WASHINGTON (February 21, 1997) — Catholic and Protestant leaders from Northern Ireland will be in the Washington area for several speaking engagements and meetings February 22-25.
Fr. John McManus and Presbyterian minister Dr. John Ross will meet with several government officials and church groups to discuss the ongoing conflict in Northern Ireland and the challenges the churches face in their promotion of justice, peace and reconciliation.
Their visit to Washington is part of a 12-day tour through the United States which has included stops in Florida and Ohio.
Public engagements in Washington will include:
- Sunday, February 23, 9:30 a.m.: talk at the National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Avenue, NW, Washington.
- Monday, February 24, 5-6:30 p.m.: address the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs, Cosmos Club, Washington.
- Tuesday, February 25, 8:45-9:10 a.m.: lead ecumenical prayers service at the 1997 Social Ministry Gathering, Holiday Inn on the Hill, Washington. The Social Ministry Gathering is an annual national meeting of Catholic social ministry leaders.
Fr. McManus and Dr. Ross also will meet with representatives of the State Department, the National Security Council, the British Embassy and Senator Edward Kennedy's staff.
Fr. McManus is the media liaison officer and dean of the seminary of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Down and Connor (Belfast). He has served as chaplain at the Maze and Maghaberry prisons and as the secretary of the Irish Commission of Prison Chaplains, positions which involved active ministry to republican prisoners. He also has served at St. Peter's Cathedral, which is in a economically-depressed area of West Belfast.
The Very Reverend Dr. John Ross is the former moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. He has served as a minister of High Street Presbyterian Church in Belfast for over 20 years. In addition to serving as moderator, Dr. Ross has convened the church's race relations committee, worked on several missions and development committees and been active in ecumenical and youth work.
The tour is the fourteenth since 1987. It is sponsored by the Inter-Church Committee on Northern Ireland, which consists of representatives of the Presbyterian Church and the Catholic Bishops of the United States and Northern Ireland.