By editor - 17 April, 2016
“Young people should be given the opportunity to be Christ’s joy in the world, in their schools, parish communities or in their wider community.”
Over 300 post-primary students from across the Diocese of Kerry will come together for a celebration day in Tralee on Wednesday.
Post-primary schools in the Diocese of Kerry were invited to participate in ‘Ceiliúradh na nÓg’, an initiative intended to develop the faith life of Transition and Fifth year students through school or parish-based initiatives.
Ceiliúradh na nÓg forms part of a comprehensive approach to youth ministry initiated by the Diocese of Kerry.
It is coordinated by the Diocesan advisor in collaboration with the principals, teachers, chaplains and students of the diocesan post-primary schools.
For the academic year 2015-2016, the programme was carried out through a number of stages. The students actively participated in a faith-based programme of exploration, action and reflection.
Some schools choose a parish outreach programme such as visiting a nursing home, getting involved with parish liturgy groups or helping the elderly.
Some schools choose to partake in school centred projects, for example, preparing school liturgies throughout the year or helping organise the school choir for various liturgical events.
The theme for the celebration day this week is ‘Be Christ’s Joy’ which is also the new diocesan logo.
Dr Dan O’Connell will be the guest speaker. He will focus on the theme; ‘Yes to me, to you, to the world and to God.’
Speaking ahead of the gathering, Dr O’Connell commented that ‘In order to ‘Be Christ’s Joy’ in, and to, the world, we need to notice joy in our lives. Joy is not to be equated with happiness or satisfaction.
Rather, it has something to do with noticing our own goodness and responding to the restlessness within our own hearts and to the wounds in the world. It also asks that we notice the joy in God’s heart – for each one of us, we are a source of joy for God.”
Students will present a five minute presentation on their project, they will also be interviewed by Fiona Stack of Radio Kerry. Later they will be presented with a certificate of participation by Bishop Ray Browne.
The day will also include a number of faith-based workshops presented by the St Vincent de Paul, Scala Retreat Centre in Cork, Trócaire, Faith and Drama workshops, Faith and Arts workshops, Meditative Movement sessions and much more.
The Kerry Diocesan Youth Service will also facilitate fun workshops in the afternoon. This event is organised by Tomás Kenny, Post-Primary Diocesan Advisor for Religious Education.
In Tomás Kenny’s opinion, “Young people should be given the opportunity to be Christ’s joy in the world, in their schools, parish communities or in their wider community.”
“People always ask the question; ‘what can the Church do for young people?’ We rarely take note of what young people are already doing for the Church and within our Christian communities.”
“Young people are full of life, full of joy, they have many gifts and talents. This event provides an opportunity for people to recognise this talent and joy within a faith context. It also provides an opportunity for the students to put their faith into action in a practical and worthwhile way.’”
One of the teachers participating in Ceiliúradh spoke of her experience stating that she had it to be a worthwhile and beneficial project for my 5th Year students.
“It provides direct and hands on involvement in faith based topics that really appeal to students of all abilities. It is a well-designed faith development project which will allow one to create a programme of exploration, action, reflection and presentation to suit your students and develop their skills in these areas.”
“It provides great opportunities for group work, peer assessment and faith development in an interesting and thought provoking way. It allows students to explore their own faith in a new and challenging way while developing their group-work, presentation, analytical and research skills.”
The event begins in the Brandon Hotel, Tralee at 9:45am on April 20th and will finish at 2:45pm. For further information contact Tomás Kenny at 064-6630531 or 086 3683778 or email [email protected]