"I love a good heresy!" That's just one of the comments written on the early essays of Padraig Brady, CEO of the Pioneers, when he began the Adult Education Diploma in Spirituality in Milltown Institute. His theology improved and he gave the graduation valedictory address on Tuesday 2 October.
His speech was funny and moving, as he outlined his journey from relucatant and 'half-duped' participant to enthusiastic student whose studies deepened his understanding and knowledge of his faith.
Quoting the Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran who wrote,“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind," Padraig said they were the words that summed up best for him what Milltown was all about.
"Those of us who have received our awards this evening, have been empowered by precious experience and wisdom, and for which we are all eternally grateful."
And he also spoke of the importance of how they were taught and how they learnt.
"The collaboration, interactive and partnership approach worked a wonder, and was an approach that a lot of us would not have been familier with. “No man is an island”, as the English poet John Donne once said, and to draw an analogy, each of us were in the centre of a circle with our classmates on the circumference. In the circle we were all giving and drawing from one another. What a lovely and seamless way to learn, I mused."
The awards were presented by Irish Provincial Tom Layden, who is Vice-Chancellor of the Milltown Insititute, and rector Finbarr Clancy SJ, presided at the Mass.
Read the full text of Padraig Brady's valedictory address here.