Rice College in St. Patrick’s Purgatory
On October 10th a group of 5th year students from Rice College travelled to Lough Derg in Co. Donegal to take part in a two – day Youth Retreat.
Led by John Birmingham, Ellen Chambers and Bríd Ronan, the thirty two boys and girls were also accompanied by school chaplain Fr. Joy Njarakattuvely.
The retreat was conducted by Bosco McShane and Etaoine O ‘Kane from “Síolta Retreats“.
Activities ranged from discussions on the importance of faith in their lives and to the difficulties facing young Catholics today. There was plenty of song, games, reflection and the symbolic floating of boats on the lake carrying their concerns.
Mass on the evening of the first day, the readings for which were prepared by the students, was concelebrated by Fr. La Flynn, Prior of Lough Derg and Fr. Joy. A very special service.
Day one concluded with a ‘sing-song’ and the toasting of marshmallows on a bonfire.
An early rise on day two saw a further workshop and finished with silent prayer in the Basilica, after which we headed back for the mainland and decided that a stop off in Knock would be the icing on the cake. Here the students visited the Shrine and spent quality time in the Apparition Chapel before departing for home.
All agreed that it was an enjoyable, unique and worthwhile experience. It delivered a powerful message in a very gentle way that the Catholic message and significance of the Eucharist has a real and vital role to play in the busy, noisy world of today.
The Lough Derg staff praised the openness and positive attitude displayed by the pupils.
We are already planning for 2019!!