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The Future of Catholicism and Education in Modern Secular Ireland

Thursday, June 29, 2023

6:00 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT

Catholic Information Center

1501 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20005 United States


The Catholic Church and secular society at large are experiencing unprecedented social and moral transformation in Ireland and throughout the Western World.   This is creating new challenges that require innovative models for Catholic education. In the past, Ireland’s unparalleled influence on Catholic education worldwide was supported by free government-backed Catholic schools in Ireland which succeeded the British educational system. Today declining religious adherence in Ireland, the disappearance of Faith formation from the remaining nominally Catholic schools, as well as declining academic standards have placed transformed Irish society and Catholic education in particular.

In response to these realities , Professor Pádraig Cantillon-Murphy is leading efforts to forge new models of Catholic education in Ireland and beyond.  Recognizing the need for Catholic education independent of the secular state, Professor Cantillon-Murphy and his wife Grace established Mater Dei Academy, a completely original academic model for Ireland: independent and lay-run explicitly Catholic, Cambridge International certified, and classically inspired in pedagogy and curriculum.

In this presentation Professor Pádraig Cantillon-Murphy will provide an overview of classical education in the Irish context, the historical role of Ireland in the global education ecosystem, and address the challenges facing Catholic education and faith formation in contemporary society, explicating the need for a reestablishment of a new academic model suitable for the third millennium.  

About the Speaker

Pádraig Cantillon-Murphy obtained his undergraduate degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at University College Cork before completing graduate and doctoral degrees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He subsequently completed his postdoctoral research through concurrent appointments at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT. 


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