The Society of African Missions’ annual Summer School will take place this year at the Dromantine Retreat and Conference Centre in Newry, Co Down, from Friday 29 June to Sunday 1 July. Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, will deliver the keynote address on the closing day of the conference.
Fr Sean Healy SMA will facilitate the three-day event, which will focus on the theme ‘Radical Discipleship: Healing for a World in Pain’.
Speaking ahead of the Summer School, Fr Healy said, ‘Since the SMA Summer School was opened to the public in 2014 it has grown in strength every year since. The natural beauty of our SMA Conference Centre at Dromantine, near Newry, reminds us of the call by Pope Francis to care for our common home. And the calibre of our keynote speakers and workshop presenters, encourages reflection and renewal of one’s faith and commitment to building a world of justice, respect and compassion. I am looking forward to this year’s Summer School and hope we might welcome many new faces to our growing family of participants.
The programme will include will feature a number of talks on faith today from keynote speakers Cardinal Vincent Nichols on ‘Using Our Gifts – Transformed by Hope’; Professor Tina Beattie on ‘The Church, Women and Modern Families: Hearing the Voices and Healing the Wounds’; and John Lonergan, former Governor of Mountjoy Prison, Dublin, on ‘The Marginalised and the Excluded – Causes, Effects, and Responses’.
Workshop hosts over the three days will include Siobhan Tighe and Jane Mellet, parish pastoral workers in the Archdiocese of Dublin; Brian Higgins, CEO of Pieta House; Maria Garvey, founder of L’Arche Community Belfast, with colleagues Jillian Gould and Larry Gormley; and many others. A full brochure of events can be found here.
Spaces at the SMA annual summer school are limited, so advanced booking is advised. The booking form can be found here.
The Society of African Missions is an international community of Catholic missionaries who serve the people of Africa and people of African descent around the world. The society was founded in Lyons, France, in 1856 by Mgr Melchior de Marion Brésillac. The society now holds over 900 members from Africa, America, Asia and Europe and work in a number of African countries as well as in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Oceania.
For more information on the Society of African Missions see www.sma.ie.