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Archbishops in show of unity ahead of St Patrick Day

By editor - 15 March, 2016


On the eve of St Patrick’s Day 2016, the Church of Ireland and Catholic Archbishops of Dublin will join the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral and the Girls’ Choir of St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral in a powerful message of Christian unity.

The music department at Christ Church is hosting a Festal Choral Evensong on Wednesday 16 March at Christ Church Cathedral Dublin at 6pm.

The service will be led by Archbishop Michael Jackson and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and will be sung by the choirs of Christ Church Cathedral and the Girls’ Choir of St Mary’s Pro–Cathedral, Dublin.

The service is the brainchild of Christ Church Cathedral’s director of music, Ian Keatley.

Having grown up in the context of the Troubles in Northern Ireland he has always been inspired by the way in which the Feast of St Patrick creates a strong and positive sense of unity throughout the island of Ireland.

“At Christ Church Cathedral we are seeking to reflect this sense of community with an ecumenical service promoting a shared desire for Christian unity symbolised by two cathedral choirs singing together as one ensemble on the eve of a Feast which brings us all together in celebration,” he explains.

Today, Archbishop Jackson and Archbishop Martin will visit the new DIT Campus in Grangegorman for a religious service and the blessing of the shamrock in St Laurence’s Church on the campus.

This is the first time such a ceremony will take place on the campus and the shamrocks will be distributed to students, staff and visitors.

September 2014 saw the arrival of the first 1,000 students to the campus and that number will grow to over 10,000 students and staff by 2018/19.

The ceremony takes place in St Laurence’s which functioned as a Church for the many residents of Grangegorman Hospital over the years. St Laurence’s continues to serve the new and emerging community in the area.

The event is a joint venture between Fr Alan Hilliard, Coordinator of DIT’s Chaplaincy Service and the Rev Rob Jones, Church of Ireland Chaplain at DIT.

“This ceremony highlights our rich Irish heritage which is of interest to our increasingly diverse campus population and those of Irish heritage,” Fr Hilliard commented.

“The aim of the chaplaincy is to offer a space in St Laurence’s where people from various ethnic and religious backgrounds can celebrate their various national and religious festivals in the future thus giving them a sense of being ‘at home’ in a new location,” he continued.

“Over the next number of years we will see some 2,000 students living on campus and every effort will be made through a range of activities by various college based groups to accommodate and enrich the students overall educational experience”.

Fr Hilliard commended both archbishops for their interest in initiatives that support transition to the new campus in Grangegorman and their interest in student welfare.

“Both men have a clear vision of the important role that third level institutes play within civil society,” he said.

Ø The Chaplaincy Service in DIT operates alongside many others agencies within Campus Life including Disability Service, Counselling, Medical Centre etc see www.dit/campuslife

Ø The chaplaincy team is coordinated by Fr Alan Hilliard and includes the Rev Rob Jones, Finbarr O’Leary, Fionnuala Walshe, Susie Keegan and Suzanne Greene who is the Chaplaincy Administrator.

Ø The chaplaincy provides many services to the IDT including the coordination of the Peer Mentoring program and the delivery of a program to support International and Erasmus students among many other activities.

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