Irish Surprises

englishTwo things have surprised me during my first two days in Ireland, of the three weeks I will spend here helping with the Woodlands Academy Summer Camp. The first was when I arrived to the Dublin airport and all the signs were in Irish and English.

The part that surprised me wasn´t the Irish—it was the English.

To be honest, it started a little before that. On my Ryan Air flight, I kept responding to people in Spanish out of habit. After a minute I would realize that they were Irish, and that I do in fact still speak English. So I spent the flight clumsily replacing gracias with thank you.

That´s why the English was what surprised me in the airport. I hadn´t left Spain for my entire first year (actually this Monday was my second time in the Madrid airport, the first being when I arrived last August), so I think I had a few hours of culture shock realizing that I should respond to people in English again.

As the priest started Mass the next morning “In the name of the Father” and not “En el nombre del Padre”, I realized I´d be going to Mass in English for the next six weeks. I actually did have to think twice about when to kneel and stand.

But at the same time, I´m around a lot of Spanish speakers…and when they ask me if I speak Spanish, I surprise myself by answering “yes”. It´s reminiscent of what they call being out-of-body, when I´m watching someone who can´t possibly be me, not being scared of the conversation switching to Spanish, and clumsily re-adjusting to English.

Besides switching my mind back to English, the other thing that surprised me was how at home I feel in this new place. Besides the practical level of not knowing where everything is, how things work, and not having been outside the house since I got here (mostly because of the rain), there is another level on which I´ve found myself very much at home from the first night I arrived. I feel at home praying and eating and working with the consecrated who I´ve never met, I feel at home walking around the academy, I feel at home in my room that is not mine… and most of all I feel at home in the chapel. I´m in the home of a missionary, which is wherever the mission takes me. I´m in the home of my Spouse, which is wherever he is and wherever he leads me (which is one in the same). I´m in the home of a spiritual mother, which is wherever souls are entrusted to her. I´m in the home of a consecrated soul, which is not a place you can see and touch…it´s the very Heart of Christ.

About Carol Dodd

Carol Dodd is a Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi in her studies stage of formation. She is from Dallas, Texas, where she attended The Highlands, the Regnum Christi school there, for 11 years. After graduating, she was a Regnum Christi missionary in Chicago for one year. She made her first vows on March 14, 2015 after two years of candidacy at the formation center in Rhode Island. After three years at Mater Ecclesiae College, she is now part of the new studies stage community in Madrid, where she is studying Theology at the Universidad Eclesiástica San Dámaso.
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One Response to Irish Surprises

  1. Catherine Bare says:

    Your reflections are always so beautiful, thank you for sharing. Im praying for you and your whole class. Miss you guys!

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