This summer, Christendom College will hold its second annual St. Columcille Institute, a program in Ireland featuring classes in Catholic theology, history, and literature. Held from July 20 to August 11, 2014, the Institute invites young Catholic leaders in Ireland and America to acquire the intellectual tools they need to be effective agents in the New Evangelization.
“After the success of last year’s program, we are even more excited,” College President and Institute Director Dr. Timothy O’Donnell says. “Students really found the institute to be a life-changing experience for them. Not only did they grow in their understanding of the Faith, but they grew closer to the Person at the center of the Faith—Jesus Christ.”
By bringing young people together from across United States and Ireland, the Institute creates a fruitful dialogue and an exchange of ideas and experiences.
“Through the intellectual, spiritual, and cultural experiences, students rediscover a love of their Catholic heritage and are energized to be a part of the revival of Christian faith and culture,” O’Donnell says. “And given the historical significance of Ireland and its role in spreading the Gospel and saving Western Civilization, our location is an ideal spot for this program.”
The three-week program will be at Ards Friary in County Donegal, a spectacular part of the northwest of Ireland where local traditions and Irish culture remain strong and vibrant. With over 200 acres of lovely countryside and a commanding view of the ocean, bay, and surrounding beaches, the Friary will provide students with ample opportunity to pray and reflect deeply upon the riches gleaned in the classroom.
Through the college-level courses, students will be given a better understanding of Catholicism, thus ensuring that they will develop the ability both to evangelize and defend the Faith within secular society. Participants will examine the patrimony of Western Christian Civilization through an in-depth study of theology, history, and literature taught by Christendom faculty.
O’Donnell will teach the theology course, which will present the basic arguments for the credibility of the Catholic Faith and Natural Law. English professor Sharon Hickson will teach the literature course, which will survey fiction, drama, and poetry drawn from the masterworks of the Western literary tradition with a special emphasis on Irish writers. History professor Brendan McGuire will teach the history course, which will cover the rise and development of Christian Europe, highlighting the special contribution made by Catholic Ireland.
This year will also feature a series of workshops on “The Art of Communication in the New Evangelization” led by Sean Lovett, the Director of English Programing for Vatican Radio.
Native Irishman and college chaplain Fr. Mark Byrne, SOLT, will assist in the spiritual formation that will be part of the daily routine for students who participate in the Institute. Daily Mass and communal recitation of the rosary and Divine Office will provide the hinge for each day’s routine, and in addition, the Sacrament of Confession and Eucharistic Adoration will be readily available.
The trip also includes excursions to historic sites during and after the program, including Croagh Patrick, the National Marian Shrine at Knock, and Dublin.
For more information or to apply, visit christendom.edu/ireland.