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DRUMALIS – A SPIRITUALITY THAT INCLUDES THE EARTH



Drumalis Retreat And Conference Centre in Co Antrim is committed to keeping alive the care for the earth in ministry which is basically retreat work.  Spirituality, ecumenism and ecology are at the heart of all the programmes and activities held in this beautiful, ancient site at the gateway to the Antrim Coast.

The Centre has its own Drumalis Environment Group, working to raise
awareness and encourage action for a sustainable future on planet earth. 
The commitment is:

• To tell the Universe Story
• To honour the web of life recognising the interconnectedness of all things
• To see the whole of creation as sacred and as a revelation of the divine and to promote an attitude of reverence
• To accept our place as  humans  within the whole community of life
• To play our part  in the unfolding of the universe by using our creativity and imagination to bring about an alternative  to the dominant paradigm  of consumerism which is causing climate change and depletion of the resources of the earth
• To establish the earth room as a resource centre for  books DVDs  and ecological information etc

These aims are carried out by organising events, retreats, workshops, conferences, reflection days,  through networking with other groups nationwide who are  working in the same  area of interest, and by keeping ourselves up to date with  global developments.

Garden
Remembering the line of the poem that   “one is nearer God’s heart in the garden than anywhere else on earth” the gardens and grounds of Drumalis are the inspiration for much of the prayerful  life of Drumalis.  The recently restored  Rose Garden is a place of prayer and pilgrimage. Wandering in the woodland or by the sea is part of the journey of reflection that Drumalis offers.

Retreats
Each year, a Creation-centered retreat is offered, drawing on the beauty of the surroundings. Themes for the retreats in recent years have been:  The breath of Life, The Pale blue Dot, Passion for the earth, All is Gift, Changing the World from the inside out. The next retreat scheduled for July 2010, is entitled The other way Round.  This retreat will offer an opportunity to ponder some of the great changes that will be  required of us if we are to  go forward into the future as a “single sacred community”.  Facing up to the challenge of changing our mind sets and unexamined assumptions about our place within the community of life calls for deep conversion of heart.   This retreat will take place from 13-18 July 2010.


Spring Conferences
In the spring of 1998 during a visit to Drumalis by one of the environmental prophets for  our day, Miriam Therese  MacGillis,  the programmes for RE Inhabiting the earth were launched.  These were annual Spring conferences exploring themes like  well-being,  slow is beautiful,  foodwise,  the new stor.   These Conferences have been well supported  nationwide, and through them a network of ecological connections have been maintained.  One of these Sceal na Cruinne, originally a network of religious women and now opened up to all, meets  four times a year in the four different  provinces of Ireland. These groups keep the fire of environmental concern burning across Ireland and encourage local groups to be active and practical in their lives and work.
For 2010 the Spring Conference will bring to the North East for the first time the symposium BE THE CHANGE . The hope is that something will be awakened in the participants to urge them into action towards an ecologically sustainable, socially just, and spiritually fulfilling life on planet earth.
Thomas Berry, another environmental prophet of our day, and a Passionist Priest, had written often about   the physical degradation of the natural world through industrialisation, pollution and development etc. For him, there  is a direct connection  between this desolation of the earth  and  a “loss of soul” on the part of humans  -  a  deadening of human sensitivity and the   capacity for wonder . Without the soaring birds. Without the great forests, the free flowing streams, the sight of the clouds by day, and the stars by night , we become impoverished in all  that makes us human”
We believe that Drumalis is a place where the healing from this impoverishment can happen. 
It is a sacred place for those who visit it or participate in its activities.


Passion for the Earth
Drumalis is run by the Sisters of the Cross and Passion and for them the Passionist  spirit embraces a passion for the earth.  Drumalis is one of the places where they can be attentive to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor and respond with compassion, practicality and creativity. 
 
Drumalis Environment Group

Drumalis Environment Group organised a Vigil of Solidarity on 12 December 2009,
joining in the universal campaign to influence the UN climate change conference