Ards Friary, Co. Donegal, Ireland

Ards Friary, Co. Donegal, Ireland

This summer, Christendom College is launching the St. Columcille Institute, an annual program in Ireland featuring classes in Catholic theology, history, and literature. Held from July 19 to August 11, 2013, the Institute aims to strengthen the faith and deepen the understanding of young Catholic leaders in Europe and America.

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.

“We’re inviting the youth of both the United States and Ireland to experience an awareness of the spiritual depth of the Catholic culture of Ireland that has enriched and determined much of the history of Europe, the United States, and the world,” College President and Institute Director Dr. Timothy O’Donnell says. “With its Gaelic roots, Ireland remains the culturally dominant English-speaking Catholic civilization in the world.”

By bringing young people together from the United States and Ireland, the Institute hopes to create fruitful dialogue and an exchange of ideas and experiences.

“We hope this will lead to a reawakening in the love of our mutual heritage and energize the students to a determined hope for a revival of Christian faith and culture,” O’Donnell says.

Dr. Brendan McGuire

Dr. Brendan McGuire

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.

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 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.

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