After much consideration and deliberation we, the Redemptorists, have decided to sell our entire property at Marianella, Rathgar. Some years ago we were planning to sell part of the property and build a smaller monastery on site. However our circumstances have changed considerably in recent years and brought us to this present position.
Like most religious orders, we are confronted by a future with fewer vocations, and our communities are home to predominantly elderly confreres who are in need of support and care. At the same time we want to respond positively to the times we live in by remaining true to our charism of sharing the Good News with the poor and most abandoned.
The sale of Marianella is part of a process of ‘planning for the future’. With the funds generated by the sale we will be able to ensure that the work of the Redemptorists continues in Ireland, especially with the support of lay co-workers, to ensure that our Parish Missions, Novenas and Youth Ministry thrive – and that we will be able to further develop the support of our missions overseas, especially our new mission in Mozambique.
The principal focus in Marianella, over many decades, was on education; as a seminary training future Redemptorists, and as a pastoral centre updating and renewing those involved in ministry from all parts of the world. The requirement for this type of facility is greatly reduced – and we must now focus on other areas of need within communities both at home and overseas.
Some of the ministries, which are located here in Marianella, such as Redemptorist Communications and the provincial administration, archives and library will be re-located to other Redemptorist communities.
This decision in regard to Marianella will not affect our present commitments to the Dublin parishes of Most Holy Sacrament in Cherry Orchard and Assumption in Ballyfermot.
Over the years we have developed many wonderful friendships with the local community here in Rathgar. We want to thank all those people, including our staff, past and present, for their support and friendship over the years. This ongoing support for the work of the Redemptorists is valued and appreciated, and will be such a loss to all of us who, in the near future, must move on from Marianella.
The Redemptorists purchased a house at 30 Highfield Road, Rathgar in August of 1910, which they named “Marianella”. The purpose of the house was to provide a residence for Redemptorist students attending the National University of Ireland. The new house proved to be too small and so in 1919 a larger house was purchased at 75 Orwell Road, known at the time as Faunagh House. By 1929 students were no longer resident at Marianella, but the house continued to be the home of a small community, which conducted parish missions and retreats in the Dublin region.
In the 1960’s the old Marianella was demolished and a new seminary was planned for the site. According to the brief given to the architect, the new house was to accommodate about 80 Redemptorists including 50 students, 7 professors and a community of 20 missioners and brothers with room for 10 guests.
The new Marianella opened in 1968 and besides housing the students and missioners also became the home of the Provincial Administration and Redemptorist Publications, the publishing arm of the Province. In 1974 the present chapel in Marianella was opened.
While Marianella remained the home for Redemptorist students until 2010 it became clear in the early 70’s, as student numbers decreased, that the building was not being used to its potential. As a result it was decided to establish a Pastoral Centre in Marianella to provide renewal courses in theology and related areas for clergy and religious. The first course began in 1974 and for over 30 years the Marianella Pastoral Centre thrived; attracting participants from all over the world. It became a place of rest, learning and spiritual renewal for thousands involved in pastoral ministry. Marianella ceased to operate as a pastoral centre in 2008.
Currently Marianella is the home of a small community of 12 Redemptorists and continues to house the Provincial Administration and Redemptorist Communications. It provides hospitality to visiting Redemptorists makes its facilities available for meetings, seminars and workshops, and offers a daily public Eucharist.