In March, 30 leaders and representatives of a broad range of faith communities and faith-based organisations from Dublin’s North East Inner City gathered together to explore their shared past, present and future. Led by the partnership of ACET Ireland and Dublin City Interfaith Forum, the group were inspired in their conversations and new connections by the inputs of the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Micheál Mac Donncha, Fr. Peter McVerry and Salome Mbugua of Akidwa.
Peter McVerry’s comments struck a particular chord as he encouraged those attending to “spend your week demonstrating the dignity of all, which is declared at your worship services on the weekend.” Those weekly activities include supporting asylum seekers and refugees, addressing unemployment, international development, community development, youth work, prison work, responding to addiction, homelessness and HIV, education, leadership development, supporting migrant women, working with travellers, encouraging the creative arts and much more.
“This is a great opportunity to establish a positive framework for interfaith work in this local community of rich diversity and significance,” commented Adrian Cristea of the Dublin City Interfaith Forum.
“For some faith communities and organisations there is little connection with the area in which they worship and operate. Our hope is that this event will start to change that,” stated Richard Carson of ACET Ireland.
Cover Photo: Fr. Michael Casey (Salesians, Our Lady of Lourdes, Sean McDermott St), Br. Pat Geraghty (Christian Brothers, North Richmond Street), Michael O’Sullivan (Columbans, Store Street).
The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Micheál Mac Donncha.
Fr Peter McVerry addresses the group.
Salome Mbugua of Akidwa addressed the need for positive integration of migrant in Ireland and the role faith communities can play at a local level. “To make integration happen we must work in solidarity. We must move beyond words and create opportunities for everyone.”
Joe Kerrigan (Trinity Church Network, Gardiner Street), Philip McKinley (Discovery Gospel Choir, Cathal Brugha St), Dave Gardner (Urban Soul/Street Pastors).