Programmes You Can Believe In....
RTÉ Religious Programmes aim to Reflect, Interrogate, Celebrate and Explain the religious, ethical and spiritual life of contemporary Ireland. We broadcast over 100 hours each year on both television and radio, including documentaries, discussions, interviews, festival features and worship programmes, reflecting the full diversity of religious belief and practice in Ireland.
If you would like your church or faith community to feature in our output, please contact me at email@example.com or on +353 1 208 4586. Thanks.
On RTÉ Radio 1 Extra, Michael Comyn hosts SUNDAY SPIRIT - three hours of religious content every week, from 10.00am to 1.00pm, built around the centre-piece of our Mass and Service, from 11.00-12.30. He'll be joined by guests to explore contemporary themes and issues of belief. He'll also be sharing some of the world's best religious programme-making, from BBC World Service's Heart & Soul series and CTVC's Things Unseen podcasts.
This week, as Pope Francis visits the Philippines, Michael talks to Irish Columban Father and three-times Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Fr Shay Cullen, about the impact of the visit on his adopted homeland, including the shocking revelation that street children have been "cleansed" from the streets and placed by police in dangerous and squalid confinement, to keep them out of sight during the Pope's stay.
Dr John Weafer joins Michael in the studio to talk about his new book, Thirty-Three Good Men: Celibacy, Obedience and Identity, which explores the experience and opinions of 33 Irish Catholic priests.
Michael will also be talking to feminist theologian Mary T. Malone about her book THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM, about the relationship between women and faith.
Ken Gibson is in the studio to talk about the work of Leprosy World Mission and there is analysis of the main stories of the week including Je Suis Charlie and freedom of speech.
At 11.00am, Sunday Spirit will be broadcasting Mass from the Church of the Sacred Heart and St. Barry, Whitehall, Tarmonbarry, Co. Roscommon, and in the Service at 11.45am, the Reverend Dr Donald Watts, President of the Irish Council of Churches leads an Ecumenical Service from the RTÉ Studios to mark the start of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The Worship includes contributions from the Most Rev Dr Diarmuid Martin, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin; Most Rev Dr Michael Jackson, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin; Rev Peter Murray, President of the Methodist Church in Ireland; and Very Rev Dr Trevor Morrow, a former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church and members of a number the ICC’s other member churches including the Antiochian Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Church in Ireland, the Redeemed Christian Church of God and the Religious Society of Friends. Music is from the Clontarf and Scots Presbyterian Church Choir under the direction of Rachel Simpson.
If you have news you'd like to share with Michael or would like to appear on the programme, you can contact him at Sundayspirit@rte.ie
As you may have read, RTÉ has deferred the proposed closure of its Longwave service until 2017, so religious Masses and Services will continue to be heard until then on LW252 as well as digital platforms: Radio 1 Extra, rte.ie, DAB and via your mobile or television. For more information about how to access that content, visit www.rte.ie/staytuned
A reminder that Gay Byrne has recently published a second collection of edited interviews from THE MEANING OF LIFE. Those interviews with twenty of Gay's guests from the television series, are topped and tailed with his personal reflections on each of them. With an element of the sale of each book going to the Peter McVerry Trust and to the Christina Noble Children's Foundation, The Meaning of Life 2 (Gill & Macmillan) is an ideal gift for Gay's and the series' many fans.
Gay Byrne returns with his tenth series of The Meaning of Life on Sunday 25th January at 1030pm, on RTÉ One, beginning a run that includes Cecelia Ahern, Stephen Fry, Barry McGuigan, Mary Black, Earl Spencer and the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.
Finally, we are open to suggestions and stories for our various Factual series: Would You Believe?, The Meaning of Life, The Moment of Truth and Beyond Belief. If you have an idea or story you would like to share, please just email me: firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks.
Roger Childs, Head of RTÉ Religious Programmes.