For the third time the Down and Connor Faith and Life Convention will take place in Our Lady and Saint Patrick’s College, Knock, Belfast on Saturday 24 September. The convention is a gathering of young and old interested in exploring and debating the significance of faith for the realities of everyday life and living.
Former Westminster MP Sarah Teather is this year’s keynote speaker. She is now director of the Director of Jesuit Refugee Service in the UK. At age 29 she was the youngest MP in Westminster and served as Minister of State for Children and Families in the Coalition Government between 2010 and 2012. Then, in the context of doing a silent 30 day Retreat Sarah decided to leave Parliament with the conviction that working with refugees through the Jesuit Refugee Service is how she wanted to serve God and society. Sarah will share her experience of being a person of faith trying to respond to the Gospel imperative to create what Pope Francis refers to as an ‘oasis or a culture of care’.
More than 20 different workshops will explore themes such as faith and film, the realities of living as a Muslim in Belfast, ecology, faith and our divided society, what it is like to be a young Catholic in today’s world, exploring the spirituality of Patrick Kavanagh’s poetry, the intriguing life of Father John Sullivan SJ and the pastoral response to drugs and alcohol and how a culture of welcome can be created for migrants and people seeking refuge.
Workshops will be led by contributors including: Breda O’ Brien, Columnist with The Irish Times and The Irish Catholic; Rev. Ruth Patterson OBE, a Presbyterian Minister and director of the charity, Restoration Ministries; Ben Conroy, former researcher with the Iona Institute; Sheikh Anwar Mady, leader of the Islamic community, Wellington Park Belfast; Dr. John Kyle GP and local Councillor; Sister Una Agnew SSL Associate Professor Emerita of the Faculty of Theology at Milltown‐Institute.
To book tickets for the Down and Connor annual Faith and Life Convention please see www.faithandlifeconvention.org.