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Monday Minute 3-19-18

Lent is an Opportunity…

Even when we’re overwhelmed by situations we need not lose control. It’s important to not lose heart but to keep trying. We need to keep an open mind and sometimes make major changes or take risks.

The Irish Potato Famine of 1846 to 1851 resulted in a 30% drop in the population of the west of Ireland. The prolonged suffering of the Irish peasants had broken the survivors in body and spirit. John Bloomfield, the owner of Castle Caldwell in County Fermanagh, was working on the recovery of his estate when he noticed that the exteriors of his tenant farmers’ small cottages had a vivid white finish. After inquiring, he was informed that there was a clay deposit on his property of exceptionally fine quality.

To generate revenue and provide employment on his estate, Bloomfield built a pottery factory at the nearby village of Belleek in 1857. The unusually fine clay produced a porcelain china that was translucent with a glass-like finish. It was worked into traditional Irish designs and was an immediate success. Today, Belleek’s delicate strength and it’s iridescent pearlized glaze is enthusiastically purchased the world over. This multi-million dollar industry arose from innovative thinking during times of crisis and adversity. 

Each of us probably walk past similar opportunities to re-think our situation each day. During the last week and a half of Lent, don't miss an opportunity to repent, make a major change, or take a risk.

 This Monday Minute is from Deacon Andy Neu, currently listening to Liquid by Jars of Clay. Listen in at


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