Service of Commemoration & Hope

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National Family Support Network


 Address of Most Rev. Diarmuid Martin Archbishop of Dublin

Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Sean McDermot Street, 1 February 2020


“Some of you will know that I was especially anxious that Pope Francis would stop at this Church on his visit to Dublin two years ago. Not everyone was on my side. Why did I insist? This Annual Commemoration came to my mind. What came to mind was how families wounded by drug and substance abuse have found a natural home in this Church and in this community. This is a community that has become a powerhouse of support and solidarity and support for families right across Ireland as we see again this evening.

This community has had to face more than its share of the plague of drug abuse. It is a community that has been victim of the heartless and unscrupulous exploitation of the drug trade for decades now. Today even young children are being dragged into and entrapped in the world of drugs in order to enrich unscrupulous and heartless drug lords.

This gathering represents something else. This is not a gathering of the financially wealthy. However you have courage and solidarity in abundance   In the midst of your own personal suffering you bring another message, a message of care and solidarity and hope for others who face the same challenge as you did. You represent the basis on which a genuine society of caring is built. You bring hope to others especially at moments in which they find themselves in situations that seem to them beyond hope. You are often their only lifeline.

The recent horror of the killing and dismembering of a teenager show us how those who control the drug world have sunk to the lowest level of depravity. There is no place for dialoguing with such depravity. We can only be satisfied when the real leaders are shown up shamed and despised for what they are and they finish locked up in ignominy.

Sadness, hope, courage and love are the thoughts that dominate our reflection this evening.   We think of your loved ones. They broke your hearts, yes, yet they loved you and you loved them and you still live them.

Let us pray for each other in our sadness, let us pray for other mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers and friends who are going through today what you went through. Lord help them and give them love and courage.

Lord, open your kingdom of love for the loved ones we recall. We know Lord that your redeeming love can bring them the happiness they never attained here on earth. Help us also in our grief; bind us together in our sadness and in our hope. Strengthen us Lord.” ENDS