In Ireland like in many countries we have a certain type of people called “travellers”. They are called travellers because they travel! Often they live in Caravans and they move around the country!

This way of life causes them many problems. Often they can’t go to school as they are not long enough in the one place and so many of them can’t either read nor write!

Like in any group of people there are the good and the bad and sadly it’s often the bad that sticks! Many settled people want nothing to do with the travellers who they paint all with the same brush. Fighting, drinking etc are just some of the stereotypes.

Traditionally the travelling people worked with tin and were gifted craftsmen. This gave them the name ‘tinkers’ and this name carried no love!

Sometimes we can easily forget that Jesus lived a very nomadic type of life himself and had a lot in common with the travelling people as do I at this stage!

The problem is that society often tries to force all people to live in the same way when God doesn’t!

Last year I became good friends with a travelling lady and her son. We prayed quite a bit together and she was great fun!

To my surprise she came up to me after mass just a few days ago. She is here with 2 of her friends, one of whom is grieving the loss of her son who was murdered only 2 years ago at the age of 20!

I introduced my old friends to my new friends (Seamus and Toni) and I was baffled by the results!

We prayed together, we shared together, the ladies went shopping and filled our empty fridge with food!

We climbed apparition hill together, we made a big irish stew together and had a feast on Sunday!

Yesterday they surprised us even more by going off and buying us some new clothes. Toni badly needed something new as most of what he has is second hand!

As I reflect on it today I see the overwhelming sense of love and family among these people. They have had extremely difficult lives and yet they come over here and they reach out to us in pure love and charity!

I guess it’s their way of living that made them the perfect people to help us!

And so today I smile at God’s ways and the unlikely people He uses to help us and to humble us!

Glory to God and thank you for these wonderful people and may Our Lady flood their families with blessings beyond measure for their generosity and may any of us who may have judged these people repent and learn to see and love them as our brothers and sisters in Christ!

Have a great day friends

Michael