CURA Annual Conference 2003 – ‘Responding to Changing Times’

19 Feb 2003


Issued by the Catholic Communications Office on behalf of CURA

19 FEBRUARY 2003


‘Responding to Changing Times’

‘Responding to Changing Times’ is the theme of the 26th CURA Annual Conference, at
the Fairways Hotel, Dundalk, from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd February 2003.

More than 200 CURA volunteers from all over the country will attend the Conference
which will be officially opened on Friday 21st by Brid Rogers, Deputy Leader of the
S.D.L.P. Dr Sean Brady, Archbishop of Armagh will give a short address at the opening

Keynote speakers at the Conference include: Mr John Lonergan, Governor, Mountjoy Prison,
Most Rev Colm O’Reilly, Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois and President of CURA and
Sr Roseann Reddy, Co-ordinator, Cardinal Winning Pro-Life Initiative, Glasgow.

In addition to the keynote speakers there will be a series of workshops on Saturday
22nd as follows:

“Understanding Teenage Sexuality” – Dr Richard Barr
“The Family – A Coat of Many Colours” – Dr. Finola Kennedy
“A Spirituality for This Time” (Drawing deeply from Brigid’s Well)
Sr Rita Minahan csb. and Ms Bhride Kendregan.
“A Journey Through Grief” – Ms Jean Woods

CURA will launch their annual report at the Conference which concludes on Sunday 23rd
February with a Celebration of the Eucharist concelebrated by Bishop Colm O’Reilly
and Bishop John Fleming (Killala).

CURA, (Latin for “care”) was established by the Irish Bishops’ Conference in 1977 to
provide a caring and compassionate service to women who felt unable to cope with an
unexpected pregnancy. CURA received 6,797 phone calls last year and 4,952
personal callers visited the 17 centres CURA has in Northern Ireland and
the Republic.

The CURA Helpline is: 1850 622 626 (Open from 9.30am-9.00pm Mon-Fri and
10.00am – 5.00pm on Saturday).

19 February 2003

Further information:

Ms Mairead Curran (087) 243 9340


Ms Brid Rodgers MLA is the Deputy Leader of the S.D.L.P Party in Northern
Ireland. A founder member of the S.D.L.P, she has been involved in public life
since the 60’s when she was a prominent campaigner for Civil Rights. She was
elected Chairperson to the S.D.L.P in 1978-80, becoming the first woman to chair
a political party in Ireland. She was appointed Minister for Agriculture and Rural
Development in 1999 and was widely praised by all sections of the community in
Ireland North and South, for her handling of the Foot and Mouth crisis in 2001.
Ms Rodgers was also a member of Seanad Eireann 1983-87.

Mr John Lonergan has spent 30 years in the Prison Service and was appointed
Governor of Mountjoy Prison in 1984. He has written a number of articles on prisons
and the penal system and argues publicly that there is a strong connection between
social deprivation and crime.

Sr Roseann Reddy is Co-ordinator of the Cardinal winning Pro-Life initiative
in Glasgow. The initiative was established in March 1997 and provides pregnancy
counseling and positive practical support to those in distress due to pregnancy.
At that time she also founded the Sisters of the Gospel of Life to deliver these

Dr Richard Barr G.P. is the director of Love of Life, an organization which
visits schools throughout Northern Ireland giving seminars on Relationships and
Sexuality and encouraging young people to respect themselves and others.

Dr Finola Kennedy is an economist by profession and has served on numerous
Government commissions and review groups, including the Second Commission on the
Status of Women. She is the author of “Cottage to Crèche” which examines a range
of issues which have impacted on family life.

Sr Rita Minahan csb and Ms Brenda Kendrigan are members of Solus
Bhride Celtic Spirituality Centre based in Naas, Co Kildare, reflecting the values
and legends of St Brigid.

Ms Jean Woods M.I., A.H.I.P., I.C.P, E.A.P. is an accredited counselor, a
psychotherapist and trainer. She trained in England and the U.S. in bereavement/
grief/loss and directs and facilitates training programmes in counseling skills,
in bereavement workshops and training programmes.