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Sean O’Rourke launches “Dipping into Lent” in DIT Bolton Street

Posted: 5 February, 2018

Well-known broadcaster Sean O’Rourke was guest of honour in DIT Bolton Street on February 1st to launch a new book by Fr Alan Hilliard, Head of the Pastoral and Chaplaincy Service at DIT.

Sean O'Rourke speaking at the launch of "Dipping into Lent" by Fr Alan Hilliard.

Opening the event, MC Dr Brian Gormley called on the President, Professor Brian Norton to welcome the large attendance to DIT. Professor Norton congratulated author Alan Hilliard on assembling what he described as a thought-provoking series of reflections that are both highly accessible and insightful.  Student Anne Marie Kelly then extended a welcome on behalf of the students in DIT Bolton Street.

 Sean O’Rourke said the title ‘Dipping into Lent’ perfectly described the way the book invites you to dip in to explore some of the forty short reflections that touch on a diverse range of topics.  The topics include an intriguing index of hashtags - from #detox to #impressionist to #one_of_our_own – and the reflections are accompanied by quotes from philosophers, songwriters, popes, saints and scholars.  The book is illustrated throughout by photos taken by the author. 

Building on the title, O’Rourke interviewed a panel of eight students and invited each of them to say something about themselves and to select a piece from the book and to say why it was relevant to them.  Their responses ranged from the spiritual connection to the pragmatic to the humorous, but all of them warmly recommended the book as a source of accessible wisdom and reassurance.

Thanking the publisher Messenger Publications Ltd for asking him to write the book, Alan Hilliard dedicated it to the students and staff whom he encounters on a daily basis in his role as Chaplain in DIT.  “Their many and varied situations have encouraged me to dip more deeply into the mystery we call life.  I am continually challenged but continually refreshed by their presence.”

Annabel O’Keeffe spoke about a youth programme promoting emotional, spiritual and mental well-being, developed and run in The Sanctuary. She explained that proceeds from the sale of Dipping into Lent will go towards the costs of running the programme. 

The event finished with a reading selected by special guest Norah Casey and explaining what it meant to her.  She was accompanied by classical guitarist Hilke Billerbeck, from the Conservatory of Music in Hamburg.

Copies of Dipping into Lent are available from or for further information; please contact

{L-R} Professor Brian Norton, Fr Alan Hilliard and Sean O'Rourke 

Norah Casey speaks about "Dipping into Lent."

DIT students and staff pictured with Sean O'Rourke.