On Tuesday the 2nd of May as part of a religion class 11 students from Grainne 4 attended ‘Munster Youth Day’ where we interacted with groups of other young people in order to discuss religion and faith development. Over 300 students from various schools across Munster attended this event in Mount Melleray. It was significant that the meeting point was Mount Melleray as Saint Benedict is the patron saint for young people.
As part of this event Bishop Caggiano whom grew up Brooklyn, New York addressed all students. Bishop Caggiano was an extraordinary speaker, he was expressive in how he delivered his speeches. He grabbed our attention by making eye contact and animating subtly what he was saying with his hands. His speech was captivating to listen to because of the way he delivered it. He spoke about the challenges that young people face. And if we do not face these challenges, it can lead to addiction and mental health issues. He gave very good advice with a key phrase enunciating 3 key words: Admit it, Allow it, Face it.
We really enjoyed his use of symbolism for example when he brought out the Blessed Sacrament for silent meditation. He reminded us of the importance of silence and reverence during this sacred time. This allowed us to focus on issues that we may have, and to have time to ourselves to reflect on these issues and how we may overcome them. This was effective as it felt more like an authentic religious ritual rather than merely a routine.
It was also fascinating to observe two sisters from Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. They spent lengthy periods of time praying for our intentions throughout the day. Their dedication to prayer for the private intentions of all students present was something we all greatly admired.
Overall it was a fantastic day and a spiritually enriching experience. I would thoroughly recommend next year’s Transition years get the opportunity to attend.
Ronan Keohane, Dermot O Brien, Angelica Kvietkauskas, Cyra Balmeo