On Wednesday, 5th December we held our annual Advent Reconciliation Service in Clongowes. Led by the Rector, Fr Michael Sheil SJ, the whole school came together in the Sports Hall at 9.15pm for a 40 minute liturgy exploring the nature of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to reflect upon the unfashionable concept of personal and communal sin in our own lives. Using the media of film, music and the spoken word this liturgy engaged the boys in a reflective and introspective period in the midst of the hectic timetable that is life in Clongowes. Anecdotal feedback from the students was extremely positive and the stillness during the liturgy was testament to their willing engagement in this liturgy.
In the two days immediately following this liturgy the whole school was offered the sacrament on an individual basis by going class by class to the Boys’ Chapel during the day. With visiting priests from Clane and Maynooth facilitating, the elective take-up here of the sacrament on an individual basis was extraordinary. As a preparatory spiritual exercise for the coming of the Christ child this Advent Penitential liturgy seems to have struck a chord with the students.
It has been absolutely heart-warming to see how openly and maturely the boys have responded to the streamlined initiative around this primary sacrament of our faith. The very prayerful atmosphere that pertained has also offered the students a moment of tranquility and respite, from the hectic bustle that is an ordinary day in their Clongowes life.
Mr Cyril Murphy, Director of Liturgy