Archbishop and ex Man United player impress Killarney students

Aileen Healy, Rebecca Walshe and Áine O’Connor fly the CEIST flag in DCU

In preparation for the World Meeting of Families in August, three students from St Brigid’s Presentation Secondary School in Killarney attended the CEIST gathering in Dublin where they heard from Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and Manchester United footballer turned priest, Fr Philip Mulryne. Here, in her own words, one of the students, Áine O’Connor, reflects on a memorable day

THREE Senior Student Council members, Aileen Healy, Rebecca Walsh and yours truly, accompanied by our teacher Ms Brosnan, were chosen to represent St Brigid’s Presentation Secondary School at the annual CEIST in St Patrick’s College in Dublin City University.

We departed from Killarney at 6.30am and arrived in Dublin three hours later and on arrival at DCU, we were welcomed by members of CEIST. All delegates then received a very warm welcome from the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, who opened the conference with a beautiful prayer.

The Chairperson of the World Meeting of Families gave a very interesting speech and encouraged students to volunteer at this particular event which takes place in Dublin in August with Pope Benedict in attendance.

We were divided into five different groups and rooms for a series of workshops which gave us an insight into the different clubs and groups in other schools and what they were doing to prepare for the World Meeting of Families.

Archbishop Martin: welcomed students

After lunch we were privileged to listen to Philip Mulryne who told how he was a very successful soccer player, playing for Manchester United, and had everything he could ever dream of having. But the money, the fame and the Ferrari just didn’t make him happy so he decided to give it all up to become a priest. He was ordained six months ago and he now loves his career and what he does.

Hearing his story was one of the highlights of our day as it was truly moving and inspiring which taught us to always do what makes us happy and that anything is possible once you work hard enough.

We arrived back in Killarney at 8.00pm after a great day during which we learned a great deal and we are very grateful that we had such a wonderful opportunity.

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