Report to Trustees

 Abridged Lantern Intercultural Centre Report (2007-2013)

1. Founding Intention

The founding intention cherished the aspiration that the Centre would become a place of hospitality to promote intercultural and interfaith dialogue and action. The Lantern Intercultural Centre set out to bridge current cultural and religious differences in the world in order to facilitate the emergence of a society which was multicultural in composition and intercultural in purpose and action.

2. Governance

The Trustees of the Centre are the Provincial Leadership Team for the time being of the Congregation of Christian Brothers, European Province. The Trustees appointed a Board of Management to conduct the affairs of the Centre in accordance with the articles of an ‘Instrument of Governance’ drawn up by the Trustees. The conduct, management and financial administration of the Centre is under the control of the Board of Management, who exercise the powers described in the Instrument of Governance (2009), subject to the general supervision and control of the Trustees for the time being.

3. Staffing

The Centre is staffed totally by volunteers, three of whom are on a full-time basis and six on a part-time. Ordinarily the Centre is open seven days a week from 9.30 till 22.00. A roster has been put in place to ensure that there is always a member of staff on duty at the Centre. Weekly meetings are organised as the principle means of staff communication. February 2013 was set aside for facilitated staff development as a process of familiarisation with the policy documents and guidelines of the Centre related to Child Protection and Health and Safety. Each staff member/volunteer has been asked to sign a Declaration Form .

4. Development of Policies

In keeping with the intentions of the Trustees, the Board of Management designed and adopted policy documents to regulate the conduct of the Centre in two key areas:

  • Child Protection
  • Health and Safety

5. Physical Resources

The Centre is housed in a building on Synge Street built in 1864 which was formerly used as Primary and Secondary Schools for boys and as a Residence for the Community of Christian Brothers who ran the Schools. A building was constructed on Synge Street in 1954 to accommodate the Primary School and on Heytesbury Street in 1967 and 1981 to house a section of the Secondary School. With falling numbers in the Secondary School there was a diminished need for accommodation in the original building. The Secondary School began a phased exit, beginning in 2007 and culminating in a final withdrawal in 2010. Corresponding to the phased withdrawal, the Lantern Intercultural Centre was given permission by the Trustees to occupy the vacated spaces which were refurbished according to the following table of development.

 6. Activities

Working in collaboration with other related organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors, the Lantern Intercultural Centre continues to:

  • Provide a place of hospitality and dialogue which is accessible and affordable
  • Explore ways of developing community with inter-spirituality
  • Facilitate the formation and development of ethnic based groups (national, cultural,    faith)
  • Engage in interfaith dialogue and promotes collaborative action towards the creation of a society which is sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling.
  • Offer opportunities for the celebration of feasts, festivals and other events of a   cultural or cross-cultural nature
  • Facilitate the formation and development of cross-cultural interest based groups (drama, film, music and sport )
  • Provide accommodation to groups offering training, counselling and information services
  • Organise professional development to enhance intercultural competence especially in schools
  • Participate in a representative role on committees and working groups related to the development of a more integrated society and more cross cultural collaboration

Up to 50 groups now use the space for a variety of activities. As well the staff of the Centre provide opportunities for intercultural events.

It is recognised that a significant issue affecting the ability of migrants groups to participate more fully in social and cultural activities is the difficulty in accessing premises and facilities this is something the Lantern seeks to address. In the appendix, the groups currently using the Lantern Intercultural Centre as their preferred meeting place, are listed. For details clink here.

Irish cultural events are also facilitated at the centre during Seachtain na Gaeilge. In May we celebrated Bealtaine and Dublin City Council Community Development team use the centre for some of their cultural events.

Other groups use the centre for worship and meetings, these include members of the Ethiopian, Tamil, Iraqi, Kurdish, Brazilian and Filipino communities. The centre has grown organically by word of mouth.   In recognition of its works the Centre received the Metro Eireann Media and Multicultural Winners Award in 2011.

7. Strategic Alliances

In keeping with the general policy of the Christian Brothers, the Lantern Intercultural Centre adopted a collaborative approach and it set out to form strategic alliances with groups and organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors. These included:

  • Diplomatic Corp
  • Dublin City Council
  • Dublin Unitarian Church
  • Irish Missionary Union
  • New Monasticism

Diplomatic Corp

Because of its contacts with people from a wide variety of cultures, the Lantern Intercultural Centre is well known among the diplomatic corp. Ambassadors from Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Georgia, India, Latvia, Libya, Slovakia and Slovenia have been our guests. The International Bazaar which the spouses of the Ambassadors organize annually is a major social event, raising up to €50000 for projects related to children and women. The organizers of the 2010 event invited the Lantern Intercultural Centre to submit a proposal for funding resulting in a €16000 donation to the refurbishment of the former lunch-room as a space for family celebrations. The amenity is very popular with families from Brazil, Spain, Libya, Algeria, Philippines, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Iran, Iraq, etc. using it on a regular basis to celebrate key events in their family and faith calendar. The organizers of the 2013 International Bazaar invited a proposal for funding from this year’s event which is currently being designed.

Dublin City Council

The founding of the Centre coincided with the Dublin City Council’s search for a hospitality space for cultural activities and worship for the new communities. The DCC provided funding of €10000 per annum towards proposals to promote these activities. Through its involvement with the DCC the Centre began to play a major role in the   Inter-Cultural Cities Forum run by the Council of Europe. In November 2011 the Centre represented Ireland at the Council of Europe Conference on Inter-Cultural Cities in Stockholm. The Centre was asked to participate in the Conference related to Inter- Cultural Cities jointly organised by the Council of Europe and the European Commission held in the Royal Hospital from the 6th to 8th February 2013 and to host one of the workshops.

Through its relationship with the DCC the Centre was involved in the formation of Interfaith City Forum which is a joint venture of the DCC and the Council of Irish Churches.

As well as Intercultural Cities related activities, the Centre organises joint ventures with the DCC such as International Aids Day, Intercultural Picnic In the Park, Seachtain na Gaielge , Story Telling Sessions and celebration of Bealtaine and Samhain etc.

Dublin Unitarian Church

They describe themselves as a vibrant and lively congregation of people of all backgrounds and ages. At their 2008 AGM they identified Lantern Intercultural Centre as a project with which they would like to collaborate. Subsequently, they joined in the Search for Divine programmes both as participants and resource people. They located their Film Club at the Centre together with a number of meditation and reflection programmes. As well as advertising our programmes, the Unitarians are among our best supporters, the good example being set by their former pastor, Bill Darlison, who donated the royalties of one of his books to the Centre as well as his pension from his years of service in Ireland. The current pastor, Brigid Spain and the Management Board of the Church continue their supportive role of the Centre.

Irish Missionary Union (IMU)

The Lantern Intercultural Centre discovered that on a number of issues they shared common objectives with the IMU, especially with its Mission Alive Office. During the month of October and early November 2011 a programme was designed by the Mission Alive Office and the Lantern Intercultural Centre to bring people together from diverse cultural and faith backgrounds to engage in dialogue with each other on the theme of service to the community. It was hoped that, as an outcome, a need would be identified which would be serviced by an interfaith group. The response was quite encouraging with up to fifty people participating over the four sessions, culminating in a celebratory meal in which the participants provided service to each other. Through this programme, the Mission Alive Office provided the Lantern Intercultural Centre with a privileged opportunity to educate and encourage people of different faiths to address social needs together.

New Monasticism

The New Monasticism Ireland concept seeks to facilitate a new lifestyle by blending together a number of commitments such as retrieving the core of the monastic tradition as daily practice and embracing practices of solitude in daily life. They hold their Board meetings at the Centre and some of their members promote the Silence in the City activities as part of the work of the Lantern Intercultural Centre. They are seeking to build up a library of inter-spirituality books at the Centre. They also conduct a Book Club which meets monthly to discuss a book of their selection. The founder of the group, Sr. Bernadette Flanagan, is a member of the Lantern Intercultural Centre Board of Management.

Arts and Culture Groups

The Arts in various forms including drama, dance, music, poetry and the visual arts are an important part of the life of the Centre. Some of the activities are regular weekly or monthly activities, while others are short term art projects. For example:

  • in 2011 the Centre hosted ‘A Window between Worlds’ a project for immigrant families to share their experiences of coming to and living in Ireland. The project was funded by UNICEF.
  • An actors’ workshop takes place every Wednesday and the Centre provides rehearsal space for local theatre groups.
  • There are a number of musical groups based at the Centre including a Georgian Musical ensemble made up of Irish and Georgian singers and musicians, the Bhajan singers, a Latvian choir and dancers, a Slovakian folk group (Ostroha), a Congolese brass group and a tribal drumming group.
  • A Russian language photographic group meet at the Centre and there are two film clubs. A monthly poetry evening explores poetry from various cultures.

This mixture of art forms and cultures provides great potential for inter-cultural collaboration to enable the promotion of the objectives of the Intercultural Cities initiative to which the Centre is deeply committed.

Because of the success of the programmes in primary and secondary education conducted by the Christian Brothers in the buildings since 1864, now housing the Lantern Intercultural Centre, we have much to celebrate with regards to the contributions of the former students to culture and the arts both nationally and internationally. The works of some these writers/artists/ celebrities offer a rich resource for programmes, designed to familiarise people born outside of Ireland, with the social history of Ireland.

The struggle for workers’ right was highlighted by James Plunkett Kelly writer of the ‘Strumpet City ‘, the ‘One City, One Book 2013 Award Winner’. He was educated at Synge Street in the 1930s and in order to celebrate both the Award and the Centenary of the Lockout Centenary, it was decided to screen the seven episode RTE series ‘Strumpet City’ for our members and friends at the Lantern Intercultural Centre on the following Tuesday evenings (19.30 to 22.30) followed by a discussion on themes raised in the series.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions provided chair persons (Peter Rigney and Sally Ann Keilihan) for two of the discussions on the role of Trade Unions and Women in the struggle for workers’ right. Funding for the mounting of a plaque to commemorate James Plunkett Kelly has been raised privately through the good offices of the Industrial Officer of ICTU.

The Department of Arts and Culture, through their Principal Officer John Kennedy, gave advice to ensure that the regulations governing planning permission were observed. His Department are interested in developing a space within the building to honour James Plunkett Kelly and other literary former students.

8. Forward Planning

In recent years Ireland has experienced a large influx of immigrant families, leading to a significant change in the level of cultural diversity in Irish society. Applying the criteria for ministry of the Christian Brothers to the changing scene in Ireland prompted such questions as:

  • How can communities be developed where people interact in a meaningful way and experience true equality of opportunity?
  • How can people equip themselves in Ireland and globally to live engaged and peaceful lives in pluralistic societies?

The Lantern Intercultural Centre through its programmes will attempt to address these questions as part of the Christian Brothers’ efforts to compensate for changing demography and to offer new solutions to contemporary problems. Relying on the outcomes of the evaluation process mentioned in the last section, the main thrust of the Centre’s activities will be through the programmes in intercultural competence which it will design and implement.

Enhancing Intercultural Competence

Intercultural competence refers to the knowledge, skills and the attitudes required for effective citizenship in a multicultural society.

developmental goals for society and a determination to ensure that these are promoted by the decision makers across the cultural, political and economical sectors.

The Lantern Intercultural Centre will begin by enhancing the intercultural competence of the staff and volunteers. It is our intention to run a five-day programme throughout the year to enhance the intercultural competence of the 15 volunteers at the Lantern Intercultural Centre, facilitating them to understand the spirituality of the Centre and enabling them to relate in a more culturally enlightened manner with the diversity of client groups. Teams to design and deliver these programmes need to be recruited drawing from such groups as:

- Marino Institute of Education (Intercultural Competence),
- All Hallows (Interfaith Spirituality),
- IMU ( Interfaith School Programmes)
- Dublin City Interfaith Forum
- Intercultural Cities Movement

Inter-spirituality

Relying on the experience of the last six years, the Lantern Intercultural Centre Management Committee is particularly interested in developing programmes in the area of Inter-Spirituality. As many as twenty diverse groups, motivated by spiritual goals, meet separately at the Centre on a regular basis. On occasions, functions are organised in which all the groups participate. The events have been well attended and favourably commented upon. The energy generated and the sense of peace, unity and harmony experienced has encouraged the organizers to consider designing a programme along the lines of the United Nations ‘Week of Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns’ held annually in October. This would be offered as part of the calendar of events organised to promote Dublin as an Intercultural City.

 

Appendix

Groups Currently Using the Lantern Intercultural Centre    April 2013

Actors’ Workshop

Held weekly on a enrolment basis On Wednesday Evening from 18.00 to 22.00

Bhagan Singers

Branching Out

A group of ten or twelve  who meet for worship on a monthly basis and a few times a year for a weekend of renewal.

Brazilian Mothers

They gather with their children for games and cultural activities on the last Saturday of every month from 15.00 to 18.00.

Capoira

A small group of Italians who meet weekly on Tuesday evening from 19.00 to 21.00 for South American Martial Arts exercise

Camden School of Acting

Acting lessons are organised from 15.30 to 17.30 each Thursday

Career Workshops

Tuesday evening sessions 19.00 to 21.30 assisting people to discover what they really want in life

Couples for Christ

A group 20 Fillipino couples who assemble six or seven times a year  for a weekend of training and development

Ethiopian Orthodox Church

They meet for worship every Sunday morning from 8.00 to 13.00 followed by a meal. They also celebrate the 4 days of Easter Liturgy and the Christmas Liturgy at the relevant times

English Language Classes

Individual and small group tuition in English for beginners and beyond by  appointment

French Community Church

They meet for worship on the first and third Sundays of the month from 12.00 to 14.00.

Ha’penny Laugh

A group pof comedians who meet on Friday evenings from 18.00 to 22.00

Happy Muslim Family of Ireland 

They events a few times a year for groups of families and also for Irish groups with special needs

Georgian Musical Ensemble

A group of ten Irish and Georgians who gather each Monday evening from 19.00 to 21.00 for traditional   Georgian music.

Gnostic Studies

Golden Rosy Cross

International Women’s  Support Group

A group of 15 to twenty women from a variety of nationalities who meet each Tuesday morning from 9.30 to 12.00 for mutual support and competency development.

Iraqi Community

They gather a few times a year to celebrate family and national events.

I-SKY Ireland

They conduct monthly weekend training programmes on a registration basis for teachers of  Kundalini  Yoga.

Kimbanguiste (Congo) Community

They meet on Sundays for their weekly worship and sometimes a meal from 14.00 to 18.00.They meet for music practice on Saturdays and for prayer on Wednesday afternoon

Kurdish Irish Society

They run a school on Saturdays from 10.30 to 13.00

Latvian Cultural Society

They run a school on Sunday afternoons from 15.00 to 17.00. They also have choir practice from 16.00 to 18.00. Each Sunday they have dance classes from 11.00 to 15.00.

Mission Alive

Organises joint ventures with the Lantern Intercultural Centre such as ‘Gathering for Service’ a process to launch an interfaith community service

Muslim Sisters

Lectures, Workshops and Conference organised by a group of Muslim women on a monthly basis

National Youth Council of Ireland

Occasional conferences and training sessions

New Monasticism

The New Monasticism Ireland concept seeks to facilitate a new lifestyle by blending together a number of commitments such as retrieving the core of the monastic tradition as daily practice and embracing practices of solitude in daily life. They hold their Board meetings at the Centre and some of their members promote the Silence in the City activities as part of the work of the Lantern Intercultural Centre

Oneness Group

Offers courses and programs to help people from all paths, faiths, and walks of life to grow into the natural state of being one with all that is. They meet monthly for a day’s meditation and on most Sunday evenings for Prayer from 18.00 to 20.00.

  Pilates

On Monday evening from 17.30 to 21.00

Poetry Evenings

Organised on the last Thursday of the month poetry readings from various faiths and cultures are organised from 19.30 to 22.00

Raga Yoga Meditation

Conducts occasional weekend workshops in respond to requests the most recent being on 28 January on the topic of Self-Esteem and Confidence Building.

Relaxation Dance

Each Monday morning  from 11.00 to 12.00

Russian Language Photographic Group

A group of ten or twelve enthusiasts who meet monthly from 19.30 to 22.00

Slovakian Folk Group (Ostroha)

A group of about 20 musicians  who rehearse each Wednesday evening from 19.00

Spiritists Society of  Ireland

A group of Brazilians who meet for prayer every Sund. morning from 11.00 to 13.00

Society of Water Diviners of Ireland

They meet on the 2nd. Saturday of the month from 14.00 to 16.00

Silence in the City

As part of the activities of the New Monasticism Movement, groups meet for morning  prayer and meditation at 7.30 on Tuesdays and Thursday. They run the  Sophia  book club which meet on the last Thursday of the month.

Spiritual Exploration

A group of 20 to 30 gather for a day of spiritual exploration on the last Saturday of the month from 9.30 to 13.00. They also organise a day of Zen Buddhist Mediation in Summer June each year.

Sharing Sacred Texts

A group of six to ten people from different faith traditions (Islam, Hindu, Christian) meet on Wednesday evening from 19.30 to 22.00  to share reflection on sacred texts  chosen from the different  traditions.

Shivam Yoga Classes

On Mondays and Wednesday evenings from 19.00 to 20.30 and also at 12.00 noon on Sat.

Sound Healing

Occasional training workshops on the therapeutic use of sound and music for healing

Spirit in the City

A group of sixty people who meet for personal development on a two weekly basis from 19.30 to 22.00 on Thursday evenings

Tamal Community

They gather a few times a year to celebrate family and national events.

Tribal Drummers 

A group of 20 or so people come together  to celebrate community and life through rhythm and music. They engage in celebration and healing rhythms and chants from the tribal cultures of Planet Earth.  They meet on Fridays from 19.00 to 20.00.

Unitarian Film Club

A group from the  Dublin Unitarian Church host a Film Club on the first Wednesday of the month from 20.00 to 22.30

Universal Peace Federation

Organises joint ventures with the Lantern Intercultural Centre to mark significant UN international celebrations such as International Day of Peace. Next event  is being organised to commemorate International  Day of the Family on 18 May 2012

Vision School of Art

Art lessons from 14.30 to 17.30 each Saturday

Voice Training 

Joan Shiels           By appointment individual voice training a few times a week

Tony Norton  By appointment individual voice training a few times a week

Women’s  Federation for World Peace Ireland

Organises joint ventures with the Lantern Intercultural Centre to mark significant UN international celebrations such as International Women’s Day celebrated  on 8 March with over 70 people.

Actors’ Workshop Held weekly on a enrolment basis On Wednesday Evening from 18.00 to 22.00

Bhagan Singers

Branching Out

A group of ten or twelve  who meet for worship on a monthly basis and a few times a year for a weekend of renewal.

Brazilian Mothers

They gather with their children for games and cultural activities on the last Saturday of every month from 15.00 to 18.00.

Capoira

A small group of Italians who meet weekly on Tuesday evening from 19.00 to 21.00 for South American Martial Arts exercise

Camden School of Acting

Acting lessons are organised from 15.30 to 17.30 each Thursday

Career Workshops

Tuesday evening sessions 19.00 to 21.30 assisting people to discover what they really want in life

Couples for Christ

A group 20 Fillipino couples who assemble six or seven times a year  for a weekend of training and development

Ethiopian Orthodox Church

They meet for worship every Sunday morning from 8.00 to 13.00 followed by a meal. They also celebrate the 4 days of Easter Liturgy and the Christmas Liturgy at the relevant times

English Language Classes

Individual and small group tuition in English for beginners and beyond by  appointment

French Community Church

They meet for worship on the first and third Sundays of the month from 12.00 to 14..00.

Ha’penny Laugh

A group pof comedians who meet on Friday evenings from 18.00 to 22.00

Happy Muslim Family of Ireland 

They events a few times a year for groups of families and also for Irish groups with special needs

Georgian Musical Ensemble

A group of ten Irish and Georgians who gather each Monday evening from 19.00 to 21.00 for traditional   Georgian music.

Gnostic Studies

Golden Rosy Cross

International Women’s  Support Group A group of 15 to twenty women from a variety of nationalities who meet each Tuesday morning from 9.30 to 12.00 for mutual support and competency development.

Iraqi Community

They gather a few times a year to celebrate family and national events.

I-SKY Ireland

They conduct monthly weekend training programmes on a registration basis for teachers of  Kundalini  Yoga.

Kimbanguiste (Congo) Community

They meet on Sundays for their weekly worship and sometimes a meal from 14.00 to 18.00.They meet for music practice on Saturdays and for prayer on Wednesday afternoon

Kurdish Irish Society

They run a school on Saturdays from 10.30 to 13.00

Latvian Cultural Society

They run a school on Sunday afternoons from 15.00 to 17.00. They also have choir practice from 16.00 to 18.00. Each Sunday they have dance classes from 11.00 to 15.00.

Mission Alive

Organises joint ventures with the Lantern Intercultural Centre such as ‘Gathering for Service’ a process to launch an interfaith community service

Muslim Sisters

Lectures, Workshops and Conference organised by a group of Muslim women on a monthly basis

National Youth Council of Ireland

Occasional conferences and training sessions

New Monasticism

The New Monasticism Ireland concept seeks to facilitate a new lifestyle by blending together a number of commitments such as retrieving the core of the monastic tradition as daily practice and embracing practices of solitude in daily life. They hold their Board meetings at the Centre and some of their members promote the Silence in the City activities as part of the work of the Lantern Intercultural Centre

Oneness Group

Offers courses and programs to help people from all paths, faiths, and walks of life to grow into the natural state of being one with all that is. They meet monthly for a day’s meditation and on most Sunday evenings for Prayer from 18.00 to 20.00.

  Pilates

On Monday evening from 17.30 to 21.00

Poetry Evenings

Organised on the last Thursday of the month poetry readings from various faiths and cultures are organised from 19.30 to 22.00

Raga Yoga Meditation

Conducts occasional weekend workshops in respond to requests the most recent being on 28 January on the topic of Self-Esteem and Confidence Building.

Relaxation Dance

Each Monday morning  from 11.00 to 12.00

Russian Language Photographic Group A group of ten or twelve enthusiasts who meet monthly from 19.30 to 22.00

Slovakian Folk Group (Ostroha)

A group of about 20 musicians  who rehearse each Wednesday evening from 19.00

Spiritists Society of  Ireland

A group of Brazilians who meet for prayer every Sund. morning from 11.00 to 13.00

Society of Water Diviners of Ireland

They meet on the 2nd. Saturday of the month from 14.00 to 16.00

Silence in the City

As part of the activities of the New Monasticism Movement, groups meet for morning  prayer and meditation at 7.30 on Tuesdays and Thursday. They run the  Sophia  book club which meet on the last Thursday of the month.

Spiritual Exploration

A group of 20 to 30 gather for a day of spiritual exploration on the last Saturday of the month from 9.30 to 13.00. They also organise a day of Zen Buddhist Mediation in Summer June each year.

Sharing Sacred Texts

A group of six to ten people from different faith traditions (Islam, Hindu, Christian) meet on Wednesday evening from 19.30 to 22.00  to share reflection on sacred texts  chosen from the different  traditions.

Shivam Yoga Classes

On Mondays and Wednesday evenings from 19.00 to 20.30 and also at 12.00 noon on Sat.

Sound Healing

Occasional training workshops on the therapeutic use of sound and music for healing

Spirit in the City

A group of sixty people who meet for personal development on a two weekly basis from 19.30 to 22.00 on Thursday evenings

Tamal Community

They gather a few times a year to celebrate family and national events.

Tribal Drummers 

A group of 20 or so people come together  to celebrate community and life through rhythm and music. They engage in celebration and healing rhythms and chants from the tribal cultures of Planet Earth.  They meet on Fridays from 19.00 to 20.00.

Unitarian Film Club

A group from the  Dublin Unitarian Church host a Film Club on the first Wednesday of the month from 20.00 to 22.30

Universal Peace Federation

Organises joint ventures with the Lantern Intercultural Centre to mark significant UN international celebrations such as International Day of Peace. Next event  is being organised to commemorate International  Day of the Family on 18 May 2012

Vision School of Art

Art lessons from 14.30 to 17.30 each Saturday

Voice Training 

Joan Shiels           By appointment individual voice training a few times a week

Tony Norton  By appointment individual voice training a few times a week

Women’s  Federation for World Peace Ireland

Organises joint ventures with the Lantern Intercultural Centre to mark significant UN international celebrations such as International Women’s Day celebrated  on 8 March with over 70 people.