Talk in St. John’s Theatre, Listowel

April 30th.
I had a most pleasant and enjoyable evening in Listowel yesterday. A bit crowd (about 120) arrived for my talk, and the response was very positive. I spoke for nearly fifty minutes, going through Church history in an attempt to explain to people the origins and historical reasons for the problems we are facing in the Church today. And then I took up some of the things Francis is saying, and how he is attempting to correct the aberrations of the past. As is now usual, there was lots of response from the audience, which seemed to be composed both of people who are regular church-goers and others who have increasingly lost touch but who still love the Church and want to see it change for the better.
A lovely feature of this event was the involvement of local priests. The event was largely organised by the parish priest of Doagh, Pat Moore; it was chaired by Pat Ahern of Siamsa Tire fame; and the parish priest of Listowel, Declan O’Connor welcomed us and gave a few words of thanks at the end.
I have met this in a few other places on my rounds, and it is lovely when it happens. It gives me the feeling that, in spite of my current difficulties, I am still very much part of the church here in Ireland. In some other places the clergy have stayed well away, and have not even allowed notification of the event to go in the parish newletter.
It takes all types!!
Next week I am in Kilkenny on Wednesday and Wexford on Thursday. (See ‘events’ for details)