As a friend sat today narrating to me about how the nuns who taught her in school told her about Ireland so many things raced through my head.
While she was sat at her desk in an African school hearing about good Catholic Ireland, I was sat at my desk in Ireland hearing about all the little black babies in Africa who not only needed our prayers but also our pennies.
Prayers were easy to give as they were rattled off at all times of the day. Morning prayers before leaving for school and again at school. At noon the Angela’s was said and again at 6pm. Grace before and after meals.
The rosary was said each evening, Everyone kneeling down, leaning in to a chair. Children quietly smirking at each other, God forbid we got caught .
Bed time prayers, blessing everyone especially the black babies in Africa. The children who needed our much sought after pocket money that we required for sweets out of The Panda shop on the corner of John Street.
But part with the pennies we did to be smiled on by the Sisters in their long black habits. Whose Holy rosary beads hit off our chair backs as they came along our rows of seats to collect the offering.
While all this happened a young girl in Africa was praying with the nuns there for the christian country of Ireland .
A land that was once known as the Isle of Saints and scholars.. The young girl hoped to come to such a country and see the filled churches eventually. Yes ! Ireland was a great praying country with the population attending mass on Sundays and during the week.
Lent would see crowds flocking to the church to pray for favor’s and to do penance..
Ireland was known for sending religious to other countries to save what we as children were told were pagans .
The pagans were Godless creatures who worshiped idols and just sinned all the time, So if you didn’t get a good job in the civil service you joined a religious order and hoped to join the missionaries .
The years passed and both the African girl and myself have grown up.
The African girl came to Ireland to find the churches nearly empty except for old people and I’d stopped giving pennies to the black babies in Africa.
Strangely enough now we are great friends and give where anything is needed be it good’s or prayers
Now we both pray for the Irish people to return to their faith and to God