The founder of Pieta House, Senator Joan Freeman, and journalist John Waters, will speak at a conference to be held at Summerhill College, Sligo on Saturday 24 September. The conference entitled ‘To Learn and Teach Mercy’ has been organised by the Diocese of Elphin as a celebration of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Taking inspiration from Pope Francis’ assertion that “a little mercy makes the world less cold and more just”, speakers will address questions such as: “What is mercy?” “How merciful is Irish society?”; “Is mercy something that should be taught?” “How do young people view mercy?” and “What does it mean to be merciful?”
In 2003, Senator Freeman, a practising psychologist, closed down her own counselling business and dedicated her time to finding out how she could help people who were suicidal. After three years of research, she opened up Pieta House, which quickly became a respected and recognised service for those who were suicidal. In 2015 alone, in excess of 5,000 people came through its doors.
John Waters began working as a journalist in 1981, with Hot Press and has been a regular contributor as journalist, editor and columnist to many publications since. As a respected author and playwright, Beyond Consolation, Jiving at the Crossroads, Lapsed Agnostic and Easter Dues feature among his most popular works.
The conference will also feature input from Bishop Kevin Doran, Bishop of Elphin, Ms Kate Liffey, National Director for Catechetics, Irish Episcopal Conference and Sligo University Hospital Chaplain Father John Carroll. Choirs from local secondary schools will also perform at the event. Booking is essential. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephoning 071 9151083.