‘Pope Francis meets Robinson Crusoe’



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Saturday May 19th 2018

with Noirin Ni Rian, PhD and Fr. Simon Sleeman osb

Laudto Si is the first Encyclical (letter from the Pope to his bishops) on the environment. In this encyclical, Pope Francis urges us towards an “ecological conversion”  – to listen to the “cry of the earth and the cry of the poor”.  He is dismayed at the damage we are doing to our ‘common home’ and he doesn’t hold back, “the earth, our home is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.”

He wants us to examine our lives and undergo a ‘change of heart’ and quickly.  In the novel, Friday or the Other Island, by Michel Tournier, Robinson Crusoe undergoes such a change of heart – such an ecological conversion.

We will reflect on Pope Francis urgent message to all peoples in ‘Laudato Si’ – his desire that we wake up to the wonders of creation and the need for us to change the way we live and work on this planet, our fragile home  – a home we share with so many other animals and plants.  We will use Tournier’s novel to explore how we might undergo the ecological conversion Pope Francis is proposing.

Who is this for?  Open to all who are concerned with the state of our ‘Common Home’.


Noirin Ni Rian, PhD,  Theologian, Musicologist and recording artist was awarded the first doctorate in theology from the University of Limerick. She has written several books including Listen with the Ear of the Heart.  She was ordained a minister with One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in London in 2017.

Simon Sleeman, BA in psychology and MA in theology and organisational development. He is a former Headmaster and Bursar at Glenstal Abbey where he has been a monk for over 40 years.


Information: Bring suitable outdoor boots/clothes.

Registration 10am @ Monastery Reception.

Finish @ 5.15 with option of staying for Vespers @ 6pm

Cost: €85 (including lunch, morning and afternoon tea/coffee)

Booking: events@glenstal.com  / 061 – 621005