Petra is the Project Coordinator for Catholic Comment. Prior to her work with Catholic Comment she worked as a film-maker and trainer and has a masters in catechesis.
Fr Robert is chaplain to Catholic Comment. Born in Kinnegad, County Westmeath, he was ordained a priest in 1994. He works with the Defence Forces as chaplain and is based in Gormanston Camp, County Meath. He has served with UN missions in Lebanon, Kosovo, Liberia and Tchad.
Fr Terence, originally from Cork, is a priest of the Dominican Order and lives in Dublin. Prior to joining the order, he trained and worked as a dentist. Ordained in 2001, Fr Terence is the current Master of Students for the Irish Dominican Province. Fr Terence holds a Doctorate in Sacred Scripture from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland and was a former Prior of San Clemente, Rome.
Maura Murphy is from Ennistymon, Co Clare. She studied Theology and Business Studies in St Patricks College, Maynooth and graduated in 2012. She has been actively engaged in ministry since her mid teens and is extremely passionate about youth evangelisation in the Irish Church. Since graduating in 2012 she
has continued to be heavily involved in ministry, including leading a national secondary school retreat team, speaking at Conferences and working in the area of evangelisation and mission. Maura currently works for the Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora as Youth Ministry Director and is based in Galway city.
Catriona is from Galway and is married to Sean - they have two children. Catriona works part time as a Parish Pastoral Worker in Dublin. She is a qualified Chaplain and has previously worked as a Manangement Consultant with Deloitte and as a Secondary School Teacher.
But the Church's mission in Ireland has been compromised by the scandals and their impact, and by powerful competing voices of secularism, relativism, individualism etc.
While all this is going on, thousands of people are watching, listening and looking for answers to life's questions.
We could see all this as a deep crisis for the Church. Or we can see it as a time for authentic Catholicism to bring hope to our society.
Most of us have heard media reports on the Church which have left us dissatisfied. We want to hear more credible and informed Catholic voices speaking fairly and truthfully.
Church spokespersons play an important role, but they can only be part of the solution. Listeners and viewers want to hear independent persons speaking from their hearts. They want to hear from people like themselves.
Ireland has thousands of committed lay Catholics in all walks of life. Many would be willing to speak as Catholics in the public forum but have not had the opportunity or perhaps feel unprepared or unsure of the arguments.
Now is their time.
Catholic Comment will meet interested people and interview them in individual and group discussion phases. We will initially select a small group of speakers to whom we will offer training. They will come together to reflect on the task, get briefed on the issues, and gradually develop their media skills. We will make their names available as independent, informed and articulate lay Catholics for broadcast, print and new media.
People can assist us in other ways too, e.g. with research, networking, fundraising and prayer.
Catholic Comment will work with people who:
Catholic Comment is an initiative of a group of interested, mainly lay, Catholics, acting in their personal capacity. See below for a list of its founder members, directors and advisers. People from different Catholic congregations, movements and organisations are invited to be involved in their personal capacity.
We are independent, having been neither prompted nor mandated by the Catholic Church leadership in Ireland. But we are very glad to have their encouragement and blessing.
Catholic Comment directors: Caitriona Curran, Maura Garrihy, Rónán Mullen.
Catholic Comment is faithful to the mission and teachings of the Catholic Church. In matters of controversy, we will always seek to be fully informed and fair to all parties. We will not get involved in internal Church disputes. We want to promote better understanding of the teaching of the Church, its wisdom and heritage.
Catholic Comment is being set up as a charity, and we hope to attract donations from ordinary Catholics who want to help us cover our expenses. We may conduct occasional fundraising initiatives to support our activities.
As mentioned above, we are hoping that you will send us an email with one of the following responses in the subject bar:
If you apply to become a speaker and are selected, we will offer you training and support to enable you to speak as an informed Catholic about various issues.
As the number of people who we can train initially will be limited, we hope to provide material on www.CatholicComment.ie that a wider group of people can use in their daily work for the Church, e.g. in conversation with friends, family and school discussions, letters to newspapers etc.
You can also become a 'finder', i.e. help us reach people with the potential to join our panel of speakers.
If you make a donation, you will be helping us to defray the costs of managing the project, correspondence with speakers, media, donors and supporters, training sessions for speakers and maintaining our website and blog.
Finally, please remember the project and all its participants in your prayers.
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