THE WORK of early Christian missionaries on Lough Erne, including St Columbanus, will be the focus of a talk by internationally renowned scholar Dr Enzo Farinelli at Fermanagh House this weekend.
Organised by Fermanagh Genealogy Centre, as part of its 2021/22 talks programme, the speaker at the Fermanagh House event on Saturday will be Dr Enzo Farinelli and will centre on the early Christian Irish missionaries.
A former journalist, whose CV includes former bureau chief at Italian news agency ANSA and correspondent for Vatican Radio, Sicilian-born Dr Farinelli has multiple degrees and was cultural attaché to the Italian Cultural Institute in Dublin. He is currently the director of Casa Italia Cultural Centre in Dublin.
Renowned for strengthening the cultural links between Ireland and Italy, Dr Farinelli has given key note speeches in numerous countries around the world, and has a keen interest in the travels and work of Irish monks.
This includes St Columbanus, who spread the Christian word throughout Europe after spending time studying with St Sinell on Cleenish Island. Indeed, in the early Christian period, with its many island monasteries and connections to many early saints and scholars, Lough Erne was known as a spiritual superhighway.
Local historian Frankie Roofe explained Dr Farinelli, who is a Knight of the Italian Republic and is prior of Ireland for the Knights of Concordia, had been introduced to Fermanagh through the work of the genealogy group.
Mr Roofe explained he had been helping a woman from South Africa reconnect with her Fermanagh roots, and during he course of their investigations the pair got talking, and he was eventually introduced to Dr Farienelli.
“Through her, and through our conversations with one another, I talked about doing work the islands in Lough Erne and the Christian monks. One of them was Columbanus,” said Mr Roofe.
“Columbanus was on Cleenish Island, and went to school on Cleenish Island with St Sinell. He then went to Bangor, and went from Bangor throughout Europe. Enzo is a great admirer of the work of Columbanus.”
Mr Roofe said Dr Farinelli had already visited Enniskillen before pandemic, presenting his books to the local museum, library and church.
Anyone who is interested in the history of the early Irish missionaries is invited to the talk at Fermanagh House this Saturday, April 23rd, at 2pm. The event will be opened from 1.30pm for refreshments.
As places are limited, anyone interested in attending is urged to email firstname.lastname@example.org
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