Pádraig Ó Tuama has been the Leader of the Corrymeela Community since 2014, and he will end his term at the end of April this year. Pádraig, from Cork, has been a member of Corrymeela since 2006, and once his term ends, will continue as a member of the community.

His time in his role has been marked by his characteristic interest in how language, story, gospel and dialogue can support the ongoing work of reconciliation and peace. Pádraig’s interests in poetry, religion and conflict have influenced his public voice on behalf of Corrymeela, bringing our message of Transforming Division through Human Encounter to thousands, through programmes, publications, trainings and broadcasts, both at home and abroad.

Pádraig was the first Catholic and the first LGBT person to lead Corrymeela. Long established as an ecumenical community, Corrymeela has, since 1980, been a place of support and amplification for LGBT people seeking increased civic safety and voice. Kate Pettis, Chair of the Corrymeela Council noted “Through initiatives incorporating retreats, a resource named Spirituality of Conflict, civic engagements on topics of War, Conflict and Memory, training on community dialogue and storytelling, Pádraig’s leadership has been marked by the desire for encounter, faith and community to be deepened”.  Pádraig noted “It has been one of the deepest honours of my life to serve Corrymeela in this role. I have been a member of the Community for a long time, and this will continue. I look forward to continuing my membership and supporting my successor.”

Pádraig will continue as a member of Corrymeela, and will also continue in leading occasional retreats at our Ballycastle centre. We are thrilled that he has publishing and broadcasting opportunities ahead of him, not least in a new poetry venture with the On Being Project, established by Krista Tippett.

On behalf of the community of Corrymeela, the Chair, Kate Pettis, expressed warm and profound thanks to Pádraig for his work, and looks forward to further collaboration. Kathy Galloway, one of the co–leaders of the Iona Community noted: “Pádraig’s creativity, pastoral sensitivity and profound theological insight has inspired and encouraged many people, especially those whose previous experience has been of theology as something that is done to them. Pádraig enables people struggling with big questions to experience theology as a creative and respectful mutual discovery, poetic rather than prosaic. We too will miss him, and wish him well for the future.”

 
Twenty words for Pádraig and Corrymeela by John Paul Lederach*:

Somewhere deep
where stuff stirs
a vibration 
aches and reaches
patiently upwards
relentlessly outward a
throbbing voice of love
Alive.

Information about the appointment of a new person in the role of Leader of the Corrymeela Community will be advertised on the Corrymeela website in mid–February.

*John Paul Lederach is a Mediator known globally for his insights, interventions and training. He has offered the Corrymeela Community these twenty words as a blessing and a thanks for Pádraig’s time as leader of Corrymeela. 

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