Philomena Lee Project
EVENTS

The third annual Sean Ross Abbey and Bessboro commemorative services will be held on the grounds of the former mother-and-baby homes on Sunday, 26 June, 2016 (Sean Ross Abbey, Roscrea, Tipperary) and Sunday, 3 July, 2016 (Bessboro, Blackrock, Cork), both beginning at 2 p.m. The purpose of these dignified services is to honour mothers and children who died while in the care of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary, and who are buried on the properties. The events are supported by Adoption Rights Alliance and The Philomena Project.

The Sean Ross Abbey remembrance will be attended by Philomena Lee and her daughter Jane Libberton. Both Sean Ross and Bessboro events will include an opening address, readings from now adult children born at mother and baby homes, musical performances, and the laying of flowers and flags representing US states to which many children were adopted. This year's events will also see an unprecedented number of Irish-born US-adopted attendees, many returning to their homeland for the first time.

The general public are welcome to respectfully participate, and donations of flowers or living plants are also welcome. Petals Florists in Roscrea are accepting orders of flowers for the SRA event (contact 50522900 or e-mail eileen.dewane@gmail.com or petalsroscrea@gmail.com for orders).

Although costs for both events are minimal, insurance coverage is required for Sean Ross Abbey. This year, an "information day" will also be held on Saturday, 25 June at the Racket Hall Hotel ballroom in Roscrea for adopted people and their families, as well as light refreshments at Racket Hall Hotel following the Sean Ross Abbey event on Sunday. If you can help defray these minimal costs and support these events for this year and in future, we greatly appreciate your help. All proceeds will be receipted and accounted for, and any holdover funds will be announced and kept for next year's commemorations.

View the event poster for Sean Ross Abbey here.
View the event poster for Bessboro here.

For more information on the Sean Ross event, contact Mary Lawlor, Ireland - marylawlor87@yahoo.com, (011) 353 086 3454140, or Mari Steed, US (Adoption Rights Alliance/The Philomena Project) - contact@thephilomenaproject.org, (001) 215 589 9329.

For information on the Bessboro event, contact Christopher Kirwan, Cork - bessboroevent@outlook.ie, (011) 353 087 7545833.

 

U.S. ADOPTION RIGHTS PROJECTS

The Philomena Project proudly supports clean, unrestricted access to original birth certificates/records in U.S. states for all adopted people. The Project will support no legislation that leaves an adoptee behind, including legislation containing redactions, contact vetoes or disclosures, mandated mutual consent registries or intermediary systems in place of unconditional open records, or any other system that is less than access on demand to the adult adoptee. If your state is currently proposing or planning adoptee rights legislation and you would like to support of The Philomena Project to pass clean legislation or stop Bills that compromise adoptee rights, please e-mail us. For more information on current state adoptee rights action alerts, visit Bastard Nation.

The Philomena Project has submitted written testimony/support on the following Bills and actions:

  • PA HB162: a clean Pennsylvania Bill which was amended last-minute with redactions/mandatory intermediary clauses. Read The Philomena Project letter to PA House members in June 2015. Read the previous March 2014 letter to PA House members. [note: over 100 Irish-born adoptees were trafficked to PA]
  • NY A2901/S5964: a clean New York Bill which was last-minute amended with numerous draconian measures. Read The Philomena Project letter to NY Assembly Members. [note: 517 Irish-born adoptees were trafficked to NY]
  • NJ A1259/S873: Compromised New Jersey Bill which unfortunately passed and was signed by Gov. Chris Christie, leaving many NJ adopted citizens behind. Read The Philomena Project letter to Gov. Chris Christie. [note: 283 Irish-born adoptees were trafficked to New Jersey]
  • Children and Families First (CHIFF) Act: a national Act which would have fast-tracked and opened the door to countless incidents of illegal child-trafficking, rights violations and corruption under the guide of 'adoption.' The CHIFF Act was, thankfully, defeated. Read The Philomena Project letters urging the following to drop support of CHIFF:
  • IRISH AND INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION RIGHTS PROJECTS

    The Philomena Project has written letters of support/advisement on the following actions:

    VIEW ALL BREAKING NEWS

    LATEST NEWS

    FEMINIST MAJORITY FOUNDATION HONORS PHILOMENA LEE WITH GLOBAL WOMEN'S RIGHTS AWARD
    http://feminist.org/globalwomensrightsawards/AwardRecipients.asp

    BANISHED
    http://www.stlmag.com/St-Louis-Magazine/May-2014/The-Banished/

    GETTING BACK TO HIS ROOTS AFTER AMERICAN ADOPTION AS A BOY
    http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/getting-back-to-his-roots-after-american-adoption-as-a-boy-30218730.html

    THE REAL PHILOMENA MIGHT JUST MELT YOUR HEART
    http://www.refinery29.com/2014/04/66982/philomena-lee-interview

    MY BOY AND I'LL MEET IN HEAVEN, SAYS PHILOMENA LEE
    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/my-boy-and-ill-meet-in-heaven-says-philomena-lee-30221220.html

    EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: PHILOMENA LEE ON JUDI DENCH, ADOPTION RIGHTS AND MEETING THE POPE
    http://www.reellifewithjane.com/2014/04/interview-philomena-lee-judi-dench-the-pope-adoption-rights/

    PHILOMENA WINS AT IRISH FILM AND TELEVISION AWARDS
    http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/irish-film-award-for-judi-dench-30162136.html

    BAFTAS 2014: PHILOMENA TAKES ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
    http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/feb/16/baftas-2014-best-original-screenplay-american-hustle

    STEVE COOGAN PRAISES 'THE REAL PHILOMENA LEE' AS HE ACCEPTS THE BAFTA FOR 'ADAPTED SCREENPLAY'
    http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/steve-coogan-praises-the-real-philomena-lee-as-he-accepts-the-bafta-for-adapted-screenplay-30014781.html

    BAFTAS 2014: STEVE COOGAN REWARDED WITH BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY WIN FOR 'PHILOMENA'
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/02/16/baftas-2014-steve-coogan-philomena-_n_4800235.html?just_reloaded=1

    BROADCAST

    LIMERICK'S LIVE – FEBRUARY 5, 2014: News mention of Vatican visit
    http://www.live95fm.ie/news/limerick-woman-who-inspired-oscar-nominated-film-meets-with-pope/17645

    NIGHTLINE – FEBRUARY 5, 2014: “Real-Life Philomena: Journey to the Vatican”
    http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/real-life-philomena-journey-vatican-22387369

    RTE TV, 6.NEWS – FEBRUARY 6, 2014: Footage of Philomena meeting Pope at end of piece on UN criticism
    http://www.rte.ie/news/player/six-one-news/2014/0205/

    WORLD NEWS TONIGHT – FEBRUARY 5, 2014: “Real Life Philomena Meets Pope Francis at the Vatican”
    http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/real-life-philomena-meets-pope-francis-vatican-22384131

    GOOD MORNING AMERICAN – FEBRUARY 5, 2014: “Real Life Philomena Blessed by Pope”
    http://www.hulu.com/watch/593264

    RADIO

    RTE RADIO 1/ THE SEAN O'ROURKE SHOW – FEBRUARY 6, 2014: Discussion of Philomena meeting the Pope
    http://www.rte.ie/radio/utils/radioplayer/rteradioweb.html#!rii=9:20520301:0::

    ONLINE

    THE WASHINGTON POST: February 5, 2014: Philomena Lee meets Pope Francis
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/philomena-lee-meets-pope-francis/2014/02/05/99c46ca6-8e9d-11e3-878e-d76656564a01_story.html

    THE CARPETBAGGER: February 5, 2014: ‘Philomena’s’ Audience With the Pope
    http://carpetbagger.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/05/philomenas-audience-with-the-pope/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
    HUFFINGTON POST: February 5, 2014 'Real-Life Philomena Lee Meets Pope Francis Nearly 60 Years After Nuns Sold Her Son For Adoption'
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/05/philomena-lee-pope-francis_n_4731668.html?utm_hp_ref=celebrity&ir=Celebrity
    DEADLINE: February 5, 2014: ‘Philomena’ Meets Pope In Hopes Of Reuniting Forced Adoption Families
    http://www.deadline.com/2014/02/philomania-hits-d-c-as-pic-subject-stumps-to-reunite-forced-adoption-families/

    THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: February 5, 2014: Real-Life Philomena Meets Pope Francis, Attends Private Vatican Mass
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/real-life-philomena-meets-pope-677324

    ABC NEWS: February 5, 2014: Real-Life Woman Behind ‘Philomena’ Gets Audience With Pope Francis
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/real-life-woman-philomena-audience-pope-francis/story?id=22370079

    NBC NEWS: February 5, 2014: Pope Meets Campaigner Philomena Lee Who Son Was Sold By Nuns
    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/europe/pope-meets-campaigner-philomena-lee-whose-son-was-sold-nuns-n22771

    THE GUARDIAN: February 5, 2014: Pope Francis meets Philomena Lee and Steve Coogan
    http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/feb/05/pope-francis-philomena-lee-steve-coogan

    THE TELEGRAPH: February 5, 2014: The Pope meets Steve Coogan
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/vaticancityandholysee/10620383/The-Pope-meets-Steve-Coogan.html

    KTICRADIO.COM: February 5, 2014: Real-Life Woman Behind “Philomena” Gets Audience with Pope (via ABC News)
    http://kticradio.com/news/world/index.php?more=34613397

    CATHNEWS.COM: February 5, 2014: Mere marketing strategy’: Vatican nixes Philomena
    http://cathnews.com/cathnews/16668-francis-won-t-watch-philomena-says-vatican

    INDIEWIRE.COM: February 5, 2014: Steve Coogan and Philomena Lee Meet the Pope, ‘Philomena’ to Screen in the Vatican
    http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/steve-coogan-and-philomena-lee-meet-the-pope-philomena-to-screen-in-the-vatican

    POLITICO: February 4, 2014: 'Philomena Lee: A mother's journey'
    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/philomena-lee-a-mothers-journey-103070.html

    THE TABLET: February 5, 2014: Francis meets real-life Philomena Lee, subject of Oscar-nominated film
    http://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/405/0/francis-meets-real-life-philomena-lee-subject-of-oscar-nominated-film

    THECELEBRITYCAFE.COM: February 5, 2014: Pope Francis meets with real Philomena Lee and actor Steve Coogan
    http://thecelebritycafe.com/feature/2014/02/pope-francis-meets-real-philomena-lee-and-actor-steve-coogan

    CATHOLIC HERALD: February 4, 2014: Vatican spokesman: Francis won’t watch Philomena
    http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2014/02/04/vatican-spokesman-francis-wont-watch-philomena/

    THE TABLET: February 4, 2014: Pope ‘will steer clear of Philomena and film’s marketing strategy’
    http://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/397/0/pope-will-steer-clear-of-philomena-and-film-s-marketing-strategy-

    THE CLEVELAND LEADER: February 1, 2014: Pope Francis to Receive Private Screening of Controversial “Anti-Catholic” Film Philomena
    http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/22165

    BBC NEWS: February 5, 2014: Pope Francis meets Philomena Lee and actor Steve Coogan in adoption campaign
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26050019

    SCOTTISH CATHOLIC OBSERVER: February 5, 2014: Pope meets with woman who inspired the controversial film Philomena
    http://www.sconews.co.uk/news/34695/pope-meets-with-woman-who-inspired-the-controversial-film-philomena/

    IRISH POST: February 5, 2014: Philomena meets Pope Francis at the Vatican
    http://www.irishpost.co.uk/news/philomena-attends-audience-pope  

    BELFAST TELEGRAPH: February 5, 2014: Pope urged to launch abuse probe
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/republic-of-ireland/pope-urged-to-launch-abuse-probe-29983125.html

    SUNDAY WORLD: February 5, 2014: Philomena Lee today met Pope Francis
    http://www.sundayworld.com/top-stories/news/philomena-lee-today-met-pope-francis

    THEJOURNAL.IE: February 5, 2014: Pope Francis meets with Philomena Lee and Steve Coogan
    http://www.thejournal.ie/pope-francis-steve-coogan-philomena-1301125-Feb2014/

    VATICANINSIDER.COM: February 5, 2014: Oscar-nominated film subject, Philomena Lee, meets Pope Francis
    http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/news/detail/articolo/31856/

    GAZZETTADELSUD.COM: February 5, 2014: Pope meets subject of Oscar-nominated film on adoption
    http://www.gazzettadelsud.it/news/english/78859/Pope-meets-subject-of-Oscar-nominated-film-on-adoption.html

    IRISHCENTRAL.COM: February 4, 2014: Pope Francis invited to private screening of ‘Philomena’
    http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Pope-Francis-invited-to-private-screening-of-Philomena.html

    ZENIT.ORG: February 4, 2014: Vatican Spokesman Says Pope Will Not See ‘Philomena’
    http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/vatican-spokesman-says-pope-will-not-see-philomena

    THE TIMES OF INDIA: February 3, 2014: Pope invited to watch film criticizing Catholic Church
    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2014-02-03/uk/46961946_1_pope-francis-adoption-records-philomena-lee

    BBC.CO.UK: February 5, 2014: Steve Coogan and Philomena Lee meet Pope Francis 
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-26049000

    IRISH TIMES BLOG: February 5, 2014
    http://liveblog.irishtimes.com/28615ff3ce/LIVE-The-Daily-Wire/

    THE IRISH POST: February 5, 2014: Philomena meets Pope Francis at the Vatican
    http://www.irishpost.co.uk/news/philomena-attends-audience-pope

    THE IRISH WORLD: February 5, 2014: Pope meets with Philomena Lee
    http://www.theirishworld.com/?p=6231

    THE WASHINGTON POST: February 5, 2014: The real Philomena Lee finds Hollywood ending to adoption story
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-real-philomena-lee-finds-hollywood-ending-to-adoption-story/2014/02/04/a907b510-8db7-11e3-95dd-36ff657a4dae_story.html?tid=hpModule_d39b60e8-8691-11e2-9d71-f0feafdd1394

    ASSOCIATED PRESS – FEBRUARY 6, 2014: “Inspiration for ‘Philomena’ doesn’t blame church”
    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/inspiration-philomena-doesnt-blame-church

    HUFFINGTON POST – FEBRUARY 6, 2014: “’Philomena’ Namesake Doesn’t Blame Catholic Church for Her Ordeal”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/06/philomena-catholic-church_n_4739306.html?utm_hp_ref=entertainment

    NEW YORK TIMES – FEBRUARY 6, 2014: “Inspiration for ‘Philomena’ doesn’t blame church”
    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2014/02/06/world/europe/ap-eu-rel-vatican-un-abuse.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0

    YAHOO! – FEBRUARY 6, 2014: “Inspiration for ‘Philomena’ doesn’t blame church”
    http://news.yahoo.com/inspiration-quot-philomena-quot-doesn-39-t-blame-143353993.html

    CBS NEWS – FEBRUARY 6, 2014: “Philomena inspiration doesn’t blame Vatican for forced adoption”
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/philomena-inspiration-doesnt-blame-vatican-for-forced-adoption/

    THE GUARDIAN – FEBRUARY 6, 2014: “Philomena Lee on meeting the Pope: 'Those nuns would be jealous now'” by Catherine Shoard
    http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/feb/06/steve-coogan-pope-francis-philomena-lee

    REUTERS – FEBRUARY 6, 2014: “The real-life Philomena meets pope, says all is forgiven” by Philip Pullella
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/02/06/us-philomena-pope-idUKBREA151DK20140206

    [Back to top]

    THE LATE LATE SHOW
    Philomena Lee, her daughter Jane Libberton, Martin Sixsmith, and The Adoption Rights Alliance’s Susan Lohan on RTE TV’s The Late Late Show
    http://www.rte.ie/tv/latelate/
     
    THE IRISH INDEPENDENT
    Philomena urges State to re-examine adoption law
    January 25, 2014 https://app.box.com/s/nesvrck8omf9o0ekywrg 
     
    BBCNEWS.CO.UK
    Philomena Lee campaigns to release secret adoption files
    January 25, 2014
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25894377
     
    IRISHTIMES.COM
    Philomena Lee forgives nuns but never forgets her son
    January 25, 2014
    Link to print: https://app.box.com/s/qze8081xlcy2edszh18y 
    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/philomena-lee-forgives-nuns-but-never-forgets-her-son-1.1667636
     
    INDEPENDENT.IE
    Philomena's prayer for a lost son

    January 26, 2014
    http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/philomenas-prayer-for-a-lost-son-29950790.html
     
    THE INDEPENDENT
    There Was So Much Shame I Didn’t Speak for 50 Years
    January 25, 2014
    See Attachment.
     
    IRISHEXAMINER.COM
    Philomena Project to help adoptees find families
    January 23, 2014
    http://www.irishexaminer.com/archives/2014/0123/ireland/philomena-project-to-help-adoptees-find-families-256248.html
     
    INDEPENDENT.CO.UK
    Philomena Lee's tragic tale was made into a film starring Judi Dench - but her battle continues
    January 24, 2014
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/philomena-lees-tragic-tale-was-made-into-a-film-starring-judi-dench--but-her-battle-continues-9084154.html
     
    IRISH DAILY MAIL
    Philomena campaigns to open archives of adoptions
    January 25, 2014
    Link to print: https://app.box.com/s/4mkp97hnv8fqneb3wv7h 
     
    THE SUNDAY INDEPENDENT
    I Say Prayers for My Lost Son Every Day—Philomena
    January 26, 2014
    Link to print: https://app.box.com/s/ptof1ldrixr6192pviok

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