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The day began with a Lantern prayer-walk to a stirring rendition of I Giorni by Ludovico Einaudi which was played by Ronan McCabe on piano joined by Oisin Walsh on guitar. The musicians from two different Spiritan Schools, who met for the first time the previous day and wearing the SYD 2013 Tee Shirt created by Jack Kennedy from St Michael’s College, set the pace for the sense of community and collaboration that presided over the rest of the day. After an Opening Prayer Templeogue College students led by their music teacher Alan Duff sang ‘Don’t You Worry Child’ which was received with ample applause from the entire room.

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Straight away Fr Peter Mc Verry took to the stage and held 570 16/17 year olds captive by his eloquent telling of an authentic life. The students were enabled and informed by the story shared of people who have for one reason or another ended up on the outskirts of our society, looking in and not meeting many eyes looking out. Fr Peter invited the students to connect with a homeless person by saying hello, a simple acknowledgement from one human to another. In a gentle and non-confrontational way Fr Peter called us to be aware of crushed and often invisible spirits.

Led by Angela Wall, St Mary’s College students filled the room with Oasis’ ‘Live Forever’ and as the group gave it everything the crowd reflected on the lyrics and what they meant in light of Fr Peter’s words.

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Rory Halpin and Miriam Omoro from SPIRASI invited us to imagine a scenario that could only mean great tragedy for any family and indeed it has meant this to Miriam, as a woman from Uganda who has experienced the war. Miriam asked some hard hitting questions that took us out of our comfort zone and caused us to reflect deeply on her experience as a person seeking asylum in Ireland.

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Later we enjoyed the students from St Michael’s College led By Grainne Hughes performance of ‘Stay Tonight’ and then sat back to be enthralled by Dr Tony Bates. Dr Tony brought us through a contemporary and imaginative presentation that both informed us and empowered us as individuals who all recognised some part of ourselves in the truth of his message.

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The Keynote speakers generously stayed for a Q&A session facilitated by Aaron Copeland where the students were afforded the opportunity to ask questions themselves or tweet them onto the screens and the panel answered as individuals and as a team. It was amazing listening to the constructive questions asked about making a difference and the searching questions asked about individual situations.

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After lunch we enjoyed a harmonic version of ‘Wade in the Water’ from the Blackrock Senior Choir led by Una O’Kane followed by a very fitting digital story entitled ‘Lean on Me’ created by Padraig Meredith and his students from Holy family Community School, Rathcoole.

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After words of thanks and great praise from Fr Peter Conaty, the Spiritan Education Delegate, the day closed with a prayerful blessing and a rousing rendition of the Spiritan Missionary hymn ‘Go Ye Afar’.         

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SYD 2013 TEAM:
Fr Francis Toochukwu (St Mary’s College),
Mary Jo Delaney (St Michaels’s College),
Michael Acheson (Templeogue College),
Ciara Jones MC (Templeogue College),
Alan Duff (Templeogue College),
Grainne Hughes Musical Director(St Michaels’s College),
Jonathan Traynor MC (St Michael’s College),
Niall McNally (CAST MINISTRIES),
Ronan Mullen (IMU),
Niall McGonagle (Rockwell College),
Aidan O’ Donnell (St Michael’s College),
Aaron Copeland (St Michael’s College),
Maria McGuill Facilitator (DEA),
Mary O’ Brien (St Mary’s Parent),
Fr Hyacinth Nwakuna (Blackrock College),
Caroline Clarke (CEO DEA),
Orla Walsh (SYD Chairperson).
 
SYD 2013 PHOTOS:
Oliver Doolan, Chaplain (St Michael’s College),

 

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  Spiritan Youth Day 2013 By Ben Reynolds
Blackrock College
   
 

On the 17th of October, 5th year descended on the D4 Hotel in Ballsbridge for Spiritan Youth Day. We had been preparing for the day by learning about the Spiritans in religion class, so we had an idea of what to expect of the day.

Spiritan Youth Day 2012

We were joined by our fellow Spiritan schools Rockwell, St. Marys, Tempelogue, St. Michael’s and Holy Family School from Rathcoole. Buoyed by the promise of a free lunch, we settled in for a morning of listening to guest speakers, including Fr. Peter McVerry and Dr Tony Bates from Headstrong. We also heard the moving account of Miriam Omoro, an asylum seeker, who has been helped by Spirasi. There were also musical interludes, with each school performing a song of their choice.

Spiritan Youth Day 2012

Overall, I think the day was a success. It ran smoothly, which would have been no mean feat considering the numbers attending the event. I think Fr McVerry’s description of life for homeless people in Dublin was the most memorable part of the day. I would be telling the current 4th years to look forward to it. We’ve been there, done that and actually got the t-shirt!

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  Spiritan Youth Day 2013 By Chloe Dougan Rockwell College    
 

On the 17th of October the fifth years of 2013/14 went up to Dublin for the Irish Spiritan youth day. After hearing about how amazing the event was last year, 5th years lined up for a place for the bus, I being one of the lucky ones that received a place.

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Other than organising a bus up to the event the school was given the task to prepare a musical number for the event to perform in front of everyone and to pick group leaders. After many weeks of preparation, each person given jobs and the handing out of t-shirts (they gave us girl sized ones this year thankfully) we were ready for the big day. As you can guess everyone was extremely excited for it.

I’ll admit it, I’ll be the mature one here, the early start killed me a bit inside. Being one of the few schools going outside Dublin we all had to be at the school, on the bus by 7 on the dot, a serious and painful task for me as I was required to be up by 6.30 in the morning. It still hurts to speak about so I’ll move on to arriving at the hotel.

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I speak for all the students when I say were we amazed at the hotel where the event was held for the day. It looked so professional and was very welcoming. We couldn’t wait to get in there, especially since the bus was really cramped. We were all lead in by our leaders, the guys in the blue t-shirts instead of the white ones, and placed into our seats. The musicians and myself placed our gear behind stage till our time came. The atmosphere was ecstatic, from all schools. I thought the way the screens were set up to show the students was very effective and clever; it broke the ice between the schools. The screens went blank after a while and a countdown started which added to the excitement, it showed us that is was only a few seconds till show time.

To start the day off we had a unique opening act. 2 Students each from a different school played a peaceful melody on two keyboards and a guitar while students from all the schools came up to the front with lanterns, it was a magical sight. The staff cleverly put the backing screens to use by playing slides of religious pictures such as the cross, all the small things added to the experience. To kick off the day one of the representatives read out a beautiful first reading about one heart, the topic of this year Spiritan Youth day. We were told by the end of the day the aim was to make all the schools feel more connected and together to one another, no matter the race, gender or School of the student.

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After the reading a collection of 5th year students from each school treated us to another musical number, ‘Come Holy Spirit’, which was beautifully performed. With the use of two guitarists, a drummer and a keyboardist the sound was magical but what really added to the day was the choir who amazed us all with their magnificent voices.

Next we had representatives from each school discussing what makes their school’s priorities are, from their sense of community, to helping the poor, their ideal education standard and their global visions. After hearing about the schools’ interests a representatives from the trust body melted our hearts by saying that our, the students’ best intentions, are their main interest. After this students from each school read out the prayers of the faithful.

To emphasize the idea of being together, being one, we were shown an inspirational video about a Father who pushes his disabled son in marathons as he cannot walk or talk. Together they have complete impressive and inspirational goals such as competing in some of America’s hardest triathlons, and even traveling 3770 miles across Africa together. The son was the heart and the father, the body. It really did show that together we can achieve amazing goals together as a community. It really makes you think about how amazing we can be when we work together. To further explain what being together means and how we, Spiritan schools are connected, our Faith Development Officer, Orla gave a fantastic speech about being together and one. You could see all the students thinking about her words, we were all a bit friendlier to one another after this inspirational speech, we were really acting like a community.

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It was Templeogue’s turn to entertain us next, with their version of ‘Don’t you worry child’. It was beautifully song by the two lead singers and the choir behind, and perfectly backed by the two guitarists, bassist and drummer. We had a very special guest, Fr. McVerry, who spoke about his workings with the poor. He shocked us with facts such as 1 in 70 people in Dublin used to or still use heroin. He also told us things that would break your heart, such as difficult stories of some of the homeless and how the best thing to do is talk to them, treat them like a human being. I learnt a lot from this speaker, things I hope I will do in the future, as small changes we do can affect the world.

St. Mary’s entertained us with a musical piece before the next speaker came on, Rory Halpin and Miriam Omoro. Rory shocked us by getting us to imagine that we were forced out of our country, losing a family member and everything you loved in the process. It was a creative way to get our attention, which he and Miriam had without a doubt. He then introduced us to Miriam, A mother who lost her husband and her children kidnapped by Soldiers in Uganda. She was abducted by rebels in her country and was beaten and abused, what makes this scarier was that children our age were used as soldiers by the rebels, it’s a sick and ill thought to process but what Miriam and Rory were trying to get us to realise was that this type of thing happens. In bad shape she ran to Ireland hoping for a better life, which was denied. The racism she encountered sickened me to the stomach. This wasn’t a story from another country, these actions happened in our country, right under our noses. However there are people there to help, Rory told us about Spirasi and how the organisation helps many like Miriam all the time. The two of these speakers were the most inspirational in my mind, and I’m extremely impressed by how Miriam made such a remarkable and inspiring speech even though English isn’t her first language, she earned all our respect.

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We had a short break and then Rockwell hit the stage to entertain everyone. We had a small choir and three lead singers singing ‘Christ is risen’. With two keyboardists, three guitarists and a bassist to back up the singers. The ash blonde bassist was amazing, I’m not saying that because that was me or anything, but seriously someone sign her up to a record label. One of the last speakers of the day came on after, Tony Bates from Jigsaw. Jigsaw is a organisation which helps teens with their mental health, which thankfully Tony Bates prepared a slide to explain what it is because I was one of the few who still didn’t understand what it is. It was nice learning that there are people there to help us through those days we feel depressed and lose the will to do anything anymore, admit it we were all there at one point. To add to the idea of mental health one of the schools prepared a video/ cartoon with the song ‘Lean on me’ playing in the background, very effective since we were on the topic of mental health.

This next part was amazing, with the use of twitter students ‘tweeted’ in questions to the panel, the speakers of the day, and they answered any queries. Because of this the audience really got the feeling we got to know more about both the speakers and their life. Next sang an acapella music piece. Then St. Michael’s school came up on stage and sang their version of ‘Say tonight’ which was beautiful to listen to. We were nearly at the end of the day as awards and praise was given, students who had popular tweets received a bag of sweets, which was pretty sweet (no pun intended). We had a finishing prayer and sang one of the nicest versions of hallelujah I’ve heard for a while. Then we all came together and sang the Spiritan’s theme, which the lyrics came up on screen for those who didn’t know all the lyrics, another clever use of the big screens in the room.

I truly enjoyed the day and gained some good experience that I hope to use in the future. At the end the Trust body’s aim was a success, all the students were friendlier with one another, and we all went home with new friends. I would recommend any of the following year’s 5th years to go to this event, a truly inspirational day that teaches us valuable lessons in life. I’m still in awe just thinking about the entire day, One of the best trips this year for me. I felt together with everyone there, just like the theme of the day; ‘One heart and One spirit’.

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  Spiritan Youth Day 2012 By Joseph Horan
Blackrock College
   
 

On Thurs 11 October, the 5th Years from all of the Spiritan secondary schools in Ireland made their way to the Ballsbridge Hotel to celebrate Spiritan Youth Day.  Upon arrival, each of us was given a t-shirt with the day’s logo on it, and a mysterious coloured sticker. We then took our seats in the hotel’s ball room which had the appearance of a rock venue, complete with lighting rigs, stage, sound desks and big screens.

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The day began with a musical performance from St Michael’s followed by an opening liturgy which had many students from each school taking part. It also included a performance of the song, “One Heart, One Spirit”, with musicians and singers from all the schools involved.  Fr Jack Meade CSSp, the first speaker, gave a very entertaining speech. His attempt at rapping was particularly memorable. However, his final image of a student’s tragic death was powerful.

After that we had another musical performance, this time from St Mary’s . We were then given a second talk about the work of Spirasi (Spiritan Asylum Services). Rory Halpin, who works for Spirasi, and a woman from Uganda, whom the charity had helped in seeking asylum, both spoke. This was a particularly moving talk as we learned that members of the woman’s family were murdered or have simply disappeared.  We were then given a break for 10 minutes, which gave us an opportunity to speak with students from the other schools.

Spitian Youth Day

After the break, Holy Family performed a song on stage. This was followed by the third speech of the day, which was given to us by Baroness Nuala O’Loan, the former Police Ombudsman in Northern Ireland. She talked about her experiences in Developing countries and particularly in her investigation of the Omagh bombing. We were then split up into different groups and rooms based on the coloured stickers. Here we were able to discuss the lessons and themes of the day with students from the other schools. We talked about concepts such as solidarity and togetherness. Following that, we broke for lunch. Burgers were provided by the hotel.    

Spitian Youth Day

After lunch, we were given musical performances from Rockwell and the Blackrock 5th yr choir.  This was followed by a video message from Leinster rugby players Johnny Sexton and Luke Fitzgerald, who both attended Spiritan schools.  Then the fourth speaker, Greg Fromholz, talked to us about mission and outreach.  He showed us a video of the Hoyt family. It told us the story of a father and his son, who can’t walk or talk, who compete in triathlons together. It was very inspirational. Following that, Templeogue performed a song.  The final part of the day was the closing prayer service, which also had students from each school taking part. Everyone was given a Spiritan Youth Day writband. There was another performance of “One Heart, One Spirit” and Fr Marc Whelan, the Provincial thanked us all for coming.

Conor Meriman

It was a great day, which most of us felt was worthwhile. It was an excellent opportunity to meet students from the other Spiritan schools and also to enjoy their musical performances. The speeches were very good, as were the liturgies. It was a very enjoyable, very well organised day, which I think the students will remember for a long time.           

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Spiritan Youth Day 2012
 
SYD 2012 TEAM:
Fr Francis Toochukwu (St Mary’s College),
Mary Jo Delaney (St Michaels’s College),
Michael Acheson (Templeogue College),
Ciara Jones (Templeogue College),
Alan Duff, Musical Director (Templeogue College),
Greg Straton (SPIRASI),
Niall McNally (CAST MINISTRIES),
Ronan Mullen (IMU),
Aidan O’ Donnell, (St Michael’s College),
Will Woods (Blackrock College),
Fr Hyacinth Nwakuna (Blackrock College),
Fr Marc Whelan (Spiritan Provincial),
Caroline Clarke (CEO DEA),
Orla Walsh (SYD Chairperson).
 
SYD 2012 PHOTOS:
Oliver Doolan, Chaplain (St Michael’s College),
Fr Brendan Foley.
       
  Spiritan Youth Day Guest Speakers    
 


Fr. Jack Meade C.S.Sp.

Miltown Malbay – Co.Clare
Blackrock College -Kimmage Manor -
1969 – Sierra Leone,
1974 – Boston College – Masters
1980 – Rockwell College – Dean of Senior School, S.C.T Coach
1984 – University of Newpart, R.I. Director Of Residence ,
Head Coach – Soccer Team – 1989 – Leaving Cert Repeats – All over Ireland 1990 – Kimmage Manor  - Superior
1996 – Cahir Parish, Co.Tipperary
2003 – Superior  - Rockwell College
2007 – President  - Rockwell College

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Fr Jack Meade
 


Baroness Nuala O'Loan

Baroness Nuala O'Loan is a member of the House of Lords, Chairperson of the Governing Authority of NUI Maynooth, a member of the ICG, working on the Spanish peace process, and a member of the Club de Madrid, Netpluss.  She is currently serving on an independent panel, monitoring the PSNI investigation of UVF murders in Northern Ireland. She was the first Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, and was Ireland's Special Envoy for Conflict Resolution. She has held many other positions and has written extensively on matters of law, policing and faith, and has worked with governments across the world on matters of policing and security. She is married to Declan and they have five sons.

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Baroness Nuala O'Loan
 


Greg Fromholz

Greg Fromholz is a Communicator, Director of 3Rock Youth, Author of bookApp Liberate Eden, Music video Director, Touring Musician. Loves NYC & ice-cream. More info www.gregfromholz.com.

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Greg Fromholz
 


Rory Halpin and Miriam Omoro


Welcoming the Stranger - The Work of Spirasi.

Rory Halpin will introduce the work of Spirasi, a NGO set up by the Spiritan Order to support Asylum Seekers and Refugees, particularly those who are victims of torture.

Miriam Omoro, a client of Spirasi and originally from Uganda, will talk from first hand experience about what it is like to have to leave one's native country for fear of persecution and the challenges of trying to make a new life in a foreign land.

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Spirasi
       
  Spiritan Youth Day 2012 By Liam
Bradbury St Michael’s College
   
 

Spiritan Youth Day by Liam Bradbury, St Michael’s College. Our Spiritan Youth Day was a success. Impassioned speeches from Baroness Nuala  O’Loan and Miriam Omoro were the highlight of the afternoon, reminding us of the overriding intention behind the day.

Spiritan Youth Day 2012

It brought us together with people who we had never seen before and many who we would never see again, yet maybe that’s the point, as it sought to reinforce the idea of the huge web of connections that being a member of the Spiritan family grants you access to.

Spiritan Youth Day 2012

Each school was given the chance to showcase their talents and give a little talk about what sets them apart from the rest of the schools, not in an attempt to illustrate differences but more to reinforce the little quirks that give each school it’s unique personality. Schools brought forward art pieces to highlight a certain aspect of how we fulfil our Spiritan ethos, we were represented by intertwined bands in both the Irish and Ghanaian colours, symbolising an important relationship for our school and for all who attend.

I feel privileged to have been part of such an event and wish it all the best in it’s forthcoming years and beg anyone who can to get involved and just enjoy it.

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  Spiritan Youth Day 2012 By Brian O’Shea
St Mary’s College, Rathmines
   
 

When I think back on Spiritan Youth Day, many words come to mind.  Faith, Celebration but more so than any other, Unity.  Sitting in that hall it was difficult to shrug off the overwhelming sense of togetherness that lingered in the air. 

Spiritan Youth Day 2012

It was undoubtedly this Spiritan Unity that made the ceremony and activities throughout the day such a success.

St, Michael’s College opened proceedings with their bands’ take on ‘The Scripts’ “The man who can’t be moved”.  A prayer service followed as all participant schools had members say prayers and say the core values of the school.  After this a speaker was invited to give his presentation on the theme of the day, ‘One Heart, One Spirit’.

Spiritan Youth Day 2012

Baroness Nuala O’ Loan also spoke at length about the theme and used some gripping examples that really drove home the information on the special bond the Spiritan Order brings to its members.  This was still an excellent speech.

The song specifically written for the day, “One heart, One spirit” was performed by Holy Family Community School, and they received ample applause at the end.

Musical performances by Templeogue and Blackrock College received huge plaudits although St. Mary’s College pipped Blackrock at the post and were the undeniable ‘crème de la crème’ of the musical acts with their take on Elbows 2One day like this”!!!

Activities were done before lunch that brought students from different schools to engage with each other and further immerse themselves in the theme of the day.

Spiritan Youth Day 2012

Lunch was to follow this and everyone received a burger and a baked potato.  It was a good idea on the part of the organisers not to give out cutlery as just like Jesus did at the Last Supper, breaking the bread with his hands, so did we use our hands to break the potato and place it gratefully in our hungry mouths.

We went back into the hall and the schools one again sent up students to say the prayers of the faithful.  An American speaker called Greg Fromholz was really able to relate his speech to us young people via the use of real life examples and by also having a DJ Sam playing techno music softly in the background.

This proved the last act of the day and we all said goodbye to our respective schools with the Spirit of Unity in our hearts.

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  Spiritan Youth Day 2011    
 

On April 7th, our first ever Spiritan Youth day was launched!

We sang with Elation Music Ministries led by Paul Keogh, we listened to an amazing array of speakers from Fr Jack Meade to John Fogarty, from Senator Ronan Mullins to Malcolm O’ Kelly to name but a few.

We had a wonderful insight into life as a Spiritan Brother given by Dr Marc Tyrant who is a doctor in Pakistan, an energising take on faith by Kathryn McKiernan from RTE and Gold medal cross country captain Brendan O’ Neill and a breathtaking view of belonging to the Christian community in the 21st Century by Ger Gallagher and Ger Brennan from the Dublin GAA Team! We prayed with Ronan Barry and Trish O’ Connor who married our 7 Spiritan core values with the 7 moments of Creation in an intriguing video presentation. We heard Eugene Harrington who in his own words in ‘an ordinary person having done extraordinary things’ tell of his Spiritan related aid work in many countries , Tom McCormack share his long standing relationship with the Spiritan schools and Rónan Lynagh who spoke eloquently about his ongoing work with the St Vincent de Paul which began as a student in a Spiritan School.

We invited Luke Fitzgerald and Johnny Sexton to be with us but alas they were training hard for their big win on the following Saturday evening! Congrats Leinster! However, the great rugby players were kind enough to record a message for the students. This went down extremely well and was greeted with thunderous applause!

Spitian Youth Day

The day came to a rousing close with the most reverend Archbishop Diarmuid Martin celebrating the liturgy of the Eucharist. Our students showed a genuine respect for the liturgy and joined Elation Ministry to sing their hearts out. Archbishop Martin spoke of our Spiritan values and how they were at the heart of every student’s life, he urged them to have the courage to be open and stay faithful to this value based system long after they leave school.

To close our liturgy we sang ‘Your Invitation’ our theme song written by Dave Sheridan, a teacher from St Michael’s College.

The day was a great success as can be seen from the amazing photos taken by Miriam Hubbard (one of our junior school parents) and Caroline Clarke from the DEA.  We also hope to add parts of our video of the day taken by Garry Lyons from the DEA.

The Committee who tirelessly worked throughout the entire year for this day were: Sheila Murray, Dave Sheridan, Oliver Doolan, Eamonn Murphy, Niall McGonagle, Marc Whelan C.S.Sp., Hyacinth Nwakuna C.S.Sp., Francis Toochukwu C.S.Sp., Owen Brennan and Orla Walsh.

Spitian Youth Day

The wonderful logo was created by Conor Merriman from Templeogue College and both Conor and all the runners up were awarded on the day.

Conor Meriman

We had a major piece of work undertaken by Dave Sheridan and Oliver Doolan which punctuated our day. This took the form of a School Vox Pop video. All the schools were included and the filming and extensive editing was completed by Dave Sheridan and Conor Igoe, a student from St Michael’s College. These pieces are a great resource now and for the future, they were a huge undertaking and deserve much credit to Dave and Connor who spent many hours working on them. The students who spoke on behalf of their schools were from first to sixth form and were a credit to their families and their schools, well done to all. We hope to have these Vox Pops online in the near future for all to enjoy.

Well done to all and a huge thank you to the DEA for funding much of the day.
Sincere thanks to the Presidents, Confreres, School Management for supporting the day and all the teachers and friends who helped make the day such a great success.

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  Spiritan Youth Day 2011 - Review    
 

Arriving at the D4 Hotel in Ballsbridge, Dublin there was a sense of excitement in the air as the first ever Spiritan Youth Day was to take place. Students from St Michael’s, St Mary’s, Templeogue, Holy Family, Rockwell and ourselves (Blackrock) gathered and it was obvious we did not know what to expect. Soon after, we were all given our t-shirts with the Spiritan Youth Day logo on them and led into the hall. We were no longer identified by individual school uniforms, we were now all Spiritans.

Spiritan Youth Day 2011

As we entered into the hall we were greeted by the Christian rock music of “Elation”, and numerous strobe lights breaking the smoke produced from dry-ice machines – it all leant an impressive atmosphere to the event. By the looks on the faces of some of my fellow students it was not at all what was expected.

When everyone had arrived and settled down, a countdown clock was beamed on the big screen creating a great sense of excitement and anticipation.  Then onto to the stage came the bubbly and excited MC Kathryn McKiernan (presenter of RTE Junior). She introduced the main ideas of the day to us – “Believe, Belong, Become” – key concepts in the Spiritan ethos and gave us some insight into her own experiences in a Spiritan school. The main message of the day was for each of us to “take something home with you.”

Throughout the day we were introduced to various speakers, many of whom had associations with the Spiritans. These included Eugene Harrington, Malcolm O’Kelly, Senator Ronan Mullen, Brendan O’Neill, John Fogarty  to name but a few.

The speakers involved throughout the day were all of a high standard but in my opinion the most memorable contribution came from Fr Jack Meade C.S.Sp.  He told us of his time in Africa, illustrating it with some memorable anecdotes – including a very powerful story of how an African woman had offered the boys he was travelling with some water. Despite the nearest well being some distance away and the fact that she had carried her water those miles on her head, the woman gave freely of her water. However, when Fr. Meade discovered her situation he immediately told the boys to return the water before they drank it. This simple story brought to life the concept of how someone with very little for themselves could still give to others. He also referred to a Fr Felim McAllister CSSp, who was killed by rebels in Sierra Leone, while working selflessly with the poor there.

Spiritan Youth Day 2011

Prayer and reflection was included during the day. Ronan Barry and Trish O’Connor led us in a reflection on the Creation story including thoughts on the 7 core values of the Spiritan ethos. Then to conclude the day, mass was celebrated by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

Overall the day went very well and it is hoped to be continued in the future and lead to a new tradition beginning among the Spiritan schools.

Eoghan Kinirons
Transition Year.

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  Spiritan Youth Day 2011 - Reflections    
 


Scott Keane, Templeogue College:

When I heard about the Spiritan Youth Day, I was somewhat intrigued by the idea.  The scheme of the Holy Ghost schools meeting up for the first time as a large group displeased me but I was later proven wrong as the sister schools got on quite well.  The day started off well especially when we entered the large room and were blinded by the lights and by the upbeat music.

Spiritan Youth Day 2011

The guest speakers were well chosen by the organisers.  I was truly impressed by the preparation of the speakers; they had seemed to have spent a lot of time putting their speeches together as well as the PowerPoint presentation.  Each school was represented by a sports personality.  Malcolm O’Kelly was speaking on behalf of Templeogue College and made the school proud!  The day could have had a few minor upgrades as there could have been some activities to amuse us young adults during our lunchtime.

Overall, I thought the day went as hoped for the teachers and organisers.  I believe us students enjoyed the day out and will spread the word of this annual event to a younger generation.

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Aaron McMahon, Templeogue College:

I was looking forward to Spiritan Youth Day as I had never imagined that something like this existed or did I ever hear of such an event taking place in other schools.  With this, I anticipated the day with excitement and when I entered the Conference Suite of the D4 Hotel, my expectations had come to life.  The music was booming, the suite decorated really well and the huge monitors made me feel like it was going to be a day to remember.

Spiritan Youth Day 2011

I really enjoyed the guest speakers from all schools especially Malcolm O’Kelly as I am a huge rugby fan and it was great to know how he believed in himself and when he said if you believe in yourself you can accomplish your dreams.  It made me believe in myself.

The music was great but I don’t think anyone knew the songs and for me I thought that if the students from all the schools knew the songs they would have stood up and sang along with the band.  The overall presentation was good; I was shocked with all the lighting and decoration being so good.  I personally had a good experience of Spiritan Youth Day and would recommend that it continues for future TY students each year.

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Kyle Roche, Templeogue College:

There were many things I liked about Spiritan Youth Day.  I thought that many of the speakers were interesting in their experiences and ideas that they wanted to put across to us.  I thought that the music played at the start when we entered, and also the lively music played by the band throughout the day was good because it loosened up the routine of the day and made it more enjoyable.  The intervals were much needed as well, as it gave us a change to mingle with the other students from the other schools, more importantly the girls.

Spiritan Youth Day 2011

I think some things from Spiritan Youth Day could be improved.  I think the students could learn more and get more out to the day if we were in smaller groups.  Although most of the speakers were important in the messages they were trying to get across, if there was more interaction or activities which involved the students it would have spaced out the various speakers and enabled us to get more out of the day.  I found people’s concentration slipping as the day came nearer to an end, so if the day was shortened the speakers would have had our full attention for the full duration of the day.    Overall, I thought that the day went well and that a lot of new things were learnt from that day as I was able to take ideas home to think about, and it was nice meeting all the students from the other schools, as it gave us a sense of community.

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