is the name of a domestic centre of Christian spirituality 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:
• Prayer and Discernment
• Study and Research
• Meetings and Hospitality
• Publications and Advocacy
so as to articulate an ecumenical Christian spirituality. The fundamental purpose of this centre is to express a Christian spirituality which responds to the deepest needs of the human person and which are not being addressed in increasingly secularist cultures and ideologically driven societies. The starting point taken is the identification of four key relationships which are indispensable to the fullness of Christian life promised to all of us by Jesus Christ. (cf. John 10:10)
The Four Relationships
The Christian spiritual life is understood as being founded upon four key relationships of the person being:
• the relationship with God
• the relationship with our human nature
• the relationship with family, friends and the Christian community
• the relationship with those who are vulnerable, society and the environment
Logos - Contemplation and Vocation
Evenings of contemplative prayer and discernment
Thursday, 8.00 p.m., from September to June
(other than the first Thursday of each of these months)
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 Thursday 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 reflective, 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.
Group meeting for discussion and reflection
First Thursday of each month, 7.30 p.m.,
from September to June
In conjunction with these evenings, on the first Thursday of each month, at 7.30 p.m., there is also a facilitated discussion and reflection held which systematically explores what are the essential elements of Christian spirituality and, in particular, how to be contemplative and to discern one’s vocation in life. These evenings form part of an ongoing course entitled Logos. They are based upon three core dimensions of the Christian spiritual life, being theology, practice and rhythm. An informed theology is necessary so that a way of faithful living is explored which is tested by reason and which seeks understanding. A spiritual practice must also be defined so that a way of daily living emerges which is real and engaged. Finally, this spirituality must be in accordance with the rhythm of the seasons and of the liturgical year so that it is in accord with one’s environment and with the life and mission of the universal Church.
Amoris – The Integrity of Marriage
An essential purpose of Integritas is to articulate the true meaning of marriage, while also deepening a sense of love and care of those who have chosen its path and found themselves in difficult relationships and situations. Amoris is the name of an ongoing study group that meets at Integritas on an intermittent basis to reflect upon these mutually supportive objectives. Its purpose is firstly to give a clear and coherent presentation of marriage as rooted in the dignity of human difference between man and woman, for in the lifelong encounter with someone of the opposite sex, the wholeness of human nature is revealed. In parallel with this, this group reflects upon how better to convey a message of uncompromising love for couples who have chosen marriage and found themselves in pain and conflict thereafter. The love of God needs to be constantly revealed to those married couples in difficult situations for the embrace of His love cannot be restricted and eases the pain of every human conflict. Couples in difficult circumstances are not a problem to be solved but people to be loved.
Domus – The Domestic Church
Another group which meets at Integritas on an intermittent basis is named Domus and engages in articulating the place of the family home in the reform of the Church. The centrality of the family home, as the first and most essential locus of the Church, provides a refreshing focus upon the primacy of familial bonds and responds directly to secularist liberalism which professes that individual human autonomy and personal happiness are ultimate human goals. The emphasis upon the domestic church locates the ultimate meaning of human life, by means of the family, in relationships. The family is then understood as the key to the Christian vision of fullness of life, being the joy that comes from the relationship with God and the service of others and of the common good.
Fios – Christian Faith In Education
This centre hosts a research and advocacy group entitled Faith In Our Schools (FIOS) which seeks to reclaim Christian ethos for primary and secondary education. Its website can be found at www.faithinourschools.ie. This initiative seeks to realise a vision of Christian education that is, or that ought to be, embodied in a Church school, in both the Roman Catholic and Reformed traditions. It sees the primary purpose of education as religious and moral, not only as subjects themselves, but as the foundation of the entire educational process. For if education does not combine to convey some general view of life, it is not an education at all.