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Staying anchored in the landscape of spiritual turbulence

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Lecture Theatre 2.57, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin

24 D'Olier Street

Dublin 2

Ireland

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Staying anchored in the landscape of spiritual turbulence: a public lecture by Anthony Boland, Pastoral Care Team Leader at Marymount University Hospital and Hospice

As people are increasingly able to articulate an experience of spirituality that is not expressed through religion, the Catholic Church finds itself at a crucial juncture. Sacramental ministry that is given and received from within a faith tradition will always be nourishing and meaningful to some, but fails to address the spiritual hunger of many. Faith traditions need to adopt a more expansive paradigm of spirituality – one that recognises the inextricable links between our psychological and spiritual well-being. We need guidance on how to work skilfully with the psychological imprints we carry from childhood and to understand how these have coloured the lens through which we see ourselves, the world and our beliefs. We need more psychological and spiritual tools in our basket! The Church needs to embrace more fully the insights being offered by psychology, body therapy and neuroscience. Used skilfully, these can challenge the rigid, defensive and misinformed beliefs that can so often contribute to spiritual distress. The realisation that the concrete opens up to the Universal offers a trustworthy path, because that is how we sensate human beings operate. Abstract ideology will not get us very far. What we hunger for is a real encounter with Presence.

Anthony Boland grew up in the Irish Catholic tradition and was ordained in 1992. He became increasingly aware of his desire to inhabit his full physical, emotional and spiritual experience and of how challenging it was do so from within the Catholic tradition. Upon ceasing life as a priest he became a secondary school teacher in London and subsequently trained as a Psychosynthesis therapist in 2004. Since then he has been supporting people to work towards psychological and spiritual well-being. For the last 12 years he has been working in the area of specialist palliative care, both in the UK and Ireland. He now leads the Pastoral Care Team at Marymount University Hospital & Hospice. He is a student of the Ridhwan School, journeying on a spiritual path called the Diamond Approach.

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Lecture Theatre 2.57, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin

24 D'Olier Street

Dublin 2

Ireland

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