Hope in grief
National College of Ireland held an online Memorial Service on 7th December 2022, to
coincide with the end of the first semester of teaching in this academic year, to remember
people associated with NCI staff and students, who passed away during 2022. The all-faith
memorial service was led by Fr Leonard Moloney SJ, Provincial of the Irish Jesuits and
outgoing Chair of NCI’s Governing Body, who contributed a reflection on ‘The Road to
The Memorial Service has already attracted hundreds of views. It can be viewed online here ».
NCI President Gina Quin opened the Memorial Service by saying that “NCI is a community”,
before handing over to Fr Moloney, who read the Scripture passage on ‘The Road to
Emmaus’ (Luke 24: 13-16, 28-35), and noted that “in a memorial service, perhaps as we
grieve, we can be hope-filled”.
Fr Moloney reflected that on top of being “downcast, disappointed, with our own personal
struggles”, we are also contending with a time of coronavirus, wars in many parts of the world,
climate change, abuse scandals in the Church, and the problem of homelessness in Ireland.
Fr Moloney referred to some very different Emmaus moments during this past year, when he
felt God’s actual presence. These included the writings of Mark Dowd about the Asian
tsunami of 2004; the images sent back to Earth by the James Webb telescope launched on
Christmas Day 2021; and a mystical experience described in the poetry of Brendan Kennelly.
All of these, along with the experience of the disciples at Emmaus, “can help us to recognise
that God is, that Jesus Christ is Who He claims to be, the Son of God”.
Fr Moloney concluded by expressing the hope that this Advent season, leading to Christmas,
may “be for all of us, especially for those who grieve, be a time for recognising Him at the
breaking of the bread”.
The Memorial Service was organised by Desmond Gibney, an assistant professor in NCI’s
School of Business, who said that “this year, above all years, we were very pleased that
students participated in the Memorial Service, as we marked the death of four NCI students
during the past year”.
A Remembrance Tree was displayed in NCI’s atrium during December, featuring the names
of those remembered in the Memorial Service.
NCI was founded by the Irish Jesuits in 1951 and was originally known as the Catholic
Workers College and opened its doors to its first students in February 1951 in Sandford
Lodge, Sandford Road Ranelagh. The College relocated to a purpose-built campus in Mayor
Street in the IFSC in 2002, and recently completed the purchase of a second building, located
in Spencer Dock in the IFSC and just 300 metres from the front door of the existing Mayor
Street campus. It is intended that the new building will be fully operational by September