Youth event to become annual feature

Such was the success of a diocesan-wide youth event held recently in Kilbride that the organising committee has called for the event to become an annual feature.             On Friday April 25th, 580 pre-leaving students from thirteen of the eighteen secondary schools that serve the diocese gathered in Kilbride Community Centre for a memorable day.             During the course of the celebration, students were led in song by the Sligo-based contemporary gospel group Elation Ministries, had inspiring and engaging inputs from Fr. Benny McHale, and testimony from two young adults. The event marked a new venture on the part of the diocese, strongly encouraged by Bishop Jones, the membership of the Elphin Diocesan Pastoral Planning Group and many priests.             Following the gathering the organising committee requested written evaluations from participating students. Over three hundred responded and without exception recommended that next year’s pre-leaving cert students be offered a similar opportunity. The event also received high praise from principals, teachers, catechists and chaplains that accompanied the students.             Last Monday the organising committee met to review the gathering and to discuss the students’ evaluations. The meeting concluded by drawing up a report which has been forwarded to Bishop Jones, the Elphin diocese’s Council of Priests and Elphin Diocesan Pastoral Council. The Report backs this year’s participants recommendation that a similar event be staged next year.   Eight members of the organising committee have also offered to help out again next year – if the recommendation is approved. Bishop Jones and the relevant diocesan committees are expected to respond in September.