned with a conviction of the importance of Faith and she did all she could to ensure that the Catholic Faith was passed on and cherished. The Holy Faith Congregation continues her work today in many different ways. Today Holy Faith Sisters work in Ireland (Dublin and Wicklow) United States of America (California and New Orleans) Trinidad, Australia and New Zealand and more recently in Southern Sudan, where a new mission started on the 11th January 2013 . Our Sisters had given a three year commitment to this Mission and handed over the Mission in Riwoto to an African Congregation in 2016, though we continue to support the Mission financially.
The Holy Faith Sisters have a long history in Celbridge, working in the field of Education both in Scoil Brid and St Wolstan's Secondary School. In October of this year 2018 the Holy Faith Sisters will celebrate 140 years of ministry in Celbridge.
Wellsprings Centre opened its doors in September 2009 and since then many chats, laughter, ideas, prayers, creativity have been born and blossomed. Many paintings created, Icons written, handmade cards and other paper crafts produced. Through it all endless cups of tea/cofffee and bowls of soup served. Tthe dishwasher kept busy but above all friendships have been made support given and received, and we have been greatly blessed by those who have come as participants, Thanks to those Holy Faith Sisters and Associates who have so generously given of their time and talents to deliver Courses and have helped in so many other ways. To our friend and colleague Fr Kevin Doherty, PhD we owe a deep debt of gratitude for his input which has been both inspiring, uplifting and challenging.
Our core purpose as Holy Faith Sisters is to use our energies and resources to develop and support ministries and activities that make Faith relevant in the contemporary world by providing meaningful opportunities for people to connect
Faith and Life and deepen the spiritual dimension and quality of their lives. At Wellsprings we encourage people to develop their faith but also to discover new gifts and talents.
To make Wellsprings a place of peace, calmness, refreshment and hospitality for all those who share their faith with us. For those who have 'lost faith' in our institutions, and are just 'hanging on' we hope that Wellsprings will be a place that gives courage and a listening ear. We offer hospitality that reveres the value and uniqueness of each person.
The Centre also offers hospitality to several parish groups and is a meeting place for the Holy Faith Associates.
What participants say about Wellsprings
During 2018, I was volunteering outside of my parish of Celbridge. At various times, we volunteers were discussing 'Our Faith' and the challenges provided in this 3rd millennium and how we each seek to recharge ourselves and 'top up' our batteries. Many people have to leave their own parish and indeed diocese to experience a little of the wealth of opportunity provided here in Celbridge. Of course there are always other attractions and distractions, to say nothing of the vagaries of the Irish weather!
Now as 2019 approaches is it time to avail of the peaceful and prayerful sanctuary of Wellsprings. You will always be welcomed by your fellow participants and most especially by Sr Olive and Sr Marie Louise
Wellsprings is not just a source of scripture, song, dance, and prayer but includes the rigour of study and the stimulation of ideals, values and study of the scriptures, the spiritual and the sacred.
My most abiding sense is of the warm embrace of the Holy Faith Sisters who following committed careers in the professional teaching area, still have the energy and concern for their fellow human beings and continue to share and include the lay members of the community in their lives.
I found the Lenten talks and reflections inspiring and the Taize Prayer a wonderfully moving, uplifting and spiritual experience of being close to the Lord
I thank Sr Olive and Sr Marie Louise for their invitation.
Ailís Aylward, September 2013