“Blessed are the Peacemakers” – in memory of Fr Alec Reid CSsR


Wednesday, November 22, marks the tenth death anniversary of Father Alec Reid (August 5, 1931 – November 22, 2013), a Redemptorist priest noted for his facilitator role in the Northern Ireland peace process.

“Fr. Alec Reid was a Redemptorist and peacemaker in Northern Ireland between 1969 and 1998. Fr. Alec Reid risked his life and had an attitude of patience and perseverance to reach his goals: peace in Northern Ireland”, with these words, Father Martin McKeever, CSsR, began his presentation about his book ‘One man, One God – The Peace Ministry of Fr. Alec Reid’ in the monastery of Wittem, the Netherlands on April 2018.
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Master Class about Peace Making by Prof. Martin McKeever

“Wednesday – November 22 – will mark the tenth anniversary of the death of Father Alec Reid. It is a matter of wonderment that a decade has passed since he left us. Students of the Irish peace process will know that Alec was a central figure in our search for peace. He and Fr Des Wilson were key to the beginning of that process. I won’t deal in this column with all the twists and turns of those times or the stubborn refusal for decades of the establishments, British and Irish, to embrace dialogue. Fr Alec and Des helped to change that. And much more.”
We read on Belfast Media today:
GERRY ADAMS: Father Alec – priest, innovator, peacemaker

In Clonard Church, Belfast, on the evening of June 6 2017, the former President of Ireland, Mrs Mary MacAleese, presented this first book on the peace ministry of Fr Alec Reid. Mrs MacAleese was a personal friend of Fr Alec, and so was able to bring direct experience to her reflection on the life and work of Fr Alec. In her address, Mrs MacAleese insisted on the fact that faith was the driving force behind this commitment to peace. Prompted by his faith, Fr Alec decided that he must actively approach those involved in violence and not simply observe matters at a safe distance.
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Presentation of the first book on the work of renowned peacemaker Fr. Alec Reid

Fr Reid did not claim allegiance to any political party or ideology. Instead, he explained what motivated him: “I used to say that I don’t belong to any political party, but I represent the next person who is going to be killed in the Troubles. The church has a moral obligation to get stuck in when people are suffering and to try and stop it.”
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In the middle of it all – The peace legacy of Fr Alec Reid CSsR

The resources are a booklet for use with school retreats and youth groups; a booklet for parishes and congregations who wish to embark on ‘Unity Pilgrim’-style initiatives; and videos exploring the life and peace witness of Clonard’s Fr Gerry Reynolds (d. 2015) and Fr Alec Reid (d. 2013).
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Clonard launches new resources for peacebuilding

Tucked between two worlds, the Clonard Monastery in West Belfast remains a symbol of dialogue and encounter in post-conflict Northern Ireland. Not only is it placed between notoriously tough Catholic and Protestant neighbourhoods, but it was the setting for peace talks that would eventually lead to the historic Good Friday Agreement in 1998.
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Redemptorist monastery in Belfast looms as an icon of hope for troubled city

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