The Franciscans have lived and worked on the south side of Dublin鈥檚 River Liffey since 1232.聽 A presence of more than 780 years has seen many changes. The Friars lived among the people and they have been affected by many social, religious and political upheavals through the centuries.

W roku 1348 Czarna 艢mier膰 przetoczy艂a si臋 przez Dublin, a w艣r贸d tysi臋cy zmar艂ych by艂o 24 franciszkan贸w. Podczas reformacji w 1540 roku klasztor na Francis Street, w miejscu obecnego ko艣cio艂a 艣w. Miko艂aja z Myry, zosta艂 skonfiskowany, a spo艂eczno艣膰 rozproszona.

Ko艣ci贸艂 Adama i Ewy

In the following century, the Friars worked secretly in the Cook Street area. At that time, they said Mass in the Adam and Eve Tavern, hence the popular name of the present day Church. Following Catholic Emancipation, the Friars were able to build a new church at Merchants Quay, and the foundation stone was laid in 1834. For over a century the main work of the Friars was in the church services offered to the people of Dublin. Merchants Quay was a popular place for confessions, Mass was readily available, a thriving Third Order developed and devotion to St. Anthony was cultivated. Until the 1960s, Merchants Quay was one of the most popular and well-attended churches in Dublin City.

The 1960s saw profound changes in Ireland and in the Church. People began to move out of the city centre, tenements were torn down and communities dispersed to new estates in the suburbs. Following the Second Vatican Council, the Church began to take a greater interest in matters of social justice. The Franciscans could no longer ignore the poverty and the social problems on their own doorstep and as a result, some of the Friars became involved in justice activities. The first Simon Community was set up on the Friar鈥檚 property on Winetavern Street in 1969.

The Tea Rooms

W tym samym roku Bractwo otworzy艂o Centrum 呕ywno艣ci dla Franciszka dla ubogich i bezdomnych (Herbaciarnie). Wszystko zacz臋艂o si臋 od dw贸ch braci franciszka艅skich i fili偶anki herbaty. Brat Salvador Kenny, krawiec, kt贸ry przyrz膮dza艂 klasztorne zwyczaje, brat zakrystianin Sebastian Tighe zacz膮艂 podawa膰 herbat臋 i kanapki bezdomnym m臋偶czyznom, kt贸rzy w ci膮gu dnia schronili si臋 w ko艣ciele.

Narkotyki atakuj膮 Dublin

By the early 1980s, the need for help became more diverse, as the European drugs explosion hit Ireland. 鈥淭here would have been a huge increase in heroin use鈥 recalls Co-Founder of Merchants Quay Ireland, Tony Geoghegan. 鈥淎nd there鈥檇 always been a kind of informal support network around the friary, a lot of drug users who were HIV positive were coming in for help because they were excluded from treatment.鈥 So in 1989, the friars gave Father Sean Cassin two rooms at the front of the friary to set up a counselling and drop-in centre. Merchants Quay Project was born and demand was instant.

Merchants Quay Projekt

In 1991 Merchants Quay project was granted charitable status, offering care and treatment to drug users and their families 鈥 and opening the country鈥檚 first NGO needle exchange. Prior to this point, all help had been voluntary, and there was no state funding. But it was time to 鈥渇ormalise our response鈥 recounts Geoghegan.

Wzrost i zmiana

By the mid-1990s Merchants Quay service included a formal 16-week drug-free rehabilitation programme in High Park, day programmes and counselling at the converted Friday garage on Winetavern Street, and the meals service still run on Cook Street by Brother Sebastian. But Br. Sebastian was getting on in years and things were changing, remembers Brother Gabriel, who now helps provide pastoral care across MQI facilities. 鈥淚t had grown so much from a cup of tea and a warm place to dry your clothes.鈥

Echa, bracia Filipie, "w pewnym sensie robimy to od 800 lat - nikt nigdy nie zostanie odwr贸cony". Nadszed艂 jednak czas, aby bracia odsun臋li si臋 od w臋glowego oblicza i przeszli do poziomu duszpasterskiego. "Widzia艂bym m艂odych ludzi czekaj膮cych na 艣niadanie na 艣niadanie, wygl膮daj膮cych na bardzo zdesperowanych. Ca艂a scena si臋 zmieni艂a. Potrzebowali profesjonalnych ludzi. "

MQI dzisiaj

W 2001 roku, teraz bezdomnych i us艂ug narkotykowych dzia艂aj膮cych w Merchants Quay zosta艂y zebrane w ramach jednej struktury zarz膮dzania i sta艂 si臋 Merchants Quay Irlandii.

In 2012, we moved into the newly refurbished Riverbank Open Access Centre on Merchants Quay. This allowed us to bring all crisis services under one roof giving us the space to meet increasing demand, particularly for our meal service.

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