Manresa held a very successful seminar last weekend on addiction in Irish society. A number of specialist speakers focused on situating the problem, analysing underlying issues, and seeking ways of dealing more effectively with the causes.
Reflecting on the major seminar on ‘Addiction and a Changing society’, held in Manresa last weekend, the Director, Fr. Paddy Carberry, S.J., confessed to being overwhelmed by the extent of the problem and, at the same time, encouraged by the determination of all present to tackle the issue. ‘We are all aware of the traditional forms of addiction that have been a problem for generations,’ Fr. Carberry remarked. ‘Now we are seeing a whole range of new addictions and new addictive behaviours. It’s time to face the issue squarely, to debate the problem honestly and to take concerted action before it is too late.’ Fr. Carberry said that Manresa, as a Jesuit Centre of Spirituality, is determined to engage with the issues that face us in Ireland today and enter into dialogue with concerned individuals and groups. ‘I believe that our problems today – including the problem of addiction – can best be addressed in the context of the broader picture: Where are we going as a nation? What is our vision for the future? What values do we want to pass on to the coming generation?’Fr. Carberry expressed his profound thanks to all those who had contributed to this stimulating and challenging seminar: Sr. Consilio, Fr. Peter McVerry, S.J., Dr. Conor Farren, Ms. Majella Coyle, Mr. Stephen Rowen, Fr. John Callanan, S.J., Sr. Veronica Mangan and Mr. Jack Houlahan. He also expressed his gratitude to Mr. Cormac McConnell, who organized the event, and to Ms. Pat Coyle, who chaired the seminar.