Healing Circle – Dublin Region

A Healing Circle for the Greater Dublin area due to take place in St James’ Parish Centre on Monday 14 May  has been postponed.

Apologies that we have to cancel this healing circle. We will be hosting it later in the year. Please keep up to date on the website.




Healing Circles

Speaking at the ACP AGM 2016 Marie Keenan said: “The body keeps the score.”

In an extensive address (available on the ACP website, posted 17 Nov 2016) dealing with the negativity many clerics have experienced over the past twenty years, Marie stated: “Maybe it is time for collective grieving for clergy…. for the Church they once knew, for the priesthood they originally entered, for the congregations they once served, for the relations with bishops and superiors they once lived…. so that they can emerge refreshed, renewed and invigorated, with increased depth of wisdom and gratitude that we know come in the wake of our grieving and the letting go and letting in… And it is never too late. Something to think about ….. Maybe a project of Healing Circles round the country for clergy could be next on the agenda of ACP?… I urge you to consider a nationwide campaign of healing circles involving clergy – and later involving laity, victims and offenders. I urge you to reinstate forgiveness and redemption as being of God and something which we might all work to with courage. And most of all I urge you to take care of yourself in this time of uncertainty and challenge.”

Healing Circle

The circle process is a simple yet profound process which invites people to participate in a restorative dialogue for a variety of reasons. Drawn from the wisdom of indigenous communities it challenges the wisdom of ‘attack and defend’ public discourse which denies the complexity of issues. As part of a Healing Circle, participants are invited to speak from the heart and from their own lived experience about issues that are of deep concern to them in a confidential space. Bearing witness to the stories of others, having respectful difficult conversations have enabled many to talk about difficult issues. The circle process invites us to acknowledge our common humanity and to discover our infinite capacity for compassion, growth and change for ourselves and others.

A talking piece is used to symbolise the respect due to the person talking. The talking piece is passed from person to person, allowing each individual to speak from his/her heart. Participants can choose not to speak if they wish.

If we cultivate the habit of considering both—or even several—sides of a question, as Mandela did, of holding both good and bad in our minds, we may see solutions that would not otherwise have occurred to us. This way of thinking is demanding. Even if we remain wedded to our point of view, it requires us to put ourselves in the shoes of those with whom we disagree. That takes an effort of will, and it requires empathy and imagination. But the reward, as we can see in the case of Mandela, is something that can fairly be described as wisdom.
Richard Stengel

Barbara Walshe is a passionate advocate for restorative justice who has worked with prisoners, police, faith-based groups, families, victims and perpetrators of violence in Ireland and abroad. Over the past 20 years, she has also worked in research, advocacy, training, broadcasting, project management, community development, peace building both in Ireland (north and south) and internationally. She is a past chair of Facing Forward, www.facingforward.ie and a current chair of the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation. www.Glencree.ie


Similar Posts

Join the Discussion

Keep the following in mind when writing a comment

  • Your comment must include your full name, and email. (email will not be published). You may be contacted by email, and it is possible you might be requested to supply your postal address to verify your identity.
  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger. Comments containing vulgarities, personalised insults, slanders or accusations shall be deleted.
  • Keep to the point. Deliberate digressions don't aid the discussion.
  • Including multiple links or coding in your comment will increase the chances of it being automati cally marked as spam.
  • Posts that are merely links to other sites or lengthy quotes may not be published.
  • Brevity. Like homilies keep you comments as short as possible; continued repetitions of a point over various threads will not be published.
  • The decision to publish or not publish a comment is made by the site editor. It will not be possible to reply individually to those whose comments are not published.