Pontifical Irish College remembers martyr-graduates

Rome, May. 30, 2008 (CWNews.com) – The Pontifical Irish College in Rome is holding a conference on martyrdom on May 31, to mark the first anniversary of the death of an Iraqi Catholic priest.

Father Ragheed Ganni, a Chaldean Catholic pastor, was shot and killed in Mosul, along with three deacons of his parish, on June 3, 2007. Father Ganni had studied at the Pontifical Irish College from 1996 to 2003.

The May 31 conference will discuss the martyrs of Irish and English Catholic history, including St. Oliver Plunkett, who studied at the Irish College in the 17th century. Then the conference will move on to contemporary Catholics who have died while serving the Church, including Father Ganni and Archbishop Michael Courtney, another student at the College who was killed while serving as apostolic nuncio in Burundi in 2003.