Sister Stanislaus Kennedy, or Sister Stan as she is affectionately known, has been described as a visionary and social innovator. Now, in The Road Home she looks back on her life - from her early years growing up on the family farm in the Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry, to the day when, at the age of eighteen, she made the life-changing decision to become a nun. Inspired by the work of Mother Mary Aikenhead, who founded the Sisters of Charity in 1815, Stan went on to dedicate her life to the service of the poor and to fighting for a fairer, more equal society.
Here, as she reflects on the many challenges she has met, both personal and political, she recalls how she was also inspired by her mentor, Bishop Peter Birch and how, under his guidance she helped to set up an innovative model of community care in Kilkenny - a model that was to become a blueprint for the rest of Ireland.
Over the years Stan also developed into a formidable campaigner and worked tirelessly - sometimes against severe opposition - to establish other immensely influential human rights and social justice agencies, includingFocus Ireland, now the biggest national voluntary organisation for the homeless, Young Social Innovators, a national social justice education programme for young people, and The Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI), which supports the rights of migrants and their families and is a catalyst for public debate. In 2000, Stan also founded The Sanctuary - a meditation and spirituality centre in Dublin where, amidst the bustle of city life, people can experience peace, quiet, and the space to explore and develop their inner world.
Inspiring and thought-provoking, this fascinating memoir provides a unique insight into the life and work of one of the most influential social activists of our day, the many political battles she has fought and won, and how, with dogged determination and courage, she has shaped the lives and the fortunes of thousands of people. Quite simply, The Road Home is the remarkable story of a remarkable woman.
Sister Stanislaus Kennedy
Sister Stanislaus Kennedy is an Irish Sister of Charity and founder and life-president of Focus Ireland. She is also founder and director of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, Young Social Innovators and The Sanctuary. She holds Honorary Degrees in Law from Trinity College Dublin, the National University of Ireland and The Open University, and received the prestigious Meteor Humanitarian Award. She has written five bestselling books. She lives in Dublin.
She has spent her life fighting for the poor, and it has brought her into conflict with the government, the church, and her own order… Her lifelong mantra is the call for a more equal society.
- Roisin Ingle, Irish Times