Bright and early on Tuesday morning our 6th year students embarked on a very special day away to Lough Derg. It consisted of a 2 hour bus journey to the edge of Clogher Diocese to Pettigoe in Co. Donegal and then a boat ride across to the island itself.
This year the “Siolta” retreat team were at the helm and they were excellent. Throughout the day there was time devoted to meditation, discussion, boat building, friendship bracelet making, live music in the basillica and a prayer service at the end of the day.
There was time to pray, think, reflect and work out what the students need to do to make this coming year a success for them. The highlight was writing all their fears down on a sheet of paper and thinking about the support they have through friends, family and from God in overcoming those fears. That sheet of paper was then folded into a paper boat and put out to sail on the shores of Lough Derg with a quiet prayer that all their anxieties and worries would float away with them.
Everyone agreed that it was a very worthwhile exercise and that they enjoyed the time out from a busy leaving certificate year immensely.
“The experience was good craic. We were kept interested throughout the day and learnt a lot. It was great for self-reflection and helped keep our minds of the books.”
“Reflective, relaxing opportunity to do something new with friends.”
“I really enjoyed our trip to Lough Derg. It was such a nice, relaxing day away from the pressures of school. It really helped me to reflect on the past few weeks and to motivate me to do my best for the weeks ahead.”
“I really enjoyed the great spiritual atmosphere of the island and thought it to be an all-round positive experience due to the brilliant group environment.”
“Came home feeling enlightened and truly inspired. A very spiritual, calm and atmospheric place.”