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Welcome to my Bio Page. This will give you a brief overview to me; what I do and why …Hopefully!!!
About the year 19**, or more years than I care to remember, the local curate in Donnycarney, Dublin, Ireland - announced that he was hoping to set up a group for young people – especially anyone who might be interested in having a chat about life and things, but with the intention of ‘doing’ something about real life situations.
It was/would be part of an international movement called the Young Christian Workers – (YCW)*. I had already begun to explore my own faith – or lack of it – especially since my Dad had challenged me. I was really sold by the philosophy of the movement - especially the deep belief – which was part of the `Truth of Faith’, that each of us is Unique & Special; in our personalities, gifts etc., beause we are children of God.
Involvement in a small group lead to great fun and also real insights, and it wasn’t long before my own Faith life took off in an amazing direction. Realizing that the Gospel message could really be related to everyday life in our time, and that it is just as relevant today as ever, lead to an experiential relationship with the Lord. For a teen, now 21 year old who had rebelled against most of this stuff, this was quite revolutionary – personally speaking.
Being into music – (piano and mainly guitar) – this experience also lead to my first song: ‘Love Is Patient’ - which was a setting of St. Paul 1 Corinthians ch 13, and the title track of my first album. Because of what I was learning at this time and my involvement in the YCW, I was really helped through various stages of my life later on. In the mid 70′s I had the honour of being elected the first National President of the Irish YCW. They were truly great times.
As time went by, and thinking that I had it made, I began to take the odd glass of wine, believing that some of the troubles I’d had with alcohol as a teenager were just simply those of an immature teen. I was wrong! It took about six years for everything to fall apart, faith – both in myself, others and God/work/relationships and so on. But for the strength and commitment of the people in my life, family, wife and friends, and the support, wisdom and knowhow of the priest friend who first introduced me to the YCW, I probably wouldn’t be here today.
Recovery began in ’84. And the initial stage took about 5 years – I call it the learning to “cop on” period. I was so blest to have a close knit group around me, to challenge and support me through this period of my life. It was also where I came to realise the true value of community, and what surrendering to God, really meant. During this time I wrote songs about the various experiences I was going through. I then took the decision to leave working in, what I would call a `regular job’, and got a job as a development worker with the YCW.
I also began doing some part time retreat work, and really loved it. Over the three years that I worked with the movement and with retreats, the learning curve was a tough one, as it ran concurrently with the first five years of recovery. During this time, my father died, and this also took its toll. Again, through the people around me and the lessons and experiences learned through my own personal Faith & life journey, I continued to grow. And like all growth – one step forward, three steps back and so on.
As my time with YCW came to an end and the retreats took over, – the songs I had been writing, about my Faith & Life journey, became the tools with which I would give retreats to thousands of fantastic young people, with whom I’ve had the privilage to work.These experiences and various works, have taken me all over Ireland, and also to Northern Ireland, France, Germany and Slovakia
And so today, now 25 years or so since my first taste of retreat work, the journey continues. The lessons learned over the years, from the method and approach of the YCW; to – how to bring about change through ‘surrender’, in the Spiritual program of AA’s 12 steps; the application of techniques learned from William Glasser’s Reality Therapy/Choice Theory and more recently Fritz Perl’s Gestalt Therapy; have all had their own `input’ into what I do.
But the real inspiration comes particularly from the power and simplicity of the Gospel message of
Jesus Christ, and the experience of this through the lives of those closest to me. This continues to inform the songs that I write, which are part of the basis of the work that I do. For me, it distills into one Word – Love! And this can only truly be lived & experienced in the Present Moment, or the ‘Now’. More and more, I find the work I do is trying to guide people into an awareness of the Present Moment, for it is in the Stillness, that we can find our true Self and the Sacred Presence, who is God.
As I continue to `grow’ forward, I hope to move more into using the music and songs I write, in getting the message of Hope and Love out to a wider and more varied audience than before – while at the same time keeping my involvement with retreat work across the country.
For contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org web site gerrykeegan.com - also on Myspace and Facebook; or if you like you can follow me on Twitter. I can also be contacted more readily on email@example.com