Our facilitators (Elsa, Daniel and Isaac) then led us down to the Community Arts Room where we got to do some fun mind-stimulation warm-ups. Afterwards we started on our collages. We were given lots of different materials to make a collage inspired by what we had seen in the exhibition upstairs. The results came out very well with a range of different ideas from paper pieces arranged into pictures to backgammon-like pictures.
It was a great experience.
Soon after, we went upstairs to the dorter, or dormitory, which is where the monks used to sleep. We were told the fascinating history of the Abbey. We learned of how it burnt down but was rebuilt and of the pilgrims and the long weary journeys they used to make over to Croagh Patrick. Croagh Patrick back then was known as Eagle Mountain because of the large golden eagles that made the mountains their home. However, the eagles cannot be seen anymore, as they are extinct due to hunting and angry farmers killing them because they prey on their sheep.
We started the day with a prayer with Meabh, Muriel and Colin (the retreat instructors) helping us along the way. Shortly after we went on a tour around the grounds. Split into three groups we saw the crib, a replica of Elizabeth’s house (where she denied entry to the Holy Family) and lots of other sights. Our guide, Muriel, told us very interesting stories about every place we passed.
Later, after our lunch, we gathered in the room our day began in. Meabh lit 9 candles in the centre of the room, one for each fruit of the Holy Spirit. With the lights turned off, we began thinking of everyone in our lives who love us, care for us and spend time with us. We then read stories of Jesus and how he showed those traits while helping the others in his life.
We had a wonderful day.