Actress and producer Roma Downey has launched her New York Times Bestseller Book ‘Box of Butterflies' at The Playhouse this week.
Launched at a joint fundraising event for Foyle Hospice and The Playhouse, the event celebrated the newest work by the Emmy® nominated actress and producer, who has been creating inspirational content for twenty-five years.
In her beautiful and deeply personal book, with a lovely foreword written by her ‘Touched by an Angel' co-star and dear friend Della Reese, Roma shares stories from her life, alongside quotes, poems, scripture, and artwork that have inspired her in dark times. She generously shares them with readers in the hopes that they might be uplifted and inspired as well.
As a young girl, actress and producer Roma Downey has always seen butterflies as a reminder of God's presence. Her beloved mother died when she was just ten, and she was faced with the challenge of loss from an early age. But she found comfort and strength in her faith and she was inspired with hope by the symbol of the butterfly:
"A butterfly begins its life as a simple caterpillar, creeping and crawling along the ground. And yet that is just its beginning. Through the process of metamorphosis, through the patience and darkness and the struggle of the cocoon, this little caterpillar emerges on the other side as a stunning butterfly, a creature with wings and the ability to fly." she writes in ‘Box of Butterflies' (Howard Books/Atria; March 6, 2018; $24.99).
The intimate book launch, held in The Playhouse Gallery on Tuesday 19 June, included readings from the book by Roma's daughter Reilly Marie Anspaugh, Chief Executive Officer of Foyle Hospice Donall Henderson, Playhouse founding director Pauline Ross, and local performer Mary Murphy. Award winning American writer and documentary maker Mary Pat Kelly hosted the evening. Northern Irish band ‘I Am Worship' and Derry tenor George Hutton performed songs from the book, including ‘Danny Boy', ‘You'll Never Walk Alone', and ‘The Town Loved so Well', finishing with ‘I Am Worship's new song ‘Butterflies', inspired by the book.
"This truly beautiful book is a stunning journey through Roma's life, her loves, her tests and trials, and her faith" Founding director at The Playhouse Pauline Ross said.
"We're honoured to have her home to share this new work with us, to bring her latest creative endeavour to Derry, and as always do so in a way that supports two local charities. This is completely characteristic of Roma, a woman who is an exceptional talent, listed in Variety's ‘100 Most Powerful Women in Hollywood', but also a woman who is a unique champion for our town, a supporter of the arts, special friend and Derry girl at heart."
Chief Executive Officer of Foyle Hospice Donall Henderson said: "We are delighted to be welcoming Roma to her home city, along with her daughter Reilly to launch this very special book. Foyle Hospice is extremely privileged and honoured to have such an inspirational ambassador and supporter in Roma. She epitomises everything that is good about the city's people through her own generosity, compassion and care for others."