Fri, Feb 25|
A Conversation with Pádraig Ó Tuama and Clarence Cachagee on Reconciliation and Peace Making
An evening with thought leaders on reconciliation, peace, hope and what lessons from our pasts can teach us about how to go forward together. A portion of the proceeds goes to support Crow Shield Lodge.
Time & Location
Feb 25, 2022, 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
About the event
For the 2022 IRL Festival, we are exploring resilience and reconciliation, topics that are relevant to everyone currently and has also been a part of our collective stories. As we search for the best way forward together in peace and understanding, we welcome this timely conversation with Pádraig Ó Tuama and Clarence Cachagee. Mairead Ni Breathnach will moderate this discussion and ask them to explore, discuss and engage with each other around these themes. This conversation will centre around what we can learn from Irish history about peace and reconciliation work, what we have in common as all nations, where we differ and how those learnings can apply to the journey we are on with Indigenous communities of Turtle Island today. This conversation is timely in the landscape of reconciliation today not only in Canada but around the world.
This evening rife with wisdom, humour, love, peacemaking and reconciliation is deeply needed by all and will bolster everyone on their journeys of reconciliation and resilience.
Read on below to find out about our speakers!
A portion of the ticket sales goes to supporting the work of Crow Shield Lodge.
Find out more about Crow Shield Lodge here - www.crowshieldlodge.com
Find out more about Corrymeela here - www.corrymeela.org
Brought to you by Culture Ireland/Cultúr Éireann (https://www.cultureireland.ie/)
Padraig O’ Tuama (https://www.padraigotuama.com/)
Irish Poet Pádraig Ó Tuama is a theologian, conflict resolution mediator, and the author of four volumes of poetry, Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community (2017), In the Shelter (2015), Sorry for your Troubles (2013), and Readings from the Books of Exile (2012), which was longlisted for the 2013 Polari First Book Prize.
For Ó Tuama, religion, conflict, power and poetry all circle around language, that original sacrament. Working fluently on the page and in public, Ó Tuama is a compelling poet, teacher, and group worker, and a profoundly engaging public speaker. He has worked with groups to explore story, conflict, their relationship with religion and argument, and violence. Using poetry, group discussion and lectures, his work is marked both by lyricism and pragmatism and includes a practice of evoking stories and participation from attendees at his always-popular lectures, retreats, and events.
Ó Tuama has been a featured guest on On Being with Krista Tippett twice, and is a regular broadcaster on radio on topics such as Poetry, Religion in the public square, Loneliness, Conflict and Faith, LGBT inclusion, the dangers of so-called Reparative Therapy, and the value of the Arts in public life. In 2011, with Paul Doran, Pádraig co-founded the storytelling event Tenx9 where nine people have up to ten minutes each to tell a true story from their lives. From 2014-2019, Pádraig led the Corrymeela Community, Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation organization. Currently, Pádraig guides the weekly podcast Poetry Unbound through NPR’s On Being, which dives and immerses the listener into one poem every week.
His poetry collection Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community draws on the spiritual practices of Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation community Corrymela—of which Ó Tuama was a leader from 2014-2019. Described by Canterbury’s Poetry Laureate Patience Agbabi as “compassionate, contemporary and formally innovative,” this prayer book was structured over 31 days, offering a daily Bible reading with accompanying prayer. His book In the Shelter interweaves everyday stories with narrative theology, gospel reflections with mindfulness and Celtic spirituality with poetry, ultimately revealing the transformational power of welcome. Network Magazine praised it as being remindful of Augustine’s Confessions and Newman’s Apologia: “It comes from the heart, it recognizes the hurts and the triumphs, and it encourages us to say ‘hello’ to new things.” Sorry for Your Troubles, arose out of a decade of O’Tuama’s experiences hearing stories of people who have lived through personal and political conflict in Northern Ireland, the Middle East, and other places of conflict. One poem, ‘Shaking hands’ was written when Padraig witnessed the historic handshake between Queen Elizabeth II and Martin McGuinness, who has since used the poem publicly. His first book Readings from the Books of Exile interweaves parable, poetry, art, activism and philosophy into an original and striking expression of faith.
His poems have been published at Poetry Ireland Review, Academy of American Poets, Post Road, Cream City Review, Holden Village Voice, Proximity Magazine, On Being, Gutter, America, and Seminary Ridge Review.
Pádraig Ó Tuama holds a BA Div validated by the Pontifical College of Maynooth, an MTh from Queen’s University Belfast and is currently engaged in a PhD in Theology through Creative Practice at the University of Glasgow exploring poetry, Irishness and religion.
He is based in Belfast, Ireland.
Clarence Cachagee; Founder of Crow Shield Lodge (https://www.crowshieldlodge.com/)
Clarence is from Waterloo Region and has an undeniable spirit for change. With a primary focus on working with the Spirit within, he is a helper, visionary and author who is known for investing his whole self into his community. Clarence originates from Chapleau Cree First Nation and calls Cambridge his home. He has faced his fair share of struggles and chooses to serve and support those living on the margins of society.
Clarence continues to engage with his community through land-based teaching and healing as an Indigenous Community Educator, public speaking and facilitating groups to encourage healing. Clarence says, “It is said that Mother Earth has all the medicines for every disease there is. Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island are land-based people. They have received the teachings from the animals. Their creation stories are about Mother Earth, and it’s said that you can go anywhere on Turtle Island and find the medicine you need. Understanding land-based philosophies helps us become better connected and feed our spirits”.
Clarence currently works as an Aboriginal Services Coordinator at Conestoga College and is the visionary behind Crow Shield Lodge which is a place for reconciliation, land-based teaching and healing.
Mairead Ni Breathnach (host)
Margaret Nally, a life richly lived in many spheres as a spiritual director, a community chaplain to those who live under the stars, a Mennonite pastor to small clusters of those who journey with intention to a deeper reality.
Margaret is a life partner of Bob, who is an ecologically minded engineer and innovator. Proud Mother of Sue and Aoife, both extraordinary women engaged in community, the arts and the Spirit. Grandmother to two fine young men, Brogan and Myles, who are a gift to the world.
Margaret is an Irish immigrant and community activist and dreamer of possibilities of new beginnings. Work-life and personal life have included all of the following. Committed to inclusion and reconciliation through work with Race Relations, committed to belonging with building affordable, supportive housing, committed to creation and Creator through working towards a reconciled and trusted relationship with First Nations friends, committed to life through holding the sacred stories of those who live on our streets and in our shelter system, committed to finding our way home by exploring the gifts of Celtic ways of interaction between worlds and spirit through music, story, dance and prayer.
Margaret, born in Dublin, has lived robustly in Canada for 53 years and returns often to be close to family, explore land, monuments and movements. Volunteered at Corrymeela on a number of occasions, once in Knocklayd the summer of the signing of the Good Friday Peace Accord – a rare privilege to bear witness to the hard work of peace and reconciliation unfolding in the creases of life.
Margaret, whose family was from Belfast conducts Mennonite Spirituality tours of Ireland that bring folks along the Esker Riada, the monastic way and the significance of Anam Cara which also includes time at Corrymeela to meet the community members and live and learn for a few days the joys and challenges of the reality of present-day Northern Ireland.
The Anabaptist theology of peacemaking and living in right relations with all people animates all actions in life and community.
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