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Remembering to Forgive (2nd Edition)

Author(s): Enda McDonagh

ISBN13: 9781847301567

ISBN10: 1847301568

Publisher: Veritas

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  • Una O Higgins OMalley was born in Dublin on 25 January 1927 and was less than six months old when her father Kevin OHiggins, was shot dead on his way to Mass by fringe Republicians. A committed political activisit who campaigned to end the violence in Northern Ireland, Una resolved to help people from both sides of the breach in their efforts to forgive, as she had done those killers of her father. This steadfast mission resulted in the opening of the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation. Contributors include Garrett Fitzgerald, Mary Robinson and Linda Hogan. Remembering to Forgive celebrates the rich, rewarding and rewarded life of Una OHiggins OMalley.

    ABOUT THE EDITOR

    The Reverend Professor Enda McDonagh is a priest of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tuam. He was born in Bekan, near Clanmorris, Co Mayo and had a distinguished academic career at St Jarlaths College, Tuam and at Maynooth, where he was ordained in 1955. Following subsequent graduate work in Maynooth, he was awarded a Doctorate in Divinity and a Doctorate in Canon Law. He was appointed Professor of Moral Theology and Canon Law at the Pontifical University at Maynooth in 1958, a post which he held until his retirement from full time teaching in 1995.

    He has written sixteen books and contributed to sixteen more. In the early 1960s, he founded the InterChurch Association of Moral Theology, and he is also involved with the conducting of ecumenical retreats with Church of Ireland and other Anglican clergy. In 2007 he was appointed an Ecumenical Canon at St. Patricks Cathedral, Dublin.
  • Enda McDonagh


    The Reverend Professor Enda McDonagh is a priest of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tuam. He was born in Bekan, near Clanmorris, Co Mayo and had a distinguished academic career at St Jarlaths College, Tuam and at Maynooth, where he was ordained in 1955. Following subsequent graduate work in Maynooth, he was awarded a Doctorate in Divinity and a Doctorate in Canon Law. He was appointed Professor of Moral Theology and Canon Law at the Pontifical University at Maynooth in 1958, a post which he held until his retirement from full time teaching in 1995.

     

    He has written sixteen books and contributed to sixteen more. In the early 1960s, he founded the InterChurch Association of Moral Theology, and he is also involved with the conducting of ecumenical retreats with Church of Ireland and other Anglican clergy. In 2007 he was appointed an Ecumenical Canon at St. Patricks Cathedral, Dublin.


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    The popular colloquialism, forgive and forget, fails to capture the true reality of forgiveness. The editor of this publication, Fr Enda McDonagh, in commissioning a book in honour of ?Üna OHiggins OMalley, sought to explore the integral role of memory in the process of forgiveness. It seems he chose these themes to best acknowledge and reflect the life and work of ?Üna, daughter of Kevin OHiggins and committed political activist. Contributors to this book testify to her willingness to ask for and to offer forgiveness. Throughout her life she tried to show that reconciliation and peace were possible in Northern Ireland, and she held the conviction that religion had the potential to assist the process of reconciliation. A true advocate of peace, she was deeply resourced with this readiness to forgive and so as a person she was a clear witness reminding us not to forget to forgive. (p142)

    The eighteen contributors to this collection of works, which consists of sixteen articles and eight poems, develop ?Ünas convictions by exploring the need for reconciliation and forgiveness in diverse contexts, ranging from the personal to the political. At the personal level, Haddon Wilmer reflects on how forgiveness transforms memory and how remembering to forgive demonstrates a basic readiness of the spirit that propels us to experiment with forgiving. At a national level, Denis Kennedy emphasises the role of those who believe dialogue and political accommodation offer the only real path to peace. Motivated by a desire to stop violence, these peacemakers are still needed in order to eradicate the cult of violence that has become associated with Irish Nationalism. Linda Hogan addresses the international issue of war and meditates on the totality of violence and on its impact on victims, survivors and victimisers. Interspersed with these wide-reaching articles is some profoundly moving poetry: notable among these poems is Michael Longleys Wounds, which conveys the memory of physical, social and mental injuries caused by war and violence.

    Overall, this is an exceptional book. The articles are concise and prose style is accessible; poetic contributions are provocative and inspirational. Given the nature of the publication, a tribute to the life of an extraordinary woman, the articles may seem introductory, but they reveal for the reader the wide-ranging implications of a forgiving life, such as that lived by ?Üna OHiggins OMalley. This book will be welcomed by all who, like ?Üna, seek to foster and increase the level of forgiveness in the world. It incites challenging questions for those in both personal and political spheres. It is thought provoking and stimulating and certainly deserves warm recommendation.

    - Aoife McGrath, Saint Patricks College, Maynooth.


    At her funeral in 2005, Una OHiggins OMalley was described as Irelands Queen of Peace in the twentieth century. Respect and gratitude for her untiring work for forgiveness and reconciliation on both sides of the Troubles were the inspiration for this series of essays. Through them a number of her co-workers off er particular angles on the impact of religious and political partition and on the essential shifts in thinking needed to nurture forgiveness and reconciliation.

    Poets and politicians, academics and activists all give their slant on conflict and its resolution. They make trenchant comment on the discrepancy between high-level diplomacy and the brutality of war for the men and women who experience it individually. A moral appraisal of war, we read, seldom asks what violence demands of the person , what being a perpetrator of violence does to the person and the victim.

    This is not a book of praise for Una OHiggins OMalley. Instead, it explores individual experiences of what it means not to live in peace. The personal responsibility and compromise needed to achieve forgiveness and reconciliation are explored on every page. Throughout we are reminded that religious and political conflict impacts real blood and bones men, women and children. And from an effort to change age-old conflict thought patterns comes this creative proposal: while striving to resolve conflict we might profitably look into the faces of our children rather than back to our ancestors.

    Una, who suffered deep personal loss as a consequence of the Troubles, did not decline into bitterness. She used her experience as a spur to promote forgiveness and reconciliation, believing that education could be a vehicle to achieving both. Forgiveness, we read, is an act of will, an expression of our highest nature. Energy and persistence are required to achieve it. It is a completion of our destiny.

    - Reality Magazine 2008

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Remembering to Forgive (2nd Edition)