Little Donkey

Little Donkey

by an MMM Sister  Drogheda          Ireland                          19.12.2022

In recent days listening to the media reporting that the live crib would not be at the Mansion House in Dublin this year I felt sad and then so delighted to hear it would be relocated to Stephen’s Green.

Some years back I came home from Africa to Ireland for Christmas. I vividly recall the beautiful snow scene on the ground as we flew into Amsterdam Airport and quickly felt the chill as we disembarked from the flight. Instantly we walked into a scene of sparkling lights and Christmas music, and again in Dublin Airport.  Crowds of people meeting, greeting and hugging relatives, such joy.

I spent a very happy Christmas with my brother and family. Although the house was on edge of the town in a housing estate at times I woke up to the sound of a donkey in the neighbouring field braying, what a lovely sound. The donkey belonged to the Parish Priest and the field was attached to the Parish Church grounds.

On Christmas morning we went down the road to the Parish Church to Mass meeting and greeting neighbours. There were many families with children clutching toys entering the church for Mass. Many of these families had some weeks earlier left wrapped Christmas packages at the Christmas tree in the Church for families in need.

Towards the end of Mass the priest celebrating appeared to get a phone call! He told the congregation it was a call to announce the arrival of some special visitors… at the end of Mass we all quickly went outside to investigate, great excitement. Then we saw the donkey led by Joseph with Mary and Baby Jesus sat on his back coming toward the Church grounds and wending there way around to the side of the Church. There was situated a beautiful live crib which they joined, what a scene and a vision I can never forget, to behold the faces of the many children and indeed the adults.

Listening to all sing the songs, Little Donkey; Mary’s Boy Child, Silent Night and other hymns was so joyful.  I thank God for this beautiful memory and for the Parish Priest, the adults and children of the Parish that made this happen.  In the weeks leading up to Christmas they displayed the real meaning of Christmas what and Who we celebrate and reached out in many ways bringing joy, hope, comfort and healing to many.