LIVING AMONG THE POOR
Sir, I agree wholeheartedly with Nuala O'Faolain that our Government must do far more about poverty in Ireland (December 30th). However, she says that "no one lives out on the reservations of the Dublin poor except the Dublin poor" (emphasis mine).
Many sisters, brothers and priests in religious congregations - and a number of diocesan priests - have lived and are living on "reservations" of the poor for years. For example, over one hundred and thirty such religious from around the country came together for the first time last April. They looked at their lives and ministry as members of religious communities integrated into areas of socio-economic disadvantage. There has been some follow-up to that day, and more is on the way.
Maybe Ms O'Faolain will become better acquainted with the movement of religious among people who live and die on the periphery of our society, and write an encouraging piece about us for her readers. - Yours, etc.,
Flat 21, Thomas MacDonagh Tower, Ballymun, Dublin 9.