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Their Looming Adulthood

Among the many ‘firsts’ the Senior Cohort of 2019 are creating was the inaugural Claddagh Retreat held during Camp Week. Schools in the Edmund Rice Tradition have long observed the practice of a Senior retreat as a means towards creating greater self-knowledge, emotional maturity and spiritual contentment as school days slip away and adulthood looms.

The Claddagh Retreats were held at the Edmund Park Camp Centre near Laidley, an outstanding location of natural beauty, both energising and peacefully quiet. The first group of mostly Connacht and Munster House left ATC on the Sunday morning with no knowledge of what lay ahead. As this is our first Claddagh retreat, there hasn’t been whispers of what lay ahead and the ‘unknown’ formed part of its special mystery. For three fascinating days students connected, explored and reflected. The programme is a carefully crafted emotional journey for students and facilitators meaning that the nature and sanctity of the event precludes the provision of in-depth detail. However, it is suffice to say that all our young men and staff felt honoured and privileged by the opportunity to participate, listen and learn.

It is no surprise this event is often quoted as one of the most memorable moment of EREA Year 12 graduates and the ATC Senior class of 2019 will undoubtedly agree. Similarly, it is often said that the parents of those who attend the retreat observe in their sons a shift in disposition, a heightened level of compassion, a growth in maturity and an increase in motivation.

We look forward to our Seniors of 2020 taking part in this special event and experiencing all that Claddagh Retreat has to offer.

David Robertson
Head of Connacht House