The Brigidine Tradition
Our story begins in 1807 when Daniel Delany, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin Ireland, invited six women to form a religious community in Tullow, Co Carlow on the first of February. He named them the Sisters of Saint Brigid, after the great 5th century Saint of Kildare. Bishop Delany's legacy focused on: Priority for the gospel message of love; Eucharistic spirituality; The spirit of strength and kindliness and an expansive vision of education.
From the beginning, Brigid's ministry was associated with deeds of hospitality and compassion, and down through the centuries St Brigid has become a wisdom figure to the Irish people. She is known and honoured as Mary of the Gael.
Brigid is known as : Woman of hospitality; Woman of the hearth; Woman of Justice; Woman of Peace and Woman of the Earth.
As Brigidine Sisters we are a small and diverse group of women inspired by the person of Jesus and the vision of Brigid of Kildare and Daniel Delany. There is mystery at the heart of what holds us together, expressed in shared symbols, stories and experiences. We engage with the issues of our time, stand in solidarity with the oppressed and seek to build a more inclusive community.
We move forward into the future, conscious of many ambiguities, living as women religious at this moment in history. In the midst of diminishment we continue to seek new ways of affirming the aspects that bind us as community and to search for new ways of being generative. In this context, we go forward with openness to risk and a fidelity to our shared story.
The Brigidine Sisters today focus on the following:
The Lamp of Learning
A story is told that an eternal flame was tended by St Brigid and her community of Sisters at her monastery in Kildare in 5th century Ireland. To honour that heritage, the lamp of learning is a symbol used today across Kildare Ministries schools in the Brigidine tradition. This lamp denotes the illumination that education brings to the hearts and minds of young people.
Brigid of Kildare is a patroness of those who have a care for the earth, for justice and equality, for peace and reconciliation. She is a model for a contemplative life.