I feel honoured to be considered a parishioner of Clonard Monastery as described in the Belfast Telegraph article on Saturday 31st March 2018
NI CHRISTIANS UNITE FOR ANNUAL GOOD FRIDAY PROCESSIONS-news page 6
Not that strictly speaking, Clonard Monastery has parishioners anyway! However, I do feel honoured and privileged to be asked to carry the cross for this cross-community procession along the Falls Road and Shankill Road in Belfast. It was an opportunity to reflect on the power of the cross to bring us together, as well as a reminder of the wonderful work done by Father Gerry Reynolds (now sadly deceased) and Rev. Ken Newell and others in helping to bring cross-cultural understanding and friendship during THE TROUBLES.
I have always been made very welcome at Clonard Monastery. I have had the opportunity to lead prayers for them and they have kindly hosted my talks on MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES IN THE COMMUNITY.
As a non-Catholic what is it that I find so attractive about the Clonard Monastery community?
Firstly, I feel so honoured and welcomed by Clonard.
Secondly, I find a genuine humility in their strong desire to welcome those from other Christian traditions and a willingness to learn from them.
Thirdly, the PILGRIMS OF CHRISTIAN UNITY. This wonderful group of people go most Sundays as a group to sit in Protestant churches, just to be there as a witness to their strong desire to build bridges between different church traditions. What an example!
So, It was a privilege to be part of the
CLONARD MONASTERY GOOD FRIDAY PROCESSION
They have also invited lots of people to attend my talks on mental health and there has always been a good crowd. The talks have been in two parts with discussion on a common mental health theme followed, after a tea break, by a discourse on how the Christian Faith can help. Talks on such subjects as Depression, Anxiety and Addictions have been warmly received and it has always been a pleasure to show how Psychiatry and The Christian Faith can be helpful in our understanding of these conditions. This approach can also be found in my book,
Of course, exercise is very helpful for mental health, so there are several benefits from the CLONARD MONASTERY GOOD FRIDAY PROCESSION