A recent Nationwide programme featured the work of the Sophia Housing Association on Cork Street in Dublin. The clip included Partners in Faith whose office is within the Sophia complex. Below is a clip from the Nationwide programme featuring the segment on Sophia.
After a busy year the Partners in Faith team went on pilgrimage to the Aran Islands as guests of Deirdre Kennedy, one of the team members, who lives on Inis Mór. The two days spent there were a chance to reconnect with our rich Irish religious heritage which is still very much alive on the islands. On our first evening we celebrated a remembrance mass for the dead with the Islanders amongst the ruins of Na Seacht dTeampaill (the Seven Churches) which was for centuries one of the largest monastic centres of pilgrimage along the west coast of Ireland.
Pictured above is an early Christian beehive hut known as Clochain na Carraige near where we were staying. It was part of the green martyrdom of penance and denial which played a significant part of Christian practice at the time. We managed a rich journey though the spaces and places of island history whilst we were there. See the photos section of the website for more pictures of the visit.
Last year Partners in Faith co-hosted a visit by James Alison to Dublin. Since then James has completed a new course in adult faith education entitled The Forgiving Victim with the Raven Foundation in the US. The course will be available early in 2013. There is a website for the course where you can get more details including an hour long preview.forgivingvictim.com
"With James Alison as the guide, discover that being a Christian is not principally about being good or believing the right things. A Christian is someone who finds him/herself on the receiving end of an act of communication and, just like the disciples, receiving a revised story about themselves and everything they thought they knew to be true. Using anthropology, a mimetic understanding of how desire and violence work, and old fashioned common sense, James Alison invites us to transform how we think about God, how we pray and worship, and how we go about being good Christians."
On Tuesday of Holy Week the RTÉ Nationwide team with Mary Kennedy visited the Sophia complex on Cork Street where Partners in Faith have their office to film a piece for the Nationwide prog- ramme. They talked to Robert who is a resident of the complex, Trevor who looks after the kitchen, Maura who manages the Wisdom Centre and Dave who is on the team of Partners in Faith. Included in the filming was the Easter ritual run by Partners in Faith for the residents. The episode will be broadcast in early July. Pictured above are Sr.Jean Quinn, founder and CEO of Sophia, Deirdre, Mary Kennedy, Jon, Mary and Dave.
Nationwide's Mary Kennedy recently paid a visit to the Partners in Faith office in Cork Street and was shown around the Sophia Housing Association complex and Wisdom Centre while she was here. It was a special treat for staff and residents who all confessed to being big fans of Mary and Nationwide! Mary has just returned from Ethiopia where she was filming the work of the Playing for Life charity which was setup by Tracy Piggott. (Pictured from left: Deirdre Kennedy, who works with Partners in Faith, Jean Quinn DW CEO of the Sophia Housing Association and Mary Kennedy). For more photos see the Photos section.
Deirdre Kennedy has recently joined the PIF team of Mary O’Dwyer, Dave Donnellan and Jonathan Cripps. The full team met for the first time on October 10th, 2011. (Pictured l to r Deirdre, Mary, Dave and Jon ). Deirdre brings a wealth of experience with her from her work on the Aran Islands, more details of which can be found on Derdre's website www.deirdrenichinneide.com. A big welcome to Deirdre from all in the Partners in Faith network.
The annual Partners in Faith Summer School finished today with a big thank you to Gemma McKenna who is withdrawing from a leadership function within the team. Gemma will still be an active presence within the PIF network in a role she hopes will evolve organically in the coming years. Dave Donnellan will be stepping into the role vacated by Gemma on the team. Also in the coming months Partners will also be advertising for a new team member to fill the place left by Gemma on the team.
Kate Sheehan, one of the Partners in Faith trustees, led tributes at the end of the two day Summer School to Gemma followed by contributions from many present who knew Gemma stretching back many years to her work with Ciaran Early in Dublin and beyond. Gemma joined Ciaran in Partners in Faith shortly after it was founded and when it was based in the Dublin Institute of Adult Education in Mountjoy Square. It was a moving and emotional tribute which reflected how Gemma's work over the years has been valued by those with whom she has come into contact and with whom she has forged such links of deep and abiding affection.