Psalms for the Spirit Ep. 4: Examining Our Spirits in the Mess of Everyday Life

Today’s guest is Pádraig Swan, trained in the Jesuit tradition and serving as the Director of Faith and Service Programmes at Belvedere College in Dublin, Ireland. Pádraig and I would usually get into interesting conversations about spirituality while our families are visiting each other – kids racing around the room or climbing on us while we talked, amid good food and cups of coffee and tea. Not only that, but when Pádraig brought a group to the Corrymeela residential center on their annual retreat, I had the privilege of leading them in a Taizé evening worship that was always a very special and memorable experience. In our conversation, Pádraig weaves together his background in Ignation spirituality, and in particularly the practice of the daily examen prayer, as well as his experience of living with the Taizé community in France, as we explore together how the Psalms help us to examine our spirits in the mess of our everyday life. 

I’m grateful to the Taizé community for making available some of their beautiful recordings of Taizé chants, and also to Pádraig for his lovely  singing at the end of the episode.  

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More about Pádraig Swan:

Pádraig Swan is originally from Carlow, but has lived and worked in Dublin for many years. He is married to Colleen, and they have two children, Saoirse (8), and Seán (4).Pádraig has a long relationship with matters of faith and how faith meets the reality of human life. His own faith is influenced by time spent at the Taizé community, Corrymeela, 3 years studying for the Roman Catholic priesthood, working in business for over 20 years, transitioning to young adult ministry, deepening encounters with Jesuit Spirituality, and now as Director of Faith and Service Programmes at Belvedere College SJ, a Jesuit Secondary School in Dublin. Padraig is a member of the Corrymeela Community and serves on the parish council of his local parish.    

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