Read a report and view a gallery of images from the recent Lenten Youth retreat with guest speaker Rnn Johnston (RTE) which took place on 29th March in Mt St Annes Retreat Centre.

Lenten Youth Retreat

On Sunday, March 29th the youth ministry team held their first Lenten retreat, aimed at young people from all over the Diocese and those who work with them in parishes. Rnn Johnston was the guest speaker, invited by the team to share some of his faith story with the group.

Over seventy people turned out to spend the afternoon together in reflection, prayer and worship, and to express their faith through celebration, worship and music. Groups came from parishes and schools, and a number of individuals travelled to join with them.

The afternoon opened with registration at 1.30, and almost immediately, a number of young people with musical talents began to explore the music they had in common, and to look at what music might be used to enrich the liturgy planned for the close of the retreat. While the youth ministry team had planned the traditional ice-breaker session for 2pm, this acted as a natural ice-breaker, and the leadership qualities began to emerge very quickly within this group.

Unfortunately, one large group, who had travelled by bus, encountered a low bridge, and had to take a detour, but they arrived just slightly later than planned!

Fr Liam Morgan, Diocesan Youth Director, introduced Rnn Johnston to the big group. Rnn shared some reflections on his own faith journey, beginning with his involvement in playing guitar for the folk group in his own parish, and moving through his music career, back to how important his faith is for him in everyday life. He used some of his own musical compositions to set the mood for the afternoon, stilling the group very effectively with a repetitive chant that used the words “trust, surrender, believe, receive”, which brought a real sense of peace and stillness into the group, while a natural harmony evolved through the talent of our singers. His clear message was that this peace is the Spirit of God, who is close to each of us, and wants to have a very real connection with us in our everyday lives.

Another message that Rnn had for the young people was that Jesus takes all our fears, worries and insecurities into himself and allows them to die with him on the cross, an idea which led very naturally into the celebration of Eucharist as a group. Bishop Jim presided at Mass, and Fr Liam invited all present to place their concerns, worries and fears at the foot of the Cross which was placed before the altar, and to leave them there. The earlier camaraderie of the musicians and singers really paid off, as the music was well prepared and delivered.

Many friendships and connections began between young adults from different parishes, and arrangements have been made to exchange visits with each other. We look forward to ongoing contact between the groups, and the growth of these friendships, begun in Mount St Anne’s!

Bishop Jim thanked the Youth Ministry Team for their preparation for the day, and thanked also the young people for giving up a Sunday afternoon to attend, and the leaders who facilitated their attendance.

Next diocesan Youth Event – Croagh Patrick

The next Diocesan event will be a climb of Croagh Patrick on Saturday 4th July 2009.

More details to follow which will be posted on this website.

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More information

For more information about the above event and on youth ministry in our diocese contact

K&L Faith Development Services

Cathedral Parish Centre,
College Street,
Tel: 059-9164084
Fax: 059-9164020