“Who am I?: And If So How Many?”. Thus the philosopher David Precht famously posed the question in the title of one of his books. Thinking of this reminded me of my own dilemma as I travelled along the road to Killarney on 21 May to become an Irish citizen. I am proud to be a citizen of the country in which I have lived for quite some time. I can now fully take part in the political life and share in the rights and responsibilities that citizenship brings with it.
Will it make me less German though, I pondered? Minister Stanton said some remarkable sentences at the conferring ceremony that will stay with me. He spoke about the gifts, traditions and cultures that we “new Irish” bring to this country. He asked us not to forget them but to feed them into Irish society and thus enrich it.
I remembered that I had been at this crossroad before when I joined the Dominicans. I took on a new identity then but, of course, brought everything with me that had made me me. I am happy to have thrown in my lot with the Cabra Dominicans and hope there has been mutual enrichment.
So who am I today (and how many)? I am an Irish Dominican – with the added spice of a Germanic approach. It strikes me, as I write this on Trinity Sunday, that this confluence of three traditions and cultures means that I will wear the shamrock with a deeper meaning.
Sr. Sabine Schratz OP