Deepening Our Understanding

A Series of Public Lectures to help us come to a deeper understanding of our Faith and the context in which the Limerick Diocesan Synod takes place.

‘Pope Francis, The Great Reformer’, by Dr Austen Ivereigh.

Austen Ivereigh (born 1966) is a London-based Roman Catholic journalist, author, commentator and campaigner. A former deputy editor of The Tablet, he is the author of the authoritative biography of Pope Francis. This lecture is co-sponsored by the Department of Theology & Religious Studies, Mary Immaculate College, the Irish Section of the European Society for Catholic Theology, and The Irish Catholic Newspaper. Praise for the Great Reformer: "Well written, full of information; this is the best biography of Pope Francis to date."—Thomas Reese, Senior Analyst, National Catholic Reporter.

Date:   Wednesday 4th March 2015
Time:   7.30 p.m.
Venue: Mary Immaculate College, T 1.18


‘Understanding Limerick’ by Dr. Niamh Hourigan

Limerick is a unique place. It is a city with tremendous strengths which has also experienced considerable challenges in recent years. It's warm, active communities as well as vibrant sporting and cultural life operate within a context of inequality which has persisted despite economic growth and development. In this presentation, sociologist Niamh Hourigan, editor of the collection Understanding Limerick maps the city's most complex and unique qualities. Niamh will explore how Limerick's past shapes its contemporary reality and highlights the significant role of the city's diverse local communities have played in dealing with the range of challenges faced by its citizens. This talk aims to provide some important local contextualization for the forthcoming Synod in the Diocese of Limerick.

Date:   Wednesday 11th March 2015
Time:   7.30 p.m.
Venue: Strand Hotel, Ennis Road  (Harris Suite)


‘Why we need a Synod’ Dr. Gerry O’Hanlon SJ.

Dr. Gerry O’Hanlon SJ is a staff member of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice and author of the recent A New Vision for the Catholic Church: A view from Ireland.

 “I would suggest that firstly we need to locate all our planning in the context of prayerful discernment … I would propose that one major strategic action would involve a series of national assemblies or synods of the Irish Church, building on parish and diocesan assemblies, with adequate representation of all the faithful, including those on the margins and those who have already left the Church.” Gerry O’Hanlon in Reaping the Harvest

Date:   Wednesday 18th March 2015
Time:   8.00 p.m.
Venue: Woodlands House Hotel, Adare


‘The History of Synods in Ireland’ Dr. Salvador Ryan

Dr. Salvador Ryan is Professor of Ecclesiastical History in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth since 2008. Alongside Bishop Brendan Leahy he has co-edited two volumes of Treasures of Irish Christianity.

The last Synod in Limerick Diocese took place in 1937 and the last National Synod of the Irish Church took place in the 1950’s. Salvador Ryan will situate Synod 2016 in the context of the history of Synods in Ireland and enable us to determine what is continuous and new in the current initiative.

Date:   Tuesday 24th March 2015
Time:   8.00 p.m.
Venue: Scoil Mhuire & Íde, Newcastle West