Monday, August 8, 2016

Remembering William Barden on St Dominic's day

Today is the feast of St Dominic, the founder of the Dominican Order. This is the 800th anniversary of the order.

Fr William Barden, an Irish Dominican, who spent many years living in Iran, grew up in Rathgar and went to Synge Street CBS.

His contemplative approach stood him in good stead when, in 1962, he was sent as leader of a small group of Irish Dominicans to found a new house in Tehran. Their task was to be a Christian presence within an Islamic environment and to minister to the pastoral needs of expatriate Catholics in the country.

In 1974 he was ordained Archbishop of Isphahan of the Latins.

It is said of Fr William that most days he spent time sitting quietly in prayer in the local mosque.

In these troubled times wouldn't it be a thoughtful gesture to recognise the work that Fr William did in fostering Christian Islam dialogue.

What about finding out the house of his birth and in conjunciton with the current owners, placing a plaque on the wall to honour the man and his work? 

Fr William was born in 1908 and died in Dublin in 2004.

The Irish Dominicans still have a presence in Tehran. The priory, in the capital city is managed by Tralee man, Fr Paul Lawlor.

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