01 May 2007
Welcome to this blog:
I am a priest in the Church of Ireland (Anglican). I retired on 31 March 2022 as the Priest-in-Charge of the Rathkeale Group of parishes, Director for Education and Training in the Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe, and the Canon Precentor of Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick, Saint Flannan’s Cathedral, Killaloe, Co Clare, and Saint Brendan’s Cathedral, Clonfert, Co Galway, having held those positions from 2017. I also retired then as a member of the Diocesan Council, the Diocesan Synod and diocesan committees.
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 continued to lecture in CITI until the end of the academic year in 2017.
I have also been the Director of Spiritual Formation, the Church of Ireland Theological College, 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 I have taken part in programmes organised by the Diplomatic Academy, Vienna, the Swedish Institute, the Institute of Global Economics, Seoul (Korea) and University College Dublin.
For many years, I worked as a journalist with the Lichfield Mercury, the Tamworth Herald, the Wexford People and The Irish Times, where I was Foreign Desk Editor for eight years 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 and Sidney Sussex College, 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 (2011).
I am a former member of the General Synod of the Church of Ireland (until 2022), and a former canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin (2007-2017), where I was a member of the board and chapter until 2017. I have been a member of the Standing Committee of the General Synod, the Commission for Christian Unity and Dialogue, the Inter-Faith Working Group, the European Affairs Working Group and the Anglican Affairs Working Group. I was the chaplain at the Anglican Primates’ Meeting in Dublin (2011), at the Porvoo Consultation on Diaconal Ministry in Dublin (2013), at which I also delivered a paper, ‘Deacons, the Diaconate and Diakonia: The Church of Ireland Experience,’ and chaplain at 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 I have preached in the chapels of Christ’s College, Cambridge, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and Saint John’s Hospital, Lichfield.
I have also worked with some of the main Anglican mission agencies. For six years, I was a trustee of the Anglican mission agency USPG (the United Society Partners in the Gospel) and have been a member of the council. 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.
I was chair of the board of management of Rathkeale No 2 National School, Co Limerick, a member of the boards of Colaiste Mhuire, Askeaton, Colaiste na Trocaire, Rathkeale, and Hazelwood College, Drumcolligher, a member of the Diocesan Board of Education, and a board member of two educational charities in Limerick, the Leamy Protestant Board of Education and the Limerick Protestant Orphan and Childcare Society.
I was a hospital chaplain in Saint Ita’s Hospital, Newcastle West, Co Limerick, and Listowel District Hospital, Co Kerry.
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).
The books I have contributed to in recent years include: 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), Death and the Irish, A miscellany, ed Salvador Ryan (Dublin: Wordwell, 2016), Perspectives on Preaching: A Witness of the Irish Church, ed Maurice Elliott and Patrick McGlinchey (Dublin: Church of Ireland Publishing, 2018), Drogheda Grammar School, 1669-2019, ed John McCullen and Hugh Baker (Drogheda: Drogheda Grammar School, 2019), We Remember Maynooth: A College Across Four Centuries, ed Salvador Ryan and John-Paul Sheridan (Dublin: Messenger Publications and Maynooth University, 2020) and Birth and the Irish, A miscellany, ed Salvador Ryan (Dublin: Wordwell, 2021).
I write a monthly column for the Church Review (Dublin and Glendalough), for about 20 years I contributed a monthly column to the Diocesan Magazine (Cashel, Ferns and Ossory), and I have contributed regularly to the Lichfield Gazette and CityLife in Lichfield. I have been published in journal, 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, and delivered lectures to numerous history and civic societies, including those in Achill, Adare, Askeaton, Charleville, Dún Laoghaire, Knocklyon, Lichfield, Limerick, Rathfarnham, Rathkeale, Tamworth, Tarbert and Wexford, and at the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, the National Library of Ireland and in the Hunt Museum, Limerick.
My research interests include mission theology, Christian–Muslim relations, Orthodox spirituality, patristics, the role of architecture in creating liturgical space and Jewish spirituality. 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), a Fellow of the Academy of Saint Cecilia (FASC) and a Fellow of the Fraternity of Saint Cecilia (FFSC).
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 feel at home in Dublin, Wexford, Lichfield, Cambridge, Askeaton and Stony Stratford … and in Rethymnon and other places in Greece.
I have been President of the Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (Irish CND) since 2008; I was the chair of Irish CND at its refounding in 1979, and at different times I have been vice-chair and secretary, as well as chair of Christian CND and a member of the Council of CND in Britain. I was involvedd in the sit-ins at Carnsore Point, Co Wexford, the site for a proposed nuclear reactor, in the 1970s.
My personal hobbies and past-times include travel, especially in Ireland, England and Greece, walking on the beach, by rivers and in the countryside, architecture, and local and family history. Many of these interests are reflected in my postings and photographs on this blog.
My opinions are my own and do not represent any of the organisations referred to here or in my postings.
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In search of family roots in Comberford in Lichfield District in rural Staffordshire