Stepping into Secondary Schools

Last week, Teach Bhríde embarked on a new adventure. Because everyone else was occupied by one thing or another, I got to do the adventuring! I’m talking about connecting with a secondary school in Wexford. As many of our readers know, it has long been a goal of Teach Bhríde to work with secondary school aged young people (that is, ages 13-18). Initially the fact that no secondary schools lie within the geographical boundaries of Clonard Parish presented a challenge. This year, we’ve been making an effort to welcome secondary school students into the parish through the weekly youth choir rehearsals and monthly youth group meetings. And, this year, Clonard has a connection with Wexford Vocational School (commonly known as “The Tech”) where our own Fr. James Cullen serves as chaplain! I was there twice in the last week, to meet the teachers and tell some students about the youth group. Many graduates of Kennedy Park and Scoil Mhuire were excited that those things were continuing, and they all say hello to the past Teach Bhríde volunteers!

The youth choir sang beautifully at Mass on Saturday. Our number has grown to 9 over the last month in that group (and that’s not counting the four of us)! At the same Mass, the 6th class students at Kennedy Park responded when their names were called. They promised to prepare for Confirmation through prayer, and their parents and the parish community promised to support them.

After Mass, some teenagers from the youth choir and four Teach Bhríde members met for some bear claw cookies, a few clips from the movie Brave, and some discussion about family relationships. We were still a small group, but the word is out: the next day a graduate of Kennedy Park found me after Mass and asked, “When is that youth group going on?” We’ll keep you all apprised of how that group grows!