2018 February

Blessed with a blue sky, we began the Young Adults Weekend in Dublin with 9.30 am Mass, followed by a hastily taken brunch in the newly refurbished Hall. While we sat eating we could occasionally see through the windows the good people of St John’s already hard at work getting the Church and grounds ready for the next day’s festivities and making us all feel “disappointed” that we were otherwise occupied for the day!

Hunger satisfied, we set off for the day’s premier activity; the long anticipated Adventure Rooms that were situated in the centre of our fair capital. After the usual traditional confusion surrounding departure, we finally arrived at our intended destination and entered through the door of what looked like an ordinary city building. Once inside however, we were divided into four teams - two per floor - with each team being locked into a different room.  And so the Great Escape began; each room containing a series of puzzles to solve in order to discover the coordinates for padlocks that would reveal the next task.  Time was of the essence; everything had to be investigated. And as the seconds ticked down, we all went into metal overdrive trying to beat the clock. The net result? The Winners lost, the Dream Team fell asleep, leaving the Pumpkins to top the great Swiss mountain and the Globetrotters to proudly embrace winning the World cup!

Exhilarated by our morning of mayhem and mystery, we rendezvoused back to camp for instruction with Fr. Ockerse who, taking a slightly different approach, asked us to discuss our various experiences in defending the faith in the work place and college. This was very informative as everyone got the opportunity to ask Father questions and receive good advice in return.

Following on from this we adjourned to the chapel for the Rosary before tucking in to some delicious pizzas and (in the opinion of some) maltreated custard for desert. Then with clean-up finished, the instruments came out, and we all settled down for an evening of music, singing and a quiz on different aspects of the faith. Once again we were split into teams, each group taking it in turn to answer the questions of the opposing team and striving to get the most correct answers within a “set” time limit!  This was checkered with music and singing resulting in a very lively time!

Finally, with the evening drawing on and a busy morrow ahead we all eventually went our separate ways, some heading to a hostel in Wicklow, while others were directed to the mysterious and illusive “Clinkers Crescent”!

Sunday morning dawned bright and clear as befits the great Feast of Christ the King and by ten o’clock we had all reconvened at the Church for serving and choir practise. At eleven we had a sung mass during which Father Griego gave a sermon on the need to spread devotion to Our Lord and publicly proclaim Him as our King.  Whereby in the spirit of Father’s sermon, we processed outside with The Sacred Host before concluding the ceremony with Benediction.

Then came the Parish Party! A buffet styled luncheon with loads of sausage rolls, mixed salads, and peppered chicken together with the royal centre piece: a stunning chocolate layered cake crafted in the shape of Our Lord’s divine crown.  A very fitting desert to indulge in while enjoying the impressive revelry of Irish dancing, the Comhaltas Chríost Rí von trapp singers and an array of talented musicians including Father on his guitar.

The weekend finished with a scenic walk in Killiney Hill Park overlooking the sea, where Father Ockerse introduced us to the “Save the Eighth” initiative, a prayer crusade against the evil of abortion. Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus Imperat!

Thank you one and all for a great week-end!    By Seán and Catherine Hogan