This week has been business as usual for the House with a few great surprises and guest appearances. On Tuesday night we had our third night of Stations of the Cross and the final talk by Fr. Bill Swan. Unfortunately, the projector broke before stations and so Fr. Billy Swan had to give a talk only using a 15” computer screen to an audience that filled half the day-chapel. Luckily, we have a new projector and so the Stations of the Cross will return next week in full form and (sombre) spirit.
While Wednesday passed occurred quite normally (I had the day off and we had evening choir rehearsal), Thursday saw two important milestones. The first was that I attended my first confirmation retreat at Ballyvaloo, which saw a huge turnout from the visiting school of 67 students. Controlling a group that size is never easy, and there are always a few “messers,” but the response was overwhelmingly positive and the retreat team really stepped up to the plate to handle our biggest retreat group ever! Most of the students, as they were leaving, were asking when they would be able to do it again, and that a good time was had by all.
The second big event of Thursday was the arrival of Steve Warner, our dear friend and mentor from across the pond, to come stay in Wexford for a week, check-in with how we are doing as a community and as persons, and just take some time off and enjoy the people and weather of Wexford (mostly the people, not so much the weather). So, that Thursday evening, the House had a late three-course dinner with Fr. Denis, Fr. Martin, and Steve at Fr. Denis’ house. Needless to say, a good time was had by all.
Finally, Friday saw us travelling to Dublin for the monthly ACE-advocate Mass in O’Connell House with the alumni of the ACE programme in Ireland and members of the Notre Dame undergraduate community that are interested in doing the ACE programme. I was absolutely thrilled to find some more friends in Dublin whom I did not know were studying abroad, and I also decided to finally buy my own tin whistles now that I can play them (for the record, I bought two nickel-plated brass penny-whistles in the keys of D and C manufactured by Generations). Now, the House can finally have its communal tin whistle back! That night, I was able to use them for the opening song and psalm of the Mass, much to my own delight and amusement. We were also joined by a surprise guest, but I will leave it to Emily to say who our second visitor was. And so, our Friday night ended with bread broken on the altar and at the dinner table, and with old friends met and new friends made. Needless to say, a good time was had by all.