Papal Cross Candidates Visit Clare Island
A group of 20 people visited Clare Island on Saturday September 27th on the invitation of the young people of the Island community. Among the group were 12 Papal Cross candidates from the five parishes of Claremorris, Crossboyne, Kilvine, Williamstown and Westport. These candidates, the majority of whom are in their Leaving Cert year, are in the process of completing 26 weeks of involvement in their local Parish, having already completed the required hours for the John Paul II Gold Medal award in previous years.
The visitors were welcomed at the beginning of a special midday mass in the Sacred Heart Church by Jack Pinder who is a resident of the Island and a student at Sancta Maria College Louisburgh. The young people of the island had organized the various parts of the mass including the music, readings and prayers of the faithful. The visitors also played their part with Patrick Murray of Williamstown, a Leaving Cert student at Glenamaddy Community School addressing the congregation about his experience of the Papal Cross workin his local parish.
After the Mass, Máirtin Moran of Clare Island then gave a guided tour of the Abbey adjacent to the Church before refreshments were served in the Island’s Community Centre. Weather conditions were ideal with autumn sunshine and temperatures in the low twenties. Mixed teams of islanders and visitors were formed for the treasure hunt that took the participants to various parts of the Island including GráinneUaile’s Castle and the old Cistercian Abbey, the Sacred Heart Church,and the local cemetery.
The day concluded with a short facilitated discussion led by Diocesan Youth Director Trish O Brien on the different experience of Parish life on the island when compared with the mainland as well as the contrasting experience of faith for young people today when compared to the faith life of their parents.
There was a short soccer match on the beach before the visitors made their return journey to Roonagh aboard the Clew Bay Queen. Thanks to the youth of Clare Island for their invitation as well as their welcome and hospitality to the representatives from various parishes throughout the diocese. Each of the candidates hopes to complete the required parish hours and the various written assignments before November 5th when the awards ceremony is due to take place in the Cathedral.
[Thanks to Roy Hession of St. Colman’s College for the attached photographs.]