Dolores Whelan, the well-kown scholar of Celtic Christianity led the PIF Summer School this year in the beautiful surroundings of Solas Bhride in Co. Kildare. Dolores led the morning session which explored the legacy and person of Brigid. The afternoon sessions were facilitated by Margaret Kindregran and Margaret Walsh on 'Brigidine Customs and Traditions' and Terry Hennessey on 'Sacred Dance'. The day was rounded off by a walk to St. Brigid's Well which is close by and a ritual led by the Brigidine Srs. Phil, Mary and Rita from the Centre. The day was a wonderful journey into our Celtic Christian heritage in a new centre which is already becoming a shining light in the search for our ancient religious roots here on the island of Ireland.

The Partners in Faith Summers School was held in Glendalough this year for the first time. The team in Glendalough, Michael Rodgers and Breda Ahearn, facilitated the day for the group guiding the participants around the various ancient sites in the area between the upper and lower lakes. Drawing on his wide experince and knowledge of Celtic culture and spirituality Michael wove together poetry, history, song with his obvious love for the place into a very memorable and moving day. The picture below shows the group finishing off the day at Teampall na mBan (The Church of the Women). For more pictures of the day see our Gallery section here.

Partners in Faith has joined with the Margaret Aylward Centre in Glasnevin, Dublin to deliver a number of courses later in the year. The Margaret Aylward Centre for Faith and Dialogue, run by the Holy Faith Sisters was opened earlier this year by Archbisphop Dermot Martin.

As details are finalised for the various courses Partners in Faith will be running they can be found on the Upcoming Events section of this website.

 

The Partners in Faith team (pictured above with James) recently completed facilitation training with James Alison for his new course: Jesus The Forgiving Victim, An Introduction to Christianity for Adults. The training took place in Corrymeela, Northern Ireland over three days and was attended by people from all over the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

 

When a friend told me ‘This is Christianity as I’ve never heard it before’, I felt challenged to make the material more widely available. So, I hope you will find that this course offers you a journey of discovery, and as you undergo it, that the Crucified and Risen Lord will enliven in you a new narrative, one that is both your own, and yet much more than your own. ~ James Alison

 

The course is designed for groups of up to 12 people and happens over twelve sessions. The group itself is free to arrange how these sessions happen. A home environment over a meal, for example, can work well. More details on the content can be obtained on the Forgiving Victim website. If you would like to set up a group in your location let us in the Partners in Faith office know and we'd be happy to help out.

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."

   

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