PARTING SHOTS

NATIONAL BOTANIC GARDENS, DUBLIN


Welp I am home at long last and with huge gratitude/relief.

I wanted to share these photos I took on my last day in Ireland. I had visited the Botanic Gardens last year and it was the one main place I wanted to see again in Dublin this year. I don’t know the city well but surely this is a highlight.

Adjacent to the Botanic Garden is the massive Glasnevin Cemetery. In it, I happened to know, is the burial site of Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ (1844-1889). Other notable people have been laid to rest here and as you enter, there’s a little map that shows you where they are.

So large does Hopkins loom in my heart that it took me forever to find his grave because I assumed he would have a giant oh say winged statue or maye even a mausoleum all to himself. Instead, I finally figured out, he’s thrown in with a bunch of his brethren which I’m sure is exactly the way he would have wanted it.

I was a bit wrung out, to put it mildly, by the end of my trip. It was raining and gloomy that day. As I stood before Hopkins’ grave, I felt a little shaky and a little alone.

Looking to my right, I saw that a fresh burial was taking place a few plots down. A small group, dressed in black and carrying umbrellas, was gathered around the lowered coffin murmuring prayers.

Suddenly I picked out the phrase, “Salve, Regina, Mater misericordiae”–the “Hail Holy Queen” that, thanks to Sing the Hours, I had just managed (after 27 years as a convert) to memorize in Latin.

Instantly I felt at home, part of something greater than myself, a member in good standing of the Mystical Body. So from Hopkins’ grave I stood at attention and prayed along with the strangers down the way and for the repose of the soul of their friend.

Then I knelt before Fr. Hopkins’ grave, and thanked him, and from my phone read back to him his poem, “Thou art indeed just, Lord.”

I know to the marrow of my bones that he heard me.

And all the rest of that day I prayed, Send my roots rain.


GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS’ GRAVE, GLASNEVIN CEMETERY, DUBLIN, DIED JUNE 8, 1889

6 Replies to “PARTING SHOTS”

  1. Anonymous says: Reply

    Watching EWTN, this week, I saw video of a procession, in the Philippines. They were singing the Salve Regina, too. We, in Communion and Liberation, sing at our annual ‘Exercises’ retreat, and other times. This is another verification, that this Catholic life is the best. Thanks be to Jesus Christ for everything!

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      One Bread, One Body…

  2. Melanie Poser says: Reply

    What a beautiful way to end your stay. Now I’ve got to find that poem!

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      You can easily google it, Melanie–a classic…

  3. Anonymous says: Reply

    Wow, that poem cuts to the core – thanks for intro to it and your sacrifice – time away from home – to share your instruction/teachings/inspiration to fellow artists in Ireland, Heather! Surely they were blessed by it.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      I hope so…I’ve been asked back again, so we shall see…thank you!

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