The visit of the tertians to Belfast involved meeting with Jesuits working in Northern Ireland and in taking some time in the city. The tours of the Shankhill and Falls Road areas are guided by people from the local communities, sometimes by former paramilitaries. Three levels of impenetrability made it difficult for some of the tertians to understand what was being presented; Irish history – always a complex subject – was not made easier by strong Belfast accents and rapid-fire English. It was interesting to see how Celtic myths had been reworked to validate history on the gables in the Shankill and how recent history, as presented along the Falls Road, moves steadily towards the realm of myth. The Titanic exhibition in the dramatic new building was fascinating in its presentation. There was some discussion of how it was able to submerge the personal suffering and loss of life by focusing instead on the context of the ship’s building in Belfast. Saturday allowed time for the journey home by direct or circuitous routes, with different groups taking in scenic and historical places.
Show, O Lord, thy ways to me,
that teach me thy paths.
Direct me in thy truth, and teach me;
for thou art God my Saviour.
Blessed Peter Faber
Manresa Jesuit Centre of Spirituality (Tertianship Program)
426 Clontarf Road
Telephone +353 1 8057239