“In a world where, in a true sense, ‘there is nothing new under the sun’, we can learn so much from those who have lived life before us and distilled the tranquil wisdom that only comes with years.”
These were the words of Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, Papal Nuncio to Ireland, at the launch on Tuesday, 6 November 2018 of Sharing the wisdom of time, a book specially commissioned by Pope Francis. The launch took place at the Avila Carmelite Centre, Bloomfield Avenue, Donnybrook.
Guided by the conviction that in order to “walk toward the future, the past is needed”, the Holy Father invited older people from around the globe to share their experience of love, loss, hope, peace and faith. The book which emerged from this invitation contains a selection of the narratives and reflections which were submitted. Many parts of the world were represented, including Latin America, the Far East, USA, Africa, Europe, Ireland and the UK. Also contained in the book is the Pope’s response to a number of these contributions. Stunning photographic portraits taken by National Geographic photographer Paul Audia illustrate the book.
Commenting on the book, Archbishop Okolo said, ‘Every story or expression has its own charm, its validity, its authenticity, its impact; every story is a life, is a testimony to the power of faith and the capacity of human resilience, and love’.
Irish contributors to Sharing the wisdom of time include Des O’Grady SJ, Dublin, who sees some light in the darkness of living with Alzheimer’s; Margaret Irwin West, Connemara, an artist in her 90s still working and exhibiting, who speaks about the importance of light and hope; and former nurse and granny, Margaret O’Reilly from Derry, who tells of a valuable lesson she learnt as a child.
Sharing the wisdom of time by Pope Francis and friends is published in Ireland and the UK by Messenger Publications.