“Performing the Word: Festschrift for Ronan Drury”

Bishop Michael Smith attended the launch in Maynooth on Tuesday 9 December 2014 of “Performing the Word: Festschrift for Ronan Drury”.

Columba Press explains that this volume is an exercise in ‘Performing the Word’ as it seeks to express in human words, its appreciation and understanding of the master-class conducted by Fr Ronan Drury for thirty-seven years of the public, published and indeed polished performance of the Word of God, in The Furrow, where he is known as simply, the Editor.

 With his leadership, The Furrow has cultivated ‘a deeply theological style, resting in the tradition, open to the challenges of the present, shaping the future, and inviting all along the journey’.

In his many years as editor, Fr Drury has succeeded in attracting contributors to ‘Furrow time’ who engaged with issues that are of concern to Irish society, the Irish Church and the global community. Skillful and helpful he still is, as scores of Furrow contributors here testify, and he has never quite managed to disguise his kindness.

The overwhelming response from contributors to calls for this Festschrift, is testament to the respect, esteem and affection in which The Furrow, and its editor, is held. And, in the words of one of them, ‘now I would like to celebrate your ninety years Ronan, your ‘silvered head’, and your ploughing of this Furrow, which has enabled many to gather round a spirited conversation about the many and varied things of matter to the pilgrim people of this parish’.

Performing the Word so graciously over the decades is a remarkable achievement for The Furrow, its editors and contributors. As this volume attempts inadequately to honour that achievement, it is fitting that it be dedicated to the current editor, Fr Drury, on completing ninety years, over sixty of which have been immediately involved with the editing of The Furrow. Long may they both flourish.

Among the contributors are Michael Olden, Des Wilson, Anne Thurston, Thomas Groome, John Horgan. Eoin de Bháldraithe, Gabriel Daly OSA, Michael A. Conway, Brendan Hoban, Gerry O’Hanlon, Fáinch Ryan, Eamonn conway, Eugene Duffy, Oliver McQuillan, Aidan Ryan, John F. Deane, Pádraig McCarthy, Dermot A. Lane, Mark Patrick Hederman, Breandán Ó doibhlin, brian cosgrove, Mary Redmond, Catherine Twomey, Tony McNamara, Enda Lyons, James F. Keenan SJ, Patrick Hannon, Hugh Connolly, Pádraig Corkery, Gina Menzies, Charles E. Curran, Ben Kimmerling, Stanley Hauerwas, Mary Gordon.

The publication is edited by Fr Enda McDonagh, former professor of Moral Theology, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. His previous books include Faith and the Hungry Grass, Theology in Winter Light and the Irish Reader in Moral Theology series, all Columba Press.