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News > General > Clongowes Union Easter Retreat 2024

Clongowes Union Easter Retreat 2024

31 Mar 2024
Pyers and Peter
Pyers and Peter

The 2024 Retreat was held in Clongowes on the evening of Holy Thursday and Good Friday, 28/29 March.  The Director was Fr Kevin Casey SJ, an Old Clongownian (‘59).  He is a member of the Clongowes Jesuit community and has responsibility for the People’s Church. 

Mr Pyers O’Conor Nash (‘69) stepped down as host of the Retreat and the baton was taken up by Mr John Sheehan (‘74).  Pyers was host for twenty-five years and he provided sterling service.  The President of the Union, Mr Peter O’Meara, formally thanked Pyers for his input and dedication and presented him with a small gift in appreciation. 

Over the two days, thirty-five Old Clongownians (OCs) attended with twenty-five staying overnight on Holy Thursday.  The “years” ranged from 1948 to 1993.  Two sets of fathers and sons attended (Dermot and Sean Curran and Michael and Andrew Fay) and two sets of brothers attended (Donal and Brian O’Tierney and Robert and John Sheehan). Both the current President of the Union, Mr Peter O’Meara and the past President, Mr Tom Lane, attended both days. 

Ms Vicki Cahill, administrator, aided by Ms Emma Robinson welcomed the OCs to Clongowes and directed them to their accommodation.  Ms Cahill was responsible for the administration of the Retreat and did an excellent job.

The location for the talks was the Fr Peter Kenney Library, a wonderful setting, in the Castle.  The theme chosen by Fr Casey was the Easter Triduum.  He gave three insightful talks followed by animated discussion on topics such as why is Good Friday good?  What happens when God is silent?  Did God the Father abandon his Son on the Cross? 

For the Liturgy of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, the OCs joined the members of the Home of the Mother organisation in the packed-out Sports Hall.  The Boys’ Chapel was the location for the Stations of the Cross and Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday.  Fr Barney McGuckian joined Fr Casey for the Passion and both made themselves available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Throughout the Retreat, the atmosphere was relaxed, and the participants mixed well, sharing stories and reminiscing over the excellent meals and refreshments in the community dining room and community library in the Castle.  Several OCs visited the Pleasure Gardens or walked the avenue or the grounds.  Following supper, we said our goodbyes and departed, spiritually refreshed for the coming year.

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