Tuesday, 1 May 2007

About me


Welcome to this blog:

I am a priest in the Church of Ireland (Anglican), the Priest-in-Charge of Rathkeale Group of parishes, and Director for Education and Training in the Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe. The Rathkeale Group of Parishes includes Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale, Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton, and Kilcornan (Castletown, Pallaskenry), Co Limerick, all in Diocese of Limerick, and Saint Brendan’s Church, Killnaughtin, Tarbert, Co Kerry, in the Diocese of Ardfert and Aghadoe.

In February 2017, I became the Canon Precentor of Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick, Saint Flannan’s Cathedral, Killaloe, Co Clare, and Saint Brendan’s Cathedral, Co Galway.

I have been the Lecturer in Anglicanism, Liturgy and Church History in the Church of Ireland Theological Institute, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the University of Dublin (Trinity College Dublin), and I am continuing to lecture in CITI until the end of the academic year in 2017.

I have also been a Visiting Lecturer in Anglicanism in the Mater Dei Institute (a college of Dublin City University), and have taught at or supervised dissertations for All Hallows’ College, Dublin, Saint John’s College, Nottingham, the Open University, Chester University, Saint Patrick’s College (Pontifical University), Maynooth, the National University of Ireland Maynooth (now Maynooth University), Saint Patrick’s College, Drumcondra (a linked college of Dublin City University), Edgehill Theological College (Belfast) and the University of Limerick. I once taught Islamic and Byzantine studies at the Maynooth extension campus in Saint Kieran’s College, Kilkenny, lectured at the Durrell School of Corfu, and taken part in programmes organised by the Diplomatic Academy, Vienna, the Institute of Global Economics, Seoul (Korea) and University College Dublin.

For many years, I worked as a journalist with the Lichfield Mercury, the Wexford People and The Irish Times, where I was Foreign Desk Editor until 2002.

I received a fellowship in 1979 from Nihon Shimbun Kyokai and Journalistes en Europe to study journalism in Japan. I have studied theology at the Irish School of Ecumenics, TCD, the Kimmage Mission Institute, and Maynooth, with further studies in patristics at the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies (Cambridge) and in Liturgy and Latin at the Institutum Liturgicum (London). I hold a BD from Maynooth, a Postgraduate Diploma in Ecumenics from Trinity College Dublin, and certificates from the IOCS, Cambridge, the Institutum Liturgicum, London, and NSK, Tokyo. I studied Muslim-Christian dialogue at the former College of the Ascension in Birmingham (1996), received a grant to study politics and economics in South Korea (1997), trained for ordination in the Church of Ireland Theological College (1999-2000), was awarded the Oulton Prize for Patristic Studies (2008), and took part in an inter-faith training programme at Saint Philip’s Centre, Leicester.

I am a member of the General Synod of the Church of Ireland, and a former canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, where I was a member of the board and chapter until 2017. I have also been a member of the Standing Committee of the General Synod, the Commission for Christian Unity and Dialogue, the European Affairs Working Group and the Anglican Affairs Working Group. I was the chaplain to the Anglican Primates’ Meeting in Dublin (2011), the Porvoo Consultation on Diaconal Ministry in Dublin (2013), and the annual conference of the Friends of the Church in China and the China Forum of CTBI (2006). I have been the Select Preacher at the University of Dublin (Trinity College Dublin) and preached in both Christ’s College, Cambridge, and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

I have also worked with some of the main Anglican mission agencies. I am a trustee and member of the council of the Anglican mission agency USPG (the United Society Partners in the Gospel). At different times, I have been chair and secretary of the Dublin University Far Eastern Mission (DUFEM), chair of the Association of Mission Societies, chair of the Church of Ireland Press, publishers of the Church of Ireland Gazette, and served on the board of the National Bible Society of Ireland.

My publications include: A Romantic Myth? Kilcronaghan’s link to ‘Zorba the Greek’ (Tobermore, 2009); Reflections of the Bible in the Quran: a comparison of Scriptural Traditions in Christianity and Islam (Dublin: National Bible Society of Ireland, Bedell–Boyle lecture series, 2008); Embracing Difference (2007); A Brief History of Christianity, ed P. McGarry; co–authors Hans Küng, Desmond Tutu, Mary Robinson, &c, (Dublin: Veritas, 2001); St Maelruain: Tallaght’s Own Saint (Dublin: Tallaght Parish, pamphlet, 1992); Desmond Tutu: Black Africa’s Man of Destiny (Dublin: Veritas, 1987); Do You Want To Die for NATO? (Dublin and Cork: Mercier Press, 1984).

In recent years, I have contributed to Christianity (2001), The Laity and the Church of Ireland, 1000–2000 (2002), Untold Stories (2002), The Encyclopaedia of Ireland (2003), The Wexford Man (2007), The Lure of Greece (2007), China and the Irish (Dublin 2009, Beijing 2010), Celebrating the Oxford Movement (2009), Victory or Glorious Defeat (2010), A History of Enniscorthy (ed Colm Tóibín, 2010), Treasures of Irish Christianity, Volume II, A People of the Word, eds Salvador Ryan and Brendan Leahy (Dublin: Veritas, 2013), Callan 800 (1207–2007) History & Heritage, Companion Volume, ed Joseph Kennedy (Callan: Callan Heritage Society), 2013, Treasures of Irish Christianity, Volume III, To the Ends of the Earth, ed Salvador Ryan (Dublin: Veritas, 2015), and Death and the Irish, A miscellany, ed Salvador Ryan (Dublin: Wordwell, 2016).

I write a monthly column for the Church Review (Dublin and Glendalough) and the Diocesan Magazine (Cashel, Ferns and Ossory), and have contributed regularly to the Lichfield Gazette and CityLife in Lichfield. I have been published in magazines, newspapers and books in Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Britain, China, Denmark, Greece, Japan and the US. I delivered the George Hadden Memorial Lecture at the Wexford Festival Opera, ‘Religion in Co Wexford from St Ibar to the Present Day’ (2000), and The Bedell Boyle Lecture, an annual lecture sponsored by the National Bible Society of Ireland, ‘Reflections of the Bible in the Qur’an,’ at the Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy (2006).

I have spoken at retreats organised by the dioceses or clergy of Clogher, Meath and Kildare, Cashel Ferns and Ossory, Limerick and Killaloe, Tuam, and Glendalough, Bray Churches Together and CMS Wales.

My research interests include mission theology, Christian–Muslim relations, Orthodox spirituality, patristics and the role of architecture in creating liturgical space. I have been a speaker, chair, workshop leader and panellist at conferences and seminars in Austria, Denmark, Egypt, England, Greece, Israel/Palestine, Italy, Japan, Korea, Scotland, Sweden and Wales.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland (FRSAI, elected 1987) and a Fellow of the Academy of Saint Cecilia (FASC).

I was born on Rathfarnham Road in south Dublin, between a synagogue and a laundry and across the road from a cinema, and went to school in Gormanston, Co Meath. Having lived in my childhood and early adult life in a variety of places, including West Waterford, Co Meath, Lichfield and Wexford, I am now living just a short distance from where I was born. But I feel at home in Dublin, Wexford and Lichfield ... and in parts of Greece.

My personal hobbies and past-times include travel, especially in Ireland, England and Greece, walking on the beach, by rivers and in the countryside, and local and family history. Many of these interests are reflected in my postings on this blog. My opinions are my own and do not represent any of the organisations referred to here or in my postings.

Visit me on Facebook.

In search of family roots in Comberford in Lichfield District in rural Staffordshire