28 June 2018

A day of interviews and
a restored Baptismal font

An interview with David Patton in Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton, for ‘The Spiritual Journey of Ireland’ (Photograph: Beniamin Sobotka, 2018)

Patrick Comerford

I spent the afternoon in Askeaton yesterday working with David Patton and his Polish-born brother-in-law Beniamin Sobotka, who are working on The Spiritual Journey of Ireland. This is a full-length video documentary that promises to take us around the island of Ireland, exploring our spiritual history and taking in the historic sites that connect us to our spiritual past.

David is from Dundalk, Co Louth, and the concept for this documentary has been with him since 2002 when he first started investigating Ireland’s rich spiritual heritage. Since then, he has always dreamt of researching this in more detail and bringing out ‘the pivotal stories that make up our spiritual journey as a nation and see what impact it has both on our present and future.’

He says the topic gripped him then and has stayed with him ever since.

He is a leader in a local church in Drogheda, and describes himself as ‘a passionate communicator and student of faith.’

Filming is taking David and Beniamin to heritage sites across Ireland, enjoying the opportunity this bright summer weather provides to capture the beautiful landscape as a visual backdrop to the spoken content delivered by many contributors.

Apart from me, the contributors include Nick Park, Executive Director of the Evangelical Alliance Ireland, and Dr John Scally, Professor in Ecclesiastical History at Trinity College Dublin.

The project is at the filming stage, and David and Beniamin are ready to take it all the way from the filming to production and post production. They plan to have the documentary finished by November, giving their backers a chance to receive their DVDs in time for Christmas. ‘We think the finished product will make a great Christmas gift for friends and family.’

Earlier in the day, I was a speaker at an event in the Desmond Castle, Newcastle West, marking the restoration of the Baptismal font from the former Saint Thomas’s Church, and its return to Newcastle West. As well as senior representatives of the Office of Public Works, the attendance included the Bishop of Limerick, the Right Revd Kenneth Kearon, and the Dean of Saint Mary’s Cathedral, the Very Revd Niall Sloane.

The church, which once stood on the north side of the castle, between the castle and the Square, was demolished in 1962. The font, made of Caen Stone, bears the inscription, ‘One Baptism for the Remission of Sins.’

With Dean Niall Sloane, Bishop Keneth Kearon, and senior representatives of the Office of Public Works at the return of the Baptismal Font in Newcastle West

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