The Leap of Faith Thursday 17 March 2022

The Leap of Faith celebrates St Patrick’s Day with a mix of conversation, music and inspiration in the company of a variety of guests. Presented by Michael Comyn.

In discussion: Dr Damian Bracken, School of History, University College Cork
Fr Vasyl Kornitsky, Our Lady Of Consolation Church in Donnycarney, Dublin and chaplain to the Ukrainian community

Dr Ebun Joseph – author, Social Justice activist and founder of the Black Studies course at University College Dublin. John O’Donnell – poet, short story writer and barrister. 
Music from: Angela Ui Fhloinn, Roisin Ni Fhloinn and Scott Newman; the Goethe Choir, featuring Geraldine Hynes, solicitor and mediator, Dr David Denby, Dublin City University and Professor Werner Blau, Trinity College Dublin.

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Sunday Matinée December 12th

Sunday Matinée Sunday 12 December 2021


Live performances, choral classics, and treasured favourites for your Sunday afternoon.

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Full playlist here

Episode Playlist


Title: Ging Heut’ Morgens Ubers Feld

Composer: Mahler, Gustav

Performer(s): Dietrich Fischer- Dieskau (baritone)

Album: Fischer-Dieskau Edition: Mahler

Duration: 4:02


Title: Schuler-Konzert No.2, Op.13

Composer: Seitz, Friedrich

Performer(s): Itzhak Perlman (violin)

Album: Concertos from my Childhood

Duration: 9:29


Title: Tango (Piano Version)

Composer: Stravinsky, Igor

Performer(s): Stefano Bollani

Album: Sounds of the ’30s

Duration: 3:14


Title: Ding Dong Merrily on High

Composer: Trad.

Performer(s): The International Staff Band of the Salvation Army

Album: Christmas Fesitval in Brass

Duration: 1:13


Title: Hungarian Dance No.6 in D

Composer: Brahms, Johannes

Performer(s): London Symphony Orchestra

Album: Brahms: Hungarian Dances – London Symphony Orchestra

Duration: 4:13


Title: Piano Concerto in D major: (i) Allegretto

Composer: Bach, C.P.E.

Performer(s): Michael Rische (piano)

Album: CPE Bach: Piano Concertos

Duration: 6:15


Title: Piano Concerto in D major: (ii) Andantino

Composer: Bach, C.P.E.

Performer(s): Michael Rische (piano)

Album: CPE Bach: Piano Concertos

Duration: 5:06


Title: Piano Concerto in D major: (iii) Allegro

Composer: Bach, C.P.E.

Performer(s): Michael Rische (piano)

Album: CPE Bach: Piano Concertos

Duration: 3:14


Title: Three-Part Invention: No.15 in B minor

Composer: Bach, Johann Sebastian

Performer(s): Janine Jansen (violin)

Album: Janine Jansen Bach Inventions and Partita (Recordno: 475 9081)

Duration: 2:33


Title: Les Patineurs Suite (2nd movement) Andante espressivo

Composer: Meyerbeer, Giacomo

Performer(s): Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden

Album: Classical Chillout 100 Hits

Duration: 2:23


Title: In the Bleak MidWinter

Composer: Darke, Harold

Performer(s): Cassian Pichler-Roca (Boy treble)

Album: Carducci Quartet

Duration: 1:51


Title: Our Town

Composer: Copland, Aaron

Performer(s): London Symphony Orchestra

Album: Copland Conducts Copland (Record no: 42429)

Duration: 11:06


Title: La Cumparsita

Composer: Rodriguez, Gerardo Matos

Performer(s): Fionnuala Hunt (violin)

Album: Tangos And Dances – Fionnuala Hunt

Duration: 3:53


Title: Ganinha, minha Ganinha

Composer: Anon

Performer(s): Sandra Mendeiros (soprano)

Album: 18th Century Portuguese Love Songs

Duration: 3:05


Title: Die Forelle (The Trout)

Composer: Schubert, Franz

Performer(s): Barbara Bonney (soprano)

Album: On Wings of Song

Duration: 2:17


Title: Fil Duine (Grainne speaks of Diarmuid)

Composer: Buckley, Linda

Performer(s): Linda Buckley (electronics)

Album: Linda Buckley: From Ocean’s Floor

Duration: 4:26


Title: Trio sonata for violin, bassoon and basso continuo in B flat: (i) Poco Andante

Composer: Schafrath, Christoph

Performer(s): Radio Antiqua

Album: Treasures of the German Baroque

Duration: 2:53


Title: Trio sonata for violin, bassoon and basso continuo in B flat: (ii) Allegro assai

Composer: Schafrath, Christoph

Performer(s): Radio Antiqua

Album: Treasures of the German Baroque

Duration: 2:59


Title: Trio sonata for violin, bassoon and basso continuo in B flat: (iii) Allegro

Composer: Schafrath, Christoph

Performer(s): Radio Antiqua

Album: Treasures of the German Baroque

Duration: 2:36


Title: Clarinet Concerto in A (1st movement) Allegro

Composer: Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus

Performer(s): Gervase De Peyer (clarinet)

Album: Clarinet Concertos

Duration: 13:10


Title: Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day

Composer: English trad, (arr. Willcocks)

Performer(s): Christopher Allsop (organ)

Album: Christmas from Worcester A Tribute to Sir David Willcocks

Duration: 2:15


Title: Sinfonia Concertante in F for flute, oboe, bassoon, two violins, viola, ‘cello, double bass and orchestra: I- Allegro

Composer: Haydn, Franz Josef

Performer(s): Kammerorchester Basel

Album: Sinfonia Concertante: Mozart, Holzbauer, Pleyel

Duration: 12:37


Title: Troika

Composer: Prokofiev, Sergei

Performer(s): London Cello Orchestra

Album: A Cello Christmas

Duration: 3:14

The Leap of Faith December 3rd

The Leap of Faith


‘What does Islam mean and what is its future?’ We talk to Professor Mona Siddiqui OBE, Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies at the University of Edinburgh; Tawseef Khan, solicitor and author; Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, Chief Imam at the Islamic Centre of Ireland and Chair of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council.

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The Leap of Faith June 18th.

On the Leap of Faith this week, we talk with Fr Alan Hilliard, author of Dipping into Life: 40 Reflections for a Fragile Faith. 

Alan is co-ordinator of Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy Service at TU Dublin, and he reflects on the last year and how he has called on his faith to help himself and others.

We have live music in the studio this week, too, as we are joined by Scott McKeown and Victoria Johnston, two musicians who express their Christian faith through their music.

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The Leap of Faith – 11th June 2021

Wethers Well in Cloghmackirkeen, Co. Kerry

On the Leap of Faith this week, June 13th is National Holy Wells Day. We’ll hear from Fr Brian Grogan SJ and Sr Helen Grealy; she is a Sister of Our Lady of the Cenacle, an International Congregation founded to give the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. Together they will tell us about a virtual event this weekend that draws attention to the role of water in social justice –

Inside the Dressing House of Wethers Well

Author Yanky Fachler tells us some of the almost 200 stories he shared with an online audience during the lockdown, each filled with intrigue. And we talk with the incoming President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, The Rev. Dr Sahr Yambasu, as he becomes the first national leader of colour in one of Ireland’s four main churches.

The Rev. Dr Sahr Yambasu – Photo

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The Leap of Faith 4th June 2021

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson marries fiancée Carrie Symonds – Photo Getty

The third marriage of the British Prime minister, Boris Johnson, in a Catholic Church last week, has led to public debate around church laws.

Austin Ivereigh with Pope Francis – Photo

Pope Francis on Tuesday issued the most extensive revision to Catholic Church law in four decades. Tonight, we talk with journalist and biographer to Pope Francis Austen Ivereigh and Marie Collins, a former member of the Pontifical Commission for Protection of Minors, on the reforms and their impact.

We also speak with Burhana Islam, author of ‘Amazing Muslims Who Changed the World’, a collection of stories for children, inspired by the contributions Muslims have made to history.

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The Leap of Faith 28th May 2021


On the programme this evening, we talk with Brother Liam O’Meara, originally from Co Limerick, he is the founder of the Burren Chernobyl Project. As he plans to head back to Belarus, his efforts to get urgent medical supplies to children in orphanages there are being thwarted by EU sanctions.

We meet actor, play wright and psychotherapist, Isobel Mahon, who shares her Buddhist beliefs and how her faith enriches her professional life.

And Father Michael Commane OP, a prolific writer as well as being Chaplain to St. Luke’s Hospital in Rathgar in Dublin, speaks about identifying the work of the Holy Spirit, often in everyday situations.

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The Leap of Faith – Friday 21st May 2021

This evening Michael and guests mark Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday. Dylan sold tens of millions of albums and wrote more than 500 songs that were recorded by more than 2,000 artists. He was also awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016.

Bob Dylan performs at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota on September 3, 1992. (Photo by Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Bob Dylan at the Philharmonic Hall, New York City, 31st October 1964. (Photo by John Byrne Cooke Estate/Getty Images)

Bob Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman 80 years ago into a Jewish migrant family. However, in the late 1970s, he converted to Evangelical Christianity.

Joining Michael this evening we have Dr Michael Booth who lectures in the department of English at University College Cork.

He is the author of Shakespeare and Conceptual Blending, a book that considers how poetry works – and this he suggests is true for Dylan as for Shakespeare.

John Wesley Harding performs during the Further Festival at Shoreline Amphitheatre on July 30, 1996 in Mountain View, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

And joining us from Philadelphia, is singer-songwriter Wesley Stace. Since 1988, he has released many albums under the name John Wesley Harding – the title of Dylan’s 8th studio album.

Brian Whiteside – Photo Twitter

We also hear from Humanist Brian Whiteside about his work as a celebrant and his call on the government to remove the requirement of religious oaths for holders of high office in Ireland.

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The Leap Of Faith – 14th May 2021

The Leap Of Faith – 14th May 2021

On the programme tonight, we’ll hear from Jerusalem, home to Rabbi David Rosen.He is a former Chief Rabbi of Ireland and currently serves as the American Jewish Committee’s Director of International Interreligious Affairs.

The Rev Dr Julian Hamilton joins our discussion. He is currently serving as the Methodist Chaplain to Trinity College Dublin and is the founder of ‘Space to Breathe’, an organisation that brings Christians, Jews and Muslims together.

This week sees the 40th anniversary of the attempted assassination of Saint Pope John Paul II in Rome.Fr Michael Collins recalls the event, highlighting the role of the Pope’s faith in Our Lady of Fatima in his recovery.

Journalist Catherine Pepinster tells us how the Catholic Church in England and Wales is taking the spirit of Laudate Si to heart with a ‘spirit’ of a different kind.

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The Leap of Faith – Friday 7th May 2021

Fr Brian Shortall – Photo Columbabooks

Dublin priest Fr Bryan Shortall OFM Cap talks to us about the re-opening of Churches from next week and how there has been a positive dividend from online worship.

Catherine Wiley from the Catholic Grandparents Association tells us about its Faith Cafe and how more and more grandparents are taking on the responsibility of passing on their faith.

Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri – Photo Twitter

Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri discusses restricted plans for the end of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr, which will be celebrated on the first sighting of the youngest crescent moon next week.

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Leap of Faith – Friday 30th April 2021

Following the tragedy and loss of life at the Lag B’Omer religious festival at Mount Meron in Israel, we speak with journalist Paul Alster in Israel and Deputy Ambassador to Ireland from Israel Mrs Orli Weitzman.

An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman comforts another at a cemetary in Benei Brak, as people attend the funeral of one of the victims of a stampede, when tens of thousands of people were gathered to celebrate the festival of Lag Ba’omer at a site in Meron in northern Israel early on April 30, 2021.

Rosamond Bennett – Photo Twitter

Christian Aid Ireland’s CEO Rosamond Bennett discusses the call for a People’s Vaccine and a commitment to global vaccine equality.

Spanish airforce personnel carry one of the three coffins with the bodies of Spanish journalists David Beriain and Roberto Fraile and Irish ONG chief Rory Young, killed in eastern Burkina Faso, after arriving in the Torrejon de Ardoz air base on April 30, 2021.(Photo – Getty)

We also speak with Archbishop Michael Crotty Apostolic Nuncio to Burkina Faso and Niger about the recent death of Rory Young, a Zambian-born Irish citizen killed on an anti-poaching patrol in Burkina Faso this week.

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The Leap of Faith – Friday 23rd April 2021

On the programme tonight, as more than three million devotees bathed in the River Ganges in India last week as part of the Kumbh Mela Festival, one of the more important festivals in the Hindu Faith, the country has faced unprecedented cases of Covid-19 with a second wave causing havoc in the countries’ hospitals, many running short of oxygen.

Aparna Shukla, a Hindu nurse living in Ireland, discusses faith during India’s covid crisis.

Naga Sadhus (Hindu holy men) take a holy dip in the waters of the Ganges River on the day of Shahi Snan (royal bath) during the ongoing religious Kumbh Mela festival, in Haridwar on April 12, 2021. (Photo by Money SHARMA / AFP) (Photo by MONEY SHARMA/AFP via Getty Images)

The Right Reverend Doctor David Bruce – Photo – Twitter

As Stormont this week debated a bill banning conversion therapy for people questioning their sexuality, we’ll hear from the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the Right Reverend Doctor David Bruce. He talks about his concerns that while protection is needed from coercive interventions, clarity and balance is also required.

Portrait of refugee girl inside a UNHCR tent at the Moria Camp in Lesvos – Photo – Getty

We also hear from the island of Lesvos in Greece, as plans are made for 28 unaccompanied refugee children to come to Ireland. Working at the Moria temporary camp in Lesbos is Philip Worthington, whose organisation European Lawyers in Lesvos was the recipient of the 2019 Peace Prize – Pax Christ International. He’s joined by Eibhlin Byrne, Director of the Irish Refugee Protection programme at the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.

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The Leap of Faith – Friday 16th April 2021

Dr. Amanullah De Sondy – Photo

On the programme tonight, Dr Amanullah De Sondy, Head of Department & Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Islam in University College Cork, shares his insight into Ramadan this year.

Dr. Lorna Gold

Dr Lorna Gold (FaithInvest and Global Catholic Climate Movement) tells us about building a culture of care as we emerge from Covid-19.

Barbara Walshe – Photo

We are also joined by Barbara Walshe, Chair of The Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation in Co Wicklow, who reminds us that there is unfinished business in Northern Ireland in terms of conflict resolution.

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The Leap of Faith – Friday 9th April 2021

Father Hans Kung – Photo Getty

On the programme this evening, John Wilkins, former editor of The Tablet, on the life of Father Hans Kung, who died this week aged 93. Fr. Kung was a Roman Catholic theologian and priest who expressed his thoughts in more than 50 books and countless speeches, advanced ecumenism and provoked the Vatican to censure him.

We also talk with Sean Duggan Head Chaplain to the Irish Prison Service on how his team have adapted their care of staff, prisoners and their families, during the pandemic.

St Colemans Cathedral – Photo curtesy

We also take you to Cobh in Co Cork, where Noel Sweeney discovers how the carillion of St Colman’s Cathedral has been lifting spirits during the past year, as carillonneur, Adrian Gebruers, ensures that the bells continue to ring out.

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Good Friday April 2nd 2021

The Leap of Faith – Friday 2nd April 2021

On the programme this evening, a Good Friday gathering of guests celebrates sacred music inspired by the Passion: Composer Sir James MacMillan, Director of the Royal Irish Academy of MusicProfessor Deborah Kelleher and Choral Director, Mark Duley.

Sir James MacMillan – Photo

Music choices – Sir James MacMillan, Composer:

St John’s Passion: Part II, movt 7, Jesus and His Mother.  Composer: James MacMillan. London Symphony Orchestra.

Seven Last Words From The Cross.  Composer: James MacMillan.  Polyphony, Britten Sinfonia.

Professor Debora Kelleher – Photo

Music choices – Professor Deborah Kelleher, Director of the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin:

Erbarme dich, mein Gott from St Matthew Passion – Bernadette Greevy and the New Irish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by John Beckett.  Composer JS Bach.

O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden from St Matthew Passion – Gabrieli Players, conducted by Paul McCreesh.  Composer: JS Bach.

Passio, Hillier/Hilliard ensemble. (opening)  Composer:  Arvo Pärt

Mark Duley – Photo

Music choices – Mark Duley, Choral Director:

Passion, Ars Nova Copenhagen/Hillier, movts 1&2 (tracks 12&13).  Composer: Schutz Johannes 

Passion, 1st movt, Collegium Vocale Ghent/Herreweghe.  Composer: JS Bach 

Matthäus-Passion, movts  49, 50a & 50b (tracks 20-22).  Composer: JS Bach

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The Leap of Faith March 26th, 2021

On the programme tonight, Eoin Stephenson studied Philosophy and Theology and lived as a Trappist monk in Mount Melleray Abbey but now is an elder in The Religious Society of Friends, the Quakers in Ireland. He shares how his faith allows him divine love and guidance directly from God.

Resurrection and Personality – a public lecture by Eoin Stephenson

Date And Time

Fri, 9 April 2021

19:30 – 21:00 IST

Deirdre Ní Chinnéide – Photo

One year on from the start of lockdown, Deirdre Ní Chinnéide, singer and spiritual director, joins us from her home on Inis Mor to talk about finding inspiration and next week’s Threshold of Hope online event.

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The Leap of Faith Friday 19th March 2021

The Leap of Faith Friday 19th March 2021

On the programme tonight, singer Brendan Shine and documentary director Pat Shine share the story of their Grand Uncle, Father James Coyle, shot dead by a member of the Ku Klux Clan one hundred years ago.

Father James Coyle – Photo courtesy Wikipedia

It’s Naw-Rúz, the first day of the Bahá’i calendar year and we’ll hear from Sarah Sabour-Chadwick on how her faith has sustained her and her community over the past twelve months of the pandemic.

There’s been a strong reaction to this week’s statement that the Catholic Church does not have the power to bless same-sex unions and that it is “impossible” for God to “bless sin”, by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Fr Joe McDonald, of Celbridge and Straffan Parish in Co Kildare, gives his reaction.

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The Leap of Faith Friday 12 March 2021

On the programme tonight, as the Irish Catholic Bishops decide to embark on a process that will lead to the holding of a National Synodal Assembly within the next five years, Bishop Paul Dempsey of Achonry tells us what to expect and shares some of his own personal views. 

Bishop Paul Dempsey – Photo Curtesy:

Fasting and Feasting are two themes around the period of Lent and Easter and we’ll hear from food historian Regina Sexton, a lecturer at UCC in Cork, about the importance of food in Christian observance. 

Regina Sexton – Photo Curtesy:

This week as Hindus celebrate Maha Shivaratri, Swami Purnananda, Hindu Spiritual Director and founder of the Éire Vedanta Society, tells us the story of an Irish woman revered in India as a social activist, who became known as Sister Nivedita.

Swami Purnananda – Photo: Swami Purnananda

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The Leap of Faith Friday 5th March 2021

On the programme tonight, Pope Francis arrived in Iraq for a historic visit today, making it clear that after Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI had to cancel plans to visit the remaining Christians in the country, he would not withdraw from his own trip.

Pope Francis at the presidential palace in Baghdad – Photo Getty

We hear from Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne; given her involvement with Iraq and her charity Amar, she discusses the significance of the visit to a country considered to have one of the oldest continuous Christian communities in the world. Siraj Zaidi who lives in Dublin, shares his views as a Shia Muslim, as the Pope visits four cities, including the former stronghold of the so-called Islamic State in Mosul, carrying a message of interfaith tolerance. 

Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne – Photo Permission

We hear too from the Very Revd Maria Jansson, Church of Ireland Dean of Waterford about how she and her congregation have adapted to worship over the last 12 months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Very Revd Maria Jansson – Photo

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The Leap of Faith Friday 26th February 2021

On the programme tonight, former President Mary Robinson pays tribute to the late Fr Enda McDonagh, an influential and liberal theologian who has died aged 90.

Hilary Abrahamson, Chair of the Dublin City Interfaith Forum, joins us to share the celebration of the Jewish festival of Purim, a time of fun, food and audience participation in the Synagogue, happening online this year.

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow started work as a fish farmer in Scotland before becoming the founder and CEO of Mary’s Meals, a charity that feeds 1.6 million children every day in 19 counties worldwide. On the publication of his new book entitled “Give: Charity and the Art of Giving Generously”, we discuss the changing face of charity in the 21st Century. 

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The Leap of Faith Feb 19th, 2021

The Leap of Faith Friday 19th February 2021

On the programme tonight, as more than 50 Irish faith leaders sign a statement condemning the persecution of the Uyghurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang, China, we speak with one of the signatories. Rev Myozan Kodo Kilroy, Abbot of Zen Buddhism Ireland.

We also hear from Dr Tim Grose, Asst Professor of China Studies, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana in the United States, who shares his insight into the situation in China.

Every evening at six, around 100 people join an online mediation session on Zoom® called Silence@Six. Session leader John Farrelly and one member of the group, Terri Coonan, share their experience of Centring Prayer.

Author and broadcaster Bibi Baskin offers wise words on the pursuit of happiness with

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The Leap of Faith Feb 12th, 2021

On the programme tonight; Sister Patricia Murray, executive secretary of the International Union of Superiors General, talks about the value of discernment of the ministries that are needed in the church today and the role of women in those ministries.

We talk with Vincent Doyle, founder of, a website that supports the children of priests and the ordained. He is the son of a Catholic Priest and author of “Our Fathers” where he sets out how the Vatican might support the children of the ordained

For more information Click Here

It’s the Lunar New Year, celebrated in East Asia and around the world and here in Ireland. Soonie Delap, who arrived in Ireland in 1981 from Korea shares some of the traditions of this spring festival.

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The Leap of Faith Feb 5th,2021

The Leap of Faith Friday 5th February 2021

The Dying with Dignity Bill 2020 recently moved to committee stage and submissions were invited from interested parties. We hear from Professor Max Watson from the Presbyterian Church in Ireland on why they consider the proposed legislation flawed.

We also hear from Dr Gladys Ganiel, from the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast on her research on how Churches on the island of Ireland are navigating the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Journalist Greg Daly tells us of a new digital magazine called Leaven, set to launch shortly, mainly for and by young Catholics in Ireland. For more information go to


The Dying with Dignity Bill 2020 recently moved to committee stage and submissions were invited from interested parties. We hear from Professor Max Watson from the Presbyterian Church in Ireland on why they consider the proposed legislation flawed.

We also hear from Dr Gladys Ganiel, from the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast on her research on how Churches on the island of Ireland are navigating the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Journalist Greg Daly tells us of a new digital magazine called Leaven, set to launch shortly, mainly for and by young Catholics in Ireland. For more information go to


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The Leap of Faith Jan 29th,2021

The Leap of Faith Friday 29th January 2021

On the programme tonight; Saint Brigid may have been demoted by the Vatican in 1969, but she still holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Irish people.

Photo –

Professor Helen Phelan, Professor of Arts Practice at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and Pádraig J. Dunne, writer and director of “The Cloak” discuss the influence of St. Brigid on the work of musicians and artists.

We’ll hear too from Dolores Whelan one of the organisers of the Brigid of Faughart Festival taking place on Feb 1st, this year online for the first time.

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The Leap of Faith Jan 22nd, 2021

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On the programme tonight, both our guests in their eighties, share insight and wisdom from their early lives that resonates today. We are joined by Sister Helen Préjean and Holocaust survivor Tomi Reichental.

In the last weeks of his presidency, Joe Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, and his Attorney General William Barr approved the executions of a record 17 people on Death Row. Sister Helen Préjean has, for decades, been a leading American advocate for the abolition of the death penalty tonight, she shares her views. Tomi Reichental, will next Monday address the European Commission by a remote link for an hour – the only survivor asked to do so. He talks in advance of International Holocaust Memorial day on why we must never forget.

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The Leap of Faith, Jan 15th, 2021

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The shrine and garden on a mass burial site which was formerly part of the Bon Secours Mother and Baby home in Tuam. Photo – Getty

On the programme tonight, we’re joined by three people directly and indirectly affected by the publication of the Final Report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes this week. Limerick writer and Poet Mary Coll shares her poem ‘Laundry‘ that recounts her mother’s experience in Castlepollard. Journalist Alison O’Reilly reacts to the report and recalls her time interviewing survivors and their families before breaking the story of the Tuam Babies scandal in 2014. Mari Steed, born in Bessborough in Cork also gives her views on the report and tells of her adoption to the United States and her efforts, often officially thwarted, to trace her birth mother.

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The Leap of Faith Jan 8th 2021

The Leap of Faith Friday 8th January 2021

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On the programme tonight, we’re joined by the Most Reverend Dr Dermot Farrell, the Archbishop Elect of Dublin.  He talks about his plans for the Dioceses and the challenges his clergy are facing. Also on the programme we talk with Professor John Horne, Fellow Emeritus of European History at Trinity College Dublin and a member of the Royal Irish Academy about freedom of speech and satire, and being critical of things considered sacred. 

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The Leap of Faith Christmas Special

The Leap of Faith Christmas Special

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Michael Comyn is joined for a festive Christmas Special this morning by a host of guests and performers.

Reverend Chris Kennedy (Minister at Dun Laoghaire Presbyterian Church, Co Dublin), Alice Leahy (founder of ‘Trust’ in Dublin – a Befriending Social and Health Service for People who are Homeless), Sister Colette of the Poor Clares, Galway, Dr Sinead McCoole, author and historian; Margaret Sleator, lay chaplain at the Mater Hospital in Dublin and Ellen Coyne (journalist at the Irish Independent and author of the recently published book ‘Are you there, God?  It’s me, Ellen.’ 

Alice Leahy (founder of ‘Trust’ in Dublin – a Befriending Social and Health Service for People who are Homeless)

The Mornington Singers are Aideen Rickard, Nicola O’DonoghueAlexander Jolk and Philip Shields.  The Choral Director is Orla Flanagan.

The Palestrina Choir and St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral girls’ choir, with Choral Director, Blanaid Murphy

The Leap of Faith October 16th,2020

On the programme tonight: would you vote for someone because of their faith and religious beliefs? Labour Senator Ivana Bacik, Leader of Aontú, Peadar Tóibín TD and Professor Robert Schmuhl of Notre Dame University, share their views.

Mahatma Gandhi believed that religion could never be separated from politics. It was not about any particular religion he said, but in general, he believed that every religion is characterised by moral values and ethics and that faith brings a sense of morality in the conduct of politics

On the programme tonight we’ll explore the idea of faith in the public square over seventy years after Gandhi’s death, and nearly 50 years after the fifth amendment to the Irish Constitution removed the special position of the Catholic Church. 

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The Leap of Faith October 9th, 2020

On the programme tonight, Stephen Gillen, who grew up in Belfast, was a notorious crime boss and ‘Category A’ prisoner.  He tells the story of his transformation and redemption in his book ‘The Monkey Puzzle Tree’, which has been nominated for The People’s Book Prize. Author and biographer to Pope Francis, Austen Ivereigh, responds to Fratelli Tutti, the Pope’s third encyclical.

We also hear from historian Dr Sinead McCoole about the life of Dr Margaret Mac Curtain OP, the distinguished historian, educator, feminist and human-rights activist, who died aged 91 this week. 

Dr Margaret MacCurtain OP – photo The Irish Catholic

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The Leap of Faith October 2nd,2020

On the programme tonight, author, journalist and commentator on religion Paul Vallely talks about the history of philanthropy and his new book Philanthropy, From Aristotle to Zuckerberg.

In Galway this week the bells of St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church have rung out at seven pm for seven minutes as the Church celebrates its 700th anniversary. The rector, The Very Rev Lynda Peilow, tells us more. We also meet two remarkable tour guides Shane Howell and Kenny Eivers who bring their insight from years in homelessness to The Secret Street Tours of Dublin.

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The Leap of Faith Sept 25th, 2020

On the programme tonight, Fr Tony Flannery tells us about the latest communication he has received from the Vatican. John Lonergan former Governor at Mountjoy Prison and Hilary Abrahamson chair of the Dublin City Interfaith Forum and chair of Rites and Practices with the Dublin Jewish Progressive Congregation talk about Yom Kippur, atonement and restorative justice. We also hear from Dr Sabina Syed of the Muslim Sisters of Eire who have launched a community support helpline during the pandemic.

Giving food to Dublin’s homeless community at the GPO – Photo Muslin Sisters of Eire

Muslim Sisters of Éire helpline number 085 768 5338

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The Leap of Faith June 26th, 2020

Back in March this year, we spoke with people of many different faiths and none as they shared how their beliefs were influencing their comprehension of the newly announced Covid-19 epidemic.

Tonight they return, reflecting on the lockdown period, as well as looking ahead to the future, as restrictions are being gradually lifted. We will hear from Jewish Rabbi Zalman Lent, Buddhist Reverend Myozan Kodo Kilroy and Fiona English Spiritualist. We are also joined by Claire Dawson who is a Baha’i, Shaykh Dr Umar Al Qadri, head imam of the Islamic Centre of Ireland, 

Hindu Aparna Shukla and Church of Ireland priest the Reverend Gillian WhartonFr.Paddy Byrne joins us from his home in Portlaoise, as does Sikh Dr Jasbir Singh Puri who lives in Dublin.

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The Leap of Faith June 19th, 2020

On the programme tonight, his books have sold over 39 million copies worldwide including Tuesdays with Morrie, The Five People You Meet in Heaven and his latest – an online book ‘Human Touch’ – that has so far raised over half a million dollars for COVID-19 relief.  Author and broadcaster Mitch Albom talks to us about his latest book inspired, during lockdown, by a child from the ‘Have Faith’ orphanage he runs in Haiti.

Mitch Albom – Photo Getty Images

Dr Louise Nugent is an archaeologist dedicated to uncovering the history of Irish saints, literature and pilgrimages. She shares some of the stories from her new book Journeys of Faith: Stories of Pilgrimage from Medieval Ireland, published by Columba Books.

Award-winning Irish filmmaker Campbell Miller tells us about his latest documentary drama that tells the story of another site of pilgrimage, Knock in County Mayo. His production Hope: Our Lady of Knock, was named as the best ‘special or documentary’ at the international Gabriel Awards in 2020.

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The Leap of Faith June 12th

On the programme tonight, we’re joined by the new Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland the Right Reverend Dr David Bruce. He speaks about his hopes for his time in office as the head of the largest Protestant church in Northern Ireland. 

On Monday 1st June, Rev Dr David Bruce was installed as Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland at a special livestreamed event in Assembly Buildings, Belfast. (Photo – Presbyterian Church in Ireland)

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow grew up in Argyll, Scotland. In 1983, a pilgrimage to the Marian shrine of Medjugorje renewed his family’s Catholic faith. It ultimately led to him starting Mary’s Meals. We hear from Patricia Friel, the Irish charities director, on their work during the COVID Pandemic.

For more information on Mary’s Meals Click Here

Hailed by his contemporaries as ‘the divine painter’, Raphael Sanzio of Urbino was, according to biographer Fr Michael Collins, one of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance. As the 500th anniversary of his death is marked, Fr Collins shines a spotlight on this treasured artist in his new biography, Raphael’s World

For more information on free online talks by Fr Michael Collins on ‘Christian Art in Rome’ during the month of June – Click Here

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The Leap of Faith June 5th, 2020

The Leap of Faith Friday June 5th

On the programme tonight, in a week where widespread unrest and protests at racial injustice have been intensifying in the US, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, we hear the voices of two prominent Christian leaders: The Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers (Canon to the Presiding Bishop – Michael Curry – for Evangelism, Reconciliation and Stewardship of Creation) in the US Episcopal Church and Jesuit Priest, Fr James Martin SJ, editor at large of America Magazine (the Jesuit review of faith and culture) and consultant to the Vatican’s communications department. Both express their outrage at President Trump’s photo opportunity earlier this week, holding the Bible, in front of St John’s Episcopal Church, where peaceful protesters had just been dispersed with tear gas and rubber bullets and at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, in Washington DC.

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The Leap of Faith May 29th, 2020

The Leap of Faith Friday May 29th

On the programme tonight, we hear of an option to take an online retreat from Lough Derg in Donegal. The Prior Fr La Flynn tells us how and what to expect. How are you when it comes to following rules, what informs your conscience? We talk from London with author and historian Tom Holland and from Dublin with Dr Fáinche Ryan, Director of the Loyola Institute and Ast Professor in Systematic Theology on the role of religion in decision making.  And, we catch up on the progress of a project to join choirs around the country in an Irish Blessing. Phillip McKinley in Dublin and Fr Martin Magill in Belfast join us with an update.

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The Leap of Faith May 22nd, 2020

We mark Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ ahead of its 5th anniversary on Sunday. Dr Lorna Gold Vice-chair of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, member of the Vatican’s Covid19 Commission tells us about its relevance to a post COVID world.

John Paul II (Karol Jozef Wojtyla b. 1920) Pope from 1978. (Photo – Getty Images)

We talk with Fr Michael Collins, who shares memories of his many meetings with the late Saint Pope John Paul II, whose 100th birthday anniversary was on Monday last. We’re also joined from New York by Rabbi Emeritus Marc Angel and from Dundalk by historian Yanky Fachler as they recall Jewish financial support during the Irish Famine. 

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The Leap of Faith May 15th, 2020

Prof Michael Shannon, Dean of the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at the RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) and David Green, Director of the Florence Nightingale Museum, talk about the spiritual influences on the work of Florence Nightingale born 200 years ago this year. We speak with the new Anglican Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland John McDowell about his background in business and lessons in leadership. Philip McKinley also tells us about a pandemic music project called “An Irish Blessing”.  We’ll hear how you can get involved.

(Florence Nightingale – Getty)

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The Leap of Faith May 8th, 2020

When Colin O’Riordan discovered Victorian glass plate photographs while clearing an office back in the 1980s, they remained a mystery to him until recently. Bryan Whelan, the assistant librarian at the Representative Church Body Library, took up the challenge of uncovering the truth behind them. Together they share their story of coming one step closer to unravelling one of the great mysteries of Irish history – the search for the body of Irish nationalist hero, Robert Emmet.  Also on the programme Jewish historian, Yanky Fachler examines the influence of the Jewish faith on the work of iconic musical artists, Barbra Streisand and Leonard Cohen.

(Photo courtesy Bryan Whelan and

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The Leap of Faith May 1st, 2020

On tonight’s programme, Vesak is one of the most important Buddhist festivals. It is a celebration of Buddha’s birthday and, for some followers, marks his enlightenment. We’ll hear from Zen Buddhist Priest. Myozan Kodo (Ian Kilroy), about the Buddha and his philosophies.

Buddha statues, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, Thailand

Every May 1st on RTE Radio 1, the day is marked by the playing of Canon Sydney MacEwan’s version of Bring Flowers of the RarestRonan Collins, RTE Radio presenter and Dr David O’Shea, Sacred Music historian at Trinity College Dublin, discuss this intriguing hymn and some of those who are associated with it. 

The Irish Chaplaincy in London provides help and support, through an outreach service, to three main groups: Irish elderly people, prisoners and Travellers.  At this challenging time, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chaplaincy offers to assist anyone in Ireland with concerns about vulnerable older family members or friends isolated in London. We talk with Paul Raymond, Seniors Manager, about the work of the volunteers.

This is a free service and contact can be made to the Chaplaincy from Ireland by:

Post: PO BOX 75693 London NW1W 7ZT


Phone: 0044 (0) 20 7482 3274

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The Leap of Faith April 24th, 2020

By Giacomo della Porta – Wolfgang Stuck (Own work), September 2004, Public Domain,

This week as we present you another programme this week, recorded at home. At the same time, we follow the guidelines of social distancing; we are strangely drawn to places and people both at home and away. We speak with biographer to Pope Francis, Austen Ivereigh. He talks about his exclusive interview with the Holy Father and how the Pope is using this time to regroup. We hear from the Chairwoman of the Muslim Sisters of Eire, Lorraine O’Connor on the challenges facing Muslims during Ramadan this year. Sanjay Rawal, the Director of the film 3100:Run and Become talks with us about the spiritual effects of long-distance running.

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The Leap of Faith April 17th,2020

Inis Mor

This week, different kinds of isolation, from that chosen by a monastery of Benedictine nuns to that felt by mariners in foreign ports. We talk with record producer John Anderson from his home in Italy. He’ll share news of a project that will see over 7,000 hours of Gregorian chants being made available to the outside world.

The Rev Dennis Woodward is Chaplain at the port of Rotterdam, and he tells us about the challenges faced by sailors separated from families during the pandemic. Psychotherapist, musician and singer Deirdre Ni Chinnéide joins us from the splendid isolation offered on Inis Mor and the newly appointed director of World Missions Ireland Fr. Michael O’Sullivan speaks of the challenges faced by missionaries in a new world.

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The Leap of Faith April 3rd, 2020

Call to Prayer Palm Sunday at 3.00pm

On tonight’s programme, we hear from Aubrey McCarthy, Chair of Tiglin rehabilitation centre on the challenges for those recovering from addiction in a time of social isolation. The Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, The Very Revd William Morton talks to us about a virtual Book of Condolences opened online. We’ll hear from the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the Rt Reverend Dr William Henry and from the Methodist Church, Secretary Reverend Dr Heather Morris about a call to prayer by all the Christian Churches in Ireland for Palm Sunday at 3.00 pm. Finally, from Co Donegal, we’ll talk with Fr Brian Quinn about the newly installed Stations of the Cross in the Church of the Irish Martyrs, Ballyraine, in Letterkenny.   

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The Leap of Faith Friday March 27th, 2020

The Road Ahead

On the Leap of Faith this week, we hear the voices of people of all faiths and none. They share how their beliefs influence their comprehension of the Covid-19 epidemic. We will listen to Jewish Rabbi Zalman Lent, Buddhist Reverend Myozan Kodo Kilroy and  Fiona English Spiritualist.  We are also joined by  Claire Dawson a Baha’i,  Muslim Shaykh Uman al Qadri,  Hindu Aparna Shukla, Church of Ireland priest the Reverend Gillian Wharton. Fr.Paddy Byrne joins us from his home in Portlaoise, as does Sikh Dr Jasbir Singh Puri.  Sharon Foley is CEO of Irish Hospice Foundation, and she talks about the challenges for those grieving in isolation. Fr Gerard Dunne, Chaplain at UCC, talks about the care of students from home and abroad and their concerns.

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The Leap of Faith March 20th, 2020

On the Leap of Faith this week, Chris Patten, now Lord Patten of Barnes, reflects on the way in which faith has underpinned his entire life, both personally and politically.  He has led an extraordinary career as former Chairman of the British Conservative Party, last Governor of Hong Kong, former Chairman of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland and currently Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

Here he explores the faith dimension, sharing aspects of his life which he has never spoken about before.    

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The Leap of Faith March 13th, 2020

On the Leap of Faith this week we discuss the life and work of Ernesto Cardenal Martínez. He was a Nicaraguan Catholic priest, poet, politician and liberation theologian. We’re joined by Uachtarán na hÉireann Michal D Higgins and Fr. Michael O’Sullivan SJ who both knew the late priest.   

Journalist Paddy Agnew reports from his locked-down location in Rome, and Professor Jim Lucey Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin considers the mental health implications of isolation associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.

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RTÉ is mindful of the fact that, due to their own vulnerability or Government restrictions on assembly, many people may feel unable to attend a place of worship at precisely the time when they may feel most in need of solace, community, encouragement and prayer.

RTÉ will, therefore, continue to provide religious content from a variety of faiths and denominations, on TV, Radio and online, starting this Sunday with an Anglican Service marking Seachtain na Gaeilge with Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise, the Irish Guild of the Church of Ireland, and the choir of Ashton School, Cork. That’s at 11.00 am on RTÉ Radio 1 Extra and Longwave 252 and at 11.10 on RTÉ One television… and of course, you can catch up later on the RTÉ Player and Radio Player.

On St Patrick’s Day, we will be bringing you live Mass on the same radio and TV platforms at 11.00 am and on Raidio na Gaeltachta at 12.00 noon.

Viewers and listeners can also find a link to live DAILY video streams from over 150 churches across Ireland and the UK on our website:

Regrettably, RTÉ’s coverage of Hindu Holi festivities this week was cancelled because community events were themselves called off. Nonetheless, we hope in the coming days to offer content for members of the Muslim community who are unable to attend Friday noon prayers.

And we will be marking Passover or Pesach with the Irish Jewish community and Vaisakhi with Ireland’s Sikhs, even if their own festive gatherings are curtailed.

And of course, we will find ways to mark the Christian Holy Week and Easter, so keep an eye on listings…

And The Leap of Faith will be back at the same time next week, when you can hear an interview with Chris Patten, or Baron Patten of Barnes as he now is, about the role of faith in his remarkable career. 

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The Leap of Faith March 6th

Vatican Radio

On the Leap of Faith this week as the Papal Archive of Pope Pius XII is opened in Rome we talk with Rabbi David Rosen in Jerusalem on what it might reveal and how the documents there might add to or reduce tensions that exist on the role of the then Pope in the protection of Jews in World War II. We’ll also hear from historian  Dr Patrick Houlihan Ast’ Professor of Twentieth-Century European History at TCD who is one of the few people to get access to the Archive.

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights has surveyed discrimination and hate crimes against Jews in the EU.  We talk with Director Professor Michael O’Flaherty on the findings of the report.

And we share a very personal insight into the life of Father Michael Moloney who made history when having left the priesthood to marry, returned on the death of his wife. He would later solemnize the wedding of his own son. 

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Leap of Faith Feb 28th, 2020

View of St Davids cathedral in South Wales

On the Leap of Faith this week Dr.Kevin Hargaden. He is a theologian who works for the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, in Dublin and he’ll share what we can learn from desert monks when it comes to busy-ness.  The Very Reverend Doctor Dean Sarah Rowland Jones of St.David’s Cathedral in Pembrokeshire talks about St.David the patron saint of Wales and award-winning journalist and writer Robert Fisk shares his insight into the role of religion in the middle east conflicts of the last century.

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The Leap of Faith Feb 21st,2020

Peter Owen Jones

On the Leap of Faith this week; we’ll talk with English Anglican priest, Peter Owen-Jones, he’s a broadcaster as well as a priest, and he talks about the contrast in lenten activities by people today and many years ago.   

Broadcaster Kevin Reynolds joins us to talk about Fr Michael Kelly. Fr Kelly is this month celebrated on a new Irish Stamp for his work of over 50 years in the fight against HIV/AIDS in his naturalised country of Zambia,

The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) is an initiative of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. The most recent event was held in Rome last December and spoke with the CEO of Wish Suntana Afdhal from her home in Doah when she explained how the event looked at the Muslim and Christian commonalities in approaches to palliative care.

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Leap of Faith Friday, Feb 14th

Tom Hanks stars as Mr Rogers

On the Leap of Faith this week, our reporter Áine O’Neill reports on the Jewish tradition of the “New Year of the Trees”, celebrated recently in Dalgan Co.Meath as part of World Interfaith Harmony Week. The Rev Chris Kennedy of Dun Laoghaire Presbyterian Church reviews the life of Fred Rogers, a legendary American television presenter. He revolutionised television for children, and his life is celebrated in a new Tom Hanks film A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood. We also talk with Sheik Dr Umar al-Quadri and France 24 reporter James Creedon in France about the French teenager who has received death threats for her comments on the Islamic religion.

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The Leap of Faith Feb 7th, 2020

Sasha Sagan with her father Carl and mother Ann

On the Leap of Faith this week, two of our guests talk about the importance of rituals in the absence of faith.  Ruth Scott is an Irish broadcaster, she describes herself as a humanist and tonight talks about her decision to leave the Catholic Church. She was one of 12,000 people who downloaded a form from to register their intention to disaffiliate themselves.  

Our second guest is author Sasha Sagan, daughter of astronomer the late Carl Sagan who in her latest book “For Small Creatures Such as We”, hunts for the meaning behind our most common, celebrations and wonders how we can grow these roots into new and fulfilling secular rituals.

We also hear from Nick Spencer he is Senior Fellow at Theos, a UK organisation that stimulates the debate about the place of religion in society. Nick was in Dublin recently where he addressed a conference at the Loyola Institute in Trinity where he spoke on religious literacy in the media.

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The Leap of Faith Jan 31st, 2020

On the Leap of Faith this week, as celebrations for the Chinese New Year were curtailed in China due to the outbreak of the coronavirus our reporter Aine O’Neill brings us a flavour of the celebrations closer to home.

We speak with Dr Isabella Jackson Ast Professor in Chinese History at Trinity University for an insight into China’s approach to organised religions.  

As the world marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, we talk with author and historian Yanky Fachler about the imperative for the next generations to never forget the victims of the Holocaust.

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The Leap of Faith January 24th, 2020

Ready for Take-Off

On the Leap of Faith this week, we talk with the Very Reverend Father Bryan Shortall OFM Cap. He is a member of the Capuchin Franciscan Order and Parish Priest at St Francis of Assisi Church in Priorswood in Dublin.  He’s also the author of two books, Tired of All the Bad news and more recently Sending Positive Vibes.  He describes himself as an Aviation Geek, Manchester United Fan and an Emeritus Breakdancer.

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The Leap of Faith January 17th, 2020

On the Leap of Faith this week, BBC broadcaster Adrian Chiles talks about his conversion to the Roman Catholic Church. What motivated his decision and, as a convert, what is his perspective on his chosen faith? 

We also review the latest film from writer-director Terrence Malick, A Hidden Life, the story of an unsung hero Franz Jägerstätter now Blessed, who refused to fight for the Nazis in World War II. Dr Patrick Houlihan Ast’ Professor of Twentieth-Century European History at TCD shares his interpretation of this story of faith, love and religious tension. 

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Leap of Faith Jan 10th, 2020

Three gold crowns, a symbol of Tres Reyes Magos ( Three Wise Men) who come bringing gifts on the Feast of the Epiphany.

On the Leap of Faith this week, we hear from Professor Roja Fazaeli, Lecturer in Islamic Civilisations at Trinity College Dublin, and Dr Joel Hanisek who recently completed a PhD on US-Iran relations in the school of religion at Trinity College Dublin. Reverend Professor Thomas Casey, Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy at the Pontifical University St.Patricks College in Maynooth talks about epiphanies and professional historian Dr Sinead McCoole shares some of the more unusual folklore associated with Little Christmas/Nollaig na mBan.

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The Christmas Leap of Faith Dec 25th

Merry Christmas

On the Christmas Leap of Faith, author Christina Dwyer Hickey, UCD Chaplain Scott Evans Fr Bryan Shortall and Dr Aileen Murtagh join Michael Comyn to chat about the spirit of Christmas past, present and future. There’s music from the Continuum Choir with director Blánaid Murphy provide the music live, and some additional guests will pop in to share their Christmas stories and cheer.

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The Leap of Faith Friday, Dec 20th

Posada Navideña

On the Leap of Faith this week, as we look forward to Christmas, we hear of some of the Christmas traditions in Mexico during Posada Navideña, from UCC’s Cecilia Gomez. Music composer Michael Holohan tells us of the Irish connections to the well-loved carol Angels we have heard on high, and Professor Cornelius Casey from the Loyola Institute in TCD tells us about a conference on Religious Literacy coming in January.

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The Leap of Faith Friday, Dec 13th

The Two Popes

On the Leap of Faith this week, it’s a Dublin Christmas tradition for 25 years, the Live Animal Crib at the Mansion House in Dublin, we pay a visit.

We asked biographer to Pope Francis Austen Ivereigh and Barbara Walshe Chair of the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation to review the new film “The Two Popes”, inspired by true events Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce depict a surprising friendship between the two men. 

And we chat with Brenda Drumm from the Catholic Communications Office about their online calendar that offers resources, inspiration and prayers in celebration of Advent. 

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The Leap of Faith Friday, December 6th

Happy Christmas

On the Leap of Faith this week, we talk with Father Hans Zollner a German Jesuit priest, theologian and psychologist, Professor at the Gregorian University and one of the leading experts on sexual abuse working in the Catholic Church today. He’ll be talking about his work as President for the Centre for Child Protection. RTE Lyric FM’s Eveyln Grant previews some of the musical performances you can hear around the country in the days before Christmas, and we talk with Sr. Colette, Abbess of the Poor Clare Monastery in Galway about the success of their music video Calm the Soul on YouTube.

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The Leap of Faith Friday, November 29th

On the Leap of Faith this week, as we learnt of the death of choral conductor and composer Colin MawbyBlánaid Murphy tells us about the significance of his work. 

One hundred fifty years after “Disestablishment”, the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin and Bishop of Glendalough, talks about the implications of that process on the modern Church of Ireland.

As Christmas preparations begin soon in homes around Ireland, we talk with Martina Maher and Colette Scully about their cookery book, Saintly Feasts, Food for Saints and Scholars.

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The Leap of Faith Friday, Nov 22nd

On the Leap of Faith this week, a sculpture of Jesus, depicted as a homeless person on a bench, was the focus for World Day of the Poor at Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin last Sunday. Our reporter, Aine O’Neill, was there as members of the public arrived with non-perishable food items to be donated to the Mendicity Institution which works to empower people who are experiencing homelessness.

For more than forty years, he’s been bringing us facts, analysis and groundbreaking stories while covering religious and social affairs in this country. RTÉ’s Joe Little captures some of the most defining moments over the past four decades. 

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The Leap of Faith Fri Nov 15th

On the Leap of Faith this week, Rev Prof Thomas G. Casey SJ talks about his new book “Mary in Different Traditions”. We speak with journalists Anne Thompson and Inés San Martín in Dublin this week to speak at an event on Media and Faith in a Secular Age

Our reporter Noel Sweeney was in Dublin’s Christchurch last Monday, as it was transformed into a Sikh Gurdwara as The Sikh Community in Dublin, along with the Dublin Interfaith Community. They held prayers and a service to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak. 

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The Leap of Faith Friday, Nov 8th

Yoga and Faith

On the Leap of Faith this week, Bishop Francis Duffy, Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois talks about a new listening initiative in his dioceses. Noel Sweeney reports from Cork on how Mexicans living there celebrate the visitation of deceased loved ones on the Day of the Dead. The topic of the practice of yoga by Christians engaged many recently. We talk with Father Tom Ryan, a Paulist Priest from Boston and author of several books on the use of Yoga in Christian Spiritual practice and we take a moment to remember Gay Byrne and his television series The Meaning of Life.

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The Leap of Faith November 1st

The Leap of Faith

‘What happened to Father Seán Fagan?‘, the eminent moral theologian and Marist priest who was censured by Rome due to his views challenging church teaching, expressed in his books ‘What Happened to Sin?’ and ‘Does Morality Change?’ Close friend and theologian, Angela Hanley shares the story he was forbidden to tell during his own life-time in her new book, published by Columba Books. 

From prayer to sports, animals to fasting, appreciating ways of living in the moment and adopting certain spiritual practices can bring bountiful health benefits, according to biologist and author, Dr Rupert Sheldrake, who discusses his new book, ‘Ways to Go Beyond and Why They Work’, which is a sequel to ‘Science and Spiritual Practices‘.  

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The Leap of Faith Friday, Oct 25th

Happy Diwali

On the Leap of Faith this week, Colm Flynn reports from Rome as the Synod of the Amazon comes to an end there. Dr Fáinche Ryan, Director of the Loyola Institute talks about Umberto Eco’s historical drama, “The Name of the Rose”, a monastic tale of mystery, and murder that has sold over 50 million books worldwide and our reporter Noel Sweeney visits Diwali celebrations in Dublin and captures the atmosphere of this festival of lights.  

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The Leap of Faith Friday, Oct 18th

Catholic Church of the Saviour also called Xishiku Church or Beitang in Xicheng District, Beijing, China

On the Leap of Faith this week, Fr. Joseph Loftus a Vincentian Priest served in China for 25 years and he talks about the future of faith in China and his observations on Ireland since his return.  

Irene Devitt is a niece of amateur filmmaker the late Fr Jack Delaney, his films provide us with a fascinating glimpse of life in 1930s inner-city Dublin and will feature on RTE One Television at 10.15 pm, Thursday 24th October in Fr. Delaney Silent Witness. Dr Lorna Gold shares her concerns for the environment from the perspective of a person of faith.

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The Leap of Faith Friday, Oct 11th

Lisa Sharon Harper

From Rome, we talk with the biographer of Pope Francis, Austen Ivereigh about the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon in Rome and the relationship between Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict.

On the Leap of Faith this week, Rabbi Julia Neuberger on Yom Kippur and the role of atonement in the Jewish Faith, in a week where two people lost their lives outside a synagogue in Germany.  Lisa Sharon Harper is in Ireland this weekend to address the Rubicon Conference. We talk about her evangelical faith and how, as a woman of colour, she perceives two kinds of faith, thick and thin and how her heritage has informed her faith. 

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The Leap of Faith Friday, Oct 4th

75 Years in Japan

On the Leap of Faith this week, we talk with author and historian Tom Holland about his latest book Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind. In the book, he explores the revolutionary effects of Christianity on the Western psyche. We meet film maker James Creedon and hear the story of Sister Paschal (Jennie) O’ Sullivan, who spent 75 years in Japan as a missionary nun. From Galway, we’ll hear of a novel idea for carbon displacement at the Galway Jazz Festival that benefits St.Nicholas’ Collegiate Church.

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The Leap of Faith Friday ​Sept 20th, 2019

On the Leap of Faith this week, as the programme returns for another season, we look at the role people of faith play in supporting the homeless.  

We hear from  Fr. Peter McVerry, founder of the McVerry Trust.  The Reverend Brian Anderson is co-chair of the Irish Inter-Church Meeting and President of the Irish Council of Churches and  Sister Jean Quinn is the founder of Sophia and an organisation which for over two decades has been supporting people to recover from the trauma of homelessness.  She is also, executive director of UNANIMA International a United Nations based coalition of Catholic religious congregations.


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The Leap of Faith Friday 26 April 2019

Hollywood Walk of Faith

On the Leap of Faith tonight; the Easter Sunday attacks targeted Christians who make up almost seven per cent of the population in Sri Lanka.  Dr Jude Lal Fernando is Assistant Professor in Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies at the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin.  His home town is Negombo in Sri Lanka where an attack on a church during Easter services killed more than 100 people.  Jude joined us to give an overview of the complex relations between the many faiths on the island.  

We also hear about the chance to see the film ‘Into Great Silence’ during Trinity Week, as well as the opportunity to visit the heart of St. Laurence O’Toole in Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin and to take the Walk of Faith in Hollywood with guide April Clemmer. 

This is the final programme in the current series.

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The Leap of Faith Friday 19 April 2019

Good Friday Leap of Faith April 19th

‘Creative Passions’ – A Leap of Faith Special for Good Friday, where Michael Comyn and guests discuss how the Easter story has inspired artists – be they musicians, filmmakers, painters or writers – down through the centuries. 

Michael is joined by Blánaid Murphy, who’s been Choral Director of the RTE Children’s Choir, Cór na nÓg and is currently Musical Director of Dublin Bach Singers; Dr David Shepherd, Assistant Professor in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and Head of Religious Studies at the School of Religion at Trinity College Dublin; Dr Jarlath Killeen, Associate Professor at the School of English at Trinity College Dublin; Adrian Le Harivel, Curator of British Art at the National Gallery of Ireland. 

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The Leap of Faith Friday 12 April 2019

Vaisakhi Celebrations

This week, Sikhs around the world are preparing to celebrate the holiest day of the year, which takes place this Sunday.  Vaisakhi is a festival of great significance for Sikhs because the 10th guru, Guru Gobind Singh, laid down the foundation of Khalsa (the Order of the Pure Ones) on this day in 1699.  Last Sunday, the streets of Dublin were awash with the colour saffron, as around 2,000 Sikhs celebrated with a parade through Sandymount and Ballsbridge, close to the only Sikh temple in Ireland.  Our reporter, Louise Denvir, brings us a flavour of the celebration, featuring music, martial arts and devotion.   

The Jewish Passover begins next Friday, commemorating their liberation by God from persecution and slavery in Ancient Egypt and their freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses.  Amid a reported resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe, an exhibition is taking place in London, tackling myths about Jews and money.  ‘Jews, Money, Myth’ reveals how anti-Semitic tropes have a 2,000-year history and encourages visitors to challenge stereotypes that circulate today.

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The Leap of Faith Friday, April 5 2019

Fr.Pat Collins

Father Pat Collins, a Dublin priest and exorcist, finds himself inundated almost on a daily basis with phone calls and emails from people who believe they’re battling demonic possession. He believes that the Devil is ever present and it’s essential to find ways of outsmarting Satan at every opportunity.  In his new book ‘Freedom from Evil Spirits: Released from Fear, Addiction and the Devil’, Father Pat provides a guide on how to become free from debilitating influences and oppressive evil spirits.

From the cat-cow stretch to the cobbler’s pose, Yoga has become one of the most popular forms of exercise and relaxation right around the world.  Originating in India more than 5,000 years ago, Yoga – meaning ‘union’ in Sanskrit – is a Hindu system of philosophy which encompasses the body, mind and spirit using physical exercises, breathing and meditation.

Could this ancient practice, once the preserve of Hindu holy men, be the key to helping young people combat the stresses they face in a tech-driven world, boosting their self-esteem and mental health?  Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer strongly believes that Yoga should be introduced into schools and he discusses his proposal with Swami Purnananda, Hindu Spiritual Director and founder of the Éire Vedanta Society, based in Dublin.

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The Leap of Faith – Friday 29th of March

Singer-songwriter Omar Simon pictured above.

On the programme tonight, with over a million visitors every year, The Book of Kells is one of Ireland’s greatest cultural treasures and now the world within its lavishly decorated pages can be explored even further through a new free, online course, developed by Trinity College DublinFáinche Ryan, Director of the Loyola Institute, explains how this magnificent manuscript opens a window into medieval Ireland allowing that past to be examined through a contemporary lens. If you would like to find out more information about the course, you can find the details here.

Life has carried singer-songwriter, Omar Simon, great distances. From his childhood spent in the Caribbean to the home, he’s now made in Ireland.  It’s also taken him on a spiritual journey, culminating in his conversion to Islam over twenty years ago. Omar explores this trajectory with Michael Comyn and he dedicates his latest track, ‘Trust in Allah’, which is being launched today, to the people of New Zealand following the Christchurch terror attack two weeks ago.

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The Leap of Faith – Friday 22nd of March 2019

One week since the terror attack on two mosques in New Zealand, a demonstration of solidarity with Muslims is set to take place in Dublin. We hear from Ryma Halfaoui, one of the students organising the event, which will take place on Saturday 23rd March at 5 pm, with the Spire in Dublin being the meeting point. The Facebook page for that event is listed here.

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, founder of the Catholic University of Ireland, which went on to become UCD is set for sainthood.  Father Dermot Mansfield, author of ‘Heart Speaks to Heart: The Story of Blessed John Henry Newman’, sheds light on this man’s remarkable life and legacy.

It’s the ordinary moments in life which help us tap into the spiritual aspects of ourselves, according to Susannah Healy, a psychologist, mindfulness meditation teacher and management consultant. In her new book ‘The Seven-Day Soul: Finding Meaning Beneath the Noise’, Susannah presents seven pillars for a deeper, more spiritual life: generosity; gratitude; forgiveness; patience; awe; humour; stillness.

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The Leap of Faith – Friday 15th of March

The famous Lotus Temple in New Delhi, India pictured above.

As we look forward to our national holiday this weekend, have you ever wondered about the man ‘Patrick’ and how he has come to represent the essence of our national identity? 

Two leading historians Professor Dáibhí Ó Cróinín of NUI Galway and Dr Roy Flechner lecturer in early medieval history at UCD share their respective insights into St. Patrick. March 21st is the Bahá’í New Year and we hear from singer-songwriter and composer Luke Slott who talks of his conversion to one of the world’s youngest religion. 

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The Leap of Faith Friday 8 March 2019

On the Leap of Faith this Friday, as part of International Women’s Day, a multi-faith panel discusses the voice of women in religion.

Our panel includes Dr Anne Francis. Anne is a pastoral theologian and practitioner. She is Director of the Galilee Spirituality Centre in Co Roscommon. We are also joined by Canon Ruth Elmes Archdeacon of Ossory and Leighlin for the Church of Ireland.

Dr Rachel Woodlock, lecturer in Islamic Studies, UCC Cork joins us on the line from Tipperary.  We are also joined by Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger, senior Rabbi of Britain’s oldest Reform synagogue in West London.

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The Leap of Faith Friday 1st March 2019

Last Friday our panel was discussing the Protection of Minors in the Church Summit in Rome, we were yet to become aware of the story unfolding in Australia of the trial of Cardinal George Pell. The news was covered by an order of secrecy which was only lifted with the conviction of the third most powerful man in the Catholic Church hierarchy.  

On the Leap of Faith this week, we are joined from Australia by Dr Ben Mathews. Ben is Professor in the School of Law at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane and he’s worked extensively in the field of Child Protection.  We also hear from Joe Little RTÉ’s Religious & Social Affairs Correspondent on the implications of this conviction closer to home.

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The Leap of Faith Friday 22nd February 2019

On the Leap of Faith this week, some have described the Protection of Minors in the Church Summit this week in Rome as historic and critical to the future of the Catholic Church, others are dismissing the event as a cynical cosmetic exercise.  

Our panel tonight includes Marie Collins, herself a clerical abuse survivor and former advisor to Pope FrancisFr Joe McDonald, Parish Priest at St.Matthews Ballyfermot in Dublin and author of his book; Why The Irish Church Deserves to Die. Crux Newspaper journalist Christopher White joins us from Rome and Professor Donald Palmer an expert on organisational behaviour examines the culture of institutions that have failed to protect children worldwide.

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The Leap of Faith Friday 15th of February 2019

On the Leap of Faith this week,  Jonathan Aitken an Irish-born British former Conservative Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom and a former Cabinet minister speaks to Michael Comyn about his life. Mr Aitken was convicted of perjury and perverting the course of justice in 1999, he received an 18-month prison sentence of which he served seven months. He tells the story of his life that has taken him from war correspondent in Vietnam to television presenter, to a politician to a spell in gaol for perjury. 

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The Leap of Faith Friday 08th of February 2019

On the Leap of Faith this week, we talk with Jonny Woods and Dr Steve Holmes, Head of the School of Divinity at the University of St.Andrews in Scotland about how Jonny cracked a religious code that has baffled academics for generations. We visit the home of Wei Zhang, his wife Anna Weiwei Gon and their son Lucas in Dublin as they celebrated with their family and friends on the eve of the Chinese New Year and County Clare born Fr. Michael O’Sullivan tells us about his key role in the visit of Pope Francis to the UAE and Abu Dhabi this week and the significance of the visit of the Pontiff, a historic first in 1,400 years of Islamic history.

Over the next two weeks millions of people all over the world will be celebrating the Chinese New Year. This year is the Chinese Lunar New Year, the year of the Pig. It is the last of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, the pig is thought of as easygoing and fortunate. 

Clare born Fr. Michael O’Sullivan speaks about his key role in the visit of Pope Francis to the UAE and Abu Dhabi earlier this week and the significance of the visit of the Pontiff, a historic first in 1,400 years of Islamic history.

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The Leap of Faith Friday Feburary 1st, 2019

Sixth-class students Oisín Lee and Sophie Hannon of St Brigid’s Primary School, Kildare Town who made and presented St Brigid’s crosses to President Michael D Higgins and Sabina Higgins during their trip to the Áras. Pic: Kenneth O’Halloran.

On the Leap of Faith this week, Dr Kelly Fitzgerald from the School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore at UCD talks about St. Brigid as an icon of feminism and how she could challenge St.Patrick for the role of patron saint of Ireland. 
We meet some of the children from St.Brigid’s Primary School in Kildare who made and presented crosses to President Michael D.Higgins in Áras an Uachtaráin 
Christina O’Connell Musical Director of the Big C Choir tells us about the formation of this Kildare choir and its role in fundraising and RTE Reporter Ailbhe Connelly tells us about a new mindfulness course offered in Dail Eireann for our public representatives. 

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The Leap of Faith Friday ​January 25th, 2019

Kumbh Mela

On the Leap of Faith this week, Paddy Monaghan talks about his lifetime commitments to renewal and reconciliation among Christians, his personal gift from the Reverend Ian Paisley, and Paddy’s work with the Alpha course. This is an evangelistic course which seeks to introduce the basics of the Christian faith through a series of talks and discussions. We also meet Aparna Shukla who tells us about the Hindu Festival of Kumbh Mela in which Hindu pilgrims gather to bathe and worship in one of four sacred places in India.

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The Leap of Faith January 18th, 2019

Religious Liberty

On the Leap of Faith this week,  as the persecution of people of faith around the world reaches unprecedented levels the programme hears for those who monitor and report on the situation. We are joined by David Turner Director of Church in Chains and Dr.Tim Grose Asst Professor of China Studies, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana in the United States. We also speak with the author of Boy with the Top Knot,  Sathnam Sanghera on his upbringing as a Sikh in the UK, arranged marriage and the rediscovery of his faith. 

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The Leap of Faith Friday January 11th

Halal & Kosher Food

On the Leap of Faith this week, as the Vatican searches for a new Director and Deputy Director of Communications, following resignations in December, the programme looks ahead to the issues that will face their replacements we talk with Paddy Agnew in Rome and freelance journalist and contributor to the Irish Independent, Sarah McDonald. 
As parts of Belgium have recently banned the Kosher and Halal killing of animals we talk with Rabbi Zalman Lent and Sheik Dr Umar al-Quadri about the issue as a possible limit on an expression of their respective faiths.

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The Leap of Faith January 4th, 2019

A Review of 2018

On the Leap of Faith this week, that was the year that was! We listen back to the many diverse voices that featured on the programme in 2018 recalling events from the visit of Pope Francis, the clergymen who are fathers of international rugby players, lessons from the Glencree Centre for peace and reconciliation and a curiosity about the morality supporting artificial intelligence.   Email the programme at

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The Christmas Day Leap of Faith December 25th

Happy Christmas.

On the Christmas Leap of Faith, our panel comes together to capture the Spirit of Christmas 2018, each brings gifts inspired by a conversation we had on The Leap of Faith earlier this year, revealing seven spiritual practices, proven to deliver mental health benefits for people of all faiths and none.  These gifts range from practices such as rituals to pilgrimage, connecting with nature to gratitude. Our guests are Philip McKinley, lay chaplain at Dublin City University and co-founding member of the Discovery Gospel Choir, Aubrey McCarthy, Chairman of Tiglin, Nuala Hayes, actor, author and storyteller, Pat Coyle, Director of Communications for the Irish Jesuits and Frank McDonald, former Environment Editor of the Irish Times and author of several books. We have music from Loah,  Harpist Andreja Malir and flautist Catriona Ryan. 

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The Leap of Faith Friday December 21st

On the Leap of Faith this week, psychotherapist, musician and singer Deirdre Ni Chinnéide, will be playing her music and sharing an insight into her Celtic spirituality.  Deirdre plays music from her album Celtic Passage on tonight’s programme. Sli Aonghusa is a retreat centre on the beautiful Aran Islands run by Deirdre Ní Chinnéide.  During the programme at 22:23 the Winter Solstice 2018 will take place in the Northern Hemisphere.

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The Leap Of Faith – 14th December 2018

On the Leap of Faith this week, the IBU is the umbrella association of Buddhist Sanghas and organisations in Ireland, their goal is to bring Buddhist ideas and principles into Irish society. We talk with union President Rev Myozan Kodo Kilroy of Zen Buddhism Ireland.  Details at 

Also on the programme this week,  Dr.Kevin Hargaden he is a theologian who works for the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, in Dublin. He is the author of Theological Ethics in a Neoliberal Age, and tonight Kevin shares his views on the challenges facing Christians, who he claims, may be distracted by the relentless pursuit of wealth. Details of the book are available here

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The Leap of Faith Friday 7 December 2018

The Leap of Faith

On the Leap of Faith this week, Michael Comyn’s guest is Galway Historian Catherine Corless. This Friday, December 7th she will be awarded an honorary degree at Trinity College Dublin in recognition of her work.

Spending her spare time searching records in libraries, churches and council offices, she uncovered that 796 children died in the Tuam Mother and Baby Home. She talks about how this research has affected her own faith and, her hopes for the future, for the families involved.

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The Leap of Faith Friday 30 November 2018

On the Leap of Faith this week, two different generations and their faith. We meet Fadilah Salawu, she’s sixteen, a Muslim and the first black head girl in her school. She also represented Ireland on the committee for human rights within the European Youth Parliament.  She shares her insight into being a very visible person of faith in Ireland in 2018.  We also hear from Irish Poet, Dramatist and Broadcaster Aidan Matthews who shares the story of his formation as a Christian, from the late 1950s to today, Aidan also reads some poetry from his latest book, Strictly No Poetry, his first collection of poetry in 20 years.

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