Meitheal is a leadership programme which operates in 19 secondary schools in our diocese. View a slideshow of pictures from the leaders training this summer.


Click on link to download Meitheal Information Booklet

Meitheal is a leadership programme which operates in 19 secondary schools in the Kildare and Leighlin diocese.

The name Meitheal was taken from an old tradition in the west. Farmers living in the same area would have a Meitheal every year, the whole idea being that they would work together to bring in their crops. This built up strong friendships and respect among the people involved in the Meitheal.

Our Meitheal programme is designed to educate and empower young people in their schools. The students, leaders and others educate each other through leadership, taking action, liturgy, reflection and evaluation.

All students who participate on the programme have to attend a week’s training course.

This course will give the students all the skills they will need to work as a Meitheal team in their school.

We challenge people to look at themselves, to believe that they are worthwhile and that they have a special contribution to make. We focus on the gold within and encourage people to discover some of that gold. The young people who participate on Meitheal come from all walks of life and different situations. On the training week the young people are treated as equals and discover that they have got something to offer and that (others) their own peers can see good things about them and its okay to be ME.

Meitheal is also about the people in my group knowing who I am, knowing that I care. People experience the warmth, friendship and encouragement I have to offer and know that I am honest with them.

We ask people to step beyond their own needs and to act on the needs of others. On the training week we give the students the skills to identify needs in their school and how to act upon those needs. Meitheal is also about looking out for the people in your group and maintaining the spirit of Meitheal. We also encourage Meitheal students to use their learning in everyday life with their friends, family and parish.

There are many people involved with the programme in different ways, parents, teachers, students and volunteers who work as leaders each year.

The Meitheal programme is the start of a process, the development of young people, it is envisaged that students involved in the programme would later become leaders in their own parish and community.

Meitheal is very much about transformation, it’s about trying to make a difference, to make your school a better place for all.

We don’t look for standards, numbers or results from our groups; we look for groups of young people doing their best, caring for each other and the students with whom they work. Growing as individuals and believing in their own true potential.

Comments from Students at the end of Training

“At first I was very nervous but the leaders really helped me enjoy myself and feel relaxed. I just loved it, I thought I wouldn’t but I really did. Great place to meet friends and I got to know my group really well. Thanks for everything. Really, really enjoyed myself.”

“I had a fabulous time and really appreciated what the week has done for me. I have learnt great new skills which will not only benefit me (us) in the next year but all through my life. I don’t believe that I would have the honour of being chairperson without having learnt these new skills. I can’t wait to come back for the training, would like to take this opportunity to thank you all and promise to store the memories forever.”

“I had a brilliant week. No bad comments to make at all. Everyone is so friendly, happy, helpful and pleasant. Thanks a million for helping me see that I must think about myself and what I hope to achieve in this. The Liturgies and Thought for the Day were great for that. It was brilliant craic, I would advise anyone unsure about going to go as it was a wonderful chance to meet new friends and at the end of it all I’m going home knowing that I’ve learnt things that are going to be of great value to me in the future!! If I get the chance I would like to do anything to come back as a leader as it would be lovely to be looked up to as much as I have looked up to my leaders this week. Thanks a million for the great week, keep up the good work.”

More information

Please contact

Robert Norton

Faith Development Services

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