Home |  Search |  Contact Us |  Website & Cookies Policy

News & Press Releases

Picture of Julieann Moran, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and Sharon Haughey


Julieann Moran (World Missions Ireland), Cardinal Kevin Farrell (Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life), Archbishop Diarmuid Martin (Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland), Sharon Haughey (St Mary’s University College)


On Saturday, 30 September, over 500 people gathered for the fourth annual Down and Connor Diocese “Faith and Life Convention”. The event was held in Our Lady and Saint Patrick’s College, Knock, and Bishop Noel Treanor (who is Chair of the Board of Governors at St Mary’s) welcomed the delegates.


Picture of Bishop Noel Treanor addressing the Convention

Bishop Noel Treanor

This initiative arose out of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan and saw people from across the diocese and further afield turn out with great enthusiasm to hear the keynote speaker, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, who was recently appointed by Pope Francis to head the new Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. The convention focused on the theme of “faith in the family” and marked the beginning of a series of diocesan events leading to the World Meeting of Families in Dublin next August.


Picture of Cardinal Kevin Farrell addressing the Convention


Cardinal Kevin Farrell

The recently professed adoration sisters, Sr Martina Purdy and Sr Elaine Kelly, opened the day in prayer with the specially commissioned World Meeting of Families Icon, which will be in Belfast during this week.


Picture of Sr Martina Purdy and Sr Elaine Kelly


Sr Martina Purdy and Sr Elaine Kelly

A key component of the day was the opportunity to reflect and to have conversations on the theme of “faith in the family”, and a vibrant panel discussion chaired by Professor Peter Finn, Principal of St Mary’s University College, enabled the assembly to ask a range of questions related to Pope Francis’s letter “The Joy of Love”.


Picture of Professor Peter Finn addressing the Convention


Professor Peter Finn


The discussion panel included Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Julieann Moran and Sharon Haughey. Each panel member shared in an honest, personal and humorous manner the reality of their own family experiences and addressed questions on how our parishes can develop as places of support for those experiencing difficulties within marriage and as communities of welcome and belonging for everyone.

Over lunch, the conversations continued. After lunch, participants engaged in a range of workshops to look at more focused areas around “faith in the family”. There was a great variety of workshops covering topics including the Benedictine Tradition, Gender Theory, Human Rights, Parenting Skills, Martin Luther and an examination of the early Church Fathers.


Picture of Convention Attendees

Bringing the convention to a conclusion, Bishop Noel Treanor and Cardinal Kevin Farrell led the assembly in prayer for families experiencing difficulties, for the families of all gathered praying for Pope Francis and for the forthcoming World Meeting of Families, which will be held in Dublin in August 2018. Bishop Treanor paid tribute to the ongoing work of the Living Church diocesan programme of renewal.


The convention was well covered by the Irish Catholic newspaper.