Ministry of Hope
A new television series starts on RTE One on Thursday September 28 at 10.15 pm.
Ministry of Hope is an uplifting and compelling series, sharing moments of joy, exhilaration and crisis with the men and women whose job it is to bring faith, hope and love to strangers in three very different Irish institutions.
This powerful and inspiring observational series follows three Irish chaplains over a whole year, as they reach out to people at their moments of greatest vulnerability, to counsel, inspire and care for them.
Margaret Sleator was the first ever lay chaplain in Dublin’s Mater Misericordiae Hospital when she started 13 years ago. Catherine Black is the new chaplain in Shelton Abbey Open Prison in Arklow, Co Wicklow. And Philip McKinley is the Church of Ireland member of a new multi–denominational chaplaincy team serving 17,000 students from all over the world at Dublin City University.
Their jobs are to give guidance, support and inspiration: to patients facing illness and death; to prisoners seeking redemption; and to students struggling with campus life. Their vocations are all steeped in deep faith. But, in an increasingly secular Ireland, the programme asks why we still rely on religious chaplains to shepherd us through life’s challenges?
In the first episode of Ministry of Hope, Margaret Sleator supports Sean O’Keeffe whose wife, Margaret, is critically ill in the Mater hospital. With their son, Jack, Sean is praying for a miracle, but the chaplain must also prepare them for the worst. In DCU, Philip McKinley helps first year students like 19 year old Aisha Siwar settle into university life at the start of term. Meanwhile, in Shelton Abbey Open Prison, Catherine Black counsels 33 year old David whose release date is approaching fast, knowing that the outside world can be just as challenging as prison itself.
Philip McKinley was appointed in 2015 as part of a brand new multi–denominational chaplaincy team to serve DCU’s hugely diverse population of students. He’s a layman with a passion for music, which has become a useful focus for activities in the Interfaith Centre at the heart of the Glasnevin Campus.