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Previous Events | 2011

UCD Christmas Carol Service 

On Thursday, 8 December 2011, at 7pm in the Global Lounge, students took a prayerful, reflective moment to take stock and recall the true story of our lives.

Readings from the prophet Isaiah foretelling the birth of the Saviour and readings from the Gospel account of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem, put this ecumenical event in context, i.e. a celebration of the mystery of God-with-us, Emmanuel. There was some sharing on the meaning of Christmas by students, some input by our invited preacher, and lots of carol singing. At the end, a collection was taken up on behalf of the UCD Society of St. Vincent de Paul's Welfare fund for students in a critical financial situation. 

This event was jointly organised by Christian Union, Newman Society, Livingstones and UCD Chaplaincy. Mulled wine and minced pies were served afterwards in St. Stephen's chaplaincy. 

How good it is to share jointly across the Christian denominational divides, our common faith in Jesus, Emmanuel, 'born to be King' and present in our world in the continued work of bringing about his Kingdom of justice, love and peace.

Food4Soul, Food4Body. Ecumenical gathering at St. Stephen's chaplaincy, UCD.

Some of our guests at our Food4Soul, Food4Body ecumenical gathering at St. Stephen's on Wednesday 23 November 2011.

Almost forty young Christians from various denominations joined in prayer and fellowship at the Chaplaincy. Our friendship and mutual esteem are growing as we jointly witness to our common faith in Jesus, the Lord and Saviour. 

On 8 December, Christian Union, the Newman Society and Livingstones will host a Christmas Carol Service for students and staff on campus - a welcome break from the stress of study and exam preparation. All welcome. Details to follow.


Book Launch 

On Wednesday 23 November 2011, Fr. John McNerney (pictured here on the day of his conferring with a PhD at UCD), attended the launch of The Heritage of John Paul II, Veritas 2011 (ed. Ciarán Ó Croiligh) at St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra. The President, Dr. Pauric Travers hosted the event and the book was launched by Senator Ronán Mullen. Fr. John has a most enlightening chapter on the Philosophy of John Paul II in this book.  Other contributors include the editor, Ciaran O Coigligh, who offers interesting insight into  the pontiff's dramatic and poetic compositions, Fr Vincent Twomey who writes on Pope John Paul's theology, Eileen Kane who looks at John Paul's understanding of the significance of the dialogue between the Church and the artist, and Dr. Tadeusz Szumowski, the Polish ambassador, who gives his own personal reflections on John Paul II. In addition, John Murray of Mater Dei presents the Pope's Theology of the Body, Thomas Dennigan the Pope's record in Interfaith dialogue, and Brendan Leahy, John Paul's ecumenism.

All in all, a most worthwhile read....and a fitting Christmas gift!


Interfaith gathering

Following several successful Interfaith gatherings which have provided a unique opportunity to celebrate our religious diversity and points of religious convergence, on Thursday 27 October, at 4pm, in St. Stephen's chaplaincy, about twenty of us gathered to share on our chosen theme: Faith and Human Freedom. Fr. Leon introduced the meeting by placing the event in a wider context - the meeting of 172 religious leaders in Assisi taking place - coincidentally - at the same time. The Assisi event aimed at furthering unity among the religions in their common search for truth, justice and peace. At our modest gathering in St. Stephen's, Catholic and Protestant Christians, Muslims, Jews and Sikhs eloquently presented their understanding of human freedom, through the lens of their particular religious beliefs. The sharing and discussion was enllightening, enriching and encouraging for us all. 

Photos to follow!


Food4Soul, Food4Body!

On Thursday 29 September 2011, we recommenced our regular inter-Christian gatherings at St. Stephen's which have become very popular over the last number of years, with ecumenical prayer at 6pm, followed by a meal and fellowship at 6.30pm. This was the biggest turn-out ever! Just shy of 40 people, from many parts of the globe: Malaysia, South Africa, Argentina, the U.S.A., Germany and - needless to say - Ireland. The atmosphere was awesome. Food and fellowship was just great. People lingered over conversation long afterwards. 

'That all may be one' (John 17:17) is a growing reality also here at UCD. 


Welcome to all newcomers to UCD!

Come join us at St. Stephen's chaplaincy (opp main bus terminal) for a cup of tea/coffee and delicious home-made scones on Thursday 8 Sept, at 4pm. Enjoy our hospitality and meet fellow-students who will let you in on the good news of what UCD chaplaincy has to offer. All welcome!

Student Mass recommences on Saturday 25 September at 6pm in St. Stephen's chaplaincy (opposite no 10 bus terminus).

Event Note: Just under 30 people came to St. Stephen's for this brief introduction of new UCD students to the chaplaincy. We welcomed them to UCD and the Chaplaincy centre with a warm cup of coffee and delicious home-made scones with jam and cream! What better start to the new academic year!

Congratulations John!

We heartily congratulate Fr. John McNerney for his great achievement in securing his PhD at UCD. Here he is on his conferring day, with Gillian, John Callanan and Leon, his chaplaincy team. Colleagues and friends joined in the celebrations on the day and that evening. We wish John well for the future.


Compostela 2011

Two of our chaplains, Fr. John Callanan (3rd from left) and Gillian Kingston (far right) accompanied a group of students and staff from UCD on the Compostela walk. Fr. John wrote: 'The whole trip took twelve days and entailed about six hours walking each day.   We were blessed with wonderful weather and great stories from fellow travellers along the way which really created a sense of being on pilgrimage for all concerned'.

Fr. Leon (3rd from right) was privileged to join a group of about twenty UCD students on the Northern route, in Gallicia, in late June. The photo shows a weary but happy group just after arriving in Santiago after about 200km walk - not all in one day, of course! The longest and most demanding tranche was from Baamonde to Sobrado - 41 km, just shy of a full marathon! Sobrado de los monjes, an ancient and still active Cistercian monastery, was a refuge like no other after such a rigorous march. The little cafes along the way and the warmth of companionship and friendship, lightened the load and made it all worthwhile.


Rite of Acceptance 

The Rite of Aceptance to the order of catechumens of Kwan Loong Lee (standing to Fr.. Leon's right in pic) at 11.30 Mass 10 April 2011, was a joyful and uplifting occasion for Belfield church in general and for the circle of friends (from left to right: Cathal, Patrick, Norella, Leon, Kwan Loong, Alice, Amie, Kelsey and Eamonn) in particular. Alice Leung, his colleague in Medical School and friend, is his sponsor in this process of preparation for full initiation into the Catholic Church, which Fr. Leon is conducting. The Congregation, who must support and guide him in this process, warmly greeted Kwan Loong and friends after Mass. Heartiest congratulations and best wishes to our new catechumen!



IBDI / studentHSE & CN3  In Service Day : Introduction to Brief Interventions 

Date: Friday 1st April 2011

Venue: St.Stephen’s Chaplaincy UCD

Time: 10.30am-4pm


Paul Goff, Substance Misuse Liaison Officer,Waterford General Hospital

Marion Rackard IAAAC, IAHIP, Project Manager, Substance Misuse Strategy, HSE

Purpose: The pastoral care counsellor is in a unique position to positively engage students in opportunistic conversations on the reduction of substance misuse notably alcohol and to offer a brief intervention.

This was an invaluable day for CN3 members and guests. It equipped us with a very simple but effective tool of brief intervention that has had considerable success in halting further regression in alcohol and drug misuse. Often young people are oblivious to the harmful effects of their alcohol consumption - to take but one form of substance abuse - and when confronted with the 'at risk' signs, readily cooperate with practical means to redress the situation. The SAOR method of brief intervention is effective also because the intervention is early - well before the situation becomes chronic.

Brief Interventions (3)
Identification and Screening:

Students exploring their harmful use of substances can be encouraged to be screened or to screen themselves for their substance use. Depending on the results they can be offered a brief intervention. Introduction to screening tools for alcohol and drugs.

“Simple Brief Advice”:

Offering opportunistic ‘simple brief advice’ to students is known to be effective for those who are drinking/drug using heavily but who are not dependent.

Basic skills to understand the delivery of screening, simple structured brief advice and referral can be taught in a short space of time.

“Brief Motivational Interviewing”:

This is a 20-30 minute conversation using specific motivational interviewing or cognitive behavioural techniques using the SAOR model.

Training in the practice of motivational interviewing techniques were offered using role plays.


Faith makes a difference 

Fr. John Callanan S.J., continuing the theme of our Lenten series, beginning with our interfaith gathering (Faith makes a difference), led a half hour Lenten reflection at 1.05 pm Thursday 31 March in St. Stephen's chaplaincy.

Light refreshments followed.

Interfaith gathering 

'Faith makes a difference: a cry for justice'. 

On 24 March 2011, a group of over twenty people from a variety of religious faiths (Muslim, Baha'i, Jewish, Christian...) gathered at St. Stephen's chaplaincy to share a moment's reflection on current events in North Africa and the Middle East. It was remarkable to see a meeting of minds and hearts around shared values such as God's plan for a world based on justice, love, peace, freedom and solidarity, the importance of prayer, the necessity to practice justice locally and globally, etc.

Adding to the poignancy of the event was the presence of Mohammed (far left) originally from Lybia whose father is currently in Banghazi, a zone of conflict. Our guests also included students of Palestinian origin and, of course, our Malaysian friends Alice and Kwan Loong, long-time friends of the chaplaincy, seen here to the right enjoying Frances' delicious home-made scones with jam!

Members of the Newman Society and Christian Union were also present. Blake White (far right in first left pic above) presented the Jewish perspective on ethics, including ecology, and Arran Kennedy (seen here on the right talking to Patrick Fox, left) explained key elements of the Baha'i faith clearly and concisely.

Our two Muslim friends below, Saihah and Ada, graced us with their presence, their comments on the Islamic faith and their lively  questions afterwards in private conversation.

Overall, an uplifting and encouraging moment in the life of UCD chaplaincy.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin presided at the 1.05 Mass in Belfield Church on Ash Wednesday 9 March 2011. In his homily, he said: 'Lent is not a moment to be negative. It is an invitation to Christians to show the way. We live Lent when we realise that the only way in which we can combat evil is through goodness, the only way to overcome hatred is through love, the only way to eliminate violence is through being peaceful, the only way to assault falsehood is to see that true freedom prevails'.


Previous Events

Ignatius Loyola

The spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Pictorial presentation of key moments in the saint's life which gave rise to his developing spirituality. By Leon Ó Giolláin S.J. (Chaplain)

Time: Tuesday 27 Oct, 7pm St. Stephen's


Here we are at Mount St. Joseph Cistercian Abbey, Roscrea! We joined the monks for their prayer in common and were guided in private prayer and contemplation by Fr. Leon (far left - in pic, not politically!). The weather was kind to us and the good Lord too, who was the real guide of this peaceful and joyful experience in the beautiful setting of Mount St. Joseph's Abbey.


Food4Soul, Food4Body

Tuesday 1 March at 6.15pm in St. Stephen's chaplaincy: time taken to renew and refresh the bonds of union between all the Christian denominations on campus. 

A representative group gathered for a short ecumenical prayer in the Contemplation Room and then proceeded to the Function Room for food, friendship and fellowship!

We remembered in our prayers our sisters and brothers in Christchurch, New Zealand, and in Libya who are currently under a cloud of darkness. We recalled Christ's solidarity with suffering humanity and his promise of resurrection and the hope of a new heaven and a new earth. end Chaplaincy general start Chaplaincy general

Methodist Visit

Gillian Kingston (UCD chaplain and lay leader of the Methodist Church in Ireland) and Paul Kingston (President of the Methodist Church in Ireland) enjoy a moment together in the Folklore department as they view the archives. Paul and his wife Edna were present at an official visit to UCD on Thursday 17 February 2011. student

In attendance as guests of the chaplaincy were Dr. Martin Butler (UCD Vice-President for Student Welfare) and Dominic O'Keeffe (Student Centre Manager) who showed the new Student Centre (in construction) to our guests. The Presbyterian Church and Methodist Church in Dublin were also represented, as well as some UCD students and staff who joined us for coffee in Newman, G005. Overall, a successful and pleasant visit.


Christianity Week

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me (Revelations 3:20).

The first ever Christianity Week took place in UCD from 7-10 February 2011. It began on Monday the 7th with 'Ignite' - an evening of prayer and worship where we all gathered together to pray for God's intervention on campus and that the week would be a success. Tuesday saw 'Text-a-Toastie' evening where toasted sandwiches were distributed to apartments in Belgrove. Its aim was to promote awareness of the week's other events. Thursday night saw a Question & Answers panel take place in Arts' Theatre N. What shone through the event was the solidarity amongst the panellists, as well as some great answers to the fundamental beliefs of our shared faith! Friday saw the first of a 4 week crash-course on Christianity.

Heartiest congratulations to the Newman Society, Christian Union, Livingstones...and others for conceiving and seeing through this inspired initiative.

May it be the first of many.


Aifreann Gaeilge Seachtain na Gaeilge

Ag 1.05pm ar an Aoine 4 Feabhra bhí Aifreann as Gaeilge in Eaglais na hOllscoile mar chuid de sheachtain na Gaeilge. Bhí ceol traidisiúnta den scoth á sheinnt ag na micléinn agus iomainn áille Gaelacha á gcanadh acu.

Deis iontach ár n-oidhreacht creidimh agus cultúir a chomóradh mar is dúil. I ndiaidh an Aifrinn, tháinig slua beag ar ais go San Stiofáin chun soláistí a ghlacadh le chéile. Gach duine thar a bheith sásta leis an ócáid! end Chaplaincy general start Chaplaincy general


Christian Unity

To mark the week of prayer for Christian Unity, a special Food4Soul, Food4Body took place on Thursday 20 January 2011 at 6.30pm at St. Stephen's chaplaincy. As usual, we prayed together for a half hour in the Contemplation room and then enjoyed food and fellowship afterwards in the Function room. Our theme, in keeping with the week that was in it, was 'All Things in Common'.

Attendance was excellent - around the 30 mark! As part of our prayer for Christian unity, we wrote on a slip of paper what we believed we had to offer to Christians of other traditions and what we received from them. 

We placed these on the altar, and took some time to reflect and pray together in gratitude.