Opportunities & Challenges of Living in a Rapidly Changing World – Bobby Moore

We acknowledged that, while we are living in an environment of radical change, we have a choice as to whether we as humans become extinct or undertake transformation.

Noting the sense of disconnect from the earth in ways such as:

a) ecological – we are consuming the earth’s resources at 1.5 times it’s ability to replenish;

b) social – where there has never before been such a high rate of slavery

c) spiritual – where the number of deaths by suicide are greater than the number of deaths by war

We could lose our ability to resources ourselves and become paralysed by overwhelm.

The workshop explored how we as individuals can choose to turn up in order that we can nurture relationships and build community.

One of the ways we can help ourselves and others is to become better listeners – focusing on listening to understand and ignite rather than listening to interrupt.

We can also look at the opportunities in our own lives to choose transformation, not extinction.

At the end of the workshop, there was a greater sense of hope and optimism within the group.


Rejuvenate You – Marion O’Brien


Marion is an experienced Life Coach.  She led the workshop attendees through a series of practical and interactive exercises which involved individual reflection and group sharing.  The workshop was undertaken in an atmosphere of openness and trust, encouraging those present to share what they felt comfortable with and to learn from others’ wisdom and experience.

Time was dedicated to individual reflection on:

  1. Vision – what would my ideal day be if all my problems or issues had disappeared;
  2. Intentions – how I would like to be in all aspects of my life;
  3. Values – focusing on 2 core values and examining when these values are being met and when they are being challenged;
  4. Bucket List – suggest creating a detailed list including new experiences

Feedback was positive as all attendees enjoyed the balanced mix of fun activities with some deeper meditative and visualization exercises.


Fr Michael Conway – 28th February, 2024



Fr Michael Conway, Professor in Faith and Culture in Maynooth, continued the conversation about the massive instability within both church and society as we prepare to cross a new threshold.  We are witnessing how faith has disappeared quietly as more people now live outside formal church structures.

As churchgoers in the past, we were spared having to consider things for ourselves, whereas we now need to take personal responsibility for our own faith journey.  This will require commitment and investment of our time and energy.

Pope Francis has declared that synodality is what God expects of the church in the 21st century, saying that a synod involves mutual listening in which everyone has something to learn.

We need to create communities of faith where we can engage with one another in an authentic and adult manner.  At times, this may involve Eucharist and the Liturgy, while at other times, this may take different forms.

Those who attended the evening engaged in the conversation and many expressed an interest in exploring this subject further.

Here in Croi Nua, we have already taken steps in creating smaller communities of faith through some of our ongoing programmes, such as:

Fr Patsy Kelly – “At Home with your Bible” (Tuesday evenings 7.30 to 9.30) and “Good News Each Sunday” (Thursday evenings 7.30 to 9.30)

Faith Reading Group –  every 4th Saturday of the month


Women’s Wellness


To start our Spring programme a day of reflection and input on Women’s Wellness was facilitated by Lizzie Harrison and Lucy Townsley on Saturday, January 20th . Lizzie and Lucy
presented us with some input on the importance of self-compassion and self-care…and explained the difference between ‘self-full’ and ‘self-ish’. They led us on some gentle meditations to aid relaxation but also to demonstrate the power of even a brief meditation. There was general agreement at the end of the day was that we need more of this!



Awakening our Senses to the Mystery of Wonderment

In our pre-Christmas reflection, on the 8th of December, Awakening our Senses to the Mystery of Wonderment, Angela Sheehan led us on an introspective journey as we
prepared for Christmas. Angela was ably assisted by Frances of the Croi Nua Core Group while Patricia O’Toole enhanced the atmosphere with some beautiful seasonal music. A
beautiful and timely preparation for Christmas.





Margaret Cullagh shared her writing expertise as she gently guided us on a journey of self-discovery and awakening to our own creativity.   We learned how to recognise and work with triggers to our innate creativity and how best to encourage ongoing alertness to opportunities.

While the workshop was primarily aimed at those new to creative writing, Margaret facilitated an atmosphere of trust and positive only feedback, which encouraged us to share our fledgling creations in an open and honest manner.  It was interesting how Margaret heard what was going on for us internally (mostly unknown to ourselves) by listening to our creative imaginings.

We enjoyed having a go at writing and sharing and we learned from both Margaret and the other participants.  There were some lively conversations over tea and cake which prepared us for a last burst of creativity and fun before finishing up.

Overall, the sense was that this was a very enjoyable and interactive workshop and we hope that everybody who attended will continue to explore their inner imagination and creativity in the weeks and months ahead.

Margaret kindly shared some resources which we have forwarded to those in attendance.


Fr. Jim Cogley – Loss & Recovery and Ancestral Healing



Fr. Jim Cogley spoke about how intergenerational issues and family history can affect our lives in the present.

His work involves helping people to resolve these issues.

He has written a number of books on these topics.

His talk was very well received and there was lots of interaction from the floor.


Brother Richard Hendrick – Mindful Meditation



Brother Richard returned to Croi Nua on Saturday, November 11th, for another insightful and thought-provoking presentation focused on Christian meditation and mindfulness, which was interspersed with some guided meditation practices and lots of entertaining stories.

In this uncertain world, we are all seeking a sense of inner peace and security, which is so fleeting if we look for it outside of ourselves.  Brother Richard guided us along a pathway showing us firstly why the practice of Christian meditation is so fulfilling and then directing us in the how of meditation.  This slowing down to become aware of our own inner wisdom and calling can be as simple as walking mindfully in nature or dedicating 10 minutes daily to a sitting meditative practice.

As we become aware of the benefits associated with mindful meditation, our practice will flow into our daily living and behaviours.  We will become more self-aware and more compassionate and caring towards our fellow humans.

Our hope is that everybody in attendance gained clarity and wisdom from the presentation and a desire to hear more from this very wise speaker.



Marion O’Brien & Michael Hegarty: Permission to be Yourself – Embracing Your Essence



Marion O’Brien presented a workshop entitled “Moving Beyond Your Comfort Zone” in May, 2023. Following positive feedback and a desire for more interactive workshops, Marion and Michael
Hegarty returned to Croi Nua on September 30th and presented this insightful and enjoyable workshop “Permission to be yourself – embracing your essence”.

Their workshop was very well attended and again included a balanced blend of individual and group work, facilitated through the use of guided activities, play, memory work and visualisation. The
morning focused on the importance of each person connecting to and honouring his or her own unique and individual inner essence. Following the break, the focus was on how attendees could
create their own Essence Statement and discover ways of bringing that essence more alive each day. The facilitators created an atmosphere of rapport, trust and safety so participants became
comfortable sharing personal wisdom gained through their own life experiences. Friendships were created due to the deep sharing and respect shown to each individual.

One of the reasons the events facilitated by Marion have received such positive feedback is due to the atmosphere created that encourages the level of honest and intimate sharing that occurs within the group activities. Our human nature craves connection and this sense of shared experience, which we often struggle to find. Some of the positive comments received after the event included the following: “Excellent session, I have gotten so much out of today and I’m sure as the weeks go on, I will uncover more”; “A very enjoyable, informative, insightful presentation, well done”

We expect Marion to facilitate another event in 2024.