Well hello and welcome!
I’m not entirely sure where to start but I suppose I should start somewhere and as Maria suggests in the Sound of Music, the very beginning is a good place to start so let’s try that!
For a long time I have realised that I need to step outside my comfort zone. I live a comfortable life surrounded by family and friends, I realise that I’m one of the lucky ones. I had an idyllic childhood, an excellent education and life (despite plenty of challenges) has been relatively easy for me. I feel the need to acknowledge this and to give something back.
Realising and acknowledging that was the tricky bit, articulating it almost impossible but once the decision was made, everything else happened VERY quickly!
Why South Sudan?
In later posts I will explain all about the Kiltegan Fathers backgrounds and achievements but for now, I’ll explain how this particular situation came about!
Growing up, I remembered a missionary priest who would visit when he was at home with his family in a neighbouring parish. He would take the altar or visit our school and tell us about the work that he and his fellow missionaries did right across Africa. This priest was Fr. Tim Galvin and he was a Kiltegan Father.
I also remember my Grandmother supporting the missions. I can almost hear her now telling us about the marvellous work that those wonderful Irish men were doing in Africa, educating the less fortunate, spreading Gods word and doing their part to secure the future of our church by encouraging vocations. I remember delivering her copy of the Africa magazine which was published by the Kiltegan Fathers.
I reached out to Fr. Tim who is now in Narus in South Sudan. Of course, he doesn’t know me yet but knows my mother well and he has so kindly agreed to let me spend the next two months with him and his mission on the border of Kenya and South Sudan.
And so, that’s why I’m going to South Sudan….because I remembered a priest and I managed to find his email address…it’s serendipity. And in a strange way, I feel a little bit connected to my now long gone grandmother – I wonder what she would say if she knew I was to become one of those missionaries that she read about and supported even if it is just for two months.
I meet my escort – the infinitely kind Fr. Marrin in Nairobi on September 3rd. That gives me just two weeks to get my act together!!
6 thoughts on “First post – welcome to Solo in South Sudan!”
Sounds like the trip of a lifetime. I don’t know much if anything about this part of the world, so look forward to following your adventures!
Thanks for your comment! I’m excited but also just a little bit terrified too 🙂
MikeWow!! Good for you! You are to be admired and applauded!
Look forward to your future postings.
Thanks Mike! I really appreciate your encouraging and supportive words! You know me – I’m great at talking myself into crazy situations…I think this might be a personal best!!
Good Luck Helena, Hope it all goes well for you. If we can do anything to help drop us a line.
Thank you Brian. I’m still in Abbeyfeale and but going back to london this evening. Have so much to do before I leave! I would hugely appreciate if you might share the blog and encourage plenty of people to support financially. I’ll make sure to keep the updates coming! I think it’s quite exciting but I would love if at the end of my two months I could say “look my family and friends made this happen”