Dana to speak at Cursillo anniversary

Dana Rosemary Scallon.
Dana Rosemary Scallon.

Dana Rosemary Scallon will be among the guest speakers at the 30th Anniversary of the founding of the Cursillo movement in the Diocese of Derry.

To mark this occasion the Derry Diocesan Secretariat are hosting a special Renewal weekend at Termonbacca Carmelite Retreat Centre.

The weekend begins on Thursday evening, September 24th, with a Thanksgiving Mass in St Eugene’s Cathedral for the gift of Cursillo to the Derry Diocese.

This will be celebrated by Bishop Donal McKeown, and during which he will deliver a key note address on the missionary role of the laity. Anyone who has done a Cursillo is invited to attend.

The weekend proper opens on Friday morning at Termonbacca and continues until Sunday September 27.

The weekend is primarily aimed at personal spiritual renewal and re-commitment by all those who have ever done a Cursillo weekend (known as Cursillistas), to living out what is fundamental to being a Christian.

However, it is not a traditional Cursillo weekend and therefore it is also open to anyone who might want to take some time for personal reflection, prayer and spiritual development.

Cursillo was introduced into the Derry Diocese in 1985, and to date some 5,000 plus people have experienced a Cursillo weekend.

Although 30 years old in Derry, those behind it say it remains a vibrant, evangelising community, and is probably among the most energetic in Ireland whose members organise at least two separate residential weekends for men and women every year, as well as the ‘Walk to Knock Pilgrimage’ and an annual pilgrimage to Medjugorje.

Fr. Mike Drennan, Fr Peter Mc Verry, Fr. Donal O’Callaghan, Rosemary Scallon (Dana), Noirin Ni Riain (singer, writer and theologian), Brendan O’ Reilly (former Director National Centre for Religious Education) and Aidan Donalson (African Aid worker) will all be speaking at the Derry weekend.

Every morning from 9am until 10am there will be exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with directed meditations by Sister Susan Evangelist.

On Friday afternoon there will be a reconciliation service led by Bishop Donal McKeown. There will an opportunity for private confession and later in the afternoon a special healing Mass will be held at 5pm. This is a unique opportunity for spiritual renewal by all Cursillistas and those who are attending the event.

On Friday evening there will be an Ultreyafriendship night led by visiting Spanish Cursillistas. This event is open to those who have never done a Cursillo.

On Saturday morning Fr Drennan will talk on the theme ‘I am the Good Shepherd’ and after that there will be a talk on the importance and value of Group Reunion.

In the Marquee in the afternoon (Dana) Rosemary Scallon will speak about her faith journey. Dana, a much loved daughter of Derry, has lived her life in the glare of the public gaze but during all that time she has never shied away from displaying her commitment to her faith. She will be followed by Fr. Donal O’Callaghan on “Life in grace”.

A special friendship meal will be held on Saturday evening in the Guildhall. Places are limited to 200 and tickets will go on a “first come first served” basis. See details about booking below.

On Sunday morning Fr. Peter Mc Verry SJ will deliver a talk on the theme “Come follow me” which will no doubt touch on the outreach work he has been involved in for many years helping the destitute and homeless of Dublin. He is the author of “Jesus- a social revolutionary”.

The final closing Mass will be held in St. Eugene’s Cathedral at 5pm on Sunday. It will be celebrated by Bishop Donal Mc Keown and all are welcome.

Registration forms for the weekend are available from Cursillo, Termonbacca Retreat Centre, Derry, Veritas Bookshop Derry, and the Holy Shop Waterloo St, Derry.