ireland-1Christendom College’s popular three-week summer study-abroad program in Ireland, the St. Columcille Institute, is once again filling with applicants. Held every summer in Donegal, Ireland, the Institute is quickly gaining applicants from England, Ireland, and across the United States. With space becoming limited, young Catholic leaders from Europe and America are encouraged to reserve their spot for an adventure that will equip them with the intellectual tools they need to be effective agents in the New Evangelization.

Held from July 17 to August 9, the program will host students from colleges across North America this year, with participants hailing from Florida State, Washington Community College, Thomas More College, Mount St. Mary’s University, Benedictine College, and the Northeast Catholic College. They will join Christendom College, and students from Ireland, in learning apologetics, Irish history, and the Catholic culture of Ireland, discovering how they all relate to the New Evangelization. By doing so, the unique purpose of the St. Columcille Institute will be put into practice: to energize the youth and bring hope for a Catholic revival in the United States and Ireland.

For the past two years, the St. Columcille Institute has promoted the New Evangelization called for by Popes St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis, seeking to strengthen the faith and deepen the understanding of young Catholic leaders from the United States and Ireland. By offering a deep catechesis, the Institute ensures that participants develop the ability both to evangelize and defend the Faith within secular society, in an environment that fosters fellowship while also nurturing the whole person, mind, body, and soul. With its academic and spiritual atmosphere set in the stunning beauty of Ards Friary in County Donegal, students are given this unique opportunity to experience the spiritual depth of the Catholic culture of Ireland in one of its most strong, vibrant locations.

“Ireland offers the kind of passion and peace you just can’t find anywhere else,” says Hannah Rainey, who participated in the program last summer. “Nearly every day was an experience I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

The purpose of the Institute is to prepare the next generation to answer the call of the New Evangelization. In that interest, Christendom College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, as Dean of the Institute, teaches a class on the New Evangelization in Catholic Apologetics. The Institute also includes classes which introduce students to the exciting history of Ireland and the powerful literature of Irish authors, taught by Dr. Brendan McGuire and Prof. Sharon Hickson respectively. In addition, Dr. Sean-Patrick Lovett, the Program Director at Vatican Radio, teaches three workshops on the art of communication in the New Evangelization. Fr. Mark Byrne, SOLT, will serve as chaplain, assisted by Christendom College alumnus Fr. John Heisler of the Diocese of Arlington.

In addition to the classes, students enjoy excursions and hikes that immerse them in the traditional Catholic culture of Donegal, including exploring the Glenveigh National Park, Tory Island, the cliffs of Bunglasss, historic Glen Columcille, and Donegal Castle. The students will also journey to Croagh Patrick in County Mayo and visit the National Shrine of Our Lady’s apparition at Knock, before concluding their adventure in Dublin.

Those interested in attended may apply for the St. Columcille Institute at christendom.edu/Ireland.

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