The new All–Ireland President of the Mothers’ Union, Mrs Phyllis Grothier, and the Diocesan President of the Mothers’ Union in the Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough Mrs Joy Gordon, were recent visitors to the Church of Ireland Theological Institute, joining the students and staff for the mid–week Community Eucharist and Dinner.
Mrs Grothier, who was commissioned as All Ireland President earlier this year, was born in Clonegal Co. Wexford and now lives in Fenagh Co. Carlow with her husband George and family.
She told students that her Mothers’ Union membership started in the Tullow Branch in Co Carlow, in 1984 when she was enrolled. But she attended her first meetings of the Mothers’ Union when she was a seven–year–old, going along with her mother and grandmother to the local branch meetings in Clonegal.
Since then, Mrs Grothier has been Branch Leader, Branch Secretary, Young Members’ representative, Diocesan Vice–President and Diocesan President in the Diocese of Cashel and Ossory for the past six years.
Mrs Gordon, who is a parishioner in Whitechurch Parish, Dublin, later told students how the opinion of Mothers’ Union had been sought on same sex marriage and the abortion legislation currently being debated in the Republic of Ireland.
Speaking after dinner, she said: “The Mothers’ Union, as an integral part of the Church of Ireland, will not ignore or avoid these issues but we will speak out in support and nurture of family life and endeavour to be relevant.”
She said membership of the Mother’s Union has increased worldwide from around one million to 4.1 million in the past 10 years – 48% of the members are from India and 49% from Africa leaving the remaining 3% to fundraise for financial support of overseas members.
The preacher at the Community Eucharist that evening was the Dean of Kilmore Cathedral, the Very Revd Raymond Ferguson, who is Al–Ireland Chaplain of the Mothers’ Union.
Welcoming the three visitors, the Director of the institute, the Revd Dr Maurice Elliott, praised the work of the Mothers’ Union, saying it had been consistently generous in its support or ordinands and students over the years.
Our photographs show the All–Ireland President of the Mothers’ Union, Mrs Phyllis Grothier, the Diocesan President of the Mothers’ Union in Dublin and Glendalough, Mrs Joy Gordon, and the Very Revd Raymond Ferguson, Al–Ireland Chaplain of the Mothers’ Union, with the Revd Dr Maurice Elliott, Director of CITI, and Canon Patrick Comerford, celebrant at the Community Eucharist, during their visit to the Church of Ireland Theological Institute.
Photographs: Patrick Comerford.