columcille-2016-1Christendom College recently began accepting registrations for its highly popular St. Columcille Institute, a three week summer program for college-aged students held in Ireland. Featuring classes in apologetics, Irish history, and literature, the Institute will be held this year from July 22 to August 14.

Entering its fourth year, the Institute has drawn students together from across the United States and Ireland each year in a mission both noble and necessary — creating tomorrow’s leaders in the New Evangelization. This mission of the St. Columcille Institute is what drew Katie Ascough to it last summer. A native of Ireland, Ascough has witnessed firsthand the secularism that has swept through her homeland, and sees the Institute as a remedy to the problem.

“Just by existing — by being in Ireland — the St. Columcille Institute is helping us. It’s going to keep attracting more and more Irish students, as it already is, which is a great thing for my homeland. We don’t have anything like Christendom here, and for Christendom to come over here for three weeks during the summer makes such a big different to, and for, the Irish people,” said Ascough.

By offering a deep catechesis, the Institute ensures that participants develop the ability both to evangelize and defend the Faith within secular society. With its academic and spiritual atmosphere set in the stunning beauty of Ards Friary in County Donegal, students are given the unique opportunity to experience the spiritual depth of the Catholic culture of Ireland in one of its most vibrant locations.

“The experience was simply life-changing, due to these people that I’ve met. I have made friends that I’ll have forever now, even if they live in different continents, and I’ve forged connections that I’ll cherish — these are people I feel I can turn to whenever I need them,” said Claire Byrne, who participated in the program last summer.

In addition to taking classes, students enjoy excursions and hikes that give them a better understanding of Irish culture, 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.

The program is open to any college-aged student, and through their participation in the program, they will earn six college credits.  For more information about this program, please visit christendom.edu/academics/Ireland.

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