Stations of the Cross finally completed after almost 60 years to be displayed in An Tairseach, Co Wicklow

Stations of the Cross 1Fourteen handcrafted Stations of the Cross, which were started in Kenya nearly 60 years ago, are finally being completed in Ireland by a guild of needlecraft women in Dublin.  Everything that was needed for the Guild of a dozen needle women to finish the stations; all fabrics, threads, a notebook with explicit details for each hanging, and photos of each original art work for each station, so no possible mistake could be made. “She must have got a message from God that she should leave everything in order for whoever should continue her ‘Magnum Opus'."  It took Mrs O'Reilly and her friends a year to complete Mrs Ryan's beautiful work.

A Benedictine artist nun of Stanbrook Abbey in England, Dame Felicity Werburg Welch OSB, was commissioned by Elizabeth Ryan to paint fourteen Stations of the Cross for an ambitious needlework project. Intended in the 1960s for her local church in Molo, Kenya, where she was born and living with her family. When Elizabeth Ryan came back from Kenya to live in Ireland she brought these panels with her to finish, but she was diagnosed with cancer and died in the mid-1980’s unable to complete this project.

Through the good offices of the Parish Priest of Rathdrum, Rev Fr Derek Doyle contact was made with Mary O’Reilly, Chair of Apostolic Guild in the Dublin Diocese who agreed to undertake to complete these amazing patchwork and embroided works of art. These Stations of the Cross have been requested to be seen by so many people that they are going on display in two venues in June prior to being taken back to Kenya.

For a week commencing Saturday 8th June in the Parish Church of St Michael & St Mary, Rathdrum until Sunday 16th June. Then Mr Michael Ryan will launch the exhibition of the Stations in the Dominican Convent Chapel in Wicklow Town, on Wednesday 19th June at 4pm as part of the Midsummer celebration in An Tairseach, Organic Farm and Ecology Centre.
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