is the name of a domestic centre of Christian faith which has been located in the family home of a married couple, Linda Rainsberry and Patrick Treacy, since 2000. With their four children, they live at this centre at Ennisnag, Stoneyford, County Kilkenny, Republic of Ireland. Within the context that a family home can provide, this centre concentrates upon:
(contemplative prayer founded upon personal experience)
(based upon five days annually, aimed at articulating a renewed vision and practice of Christian faith)
(a domestic centre and retreat for Christian gatherings and presentations)
(in Christian spirituality, theology, ecclesiology and public theology)
This centre concentrates upon these four practices so as to articulate an ecumenical vision of Christian faith, which responds to the deepest needs of the human person which are not recognised in increasingly secularist cultures and ideologically driven societies. The starting point which is taken is to identify four key relationships which are indispensable in realising the fullness of Christian life promised to all of us by Jesus Christ. (Jn 10:10)
The Four Relationships
The fullness of Christian life, which we are all invited to enter, is understood as being founded upon four fundamental relationships of the human person to:
- the relationship with God (The Father)
- the relationship with one’s own nature and being (The Son and the imago dei)
- the relationship with family, friends and the Christian community (The Holy Spirit, unfolding the love between the Father and the Son)
- the relationship with humanity and creation (the embrace of the love between the three persons of the Holy Trinity of the whole of humanity and creation)
All four relationships call to be honoured for they mutually support each other. They either grow together in the Christian life or none of them grow fully at all. Integritas is concerned, therefore, with finding a way of life in which these four relationships are constantly nurtured and brought to fullness in one’s life. Currently, this centre is involved in the following four related initiatives as a practical way of exploring the meaning and significance of these relationships.
1. Contemplative Prayer
The core practice at Integritas are evenings of prayer and discernment, which are based thematically upon the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. They are held on Wednesday evenings at 8.00 p.m. from September to June and are titled as Contemplation and Vocation. A booklet is available for these evenings and for one’s personal use, which explains their content and the approach being taken over this ten month cycle. This way of prayer emphasises that through the practice of being contemplative, one discerns one’s unique vocation or calling from God. These evenings seek, therefore, to deepen the personal experience of God’s love, while also clarifying how one is called by God to live one’s life more lovingly and fully.
2. Missionary Discipleship
Integritas offers a course, conducted over five Saturdays each year, which explores what it means to live a Christian life or, using the term employed by Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (2013), to live as a missionary disciple. The underlying purpose of this course is to articulate a Christian spirituality which is based upon attunement to God which comes from the experience of contemplative prayer and which then clarifies for us how to be aligned to the will of God in the way we live our lives. This alignment is not sought by reason of a command or fear but because this is discerned as being where our deepest happiness, joy and fulfilment in life is found.
Integritas seeks to model a way of being in the universal Church which draws from the institutional origins of Christian faith, that is the meeting of the faithful in their own houses. Accordingly, this centre is based in a family home of a married couple, with children, which is open for anyone to attend for what is provided in relation to Christian faith. This is not suggested in any way as an alternative understanding of the Church but rather as a return to its foundational structure, both historically and in reality, because it grounds Christian faith in the experience of the loving relationships of marriage, parenting, family, friendship and Christian community.
4. Theological Studies
This centre also seeks to hold lectures and seminars and to produce publications in relation to different areas of theological interest, so as to articulate a vibrant Christian theology which responds positively to the challenges presented by the dominance of secularist perspectives and ideologies in Western societies, especially in relation to our varying understandings of what it means to be a human person and to be embodied. Allied to this, these studies concentrate upon the implications for our society when choices are made which alienate or even deny the centrality of our collective dependence upon God, not simply in our understanding of our humanity, but also in relation to how we understand marriage, family, education, human rights and foundations of law and society.