The multi-talented photographer and musician Helena Connolly will launch her debut book ‘Prayerful Ireland’ at the Ardhowen Theatre on Saturday November 3 at 7pm. Hosted by Messenger Publications, the evening will feature live music, an overview of the book followed by signings by Helena.

Helena created the ‘Prayerful Ireland’ over two years as she travelled around every county in Ireland taking photographs and researching the prayer life of the people who live there. Describing the contents of the book, she said: “It is primarily a photography book, but it also is for those searching for 'something more' in their faith. The photographs are enhanced by scripture, old Celtic poetry and my own writing. The book covers everything from Holy Wells, Stained Glass Windows, Prayer trees, places of prayer on the shore, popular devotion and pilgrimage.”

Explaining the inspiration behind her book, Helena said: “I have been working in the area of faith for about 10 or 12 years now. I was the youth director in Clogher Diocese, so I have been very involved in the church in recent years. I have an interest in helping people discover their faith and one of the gentlest ways to do that is through photography or through music, it helps people to come closer to God so I did this through the medium of photography. I really wanted to find a way that would help people connect with the world around them, where they live and also places of local interest. The book really looks at prayer and faith through photography from the very beginning of Christianity in Ireland right up to the modern day.”

She continued: “Faith isn't something separate from our lives, faith is lived every day and this book seeks to highlight how we can find quiet moments of prayer in our busy daily routine.”

A Lisnaskea native, Helena features photographs from her home county of Fermanagh in ‘Prayerful Ireland.’ She said: “The book is of places of prayer around Ireland so it focuses on the whole country, but I did use a couple of Holy Wells in Fermanagh. There was a Holy Well in Belcoo, St. Patrick’s Holy Well, which is a very well-known landmark around that Parish in that area. I also included Lough Derg, which is not in the County of Fermanagh, but it is in the Diocese. Photography from Lough Derg is featured heavily in the book, so that would be of interest for people around Fermanagh.”

It is one of these Lough Derg photographs that feature on the cover of ‘Prayerful Ireland.’

Noting that the book is for “people of all faiths and none,” Helena said: “I have looked at how people can find God in the everyday, not just in a church. There are no photographs of churches, it is not a religious book like that, it’s just a way for people to be brought closer to God through the world around them.”